c. 1600 (adj.); 1630s (n.), from French Européen, from Latin Europaeus, from Greek Europaios "European," from Europe (see Europe).
"fuse or melt," especially ore, by heat, in a furnace, to separate the metal in it, late 14c. (implied in smelter "one who smelts ore"), from Dutch or Middle Low German smelten "to fuse, smelt, liquefy," from Proto-Germanic *smelt- (source also of Old High German smelzan, German schmelzen "to melt"), from PIE *smeld-, variant of PIE root *mel- (1) "soft." Thus the word is related to melt (v.). Italian smalto "enamel" is from dialectal smalzo "butter," which is from Germanic; compare enamel, email. Related: Smelted; smelting; smeltery.
common name of various small fishes, Old English smelt "sardine, small salmon-like sea fish," cognate with Dutch smelt "sand eel," Danish smelt (c. 1600). OED notes that it has a peculiar odor (but doesn't suggest a connection with smell); Klein suggests an explanation in the way the fish "melts" in one's mouth. Century Dictionary speculates ("perhaps") it means "smooth" and compares Old English smeolt, smylt "serene, smooth." Watkins says from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft."
1814, coined by English polymath Thomas Young (1773-1829) and first used in an article in the "Quarterly Review," from Indo- + European. "Common to India and Europe," specifically in reference to the group of related languages and to the race or races characterized by their use. William Dwight Whitney ("The Life and Growth of Language," 1875) credits its widespread use to Franz Bopp.
The alternative Indo-Germanic (1835) was coined in German in 1823 (indogermanisch), based on the two peoples then thought to be at the extremes of the geographic area covered by the languages, but this was before Celtic was realized also to be an Indo-European language. After this was proved, many German scholars switched to Indo-European as more accurate, but Indo-Germanic continued in use (popularized by the titles of major works) and the predominance of German scholarship in this field made it the popular term in England, too, through the 19c. See also Aryan and Japhetic.
Indo-Aryan (1850) seems to have been used only of the Aryans of India. Indo-European also was used in reference to trade between Europe and India or European colonial enterprises in India (1813).
the hypothetical reconstructed ancestral language of the Indo-European family, by 1905. The time scale of the "language" itself is much debated, but a recent date proposed for it is about 5,500 years ago.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "soft," with derivatives referring to soft or softened materials.
It forms all or part of: amblyopia; bland; blandish; blenny; emollient; enamel; malacia; malaxation; malt; melt; mild; Mildred; milt; moil; mollify; Mollusca; mollusk; mulch; mullein; mutton; schmaltz; smelt (v.); smelt (n.).
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit mrdh "to neglect," also "to be moist;" Greek malakos "soft," malthon "weakling;" Latin mollire "soften," mollis "soft;" Old Irish meldach "tender."
"one engaged in smelting," late 14c., agent noun from smelt (v.).
"to lay enamel upon, cover or decorate with enamel," early 14c., from Anglo-French enamailler (early 14c.), from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + amailler "to enamel," variant of Old French esmailler, from esmal "enamel," from Frankish *smalt, from Proto-Germanic *smaltjan "to smelt" (see smelt (v.)). Related: Enameled; enameler; enameling.
"to cast metal," late 14c., originally "to mix, mingle," from Old French fondre "pour out, melt, smelt" (12c.), from Latin fundere (past participle fusus) "to melt, cast, pour out," from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour." Meaning "to cast metal" is from 1560s. Related: Founded; founding.