1530s (late 15c. as a Latin word in English), originally a stage direction, from Latin exit "he or she goes out," third person singular present indicative of exire "go out, go forth, depart," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + ire "to go" (from PIE root *ei- "to go"). Also from Latin exitus "a leaving, a going out," noun of action from exire.
Meaning "a departure" (originally from the stage) is from 1580s. Meaning "a way of departure" is from 1690s; specific meaning "door for leaving" is from 1786. The verb is c. 1600, from the noun; it ought to be left to stage directions and the clunky jargon of police reports. Related: Exited; exiting.
Those who neither know Latin nor read plays are apt to forget or not know that this is a singular verb with plural exeunt. [Fowler]
Exit poll attested by 1980.
1530s, "act of going out," from Latin egressus "a going out," noun use of past participle of egredi "go out," from ex "out" (see ex-) + -gredi, combining form of gradi "step, go" (from PIE root *ghredh- "to walk, go"). Perhaps a back-formation from egression (early 15c.). Meaning "place of exit" is from 1670s. "One who goes out" is an egressor.
with a short -o-, Old English bugan "to bend, become bent, have or assume a curved direction; to bow down, bend the body in condescension or reverence, to submit," also "to turn back" (class II strong verb; past tense beag, past participle bogen), from Proto-Germanic *bugon (source also of Dutch buigen, Middle Low German bugen, Old High German biogan, German biegen, Gothic biugan "to bend," Old Norse boginn "bent"), from *beugen, from PIE root *bheug- "to bend." Related: Bowed; bowing. To bow out "withdraw" is from 1942, from the notion of "exit with a bow or bows."
Meaning "discharge of blood or other fluid from the body" is from 1520s; sense of "offspring, children" is from late 14c. Meaning "outcome of an action, consequence, result" is attested from late 14c., probably from this sense in French. Meaning "action of sending into publication or circulation" is from 1833.
Legal sense developed from the notion of "end or result of pleadings in a suit (by presentation of the point to be determined by trial)," hence "the controversy over facts in a trial" (early 14c., Anglo-French) and transferred sense "point of contention between two parties" (early 15c.) and the general sense "an important point to be decided" (1836). Hence also the verbal phrase take issue with (1797, earlier join issue, 1690s) "take up an affirmative or negative position in a dispute with another." To have issues "have unresolved conflicts" is by 1990.
Old English weg "road, path; course of travel; room, space, freedom of movement;" also, figuratively, "course of life" especially, in plural, "habits of life" as regards moral, ethical, or spiritual choices, from Proto-Germanic *wega- "course of travel, way" (source also of Old Saxon, Dutch weg, Old Norse vegr, Old Frisian wei, Old High German weg, German Weg, Gothic wigs "way"), from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle."
From c. 1300 as "manner in which something occurs." Adverbial constructions attested since Middle English include this way "in this direction," that way "in that direction," both from late 15c.; out of the way "remote" (c. 1300). In the way "so placed as to impede" is from 1560s.
From the "course of life" sense comes way of life (c. 1600), get (or have) one's way (1590s), have it (one's) way (1709). From the "course of travel" sense comes the figurative go separate ways (1837); one way or (the) other (1550s); have it both ways (1847); and the figurative sense of come a long way (1922).
Adverbial phrase all the way "completely, to conclusion" is by 1915; sexual sense implied by 1924. Make way is from c. 1200. Ways and means "resources at a person's disposal" is attested from early 15c. (with mean (n.)). Way out "means of exit" is from 1926. Encouragement phrase way to go is short for that's the way to go.
"liberation from slavery, bondage, or restraint," c. 1400, manumissioun, "Christ's redemption of mankind;" early 15c., "freedom from feudal servitude," also an instance of such release, from Old French manumission "freedom, emancipation," and directly from Latin manumissionem (nominative manumissio) "freeing of a slave," noun of action from past-participle stem of manumittere "to set free," from the phrase manu mittere "release from control," from manu, ablative of manus "power of a master," literally "hand" (from PIE root *man- (2) "hand") + mittere "let go, release" (see mission). Specifically in reference to negro slavery in British colonies by 1660s.
The ceremony of the Manumissio by the Vindicta was as follows:—The master brought his slave before the magistratus, and stated the grounds (causa) of the intended manumission. The lictor of the magistratus laid a rod (festuca) on the head of the slave, accompanied with certain formal words, in which he declared that he was a free man ex Jure Quiritium, that is, "vindicavit in libertatem." The master in the meantime held the slave, and after he had pronounced the words "hunc hominem liberum volo," he turned him round (momento turbinis exit Marcus Dama, Persius, Sat. v. 78) and let him go (emisit e manu, or misit manu, Plaut. Capt. ii. 3. 48), whence the general name of the act of manumission. [William Smith, ed., "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquity," 1870]