common name of a type of trees noted for majestic height and the wide-spreading and gracefully curving branches, Old English elm, from Proto-Germanic *elmaz (source also of Danish elm, Old Norse almr, Old High German elme), perhaps from PIE root *el- (2) "red, brown" (see elk); cognate with Latin ulmus, Old Irish lem. German Ulme, Dutch olm are from or influenced by the Latin word. The toughest native European wood, used for ship-building, wheel-naves, etc. Middle English had adjective forms elmen, elmin, which survived longer in poetry. New Haven was informally the Elm City (1871).
early 14c., from Old French forteresse, forterece "strong place, fortification" (12c.), variant of fortelesse, from Medieval Latin fortalitia, from Latin fortis "strong" (see fort) + -itia, added to adjectives to form nouns of quality or condition. French -ess from Latin -itia also is in duress, largesse, riches, also obsolete rudesse, "lack of cultivation" (early 15c.).
For change of medial -l- to -r- in Old French, compare orme "elm" from Latin ulmus; chartre from cartula; chapitre from capitulum.
also *weig-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to bend, to wind."
It forms all or part of: vetch; vicar; vicarious; vice- "deputy, assistant, substitute;" viceregent; vice versa; vicissitude; weak; weakfish; week; wicker; wicket; witch hazel; wych.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit visti "changing, changeable;" Old English wac "weak, pliant, soft," wician "to give way, yield," wice "wych elm," Old Norse vikja "to bend, turn," Swedish viker "willow twig, wand," German wechsel "change."
type of tree of rapid growth and moderate size, noted for light, soft wood and often planted for shade or ornament, mid-14c., from Anglo-French popler, from Old French poplier (13c., Modern French peulplier), from Latin pōpulus "poplar" (with a long "o;" not the same word that produced popular), which is of unknown origin, possibly from a PIE tree-name root *p(y)el- (source also of Greek pelea "elm"). Italian pioppo, Spanish chopo, German pappel, Old Church Slavonic topoli all are from Latin. The tall, columnar or spire-shaped variety are Lombardy poplars.