"natural elevation rising more or less abruptly and attaining a conspicuous height," c. 1200, from Old French montaigne (Modern French montagne), from Vulgar Latin *montanea "mountain, mountain region," noun use of fem. of *montaneus "of a mountain, mountainous," from Latin montanus "mountainous, of mountains," from mons (genitive montis) "mountain" (from PIE root *men- (2) "to project").
Until 18c., applied to a fairly low elevation if it was prominent (such as Sussex Downs or the hills around Paris); compare hill (n.). As an adjective, "of or situated on a mountain," from late 14c.
Mountain dew "raw and inferior whiskey" is attested by 1839; earlier a type of Scotch whiskey (1816); Jamieson's 1825 "Supplement" to his Scottish dictionary defines it specifically as "A cant term for Highland whisky that has paid no duty." Mountain-climber is recorded from 1839; mountain-climbing from 1836. Mountain laurel is from 1754; mountain-lion "puma" is from 1849, American English; the mountain goat of the Western U.S. is so called by 1841 (by 1827 as Rocky Mountain goat).
"mountaineer, highlander," 1842, from French montagnard, from montagne (12c.; see mountain). In French history, one of the extreme democratic party in the legislatures of the Revolution, supposedly so called because they occupied the highest benches in the National Assembly; hence in later use applied to any French radical or extreme liberal. The French also transferred the word in its literal sense to the aboriginal people of the highlands of South Vietnam (by 1962 in English).
U.S. state, from Latinized form of Spanish montaña "mountain" (used in South America specifically of the forested region on the eastern slopes of the Andes), from Latin mont-, stem of mons (see mountain). The territorial name was proposed in 1864 by U.S. Rep. James H. Ashley of Ohio when it was created from Nebraska Territory, in reference to the Rocky Mountains, which however traverse only one end of it. Admitted as a state in 1889. Related: Montanan.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to project."
It forms all or part of: amenable; amount; cismontane; demeanor; dismount; eminence; eminent; imminence; imminent; menace; minacious; minatory; mons; montage; montagnard; monte; mount (n.1) "hill, mountain;" mount (v.) "to get up on;" mountain; mountebank; mouth; Osmond; Piedmont; promenade; prominence; prominent; promontory; remount; surmount; ultramontane.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit manya "nape of the neck;" Latin mons "mountain," eminere "to stand out;" Old Irish muin "neck," Welsh mwnwgl "neck," mwng "mane;" Welsh mynydd "mountain."
Hindu divinity, from Sanskrit, literally "(daughter) of the mountain," from parvata "mountain."