Words related to *as-
early 14c., of alcoholic distillates, brandy (ardent spirits), etc., from Old French ardant "burning, hot; zealous" (13c.), from Latin ardentem (nominative ardens) "glowing, fiery, hot, ablaze," also used figuratively of passions, present participle of ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow."
The figurative sense ("burning with passions, desire, etc.") is from late 14c.; literal sense of "burning, parching" (c. 1400) remains rare. Ardent spirits (late 15c.) so called because they are inflammable, but the term now, if used at all, probably is felt in a figurative causative sense. Related: Ardently.
"heat of passion or desire," mid-15c., from Old French ardure "heat, glow; inflammation; passion" (12c., Modern French ardeur), from Latin ardorem (nominative ardor) "a flame, fire, burning, heat;" also of feelings, etc., "eagerness, zeal," from ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow." In Middle English used of base passions; since Milton's time of noble ones.
1530s, "vacant piece of ground," from Latin area "level ground, open space," used of building sites, playgrounds, threshing floors, etc.; which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps an irregular derivation from arere "to become dry" (see arid), on notion of "bare space cleared by burning." The generic sense of "any particular amount of surface (whether open or not) contained within any set of limits" is from 1560s. Area code in the North American telephone systems is attested from 1959.
"malicious burning of property," 1670s, from Anglo-French arsoun (late 13c.), Old French arsion, from Late Latin arsionem (nominative arsio) "a burning," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow." The Old English term was bærnet, literally "burning;" and Coke has indictment of burning (1640).
"powdery remains of fire," Old English æsce "ash," from Proto-Germanic *askon (source also of Old Norse and Swedish aska, Old High German asca, German asche, Middle Dutch asche, Gothic azgo "ashes"), from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow." Spanish and Portuguese ascua "red-hot coal" are Germanic loan-words.
An ancient symbol of grief or repentance; hence Ash Wednesday (c. 1300), from custom introduced by Pope Gregory the Great of sprinkling ashes on the heads of penitents on the first day of Lent. Ashes meaning "mortal remains of a person" is late 13c., in reference to the ancient custom of cremation. Meaning "Finely pulverized lava thrown from a volcano" is from 1660s.
"vegetable alkali; substance obtained originally by leaching wood-ashes and evaporating the solution obtained in a large iron pot or pan; one of the fixed alkalis," 1751, earlier pot-ash (1640s), a loan-translation of older Dutch potaschen, literally "pot ashes" (16c.); see pot (n.1) + ash (n.1).
So called because it was originally obtained by soaking wood ashes in water and evaporating the mixture in an iron pot. Compare German Pottasche, Danish potaske, Swedish pottaska, all also from Dutch. See also potassium. French potasse (1570s), Italian potassa are Germanic loan-words. The original plural was pot-ashes.