abscessed (adj.) Look up abscessed at Dictionary.com
1846, in pathology, from abscess (n.).
abscind (v.) Look up abscind at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Latin abscindere "to cut off" (see abscissa). Related: Abscinded; abscinding.
abscissa (n.) Look up abscissa at Dictionary.com
1690s, from Latin abscissa (linea) "(a line) cut off," from fem. past participle of abscindere "to cut off," from ab- "off, away" (see ab-) + scindere "to cut" (see shed (v.)).
abscission (n.) Look up abscission at Dictionary.com
"removal or cutting away," early 15c., from Latin abscissionem (nominative abscissio) "a cutting off," noun of action from past participle stem of abscindere "to cut off" (see abscissa).
abscond (v.) Look up abscond at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Middle French abscondre and directly from Latin abscondere "to hide, conceal, put out of sight," from ab(s)- "away" (see ab-) + condere "put together, store," from com- "together" (see com-) + -dere "put," from PIE *dhe- "to put, place" (see factitious). The notion is of "to hide oneself," especially to escape debt or the law. Related: Absconded; absconder; absconding.
absence (n.) Look up absence at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French absence (14c.), from Latin absentia, noun of state from absentem (nominative absens), present participle of abesse "be away from, be absent," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + esse "to be" (see essence).
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
[Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839) "Isle of Beauty"]
absent (adj.) Look up absent at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Middle French absent (Old French ausent), from Latin absentem (nominative absens), present participle of abesse "be away from, be absent" (see absence). Related: Absently; absentness.
absent (prep.) Look up absent at Dictionary.com
"in the absence of," 1944, principally from U.S. legal use, from absent (v.).
absent (v.) Look up absent at Dictionary.com
"to keep away" (from), c. 1400, from Middle French absenter, from Late Latin absentare "cause to be away," from Latin absentem (see absent (adj.)). Related: Absented; absenting.
absentee (n.) Look up absentee at Dictionary.com
1530s, from absent (v.) + -ee.
absenteeism (n.) Look up absenteeism at Dictionary.com
1829, from absentee + -ism; originally in reference to landlords, especially in Ireland (absentee in this sense is in Johnson's dictionary); reference to pupils or workers is from 1922.
absentminded (adj.) Look up absentminded at Dictionary.com
also absent-minded, "preoccupied," 1810, from absent + minded. Related: Absentmindedly; absentmindedness.
absinthe (n.) Look up absinthe at Dictionary.com
also absinth, alcoholic liqueur distilled from wine mixed with wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium), 1842, from French absinthe, "essence of wormwood," from Latin absinthum "wormwood," from Greek apsinthion, perhaps from Persian (compare Persian aspand, of the same meaning). The plant so called in English from c. 1500 (Old English used the word in the Latin form).
absit omen Look up absit omen at Dictionary.com
Latin, literally "may this omen be absent."
absolute (adj.) Look up absolute at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "unrestricted; complete, perfect;" also "not relative to something else" (mid-15c.), from Middle French absolut (14c., Old French asolu, Modern French absolu), from Latin absolutus, past participle of absolvere "to set free, make separate" (see absolve).

Most of the current senses also were in the Latin word. Sense evolution was "detached, disengaged," thus "perfect, pure." Meaning "despotic" (1610s) is from notion of "absolute in position." Absolute monarchy is recorded from 1735 (absolute king is recorded from 1610s); scientific absolute magnitude (1902), absolute value (1907) are from early 20c. In metaphysics, the absolute "that which is absolute" is from 1809.
absolute zero (n.) Look up absolute zero at Dictionary.com
the idea dates back to 1702 and its general value was guessed to within a few degrees soon thereafter, but not precisely discovered until Lord Kelvin's work in 1848. It was known by many names, such as infinite cold, absolute cold, natural zero of temperature; the term absolute zero was among them by 1806.
absolutely (adv.) Look up absolutely at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "unconditionally, completely," from absolute (adj.) + -ly (2). From mid-15c. as "without reference to anything else, not relatively;" meaning "to the utmost degree" emerged by mid-16c. As a colloquial emphatic in American English, it is attested from 1892.
absolution (n.) Look up absolution at Dictionary.com
"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 "to absolve" (see absolve). Originally of sins; in general use from c. 1400.
absolutism (n.) Look up absolutism at Dictionary.com
1753 in theology; 1830 in politics, in which sense it was first used by British reformer and parliamentarian Maj. Gen. Thomas Perronet Thompson (1783-1869). See absolute and -ism.
absolutist (n.) Look up absolutist at Dictionary.com
1830, from absolute + -ist. From 1837 as an adjective.
absolve (v.) Look up absolve at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin absolvere "set free, loosen, acquit," from ab- "from" (see ab-) + solvere "loosen" (see solve). Related: Absolved; absolving.
absorb (v.) Look up absorb at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French absorber (Old French assorbir, 13c.), from Latin absorbere "to swallow up," from ab- "from" (see ab-) + sorbere "suck in," from PIE root *srebh- "to suck, absorb" (source also of Armenian arbi "I drank," Greek rhopheo "to sup greedily up, gulp down," Lithuanian srebiu "to drink greedily"). Figurative meaning "to completely grip (one's) attention" is from 1763. Related: Absorbed; absorbing.
absorbency (n.) Look up absorbency at Dictionary.com
1762, noun of state from absorbent; see -cy.
absorbent Look up absorbent at Dictionary.com
1718, adjective and noun, from Latin absorbentem (nominative absorbens), present participle of absorbere "swallow up" (see absorb).
absorption (n.) Look up absorption at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Latin absorptionem (nominative absorptio), noun of action from past participle stem of absorbere "swallow up" (see absorb).
absquatulate (v.) Look up absquatulate at Dictionary.com
1837, "Facetious U.S. coinage" [Weekley], perhaps based on a mock-Latin negation of squat "to settle." Said to have been used by the U.S. Western character "Nimrod Wildfire" in the play "The Kentuckian," as re-written by British author William B. Bernard and staged in London in 1833. Related: Absquatulated; absquatulating.
abstain (v.) Look up abstain at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to withhold oneself," from Old French abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) "hold (oneself) back, refrain, abstain (from), practice abstinence," from Latin abstinere "withhold, keep back, keep off," from ab(s)- "from, away from" (see ab-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Specifically of liquor, late 14c. Of voting, 1796. Related: Abstained; abstaining.
abstainer (n.) Look up abstainer at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "one who practices self-denial," agent noun from abstain.
abstemious (adj.) Look up abstemious at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from Latin abstemius "sober, temperate," from ab(s)- "from" (see ab-) + stem of temetum "strong drink," related to temulentus "drunken." Technically, of liquor, but extended in Latin to temperance in living generally. Related: Abstemiously; abstemiousness.
abstention (n.) Look up abstention at Dictionary.com
1520s, from Middle French abstention (Old French astencion), from Late Latin abstentionem (nominative abstentio) "the act of retaining," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin abstinere "keep back, keep off, hold off" (see abstain).
abstinence (n.) Look up abstinence at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "forbearance in indulgence of the appetites," from Old French abstinence (earlier astenance), from Latin abstinentia "abstinence, starvation; self-restraint, integrity," noun of quality from abstinentem (nominative abstinens), present participle of abstinere (see abstain). Specifically of sexual appetites from mid-14c., but also in Middle English of food, fighting, luxury.
abstinent (adj.) Look up abstinent at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French abstinent (earlier astenant) "moderate, abstemious, modest," from Latin abstinentem (nominative abstinens) "temperate, moderate," present participle of abstinere "to refrain from" (see abstain).
abstract (n.) Look up abstract at Dictionary.com
"abridgement or summary of a document," mid-15c., from abstract (adj.). The general sense of "a smaller quantity containing the virtue or power of a greater" [Johnson] is recorded from 1560s.
abstract (v.) Look up abstract at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Latin abstractus or else from the adjective abstract. Related: Abstracted; abstracting, abstractedly.
abstract (adj.) Look up abstract at Dictionary.com
late 14c., originally in grammar (of nouns), from Latin abstractus "drawn away," past participle of abstrahere "to drag away, detach, pull away, divert;" also figuratively, from ab(s)- "away" (see ab-) + trahere "draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Meaning "withdrawn or separated from material objects or practical matters" is from mid-15c. That of "difficult to understand, abstruse" is from c. 1400. Specifically in reference to modern art, it dates from 1914; abstract expressionism as an American-based uninhibited approach to art exemplified by Jackson Pollock is from 1952, but the term itself had been used in the 1920s of Kandinsky and others.
Oswald Herzog, in an article on "Der Abstrakte Expressionismus" (Sturm, heft 50, 1919) gives us a statement which with equal felicity may be applied to the artistic attitude of the Dadaists. "Abstract Expressionism is perfect Expressionism," he writes. "It is pure creation. It casts spiritual processes into a corporeal mould. It does not borrow objects from the real world; it creates its own objects .... The abstract reveals the will of the artist; it becomes expression. ..." [William A. Drake, "The Life and Deeds of Dada," 1922]

Then, that art we have called "abstract" for want of any possible descriptive term, with which we have been patient, and, even, appreciative, getting high stimulation by the new Guggenheim "non-objective" Art Museum, is reflected in our examples of "surrealism," "dadaism," and what-not, to assert our acquaintance in every art, fine or other. [Report of the Art Reference Department of Pratt Institute Free Library for year ending June 30, 1937]
abstraction (n.) Look up abstraction at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "a withdrawal from worldly affairs, asceticism," from Old French abstraction (14c.), from Latin abstractionem (nominative abstractio), noun of action from past participle stem of abstrahere "drag away, pull away, divert" (see abstract (adj.)). Meaning "idea of something that has no actual existence" is from 1640s.
abstractly (adv.) Look up abstractly at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "by itself, absolutely," from abstract (adj.) + -ly (2).
abstruse (adj.) Look up abstruse at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Middle French abstrus (16c.) or directly from Latin abstrusus "hidden, concealed, secret," past participle of abstrudere "conceal," literally "to thrust away," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + trudere "to thrust, push," from PIE *treud- "to press, push, squeeze" (see threat). Related: Abstrusely; abstruseness.
absurd (adj.) Look up absurd at Dictionary.com
1550s, from Middle French absurde (16c.), from Latin absurdus "out of tune; foolish" (see absurdity). The main modern sense (also present in Latin) is a figurative one, "out of harmony with reason or propriety." Related: Absurdly; absurdness.
absurdity (n.) Look up absurdity at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French absurdité, from Late Latin absurditatem (nominative absurditas) "dissonance, incongruity," noun of state from Latin absurdus "out of tune;" figuratively "incongruous, silly, senseless," from ab-, here perhaps an intensive prefix, + surdus "dull, deaf, mute" (see susurration). But de Vaan says "Since 'deaf' often has two semantic sides, viz. 'who cannot hear' and 'who is not heard,' ab-surdus can be explained as 'which is unheard of' ..."
abundance (n.) Look up abundance at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French abondance and directly from Latin abundantia "fullness, plenty," noun of state from abundantem (nominative abundans), present participle of abundare "to overflow" (see abound).
abundant (adj.) Look up abundant at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French abundant and directly from Latin abundantem (nominative abundans) "overflowing," present participle of abundare "to overflow" (see abound). Related: Abundantly.
abuse (v.) Look up abuse at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to misuse, misapply," from Middle French abuser, from Vulgar Latin *abusare, from Latin abusus "an abusing, using up," past participle of abuti "use up," also "misuse," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + uti "use" (see use). Of sexual situations from early 15c., but originally incest, homosexuality, prostitution, etc.; meaning "to misuse sexually, ravish" is from 1550s. Specifically of drugs, from 1968. Related: Abused; abusing.
abuse (n.) Look up abuse at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "improper practice," from Old French abus (14c.), from Latin abusus (see abuse (v.)). Earlier in Middle English was abusion "wicked act or practice, shameful thing, violation of decency" (early 14c.), "an insult" (mid-14c.).
abuser (n.) Look up abuser at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., agent noun from abuse (v.).
abusive (adj.) Look up abusive at Dictionary.com
1530s (implied in abusively), originally "improper," from Middle French abusif, from Latin abusivus, from abus-, past participle stem of abuti (see abuse (v.)). Meaning "full of abuse" is from 1580s. Abuseful was used 17c., and Shakespeare has abusious ("Taming of the Shrew," 1594). Related: Abusiveness.
abut (v.) Look up abut at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "to end at, to border on," from Old French aboter "join end to end, touch upon" (13c.), from à "to" (see ad-) + bout "end" (see butt (n.3)). Related: Abutted; abutting.
abutment (n.) Look up abutment at Dictionary.com
1640s, from abut + -ment. Originally any "junction;" the architectural usage is attested from 1793 (the notion is of the meeting-place of the arches of a bridge, etc.).
abuzz (adv.) Look up abuzz at Dictionary.com
1859, from a- (1) + buzz (n.). First recorded in Dickens.
abysm (n.) Look up abysm at Dictionary.com
"bottomless gulf, greatest depths," now chiefly poetic, c. 1300, from Old French abisme (Modern French abîme), from Vulgar Latin *abyssimus (source of Spanish and Portuguese abismo), which represents either a superlative of Latin abyssus or a formation on analogy of Greek-derived words in -ismus; see abyss.