Etymology
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passing (n.)

"death," 1869, a euphemistic verbal noun from pass (v.) in such Middle English phrases as passing of death, passing of the soul (c. 1300). A passing-bell (1520s) was a church bell tolled at the time of a person's death.

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passing (adv.)

"in a (sur)passing degree, surpassingly," late 14c.; from passing (adj); see pass (v.).

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passing (adj.)

mid-14c., "transitory;" late 14c., "going by," present-participle adjective from pass (v.). Also from late 14c. as "surpassing, excellent," and "casual, superficial, cursory, as though done in passing." Related: Passingly.

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water (n.2)

measure of quality of a diamond, c. 1600, from water (n.1), perhaps as a translation of Arabic ma' "water," which also is used in the sense "luster, splendor."

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water (n.1)
Origin and meaning of water

Old English wæter, from Proto-Germanic *watr- (source also of Old Saxon watar, Old Frisian wetir, Dutch water, Old High German wazzar, German Wasser, Old Norse vatn, Gothic wato "water"), from PIE *wod-or, suffixed form of root *wed- (1) "water; wet."

To keep (one's) head above water in the figurative sense is recorded from 1742. Water cooler is recorded from 1846; water polo from 1884; water torture from 1928. Linguists believe PIE had two root words for water: *ap- and *wed-. The first (preserved in Sanskrit apah as well as Punjab and julep) was "animate," referring to water as a living force; the latter referred to it as an inanimate substance. The same probably was true of fire (n.).

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water (v.)
Origin and meaning of water
Old English wæterian "moisten, irrigate, supply water to; lead (cattle) to water;" from water (n.1). Meaning "to dilute" is attested from late 14c.; now usually as water down (1850). To make water "urinate" is recorded from early 15c. Related: Watered; watering.
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water-moccasin (n.)
type of snake in the U.S. South, 1821, from water (n.1) + moccasin (q.v.).
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water-closet (n.)
"privy with a waste-pipe and means to carry off the discharge by a flush of water," 1755, from water (n.1) + closet (n.).
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rose-water (n.)

late 14c., "water tinctured with oil of roses by distillation," from rose (n.1) + water (n.1). Symbolic of affected delicacy or sentimentalism. Similar formation in Middle Dutch rosenwater, Dutch rozenwater, German Rosenwasser.

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