early 15c., "company of soldiers, band of warriors," from French cohorte (14c.) and directly from Latin cohortem (nominative cohors) "enclosure," with meaning extended to "infantry company" in the Roman army through the notion of "enclosed group, retinue;" from assimilated form of com "with" (see co-) + a root akin to hortus "garden," from PIE *ghr-ti-, from PIE root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose."
Sense of "accomplice" is first recorded 1952, American English, from meaning "group united in common cause" (1719). In demographics, "group of persons having a common statistical characteristic" (originally being born in the same year), 1944.
"company, partnership," 1829, Southern and Western American English, of unknown origin; said [OED] to be perhaps from French cahute "cabin, hut" (12c.), but U.S. sources [Bartlett] credit it to French cohorte (see cohort), which is said to have had a sense of "companions, confederates."
c. 1300, curtine, "hanging screen of textile fabric used to close an opening or shut out light, enclose a bed, or decorate an altar," from Old French cortine "curtain, tapestry, drape, blanket," from Late Latin cortina "curtain," but in classical Latin "round vessel, cauldron," from Latin cortem (older cohortem) "enclosure, courtyard" (see cohort).
The meaning shift apparently begins with cortina being used as a loan-translation of Greek aulaia ("curtain") in the Vulgate (to render Hebrew yeriah in Exodus xxvi:1, etc.). The Greek word was connected to aule "court," perhaps because the "door" that led out to the courtyard of a Greek house was a hung cloth.
Figuratively from early 15c. as "something that conceals or screens." From 1590s as "large sheet used to conceal the stage in a theater." Many of the figurative senses are from stage plays: Behind the curtain "concealed" is from 1670s; curtains "the end" is by 1912. The theatrical curtain call "appearance of individual performers on stage at the end of a performance to be recognized by the audience" is from 1884. To draw the curtain is from c. 1500 in opposite senses: "to conceal," and "to reveal." Curtain-rod is from c. 1500. An Old English word for "curtain" was fleonet "fly-net."
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to grasp, enclose."
It forms all or part of: Asgard; carol; choir; choral; chorale; choric; chorister; chorus; cohort; cortege; court; courteous; courtesan; courtesy; courtier; curtilage; curtsy; garden; garth; gird; girdle; girt; girth; -grad; hangar; Hilda; Hildegard; Hortense; horticulture; jardiniere; kindergarten; Midgard; orchard; Terpsichore; Utgard; yard (n.1) "patch of ground around a house."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit ghra- "house;" Albanian garth "hedge;" Greek khortos "pasture;" Phrygian -gordum "town;" Latin hortus "garden;" Old Irish gort "field," Breton garz "enclosure, garden;" Old English gyrdan "to gird," geard "fenced enclosure, garden," German Garten "garden." Lithuanian gardas "pen, enclosure," Old Church Slavonic gradu "town, city," and Russian gorod, -grad "town, city" belong to this group, but linguists dispute whether they are independent developments or borrowings from Germanic.
"Welsh warlord" (mainly known now via Arthurian romances as the title of Uther Pendragon), late 15c., title of a chief leader in war of ancient Britain or Wales, who were invested with dictatorial powers in times of great danger, from pen "head" (see pen-) + dragon, which figured on the standard of a cohort.
late 12c., "formal assembly held by a sovereign," from Old French cort "king's court; princely residence" (11c., Modern French cour), from Latin cortem, accusative of cors (earlier cohors) "enclosed yard," and by extension (and perhaps by association with curia "sovereign's assembly"), "those assembled in the yard; company, cohort," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see com-) + stem hort- related to hortus "garden, plot of ground" (from PIE root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose").
Both senses of the Latin word emerged in English. From the purely physical sense come "palace, residence of a sovereign" (c. 1200), "enclosed space connected with a building or buildings" (early 14c.), and the sporting sense "smooth, level plot of ground on which a ball game is played" (1510s, originally of tennis). Also "short arm of a public street, enclosed on three sides by buildings" (1680s), formerly noted for poverty or as business districts.
From the notion of "surroundings of a sovereign in his regal state" (c. 1200) comes the legal meaning "a tribunal for judicial investigation" (c. 1300, early assemblies for justice were overseen by the sovereign personally), also "hall or chamber where justice is administered" (c. 1300). As an adjective, "pertaining to a court," late 13c.