Words related to *wei-

ferrule (n.)

"metal cap on a rod," 1610s, ferule, earlier verrel (early 15c.), from Old French virelle "ferrule, collar" (12c. Modern French virole), from Medieval Latin viriola "bracelet," diminutive of Latin viriae "bracelets," from a Gaulish word akin to Old Irish fiar "bent, crooked," from PIE *wi-ria-, from root *wei- "to turn, twist, bend." Spelling influenced by Latin ferrum "iron."

garland (n.)

c. 1300 (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), "wreath of flowers," also "crown of gold or silver," from Old French garlande "garland," probably from a Frankish frequentative form of *weron "adorn, bedeck," from *wiara-, *weara- "wire" (on the notion of "ornament of refined gold," properly "of twisted gold wire"), from Proto-Germanic *wira-, *wera-, suffixed form of PIE root *wei- "to turn, twist." Compare Middle High German wieren "adorn, bedeck." The word is found in many forms in the Romanic language, such as Old Spanish guarlanda, French guirlande, Italian ghirlanda, Portuguese grinalda.

iridescence (n.)

1799, from iridescent + -ence. Related: Iridescency (1799).

iridescent (adj.)

1784, literally "rainbow-colored," coined from Latin iris (genitive iridis) "rainbow" (see iris). The verb iridesce (1868) is a back-formation. Related: Iridescently.

iris (n.)

late 14c. as the name of a flowering plant (Iris germanica); early 15c. in reference to the eye membrane, from Latin iris (plural irides) "iris of the eye; iris plant; rainbow," from Greek iris (genitive iridos) "a rainbow;" also "iris plant" and "iris of the eye," a word of uncertain origin, traditionally derived from PIE root *wei- "to bend, turn, twist."

Iris was the name of the minister and messenger of the Olympian gods (especially of Hera), visibly represented by the rainbow (which was regarded as the descent of a celestial messenger). From the oldest parts of the Iliad the word is used of both the messenger and the rainbow.

The eye region was so called (early 15c. in English) for being the part that gives color to the eye; the Greek word was used of any brightly colored circle, "as that round the eyes of a peacock's tail" [Liddell & Scott]. Another sense in Middle English was "prismatic rock crystal." Related: Iridian; iridine.

iridium (n.)

silver-white metallic element, 1804, coined in Modern Latin by its discoverer, English chemist Smithson Tennant (1761-1815) from Greek iris (genitive iridos) "rainbow" (see iris) + chemical ending -ium. So called "from the striking variety of colours which it gives while dissolving in marine acid" [Tennant]

vise (n.)

early 14c., "a winch, crane," from Anglo-French vice, Old French vis, viz "screw," from Latin vītis "vine, tendril of a vine," literally "that which winds," from root of viere "to bind, twist" (from PIE root *wei- "to turn, twist, bend"). Also in Middle English, "device like a screw or winch for bending a crossbow or catapult; spiral staircase; the screw of a press; twisted tie for fastening a hood under the chin." The modern meaning "clamping tool with two jaws closed by a screw" is first recorded c. 1500.

viticulture (n.)

"cultivation of grapes," 1867, from French viticulture, from Latin vītis "vine" (from PIE root *wei- "to turn, twist, bend") + cultura "cultivating, cultivation" (see culture (n.)). Related: Viticultural (1855).

wire (n.)

Old English wir "metal drawn out into a fine thread," from Proto-Germanic *wira- (source also of Old Norse viravirka "filigree work," Swedish vira "to twist," Old High German wiara "fine gold work"), from PIE root *wei- "to turn, twist, plait."

A wire as marking the finish line of a racecourse is attested from 1883; hence the figurative down to the wire. Wire-puller in the political sense is by 1842, American English, on the image of pulling the wires that work a puppet; the image itself in politics is older:

The ministerial majority being thus reduced to five in a house of five hundred and eighty-three, Lord John Russell and Lord Melbourne respectively announce the breaking up of the administration, and the curtain falls on the first act of the political farce, to the infinite annoyance and surprise of the prime wire-puller in the puppet-show. [British and Foreign Review, vol. IX, July-October 1839]
withe (n.)

Old English wiððe "twisted cord, tough, flexible twig used for binding, especially a willow twig," from PIE *withjon-, from root *wei- "to turn, twist."