Etymology
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sponsor (n.)

1650s, from Late Latin sponsor "sponsor in baptism," in Latin "a surety, guarantee, bondsman," from sponsus, past participle of spondere "give assurance, promise solemnly," from Proto-Italic *spondejo- "to pledge," literally "to libate many times," from PIE *spondeio- "to libate" (source also of Hittite ishpanti- "to bring a fluid sacrifice, pour;" Greek spendein "make a drink offering," spondē "libation, offering of wine;" compare spondee). Sense of "person who pays for a radio (or, after 1947, TV) program" is first recorded 1931.

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sponsor (v.)

1882, "to favor or support," from sponsor (n.). Commercial broadcasting sense is from 1931. Related: Sponsored; sponsoring.

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despond (v.)

"lose heart, resolution, or hope," 1650s, from Latin despondere "to give up, lose, lose heart, resign; to promise in marriage," etymologically "to promise to give something away," from de "away" (see de-) + spondere "to promise" (see sponsor (n.)). Related: Desponding; despondingly.

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espouse (v.)

mid-15c., "to take as spouse, marry," from Old French espouser "marry, take in marriage, join in marriage" (11c., Modern French épouser), from Latin sponsare, past participle of spondere "make an offering, perform a rite, promise secretly," hence "to engage oneself by ritual act" (see sponsor (n.)). Extended sense of "adopt, embrace" a cause, party, etc., is from 1620s. Related: Espoused; espouses; espousing. For initial e-, see e-.

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respondent (n.)

"one who answers" in a lawsuit, disputation, survey, etc., 1520s, from Latin respondentem (nominative respondens), present participle of respondere "respond, answer to, promise in return," from re- "back" (see re-) + spondere "to pledge" (see sponsor (n.)). Related: Respondence "correspondence, act of responding."

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respond (v.)

"make answer, give a reply in words," c. 1300, respounden, from Anglo-French respundre, Old French respondere "respond, correspond" and directly from Latin respondere "respond, answer to, promise in return," from re- "back" (see re-) + spondere "to pledge" (see sponsor (n.)). Modern spelling and pronunciation is from c. 1600. From 17c. also "make a liturgical response." Related: Responded; responding.

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response (n.)

c. 1300, respounse, "an answer, a reply," from Old French respons (Modern French réponse) and directly from Latin responsum "an answer," noun use of neuter past participle of respondere "respond, answer to, promise in return," from re- "back" (see re-) + spondere "to pledge" (see sponsor (n.)).

The transferred sense, of feelings or actions, is from 1815 in poetry and psychology. The meaning "a part of the liturgy said or sung by the congregation in reply to the priest" is by 1650s. Response time attested from 1958.

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spouse (n.)

c. 1200, "a married person, either one of a married pair, but especially a married woman in relation to her husband," also "Christ or God as the spiritual husband of the soul, the church, etc.," also "marriage, the wedded state," from Old French spous (fem. spouse) "marriage partner," variant of espous/espouse (Modern French épous/épouse), from Latin sponsus "bridegroom" (fem. sponsa "bride"), literally "betrothed," from masc. and fem. past participle of spondere "to bind oneself, promise solemnly," from PIE *spend- "to make an offering, perform a rite" (see sponsor (n.)). Spouse-breach (early 13c.) was an old name for "adultery."

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despondence (n.)

"despondent condition, a sinking or dejection of spirit from loss of hope or courage in affliction or difficulty," 1670s, from Latin despondentem (nominative despondens), present participle of despondere "to give up, lose, lose heart, resign," also "to promise in marriage" (especially in phrase animam despondere, literally "give up one's soul"), etymologically "to promise to give something away," from de "away" (see de-) + spondere "to promise" (see sponsor (n.)).

Despondency is a loss of hope sufficient to produce a loss of courage and a disposition to relax or relinquish effort, the despondent person tending to sink into spiritless inaction. Despair means a total loss of hope; despondency does not. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
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