c. 1300, "narrow band or strip of cloth" (oldest use is as a technical term in heraldry), from Old French label, lambel, labeau "ribbon, fringe worn on clothes" (13c., Modern French lambeau "strip, rag, shred, tatter"). This is perhaps, with a diminutive suffix, from Frankish *labba or some other Germanic source (such as Old High German lappa "flap"), from Proto-Germanic *lapp-, forming words for loose cloth, etc. (see lap (n.1)).
Meanings "dangling strip of cloth or ribbon used as an ornament in dress," also "strip attached to a document to hold a seal" both are from early 15c. General meaning "tag, sticker, slip of paper" affixed to something to indicate its nature, contents, destination, etc. is from 1670s. Hence "circular piece of paper in the center of a gramophone record," containing information about the recorded music (1907), which led to the meaning "a recording company" (1947).
"to affix a label to," c. 1600, see label (n.); figurative sense of "to categorize" is from 1853. Related: Labeled; labeling; labelled; labelling.
in anatomy and zoology, "lips or lip-like parts," a Modern Latin use of Latin labia "lips," plural of labium "lip" (see lip (n.)). Specifically as "the folds on either side of the vulva" (labia pudendi) from 1630s; further classified as labia majora (the outer folds, 1813; the singular is labium majus) and labia minora (inner folds, 1781; the singular is labium minus). The lips of the mouth are labium superior (upper) and labium inferiore (lower).
"pertaining to the lips," 1590s, from Medieval Latin labialis "having to do with the lips," from Latin labium "lip" (see lip (n.)). The noun meaning "a labial sound" (one accomplished by complete closure of the lips) is from 1660s, from the adjective in this sense (1590s). Related: Labially.
"having a lip or lip-like part," 1706, from Modern Latin labiatus "lipped," from Latin labium "lip" (see lip (n.)).
mid-15c., "prone to lapse," from Latin labilis, from labi "to slip" (see lapse (n.)). Hence, in chemistry, "prone to undergo displacement" (c. 1600).
word-forming element in medical use since 17c., taken as a combining form of Latin labium "lip" (see lip (n.)).
"belly," 1943, American English slang, probably from dialectal pronunciation of Italian la pancia "the belly," with the definite article absorbed, from Latin pantex (genitive panticis) "belly" (see paunch).