Etymology
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fresh (adj.1)

c. 1200, fresh, also fersh, "unsalted; pure; sweet; eager;" the modern form is a metathesis of Old English fersc, of water, "not salt, unsalted," itself transposed from Proto-Germanic *friskaz (source also of Old Frisian fersk, Middle Dutch versch, Dutch vers, Old High German frisc, German frisch "fresh"). Probably cognate with Old Church Slavonic presinu "fresh," Lithuanian preskas "sweet."

Sense of "new, recent" is from c. 1300; that of "not stale or worn" is from early 14c.; of memories from mid-14c. The metathesis, and the expanded Middle English senses of "new," "pure," "eager" probably are by influence of (or from) Old French fres (fem. fresche; Modern French frais "fresh, cool"), which is from Proto-Germanic *frisko-, and thus related to the English word. The Germanic root also is the source of Italian and Spanish fresco. Related: Freshly. Fresh pursuit in law is pursuit of the wrong-doer while the crime is fresh.

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fresh (adj.2)
"impudent, presumptuous," or as Century Dictionary puts it, "verdant and conceited," 1848, U.S. slang, probably from German frech "insolent, cheeky," from Old High German freh "covetous," related to Old English frec "greedy, bold" (see freak (n.2)).
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fresh-water (adj.)

also freshwater, "pertaining to, produced by, living in, or situated on water that is not salt," 1520s, from fresh (adj.1) + water (n.1).

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freshness (n.)

"condition or quality of being fresh" in any sense, late 14c., from fresh (adj.1) + -ness.

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afresh (adv.)
"anew, again," c. 1500, perhaps on analogy of anew [see note in OED], from a- (1) + fresh (adj.).
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freshen (v.)
1690s, "grow brisk, grow stronger" (intransitive), from fresh (adj.1) + -en (1). The earlier verb was simply fresh (mid-14c.). Transitive sense "refresh, revive, renew" is from 1749. Of a drink, "to top off," from 1961. Related: Freshened; freshening.
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freshet (n.)
1590s, "stream of fresh water; stream flowing into the sea," from obsolete fresh (n.) "a stream in flood" (1530s), also "mingling of fresh and salt water," from fresh (adj.1). Old English had fersceta in the same sense. Meaning "small flood or increased flow of an ebb tide caused by rain or melting snow" is from 1650s.
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freshman (n.)
1550s, "newcomer, novice," from fresh (adj.1) in the sense "making one's first acquaintance, inexperienced" + man (n.). Sense of "university student in first year" is attested from 1590s. As an adjective by 1805. Freshwoman is from 1620s. Related: Freshmen; freshmanic, freshmanship, freshmanhood.
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fresco (n.)
1590s, in fresco, literally "in fresh," with a sense of "painted on fresh mortar or plaster," from Italian fresco "cool, fresh," as a noun "coolness, fresh air," from Old High German frisc, from Proto-Germanic *friskaz (see fresh (adj.1)). As a verb from 1849. Related: Frescoed. In 17c.-18c. it also could mean "coolness, shade."
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frisk (v.)

1510s, "to dance, frolic," from Middle English adjective frisk "lively" (mid-15c.), from Old French frisque "lively, brisk," also "fresh, new; merry, animated" (13c.), which is ultimately from a Germanic source (compare Middle Dutch vrisch "fresh," Old High German frisc "lively;" see fresh (adj.1)). Sense of "pat down in a search" first recorded 1781. Related: Frisked; frisking. As a noun, "a frolic, a gambol," from 1520s.

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