"act of carrying on a lawsuit," 1640s, from Late Latin litigationem (nominative litigatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin litigare "to dispute, quarrel; sue, go to court," from phrase litem agere "to drive a suit," from litem (nominative lis) "lawsuit, dispute, quarrel, strife" (which is of uncertain origin) + agere "to set in motion, drive forward" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). The word was earlier in English in a now obsolete sense "disputation" (1560s). Other legal terms in English from Latin lis included litiscontestation (15c.), litispendence (17c.).
"fond of engaging in lawsuits," 1620s, from French litigieux and directly from Latin litigiosus "contentious, quarrelsome," from litigium "dispute, strife," from litigare "to dispute, quarrel; sue, go to court" (see litigation). The word was in Middle English with a now-obsolete sense "fond of disputes" (late 14c.), making it senior in English to litigate or litigation. Related: Litigiousness; litigiosity.
However eslegier meant "acquit, clear of charges in a lawsuit," and the Middle English word somehow acquired the meaning of French alléguer, from Latin allegare/adlegare "send for, bring forth, name, produce in evidence, send on business," from ad "to" (see ad-) + legare "to depute, send" (see legate). Related: Alleged; alleging.
mid-14c., "debate, dispute;" late 14c., "litigation, the carrying on of a suit at court," verbal noun from plead (v.). Meaning "supplication, intercession" is from early 15c.
1640s, "during, in the process of, for the time of the continuance of," a preposition formed on the model of French pendant "during," literally "hanging," present participle of pendere "to hang, cause to hang" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin").
The meaning is patterned on "not decided" as a secondary sense of Latin pendente (literally "hanging") in the legal phrase pendente lite "while the suit is pending, during the litigation" (with the ablative singular of lis "suit, quarrel"). The use of the present participle before nouns caused it to be regarded as a preposition. As an adjective from 1797.
early 13c., questioun, "philosophical or theological problem" (especially when phrased as an interrogative statement), early 14c. as "utterance meant to elicit an answer or discussion," also as "a difficulty, a doubt," from Anglo-French questiun, Old French question "question, difficulty, problem; legal inquest, interrogation, torture," and directly from Latin quaestionem (nominative quaestio) "a seeking, a questioning, inquiry, examining, judicial investigation," noun of action from past-participle stem of quaerere "ask, seek" (see query (v.)).
Also in Middle English "verbal contention, debate; legal proceedings, litigation, accusation." Phrase a question of meaning "a dispute about" is from early 15c.
No question "undoubtedly" is from mid-15c; no questions asked "accountability not required" is from 1879 (especially in newspaper advertisements seeking the return of something lost or stolen). To be out of the question (c. 1700) is to be not pertinent to the subject, hence "not to be considered." To be in question "under discussion or consideration" is from 1610s.
Question mark is from 1849, sometimes also question stop (1862), earlier interrogation point (1590s). The figurative sense of "something about which there is uncertainty or doubt" is from 1869.
early 13c., "what befalls one; state of affairs," from Old French cas "an event, happening, situation, quarrel, trial," from Latin casus "a chance, occasion, opportunity; accident, mishap," literally "a falling," from cas-, past-participle stem of cadere "to fall, sink, settle down, decline, perish" (used widely: of the setting of heavenly bodies, the fall of Troy, suicides), from PIE root *kad- "to fall."
The notion is of "that which falls" as "that which happens" (compare befall). From its general nature, the word has taken on widespread extended and transferred meanings. Meaning "instance, example" is from c. 1300. Meaning "actual state of affairs" is from c. 1400. In law, "an instance of litigation" (late 14c.); in medicine, "an instance of a disease" (late 14c.).
The grammatical sense, "one of the forms which make up the inflections of a noun" (late 14c.) also was in Latin, translating Greek ptōsis "declension," literally "a falling." "A noun in the nominative singular ..., or a verb in the present indicative ...,
is conceived as standing straight. Then it falls, or is bent, or
declines into various positions" [Gilbert Murray, "Greek Studies"]
U.S. slang meaning "person" (especially one peculiar or remarkable in any way) is from 1848. Meaning "incident or series of events requiring police investigation" is from 1838. In case "in the event" is recorded from mid-14c. Case-history is from 1879, originally medical; case-study "study of a particular case" is from 1879, originally legal; case-law "law as settled by previous court cases" is from 1861.