arenaceous (adj.) Look up arenaceous at
1640s, "sandy," from Latin arenaceus, harenaceus, from harena "sand, sandy place" (see arena). Figurative sense of "dry" is from 1870.
areola (n.) Look up areola at
"colored circle around a nipple" (areola papillaris), 1706, from Latin areola, literally "small area," diminutive of area (see area). Introduced in this sense 1605 by Swiss anatomist and botanist Caspar Bauhin (1560-1624). The word also is used in other anatomical senses. Related: Areolar.
areolas (n.) Look up areolas at
nativized plural of areola (q.v.), which has its proper plural in areolae (see -ae).
Areopagite (n.) Look up Areopagite at
"member of the Areopagus court," late 14c. (Acts xvii.34); see Areopagus + -ite (1). Related: Areopagitic; Areopagitical.
Areopagus Look up Areopagus at
1640s, Greek, Areios pagos "the hill of Ares," west of the Acropolis in Athens, where the highest judicial court sat; second element from pagos "pinnacle, cliff, rocky hill," related to pegnunai "to fasten, coagulate," from PIE root *pag- "to fasten." Sense extended to "any important tribunal."
Ares Look up Ares at
Greek god of war in all its violence, brutality, confusion, and destruction; identified by Romans with their Mars; literally "injurer, destroyer," from are "bane, ruin," and perhaps cognate with Sanskrit irasya "ill-will" (see ire).
arete (n.1) Look up arete at
"sharp crest of a mountain," 1862, from Swiss French arête, Old French areste, from Latin arista "ear of grain, the top of an ear," in Medieval Latin also "backbone of a fish; exterior angle of a house," which perhaps is of Etruscan origin. The figure is of something jagged.
arete (n.2) Look up arete at
important concept in Greek philosophy, "rank, nobility, moral virtue, excellence," especially of manly qualities; literally "that which is good," a word of uncertain origin.
argent (n.) Look up argent at
early 15c., "silver, silver coin," from Old French argent "silver, silver money; quicksilver" (11c.), from Latin argentum "silver, silver work, silver money," from PIE *arg-ent-, suffixed form of root *arg- "to shine; white," thus "silver" as "the shining or white metal." Earlier in English in the sense "quicksilver, the metal mercury" (c. 1300); the adjective sense "silver-colored" is from late 15c.
Argentina Look up Argentina at
South American nation, from Latin argentinus "of silver," from PIE root *arg- "to shine; white," hence "silver" as the shining or white metal. It is a Latinized form of (Rio) de la Plata "Silver River," from Spanish plata "silver" (see plate (n.)).
Argentine (adj.) Look up Argentine at
"of or from Argentina," 1830 (from 1829 as a noun, "citizen or inhabitant of the Argentine Republic"); Argentinian is from 1845 as a noun, 1858 as an adjective.
argentine (adj.) Look up argentine at
mid-15c., "silver-colored;" c. 1500, "of or resembling silver," from Old French argentin (12c.), from Latin argentinus "of silver," from argentum "silver," from PIE root *arg- "to shine; white," hence "silver" as the shining or white metal.
Argive (adj.) Look up Argive at
"of Argos," ancient Peloponnesian city portrayed by Homer as the most powerful in Greece, hence, especially in Homeric usage, "the Greeks," as a byword for Achaean, 1520s, from Latin Argivus, from Greek Argeios "of Argos." Related: Argives.
argle (v.) Look up argle at
1580s "to argue obstinately, wrangle," "prob. a popular perversion of argue, or confusion of that word with haggle" [OED]. Reduplicated form argle-bargle is from 1822 (sometimes argy-bargy, 1857); As a noun, "wrangling" from 1861.
Argo Look up Argo at
name of the ship in which Jason and his 54 heroic companions sought the Fleece in Colchis on the Euxine Sea, in Greek, literally "The Swift," from argos "swift" (adj.), an epithet, literally "shining, bright" (from PIE root *arg- "to shine; white"), "because all swift motion causes a kind of glancing or flickering light" [Liddell & Scott]. Related: Argean.
argon (n.) Look up argon at
chemical element, 1894, Modern Latin, from Greek argon, neuter of argos "lazy, idle, not working the ground, living without labor," from a- "without" (see a- (3)) + ergon "work," from PIE root *werg- "to do." So called by its discoverers, Baron Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay, for its inert qualities. They described it as "most astonishingly indifferent."
Argonaut (n.) Look up Argonaut at
"sailor of the Argo," 1580s (Argonautic (n.)), from Argo + Greek nautes "sailor" (from PIE root *nau- "boat"). Adventurers in the California Gold Rush of 1848 were called argonauts (because they sought the golden fleece) by those who stayed home.
argosy (n.) Look up argosy at
1570s, "large merchant vessel carrying rich freight," from Italian (nave) Ragusea "(vessel) of Ragusa," maritime city on the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic (modern Dubrovnik in Croatia). Their large merchant ships brought rich Eastern goods to 16c. England. The city name sometimes was Aragouse or Arragosa in 16c. English. Figurative use from 1620s.
argot (n.) Look up argot at
1860, from French argot (17c.) "the jargon of Paris rogues and thieves" (for purposes of disguise and concealment), earlier "the company of beggars," from Middle French argot, "group of beggars," a word of unknown origin.

Gamillscheg suggests a connection to Old French argoter "to cut off the stubs left in pruning," with a connecting sense of "to get a grip on." The best English equivalent is perhaps cant. The German equivalent is Rotwelsch, literally "Red Welsh," but the first element of that might be connected with Middle High German rot "beggar." Compare pedlar's French (1520s) "language of thieves and vagabonds."
arguable (adj.) Look up arguable at
"capable of being argued," 1610s, from argue + -able.
arguably (adv.) Look up arguably at
"as may be shown by argument," 1871, from arguable + -ly (2).
argue (v.) Look up argue at
c. 1300, "to make reasoned statements to prove or refute a proposition," from Old French arguer "maintain an opinion or view; harry, reproach, accuse, blame" (12c.), ultimately from Latin arguere "make clear, make known, prove, declare, demonstrate," from PIE *argu-yo-, suffixed form of root *arg- "to shine; white." The transmission to French might be via arguere in a Medieval Latin sense of "to argue," or from Latin argutare "to prattle, prate," frequentative of arguere.

De Vaan says arguere is probably "a denominative verb 'to make bright, enlighten' to an adj. *argu- 'bright' as continued in argutus and outside Italic." He cites a closely similar formation in Hittite arkuuae- "to make a plea." Meaning "to oppose, dispute, contend in argument" is from late 14c. Related: Argued; arguing.
arguendo Look up arguendo at
"in the course of argument," 1817, courtroom Latin, from Medieval Latin ablative of arguendum, gerundive of arguere "to argue" (see argue).
arguer (n.) Look up arguer at
late 14c., agent noun from argue (v.).
argufy (v.) Look up argufy at
"to argue for the sake of controversy, wrangle, worry with arguments," 1751, colloquial, from argue + -fy. Compare speechify.
argument (n.) Look up argument at
early 14c., "statements and reasoning in support of a proposition or causing belief in a doubtful matter," from Old French arguement "reasoning, opinion; accusation, charge" (13c.), from Latin argumentum "a logical argument; evidence, ground, support, proof," from arguere "make clear, make known, prove" (see argue). Sense passed through "subject of contention" (1590s) to "a quarrel" (by 1911), a sense formerly attached to argumentation.
argumentation (n.) Look up argumentation at
mid-15c., "presentation of formal arguments," from Old French argumentacion (14c.), from Latin argumentationem (nominative argumentatio) "the bringing forth of a proof," noun of action from past participle stem of argumentari "adduce proof, draw a conclusion," from argumentum (see argument). Meaning "debate, wrangling, argument back and forth" is from 1530s.
argumentative (adj.) Look up argumentative at
mid-15c., "pertaining to arguments," from Old French argumentatif "able to argue or reason well," or directly from Medieval Latin argumentat-, past participle stem of argumentari "adduce proof, draw a conclusion," from argumentum (see argument) + -ive. Meaning "fond of arguing" is recorded from 1660s. Related: Argumentatively; argumentativeness.
Argus Look up Argus at
hundred-eyed giant of Greek mythology, late 14c., from Latin, from Greek Argos, literally "the bright one," from argos "shining, bright" (from PIE root *arg- "to shine; white"). His epithet was Panoptes "all-eyes." After his death, Hera transferred his eyes to the peacock's tail. Used in figurative sense of "very vigilant person."
Argyle (n.) Look up Argyle at
"diamond-shaped pattern of two or more colors in fabric," said to be so called from similarity to tartans worn by Campbell clan of Argyll, Scotland. The place name is literally "land of the Gaels," with first element from Old Irish airer "country." Argyle socks is from 1935.
aria (n.) Look up aria at
"melody for a single voice," from Italian aria, literally "air" (see air (n.1)).
Historically considered, the aria marks a single moment in the course of a dramatic action. The text often consists of but a few words, many times repeated (as we find in Handel's oratorios, etc.), and the musical development is the main thing. The opposite of aria is recitative (q.v.), in which the declamation of the syllables is the main thing, colored, perhaps, by means of clever orchestration. [W.S.B. Mathews and Emil Liebling, "Dictionary of Music," 1896]
Arian (adj.) Look up Arian at
late 14c., Arrian, "adhering to the doctrines of Arius," from Late Latin Arianus, "pertaining to the doctrines of Arius," priest in Alexandria early 4c., who posed the question of Christ's nature in terms which appeared to debase the Savior's relation to God (denial of consubstantiation). Besides taking an abstract view of Christ's nature, he reaffirmed man's capacity for perfection. The doctrines were condemned at Nice, 325, but the dissention was widespread and split the Church for about a century during the crucial time of barbarian conversions. The name is Greek, literally "warlike, of Ares."
Arianism (n.) Look up Arianism at
"the doctrine of the Arians," who held that Christ was created by and subordinate to the Father, c. 1600, from Arian (q.v.) + -ism.
arid (adj.) Look up arid at
1650s, "dry, parched, without moisture," from French aride "dry" (15c.) or directly from Latin aridus "dry, arid, parched," from arere "to be dry" (see azalea). Figurative sense of "uninteresting" is from 1827. Related: Aridly; aridness.
aridity (n.) Look up aridity at
"dryness, want of moisture," 1590s, from Middle French aridité or directly from Latin ariditatem (nominative ariditas) "dryness," from aridus "dry" (see arid). Figuratively from 1690s; the Latin word was used figuratively of unadorned styles as well as stingy men.
Ariel Look up Ariel at
1382, in the Wyclif Bible, a word taken untranslated from the Vulgate, from Greek ariel (Septuagint), from Hebrew ariel; in later Bibles, translated as "altar."
(Gesenius would here translate "fire-hearth of God," after Arab. arr; elsewhere in O.T. the same word occurs as a man's name, and appellation of Jerusalem, where it is taken as = "lion of God.") Ariel in T. Heywood and Milton is the name of an angel, in Shakespeare of "an Ayrie spirit"; in Astron. of one of the satellites of Uranus. [OED]
As the name of a species of gazelle found in the Middle East, 1832, from Arabic aryil, variant of ayyil "stag." The Uranian satellite was discovered in 1851.
Aries Look up Aries at
zodiacal constellation usually identified as "the Ram," late Old English, from Latin aires "ram" (related to arietare "to butt"), from a PIE root meaning "spring, jump" (source also of Lithuanian erytis, Old Church Slavonic jarici, Armenian oroj "lamb;" Greek eriphos, Old Irish heirp "kid"). Meaning "person born under the sign of Aries" is from 1894; they also have been called Arian (1917).
aright (adv.) Look up aright at
"in a correct way, rightly, without error or fault," Old English ariht, from a- (1) "of" + right (adj.).
aril (n.) Look up aril at
"accessory covering of seeds," 1794, from Modern Latin arillus, from Medieval Latin arilli, Spanish arillos "dried grapes, raisins," from Latin aridus "dry" (see arid).
Arimasp (n.) Look up Arimasp at
1570s, from Latin Arimaspi (plural), from Greek Arimaspoi, mythical race of one-eyed people in Northern Europe believed in antiquity to have carried off a hoard of gold which was under guardianship of griffins. The name is said to be Scythian for "one-eyed." Related: Arimaspian.
arioso Look up arioso at
"melodious, in a melodious way," 1742, from Italian arioso "like an aria," from aria "melody" (see aria).
arise (v.) Look up arise at
Old English arisan "to get up from sitting, kneeling, or lying; have a beginning, come into being or action, spring from, originate; spring up, ascend" (cognate with Old Saxon arisan, Gothic urreisan), from a- (1) "of" + rise (v.). Mostly replaced by rise except in reference to circumstances; formerly the choice between the two often was made merely for the sake of rhythm.
arisen Look up arisen at
past participle of arise (q.v.).
arising (n.) Look up arising at
verbal noun from arise (v.). Replaced in most senses by rising (n.).
aristarchy (n.) Look up aristarchy at
"government by the best men; body of worthies constituting a government," 1889, from Greek aristarkhia, from aristos "best" (see aristo-) + -arkhia "government" (see -archy).
aristo- Look up aristo- at
word-forming element meaning "best," also "of the aristocracy," from Greek aristos "best of its kind, noblest, bravest, most virtuous" (of persons, animals, things), originally "most fitting," from PIE *ar(ə)-isto-, suffixed (superlative) form of root *ar- "to fit together."
aristocracy (n.) Look up aristocracy at
1560s, "government by those who are the best citizens," from Middle French aristocracie (Modern French aristocratie), from Late Latin aristocratia, from Greek aristokratia "government or rule of the best; an aristocracy," from aristos "best of its kind, noblest, bravest, most virtuous" (see aristo-) + abstract noun from kratos "rule, power" (see -cracy).

In early use contrasted with monarchy; after the French and American revolutions, with democracy. Meaning "rule by a privileged class, oligarchy, government by those distinguished by rank and wealth" (best-born or best-favored by fortune) is from 1570s and became paramount 17c. Hence, the meaning "patrician order, the class of hereditary nobles" (1610s) and, generally, "persons notably superior in any way, taken collectively" (1650s).
aristocrat (n.) Look up aristocrat at
"one having high rank in a community," also "advocate of aristocratic government," 1789, from French aristocrate, a word of the Revolution, a back-formation from aristocratie (see aristocracy).
aristocratic (adj.) Look up aristocratic at
c. 1600, "pertaining to aristocracy," from French aristocratique, from Greek aristokratikos "belonging to the rule of the best," from aristokratia (see aristocracy). Meaning "grand, stylish, befitting the nobility" is from 1845. Related: Aristocratical (1580s); aristocratically.
aristology (n.) Look up aristology at
"science of dining," 1835, with -ology "study of" + Greek ariston "breakfast, the morning meal" (later "the mid-day meal"), a contraction of a locative ari- (see ere) + *ed- "to eat" (see eat). Related: Aristological; aristologist.