Words related to mite
c. 1300, maimen, "disable by wounding or mutilation, injure seriously, damage, destroy, castrate," from Old French mahaignier "to injure, wound, muitilate, cripple, disarm," a word of uncertain origin, possibly from Vulgar Latin *mahanare (source also of Provençal mayanhar, Italian magagnare), of unknown origin; or possibly from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *mait- (source of Old Norse meiða "to hurt," related to mad (adj.)), or from PIE root *mai- (1) "to cut."
In old law, "to deprive of the use of a limb, so as to render one less able to defend or attack in fighting." Related: Maimed; maiming. It also is used as a noun, "injury causing loss of a limb, mutilation" (late 14c.), in which it is a doublet of mayhem.
c. 1500 shortening of Middle English ampte (late 14c.), from Old English æmette "ant," from West Germanic *emaitjon (source also of Old High German ameiza, German Ameise) from a compound of Germanic *e-, *ai- "off, away" + *mai- "cut," from PIE root *mai- (1) "to cut" (see maim). Thus the insect's name is, etymologically, "the biter-off."
As þycke as ameten crepeþ in an amete hulle [chronicle of Robert of Gloucester, 1297]
Emmet survived into 20c. as an alternative form. By a similar contraction, aunt "a parent's sister" is from Latin amita. White ant "termite" is from 1729. To have ants in one's pants "be nervous and fidgety" is from 1934, made current by a popular song; antsy embodies the same notion.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "small."
It forms all or part of: administer; administration; comminute; diminish; meiosis; Menshevik; menu; metier; mince; minestrone; minim; minimum; minister; ministration; ministry; minor; minuend; minuet; minus; minuscule; minute; minutia; Miocene; mis- (2); mite (n.2) "little bit;" mystery (n.2) "handicraft, trade, art;" nimiety.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit miyate "diminishes, declines;" Greek meion "less, smaller;" Latin minus, minor "smaller," minuere "to diminish, reduce, lessen;" Old English minsian "to diminish;" Russian men'she "less."
kind of machine gun designed to discharge a concentrated rapid fire of small projectiles from a group of rifled barrels, 1870, from French mitrailleuse (19c.), from French mitraille "small missile," especially grape, canister, etc., fired at close quarters (14c.), originally "small coins," hence "old iron, scrap iron," then "grapeshot;" a diminutive of mite "a small coin" (see mite (n.2)). "For sense development it should be borne in mind that orig. guns used to be loaded with scrap iron" [Klein]. Especially of a type of gun introduced in the French army in 1868 and first used in the Franco-Prussian War.