small wild plant with purplish-blue flowers, c. 1300, from Old French violete (12c.), diminutive of viole "violet," from Latin viola "the violet, a violet color," cognate with Greek ion (see iodine), probably from a pre-Indo-European substrate Mediterranean language. The color sense (late 14c.) developed from the flower.
non-metallic element, 1814, formed by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy from French iode "iodine," which was coined 1812 by French chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac from Greek ioeides "violet-colored" (from ion "the violet; dark blue flower;" see violet) + eidos "appearance" (see -oid).
Davy added the chemical suffix -ine (2) to make it analogous with chlorine and fluorine. So called from the color of the vapor given off when the crystals are heated.
Replaced Middle English ynde (late 13c., from Old French inde "indigo; blue, violet" (13c.), from Latin indicum). Earlier name in Mediterranean languages was annil, anil (see aniline). As "the color of indigo" from 1620s. As the name of the violet-blue color of the spectrum, 1704 (Newton).
"a type of violet, popular as a garden flower," mid-15c., pense, from Old French pensee. pencee "a pansy," literally "thought, remembrance," from fem. past participle of penser "to think," from Latin pensare "consider," a figurative use of a frequentative of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh; pay" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). So called because it was regarded as a symbol of thought or remembrance.
Meaning "effeminate homosexual man" is recorded by 1929. Related: Pansified (1941) "over-adorned, affectedly effeminate."
Old English scrincan "to draw in the limbs, contract, shrivel up; wither, pine away" (class III strong verb; past tense scranc, past participle scruncen), from Proto-Germanic *skrink- (source also of Middle Dutch schrinken), probably from PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend."
Originally with causal shrench (compare drink/drench). Sense of "become reduced in size" recorded from late 13c. The meaning "draw back, recoil" (early 14c.) perhaps was suggested by the behavior of snails. Transitive sense, "cause to shrink" is from late 14c. Shrink-wrap is attested from 1961 (shrinking-wrap from 1959). Shrinking violet "shy person" attested from 1882.
violet-colored quartz, late 13c., amatist, from Old French ametiste (12c., Modern French améthyste) and directly from Medieval Latin amatistus, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethystos "amethyst," noun use of an adjective, literally "not intoxicating; not drunken," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + methyskein "make drunk," from methys "wine," from PIE root *medhu- "honey; mead" (see mead (n.1)).
The stone had a reputation among the ancients for preventing drunkenness; this was perhaps sympathetic magic suggested by its wine-like color. Beekes writes that the stone "was named after its color: the red of wine diluted with water such that it is no longer intoxicating." When drinking, people wore rings made of it to ward off the effects. The spelling was restored in early Modern English.