early 14c., moustren, "to display, reveal, to show or demonstrate" (senses now obsolete), also "to appear, be present," from Old French mostrer "appear, show, reveal," also in a military sense (10c., Modern French montrer), from Latin monstrare "to show," from monstrum "omen, sign" (see monster).
The transitive meaning "to collect, assemble, bring together in a group or body," especially for military service or inspection, is from early 15c. The intransitive sense of "assemble, meet in one place," of military forces, is from mid-15c. The figurative use "summon, gather up" (of qualities, etc.) is from 1580s.
To muster in (transitive) "receive as recruits" is by 1837; to muster out "gather to be discharged from military service" is by 1834, American English. To muster up in the figurative and transferred sense of "gather, summon, marshal" is from 1620s. Related: Mustered; mustering.
late 14c., moustre, "action of showing, demonstration, manifestation, exhibition" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French mostre "illustration, proof; examination, inspection" (13c., Modern French montre), literally "that which is shown," from mostrer "appear, show, reveal" (see muster (v.)). Meaning "an assembly or act of gathering troops" is from c. 1400. Meaning "a register or roll of troops mustered" is from 1560s. To pass muster "undergo review without censure" is by 1620s; in the form pass the musters it is attested from 1570s.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to think," with derivatives referring to qualities and states of mind or thought.
It forms all or part of: admonish; Ahura Mazda; ament; amentia; amnesia; amnesty; anamnesis; anamnestic; automatic; automaton; balletomane; comment; compos mentis; dement; demonstrate; Eumenides; idiomatic; maenad; -mancy; mandarin; mania; maniac; manic; mantic; mantis; mantra; memento; mens rea; mental; mention; mentor; mind; Minerva; minnesinger; mnemonic; Mnemosyne; money; monition; monitor; monster; monument; mosaic; Muse; museum; music; muster; premonition; reminiscence; reminiscent; summon.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit manas- "mind, spirit," matih "thought," munih "sage, seer;" Avestan manah- "mind, spirit;" Greek memona "I yearn," mania "madness," mantis "one who divines, prophet, seer;" Latin mens "mind, understanding, reason," memini "I remember," mentio "remembrance;" Lithuanian mintis "thought, idea," Old Church Slavonic mineti "to believe, think," Russian pamjat "memory;" Gothic gamunds, Old English gemynd "memory, remembrance; conscious mind, intellect."
"male homosexual," 1914, American English slang, probably from earlier contemptuous term for "woman" (1590s), especially an old and unpleasant one, in reference to faggot (n.1) "bundle of sticks," as something awkward that has to be carried (compare baggage "worthless woman," 1590s). It may also be reinforced by Yiddish faygele "homosexual" (n.), literally "little bird." It also may have roots in British public school slang noun fag "a junior who does certain duties for a senior" (1785), with suggestions of "catamite," from fag (v.). This also spun off a verb (see fag (v.2).
He [the prefect] used to fag me to blow the chapel organ for him. ["Boy's Own Paper," Aug. 3, 1889]
Other obsolete British senses of faggot were "man hired into military service merely to fill out the ranks at muster" (1700) and "vote manufactured for party purposes" (1817).
The explanation that male homosexuals were called faggots because they were burned at the stake as punishment is an etymological urban legend. Burning sometimes was a punishment meted out to homosexuals in Christian Europe (on the suggestion of the Biblical fate of Sodom and Gomorrah), but in England, where parliament had made homosexuality a capital offense in 1533, hanging was the method prescribed. Use of faggot in connection with public executions had long been obscure English historical trivia by the time the word began to be used for "male homosexual" in 20th century American slang, whereas the contemptuous slang word for "woman" (in common with the other possible sources or influences listed here) was in active use early 20c., by D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce, among others.