late 14c., "gatherer of taxes, etc.," from Anglo-French collectour "collector" (of money or taxes; Old French collector, Modern French collecteur), from Late Latin collector, agent noun from colligere "to gather together" (see collect). Meaning "one who collects objects of interest as a pursuit or amusement" is by 1774. Fem. form collectress is attested from 1825.
1530s, "an adherent;" 1620s, "a collector, compiler," agent noun from aggregate (v.).
masc. proper name, also a surname (late 12c.), from an Old French word meaning "to cross over," related to traverse (v.). Probably a name for a gatekeeper or the toll collector of a bridge.
"one mad for books, an enthusiastic collector of rare or unusual books," 1811; see bibliomania. Earlier was bibliomane (1777), from French.
A bibliomaniac must be carefully distinguished from a bibliophile. The latter has not yet freed himself from the idea that books are meant to be read. [Walsh]
c. 1400, "an inspector, one who makes inquiries," from Anglo-French inquisitour, Old French inquisiteur, or directly from Latin inquisitor "searcher, examiner; a legal investigator, collector of evidence," agent noun from Latin inquirere (see inquire). As the title of an officer of the Inquisition, from 1540s. Related: Inquisitorial. Of the fem. forms, inquisitress (1727) is senior to inquisitrix (1825).
late 12c., "tax-gatherer for the Roman government," from Old French publician (12c.) and directly from Latin publicanus "a tax collector," noun use of an adjective, "pertaining to public revenue," from publicum "public revenue," noun use of neuter of publicus (see public (adj.)). This original sense is that in Matthew xviii.17, Luke xviii.10-14, etc.
1926, proprietary name of a type of fiberboard, by Mason Fibre Company, Laurel, Mississippi, U.S., and named for William H. Mason (1877-1940), protege of Edison, who patented the process of making it. Earlier (1840) as a word in mineralogy for a type of chloritoid; the name honors Owen Mason of Providence, R.I., a collector who first brought the mineral to the attention of geologists.