c. 1300 (early 13c. as a surname), "one who mines, a person engaged in digging for metals or minerals or in digging a military mine," from Old French mineour (13c.), agent noun from miner "to mine" (see mine (v.1)).
1520s, "the business or work of a miner," verbal noun from mine (v.1). From c. 1300 as "the undermining of walls or towers in a military attack." Mining-camp "temporary settlement for mining purposes" is by 1853, in a California context.
"lay explosives," 1620s, in reference to old tactic of tunneling under enemy fortifications to blow them up; a specialized sense of mine (v.1) via a sense of "dig under foundations to undermine them" (late 14c.), and miner in this sense is attested from late 13c. Related: Mined; mining.
1935, from name of hard-working Soviet coal miner Aleksei Grigorevich Stakhanov (1906-1977), in reference to an efficiency system in which workers increase their piecework production and are rewarded with bonuses and privileges. Soviet authorities publicized his prodigious output as part of a campaign to increase productivity.
c. 1300, minen, "to dig a tunnel under fortifications to overthrow them," from mine (n.1) or from Old French miner "to dig, mine; exterminate," from the French noun. From mid-14c. as "to dig in the earth" (in order to obtain minerals, treasure, etc.). Figurative meaning "ruin or destroy by slow or secret methods" is from mid-14c. Transitive sense of "to extract by mining" is from late 14c. For the sense of "to lay (explosive) mines," see mine (v.2). Related: Mined; mining.
in ancient Roman mythology, one of the three chief divinities (with Jupiter and Juno), a virgin goddess of arts, crafts, and sciences; wisdom, sense, and reflection (later identified with Greek Athene), late 14c., Mynerfe, minerve, from Latin Minerva, from Old Latin Menerva, from Proto-Italic *menes-wo- "intelligent, understanding," from PIE root *men- (1) "to think, remember," with derivatives referring to qualities of mind or states of thought (see mind (n.)). Compare Sanskrit Manasvini, name of the mother of the Moon, manasvin "full of mind or sense." Related: Minerval.
Minerva Press, a printing-press formerly in Leadenhall Street, London; also a class of ultra-sentimental novels, remarkable for their intricate plots, published from about 1790 to 1810 at this press, and other productions of similar character. [Century Dictionary]
Latin adverbial phrase, used with reference to literary or artistic creation, "without inspiration," literally "Minerva unwilling;" i.e. "without inspiration from the goddess of wisdom;" ablative fem. of invitus "against the will, unwilling, reluctant," according to de Vaan from PIE compound *n-uih-to- "not turned to, not pursuing," related to the source of invitation. With Minervā, ablative absolute of Minerva.
late 14c., "substance obtained by mining," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin minerale "something mined," noun use of neuter of mineralis "pertaining to mines," from minera "a mine" (see mine (n.1)).
Meaning "material substance that is neither animal nor vegetable" is attested from early 15c. The modern scientific sense ("inorganic body occurring in nature, homogeneous and having a definite chemical composition and certain distinguishing physical characteristics") is by 1813.
As an adjective, early 15c., "neither animal nor vegetable, inorganic," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin mineralis. The sense of "impregnated with minerals" is first in mineral water (early 15c.), which originally was "water found in nature with some mineral substance dissolved in it" (later made so artificially).