Ascians (n.) Look up Ascians at Dictionary.com
inhabitants of the torrid zone, who "haue the Sunne twice euery yeere in their zenith, and then they make no shaddowes at all" [Nathanael Carpenter, "Geographie Delineated forth in Two Bookes," 1635], from Medieval Latin Ascii, from Greek askioi, from a- "not, without," privative prefix (see a- (3)), + skia "shade, shadow" (see shine (v.)).
ASCII Look up ASCII at Dictionary.com
1963, initialism (acronym) from "American Standard Code for Information Interchange."
ascites (n.) Look up ascites at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "abdominal dropsy," from Latin ascites, from Greek askites (hydrops), literally "baglike dropsy," from askos "bag, sac."
ascitic (adj.) Look up ascitic at Dictionary.com
"afflicted with ascites," 1680s; see ascites + -ic. Related: Ascitical.
Asclepius Look up Asclepius at Dictionary.com
god of medicine, Latin, from Greek Asklepios, of unknown origin.
ascorbic (adj.) Look up ascorbic at Dictionary.com
1933 (in ascorbic acid), from a- (2) + scorb(ut)ic "of scurvy" (from Medieval Latin scorbuticus "scurvy"); originally in reference to Vitamin C, which is an anti-scorbutic. The Latin word is perhaps of German or Dutch origin.
Ascot Look up Ascot at Dictionary.com
village near Windsor, Berkshire; site of fashionable race-meeting. Used attributively for clothes suitable for the event; especially a type of tie (1908). The town name is literally "eastern cottage."
ascribable (adj.) Look up ascribable at Dictionary.com
1670s, from ascribe + -able. Related: Ascribably; ascribability.
ascribe (v.) Look up ascribe at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., ascrive, from Old French ascrivre "to inscribe; attribute, impute," from Latin ascribere "to write in, to add to in a writing," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + scribere "to write" (see script (n.)). Spelling restored by 16c. Related: Ascribed; ascribing.
ascription (n.) Look up ascription at Dictionary.com
1590s, "action of adding in writing;" c.1600, "attribution of authorship or origin," from Latin ascriptionem (nominative ascriptio) "an addition in writing," noun of action from past participle stem of ascribere (see ascribe).
ascus (n.) Look up ascus at Dictionary.com
"sac in certain fungi," 1830, Modern Latin, from Greek askos "leather bag, wine skin," of unknown origin.
asea (adj.) Look up asea at Dictionary.com
1858, from a- (1) "on" + sea.
ASEAN Look up ASEAN at Dictionary.com
initialism (acronym) for Association of South-East Asian Nations, formed 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand; since expanded to 10 nations.
aseismic (n.) Look up aseismic at Dictionary.com
"resistant to earthquake destruction," 1884, from a- (2) "not" + seismic.
aseity (n.) Look up aseity at Dictionary.com
"being by itself," 1690s, from Medieval Latin aseitas "state of being by itself," from Latin a "from" + se "oneself" (see suicide).
asepsis (n.) Look up asepsis at Dictionary.com
1892, from a- (2) "not" + sepsis.
aseptic (adj.) Look up aseptic at Dictionary.com
1859, from a- (2) "not" + septic. As a noun from 1884.
asexual (adj.) Look up asexual at Dictionary.com
1830, as a term in biology, a hybrid from a- (2) "not" + sexual. In general contexts, attested from 1896.
asexuality (n.) Look up asexuality at Dictionary.com
1877; see asexual + -ity.
asexually (adv.) Look up asexually at Dictionary.com
1862; see asexual + -ly (2).
Asgard (n.) Look up Asgard at Dictionary.com
home of the gods in Norse religion, from Old Norse ass "god," from Proto-Germanic *ansu- (cognates: Old High German ansi, Old English os, Gothic ans "god"), from PIE *ansu- "spirit" (cognates: first element in Ahura Mazda, from Avestan) + Old Norse garðr "enclosure, yard, garden" (see yard (n.1)).
ash (n.1) Look up ash at Dictionary.com
"powdery remains of fire," Old English æsce "ash," from Proto-Germanic *askon (cognates: Old Norse and Swedish aska, Old High German asca, German asche, Gothic azgo "ashes"), from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow" (cognates: Sanskrit asah "ashes, dust," Armenian azazem "I dry up," Greek azein "to dry up, parch," Latin ardus "parched, dry"). Spanish and Portuguese ascua "red-hot coal" are Germanic loan-words.

Symbol of grief or repentance; hence Ash Wednesday (c.1300), from custom introduced by Pope Gregory the Great of sprinkling ashes on the heads of penitents on the first day of Lent. Ashes meaning "mortal remains of a person" is late 13c., in reference to the ancient custom of cremation.
ash (n.2) Look up ash at Dictionary.com
type of tree, Old English æsc "ash tree," also "spear made of ash wood," from Proto-Germanic *askaz, *askiz (cognates: Old Norse askr, Old Saxon ask, Middle Dutch esce, German Esche), from PIE root *os- "ash tree" (cognates: Armenian haci "ash tree," Albanian ah "beech," Greek oxya "beech," Latin ornus "wild mountain ash," Russian jasen, Lithuanian uosis "ash"). Ash was the preferred wood for spear-shafts, so Old English æsc sometimes meant "spear" (as in æsc-here "company armed with spears").
ashamed (adj.) Look up ashamed at Dictionary.com
Old English asceamed "feeling shame, filled with shame," past participle of ascamian "to feel shame," from a- intensive prefix + scamian "be ashamed, blush; cause shame" (see shame (v.)). The verb is obsolete, but the past participle lives on. Meaning "reluctant through fear of shame" is c.1300.
Ashanti (n.) Look up Ashanti at Dictionary.com
1705, Asiantines, one of the Akan people of central Ghana; native name. As a language, it is part of the Niger-Congo family.
ashen (adj.) Look up ashen at Dictionary.com
"made of ash wood," c.1300; see ash (n.2) + -en (2); meaning "ash-colored, whitish-gray, deadly pale" is 1808, from ash (n.1).
Asher Look up Asher at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, biblical son of Jacob (also the name of a tribe descended from him), from Hebrew, literally "happy."
asherah (n.) Look up asherah at Dictionary.com
1863, wooden pillar used as symbol of Canaanite goddess Ashera, of unknown origin.
Ashkenazim (n.) Look up Ashkenazim at Dictionary.com
(plural) "central and northern European Jews" (as opposed to Sephardim, Jews of Spain and Portugal), 1839, from Hebrew Ashkenazzim, plural of Ashkenaz, eldest son of Gomer (Gen. x:3), also the name of a people mentioned in Jer. li:27 (perhaps akin to Greek skythoi "Scythians," compare Akkadian ishkuzai); identified historically with various people; in Middle Ages, with the Germans.
ashlar (n.) Look up ashlar at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "square stone for building or paving," from Old French aiseler, from Latin axillaris, from axilla, diminutive of axis "board, plank," which is perhaps not the same axis that means "axle." The stone sense is peculiar to English.
Ashley Look up Ashley at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, all but unknown before c.1965; one of the most popular names for girls born in U.S. from c.1980; evidently inspired by the surname Ashley, Ashleigh (attested from 12c.), which means "clearing among the ash trees," from Old English æsc + leah (see ash (n.2) + lea).
ashore (adv.) Look up ashore at Dictionary.com
1580s, "toward the shore," from a- (1) + shore (n.). Meaning "on the shore" is from 1630s. Middle English had ashore (late 15c.), but it meant "on a slant," literally "propped up," from shore (v.).
ashram (n.) Look up ashram at Dictionary.com
"religious hermitage," 1917, from Sanskrit asramah, from a-, adnomial prefix, + sramah "effort, toll, fatigue."
ashtray (n.) Look up ashtray at Dictionary.com
1857 as a receptacle for smokers' ashes, from ash (n.1) + tray.
Ashura (n.) Look up Ashura at Dictionary.com
Islamic fast on the 10th day of Muharram, Arabic Ashura', literally "tenth."
ashy (adj.) Look up ashy at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from ash (n.1) + -y (2).
Asia Look up Asia at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Latin Asia, from Greek Asia, speculated to be from Akkadian asu "to go out, to rise," in reference to the sun, thus "the land of the sunrise."
Asiago Look up Asiago at Dictionary.com
type of Italian cheese, by 1922, named for town of Asiago (German Schlägen) in the Veneto region of Italy.
Asian (n.) Look up Asian at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "inhabitant of Asia (Minor)," from Latin Asianus (adjective and noun, "belonging to the province of Asia;" "an inhabitant of Asia"), from Greek Asianos, from Asia (see Asia). Ousted Asiatic as the preferred term in Britain c.1950.
The term "Asiatic" has come to be regarded with disfavour by those to whom it is applied, and they feel entitled to be brought into line with usage in regard to Europeans, Americans and Australians. ["Times Literary Supplement," Feb. 6, 1953]
As an adjective in English, by 1690s.
Asiatic (adj.) Look up Asiatic at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Latin Asiaticus (surname of Latin Corn. Scipio), from Greek Asiatikos, from Asia (see Asia; also compare Asian). As a noun, by 1763. In ancient Rome, Asiatici oratores was florid and overly ornate prose.
aside (adv.) Look up aside at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "off to one side;" mid-14c., "to or from the side;" late 14c., "away or apart from others, out of the way," from a- (1) + side (n.). Noun sense of "words spoken so as to be (supposed) inaudible" is from 1727. Middle English had asidely "on the side, indirectly" (early 15c.) and asideward "sideways, horizontal" (late 14c.).
asine (n.) Look up asine at Dictionary.com
1530s, "she-ass," from French asine, from Latin asina (see ass (n.1)).
asinine (adj.) Look up asinine at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "obstinate, stupid," from Latin asininus "stupid," literally "like an ass," from asinus "ass," also "dolt, blockhead" (see ass (n.1)). The literal sense in English is recorded from 1620s.
ask (v.) Look up ask at Dictionary.com
Old English ascian "ask, call for an answer; make a request," from earlier ahsian, from Proto-Germanic *aiskon (cognates: Old Saxon escon, Old Frisian askia "request, demand, ask," Middle Dutch eiscen, Dutch eisen "to ask, demand," Old High German eiscon "to ask (a question)," German heischen "to ask, demand"), from PIE *ais- "to wish, desire" (cognates: Sanskrit icchati "seeks, desires," Armenian aic "investigation," Old Church Slavonic iskati "to seek," Lithuanian ieškau "to seek").

Form in English influenced by a Scandinavian cognate (such as Danish æske; the Old English would have evolved by normal sound changes into ash, esh, which was a Midlands and southwestern England dialect form). Modern dialectal ax is as old as Old English acsian and was an accepted literary variant until c.1600. Related: Asked; asking. Old English also had fregnan/frignan which carried more directly the sense of "question, inquire," and is from PIE root *prek-, the common source of words for "ask" in most Indo-European languages (see pray). If you ask me "in my opinion" is attested from 1910. Asking price is attested from 1755.
askance (adv.) Look up askance at Dictionary.com
1520s, "sideways, asquint," of obscure origin. OED has separate listings for askance and obsolete Middle English askance(s) and no indication of a connection, but Barnhart and others derive the newer word from the older one. The Middle English word, recorded early 14c. as ase quances and found later in Chaucer, meant "in such a way that; even as; as if;" and as an adverb "insincerely, deceptively." It has been analyzed as a compound of as and Old French quanses (pronounced "kanses") "how if," from Latin quam "how" + si "if."
The E[nglish] as is, accordingly, redundant, and merely added by way of partial explanation. The M.E. askances means "as if" in other passages, but here means, "as if it were," i.e. "possibly," "perhaps"; as said above. Sometimes the final s is dropped .... [Walter W. Skeat, glossary to Chaucer's "Man of Law's Tale," 1894]
Also see discussion in Leo Spitzer, "Anglo-French Etymologies," Philological Quarterly 24.23 (1945), and see OED entry for askance (adv.) for discussion of the mysterious ask- word cluster in English. Other guesses about the origin of askance include Old French a escone, from past participle of a word for "hidden;" Italian a scancio "obliquely, slantingly;" or that it is a cognate of askew.
askew (adv.) Look up askew at Dictionary.com
1570s, of uncertain etymology; perhaps literally "on skew" (see skew), or from the Old Norse form, a ska. Earlier askoye is attested in the same sense (early 15c.).
aslant (adv.) Look up aslant at Dictionary.com
early 14c., o-slant, literally "on slant," from on + slant (v.). As a preposition from c.1600.
asleep (adj.) Look up asleep at Dictionary.com
c.1200, aslepe, o slæpe, from Old English on slæpe (see sleep). The parallel form on sleep continued until c.1550. Of limbs, "numb through stoppage of circulation," from late 14c. Meaning "inattentive, off guard" is from mid-14c.
Asmodeus Look up Asmodeus at Dictionary.com
evil spirit, prince of demons, from Latin Asmodaeus, from Greek Asmodaios, from Talmudic Hebrew Ashmeday, from Avestan Aeshma-dæva, "Aeshma the deceitful," from aeshma "anger," daeva- "spirit, demon."
asocial (adj.) Look up asocial at Dictionary.com
1883, "antagonistic to society or social order," from a- "not" + social (adj.); also compare antisocial.