Etymology
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Words related to idiom

absolute (adj.)
Origin and meaning of absolute

late 14c., "unrestricted, free from limitation; complete, perfect, free from imperfection;" also "not relative to something else" (mid-15c.), from Latin absolutus, past participle of absolvere "to set free, acquit; complete, bring to an end; make separate," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + solvere "to loosen, untie, release, detach," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart."

Sense evolution probably was from "detached, disengaged" to "perfect, pure." Meaning "despotic" (1610s) is from notion of "absolute in position;" absolute monarchy is recorded from 1735 (absolute king is recorded from 1610s). Grammatical sense is from late 14c.

Absolute magnitude (1902) is the brightness a star would have at a distance of 10 parsecs (or 32.6 light years); scientific absolute value is from 1907. As a noun in metaphysics, the absolute "that which is unconditional or free from restriction; the non-relative" is from 1809.

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absolution (n.)
Origin and meaning of absolution

"remission, forgiveness," c. 1200, from Old French absolucion, earlier assolucion, from Latin absolutionem (nominative absolutio) "completion, acquittal," noun of action from past-participle stem of absolvere "set free, loosen, acquit," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + solvere "to loosen, dissolve; untie, release; dismiss," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart." Originally of sins; in general use from c. 1400.

absolve (v.)
Origin and meaning of absolve
early 15c., "release" (from an oath or obligation), from Latin absolvere "set free," especially judicially, "acquit" (source also of Old French assoldre (11c.), Modern French absoudre), from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + solvere "to loosen, untie, release, remove," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart." In modern use, "set free from consequences or penalties of actions." Related: Absolved; absolving.
consuetude (n.)

late 14c., "custom, usage," from Old French consuetude and directly from Latin consuetudo "a being accustomed, habit, usage," from consuetus, past participle of consuescere "to accustom," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + suescere "become used to, accustom oneself," related to suus "oneself" (from PIE *swe- "oneself;" see idiom).

Meaning "that which one is accustomed to, habitual association" is from 1803. Related: Consuetudinal; consuetudinary.

custom (n.)

c. 1200, custume, "habitual practice," either of an individual or a nation or community, from Old French costume "custom, habit, practice; clothes, dress" (12c., Modern French coutume), from Vulgar Latin *consuetumen, from Latin consuetudinem (nominative consuetudo) "habit, usage, way, practice, tradition, familiarity," from consuetus, past participle of consuescere "accustom," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + suescere "become used to, accustom oneself," related to sui, genitive of suus "oneself," from PIE *swe- "oneself" (see idiom).

Custom implies continued volition, the choice to keep doing what one has done; as compared with manner and fashion, it implies a good deal of permanence. [Century Dictionary]

A doublet of costume. An Old English word for it was þeaw. Meaning "the practice of buying goods at some particular place" is from 1590s. Sense of a "regular" toll or tax on goods is early 14c. The native word here is toll (n.).

Custom-house "government office at a point of import and export for the collection of customs" is from late 15c. Customs "area at a seaport, airport, etc., where baggage is examined" is by 1921.

Old customs! Oh! I love the sound,
  However simple they may be:
Whate'er with time has sanction found,
  Is welcome, and is dear to me.
Pride grows above simplicity,
  And spurns it from her haughty mind,
And soon the poet's song will be
  The only refuge they can find.
[from "December," John Clare, 1827]
desuetude (n.)

"discontinuance of use, practice, custom, or fashion," mid-15c., from Latin desuetudo "disuse," from desuetus, past participle of desuescere "become unaccustomed to," from de "away, from" (see de-) + suescere "become used to, accustom, habituate," from PIE *swdh-sko-, from extended form of root *s(w)e- pronoun of the third person and reflexive (referring back to the subject of a sentence); see idiom. From 1630s as "state of disuse."

dissolve (v.)

late 14c. dissolven, "to break up, disunite, separate into parts" (transitive, of material substances), also "to liquefy by the disintegrating action of a fluid," also intransitive, "become fluid, be converted from a solid to a liquid state," from Latin dissolvere "to loosen up, break apart," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + solvere "to loosen, untie," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart."

General sense of "to melt, liquefy by means of heat or moisture" is from late 14c. Meaning "to disband" (a parliament or an assembly) is attested from early 15c. Related: Dissolved; dissolving.

ethnic (adj.)

late 15c. (earlier ethnical, early 15c.) "pagan, heathen," from Late Latin ethnicus, from Greek ethnikos "of or for a nation, national," by some writers (Polybius, etc.) "adopted to the genius or customs of a people, peculiar to a people," and among the grammarians "suited to the manners or language of foreigners," from ethnos "band of people living together, nation, people, tribe, caste," also used of swarms or flocks of animals, properly "people of one's own kind," from PIE *swedh-no-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, third person pronoun and reflexive, also forming words referring to the social group (see idiom). Earlier in English as a noun, "a heathen, pagan, one who is not a Christian or Jew" (c. 1400). In modern noun use, "member of an ethnic group," from 1945.

In Septuagint, Greek ta ethne translates Hebrew goyim, plural of goy "nation," especially of non-Israelites, hence especially "gentile nation, foreign nation not worshipping the true God" (see goy), and ethnikos is used by ecclesiastical writers in a sense of "savoring of the nature of pagans, alien to the worship of the true God," and as a noun "the pagan, the gentile." The classical sense of "peculiar to a race or nation" in English is attested from 1851, a return to the word's original meaning; that of "different cultural groups" is 1935; and that of "racial, cultural or national minority group" is American English 1945. Ethnic cleansing is attested from 1991.

Although the term 'ethnic cleansing' has come into English usage only recently, its verbal correlates in Czech, French, German, and Polish go back much further. [Jerry Z. Muller, "Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism," Foreign Affairs, March/April 2008]
ethos (n.)

"the 'genius' of a people, characteristic spirit of a time and place," 1851 (Palgrave) from Greek ēthos "habitual character and disposition; moral character; habit, custom; an accustomed place," in plural, "manners," from suffixed form of PIE root *s(w)e- third person pronoun and reflexive (see idiom). An important concept in Aristotle (as in "Rhetoric" II xii-xiv).

hetaera (n.)
1820, "mistress," from Medieval Latin hetaera, from Greek hetaira "female companion," fem. of hetairos "comrade, companion, good friend," from PIE *swet-aro-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom). Classical plural would be hetaerae or herairai.

Typically a slave or foreign woman devoted to private or public entertainment. In Athens, where citizens could legally marry only daughters of full citizens, opposed to "lawful wife," and thus embracing everything from "concubine" to "courtesan."