Etymology
Advertisement
deal (v.)

Middle English delen, from Old English dælan "to divide, distribute, separate;" hence "to share with others, bestow, dispense," and also "take part in, have to do with," from Proto-Germanic *dailjanan (source also of Old Saxon deljan, Old Frisian dela "to divide, distribute," Middle Dutch, Dutch deelen, German teilen, Gothic dailjan),from PIE *dail- "to divide," ‌‌perhaps a Northern Indo-European extended form of root *da- "to divide," or a word from a substrate language.

Meaning "to deliver (to another) as his share" is from c. 1300. Meaning "to distribute cards before a game" is from 1520s (the associated noun meaning "distribution of cards before a game" is from c. 1600). Hence colloquial deal (someone) in "include in an undertaking" (1942).

To deal with "handle, act toward (in some way)" is attested from mid-15c., from the notion of "engage in mutual intercourse, have to do with;" in late 14c. the phrase also mean "have sexual intercourse with." Related: Dealt; dealing.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
deal (n.1)

"a part or portion," Middle English del, from from Old English dæl "a part of a whole, a share;" with qualification (great, etc.), "an extent, degree, quantity, amount," from Proto-Germanic *dailaz (source also of Old Norse deild, Old Frisian del "part; juridical district," Dutch deel, Old High German and German teil, Gothic dails "part, share, portion"), from PIE *dail- "to divide" (source also of Old Church Slavonic delu, Lithuanian dalis "part"), ‌‌perhaps a Northern Indo-European extended form of the root *da- "to divide," or perhaps a substratum word.

Formerly used in many senses now taken by part. Meaning "a share (of something), one's allotted portion" is from c. 1200. Business sense of "transaction, bargain" is 1837, originally slang, from the older sense of "arrangement among a number of persons for mutual advantage." In American history, New Deal is from Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech of July 2, 1932 (the phrase itself is by 1834). Big deal is from 1928 as "important transaction;" ironic use first recorded 1951 in "Catcher in the Rye." Deal-breaker is attested by 1975.

Related entries & more 
deal (n.2)

"plank or board," especially of fir or pine, late 14c., dele, from Low German (compare Middle Low German dele), from Proto-Germanic *theljon." From late 13c. in surnames. An Old English derivative was þelu"hewn wood, board, flooring."

Related entries & more 
big deal (n.)
from 1860s as "a good deal, a large amount;" by 1878 in financial speculation, originally in California publications; see deal (n.1). As an ironic expression, popular in American English from c. 1965, perhaps a translated Yiddishism (such as a groyser kunst).
Related entries & more 
dealt 
past tense and past participle of deal (v.).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
somedeal (adv.)
"to some degree, somewhat," obsolete, but very common in Old English as sume dæle "some portion, somewhat," from some + deal (n.1).
Related entries & more 
dealer (n.)

Old English dælere "divider, distributor; agent, negotiator," agent noun from deal (v.). Meaning "player who passes out the cards in a game" is from c. 1600; meaning "one whose business is to buy and sell merchandise" is from 1610s. Meaning "purveyor of illegal drugs" is recorded by 1920.

Related entries & more 
misdeal (v.)

also mis-deal, 1746, "to make an incorrect distribution in dealing (cards);" from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + deal (v.). The noun, "a wrong deal in cards, a deal in which the players do not all receive the proper number of cards in the proper order," is attested from 1793. The original verbal sense (late 15c.) was "to distribute unfairly." Related: Misdealt; misdealing.

Related entries & more 
*da- 

*dā-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to divide."

It forms all or part of: betide; daimon; Damocles; deal (v.); deal (n.1) "part, portion;" demagogue; demiurge; democracy; demography; demon; demotic; dole; endemic; epidemic; eudaemonic; geodesic; geodesy; ordeal; pandemic; pandemonium; tidal; tide (n.) "rise and fall of the sea;" tidings; tidy; time; zeitgeist.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dati "cuts, divides;" Greek dēmos "people, land," perhaps literally "division of society," daiesthai "to divide;" Old Irish dam "troop, company;" Old English tid "point or portion of time," German Zeit "time."

Related entries & more 
part (n.)

mid-13c., "division, portion of a whole, element or constituent (of something)," from Old French part "share, portion; character; power, dominion; side, way, path," from Latin partem (nominative pars) "a part, piece, a share, a division; a party or faction; a part of the body; a fraction; a function, office," related to portio "share, portion," from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot."

It has replaced native deal (n.) in most senses. Meaning "an allotted portion, a share" is from c. 1300; that of "a share of action or influence in activity or affairs, role, duty" is by late 14c. The theatrical sense (late 15c.) is from an actor's "share" in a performance (The Latin plural partis was used in the same sense). In music, "one of the voices or instruments in a concerted piece" (1520s). Sense of "separate piece of a machine" is by 1813.

Meaning "the division of the hair on the head when dressing it; the separation of the hair on the top of the head, from which it spread down on either side" is by 1890, American English; the earlier word for this was parting (1690s). The common Middle English word for it was shede, schede, from Old English scead, scad.

As an adjective from 1590s. Late Old English part "part of speech" did not survive and the modern word is considered a separate borrowing. Phrase for the most part "most, the greatest part" is from late 14c. To take part "participate" is from late 14c.

Related entries & more