mid-14c., "keep back or in store for future use;" late 14c., "keep as one's own," from Old French reserver "set aside, withhold" (12c.) and directly from Latin reservare "keep back, save up; retain, preserve," from re- "back" (see re-) + servare "to keep, save, preserve, protect" (from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect"). Meaning "to book" is from 1935. Related: Reserved; reserving.
1640s, as a theological term (in reference to "covenants" between God and man), from French fédéral, an adjective formed from Latin foedus (genitive foederis) "covenant, league, treaty, alliance" (from PIE *bhoid-es-, suffixed form of root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade").
Secular meaning "pertaining to a covenant or treaty" (1650s) led to political sense of "formed by agreement among independent states" (1707), from use of the word in federal union "union based on a treaty" (popularized during formation of U.S.A. 1776-1787) and like phrases. Also from this period in U.S. history comes the sense "favoring the central government" (1788) and the especial use of the word (as opposed to confederate) to mean a state in which the federal authority is independent of the component parts within its legitimate sphere of action. Used from 1861 in reference to the Northern forces in the American Civil War.
c. 1200, noten, "observe, take mental note of, mark carefully," from Old French noter "indicate, designate; take note of, write down," from Latin notare "to mark, note, make a note," from nota "mark, sign, note, character, letter" (see note (n.)). Sense of "mention separately or specially among others" is from late 14c. Meaning "to set down in writing, make a memorandum of" is from early 14c. Related: Noted; noting.
c. 1300, "a song, music, melody; instrumental music; a bird-song; a musical note of a definite pitch," from Old French note and directly from Latin nota "letter, character, note," originally "a mark, sign, means of recognition," which traditionally has been connected to notus, past participle of noscere "to come to know," but de Vaan reports this is "impossible," and with no attractive alternative explanation, it is of unknown origin.
Meaning "notice, attention" is from early 14c.; that of "reputation, fame" is from late 14c. From late 14c. as "mark, sign, or token by which a thing may be known." From late 14c. as "a sign by which a musical tone is represented to the eye." Meaning "a brief written abstract of facts" is from 1540s; meaning "a short, informal written communication" is from 1590s. From 1550s as "a mark in the margin of a book calling attention to something in the text," hence "a statement subsidiary to the text adding or elucidating something." From 1680s as "a paper acknowledging a debts, etc." In perfumery, "a basic component of a fragrance which gives it its character," by 1905.
1610s, "something stored up," from reserve (v.) or from French réserve, a back-formation from reserver "set aside, withhold," from Latin reservare "keep back, save up; retain, preserve," from re- "back" (see re-) + servare "to keep, save, preserve, protect" (from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect").
Meaning "self-imposed restraint on freedom of words or actions; habit of keeping back the feelings" is from 1650s. The meaning "district or place set apart for some particular use" is by 1805. The sense of "amount of capital kept on hand to meet probable expenses or demand" is by 1866. That of "amount of natural resources known to exist in a particular region" is by 1912. As an adjective, "kept in reserve," by 1719.
The military sense of "body of troops withheld from action to serve as reinforcements, etc." is from 1640s; that of "national emergency defense or auxiliary military force" (reserves) is by 1866.
U.S. Federal Communications Commission, formed 1934 from the former Federal Radio Commission.
1540s, from Latin subsidiarius "belonging to a reserve, of a reserve, reserved; serving to assist or supplement," from subsidium "a help, aid, relief, troops in reserve" (see subsidy). As a noun, c. 1600, "subsidiary thing." In Latin the word was used as a noun meaning "the reserve."