early 15c., "gentleness, lightness," from Old French facilité "easiness, ease," from Latin facilitatem (nominative facilitas) "easiness, ease, fluency, willingness," from facilis "easy to do," from facere "to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). First in a medical book:
If it be nede forto smyte [the head] wiþ a malle, be it done with esynez or facilite [transl. Guy de Chauliac's "Grande Chirurgie"]
Its sense in English expanded to "opportunity" (1510s), to "aptitude, ease, quality of being easily done" (1530s). Meaning "place for doing something" which makes the word so beloved of journalists and fuzzy writers, first recorded 1872, via notion of "physical means by which (something) can be easily done."
also air port, "facility for commercial air transport," used regularly from 1919 (used once, by Alberto Santos-Dumont, in reference to airships, in 1902), from air (n.1) meaning "aircraft" + port (n.1). First reference is to Bader Field, outside Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S., which opened in 1910. An older word for such a thing was aerodrome.
late 14c., "one to whom special duty is entrusted by a higher power," from Medieval Latin commissarius, from Latin commissus "entrusted," past participle of committere (see commit).
Originally especially ecclesiastical, "one who performs a bishop's duties in distant places or when he is absent;" the military sense of "official in charge of supply of food, stores, and transport" dates to late 15c. Hence "storeroom" (1882, U.S. military), especially for selling articles to persons engaged in a particular line of work, and then "dining room in a larger facility" (1924, American English), such as a movie studio.
1640s, "the making of distinctions, act of observing or marking a difference," from Late Latin discriminationem (nominative discriminatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of discriminare "to divide, separate" (see discriminate (v.)). Sense of "making invidious distinctions prejudicial to a class of persons" (usually based on race or color) is from 1866 in American English in the language of Reconstruction. Meaning "discernment" is from 1814.
It especially annoys me when racists are accused of 'discrimination.' The ability to discriminate is a precious facility; by judging all members of one 'race' to be the same, the racist precisely shows himself incapable of discrimination. [Christopher Hitchens, "Letters to a Young Contrarian"]
1869; Englishing of vers libre.
But it is possible that excessive devotion to rhyme has thickened the modern ear. The rejection of rhyme is not a leap at facility; on the contrary, it imposes a much severer strain upon the language. When the comforting echo of rhyme is removed, success or failure in the choice of words, in the sentence structure, in the order, is at once more apparent. Rhyme removed, the poet is at once held up to the standards of prose. Rhyme removed, much ethereal music leaps up from the word, music which has hitherto chirped unnoticed in the expanse of prose. [T.S. Eliot, "Reflections on Vers libre," New Statesman, 3 March 1917]
"believing that one's own nation is the center of civilization," 1891, from ethno- + -centric; a technical term in social sciences until it began to be more widely used in the second half of the 20th century. Related: Ethnocentricity; ethnocentrism (1902).
Dr. Gumplowicz, professor of sociology at the University of Gratz, says that there are illusions which have been most baneful in the wider life of the world. He mentions two of them which, with real German facility for coining new names, he calls "acrochronism" and "ethnocentrism." ["Address of Professor J.C. Bracq," in "The Eighth Lake Mohonk Arbitration Conference," May 28, 1902; he adds, "Acrochronism is the illusion which leads us to think that what we are doing is the culminating point of some great process."]
To be figuratively on the fence "uncommitted" is from 1828, perhaps from the notion of spectators at a fight, or a simple literal image: "A man sitting on the top of a fence, can jump down on either side with equal facility." [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848].
late 15c., "a sling," from hang (v.). Meaning "a curtain" is from c. 1500; that of "the way in which a thing (especially cloth) hangs" is from 1797. To get the hang of (something) "become capable" is from 1834, American English, perhaps originally in reference to a certain tool or feat, but, if so, its origin has been forgotten. It doesn't seem to have been originally associated with drapery or any other special use of hang; the connecting notion might be "general bent or tendency."
'To get the hang of a thing,' is to get the knack, or habitual facility of doing it well. A low expression frequently heard among us. In the Craven Dialect of England is the word hank, a habit; from which this word hang may perhaps be derived. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," New York, 1848]