early 15c., "sale of commodities in small quantities or parcels" (opposed to wholesale), from Old French retail "piece cut off, shred, scrap, paring" (Modern French retaille), from retaillier "cut back, cut off" (see retail (v.)). The notion of the English word is "a selling by the piece." This sense is not in French, however, and comes perhaps from cognate Italian ritaglio, which does have that sense. As an adjective, "of or pertaining to sale at retail," c. 1600.
"unnecessary, indiscriminate killing of human beings," sometimes also applied to wholesale slaughter of animals, 1580s, from French massacre "wholesale slaughter, carnage," from Old French macacre, macecle "slaughterhouse; butchery, slaughter," which is of unknown origin; perhaps related to Latin macellum "provisions store, butcher shop," which probably is related to mactāre "to kill, slaughter."
"to kill (many beings) indiscriminately," commonly in reference to those who are not in a condition to defend themselves, 1580s, from French massacrer "to slaughter" (16c.), from massacre (n.) "wholesale slaughter, carnage" (see massacre (n.)). Sometimes 17c.-18c. merely "to murder cruelly," without reference to number. Related: Massacred; massacring.
1590s, "businessman" (a sense now obsolete); c. 1600, "one who carries on negotiations, one who treats with others as either principal or agent;" from Latin negotiator "one who carries on business by wholesale," from negotiatus, past participle of negotiari "carry on business, do business" (see negotiation).
Figurative sense of "absorb the whole attention" is first attested 1709. A parallel engross, meaning "to write (something) in large letters," is from Anglo-French engrosser, from Old French en gros "in large (letters)." Related: Engrossed; engrossing.
early 15c. (mid-13c. as a surname), "wholesale dealer, one who buys and sells in gross," corrupted spelling of Anglo-French grosser, Old French grossier, from Medieval Latin grossarius "wholesaler," literally "dealer in quantity" (source also of Spanish grosero, Italian grossista), from Late Latin grossus "coarse (of food), great, gross" (see gross (adj.)). Sense of "a merchant selling individual items of food" is 16c.; in Middle English this was a spicer.
mid-15c., "goods sold by a grocer;" earlier the name of the Grocer's Hall in London (early 15c.), from Old French grosserie, from grossier "wholesale merchant" (see grocer). Meaning "a grocer's shop" is by 1803, especially in American English, where its use in that sense restricted the "goods sold by a grocer" meaning to the plural, groceries, by mid-19c.
GROCERY. A grocer's shop. This word is not in the English dictionaries except in the sense of grocer's ware, such as tea, sugar, spice, etc.; in which sense we also use it in the plural. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]
Self-service groceries were a novelty in 1913 when a Montana, U.S., firm trademarked the word groceteria (with the ending from cafeteria used in an un-etymological sense) to name them. The term existed through the 1920s.
c. 1300, "supplies or provisions for a household, camp, etc.," from store (v.) or else from Old French estore "provisions; a fleet, navy, army," from estorer or from Medieval Latin staurum, instaurum "store." General sense of "sufficient supply" is attested from late 15c. The meaning "place where goods are kept for sale" is first recorded 1721 in American English (British English prefers shop (n.)), from the sense "place where supplies and provisions are kept" (1660s).
The word store is of larger signification than the word shop. It not only comprehends all that is embraced in the word shop, when that word is used to designate a place in which goods or merchandise are sold, but more, a place of deposit, a store house. In common parlance the two words have a distinct meaning. We speak of shops as places in which mechanics pursue their trades, as a carpenter's shop a blacksmith's shop a shoemaker's shop. While, if we refer to a place where goods and merchandise are bought and sold, whether by wholesale or retail, we speak of it as a store. [C.J. Brickell, opinion in Sparrenberger v. The State of Alabama, December term, 1875]
Stores "articles and equipment for an army" is from 1630s. In store "laid up for future use" (also of events, etc.) is recorded from late 14c. Store-bought is attested from 1912, American English; earlier store-boughten (1872).