Words related to *ak-

oxalic (adj.)

1791, in oxalic acid, a violently poisonous substance found in many plants and used in dyeing, bleaching, and printing, from French oxalique (1787, Lavoisier), literally "of or pertaining to sorrel," from Latin oxalis "sorrel," from Greek oxalis, from oxys "sharp" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce"). So called because it occurs in sorrel and was first isolated from it.

oxide (n.)

"compound of oxygen with another element," 1790, from French oxide (1787), coined by French chemists Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau and Antoine Lavoisier from ox(ygène) (see oxygen) + (ac)ide "acid" (see acid (n.)).

word-forming element meaning "sharp, pointed; acid," from Greek oxys "sharp, pungent" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce" ). Also used as a combining form of oxygen.
oxygen (n.)

gaseous chemical element, 1790, from French oxygène, coined in 1777 by French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794), from Greek oxys "sharp, acid" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce") + French -gène "something that produces" (from Greek -genēs "formation, creation;" see -gen).

Intended to mean "acidifying (principle)," it was a Greeking of French principe acidifiant. So called because oxygen was then considered essential in the formation of acids (it is now known not to be). The element was isolated by Priestley (1774), who, using the old model of chemistry, called it dephlogisticated air. The downfall of the phlogiston theory required a new name, which Lavoisier provided. Oxygen-mask is attested from 1912.

oxymoron (n.)

in rhetoric, "a figure conjoining words or terms apparently contradictory so as to give point to the statement or expression," 1650s, from Greek oxymōron, noun use of neuter of oxymōros (adj.) "pointedly foolish," from oxys "sharp, pointed" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce") + mōros "stupid" (see moron). The word itself is an illustration of the thing. Now often used loosely to mean "contradiction in terms." Related: Oxymoronic.

paragon (n.)

"a model or pattern of special excellence or perfection; a person of supreme merit or excellence," 1540s, from French paragon "a model, pattern of excellence" (15c., Modern French parangon), from Italian paragone, originally "touchstone to test gold" (early 14c.), from paragonare "to test on a touchstone, compare," from Greek parakonan "to sharpen, whet," from para- "on the side" (see para- (1)) + akonē "whetstone" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce").

pyracanth (n.)

thorny evergreen shrub of the apple family, found in the south of Europe, bearing white flowers and scarlet berries, 1660s, from Modern Latin genus name Pyracantha, from Greek pyrakantha (Dioscorides), a plant named but not described, from pyr "fire" (from PIE root *paewr- "fire") + akantha, akanthos "thorn, thorny plant" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce").

paroxysm (n.)

early 15c., "sudden attack, convulsion; periodic worsening of a disease," from Old French paroxysme, paroxime (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin paroxysmus "irritation, fit of a disease," from Greek paroxysmos "irritation, exasperation," from paroxynein "to irritate, goad, provoke," from para- "beyond" (see para- (1)) + oxynein "sharpen, goad," from oxys "sharp, pointed" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce" ). Non-medical sense of "any sudden and violent action; convulsion, fit" is by c. 1600. Related: Paroxysmal.

selvage (n.)

also selvege, early 15c., selfegge, "edge of web or cloth so finished as to prevent raveling," apparently literally "its own edge," a corruption of self + edge (n.); on analogy of Middle Flemish selvegge. Compare also Low German sulfegge (which might have influenced the English word); Dutch zelfkant, from kant "border;" Middle High German selbende, German Selbend, literally "self-end."

vinegar (n.)
early 14c., from Old French vinaigre "vinegar," from vin "wine" (from Latin vinum; see wine (n.)) + aigre "sour" (see eager). In Latin, it was vinum acetum "wine turned sour," acetum for short (see acetic), also used figuratively for "wit, shrewdness;" and compare Greek oxos "wine vinegar," which is related to oxys "sharp" (from PIE root *ak- "be sharp, rise (out) to a point, pierce"). Related: Vinegary; vinegarish.

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