Etymology
Advertisement
abuse (v.)
Origin and meaning of abuse

early 15c., "to misuse, misapply" (power, money, etc.), from Old French abuser "deceive, abuse, misuse" (14c.), from Vulgar Latin *abusare, from Latin abusus "an abusing; a using up," past participle of abuti "use up, consume," also "to misuse, abuse, misapply, outrage," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + uti "use" (see use).

Also in reference to forbidden sexual situations from early 15c., but originally meaning incest, masturbation (self-abuse), homosexuality, prostitution, etc. From 1550s specifically as "to misuse sexually, ravish," but OED 2nd ed. marks this obsolete and the modern use "subject (someone) to unwanted sexual activity" is likely a fresh coinage from late 20c. Specifically of drugs, from 1968. Meaning "attack with harsh language, revile" is from c. 1600. Related: Abused; abusing.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
alcohol (n.)

1540s (early 15c. as alcofol), "fine powder produced by sublimation," from Medieval Latin alcohol "powdered ore of antimony," from Arabic al-kuhul "kohl," the fine metallic powder used to darken the eyelids, from kahala "to stain, paint." The al- is the Arabic definite article, "the."

Paracelsus (1493-1541) used the word to refer to a fine powder but also a volatile liquid. By 1670s it was being used in English for "any sublimated substance, the pure spirit of anything," including liquids.

The sense of "intoxicating ingredient in strong liquor" is attested by 1753, short for alcohol of wine, which then was extended to the intoxicating element in fermented liquors. The formerly preferred terms for the substance were rectified spirits or brandy.

In organic chemistry, the word was extended by 1808 to the class of compounds of the same type as this (a 1790 translation of Lavoisier's "Elements of Chemistry" has alkoholic gas for "the combination of alkohol with caloric").

Related entries & more 
abuse (n.)
Origin and meaning of abuse
mid-15c., "improper practice," from Old French abus (14c.), from Latin abusus "a using up" (see abuse (v.)). From 1570s as "violation, defilement" (surviving in self-abuse "masturbation," if at all). In reference to drugs by 1961. Modern use in reference to unwanted sexual activity is from late 20c. Earlier in Middle English was abusion "wicked act or practice, shameful thing, violation of decency" (early 14c.), "an insult" (mid-14c.), from Old French abusion, from Latin abusio.
Related entries & more 
self-abuse (n.)

c. 1600, "self-deception, abuse of one's own person or powers," from self- + abuse (n.). As a synonym for "masturbation," it is recorded from 1728; an earlier term was self-pollution (1620s).

Related entries & more 
ethanol (n.)
"ethyl alcohol," 1900, contracted from ethane, to which it is the corresponding alcohol, + -ol, here indicating alcohol.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
alcoholism (n.)

"disease of alcohol addiction," by 1882, from alcohol + -ism, or else from Modern Latin alcoholismus, coined in 1852 by Swedish professor of medicine Magnus Huss to mean what we now would call "alcohol poisoning, effects of excessive ingestion of alcohol." In earlier times, alcohol addiction would have been called habitual drunkenness or some such term.

Related entries & more 
aldehyde (n.)

first oxidation product of alcohol, 1833, discovered in 1774 by German-born Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele, the name said to have been coined by German chemist Justus von Liebig from abbreviation of Modern Latin alcohol dehydrogenatum "dehydrogenated alcohol." Related: Aldehydic.

Related entries & more 
gasohol (n.)
gasoline and ethanol mixture, 1975, from gasoline + (ethyl) alcohol.
Related entries & more 
methanol (n.)
"methyl alcohol," 1892 (adopted that year by the international scientific community), from methyl + -ol, suffix denoting "alcohol."
Related entries & more 
polyvinyl (n.)

"polymeric substance derived from vinyl compounds," 1930, polymer of vinyl chloride. In chemistry, vinyl was used from 1863 as the name of a univalent radical derived from ethylene, from Latin vinum "wine" (see wine (n.)), because ethyl alcohol is the ordinary alcohol present in wine.

Related entries & more