also laissez faire, 1822, French, literally "let (people) do (as they think best)," from laissez, second person plural imperative of laisser "to let, to leave" (10c., from Latin laxare, from laxus "loose;" see lax) + faire "to do" (from Latin facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). From the phrase laissez faire et laissez passer, motto of certain 18c. French economists, chosen to express the ideal of government non-interference in business and industry. Compare laisser-faire "a letting alone," taken to mean "non-interference with individual freedom of action" as a policy in government and political economy.
"instinctive knowledge of the right course of action in any circumstance, faculty of knowing just what to do and how to do it," 1815 (Scott), a French phrase in English, literally "to know (how) to do," from savoir "to know" (from Latin sapere; see sapient) + faire (from Latin facere "to make, do;" from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). French also has savoir-vivre "knowledge of and ability in the usages of polite society; knowledge of customs in the world," which turns up in English writers, occasionally, in italics.
initialism (acronym) of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded 1957 by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, and others.
"witches' sabbath," a midnight meeting supposed to have been held annually by demons, sorcerers, and witches under the leadership of Satan, to celebrate their orgies, 1650s, a special application of the French form of Sabbath (q.v.).
"the performance of an obligation," 1530s, from Anglo-French fesance, from Old French faisance "action, deed, enactment," from faisant, present participle of faire "to make, do," from Latin facere "to make, do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
1560s, "preponderance, dominance, leadership," originally of predominance of one city state or another in Greek history; from Greek hēgemonia "leadership, a leading the way, a going first;" also "the authority or sovereignty of one city-state over a number of others," as Athens in Attica, Thebes in Boeotia; from hēgemon "leader, an authority, commander, sovereign," from hēgeisthai "to lead," perhaps originally "to track down," from PIE *sag-eyo-, from root *sag- "to seek out, track down, trace" (see seek). In reference to modern situations from 1850, at first of Prussia in relation to other German states.