c. 1200, recorden, "to repeat, reiterate, recite; rehearse, get by heart" (senses now obsolete), from Old French recorder "tell, relate, repeat, recite, report, make known" (12c.) and directly from Latin recordari "remember, call to mind, think over, be mindful of," from re-, here probably with a sense of "restore" (see re-), + cor (genitive cordis) "heart" (the metaphoric seat of memory, as in learn by heart), from PIE root *kerd- "heart."
The meaning "set down in writing, preserve the memory of by written or other characters, write down for the purpose of preserving evidence of" is by mid-14c. The sense of "put sound (later pictures, etc.) on disks, cylinders, tape, etc." is from 1892. Related: Recorded; recording.
c. 1300, "testimony committed to writing, fact or condition of having been recorded," from Old French record "memory; statement, report," from recorder "to record" (see record (v.)). Also in part from Medieval Latin noun recordum, recorda. Related: Records.
The meaning "a written account of some fact, event, or proceeding for the purpose of preserving the memory of it" is from late 14c., as is the sense of "official document of a government department or municipal office." Hence the meaning "fact or condition of being preserved as knowledge, especially by being put into writing" (late 14c.).
The meaning "disk on which sounds or images have been recorded" is attested from 1878, originally also of Edison's wax cylinders, later extended somewhat to other forms of sound storage. Record-player is attested from 1919; record-album " audio recordings issued as a collection" is by 1936. Earlier it was "an album in which to store Edison cylinders." "The man who owns Blue Amberol Records only, ought to have albums in which to keep them instead of scattering them around or keeping them in old boxes, etc., under the piano or the sofa." [advertisement, Edison Phonograph Monthly, July 1913]. Record-store is attested by 1933; record-shop from 1929.
The meaning "best or highest official achievement in a sport, activity, etc." is by 1883; the verb to go with it might be break (1924) or beat (1884). The sense of "aggregate of known facts in a person's life" is by 1856, American English.
The journalist's phrase on the record is attested from 1900; adverbial phrase off the record "confidentially" is attested from 1906. For the record "for the sake of having the facts known" is by 1930 in congressional testimony. To keep (or set) the record straight is by 1949. The legal phrase matter of record was in Middle English as "matter that has been formally recorded or documented" and "legal issue that can be resolved by existing record."
early 15c., recordour, "chief legal officer of a city," whose duty is to register writings or transactions, from Anglo-French recordour (early 14c.), Old French recordeor "witness; storyteller; minstrel," from Medieval Latin recordator, from Latin recordari "remember" (see record (v.)). The meaning "registering apparatus" is from 1873.
late 14c., recordacioun, "faculty of remembering," from Old French recordacion "record, memory" (14c.) and directly from Latin recordationem (nominative recordatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of recordari "to remember, be mindful of" (see record (v.)). The meaning "act or process of committing to writing" is from mid-15c., but might have grown obsolete and been revived or recoined by Bentham c. 1810.
"musical instrument having a long tube with seven holes and a mouthpiece," early 15c. (earlier recordys, mid-14c.), from record (v.) in an archaic sense of "quietly sing or repeat a tune, practice a tune," used mostly of birds. Darwin, writing of birds in "The Descent of Man," says, "The young males continue practising, or as the bird-catchers say, recording, for ten or eleven months."
The musical instrument was known to Shakespeare and Milton ("In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood/Of flutes and soft recorders," "Paradise Lost"), but the name, and the device, were rarely heard by mid-1800s (it is marked "obsolete" in Century Dictionary, 1895), ousted by the flute, but both enjoyed revival after 1911 as an easy-to-play instrument for musical beginners.
Seynte Aldelme diede in this tyme havynge in habite and in use instrumentes of the arte off musike, as in harpes, pipes, recordres. [Higden's "Polychronicon," 15c. translation]
It forms all or part of: accord; cardiac; cardio-; concord; core; cordial; courage; credence; credible; credit; credo; credulous; creed; discord; grant; heart; incroyable; megalocardia; miscreant; myocardium; pericarditis; pericardium; quarry (n.1) "what is hunted;" record; recreant; tachycardia.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek kardia, Latin cor, Armenian sirt, Old Irish cride, Welsh craidd, Hittite kir, Lithuanian širdis, Russian serdce, Old English heorte, German Herz, Gothic hairto, "heart;" Breton kreiz "middle;" Old Church Slavonic sreda "middle."