Words related to remit


word-forming element meaning "back, back from, back to the original place;" also "again, anew, once more," also conveying the notion of "undoing" or "backward," etc. (see sense evolution below), c. 1200, from Old French re- and directly from Latin re- an inseparable prefix meaning "again; back; anew, against."

Watkins (2000) describes this as a "Latin combining form conceivably from Indo-European *wret-, metathetical variant of *wert- "to turn." De Vaan says the "only acceptable etymology" for it is a 2004 explanation which reconstructs a root in PIE *ure "back."

In earliest Latin the prefix became red- before vowels and h-, a form preserved in redact, redeem, redolent, redundant, redintegrate, and, in disguise, render (v.). In some English words from French and Italian re- appears as ra- and the  following consonant is often doubled (see rally (v.1)).

The many meanings in the notion of "back" give re- its broad sense-range: "a turning back; opposition; restoration to a former state; "transition to an opposite state." From the extended senses in "again," re- becomes "repetition of an action," and in this sense it is extremely common as a formative element in English, applicable to any verb. OED writes that it is "impossible to attempt a complete record of all the forms resulting from its use," and adds that "The number of these is practically infinite ...."   

Often merely intensive, and in many of the older borrowings from French and Latin the precise sense of re- is forgotten, lost in secondary senses, or weakened beyond recognition, so that it has no apparent semantic content (receive, recommend, recover, reduce, recreate, refer, religion, remain, request, require). There seem to have been more such words in Middle English than after, e.g. recomfort (v.) "to comfort, console; encourage;" recourse (n.) "a process, way, course." Recover in Middle English also could mean "obtain, win" (happiness, a kingdom, etc.) with no notion of getting something back, also "gain the upper hand, overcome; arrive at;" also consider the legal sense of recovery as "obtain (property) by judgment or legal proceedings." 

And, due to sound changes and accent shifts, re- sometimes entirely loses its identity as a prefix (rebel, relic, remnant, restive, rest (n.2) "remainder," rally (v.1) "bring together"). In a few words it is reduced to r-, as in ransom (a doublet of redemption), rampart, etc.

It was used from Middle English in forming words from Germanic as well as Latin elements (rebuild, refill, reset, rewrite), and was used so even in Old French (regret, regard, reward, etc.).

Prefixed to a word beginning with e, re- is separated by a hyphen, as re-establish, re-estate, re-edify, etc. ; or else the second e has a dieresis over it: as, reëstablish, reëmbark, etc. The hyphen is also sometimes used to bring out emphatically the sense of repetition or iteration : as, sung and re-sung. The dieresis is not used over other vowels than e when re is prefixed : thus, reinforce, reunite, reabolish. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
mission (n.)

1590s, "a sending abroad" (as an agent), originally of Jesuits, from Latin missionem (nominative missio) "act of sending, a dispatching; a release, a setting at liberty; discharge from service, dismissal," noun of action from past-participle stem of mittere "to release, let go; send, throw," which de Vaan traces to a PIE *m(e)ith- "to exchange, remove," also source of Sanskrit methete, mimetha "to become hostile, quarrel," Gothic in-maidjan "to change;" he writes, "From original 'exchange', the meaning developed to 'give, bestow' ... and 'let go, send'."

Meaning "an organized effort for the spread of religion or for enlightenment of a community" is by 1640s; that of "a missionary post or station" is by 1769. The diplomatic sense of "body of persons sent to a foreign land on commercial or political business" is from 1620s; in American English, sometimes "a foreign legation or embassy, the office of a foreign envoy" (1805).

General sense of "that for which one is sent or commissioned" is from 1670s; meaning "that for which a person or thing is destined" (as in man on a mission, one's mission in life) is by 1805. Meaning "dispatch of an aircraft on a military operation" (by 1929, American English) was extended to spacecraft flights (1962), hence, mission control "team on the ground responsible for directing a spacecraft and its crew" (1964). As a style of furniture, said to be imitative of furniture in the buildings of original Spanish missions to western North America, it is attested from 1900.

remise (n.)

"coach house, house or shelter for a carriage," 1690s, from French remise, noun use of past participle of remettre "to send back," from Latin remittere (see remit). Also from 1690s as "better sort of hired carriage" (voiture de remise). Also in fencing, "a second thrust while still on the lunge after the first has missed," 1823; hence its use in card games, etc.

remise (v.)

in law, "give up, surrender, make over to another, grant back," late 15c., from noun remise, from Old French remise, past participle of remettre "to send back," from Latin remittere (see remit). Related: Remised; remising.

remiss (adj.)

early 15c., remis, remisse, "weak, dissolved, loose, slack, lacking in force or energy;" mid-15c., of conduct, "characterized by lack of strictness or due restraint;" also, of persons, "slack in the discharge of a task or duty, characterized by negligence," from Latin remissus "relaxed, languid; negligent," past participle of remittere "slacken, abate, let go" (see remit). Related: Remissly; remissness.

remission (n.)

c. 1200, remissioun, "forgiveness or pardon (of sins)," from Old French remission "forgiveness (of sins), relief" (12c.) and directly from Latin remissionem (nominative remissio) "relaxation, diminishing," etymologically "a sending back, sending away," noun of action from past-participle stem of remittere "slacken, let go, abate" (see remit).

From late 14c. as "release from duty or obligation." Of diseases, fevers, "abatement, temporary subsidence," from early 15c. General sense of "diminution of force or effects" is from c. 1600. By 1736 as "abatement of penalty or punishment."

remissive (adj.)

1610s, "inclined to pardon;" 1680s, "causing or characterized by abatement," from Latin remissivus, from past-participle stem of remittere "slacken, abate" (see remit). Related: Remissively.

remittance (n.)

1705, "act of transmitting (money, etc.) to another place; sum of money sent;" see remit (v.) + -ance. In the general noun sense of "a remitting," remitment (1610s of offenses; 1670s of money sent); remittal (1590s); remitting (late 15c., in law), and remit (early 15c.) have been used.

remittent (adj.)

"temporarily abating, having remissions from time to time," 1690s, originally of fevers, from Latin remittentem (nominative remittens), present participle of remittere "slacken, abate" (see remit (v.)).

remitter (n.)

mid-15c., a legal principle, "restoration of a prior or more valid title to certain property," from Old French remitter, noun use of infinitive, from Latin remittere "send back" (see remit). For legalese noun use of French infinitives, see waiver.