1920, originally vitamine (1912) coined by Polish biochemist Casimir Funk (1884-1967), from Latin vita "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + amine, because they were thought to contain amino acids. The terminal -e formally was stripped off when scientists learned the true nature of the substance; -in was acceptable because it was used for neutral substances of undefined composition. The lettering system of nomenclature (Vitamin A, B, C, etc.) was introduced at the same time (1920).
also *gweie-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to live."
It forms all or part of: abiogenesis; aerobic; amphibian; anaerobic; azo-; azoic; azotemia; bio-; biography; biology; biome; bionics; biopsy; biota; biotic; cenobite; Cenozoic; convivial; couch-grass; epizoic; epizoon; epizootic; macrobiotic; Mesozoic; microbe; Protozoa; protozoic; quick; quicken; quicksand; quicksilver; quiver (v.) "to tremble;" revive; survive; symbiosis; viable; viand; viper; vita; vital; vitamin; victuals; viva; vivace; vivacious; vivarium; vivid; vivify; viviparous; vivisection; whiskey; wyvern; zodiac; Zoe; zoetrope; zoic; zoo-; zoolatry; zoology; zoon; zoophilia; zoophobia; zooplankton.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit jivah "alive, living;" Old Persian *jivaka- "alive," Middle Persian zhiwak "alive;" Greek bios "one's life, course or way of living, lifetime," zoe "animal life, organic life;" Old English cwic, cwicu "living, alive;" Latin vivus "living, alive," vita "life;" Old Church Slavonic zivo "to live;" Lithuanian gyvas "living, alive," gyvata "(eternal) life;" Old Irish bethu "life," bith "age;" Welsh byd "world."
also thiamine, alternative name for vitamin B1, 1937, coined by U.S. chemist Dr. Robert R. Williams (1886-1965) from thio-, indicating the presence of sulfur, from Greek theion "sulfur," + amine, indicating the amino group. Or the second element might be from vitamin.
word-forming element in chemistry, usually indicating a neutral substance, antibiotic, vitamin, or hormone; a modification and specialized use of -ine (2).
1933 (in ascorbic acid), from a- (2) "off, away from" + scorbic, scorbutic "of scurvy," from Medieval Latin scorbuticus "scurvy," which is perhaps of German or Dutch origin. Originally in reference to Vitamin C, which is an anti-scorbutic.
"pellagra-preventing vitamin in enriched bread," 1942, coined from first syllables of nicotinic acid (see nicotine) + chemical suffix -in (2). It was suggested by the American Medical Association as a more commercially viable name than nicotinic acid.
The new name was found to be necessary because some anti-tobacco groups warned against enriched bread because it would foster the cigarette habit. ["Cooperative Consumer," Feb. 28, 1942]
disease caused by vitamin D deficiency, 1630s, of uncertain origin (see note in OED). Originally a local name for the disease in Dorset and Somerset, England. Some derive it from a Dorset word, rucket "to breathe with difficulty," but the sense connection is difficult. The Modern Latin name for the disease, rachitis, comes from Greek rhakhis "spine" (see rachitic), but this was chosen by English physician Daniel Whistler (1619-1684) for resemblance to rickets.