late 13c., "a sepulchre," from Old French monument "grave, tomb, monument," and directly from Latin monumentum "a monument, memorial structure, statue; votive offering; tomb; memorial record," literally "something that reminds," a derivative of monere "to remind, bring to (one's) recollection, tell (of)," from PIE *moneie- "to make think of, remind," suffixed (causative) form of root *men- (1) "to think." Meaning "any enduring evidence or example" is from 1520s; sense of "structure or edifice to commemorate a notable person, action, period, or event" is attested from c. 1600.
c. 1600, "pertaining to a monument," from Late Latin monumentalis "pertaining to a monument," from monumentum (see monument). From 1650s in the loose sense of "conspicuous, vast, stupendous, comparable to a monument." Extended sense of "historically prominent, conspicuous to posterity" is by 1844. Related: Monumentally.
"monument consisting of a single large block of stone," 1829, from French monolithe (16c.), from Latin monolithus (adj.) "consisting of a single stone," from Greek monolithos "made of one stone," from monos "single, alone" (from PIE root *men- (4) "small, isolated") + lithos "stone" (see litho-). Transferred and figurative use in reference to a thing or person noted for indivisible unity is from 1934.
Old English mearcere "writer, notary" (glossing Latin notarius "clerk"), literally "one who marks," agent noun from mark (v.). Not found again until late 15c., hence modern use is perhaps a separate formation. Meaning "monument stone" is from 1888. Sense of "took for marking" is by 1725; meaning "felt-tipped marker pen" is from 1951, so called because their purpose was to highlight text.
late 14c., "fame, renown, reputation," also "a commemorative gesture, monument, or rite;" in general, "something by which the memory of a person, thing, or event is preserved," from Old French memorial "record, report," and directly from Late Latin memoriale "a memorial," noun use of neuter of Latin memorialis (adj.) "of or belonging to memory," from memoria "memory" (from PIE root *(s)mer- (1) "to remember").
Meaning "memorial act, commemorative gesture, monument, etc.," is from late 14c., as is the sense of "a written representation of facts made to a legislative or other body as the grounds for a petition." Related: Memorialist.
The old Man said, “I see around me here
Things which you cannot see: we die, my Friend,
Nor we alone, but that which each man loved
And prized in his peculiar nook of earth
Dies with him or is changed, and very soon
Even of the good is no memorial left.
[Wordsworth, "The Ruined Cottage"]
also epigramme, "short poem or verse which has only one subject and finishes by a witty or ingenious turn of thought," mid-15c., from Old French épigramme, from Latin epigramma "an inscription," from Greek epigramma "inscription (especially in verse) on a tomb, public monument, etc.; a written estimate," from epigraphein "to write on, inscribe" (see epigraph). "The term was afterward extended to any little piece of verse expressing with precision a delicate or ingenious thought" [Century Dictionary]. Related: Epigrammatist.
"inscription on a tomb or monument," mid-14c., from Old French epitaphe (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin epitaphium "funeral oration, eulogy," from Greek epitaphion "a funeral oration," noun use of neuter of epitaphios (logos) "(words) spoken on the occasion of a funeral," from epi "at, over" (see epi-) + taphos "tomb, burial, funeral," related to taphē "interment," thaptō "to bury," which is of uncertain origin. It is traditionally derived (along with Armenian damban "tomb") from a PIE root *dhembh- "to dig, bury," but there are doubts, and Beekes writes, "Armenian and Greek could well be borrowings; IE origin is uncertain." Related: Epitaphial. Among the Old English equivalents was byrgelsleoð.
Use of the word in English transferred late 14c. to the Temple in Jerusalem (which continued its function). Sense of "house of worship" first recorded 1690s. Also in Biblical language, "the body as the temporary abode of the soul" (late 14c.). The Old Testament Jewish Feast of Tabernacles (mid-October) was observed as a thanksgiving for harvest. This was rendered in English c. 1400 as Feste of Logges ("lodges"). Related: Tabernacular.
From 1727 as "trunk of the human body above the waist." Meaning "bosom, measurement around a woman's body at the level of her breasts" is by 1884.
early 15c., trophe, "an overwhelming victory;" 1510s, "a spoil or prize of war," from Old French trophée (15c.) from Latin trophaeum "a sign of victory, monument," originally tropaeum, from Greek tropaion "monument of an enemy's defeat," noun use of neuter of adjective tropaios "of defeat, causing a rout," from trope "a rout," originally "a turning" (of the enemy); from PIE root *trep- "to turn."
In ancient Greece, spoils or arms taken in battle and set up on the field and dedicated to a god. Figurative extension to any token or memorial of victory is first recorded 1560s. As "a symbolic representation of a classical trophy" from 1630s.
Trophy wife "a second, attractive and generally younger, wife of a successful man who acquires her as a status symbol" was a trending phrase in media from 1988 ("Fortune" magazine did a cover story on it in 1989), but is older in isolated instances.
Variations on this theme ['convenience-wife'] include the HOSTESS-WIFE of a businessman who entertains extensively and seeks a higher-level, home-branch version of his secretary; the TROPHY-WIFE — the woman who was hard to get because of birth or wealth or beauty — to be kept on exhibition like a mammoth tusk or prime Picasso ... [Phyllis I. Rosenteur, excerpt from "The Single Women," published in Philadelphia Daily News, Dec. 12, 1961]
The excerpt distinguishes the trophy wife from the "showcase wife," "chosen for her pulchritude and constantly displayed in public places, dripping mink and dangling diamonds," which seems more to suit the later use of trophy wife.