Words related to *ghel-

arsenic (n.)

late 14c., "yellow arsenic, arsenic trisulphide," from Old French arsenic, from Latin arsenicum, from late Greek arsenikon "arsenic" (Dioscorides; Aristotle has it as sandarake), adapted from Syriac (al) zarniqa "arsenic," from Middle Persian zarnik "gold-colored" (arsenic trisulphide has a lemon-yellow color), from Old Iranian *zarna- "golden," from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives referring to bright materials and gold.

The form of the Greek word is folk etymology, literally "masculine," from arsen "male, strong, virile" (compare arseno-koites "lying with men" in New Testament) supposedly in reference to the powerful properties of the substance. As an element, from 1812. The mineral (as opposed to the element) is properly orpiment, from Latin auri pigmentum, so called because it was used to make golden dyes. Related: Arsenical.


fem. proper name, Latin, from Greek Khloē, literally "young green shoot;" related to khlōros "greenish-yellow," from PIE *ghlo- variant of root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting "green" and "yellow."

chloral (n.)

"colorless liquid formed by the action of chlorine on alcohol," apparently coined by German chemist Justus von Liebig in 1833 from elements from chlorine + alcohol. Later chiefly in chloral hydrate (1874).

chloride (n.)

"compound of chlorine and another element," 1812, coined by Sir Humphry Davy from chlorine + -ide on the analogy of oxide.

chlorinate (v.)

"to combine or treat with chlorine," 1836 (implied in chlorinated), from chlorine (n.) + -ate (2). Related: Chlorinating.

chlorine (n.)

nonmetallic element, the name coined 1810 by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy from Latinized form of Greek khlōros "pale green" (from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting "green" and "yellow") + chemical suffix -ine (2). Named for its color. Discovered 1774, but known at first as oxymuriatic acid gas, or dephlogisticated marine acid.


before vowels chlor-, word-forming element used in chemistry, usually indicating the presence of chlorine in a compound, but sometimes "green," from Latinized combining form of Greek khlōros "greenish-yellow" (from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting "green" and "yellow").

chloroform (n.)

"trichloromethane," volatile, colorless liquid used as an anaesthetic, 1835, from French chloroforme, a hybrid coined 1834 by French chemist Jean-Baptiste Dumas (1800-1884) from chloro-, combining form meaning "chlorine" (see chlorine), + formique "formic (acid)" (see formic (adj.)).

As a verb, "to subject to the influence of chloroform," from 1848, the year its anaesthetic properties were discovered. Related: Chloroformed.

chlorophyll (n.)

green-colored stuff in plants, 1819, from French chlorophyle (1818), coined by French chemists Pierre-Joseph Pelletier (1788-1842) and Joseph Bienaimé Caventou (1795-1877) from chloro-, from Latinized form of Greek khlōros "pale green, greenish-yellow" (from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting "green" and "yellow") + phyllon "a leaf" (from suffixed form of PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom").

chloroplast (n.)

1887, from German chloroplast (1884, Eduard Strasburger), shortened from chloroplastid "a chlorophyll granule" (1883, Andreas Franz Wilhelm Schimper); see chloro- + -plast.