derivational suffix, also -le, used mostly with verbs but originally also with nouns, "often denoting diminutive, repetitive, or intensive actions or events" [The Middle English Compendium], from Old English. Compare brastlian alongside berstan (see burst); nestlian (see nestle) alongside nistan). It is likely also in wrestle, trample, draggle, struggle, twinkle, also noddle "to make frequent nods" (1733). New formations in Middle English might be native formations (jostle from joust) with this or borrowings from Dutch.
Proto-Indo-European root forming words meaning "to turn, bend."
It forms all or part of: adverse; anniversary; avert; awry; controversy; converge; converse (adj.) "exact opposite;" convert; diverge; divert; evert; extroversion; extrovert; gaiter; introrse; introvert; invert; inward; malversation; obverse; peevish; pervert; prose; raphe; reverberate; revert; rhabdomancy; rhapsody; rhombus; ribald; sinistrorse; stalwart; subvert; tergiversate; transverse; universe; verbena; verge (v.1) "tend, incline;" vermeil; vermicelli; vermicular; vermiform; vermin; versatile; verse (n.) "poetry;" version; verst; versus; vertebra; vertex; vertigo; vervain; vortex; -ward; warp; weird; worm; worry; worth (adj.) "significant, valuable, of value;" worth (v.) "to come to be;" wrangle; wrap; wrath; wreath; wrench; wrest; wrestle; wriggle; wring; wrinkle; wrist; writhe; wrong; wroth; wry.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vartate "turns round, rolls;" Avestan varet- "to turn;" Hittite hurki- "wheel;" Greek rhatane "stirrer, ladle;" Latin vertere (frequentative versare) "to turn, turn back, be turned; convert, transform, translate; be changed," versus "turned toward or against;" Old Church Slavonic vrŭteti "to turn, roll," Russian vreteno "spindle, distaff;" Lithuanian verčiu, versti "to turn;" German werden, Old English weorðan "to become;" Old English -weard "toward," originally "turned toward," weorthan "to befall," wyrd "fate, destiny," literally "what befalls one;" Welsh gwerthyd "spindle, distaff;" Old Irish frith "against."
c. 1400, palestre, "ancient Greek gymnasium," from Old French palestre (12c.) and directly from Latin palaestra, from Greek palaistra "gymnasium, public place for exercise under official direction," originally "wrestling school," from palaiein "to wrestle, survive a wrestling match," which is of unknown origin (see discussion in Beekes) + -tra, suffix denoting place. The noun palē "wrestling" is a back-formation from the verb. Palestral "pertaining to wrestling or martial games, athletic" is attested from late 14c.
1640s, "act of struggling against;" 1660s, "unwillingness, aversion;" from the obsolete verb reluct "to strive, struggle, or rebel against" (15c.), from Latin reluctari, reluctare "to struggle against, resist, make opposition," from re- "back, against, in opposition" (see re-) + luctari "to struggle, wrestle," from Proto-Italic *lukto-, from PIE *lug-to- "bent" (source also of Old Irish foloing "supports," inloing "connects;" Middle Welsh ellwng- "to set free;" Greek lygos "withy, pliant twig," lygizein "to bend, twist;" Gothic galukan "to shut," uslukan "to open;" Old English locc "twist of hair."
Related: Reluctancy (1620s.); Bacon (1605) has reluctation.