"one who grinds grain in a mill," mid-14c. (as a surname by early 14c.), agent noun from mill (v.1). In Middle English both with and without the -n-. The Old English word was mylnweard, literally "mill-keeper" (preserved in surname Millward, which is attested from late 13c.).
Doctor Kearney, who formerly, with so much reputation, delivered lectures in this place on the history of Rome, observed to me once, that he was not an optimist, but an "agathist"; that he believed that every thing tended to good, but did not think himself competent to determine what was absolutely the best. The distinction is important, and seems to be fatal to the system of Optimism. [George Miller, "Lectures on the Philosophy of Modern History," Dublin, 1816]
mid-15c., "the profit arising from office or employment, that which is given as compensation for services," from Old French émolument "advantage, gain, benefit; income, revenue" (13c.) and directly from Latin emolumentum "profit, gain, advantage, benefit," perhaps originally "payment to a miller for grinding corn," from emolere "grind out," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + molere "to grind" (from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind"). Formerly also "profit, advantage, gain in general, that which promotes the good of any person or thing" (1630s).
Hymnal measure (a quatrain, usually iambic, alternately rhymed) is so called for being the preferred verse form for English hymns (such as "Amazing Grace"). It has been popular in English secular poetry as well, "though it almost always suggests the hymn, directly or ironically" [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," 1986].
the earlier form of poulterer (q.v.). Poetic poulter's measure (1570s), a combination of lines of 12 and 14 syllables, is said to be so called for suggesting "the poulter's old practice of giving an extra egg with the second dozen." [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," 1986].
The commonest sort of verse which we vse now adayes (viz. the long verse of twelue and fourtene sillables) I know not certainly howe to name it, vnlesse I should say that it doth consist of Poulter's measure, which giueth xii. for one dozen and xiiij. for another. [George Gascoigne]
also diaeresis, 1610s, "sign or mark ( ) regularly placed over the second of two contiguous vowels to indicate they are pronounced as two simple sounds," from Late Latin diaeresis, from Greek diairesis "division," noun of action from diairein "to divide, separate," from dia "apart" (see dia-) + hairein "to take" (see heresy).
Meaning "separate pronunciation of two vowels usually united as a diphthong" is from 1650s. In classical prosody, "the slight break in the forward motion of a line that is felt when the end of a foot coincides with the end of a word" [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry"]. Related: dieretic; diaeretic.
late 13c., "white fibrous substance containing the seeds of the cotton plant," from Old French coton (12c.), ultimately (via Provenal, Italian, or Old Spanish) from Arabic qutn, a word perhaps of Egyptian origin. Also ultimately from the Arabic word are Dutch katoen, German Kattun, Provenal coton, Italian cotone, Spanish algodon, Portuguese algodo.
As "cloth made of cotton," from early 15c. Meaning "the cotton plant" is from c. 1400. As an adjective, "made of cotton," from 1550s. Cotton gin is recorded from 1794 (see gin (n.2)). Philip Miller of the Chelsea Physic Garden sent the first cotton seeds to American colony of Georgia in 1732.