Etymology
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opt (v.)

"wish for, choose, desire," 1877, from French opter "to choose" (16c.), from Latin optare "choose, desire" (see option). For the first few years only in English in a French context. An earlier word for the same thing was optate (1610s), from Latin optatus. To opt out "choose not to participate" is by 1922. Related: Opted; opting.

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co-opt (v.)

1650s, "to select (someone) for a group or club by a vote of members," from Latin cooptare "to elect, to choose as a colleague or member of one's tribe," from assimilated form of com- "together" (see com-) + optare "choose" (see option (n.)). For some reason this defied the usual pattern of Latin-to-English adaptation, which should have yielded co-optate (which is attested from 1620s but now is rare or obsolete). Sense of "take over" is first recorded c. 1953. Related: Co-opted; co-opting.

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oft (adv.)

Old English oft "repeatedly, again and again, many times; frequently; under many circumstances," from Proto-Germanic *ufta- "frequently" (source also of Old Frisian ofta, Danish ofte, Old High German ofto, German oft, Old Norse opt, Gothic ufta "often"), a word of unknown origin, perhaps [Watkins] from a suffixed form of PIE root *upo "under."

Archaic or only poetic except in compounds (such as oft-told) and replaced by its derivative often. It also was an adjective in Middle English, "frequent, repeated." Related: Ofter; oftest.

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optical (adj.)

1560s, "relating to or connected with the science of optics; pertaining to vision," from optic + -al (1). Of abstract art, from 1964. In astronomy, in reference to double stars that appear so only because they lie in the same line of sight from earth, by 1868. Optical illusion is attested by 1757. Related: Optically.

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optics (n.)

"science of sight and the natural properties of light," 1570s, from optic; also see -ics. Used for Medieval Latin optica (neuter plural), from Greek ta optika "optical matters," neuter plural of optikos "optic."

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optative (n.)

mid-15c., optatif, "the optative mood," in grammar, a form of a verb expressing wish or desire, from Old French optatif (15c.), from Late Latin optativus, from Latin optatus "wished, desired, longed for," past participle of optare "to choose, wish, desire" (see option). Also mid-15c. as an adjective, "expressing wish or desire by a distinct grammatical form." The general adjectival sense of "expressing or expressive of desire or wish" is by 1610s.

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optimize (v.)

1844, "to act as an optimist, take the most hopeful view of a matter," a back-formation from optimist. Meaning "to make the most of, develop to the utmost" is attested by 1857. Related: Optimized; optimizing.

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option (n.)

c. 1600, "action of choosing;" 1630s, "power or liberty of choosing," from French option (Old French opcion), from Latin optionem (nominative optio) "choice, free choice, liberty to choose," from optare "to desire, pray for, choose," which is of uncertain origin. De Vaan derives it from Proto-Italic *opeje- "to choose, grab," from PIE *hopeie- "to choose, grab," and compares Hittite epp/app- "to take, grab," Sanskrit apa, Avestan apa "has reached."

The meaning "thing that may be chosen" is attested from 1885. The commercial transaction sense of "privilege secured by payment of a premium (on a stock or a certain produce at a specified time and at a specified price)" is recorded from 1755 (the verb in this sense is attested by 1880 in American English). As a North American football play in which the back may either pass the ball or run with it, it is recorded by 1953.

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optometry (n.)

"measurement of the range of vision; measurement of the visual powers in general," 1886, from optometer (1738), name given to an instrument for testing vision, from opto- "sight," from Greek optos "seen, visible" (from PIE root *okw- "to see") + -metry "a measuring of." Probably influenced by French optométrie.

When I made the foregoing Experiments, I designed to repeat them with more Care and Exactness, and to make some new ones of the same Sort, by means of an Instrument I had contrived for that Purpose; which from its Use in measuring the Limits of distinct Vision, and in determining with great Exactness the Strength and Weakness of Sight, may be called an Optometer. [Dr. William Porterfield, "An Essay Concerning the Motions of our Eyes, Part II," in Medical Essays and Observations, Vol. IV, Edinburgh, 1738]
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