Old English brom, popular name for several types of shrubs common throughout Europe (used medicinally and for fuel) and characterized by long, slender branches and many yellow flowers, from Proto-Germanic *bræmaz "thorny bush" (source also of Dutch braam, German Brombeere "blackberry"), from PIE *bh(e)rem- "to project; a point."
As "twigs of broom tied together to a handle to make a tool for sweeping," mid-14c. Traditionally, both the flowers and sweeping with broom twigs were considered unlucky in May (Suffolk, Sussex, Wiltshire, etc.).
17c. spelling change of indico (1550s), "blue powder obtained from certain plants and used as a dye," from Spanish indico, Portuguese endego, and Dutch (via Portuguese) indigo, all from Latin indicum "indigo," from Greek indikon "blue dye from India," literally "Indian (substance)," neuter of indikos "Indian," from India (see India).
Replaced Middle English ynde (late 13c., from Old French inde "indigo; blue, violet" (13c.), from Latin indicum). Earlier name in Mediterranean languages was annil, anil (see aniline). As "the color of indigo" from 1620s. As the name of the violet-blue color of the spectrum, 1704 (Newton).
West Indian shrub from which indigo is made, 1580s, from French or Portuguese anil "the indigo shrub," from Arabic an-nil "the indigo," assimilated from al-nil, from Persian nila, ultimately from Sanskrit nili "indigo," from nilah "dark blue."
also broom-stick, "stick or handle of a broom," 1680s, from broom (n.) + stick (n.). Earlier was broom-staff (1610s). Broom-handle is from 1817. The witch's flying broomstick originally was one among many such objects (pitchfork, trough, bowl), but the broomstick became fixed as the popular tool of supernatural flight via engravings from a famous Lancashire witch trial of 1612. Broomstick marriage, in reference to an informal wedding ceremony in which the parties jump over a broomstick, is attested from 1774.
house or family which reigned in England from 1154 to 1485, the name apparently is literally "broom-plant" (French plante genêt), from Latin genista "broom plant."
"broom-shaped," by 1891, from Latin scopa "broom" (see scopa) + -arious. Late Latin scoparius was "a sweeper." An older English word in the same sense was scopiform (1794).
chemical base used in making colorful dyes, 1843, coined 1841 by German chemist Carl Julius Fritzsche and adopted by Hofmann, ultimately from Portuguese anil "the indigo shrub," from Arabic an-nil "the indigo," assimilated from al-nil (with Arabic definite article al-), from Persian nila, ultimately from Sanskrit nili "indigo," from nilah "dark blue."
With suffix -ine indicating "derived substance" (see -ine (1); also see -ine (2) for the later, more precise, use of the suffix in chemistry). Discovered in 1826 in indigo and at first called crystallin; it became commercially important in 1856 when mauve dye was made from it. As an adjective from 1860.
Middle English besme, from Old English besma "bundle of twigs" (used as a broom or a flail), from West Germanic *besman- (source also of Old Frisian besma "rod, birch," Old Saxon besmo, Old High German besmo "broom, besom," German Besen, Dutch bezem), which is of unknown origin, possibly from a non-IE substrate language.
metallic element, 1864, Modern Latin, from indicum "indigo" (see indigo) + chemical name element -ium. So called for its spectral lines. Ferdinand Reich (1799-1882), professor of physics at Freiberg, isolated it while analyzing local zinc ores in 1863 and identified it as a new element by the two dark blue lines in its spectrum, which did not correspond to any known element. The discovery had to be observed by his assistant, Theodor Richter, because Reich was color-blind.