c. 1300, materas, "a bed consisting of a bag filled with soft and elastic material and usually tacked at short intervals to prevent the contents from slipping," from Old French materas (12c., Modern French matelas), from Italian materasso and directly from Medieval Latin matracium, borrowed in Sicily from medieval Arabic al-matrah "(the) large cushion or rug for lying on" (also source of Spanish almadraque "mattress," Provençal and Catalan-Latin almatrac), literally "the thing thrown down," from taraha "he threw (down)" with noun prefix ma-. In Middle English also materace, matrasse, etc.,; the modern spelling is attested by early 15c.
c. 1300, "sack stuffed with wool, down, etc. used as a mattress," from Anglo-French quilte, Old French cuilte, coute, quilte "quilt, mattress" (12c.), from Latin culcita "mattress, bolster," a word of unknown etymology. The sense of "thick outer bed covering, cover or coverlet made by stitching together two thicknesses of fabric with some soft substance between them" is recorded by 1590s.
"mattress," late 14c., paillet "bed or mattress of straw; small, simple bed," from Anglo-French paillete "straw, bundle of straw," Old French paillet "chaff, bundle of straw," from paille "straw" (12c.), from Latin palea "chaff," perhaps from PIE *pelh- "chaff," source also of Sanskrit palavah "chaff, husk," Old Church Slavonic plevy, Russian polova "chaff," Lithuanian pelūs "chaff."
"quilted coverlet," late 15c., early 15c. in Anglo-French, from Old French (cuilte) contrepointe "(quilt) stitched through and through" (15c.), altered (by substitution of contre) from coute pointe, from Medieval Latin culcita puncta "quilted mattress," from Latin culcita "cushion" + puncta, fem. past participle of pungere "to prick, stab" (from suffixed form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick"). As a verb, "quilt by stitching together two pieces of cloth," from 1590s.
"the outline of a figure," 1660s, a term in painting and sculpture, from French contour "circumference, outline," from Italian and Medieval Latin contornare "to go around," from assimilated form of Latin com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + tornare "to turn (on a lathe);" see turn (v.).
Application to topography is from 1769. Earlier the word was used to mean "bedspread, quilt" (early 15c.) in reference to its falling over the sides of the mattress. Contour line in geography is from 1844. Contour-chair, one designed to fit the curves of the body, is from 1949.
As a verb, "mark with contour lines; form to the contours of," 1871. Related: Contoured.
"bag-like case of cloth, etc., stuffed with soft material and used as a support or for comfort for some part of the body," c. 1300, quishin, from Anglo-French quissyn, Old French coissin "seat cushion" (12c., Modern French coussin), cognate with Medieval Latin cossinus, probably a variant of Vulgar Latin *coxinum, from Latin coxa "hip, thigh," or from Latin culcita "mattress." Someone has counted more than 400 spellings of the plural of this word in Middle English wills and inventories, including quessihon, quoshin, whishin, cuishun, kuchin, koshen. Also from the French word are Italian cuscino, Spanish cojin. Figurative sense of "something to absorb a jolt, shock, etc." is by 1860.