c. 1300, "a communication transmitted via a messenger, a notice sent through some agency," from Old French message "message, news, tidings, embassy" (11c.), from Medieval Latin missaticum, from Latin missus "a sending away, sending, dispatching; a throwing, hurling," noun use of past participle of mittere "to release, let go; send, throw" (see mission).
The Latin word is glossed in Old English by ærende. Specific religious sense of "divinely inspired communication via a prophet" (1540s) led to transferred sense of "the broad meaning (of something)," which is attested by 1828. To get the message "understand" is by 1960.
Middle English senden, from Old English sendan "dispatch (as a messenger, on an errand); order or cause to go or pass (from one place to another);" also "send forth, emit; throw, propel, cause to be delivered or conveyed."
This is reconstructed to be from Proto-Germanic *sond- "make to go" (source also of Old Saxon sendian, Old Norse senda, Old Frisian senda, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch senden, Dutch zenden, German senden, Gothic sandjan), causative form of *sinþan "to go, journey" (source of Old English sið "way, journey," Old Norse sinn, Gothic sinþs "going, walk, time"). This in turn is from the PIE root *sent- "to head for, go" (source also of Lithuanian siųsti "send"), for which see sense (n.). For the linguistic connection of "go" and "sense," compare German sinnen (past tense sann) "go over in the mind, review, reflect upon."
The meaning cause (someone) to go into some specified state (send to sleep, etc.) is by 1831. The slang sense of "to transport with emotion, delight" is by 1932, in American English jazz slang. To send word "transmit or dispatch a message" (to someone) is from c. 1200. To send for "summon, send a message or messenger for" is by late 14c.
"a spoof; action of mocking or teasing," by 1958, slang, from the verbal phrase send up "to mock, make fun of" (1931); see send (v.) + up (adv.). This is perhaps a transferred use of the public school colloquial phrase for "to send a boy to the headmaster" (usually for punishment), which is attested from 1821. In U.S. slang, send up could mean "convict of crime and imprison" (1852), and in 19c. nautical language it meant "hoist (a mast or yard) into its place aloft."
To send down (v.) also was a British university punishment: "compel a student to leave the college for a time" (1853), and in U.S. slang this also meant "put in prison" (1840).
partly from Old English epistol and in part directly from Old French epistle, epistre (Modern French épitre), from Latin epistola "a letter," from Greek epistole "message, letter, command, commission," whether verbal or in writing, from epistellein "send to, send as a message or letter," from epi "to" (see epi-) + stellein in its secondary sense of "to dispatch, send," from PIE *stel-yo-, suffixed form of root *stel- "to put, stand, put in order," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place. Also acquired in Old English directly from Latin as pistol. Specific sense of "letter from an apostle forming part of canonical scripture" is c. 1200.
"messenger," 1660s, from French envoyé "messenger; a message; a sending; the postscript of a poem," literally "one sent" (12c.), noun use of past participle of envoyer "send," from Vulgar Latin *inviare "send on one's way," from Latin in "on" (from PIE root *en "in") + via "road" (see via (adv.)). The same French word was borrowed in Middle English as envoi in the sense "stanza of a poem 'sending it off' to find readers" (late 14c.).
"unlooked-for acquisition or good fortune," 1812, earlier "a shipwreck" (from the perspective of people living along the coast), by 1806, from Middle English Godes sonde (c. 1200) "God's messenger; what God sends, gift from God, happening caused by God," from God + send (n.) "a message, a message," literally "that which is sent," from Middle English sonde, from Old English sand, the noun associated with sendan (see send (v.)). The spelling was conformed to the verb in later Middle English.
The common people in Cornwall call, as impiously as inhumanely, a shipwreck on their shores, "a Godsend." [Rev. William Lisle Bowles, footnote in "The Works of Alexander Pope," London, 1806]
"to send a text message by mobile system," 2005; see text (n.). Related: Texted; texting. Formerly it meant "to write in text letters" (1590s), text letters being a kind of large writing used by clerks in the text or body of a manuscript (distinguished from the smaller hand used in the notes).
c. 1200, "one who bestows something;" mid-15c., "person who sends (someone) on a mission;" agent noun from send (v.). In telegraphy, "a transmitter of a message," also the person transmitting it, by 1863. In 1930s slang, a popular musician or song, from the jazz slang sense of the verb. Sendee is recorded from 1806.