Etymology
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Words related to -al

centrifugal (adj.)

"flying off or proceeding out from a center," 1690s, with adjectival suffix -al (1) + Modern Latin centrifugus, 1687, coined by Sir Isaac Newton in "Principia" (which is written in Latin), from Latin centri-, alternative combining form of centrum "center" (see center (n.)) + fugere "to flee" (see fugitive (adj.)). Centrifugal force is Newton's vis centrifuga.

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chemical (adj.)

1570s, "relating to chemistry, pertaining to the phenomena with which chemistry deals," from chemic "of alchemy" (a worn-down derivative of Medieval Latin alchimicus; see alchemy) + -al (1). In early use also of alchemy. Related: Chemically. Chemical warfare is attested from 1917.

chiral (adj.)

in reference to three-dimensional forms not superposable on their mirror-images, 1894, a hybrid coined by Lord Kelvin from Latinized combining form of Greek kheir "hand" (from PIE root *ghes- "hand") + -al (1). Related: Chiralism "right-left handedness" (by 2012).

circumstantial (adj.)

c. 1600, "attending, incidental," also "derived from circumstances," from Latin circumstantia (see circumstance) + -al (1). Related: Circumstantially. Legalese circumstantial evidence "evidence from more or less relevant circumstances bearing upon a case," as distinguished from direct testimony, is attested by 1691.

classical (adj.)

1590s, "of the highest rank" (originally in literature), from classic + -al (1). Classical music (1836) was defined originally against romantic music.

[I]n general, as now used, the term classical includes the composers active in instrumental music from somewhere about 1700 to say 1830. Hence the list includes among the great names those of Bach, his sons, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Clementi, Dussek, Pleyel, Cramer, etc. The next step beyond the term classical is "modern romantic," the composers of which school may be taken to include all the writers for pianoforte from about 1829 (when Mendelssohn published the first "Songs without Words") down to the present. The term romantic in this sense means strongly marked, extraordinary, intending to tell stories and the like. ["Music, Its Ideals and Methods," W.S.B. Mathews, 1897]

But already by 1880s it was acknowledged the term had a double sense: Music that had withstood the test of time, as well as music of a style contrasted to "romantic." Later (early 20c.) it was contrasted to jazz (in this sense more often with reference to the orchestras than to the music itself). Still later it stood in contrast to popular music generally (mid-20c.). Classical history is the history of ancient Greece and Rome; ancient history is the history of mankind from the earliest reliable records to the fall of Rome (476 C.E.). Related: Classically.

clausal (adj.)

"pertaining to a clause or clauses," 1870, from clause + -al (1).

clerical (adj.)

1590s, "pertaining to the clergy," from cleric + -al (1), or from French clérical, from Old French clerigal "learned," from Latin clericalis, from clericus (see cleric). Meaning "pertaining to clerks and copyists" is from 1798.

Clericalism "sacerdotalism, power or influence of the clergy" is from 1849. Clericality "quality of being clerical" is from 1650s.

clitoral (adj.)

1887, from stem of clitoris + -al (1). Related: Clitorally. Alternative form clitorial is attested from 1879.

cloistral (adj.)

"of or pertaining to a cloister," c. 1600, from cloister + -al (1).

coastal (adj.)

"of or pertaining to a coast or shore," 1872, from coast (n.) + -al (1). The proper Latin form costal is used only of ribs.

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