Etymology
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Words related to *sekw-

persecute (v.)

mid-15c., persecuten, "to oppress for the holding of an opinion or adherence to a particular creed or mode of worship," from Old French persécuter "pursue, torment, open legal action" (14c.) and directly from Latin persecutus, past participle of persequi "to follow, pursue, hunt down; proceed against, prosecute, start a legal action," from per "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow"). Related: Persecuted; persecuting.

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persecution (n.)

mid-14c., persecucioun, "oppression for the holding of a belief or opinion," from Old French persecucion "persecution, damage, affliction, suffering" (12c.) and directly from Latin persecutionem (nominative persecutio), noun of action from past-participle stem of persequi "to follow, pursue, hunt down; proceed against, prosecute, start a legal action," from per "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow").

General senses of "malevolent oppression, harassing or oppressive treatment," also "a time of general or systematic oppression" are from late 14c. Psychological persecution complex in reference to an irrational sense of being victimized by malign forces as a feature of a mental disorder is recorded from 1961; the earlier phrase for it was persecution mania (1892).

prosecute (v.)

early 15c., prosecuten, "to follow up, pursue with a view to carry out or obtain" (some course or action), from Latin prosecutus, past participle of prosequi "follow after, accompany; chase, pursue; attack, assail, abuse," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow"). Meaning "bring to a court of law, seek to obtain by legal process" is recorded from 1570s. The Latin verb in Old French became prosequer, vulgarly porsuir, which passed to English as pursue.

pursue (v.)

late 13c., "follow with hostile intent, follow with a view of overtaking," from Anglo-French pursuer and directly from Old French poursuir (Modern French poursuivre), variant of porsivre "to chase, pursue, follow; continue, carry on," from Vulgar Latin *prosequare, from Latin prosequi "follow, accompany, attend; follow after, escort; follow up, pursue," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow").

The meaning "to proceed, to follow" (a path, etc.), usually figurative (in reference to a course of action, etc.), is from late 14c. This sense also was in Latin. The meaning "seek, seek to obtain" also is late 14c. Related: Pursued; pursuing. For sense, compare prosecute.

second (adj.)

c. 1300, "next in order, place, time, etc., after the first; an ordinal numeral; being one of two equal parts into which a whole is regarded as divided;" from Old French second, secont, and directly from Latin secundus "following, next in time or order," also "secondary, subordinate, inferior," from PIE *sekw-ondo-, pariticipal form of root *sekw- "to follow."

It replaced native other in this sense because of the ambiguity of the earlier word. From late 14c. as "other, another" (as in "No Second Troy"), also "next in order in rank, quality, or importance."

Second sight is from 1610s; it presumably implies a second way of seeing in addition to the physical sight with the eyes, but it is etymologically perverse as it means the sight of events before, not after, they occur or are revealed. Second-degree in a general sense of "next to lowest on a scale of four" in Arostotelian qualities is from Middle English; in reference to burns, by 1890. Second fiddle is attested by 1809:

A metaphor borrowed from a musical performer who plays the second or counter to one who plays the first or the "air." [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]

Latin secundus, tertius, etc. appended to personal names in English schools (to designate boys having the same surname by order of seniority) is attested by 1826s.

sect (n.)

mid-14c., "a distinctive system of beliefs or observances held by a number of persons; a party or school within a religion," from Old French secte, sete "sect, religious community" (14c.) and directly from Late Latin secta "religious group, sect in philosophy or religion," especially a heretical one. This is a special development of Latin secta "manner, mode; following; school of thought; course, system," literally "a way, a road, a beaten path," from fem. of sectus, variant past participle of sequi "follow," from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow." General sense of "those of a certain way of thinking or living" is from late 14c.

The notion in the Late Latin development is "those following (someone's) way." But the history of the word seems to be confused with that of Latin secta, fem. past participle of secare "to cut" (from PIE root *sek- "to cut"). The meaning "separately organized religious body, denomination" is recorded from 1570s in a Protestant context and seems to carry more of a notion of a party "cut off" from a main body.

It also was used in Middle English generally of a class of people or things, a species or race, a distinctive costume, sometimes also of sex (perhaps partly by confusion with that word).

secundine (n.)

"afterbirth, fetal membrane," late 14c., from Old French secondine and directly from Medieval Latin secundina, a variant of Late Latin secundinae (plural), from Latin secundae "the afterbirth," shortened from secundae membranae, literally "the second membranes," from secundus "following, coming next" (see second (adj.)). Related: Secundines, which is the usual form.

segue (n.)

1740, an instruction in musical scores, from Italian segue, "now follows," a direction to play into the following movement without a break; third person singular of seguire "to follow," from Latin sequi "to follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow").

The extended noun sense of "transition without a break" is from 1937; the verb in this sense is recorded by 1958.

sequacious (adj.)

"given to following leaders," 1630s, from Latin sequac-, stem of sequax "that follows, following, seeking after," from sequi "to follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow") + -ous. Related: Sequaciously; sequaciousness; sequacity "pliability" (1620s).

sequel (n.)

mid-15c., "consequence of an event or action, a corollary; that which follows and forms a continuation," from Old French sequelle, sequele (14c.) and directly from Late Latin sequela "that which follows, result, consequence," from sequi "to follow, come after, follow after, attend, follow naturally" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow"). 

Specifically "a story that follows and continues another" by 1510s.

Also in Middle English "offspring, issue descendants;" also "train of followers, retinue." Beerbohm uses sequelula "a small sequel" (1912).

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