"article of food," early 14c., from Anglo-French viaunde, Old French viande "food (vegetable as well as animal), victuals, provisions" (11c.), a dissimilation of Vulgar Latin *vivanda, from Late Latin vivenda "things for living, things to be lived upon," in classical Latin, "be live," neuter plural gerundive of vivere "to live" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). The French word later was restricted to fresh meat.
It forms all or part of: abiogenesis; aerobic; amphibian; anaerobic; azo-; azoic; azotemia; bio-; biography; biology; biome; bionics; biopsy; biota; biotic; cenobite; Cenozoic; convivial; couch-grass; epizoic; epizoon; epizootic; macrobiotic; Mesozoic; microbe; Protozoa; protozoic; quick; quicken; quicksand; quicksilver; quiver (v.) "to tremble;" revive; survive; symbiosis; viable; viand; viper; vita; vital; vitamin; victuals; viva; vivace; vivacious; vivarium; vivid; vivify; viviparous; vivisection; whiskey; wyvern; zodiac; Zoe; zoetrope; zoic; zoo-; zoolatry; zoology; zoon; zoophilia; zoophobia; zooplankton.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit jivah "alive, living;" Old Persian *jivaka- "alive," Middle Persian zhiwak "alive;" Greek bios "one's life, course or way of living, lifetime," zoe "animal life, organic life;" Old English cwic, cwicu "living, alive;" Latin vivus "living, alive," vita "life;" Old Church Slavonic zivo "to live;" Lithuanian gyvas "living, alive," gyvata "(eternal) life;" Old Irish bethu "life," bith "age;" Welsh byd "world."
late 14c., "delightfulness; fastidiousness; quality of being addicted to sensuous pleasure," from delicate + abstract noun suffix -cy. Meaning "fine food, a dainty viand" is from early 15c. Meaning "fineness, softness, tender loveliness" is from 1580s; that of "weakness of constitution" is from 1630s.