"valued possessions, money, property, abundance of means, state of having large or valuable possessions," modified from richesse (c. 1200), a singular form misunderstood as a plural, from Old French richesse, richece "wealth, opulence, splendor, magnificence," from riche (see rich (adj.)). The Old French suffix -esse is from Latin -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality (compare fortress). The spelling shift was evident by 15c.
c. 1400, "proprietor, one who possesses or holds the title to a thing," also "worldly person, person tied to worldly goods or personal comforts," from noun uses of Old French proprietaire and Medieval Latin proprietarius "of a property owner" (see proprietary (adj.)). From 1630s in reference to the American colonies, "grantee or owner of a colony" (called proprietary colonies in distinction from charter colonies and royal colonies or provinces.
1560s, devest (modern spelling is c. 1600), "strip of possessions," from French devester "strip of possessions" (Old French desvestir), from des- "away" (see dis-) + vestir "to clothe," from Latin vestire "to clothe" (from PIE *wes- (2) "to clothe," extended form of root *eu- "to dress").
The etymological sense of "strip of clothes, arms, or equipage" is from 1580s. Meaning "strip by some definite or legal process" is from 1570s. Economic sense "sell off (a subsidiary company, later an investment) is by 1961. Related: Divested; divesting.
1640s, "worldly, of this world," a sense now obsolete, from Latinized form of Greek kosmikos "worldly, earthly, of the world," from kosmos "world-order, world" (see cosmos). Cosmical "related to the earth" is attested from 1580s.
Modern sense of "of or pertaining to the universe," especially as conceived as subject to a harmonious system of laws, is from 1846. Meaning "related to or dealing with the cosmos, forming part of the material universe beyond the earth or the solar system" is from 1871. In reference to inconceivably vast space or protracted time, from 1874. Related: Cosmically.