late 14c., "open-work metal plate affixed to an astrolabe," from Latin rete "net," a word of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Lithuanian rėtis "sieve," or perhaps a loan-word from a non-IE language. The main modern sense is anatomical, "vascular network, plexus of blood vessels" (1540s). Plural is retia. Related: Retial.
(plural testes), 1704, from Latin testis "testicle," usually regarded as a special application of testis "witness" (see testament), presumably because it "bears witness to male virility" [Barnhart]. Stories that trace the use of the Latin word to some supposed swearing-in ceremony are modern and groundless.
Compare Greek parastatai "testicles," from parastates "one that stands by;" and French slang témoins, literally "witnesses." But Buck thinks Greek parastatai "testicles" has been wrongly associated with the legal sense of parastates "supporter, defender" and suggests instead parastatai in the sense of twin "supporting pillars, props of a mast," etc. Or it might be a euphemistic use of the word in the sense "comrades." OED, meanwhile, points to Walde's suggestion of a connection between testis and testa "pot, shell, etc." (see tete).
1801, "a ladies' small hand bag," originally of network, later usually of any woven material, from French réticule (18c.) "a net for the hair, a reticule," from Latin reticulum "a little net, network bag," a double diminutive of rete "net" (see rete). The telescopic attachment is so called from 1730s, from a use in French.
"formed like a (casting) net, like a net in appearance or construction," 1590s, from Modern Latin reticularis, from Latin reticulum "little net," a double diminutive of rete "net" (see rete). Hence also "entangled, complicated" (1818). Related: Reticulary; reticularly.
late 14c., "membrane enclosing the eyeball;" c. 1400, "innermost coating of the back of the eyeball;" from Medieval Latin retina "the retina," probably from Vulgar Latin (tunica) *retina, literally "net-like tunic," on resemblance to the network of blood vessels at the back of the eye, and ultimately from Latin rete "net" (see rete).
The Vulgar Latin phrase might be Gerard of Cremona's 12c. translation of Arabic (tabaqa) shabakiyyah "netlike (layer)," itself probably a translation of Greek amphiblēstroeidēs (khiton).
early 15c., alteration of testicule (late 14c.), from Latin testiculus, diminutive of testis "testicle" (see testis). Old English had beallucas (see ballocks) and herþan, probably originally "leather bag" (compare heorþa "deer-skin"). The commonest slang terms for them in other languages are words that mean "balls," "stones," "nuts," "eggs."
1640s, of spiders, "spinning a web," from Latin retiarius, from rete "a net" (see rete). From 1650s as "net-like."
In Roman history, a retiarius was a gladiator who wore only a short tunic and carried a trident and a net. "With these implements he endeavored to entangle and despatch his adversary, who was armed with helmet, shield, and sword." [Century Dictionary].