Etymology
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rotary (adj.)

1731, from Medieval Latin rotarius "pertaining to wheels," from Latin rota "a wheel, a potter's wheel; wheel for torture," from PIE root *ret- "to run, to turn, to roll" (source also of Sanskrit rathah "car, chariot;" Avestan ratho; Lithuanian ratas "wheel," ritu "I roll;" Old Irish roth, Welsh rhod "carriage wheel"). The root also forms the common West Germanic word for "wheel" (originally "spoked wheel"): Old High German rad, German Rad, Dutch rad, Old Frisian reth, Old Saxon rath.

The international service club (founded by Paul P. Harris in Chicago in 1905) is so called from the practice of clubs entertaining in rotation. Hence Rotarian (1911).

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wing (n.)

late 12c., wenge, "forelimb fitted for flight of a bird or bat," also the part of some insects resembling a wing in form or function, from Old Norse vængr "wing of a bird, aisle, etc." (cognate with Danish and Swedish vinge "wing"), of unknown origin, perhaps from a Proto-Germanic *we-ingjaz, suffixed form of PIE root *we- "blow" (source of Old English wawan "to blow." Replaced Old English feðra (plural) "wings" (see feather). The meaning "either of two divisions of a political party, army, etc." is first recorded c. 1400; theatrical sense is from 1790.

The slang sense of earn (one's) wings is 1940s, from the wing-shaped badges awarded to air cadets on graduation. To be under (someone's) wing "protected by (someone)" is recorded from early 13c. Phrase on a wing and a prayer is title of a 1943 song about landing a damaged aircraft.

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wing (v.)

c. 1600, "take flight;" 1610s, "fit with wings," from wing (n.). Meaning "shoot a bird in the wing" is from 1802, with figurative extensions to wounds suffered in non-essential parts. Verbal phrase wing it (1885) is said to be from a theatrical slang sense of an actor learning his lines in the wings before going onstage, or else not learning them at all and being fed by a prompter in the wings; but perhaps it is simply an image of a baby bird taking flight from the nest for the first time (the phrase is attested in this sense from 1875). Related: Winged; winging.

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left wing (n.)

also (as an adjective) left-wing, 1871 in the political sense (1530s in a military formation sense), from left (adj.) + wing (n.). Related: Left-winger.

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lace-wing (n.)

also lacewing, type of insect, 1847; see lace (n.) + wing (n.). Earlier was lace-winged fly (1826), and the shorter for might be from this.

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pigeon-wing (n.)

1807 as the name of a brisk, fancy step in dancing, skating, etc.; see pigeon + wing (n.).

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right wing (n.)

1570s of armies; from 1882 in field sports; by 1905 in the political sense (compare left wing). Right-winger is attested by 1919 in U.S. politics; 1895 in sports.

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left-wing (n.)

also (as an adjective) leftwing; 1530s of armies, 1882 in team sports, 1884 in politics; see left (adj.) + wing (n.).

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pinion (n.1)

"wing joint, segment of a bird's wing" (technically the joint of a bird's wing furthest from the body), early 15c., from Old French pignon, penon "wing-feather, wing, pinion" (c. 1400), from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem (nominative *pinnio), augmentative of Latin pinna "wing" (from PIE root *pet- "to rush, to fly").

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alar (adj.)

"wing-like," 1839; "of or pertaining to wings," 1847, from Latin alaris, from ala "wing, armpit, wing of an army" (source of Spanish ala, French aile), from *axla, originally "joint of the wing or arm;" from PIE *aks- "axis" (see axis).

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