Amy Look up Amy at
fem. proper name, from Old French Amee, literally "beloved," from fem. past participle of amer "to love," from Latin amare, perhaps from PIE *am-a-, suffixed form of root *am-, a Latin and Celtic root forming various nursery words for "mother, aunt," etc. (such as Latin amita "aunt").
amygdala (n.) Look up amygdala at
"the tonsils," 1540s (amygdal), from Latin, from Greek amygdale "almond" (see almond). The anatomical use is as a direct translation of Arabic al-lauzatani "the two tonsils," literally "the two almonds," so called by Arabic physicians for fancied resemblance. From early 15c. as amygdales "tonsils;" as "almonds" from mid-12c.
amyl (n.) Look up amyl at
hydrocarbon radical, 1850, from Latin amylum, from Greek amylon "fine meal, starch," noun use of neuter of adjective amylos "not ground at the mill, ground by hand," from a-, privative prefix, "not" + myle "mill" (see mill (n.1)). So called because first obtained from the distilled spirits of potato or grain starch (though it also is obtained from other sources).
amylase (n.) Look up amylase at
enzyme which brings about the hydrolysis of starch, 1893, from amyl + chemical suffix -ase.
amyloid (adj.) Look up amyloid at
"starch-like," 1857, coined in German (1839) from Latin amylum (see amyl) + Greek-derived suffix -oid. The noun is attested from 1872.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (n.) Look up amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at
by 1881, from French, first word from Greek a-, privative prefix, + mys, myos "muscle" (see muscle (n.)) + trophikos "feeding," from trophe "nourishment" (see -trophy). Often known in U.S. as Lou Gehrig's disease, after the New York Yankees baseball player (1903-1941) who was diagnosed with it in 1939.
an Look up an at
indefinite article before words beginning with vowels, 12c., from Old English an (with a long vowel) "one; lone," also used as a prefix an- "single, lone;" see one for the divergence of that word from this. Also see a, of which this is the older, fuller form.

In other European languages, identity between indefinite article and the word for "one" remains explicit (as in French un, German ein, etc.) Old English got by without indefinite articles: He was a good man in Old English was he wæs god man. Circa 15c., a and an commonly were written as one word with the following noun, which contributed to the confusion over how such words as newt and umpire ought to be divided (see N).

In Shakespeare, etc., an sometimes is a contraction of as if (a usage first attested c. 1300), especially before it.
an- (1) Look up an- at
privative prefix, from Greek an-, "not, without," related to ne- and cognate with Sanskrit an-, Latin in-, Gothic and Old English un- (see un- (1)).
an- (2) Look up an- at
form of Latin ad- before -n- (see ad-).
ana- Look up ana- at
before verbs an-, prefix meaning 1. "upward," 2. "back, backward, against," 3. "again, anew," from Greek ana- "up to, toward, exceedingly, back, against," from ana "up, on, upon, throughout, again," cognate with Old English on, from PIE root *ano- "on, upon, above" (see on).
anabaptism (n.) Look up anabaptism at
1640s (as a Christian doctrine, with capital A-, from 1570s), from Medieval Latin anabaptismus, from Late Greek anabaptismos, from ana- "up (in place or time), back again, anew" (see ana-) + baptismos "baptism" (see baptism).
Anabaptist (n.) Look up Anabaptist at
1530s, "one who baptizes over again," from Modern Latin anabaptista, from Latin anabaptismus "second baptism" (used in literal sense from 4c.; see anabaptism).

Originally in English in reference to sect that practiced adult baptism and arose in Germany 1521. Probably so called because, as a new faith, they baptized converts who already had been baptized (as infants) in the older Christian churches. Modern branches only baptize once (adults) and do not actively seek converts. The name also was applied, usually opprobriously, to Baptists, perhaps due to the multiple immersions of their baptisms.
anabasis (n.) Look up anabasis at
1706, from Greek, "military expedition," literally "a going up (from the coast)," especially in reference to the advance of Cyrus the Younger from near the Aegean coast into Asia, and the subsequent story of the retreat of the 10,000 narrated by Xenophon (401 B.C.E.), from anabainein "to go up, mount;" from ana "up" (see ana-) + bainein "to go" (see come).
anabolic (adj.) Look up anabolic at
"pertaining to the process of building up (especially in metabolism)," 1876, from Greek anabole "that which is thrown up; a mound," from anaballein "to throw or toss up," from ana "up, upward" (see ana-) + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).
anabolism (n.) Look up anabolism at
1886; see anabolic + -ism.
anachronism (n.) Look up anachronism at
1640s, "an error in computing time or finding dates," from Latin anachronismus, from Greek anakhronismos, from anakhronizein "refer to wrong time," from ana- "against" (see ana-) + khronos "time" (see chrono-). Meaning "something out of harmony with the present" first recorded 1816.
anachronistic (adj.) Look up anachronistic at
1775; see anachronism + -istic.
anacoluthon (n.) Look up anacoluthon at
"want of grammatical sequence; changing constructions in mid-clause," 1706, from Latinized form of Greek anakoluthon, neuter of anakolouthos "inconsequent," from an- "not" (see an- (1)) + akolouthos "following," from copulative prefix a- + keleuthos "way, road, track, path" (see celerity).
anaconda (n.) Look up anaconda at
1768, a name first used in English to name a Ceylonese python, it was applied erroneously to a large South American boa, called in Brazil sucuriuba. The word is of uncertain origin, and no snake name like it now is found in Sinhalese or Tamil. One suggestion is that it is a Latinization of Sinhalese henacandaya "whip snake," literally "lightning-stem" [Barnhart]. Another suggestion is that it represents Tamil anaikkonda "having killed an elephant" [OED].
Anacreontic (adj.) Look up Anacreontic at
of or in the manner of Anacreon, "convivial bard of Greece" (literally "Up-lord"), the celebrated Greek lyrical poet (560-478 B.C.E.), born at Teos in Ionia. Also in reference to his lyric form (1706) of a four-line stanza, rhymed alternately, each line with four beats (three trochees and a long syllable), also "convivial and amatory" (1801); and "an erotic poem celebrating love and wine" (1650s).

Francis Scott Key in 1814 set or wrote his poem "The Star-Spangled Banner" to the melody of "To Anacreon in Heav'n," the drinking song of the popular London gentleman's club called The Anacreontic Society, whose membership was dedicated to "wit, harmony, and the god of wine." The tune is late 18c. and may be the work of society member and court musician John Stafford Smith (1750-1836).
anacrusis (n.) Look up anacrusis at
"unstressed syllable at the beginning of a verse," 1833, Latinized from Greek anakrousis "a pushing back," of a ship, "backing water," from anakrouein "to push back, stop short, check," from ana- "back" (see ana-) + krouein "to strike," from PIE *kreue- (2) "to push, strike" (source also of Russian krusit, Lithuanian krusu "to smash, shatter," Old Church Slavonic kruchu "piece, bit of food," Old English hreowian "feel pain or sorrow," Old Norse hryggja "make sad").
anadiplosis (n.) Look up anadiplosis at
"repetition of an initial word," 1580s, from Latin, from Greek anadiplosis, from anadiploesthai "to be doubled back, to be made double," from ana "back" (see ana-) + diploun "to double, fold over" (see diploma).
anadromous (adj.) Look up anadromous at
of fish, "ascending a river to spawn" (as salmon do), 1753, from Latinized form of Greek anadromos "running upward," from ana "up, back" (see ana-) + dramein "to run" (see dromedary).
anaemia (n.) Look up anaemia at
1824, from French medical term (1761), Modern Latin, from Greek anaimia "lack of blood," from anaimos "bloodless," from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + haima "blood" (see -emia).
anaemic (adj.) Look up anaemic at
c. 1840; see anaemia + -ic. Figurative sense by 1898.
anaerobic (adj.) Look up anaerobic at
"capable of living without oxygen," 1879 (as anaerobian; modern form first attested 1884), from French anaérobie, coined 1863 by French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), from Greek an- "without" (see an- (1)) + aer "air" (see air (n.1)) + bios "life" (see bio-).
anaesthesia (n.) Look up anaesthesia at
alternative spelling of anesthesia (q.v.). See ae.
anaesthesiologist (n.) Look up anaesthesiologist at
alternative spelling of anesthesiologist (q.v.). See ae.
anaesthesiology (n.) Look up anaesthesiology at
alternative spelling of anesthesiology (q.v.). See ae.
anaesthetic (adj.) Look up anaesthetic at
alternative spelling of anesthetic (q.v.). See ae.
anaesthetist (n.) Look up anaesthetist at
alternative spelling of anesthetist (q.v.). See ae.
anaesthetize (v.) Look up anaesthetize at
alternative spelling of anesthetize (q.v.). See ae. Related: Anaesthetized; anaesthetizing.
anagnorisis (n.) Look up anagnorisis at
c. 1800, from Latin, from Greek anagnorisis "recognition," from anagnorizein "to recognize."
anagram (n.) Look up anagram at
transposition of letters in a word so as to form another, 1580s, from French anagramme or Modern Latin anagramma (16c.), both from Greek anagrammatizein "transpose letters," from ana- "up, back" (see ana-) + gramma (genitive grammatos) "letter" (see -gram). Related: Anagrammatical; anagrammatically.
anal (adj.) Look up anal at
1769, from Modern Latin analis "of the anus;" see anus. Anal-retentive first attested 1957, in psychological jargon. Anal sex attested as such from 1966.
analects (n.) Look up analects at
1650s, "literary gleanings," from Latinized form of Greek analekta, literally "things chosen," neuter plural of analektos "select, choice," verbal adjective of analegein "to gather up, collect," from ana- "up" (see ana-) + legein "to gather," also "to choose words," hence "to speak" (see lecture (n.)).
analemma (n.) Look up analemma at
1650s, from Latin analemma "the pedestal of a sundial," hence the sundial itself, from Greek analemma "prop, support," from analambanein "to receive, take up, restore," from ana- "up" (see ana-) + lambanein "to take," from PIE root *(s)lagw- "to seize, take" (source also of Sanskrit labhate, rabhate "seizes;" Old English læccan "to seize, grasp;" Greek lazomai "I take, grasp;" Old Church Slavonic leca "to catch, snare;" Lithuanian lobis "possession, riches").
analeptic (adj.) Look up analeptic at
1660s, "restorative, strengthening" (in medicine), from Greek analeptikos "restorative," from analambanein "to receive, take up in one's hands" (see analemma). Related: Analeptical (1610s).
analgesia (n.) Look up analgesia at
"absence of pain," 1706, medical Latin, from Greek analgesia "painlessness, insensibility," from analgetos "without pain, insensible to pain" (also "unfeeling, ruthless"), from an- "not" (see an- (1)) + algein "to feel pain" (see -algia).
analgesic (adj.) Look up analgesic at
"tending to remove pain," 1848, from analgesia + -ic. Alternative form analgetic is preferred by linguistic purists but is less common in use. The noun meaning "an analgesic preparation" recorded by 1860.
analgetic Look up analgetic at
see analgesic.
analog Look up analog at
chiefly U.S. spelling of analogue (q.v.).
analogize (v.) Look up analogize at
"explain by analogy," 1650s, from French analogiser (17c.) or directly from Greek analogizesthai "to reckon, sum up," from analogia (see analogy). Related: Analogized; analogizing.
analogous (adj.) Look up analogous at
1640s, from Latin analogus, from Greek analogos "proportionate, according to due proportion" (see analogy).
analogue (n.) Look up analogue at
1826, "an analogous thing," from French analogue, from Greek analogon (itself used in English from c. 1810), from ana "up to" (see ana-) + logos "account, ratio" (see lecture (n.)). Computing sense is recorded from 1946.
analogy (n.) Look up analogy at
1540s (perhaps early 15c.), from Old French analogie or directly from Latin analogia, from Greek analogia "proportion," from ana- "upon, according to" (see ana-) + logos "ratio," also "word, speech, reckoning" (see logos). A mathematical term used in a wider sense by Plato.
analyse (v.) Look up analyse at
chiefly British English spelling of analyze (q.v.).
Analyse is better than analyze, but merely as being the one of the two equally indefensible forms that has won. The correct but now impossible form would be analysize (or analysise), with analysist for existing analyst. [Fowler]
analysis (n.) Look up analysis at
1580s, "resolution of anything complex into simple elements" (opposite of synthesis), from Medieval Latin analysis (15c.), from Greek analysis "a breaking up, a loosening, releasing," noun of action from analyein "unloose, release, set free; to loose a ship from its moorings," in Aristotle, "to analyze," from ana "up, throughout" (see ana-) + lysis "a loosening," from lyein "to unfasten" (see lose). Psychological sense is from 1890. Phrase in the final (or last) analysis (1844), translates French en dernière analyse.
analyst (n.) Look up analyst at
1650s, "mathematician skilled in algebraic geometry," from French analyste "a person who analyzes," from analyser (see analysis). As a short form of psychoanalyst, attested from 1914. Greek analyter meant "a deliverer."
analytic (adj.) Look up analytic at
c. 1600, from Medieval Latin analyticus, from Greek analytikos "analytical," from analytos "dissolved" (see analysis).