Etymology
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au naturel (adj.)

1817, "uncooked," French, literally "naturally, in the natural state." Originally in English a term in French recipes, it was used euphemistically in English for "undressed" by 1860, perhaps via its use in French in the visual arts. See au + natural (adj.).

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lusus naturae (n.)
in natural history, "freak of nature," 1660s, a Latin phrase, from lusus "a play," from stem of ludere "to play" (see ludicrous) + genitive of natura (see nature (n.)). Originally of fossils, before there was a scientific basis for understanding their existence.
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feng shui (n.)
also feng-shui, fung-shui, 1797, from Chinese, from feng "wind" + shui "water." A system of spiritual influences in natural landscapes and a means of regulating them; "A kind of geomancy practiced by the Chinese for determining the luckiness or unluckiness of sites for graves, houses, cities, etc." [Century Dictionary].
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rara avis (n.)

c. 1600, "peculiar person, person of a type seldom encountered," from Latin rara avis, literally "strange bird," from rara, fem. of rarus "rare" (see rare (adj.1)) + avis "bird" (see aviary). Latin plural is raræ aves. A phrase used of Horace's peacock (a Roman delicacy), Juvenal's black swan ("Rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cygno"). A figure perhaps natural to the superstitious Romans, who divined by bird-watching.

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absolute zero (n.)
"lowest possible temperature which the nature of heat admits" (determined to be –273 centigrade, –458 Fahrenheit), the idea dates back to 1702 and its general value was guessed to within a few degrees soon thereafter, but not precisely discovered until Lord Kelvin's work in 1848. It was known by many names, such as infinite cold, absolute cold, natural zero of temperature; the term absolute zero was among them by 1806.
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Silver Star 
U.S. military decoration awarded for gallantry in action, originally (1918) a small badge worn on the ribbon of a campaign medal; as a distinct medal, it was established Aug. 8, 1932.
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lex talionis (n.)
1590s, legal Latin, "law of retaliation," an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, from lex "law" (see legal) + talionis, genitive of talio "exaction of payment in kind" (see retaliation). Not related to talon. Other legal Latin phrases include lex domicilii "the law of the place where the person resides," lex fori "law of the place in which an action is brought."
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dead end (n.)

"closed end of a passage," 1851 in reference to drainpipes, 1874 in reference to railway lines; by 1886 of streets; from dead (adj.) + end (n.). Figurative use, "course of action that leads nowhere," is by 1914. As an adjective in the figurative sense by 1917; as a verb by 1921. Related: Dead-ended; dead-ending; deadender (by 1996).

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lectio difficilior 
Latin, literally "harder reading," from phrase maxim difficilior lectio potior. In textual reconstruction (of the Bible, etc.) the rule that, of two alternative manuscript readings, the one whose meaning is less obvious is less likely to be a copyist's alteration, and therefore should be given precedence. From lectio, noun of action from past participle stem of legere "to read," from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')."
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witch hunt (n.)

1853 in the literal sense (witch-hunting is from 1630s), from witch (n.) + hunt (n.). The extended sense is attested from 1919, American English, later re-popularized in reaction to Cold War anti-Communism.

Senator [Lee S.] Overman. What do you mean by witch hunt?
Mr. [Raymond] Robins. I mean this, Senator. You are familiar with the old witch-hunt attitude, that when people get frightened at things and see bogies, then they get out witch proclamations, and mob action and all kinds of hysteria takes place. ["Bolshevik Propaganda," U.S. Senate subcommittee hearings, 1919]
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