Etymology
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vast (adj.)

1570s, "being of great extent or size," from French vaste, from Latin vastus "immense, extensive, huge," also "desolate, unoccupied, empty." The two meanings probably originally attached to two separate words, one with a long -a- one with a short -a-, that merged in early Latin (see waste (v.)). Meaning "very great in quantity or number" is from 1630s; that of "very great in degree" is from 1670s. Very popular early 18c. as an intensifier. Related: Vastly; vastness; vasty.

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effuse (adj.)
1520s, from Latin past-participle adjective effusus "poured out," also "extensive, vast, broad, wide" (see effuse (v.)).
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steppe (n.)
vast treeless plain of southeastern Europe and of Asia, 1670s, from German steppe and directly from Russian step', of unknown origin. Introduced in Western Europe by von Humboldt.
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pampas (n.)

"vast treeless plains of South America," 1704, from Argentine Spanish pampas, plural of pampa, from Quechua (Inca) pampa "a plain." Related: Pampean. Similar landscapes north of the Amazon are called llanos (see llano).

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Levittown 
used figuratively for "generic suburban tract housing," American English, from the vast planned real estate developments built by the firm Levitt & Sons Inc., the first on Long Island, 1946-51 (more than 17,000 homes), the second north of Philadelphia (1951-55).
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monumental (adj.)

c. 1600, "pertaining to a monument," from Late Latin monumentalis "pertaining to a monument," from monumentum (see monument). From 1650s in the loose sense of "conspicuous, vast, stupendous, comparable to a monument." Extended sense of "historically prominent, conspicuous to posterity" is by 1844. Related: Monumentally.

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groundless (adj.)
Old English grundleas "bottomless, unfathomable, vast;" see ground (n.) + -less. Figurative sense of "having no adequate cause or reason" is from 1620s. Similar formation in Dutch grondeloos, German grundlos, Old Norse grunnlauss. Related: Groundlessly; groundlessness.
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profundity (n.)

early 15c., "bottom of the sea," from Old French profundite (Modern French profondité) and directly from Late Latin profunditatem (nominative profunditas) "depth, intensity, immensity," from profundus "deep, vast" (see profound). Meaning "depth of intellect, feeling, or spiritual mystery" in English is from c. 1500.

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extensive (adj.)

"vast, far-reaching;" c. 1600 of immaterial, c. 1700 of material things; from Late Latin extensivus, from extens-, past-participle stem of Latin extendere "to stretch out, spread" (see extend). Earlier in a medical sense, "characterized by swelling" (early 15c.). Related: Extensively; extensiveness.

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avast (interj.)

1680s, a nautical interjection, "hold! stop!" probably worn down from Dutch houd vast "hold fast." See hold (v.) + fast (adv.).

AVAST. — The order to stop, or pause, in any exercise or operation; as Avast heaving — that is to say, desist, or stop, from drawing in the cable or hawser, by means of the capstan &c. [George Biddlecombe, "The Art of Rigging," 1848]
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