by 1812, "pertaining to mechanical forces not in equilibrium, pertaining to force producing motion" (the opposite of static), from French dynamique introduced by German mathematician Gottfried Leibnitz (1646-1716) in 1691 from Greek dynamikos "powerful," from dynamis "power," from dynasthai "to be able, to have power, be strong enough," which is of unknown origin. The figurative sense of "active, potent, effective, energetic" is from 1856 (in Emerson). Related: Dynamically.
in the names of sciences or disciplines (acoustics, aerobics, economics, etc.), a 16c. revival of the classical custom of using the neuter plural of adjectives with Greek -ikos "pertaining to" (see -ic) to mean "matters relevant to" and also as the titles of treatises about them. Subject matters that acquired their English names before c. 1500, however, tend to be singular in form (arithmetic, logic, magic, music, rhetoric). The grammatical number of words in -ics (mathematics is/mathematics are) is a confused question.