Words related to chaste
"one of the hereditary social groups of India," 1610s from Portuguese casta "breed, race, caste," earlier casta raça, "unmixed race," from Latin castus "cut off, separated" (also "pure," via notion of "cut off" from faults), past participle of carere "to be cut off from," from PIE *kas-to-, from root *kes- "to cut." Caste system is first recorded 1840. An earlier, now-obsolete sense of caste in English is "a race of men" (1550s), from Latin castus "chaste."
Of the castes, the first three are the natural and gradually established divisions of the Aryan invaders and conquerors of India; the fourth was made up of the subjugated aborigines. The Sanskrit name for caste is varna, color, the different castes having been at first marked by differences of complexion, according to race, and in some degree according to occupation and consequent exposure. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
c. 1200, chastete, "sexual purity" (as defined by the Church), including but not limited to virginity or celibacy, from Old French chastete "chastity, purity" (12c., Modern French chasteté), from Latin castitatem (nominative castitas) "purity, chastity" from castus "cut off, separated; pure" (see caste). Chastity-belt is from 1894 (belt of chastity is from 1878).
Chastity is merely a social law created to encourage the alliances that most promote the permanent welfare of the race, and to maintain woman in a social position which it is thought advisable she should hold. [Saturday Review, Aug. 10, 1867, quoted in Lecky, "European Morals," 1869]
digraph used in Old French for the "tsh" sound. In some French dialects, including that of Paris (but not that of Picardy), Latin ca- became French "tsha." This was introduced to English after the Norman Conquest, in words borrowed from Old French such as chaste, charity, chief (adj.). Under French influence, -ch- also was inserted into Anglo-Saxon words that had the same sound (such as bleach, chest, church) which in Old English still was written with a simple -c-, and into those that had formerly been spelled with a -c- and pronounced "k" such as chin and much.
It turns up as well in words from classical languages (chaos, echo, etc.). Most uses of -ch- in Roman Latin were in words from Greek, which in Greek would be pronounced correctly as /k/ + /h/, as in modern blockhead, but most Romans would have said merely /k/, and this was the regular pronunciation in English. Before c. 1500 such words were regularly spelled with a -c- (Crist, cronicle, scoole), but Modern English has preserved or restored the etymological spelling in most of them (chemical, chorus, monarch).
Sometimes ch- is written to keep -c- hard before a front vowel, as still in modern Italian. In some languages (Welsh, Spanish, Czech) ch- can be treated as a separate letter and words in it are alphabetized after -c- (or, in Czech and Slovak, after -h-). The sound also is heard in words from more distant languages (as in cheetah, chintz), and the digraph also is used to represent the sound in Scottish loch.
It forms all or part of: caret; cashier (v.) "dismiss;" cassation; caste; castellan; castellated; Castile; castle; castigate; castrate; castration; chaste; chastity; chateau; chatelaine; Chester; forecastle; incest; quash (v.) "make void, annul."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit sastra- "knife, dagger;" Greek keazein "to split;" Latin carere "to be cut off from," cassus "empty, void;" Old Church Slavonic kosa "scythe."