Etymology
Advertisement
weight (n.)

Old English gewiht "weighing, weight, downward force of a body, heaviness," from Proto-Germanic *wihti- (source also of Old Norse vætt, Danish vegt, Old Frisian wicht, Middle Dutch gewicht, German Gewicht), from *weg- (see weigh).

Figurative sense of "burden" is late 14c. To lose weight "get thinner" is recorded from 1961. Weight Watcher as a trademark name dates from 1960. To pull one's weight (1921) is from rowing. To throw (one's) weight around figuratively is by 1922. Weight-training is from 1945. Weight-lifting is from 1885; weight-lifter (human) from 1893.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
bearing (n.)
mid-13c., "a carrying of oneself, deportment," verbal noun from bear (v.). Meaning "direction or point of the compass in which an object is seen or is moving" is from 1630s; to take (one's) bearings is from 1711. Mechanical sense of "part of a machine that 'bears' the friction" is from 1791.
Related entries & more 
weight (v.)
"to load with weight," 1747 (figuratively, of the mind, from 1640s), from weight (n.). Of horses in a handicap race, 1846. Sense in statistics is recorded from 1901. Related: Weighted; weighting.
Related entries & more 
child-bearing (n.)

also childbearing, "bringing forth of a child, the action of producing children," late 14c., from child + verbal noun of bear (v.). As an adjective from late 14c.

Related entries & more 
feather-weight (n.)
also featherweight, "lightest weight allowable by rules," 1812 (earlier as simply feather, 1760), from feather (n.) + weight (n.). Originally in horse-racing; boxing use as a specific weight class dates from 1889.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
dead-weight (n.)

also deadweight, 1650s, "weight of an inert body," from dead (adj.) + weight (n.). Hence, "a heavy or oppressive burden" (1721).

Related entries & more 
paper-weight (n.)

"small, heavy object used to hold down loose papers," by 1832, from paper (n.) + weight (n.).

Related entries & more 
ball-bearing (n.)
1874, "method of lessening friction by surrounding a shaft with loose balls;" see ball (n.1) + bearing (n.). They "bear" the friction.
Related entries & more 
middleweight (n.)

also middle-weight, "boxer or jockey of intermediate weight" (between a lightweight and a heavyweight), 1842, from middle (adj.) + weight (n.).

Related entries & more 
important (adj.)

mid-15c., "significant, of much import, bearing weight or consequence," from Medieval Latin importantem (nominative importans) "important, momentous," present-participle adjective from importare "be significant in," from Latin importare "bring in, convey, bring in from abroad," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (from PIE root *en "in") + portare "to carry," from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over." The meaning "pretentious, pompous" is from 1713. Related: Importantly. Compare import (v.) and (n.).

Related entries & more