Etymology
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Middle Ages (n.)
"period between ancient and modern times" (formerly roughly 500-1500 C.E., now more usually 1000-1500), attested from 1610s, translating Latin medium aevum (compare German mittelalter, French moyen âge).
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Mideast (n.)

"Middle East," attested from 1944 in reference to western Asia. Loosely defined (compare Middle East).

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middle class (n.)

1766, in a British sense, "class of people socially intermediate between the aristocratic and the laboring classes, the community of untitled but well-bred or wealthy people," from middle (adj.) + class (n.). As an adjective, "pertaining to the middle class," by 1857, with reference to education. Nares reports menalty as an early word for "the middle class" (1540s).

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middle passage (n.)

"part of the Atlantic Ocean which lies between the West Indies and the west coast of Africa," 1788, in the agitation against the trans-Atlantic slave trade, from middle (adj.) + passage.

It is clear that none of the unfortunate people, perhaps at this moment on board, can stand upright, but that they must sit down, and contract their limbs within the limits of little more than three square feet, during the whole of the middle passage. I cannot compare the scene on board this vessel, to any other than that of a pen of sheep; with this difference only, that the one have the advantages of a wholesome air, while that, which the others breathe, is putrid. [Thomas Clarkson, "An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species," 1788]
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Middle East (n.)

1899; never defined in a generally accepted way. Early use with reference to British India; later often of everything between Egypt and Iran. Hence Middle-Eastern (1903).

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middle age (n.)

"period between youth and old age," formerly generally understood as 40 to 50, late 14c., from middle (adj.) + age (n.). The adjective middle-aged "having lived to the middle of the ordinary human lifespan, neither old nor young" is by c. 1600.

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go south (v.)
"vanish, abscond," 1920s, American English, probably from mid-19c. notion of disappearing south to Mexico or Texas to escape pursuit or responsibility, reinforced by Native American belief (attested in colonial writing mid-18c.) that the soul journeys south after death.
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Counter-reformation 

"the resurgence of the Catholic Church from mid-16c. to early 17c. in response to the Protestant Reformation," 1840, from counter- + Reformation.

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wild man (n.)
c. 1200, "man lacking in self-restraint," from wild (adj.) + man (n.). From mid-13c. as "primitive, savage." Late 14c. as a surname.
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coat of arms (n.)

mid-14c., also simply coat (mid-14c.); originally a tunic embroidered or painted with heraldic armorial bearings (worn over armor, etc); see coat (n.) + arm (n.2) and compare Old French cote a armer. Sense transferred in Middle English to the heraldic arms themselves. Hence turncoat, one who put his coat on inside-out to hide the badge of his loyalty (1550s).

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