1530s, "vacant piece of ground," from Latin area "level ground, open space," used of building sites, playgrounds, threshing floors, etc.; which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps an irregular derivation from arere "to become dry" (see arid), on notion of "bare space cleared by burning." The generic sense of "any particular amount of surface (whether open or not) contained within any set of limits" is from 1560s. Area code in the North American telephone systems is attested from 1959.
"colored circle around a nipple" (areola papillaris), 1706, from Latin areola, literally "small area," diminutive of area (see area). Introduced in this sense 1605 by Swiss anatomist and botanist Caspar Bauhin. The word also is used in other anatomical senses. Related: Areolar.
also *es-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to burn, glow."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit asah "ashes, dust;" Hittite hat- "to dry up;" Greek azein "to dry up, parch," azaleos "dry;" Latin aridus "parched, dry," ārēre "to be dry," āra "altar, hearth;" Armenian azazem "I dry up;" Old English æsce "ash," Old High German asca, Gothic azgo "ashes."