mid-15c., "bedroom, bedchamber," from Latin cubiculum "bedroom," from cubare "to lie down," which is perhaps from a PIE *kub-, with cognates in Middle Welsh kyscu, Middle Cornish koska, Middle Breton cousquet "to sleep," but de Vaan regards the PIE origin of the Latin word as "uncertain." Compare cubit.
Obsolete from 16c. but revived by 1858 for "dormitory sleeping compartment," especially in an English public school. The sense of "any partitioned space" (such as a library carrel or, later, office work station) is attested by 1926. Related: Cubicular.
mid-15c., pardounen, "to forgive for offense or sin," from Old French pardoner and Medieval Latin perdonare (see pardon (n.)).
'I grant you pardon,' said Louis XV to Charolais, who, to divert himself, had just killed a man; 'but I also pardon whoever will kill you.' [Marquis de Sade, "Philosophy in the Bedroom"]
Related: Pardoned; pardoning. Pardon me as a phrase used when making apology is by 1764; pardon my French as exclamation of apology for obscene language is by 1895.
late 15c., "lasciviousness," from French lubricité or directly from Medieval Latin lubricitatem (nominative lubricitas) "slipperiness," from Latin lubricus "slippery; easily moved, sliding, gliding;" figuratively "uncertain, hazardous, dangerous; seductive" (from suffixed form of PIE root *sleubh- "to slip, slide"). Sense of "oiliness, smoothness" in English is from 1540s; figurative sense of "shiftiness" is from 1610s.
The priests had excellent cause to forbid us lechery: this injunction, by reserving to them acquaintance with and absolution for these private sins, gave them an incredible ascendancy over women, and opened up to them a career of lubricity whose scope knew no limits. [Marquis de Sade, "Philosophy in the Bedroom"]
late Old English mægester "a man having control or authority over a place; a teacher or tutor of children," from Latin magister (n.) "chief, head, director, teacher" (source of Old French maistre, French maître, Spanish and Italian maestro, Portuguese mestre, Dutch meester, German Meister), contrastive adjective ("he who is greater") from magis (adv.) "more," from PIE *mag-yos-, comparative of root *meg- "great." The form was influenced in Middle English by Old French cognate maistre.
From late 12c. as "man eminently or perfectly skilled in something," also "one who is chief teacher of another (in religion, philosophy, etc.), religious instructor, spiritual guide." Sense of "master workman or craftsman, workman who is qualified to teach apprentices and carry on a trade on his own account" is from c. 1300. The meaning "one charged with the care, direction, oversight, and control of some office, business, etc." is from mid-13c.; specifically as "official custodian of certain animals kept for sport" early 15c. (maister of þe herte houndes; the phrase master of the hounds is attested by 1708). As a title of the head or presiding officer of an institution, late 14c.; as "captain of a merchant vessel" early 14c.
In the broadest sense, "one who has power to control, use, or dispose (of something or some quality) at will," from mid-14c. Also from mid-14c. as "one who employs another or others in his service" (in which sense the correlative word was servant, man, or apprentice); also "owner of a living creature" (a dog, a horse, also, in ancient contexts a slave); paired with slave in the legal language of the American colonies by 1705 in Virginia.
In academic sense "one who has received a specific degree" (translating Medieval Latin magister) it is attested from mid-13c., originally "one who has received a degree conveying authority to teach in the universities;" master's degree, originally a degree giving one authority to teach in a university, is from late 14c.
Also used in Middle English of dominant women. From 1530s as "male head of a household." As a title or term of respect or rank, mid-14c. As a title prefixed to the name of a young gentleman or boy of the better class not old enough to be called Mr., short for young master (late 16c.). Sense of "chess player of the highest class at national or international level" is by 1894. Meaning "original of a recording" is by 1904.
As an adjective from late 12c. Master-key, one that will open ("master") a number of locks so differently constructed that the key proper to each will open none of the others" is from 1570s. Master race "race of people considered to be pre-eminent in greatness or power" (typical in reference to Nazi theories of the Aryan race, perhaps based on German Herrenvolk) is by 1935. From 1530 as "artist of distinguished skill;" old masters is attested by 1733.
Master bedroom, "bedroom designed for the use of the owner of the property," as opposed to bedrooms for children or guests, is by 1919 in U.S. home-builders publications (e.g. Building Age, April 1919). It seems to be based on the English master's bedroom (by 1903) "bedroom of a headmaster or other master at an English boarding school or other similar institution."
The top floor was treated much the same as the two lower ones. Here the closet was made just a bit larger so as to allow for a bathtub, thus pushing the partition forward, making the front room less deep than the rooms below, yet paradoxically larger, because it takes in the whole front of the house. This is what is known in English advertisements as the "Master's bedroom." [The House Beautiful, June 1921]
1786, "decorative chest of drawers for holding clothes, handy articles, etc.," earlier (1680s) name of a type of fashionable ladies' large, high headdress mounted on a wire frame, from French commode, noun use of adjective meaning "convenient, suitable," from Latin commodus "proper, fit, appropriate, convenient, satisfactory," from com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + modus "measure, manner" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures"). Meaning "chair housing a chamber pot," usually kept in a bedroom, is first attested 1851 from notion of "convenience."
I wash'd and patch'd, to make me look provoking,
Snares that they told me wou'd catch the men;
And on my head a huge commode sat cocking,
Which made me shew as Tall agen:
[from a song in "Wit and Mirth," 1719]
late 14c., "a small private room for study or prayer," from Old French closet "small enclosure, private room," diminutive of clos "enclosure," from Latin clausum "closed space, enclosure, confinement," from neuter past participle of claudere "to shut" (see close (v.)).
In Matthew vi.6 it renders Latin cubiculum "bedchamber, bedroom," Greek tamieion "chamber, inner chamber, secret room." Modern sense of "small side-room for storage" is first recorded 1610s.
The adjective is from 1680s, "private, done in seclusion;" from 1782 as "fitted only for scholarly seclusion, not adopted to the conditions of practical life." The meaning "secret, not public, unknown" is recorded from 1952, first of alcoholism but by 1970s used principally of homosexuality; the phrase come out of the closet "admit something openly" is first recorded 1963, and lent a new meaning to the word out.