assistance (n.) Look up assistance at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "act of helping or aiding," from Middle French assistance, from assister (see assist (v.)).
assistant (n.) Look up assistant at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., assistent "one who helps or aids another," from Middle French assistent, adjective and noun, properly present participle of assister (see assist (v.)).
assistant (adj.) Look up assistant at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "helpful, of assistance," from Middle French assistent (see assistant (n.)).
assize (n.) Look up assize at Dictionary.com
"session of a law court," c. 1300 (attested from mid-12c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French assise "session, sitting of a court" (12c.), properly fem. past participle of asseoir "to cause to sit," from Latin assidere "to sit beside" (see assess). Originally "all legal proceedings of the nature of inquests or recognitions;" hence sessions held periodically in each county of England to administer civil and criminal justice.
associate (v.) Look up associate at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin associatus past participle of associare "join with," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + sociare "unite with," from socius "companion" (see social (adj.)). Related: Associated; associating. Earlier form of the verb was associen (late 14c.), from Old French associier "associate (with)."
associate (n.) Look up associate at Dictionary.com
1530s, from associate (adj.).
associate (adj.) Look up associate at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "allied, connected, paired," from Latin associatus, past participle of associare (see associate (v.)).
association (n.) Look up association at Dictionary.com
1530s, "action of coming together," from Medieval Latin associationem (nominative associatio), noun of action from past participle stem of associare (see associate). Meaning "a body of persons with a common purpose" is from 1650s. Meaning "mental connection" is from 1680s; that of "quality or thing called to mind by something else" is from 1810.
associative (adj.) Look up associative at Dictionary.com
1812, from associate (v.) + -ive.
assonance (n.) Look up assonance at Dictionary.com
1727, "resemblance of sounds between words," from French assonance, from assonant, from Latin assonantem (nominative assonans), present participle of assonare "to resound, respond to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + sonare "to sound" (see sonata). Properly, in prosody, "rhyming of accented vowels, but not consonants" (1823).
assort (v.) Look up assort at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "to distribute into groups," from Middle French assortir (15c.), from Old French assorter "to assort, match," from a- "to" (see ad-) + sorte "kind" (see sort). Related: Assorted; assorting.
assorted (adj.) Look up assorted at Dictionary.com
"arranged in sorts," 1797, past participle adjective from assort (v.).
assortment (n.) Look up assortment at Dictionary.com
1610s, "action of assorting," from assort + -ment. Sense of "group of things of the same sort" is attested from 1759; that of "group of things whether the same sort or not" from 1791.
assuage (v.) Look up assuage at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Anglo-French assuager, Old French assoagier "soften, moderate, alleviate, calm, soothe, pacify," from Vulgar Latin *adsuaviare, from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + suavis "sweet, agreeable" (see sweet (adj.)). For sound development in French, compare deluge from Latin diluvium, abridge from abbreviare. Related: Assuaged; assuaging.
assuasive (adj.) Look up assuasive at Dictionary.com
1708, probably from assume on model of persuasive, etc.
assumable (adj.) Look up assumable at Dictionary.com
1780 (re-assumable is from 1724), from assume + -able. Related: Assumably; assumability.
assume (v.) Look up assume at Dictionary.com
early 15c., assumpten "to receive up into heaven" (especially of the Virgin Mary), also assumen "to arrogate," from Latin assumere, adsumere "to take up, take to oneself, take besides, obtain in addition," from ad- "to, up" (see ad-) + sumere "to take," from sub "under" (see sub-) + emere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)).

Meaning "to suppose, to take for granted as the basis of argument" is first recorded 1590s; that of "to take or put on (an appearance, etc.)" is from c. 1600. Related: Assumed; assuming. Early past participle was assumpt. In rhetorical usage, assume expresses what the assumer postulates, often as a confessed hypothesis; presume expresses what the presumer really believes.
assumpsit Look up assumpsit at Dictionary.com
legal Latin, "he has taken upon himself," perfect indicative of Latin assumere (see assume).
assumption (n.) Look up assumption at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "the reception, uncorrupted, of the Virgin Mary into Heaven," also the Church festival (Aug. 15) commemorating this, Feast of the Assumption, from Old French assumpcion and directly from Latin assumptionem (nominative assumptio) "a taking, receiving," noun of action from past participle stem of assumere "take up, take to oneself" (see assume).

Meaning "minor premise of a syllogism" is late 14c. Meaning "appropriation of a right or possession" is mid-15c. Meaning "action of taking for oneself" is recorded from 1580s; that of "something taken for granted" is from 1620s.
assumptive (adj.) Look up assumptive at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin assumptivus, from assumpt-, past participle stem of assumere "take up, take to oneself" (see assume) + -ive.
assurance (n.) Look up assurance at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "formal or solemn pledge, promise," also "certainty," from Old French asseurance (11c., Modern French assurance) "assurance, promise; truce; certainty, safety, security," from asseurer (see assure). The word had a negative tinge 18c., often suggesting impudence or presumption.
assure (v.) Look up assure at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French asseurer (12c., Modern French assurer) "to reassure, calm, protect, to render sure," from Vulgar Latin *assecurar, from Latin ad- "to" (see ad-) + securus "safe, secure" (see secure (adj.)). Related: Assured; assuring.
assured (adj.) Look up assured at Dictionary.com
of persons, "confident, self-assured," late 14c., past participle adjective from assure. Related: Assuredly; assuredness.
Assyria Look up Assyria at Dictionary.com
Middle English, from Latin Assyria, from Greek Assyria, short for Assyria ge "the Assyrian land," from fem. of Assyrios "pertaining to Assyria," from Akkadian Ashshur, name of the chief city of the kingdom and also of a god, probably from Assyrian sar "prince." (See also Syria).
Assyriology (n.) Look up Assyriology at Dictionary.com
1846, from Assyria + -ology. Related: Assyriologist.
Astarte Look up Astarte at Dictionary.com
Phoenician goddess identified with Greek Aphrodite, from Greek Astarte, from Phoenician Astoreth.
astatic (adj.) Look up astatic at Dictionary.com
1827, from Greek astatos "unstable, not steadfast," from a-, privative prefix (see a- (3)), + statos "placed, standing," from PIE root *stā- (see stet).
astatine (n.) Look up astatine at Dictionary.com
radioactive element, named 1947, from Greek astatos "unstable" (see astatic) + chemical suffix -ine (2). So called for its short half-life and lack of stable isotopes. "The element appears not to have a stable form and probably does not exist in nature" [Flood, "Origin of Chemical Names"].
asteism (n.) Look up asteism at Dictionary.com
"genteel irony, polite mockery," 1580s, from Greek asteismos "wit, witticism," from asteios "of a city or town" (as opposed to "country"), from asty "town, city," especially (without the article) "Athens."
aster (n.) Look up aster at Dictionary.com
flower genus, 1706, from Latin aster "star" (see star (n.)); so called for the radiate heads of the flowers. Originally used in English in the Latin sense (c. 1600) but this is obsolete.
asterisk (n.) Look up asterisk at Dictionary.com
"figure used in printing and writing to indicate footnote, omission, etc.," late 14c., asterich, asterisc, from Late Latin asteriscus, from Greek asterikos "little star," diminutive of aster "star" (see astro-). As a verb from 1733.
asterism (n.) Look up asterism at Dictionary.com
1590s, "a constellation, a group of stars," from Greek asterismos "a marking with stars," from aster "star" (see astro-). Any grouping of stars, whether a constellation or not (though in modern use, usually the latter). The "Big Dipper" is an asterism, not a constellation.
astern (adv.) Look up astern at Dictionary.com
1620s, from a- (1) "on" + stern (n.).
asteroid (n.) Look up asteroid at Dictionary.com
1802, coined probably by German-born English astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822) from Greek asteroeides "star-like," from aster "star" (see astro-) + -eidos "form, shape" (see -oid).
asthenia (n.) Look up asthenia at Dictionary.com
"weakness," 1802, Modern Latin, from Greek asthenia "want of strength, weakness, feebleness, sickness; a sickness, a disease," from asthenes "weak, without strength, feeble," from a-, privative prefix (see a- (3)), + sthenos "strength," which is probably from PIE *segh- "to hold" (see scheme (n.)).
asthenic (adj.) Look up asthenic at Dictionary.com
1789, from Modern Latin, from Greek asthenikos, from asthenes "weak, without strength, feeble" (see asthenia).
asthenosphere (n.) Look up asthenosphere at Dictionary.com
layer of the Earth's upper mantle, 1914, from Greek asthenos (see asthenia) + sphere.
asthma (n.) Look up asthma at Dictionary.com
late 14c. asma, asma, from Latin asthma, from Greek asthma "short breath, a panting," from azein "breathe hard," probably related to anemos "wind." The -th- was restored in English 16c.
asthmatic (adj.) Look up asthmatic at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Latin asthmaticus, from Greek asthmatikos, from asthma (see asthma). Noun meaning "person with asthma" is recorded from 1610s.
astigmatic (adj.) Look up astigmatic at Dictionary.com
1849; see astigmatism + -ic.
astigmatism (n.) Look up astigmatism at Dictionary.com
1849, coined by the Rev. William Whewell (1794-1866), English polymath, from Greek a- "without" (see a- (3)) + stigmatos genitive of stigma "a mark, spot, puncture" (see stick (v.)).
astir (adv.) Look up astir at Dictionary.com
"up and about," 1823, from phrase on the stir, or from Scottish asteer; from stir. Old English had astyrian, which yielded Middle English ben astired "be stirred up, excited, aroused."
astonish (v.) Look up astonish at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, astonien, from Old French estoner "to stun, daze, deafen, astound," from Vulgar Latin *extonare, from Latin ex- "out" + tonare "to thunder" (see thunder); so, literally "to leave someone thunderstruck." The modern form (influenced by English verbs in -ish, such as distinguish, diminish) is attested from c. 1530.
No wonder is thogh that she were astoned [Chaucer, "Clerk's Tale"]
Related: Astonished; astonishing; astonishingly.
astonishment (n.) Look up astonishment at Dictionary.com
1590s; see astonish + -ment. Earlier it meant "paralysis" (1570s).
astound (v.) Look up astound at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle English astouned, astoned (c. 1300), past participle of astonen, astonien "to stun" (see astonish), with more of the original sense of Vulgar Latin *extonare. Related: Astounded; astounding.
astral (adj.) Look up astral at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to the stars," c. 1600, from Late Latin astralis, from Latin astrum "star," from Greek astron (see astro-). Meaning "pertaining to supersensible substances" is from 1690s, popularized late 19c. in Theosophy.
astray (adv.) Look up astray at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, astraied "away from home; lost," borrowed and partially nativized from Old French estraie, past participle of estraier "astray, riderless (of a horse), lost," literally "on stray" (see stray (v.)).
astriction (n.) Look up astriction at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Latin astrictionem (nominative astrictio), noun of action from past participle stem of astringere (see astringent).
Astrid Look up Astrid at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from Norse, related to Old High German Ansitruda, from ansi "god" (see Aesir) + trut "beloved, dear."
astride (adv.) Look up astride at Dictionary.com
1660s, from a- (1) "on" + stride (n.).