Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to *per-

compress (v.)

late 14c., "to press or pack (something) together, force or drive into a smaller compass," from Old French compresser "compress, put under pressure," from Late Latin compressus, past participle of  compressare "to press together," frequentative of comprimere "to squeeze," from com "with, together" (see com-) + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike"). Related: Compressed; compressing. Compressed air is attested from 1660s.

Advertisement
depress (v.)

late 14c., "put down by force, conquer," a sense now obsolete, from Old French depresser "to press down, lower," from Late Latin depressare, frequentative of Latin deprimere "press down," from de "down" (see de-) + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike").

Meaning "push down physically, press or move downward" is from early 15c.; that of "deject, make gloomy, lower in feeling" is from 1620s; economic sense of "lower in value" is from 1878.

espresso (n.)

coffee made under steam pressure, 1945, from Italian (caffe) espresso, from espresso "pressed out," past participle of esprimere, from Latin exprimere "press out, squeeze out" (see express (v.1)). In reference to the steam pressure.

express (v.1)

late 14c., "represent in visual arts; put into words," from Old French espresser, expresser "press, squeeze out; speak one's mind" (Modern French exprimer), Medieval Latin expressare, frequentative of Latin exprimere "represent, describe, portray, imitate, translate," literally "to press out" (source also of Italian espresso); the sense evolution here perhaps is via an intermediary sense such as "clay, etc., that under pressure takes the form of an image," from ex "out" (see ex-) + pressare "to press, push," from Latin premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike"). Related: Expressed; expresses; expressing; expressible.

impress (v.1)

late 14c., "have a strong effect on the mind or heart, to stamp deeply in the mind," from Latin impressus, past participle of imprimere "press into or upon, stamp," also figurative, from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike"). Literal sense of "to apply with pressure, make a permanent image in, indent, imprint" is from early 15c. in English. Related: Impressed; impressing.

imprimatur (n.)

"licence to print, granted by a licenser of the press," 1640, Modern Latin, literally "let it be printed," the formula of a book licenser, third person singular present subjunctive passive of Latin imprimere "to print, engrave, stamp; press upon, press against," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike"). Originally of state licence to print books, later only of Roman Catholic Church.

imprint (v.)

formerly also emprint, late 14c., imprenten, emprenten, "to mark by pressure, stamp; to impress on the mind or memory," from Old French empreinter "to stamp, engrave, imprint," from empreinte "mark, impression, imprint" (13c.), noun use of fem. past participle of eimpreindre "to impress, imprint," from Vulgar Latin *impremere, from Latin imprimere "to impress, imprint," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike").

oppress (v.)

late 14c., oppressen, "to press unduly upon or against, overburden, weigh down," also figuratively, "overwhelm overpower" (of sickness, grief, etc.); also "burden with cruel, unjust, or unreasonable restraints, treat with injustice or undue severity, keep down by an unjust exercise of power," from Old French opresser "oppress, afflict; torment, smother" (13c.), from Medieval Latin oppressare, frequentative of Latin opprimere "press against, press together, press down;" figuratively "crush, put down, subdue, prosecute relentlessly" (in Late Latin "to rape"), from assimilated form of ob "against" (see ob-) + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike"). In Middle English also "to rape." Related: Oppressed; oppressing.

It is the due [external] restraint and not the moderation of rulers that constitutes a state of liberty; as the power to oppress, though never exercised, does a state of slavery. [St. George Tucker, "View of the Constitution of the United States," 1803]
oppression (n.)

mid-14c., oppressioun, "cruel or unjust use of power or authority," from Old French opression (12c.), from Latin oppressionem (nominative oppressio) "a pressing down; violence, oppression," noun of action from past-participle stem of opprimere "press against, press together, press down;" figuratively "crush, put down, subdue, prosecute relentlessly" (in Late Latin "to rape"), from assimilated form of ob"against" (see ob-) + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike").

Meaning "action of weighing on someone's mind or spirits" is from late 14c. Sense of "whatever oppresses or causes hardship" is from late 14c. In Middle English also "rape."

pregnant (adj.2)

["convincing, weighty, pithy, full of meaning"] late 14c., "cogent, convincing, compelling" (of evidence, an argument, etc.); c. 1400 as "full of meaning;" from Old French preignant "pregnant, pithy, ready capable," which is probably from Latin praegnans "with child, pregnant, full" and thus the same word as pregnant (adj.1).

All uses seem to be derivable from the sense of "with child." But in some sources this English pregnant has been referred to French prenant, present participle of prendre "to take," or to the French present participle of preindre "press, squeeze, stamp, crush," from earlier priembre, from Latin premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress." The two English adjectives are so confused as to be practically one word, if they were not always so.