1560s, "to thrust out, remove, throw out of doors," from Latin eliminatus, past participle of eliminare "thrust out of doors, expel," from ex limine "off the threshold," from ex "off, out" (see ex-) + limine, ablative of limen "threshold" (see limit (n.)).
Used literally at first; the sense of "exclude, throw aside, or disregard as undesirable or unnecessary" is attested by 1714; the sense of "expel waste from the body" is by c. 1795. Related: Eliminated; eliminating; eliminative; eliminatory.
c. 1600, "a casting out," noun of action from eliminate. Meaning "expulsion of waste matter" is from 1855.
"to throw out or eliminate," specifically "to eliminate from an body by a process of secretion and discharge," 1610s, from Latin excretus, past participle of excernere "to sift out, discharge," from ex "out" (see ex-) + cernere "sift, separate" (from PIE root *krei- "to sieve," thus "discriminate, distinguish"). Related: Excreted; excreting.
slang for "eliminate," 1936, originated at lunch counters, a cook's word for "none" when asked for something not available, probably rhyming slang for nix.
"bring into a state of proper pitch," c. 1500, from tune (n.). Non-musical meaning "to adjust an organ or receiver, put into a state proper for some purpose" is recorded from 1887. Verbal phrase tune in in reference to radio (later also TV) is recorded from 1913; figurative sense of "become aware" is recorded from 1926. Tune out "eliminate radio reception" is recorded from 1908; figurative sense of "disregard, stop heeding" is from 1928. Related: Tuned; tuning.
Middle English quenchen, "to extinguish, put out" (heat, light, fire, also of desire, hunger, thirst), also figurative, "to bring to naught, eliminate, render ineffectual" (c. 1200), Old English acwencan "to quench" (of fire, light), from Proto-Germanic *kwenkjanan, probably a causative form from the source of Old English cwincan "to go out, be extinguished," Old Frisian kwinka. No certain cognates outside Germanic; perhaps a substratum word. Especially "to cool or extinguish by means of cold water," hence "to drench in water" (late 15c.). Related: Quenched; quenching.
1731, "pronounce with an accent," from Medieval Latin accentuatus, past participle of accentuare "to accent," from Latin accentus "song added to speech," from ad "to" (see ad-) + cantus "a singing," past participle of canere "to sing" (from PIE root *kan- "to sing"). Figurative meaning "emphasize, place an accent or emphasis on" is recorded from 1865.
You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
["Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," 1944, music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer]
Related: Accentuated; accentuating.
"to cheat, to drive a hard bargain," 1824, from Jew (n.) (compare gyp, welsh, etc.). "Though now commonly employed without direct reference to the Jews as a race, it is regarded by them as offensive and opprobrious" [Century Dictionary, 1902]. The campaign to eliminate it in early 20c. was so successful that people also began to avoid the noun and adjective, using Hebrew instead.
Now I'll say 'a Jew' and just the word Jew sounds like a dirty word and people don't know whether to laugh or not. [Lenny Bruce, "How to Talk Dirty and Influence People," 1965]
[T]he newspaper that drops on your doorstep is a partial, hasty, incomplete, inevitably somewhat flawed and inaccurate rendering of some of the things we have heard about in the past twenty-four hours — distorted, despite our best efforts to eliminate gross bias, by the very process of compression that makes it possible for you to lift it from the doorstep and read it in about an hour. If we labeled the product accurately, then we could immediately add: But it's the best we could do under the circumstances, and we will be back tomorrow with a corrected and updated version. [David Broder, Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech, 1973]
"crazy, not right in the head," 1846, from earlier colloquial or slang be nuts on "be very fond of" (1785), which is possibly from nuts (plural noun) "any source of pleasure or delight" (1610s), from nut (q.v.). Nuts as a special treat or favorite foodstuff led to other figurative phrases, now obsolete. The "crazy" sense probably has been influenced by metaphoric application of nut to "head" (1846, as in to be off one's nut "be insane," 1860). Also compare nutty. Nuts as a derisive retort is attested from 1931.
Connection with the slang "testicles" sense has tended to nudge the word toward taboo territory. "On the N.B.C. network, it is forbidden to call any character a nut; you have to call him a screwball." [New Yorker, Dec. 23, 1950] "Please eliminate the expression 'nuts to you' from Egbert's speech." [Request from the Hays Office regarding the script of "The Bank Dick," 1940] This desire for avoidance probably accounts for the euphemism nerts (c. 1925).