1610s, "act of heating to the point of combustion," from French ignition or directly from Medieval Latin ignitionem (nominative ignitio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin ignire "set on fire," from ignis "fire" (see igneous). Meaning "means of sparking a fire" (originally in a gun) is from 1881; meaning "means of sparking an internal combustion engine" is from 1906.
1610s, "the whole creation, the universe," from Late Latin systema "an arrangement, system," from Greek systema "organized whole, a whole compounded of parts," from stem of synistanai "to place together, organize, form in order," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + root of histanai "cause to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."
Meaning "set of correlated principles, facts, ideas, etc." first recorded 1630s. Meaning "animal body as an organized whole, sum of the vital processes in an organism" is recorded from 1680s; hence figurative phrase to get (something) out of one's system (1900). Computer sense of "group of related programs" is recorded from 1963. All systems go (1962) is from U.S. space program. The system "prevailing social order" is from 1806.
library classification system that organizes information into 10 broad areas subdivided numerically into progressively smaller topics, by 1885, named for Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) who proposed it 1876 while acting librarian of Amherst College. He also crusaded for simplified spelling and the metric system.
also jumpstart, "to start a car engine using battery booster cables," by 1970; see jump (n.) + start (v.). The sense of jump is that in the jump-spark ignition system, attested from 1883 in gas-lighting, from c. 1902 as a common way to start an automobile; hence also jumper "wire used to cut out ('jump over') part of a circuit or to close a gap," a sense attested from 1901 in telegraphy. Related: Jumpstarted; jumpstarting. Figurative use by 1975. Jump-leads "jumper-cables" is from 1969; jumper-cables from 1961.
also hotwire, "bypass the ignition key to start a motor vehicle," 1966, from hot-wire (adj.), which is attested from 1889 in reference to electricity wires. Related: Hot-wired; hot-wiring.
name taken by Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skriabin (1890-1986), Soviet minister of foreign affairs 1939-1949, from Russian molot "hammer," cognate with Latin malleus, from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind." Molotov cocktail "glass bottle filled with flammable liquid and a means of ignition" (1940) is a term from Russo-Finnish War (used and satirically named by the Finns).
"computer operating system using a disk storage device," 1967, acronym of disk operating system.
also metre, "fundamental unit of length of the metric system," originally intended to be one ten-millionth of the length of a quadrant of the meridian, 1797, from French mètre (18c.), from Greek metron "measure," from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure." Developed by French Academy of Sciences for system of weights and measures based on a decimal system originated 1670 by French clergyman Gabriel Mouton.