an alternative spelling of catalogue. There are examples from 16c., but in modern times it seems to have emerged late 19c. (Century Dictionary, 1895, describes it as "a recent spelling"), but it was used earlier in German.
by 1801 in reference to a catalogue of about 100 nebulae, star clusters and galaxies begun in 1758 by French astronomer and comet-hunter Charles Messier (1730-1817), who was deceived in his telescopic searches by fuzzy objects that resembled distant comets but turned out to be fixed.
What caused me to undertake the catalog was the nebula I discovered above the southern horn of Taurus on September 12, 1758, whilst observing the comet of that year. This nebula had such a resemblance to a comet in its form and brightness that I endeavored to find others, so that astronomers would no more confuse these same nebulae with comets just beginning to appear. [Messier, 1800]
The first version of the catalogue was published 1771, and the fuller version in 1781.
"a list of separate items, an itemized enumeration," usually in order and with some description, early 15c., cathaloge, from Old French catalogue "list, index" (14c.), and directly from Late Latin catalogus, from Greek katalogos "a list, register, enrollment" (such as the katalogos neon, the "catalogue of ships" in the "Iliad"), from katalegein "to reckon up, tell at length," from kata "down; completely" (see cata-) + legein "to say, count," from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')."
1590s, "to make a catalogue;" see catalogue (n.). From 1630s as "to enter into a catalogue." Related: Catalogued; cataloguer; cataloguing.
nocturnal Madagascar mammal, 1795, given this sense by Linnaeus, from Latin lemures (plural, singular lemurum) "evil spirits of the dead" in Roman mythology, a word of uncertain origin. De Vaan finds it likely that it and Greek lamia are borrowings of a non-Indo-European (perhaps Anatolian/Etruscan) word for malevolent spirits.
The oldest usage of "lemur" for a primate that we are aware of is in Linnaeus's catalog of the Museum of King Adolf Frederick of Sweden (Tattersall, 1982); .... In this work, he explained his use of the name "lemur" thus: "Lemures dixi hos, quod noctu imprimis obambulant, hominibus quodanmodo similes, & lento passu vagantur [I call them lemurs, because they go around mainly by night, in a certain way similar to humans, and roam with a slow pace]" [Dunkel, Alexander R., et al., "Giant rabbits, marmosets, and British comedies: etymology of lemur names, part 1," in "Lemur News," vol. xvi, 2011-2012, p.65]
"a rule or law," Old English canon "rule, law, or decree of the Church," from Old French canon or directly from Late Latin canon "Church law, a rule or doctrine enacted by ecclesiastical authority," in classical Latin, "measuring line, rule," from Greek kanon "any straight rod or bar; rule; standard of excellence," perhaps from kanna "reed" (see cane (n.)).
The Latin word was taken in ecclesiastical use for "decree of the Church." General sense of "a rule or principle" is from late 14c.; that of "standard of judging" is from c. 1600. From c. 1400 as "the Scriptures, the books of the Bible accepted by the Christian church," also extended to secular books of admitted excellence or supremacy. Meaning "catalogue of acknowledged saints" is from 1727. Musical sense "a kind of fugal composition" is from 1590s. Related: Canonicity.
The secular canon, with the word meaning a catalog of approved authors, does not actually begin until the middle of the eighteenth century .... [Harold Bloom, "The Western Canon," 1994].
1824, a Latin word meaning "swaddling clothes," also, figuratively, "childhood, beginnings, birthplace, place where a thing had its earliest development, the beginning of anything;" especially "early printed book using movable-type technology," From Gutenberg's beginning c. 1439 to the close of the year 1500. Latin incunabula "a cradle; a birthplace," figuratively "rudiments or beginnings," is from in "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + cunabula, diminutive of cunae "cradle," from PIE *koi-na-, suffixed form of root *kei- (1) "to lie," also forming words for "bed, couch."
Interest in collecting them began c. 1640 with the celebration of (as it was supposed) the 200th anniversary of printing. Perhaps this use of the word traces to the title of the first catalog of such books, Incunabula typographiae (Amsterdam, 1688). The word in this sense has come into general use throughout Europe. The number of books put on the market throughout Europe during that period has been estimated at 20 million. Prof. Alfred W. Pollard [Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1941] wrote that "up to the end of the 17th century," Caxton's original printings "could still be bought for a few shillings."