1845, from Spanish alfalfa, earlier alfalfez, said by Iberian sources to be from Arabic al-fisfisa "fresh fodder." Watkins says ultimately from Old Iranian compound *aspa-sti- "alfalfa, clover," from *aspa- "horse" (from PIE root *ekwo- "horse") + -sti- "food," from suffixed form of PIE root *ed- "to eat."
It forms all or part of: alfalfa; Eohippus; equestrian; equine; equus; hippo-; hippocampus; Hippocratic; Hippocrene; hippocrepian; hippodrome; hippogriff; Hippolytus; hippopotamus; Philip; philippic; Philippines; Xanthippe.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit açva-, Avestan aspa-, Greek hippos, Latin equus, Old Irish ech, Old Church Slavonic ehu-, Old English eoh, Gothic aihwa- all meaning "horse."
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to eat," originally "to bite."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit admi "I eat;" Avestan ad- "to eat;" Greek edo "I eat;" Latin edere "to eat;" Lithuanian ėdu "I eat," ėdžioti "to devour, bite;" Hittite edmi "I eat," adanna "food;" Armenian utem "I eat;" Old Church Slavonic jasti "to eat," Russian jest "to eat;" Old Irish ithim "I eat;" Gothic itan, Old Swedish and Old English etan, Old High German essan "to eat."