Etymology
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pucker (v.)

1590s, intransitive, "become irregularly ridged or wrinkled," possibly a frequentative form of pock, dialectal variant of poke "bag, sack" (see poke (n.1)), which would give it the same notion as in purse (v.). OED writes that it was "prob. earlier in colloquial use." "Verbs of this type often shorten or obscure the original vowel; compare clutter, flutter, putter, etc." [Barnhart]. Transitive sense of "draw up or contract into irregular folds or wrinkles" is from 1610s. Related: Puckered; puckering.

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iniquity (n.)
c. 1300, "hostility, malevolence; a hostile action," from Old French iniquité, iniquiteit "wickedness; unfavorable situation" (12c.), from Latin iniquitatem (nominative iniquitas) "unequalness, unevenness," figuratively "unfavorableness, unfairness, injustice," noun of quality from iniquus "unjust, unequal; slanting, steep," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + aequus "just, equal" (see equal (adj.)).

For the vowel change in the Latin compound, see acquisition. Meaning "evil, wickedness" is from late 14c. Old Iniquity (1610s) was a comic or buffoonish character in old morality plays, representing vice.
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blush (v.)

late 14c., bluschen, blischen, "to shine brightly; to look, gaze, stare," probably from Old English blyscan "blush, become red, glow" (glossing Latin rutilare), akin to blyse "torch," from Proto-Germanic *blisk- "to shine, burn," which also yielded words in Low German (Dutch blozen "to blush") and Scandinavian (Danish blusse "to blaze; to blush"); ultimately from PIE *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn."

For vowel evolution, see bury. Sense of "turn red in the face" (from shame, modesty, confusion, etc.) is from c. 1400. Related: Blushed; blushing.

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precise (adj.)

mid-15c., "neither more nor less than, with no error; exactly stated or marked off; definitely or strictly expressed; distinguished with precision from all others," from Old French précis "condensed, cut short" (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin precisus, from Latin praecisus "abrupt, abridged, cut off," past participle of praecidere "to cut off, shorten," from prae "before" (see pre-) + -cidere, combining form of caedere "to cut" (from PIE root *kae-id- "to strike"). For the Latin vowel change, see acquisition. Related: Precisely (late 14c.).

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mar (v.)

Middle English merren "to deface, disfigure; impair in form or substance" (early 13c.), from Old English merran (Anglian), mierran (West Saxon) "to waste, spoil," from Proto-Germanic *marzjan (source also of Old Frisian meria, Old High German marren "to hinder, obstruct," Gothic marzjan "to hinder, offend"), from PIE root *mers- "to trouble, confuse" (source also of Sanskrit mrsyate "forgets, neglects," Lithuanian miršti "to forget"). For vowel change, see marsh. Related: Marred; marring.

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precept (n.)

"commandment or direction given as a rule of action," especially "an injunction as to moral conduct," late 14c., from Old French percept, percet (12c.) and directly from Latin praeceptum "maxim, rule of conduct, order," noun use of neuter past participle of praecipere "give rules to, order, advise," literally "take beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + capere (past participle captus) "to take," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." For change of vowel, see biennial. Related: Preceptive; preceptory.

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pastern (n.)

late 13c., pastron, "shackle fixed on the foot of a horse or other beast," from Old French pasturon (Modern French paturon), diminutive of pasture "shackle for a horse in pasture," from Vulgar Latin *pastoria, noun use of fem. of Latin pastorius "of herdsmen," from pastor "shepherd" (see pastor). Metathesis of -r- and the following vowel occurred 1500s. The original sense is obsolete; the meaning was extended by 1520s to the part of the horse's leg between the fetlock and the hoof, to which the tether was attached.

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theme (n.)
early 14c., "subject or topic on which a person writes or speaks," from Old French tesme (13c., with silent -s- "indicating vowel length" [OED], Modern French thème) and directly from Latin thema "a subject, thesis," from Greek thema "a proposition, subject, deposit," literally "something set down," from PIE *dhe-mn, suffixed form of root *dhe- "to set, put." Meaning "school essay" is from 1540s. Extension to music first recorded 1670s; theme song first attested 1929. Theme park is from 1960.
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Semitic (adj.)

1797, denoting the major language group that includes Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Assyrian, etc., distinguished by triliteral verbal roots and vowel inflection; 1826 as "of or pertaining to Semites," from Medieval Latin Semiticus (source of Spanish semitico, French semitique, German semitisch), from Semita (see Semite).

As a noun, as the name of a linguistic family, from 1813. In non-linguistic use, it is perhaps directly from German semitisch. In recent use often with the specific sense "Jewish," but not historically so delimited.

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amphoteric (adj.)

of a chemical compound, "capable of reacting either as an acid or as a base," 1832, from Greek amphoteros "each or both of two," a variant of ampho "both" that replaced the earlier word. It is identical with Latin ambo and ultimately from the source of amphi- (q.v.). Other languages have the word without the nasal (Old Church Slavonic oba, Lithuanian abu) and Germanic has it without the initial vowel (Gothic bai). De Vaan writes, "There is no overall explanation for the forms, but connection with [amphi] seems clear."

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