ABM (n.) Look up ABM at Dictionary.com
1963, initialism (acronym) for anti-ballistic missile.
Abnaki Look up Abnaki at Dictionary.com
also Abenaki, Algonquian people and language of northern New England and eastern Canada, 1721, from French abenaqui, from the people's name, East Abenaki wapanahki, literally "person of the dawn-land," hence "easterners."
abnegate (v.) Look up abnegate at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Latin abnegatus, past participle of abnegare "to refuse, deny" (see abnegation). Related: Abnegated; abnegating.
abnegation (n.) Look up abnegation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a negative assertion," c. 1500 as "self-denial," from Latin abnegationem (nominative abnegatio) "refusal, denial," noun of action from past participle stem of abnegare "to refuse, deny," from ab- "off, away from" (see ab-) + negare "to deny" (see deny).
Abner Look up Abner at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, name of Saul's commander in the Old Testament, from Hebrew Abhner, literally "my father is light," from abh "father" + ner "light."
abnormal (adj.) Look up abnormal at Dictionary.com
1835, displaced older abnormous (1742) and rival anormal (1835) under influence of Latin abnormis "deviating from a rule," from ab- "off, away from" (see ab-) + norma "rule" (see norm). The older forms were via Old French anormal (13c.), from Medieval Latin anormalos, from Greek anomalos, from an- "not" + homalos, from homos "same." The Greek word was altered in Latin by association with norma. Related: Abnormally.
abnormality (n.) Look up abnormality at Dictionary.com
"quality of being abnormal," 1854; "abnormal feature or quality," 1859, from abnormal + -ity. Earlier as abnormity (1731).
aboard (adv.) Look up aboard at Dictionary.com
late 14c., probably in most cases from Old French à bord, from à "on" + bord "board," from Frankish *bord or a similar Germanic source (see board (n.2)); the "boarding" or sides of a vessel extended to the ship itself. The usual Middle English expression was within shippes borde. The call all aboard! as a warning to passengers is attested from 1838.
abode (n.) Look up abode at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "action of waiting," verbal noun identical with Old English abad, past participle of abiden "to abide" (see abide), used as a verbal noun. The present-to-preterite vowel change is consistent with an Old English class I strong verb (ride/rode, etc.). Meaning "habitual residence" is first attested 1570s.
abolish (v.) Look up abolish at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle French aboliss-, present participle stem of abolir "to abolish" (15c.), from Latin abolere "destroy, cause to die out, retard the growth of," perhaps from ab- "from" (see ab-) + adolere "to grow," from PIE *ol-eye-, causative of root *al- (3) "to grow, nourish" (see old), and perhaps formed as an antonym to adolere. But the Latin word rather could be from a root in common with Greek ollymi, apollymi "destroy." Tucker writes that there has been a confusion of forms in Latin, based on similar roots, one meaning "to grow," the other "to destroy." Application to persons and concrete objects has long been obsolete. Related: Abolished; abolishing.
abolition (n.) Look up abolition at Dictionary.com
1520s, from Middle French abolition or directly from Latin abolitionem (nominative abolitio) "an abolition," noun of action from past participle stem of abolere "destroy" (see abolish). Specific application to "opposition to the black slave trade as a political question" is first attested 1788.
abolitionism (n.) Look up abolitionism at Dictionary.com
1790, in the anti-slavery sense, from abolition + -ism.
abolitionist (n.) Look up abolitionist at Dictionary.com
1792, originally in reference to the slave trade, from abolition + -ist. In Britain, applied 20c. to advocates of ending capital punishment.
abominable (adj.) Look up abominable at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French abominable (12c.) and directly from Late Latin abominabilis "deserving abhorrence," from stem of Latin abominari "deplore as an evil omen" (see abomination). Sometimes misdivided in earlier centuries as a bominable. Also often abhominable 14c.-17c. Related: Abominably.
abominable snowman (n.) Look up abominable snowman at Dictionary.com
1921, translating Tibetan meetaoh kangmi.
abominate (v.) Look up abominate at Dictionary.com
1640s, back-formation from abomination or from Latin abominatus, past participle of abominari "shun as an ill omen" (see abomination). Related: Abominated; abominating.
abomination (n.) Look up abomination at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "abominable thing or action;" late 14c., "feeling of disgust, hatred, loathing," from Old French abominacion "abomination, horror, repugnance, disgust" (13c.), from Latin abominationem (nominative abominatio) "abomination," noun of action from past participle stem of abominari "shun as an ill omen," from ab- "off, away from" (see ab-) + omin-, stem of omen (see omen). Meaning intensified by folk etymology derivation from Latin ab homine "away from man," thus "beastly."
Doubtless, the life of an Irregular is hard; but the interests of the Greater Number require that it shall be hard. If a man with a triangular front and a polygonal back were allowed to exist and to propagate a still more Irregular posterity, what would become of the arts of life? Are the houses and doors and churches in Flatland to be altered in order to accommodate such monsters? [Edwin Abbot, "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions," 1885]
aboriginal (adj.) Look up aboriginal at Dictionary.com
1660s, "first, earliest," especially in reference to inhabitants of lands colonized by Europeans, from aborigines (see aborigine) + -al (1); specific Australian sense is from 1820. The noun is attested from 1767. Related: Aboriginally.
aborigine (n.) Look up aborigine at Dictionary.com
1858, mistaken singular of aborigines (1540s; the correct singular is aboriginal), from Latin Aborigines "the first ancestors of the Romans; the first inhabitants" (especially of Latium), possibly a tribal name, or from or made to conform to ab origine, literally "from the beginning." Extended 1789 to natives of other countries which Europeans have colonized. Australian slang shortening Abo attested from 1922.
aborning (adv.) Look up aborning at Dictionary.com
1893, American English, from a- (1) + born + -ing (2).
abort (v.) Look up abort at Dictionary.com
1570s, "to miscarry," from Latin abortus, past participle of aboriri "to miscarry" (see abortive); 1610s as "to deliberately terminate" anything, but especially a pregnancy, which seems to be the literal sense. Transitive meaning "to cause a woman to miscarry" is recorded from 1933. Related: Aborted; aborting.
abortifacient (n.) Look up abortifacient at Dictionary.com
1875, noun and adjective, from Latin abortus (see abortive) + facientem "making," related to facere "to make, do" (see factitious). An earlier word for this in the noun sense was abortive (1640s).
abortion (n.) Look up abortion at Dictionary.com
1540s, originally of both deliberate and unintended miscarriages; from Latin abortionem (nominative abortio) "miscarriage; abortion," noun of action from past participle stem of aboriri "to miscarry" (see abortive).

Earlier noun in English was simple abort (early 15c.) "miscarriage." In 19c. some effort was made to distinguish abortion "expulsion of the fetus between 6 weeks and 6 months" from miscarriage (the same within 6 weeks of conception) and premature labor (delivery after 6 months but before due time). The deliberate miscarriage was criminal abortion. This broke down late 19c. as abortion came to be used principally for intentional miscarriages, probably via phrases such as procure an abortion.

Foeticide (n.) appears 1823 as a forensic medical term for deliberate premature fatal expulsion of the fetus; also compare prolicide. Another 19c. medical term for it was embryoctony, from Latinized form of Greek kteinein "to destroy." Abortion was a taboo word for much of early 20c., disguised in print as criminal operation (U.S.) or illegal operation (U.K.), and replaced by miscarriage in film versions of novels.
abortionist (n.) Look up abortionist at Dictionary.com
1872, from abortion + -ist.
abortive (adj.) Look up abortive at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "born prematurely or dead," from Latin abortivus "pertaining to miscarriage; causing abortion," from abort-, past participle stem of aboriri "disappear, miscarry," from ab- "amiss" (see ab-) + oriri "appear, be born, arise" (see orchestra); the compound word used in Latin for deaths, miscarriages, sunsets, etc. The Latin verb for "to produce an abortion" was abigo, literally "to drive away." Not originally used to imply forced or deliberate miscarriage; from 14c.-18c. stillborn children or domestic animals were said to be abortive. Also see abortion. Related: Abortiveness.
abound (v.) Look up abound at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French abonder "to abound, be abundant, come together in great numbers" (12c.), from Latin abundare "overflow, run over," from Latin ab- "off" (see ab-) + undare "rise in a wave," from unda "a wave," from PIE *unda-, nasalized form of root *wed- (1) "water, wet" (see water (n.1)). Related: Abounded; abounding.
abounding (adj.) Look up abounding at Dictionary.com
1630s, present participle adjective from abound; originally "affluent;" sense of "overflowing" is recorded by 1680s.
about (adv.) Look up about at Dictionary.com
Old English abutan, earlier onbutan "on the outside of," from on (see on; also see a- (1)) + be "by" (see by) + utan "outside," from ut (see out (adv.)). By 13c. it had forced out Old English ymbe, ymbutan for meaning "in the neighborhood of." Abouts, with adverbial genitive, still found in hereabouts, etc., probably is a northern dialectal form. About face as a military command (short for right about face) is first attested 1861, American English.
above (adv.) Look up above at Dictionary.com
Old English abufan, earlier onbufan, from on (see on; also see a- (1)) + bufan "over," compound of be "by" (see by) + ufan "over/high," from Proto-Germanic *ufan- (cognates: Old Saxon, Old High German oban, German oben), from PIE root *upo (see up (adv.)). Meaning "in addition" first corded 1590s.
aboveboard (adj.) Look up aboveboard at Dictionary.com
1610s, from above and board (n.1). "A figurative expression borrowed from gamesters, who, when they put their hands under the table, are changing their cards." [Johnson]
abovementioned (adj.) Look up abovementioned at Dictionary.com
1707, from above and past tense of mention. Above-named is recorded from c. 1600.
abracadabra Look up abracadabra at Dictionary.com
magical formula, 1690s, from Latin (Q. Severus Sammonicus, 2c.), from Late Greek Abraxas, cabalistic or gnostic name for the supreme god, and thus a word of power. It was written out in a triangle shape and worn around the neck to ward off sickness, etc. Another magical word, from a mid-15c. writing, was ananizapta.
abrade (v.) Look up abrade at Dictionary.com
1670s, from Latin abradere "to scrape off" (see abrasion). Related: Abraded; abrading.
Abraham Look up Abraham at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, name of the first of the patriarchs in the Old Testament, from Hebrew Abraham "father of a multitude," from abh "father" + *raham (cognate with Arabic ruham "multitude"); the name he altered from Abram "high father," from second element ram "high, exalted." Related: Abrahamic.
abrasion (n.) Look up abrasion at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Medieval Latin abrasionem (nominative abrasio) "a scraping," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin abradere "to scrape away, shave off," from ab- "off" (see ab-) + radere "to scrape" (see raze).
abrasive (n.) Look up abrasive at Dictionary.com
"an abrasive substance," 1853, from abrasive (adj.).
abrasive (adj.) Look up abrasive at Dictionary.com
1805, from Latin abras-, past participle stem of abradere "to scrape away, shave off" (see abrasion) + -ive. Figurative sense of "tending to provoke anger" is first recorded 1925. Related: Abrasively; abrasiveness.
abraxas Look up abraxas at Dictionary.com
Cabalistic word, 1738, of uncertain origin.
abreast (adv.) Look up abreast at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., on brest, from a- (1) + breast (n.); the notion is of "with breasts in line." To keep abreast in figurative sense of "stay up-to-date" is from 1650s.
abridge (v.) Look up abridge at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, abreggen, "to make shorter, to condense," from Old French abregier "abridge, diminish, shorten," from Late Latin abbreviare "make short" (see abbreviate). The sound development from Latin -vi- to French -dg- is paralleled in assuage (from assuavidare) and deluge (from diluvium). Related: Abridged; abridging.
abridgement (n.) Look up abridgement at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Old French abregement "shortening, abbreviation," from abregier (see abridge).
abroad (adv.) Look up abroad at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "widely apart," from Old English on brede, which meant something like "at wide" (see a- (1) + broad (adj.)). The sense "out of doors, away from home" (late 14c.) led to the main modern sense of "out of one's country, overseas" (mid-15c.).
abrogate (v.) Look up abrogate at Dictionary.com
1520s, from Latin abrogatus, past participle of abrogare "to annul, repeal (a law)," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + rogare "propose (a law), ask, request" (see rogation). Form abrogen, from Old French abroger, is recorded from early 15c. Related: Abrogated; abrogating.
abrogation (n.) Look up abrogation at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Latin abrogationem (nominative abrogatio) "repeal of a law," noun of action from past participle stem of abrogare (see abrogate).
abrupt (adj.) Look up abrupt at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Latin abruptus "broken off, precipitous, disconnected," past participle of abrumpere "break off," from ab- "off" (see ab-) + rumpere "break" (see rupture (n.)). Related: Abruptly; abruptness.
abs (n.) Look up abs at Dictionary.com
colloquial shortening of abdominals, by 1992.
abs- Look up abs- at Dictionary.com
form of ab- before -c-, -q- or -t-.
Absalom Look up Absalom at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, King David's son in the Old Testament, often used figuratively for "favorite son," from Hebrew Abhshalom, literally "father is peace," from abh "father" + shalom "peace."
abscess (n.) Look up abscess at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin abscessus "an abscess" (Celsus), literally "a going away," from stem of abscedere "withdraw, depart, retire," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + cedere "to go" (see cede). The notion is that humors "go from" the body through the pus in the swelling.
abscessed (adj.) Look up abscessed at Dictionary.com
1846, in pathology, from abscess (n.).