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.).
astringent (adj.) Look up astringent at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Latin astringentum (nominative astringens), present participle of astringere "to bind fast, tighten, contract," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + stringere "draw tight" (see strain (v.)). As a noun from 1620s.
astro- Look up astro- at Dictionary.com
element active in English word formation from mid-18c. and meaning "star or celestial body; outer space," from Greek astro-, stem and comb. form of astron "star," related to aster "star" (see star (n.)). In ancient Greek, aster typically was "a star" and astron mostly in plural, "the stars." In singular it mostly meant "Sirius" (the brightest star).
astrobiology (n.) Look up astrobiology at Dictionary.com
1903, from French astrobiologie; see astro- + biology. Related: Astrobiological; astrobiologist.
astrobleme (n.) Look up astrobleme at Dictionary.com
1961, from astro- + Greek bleme "throw of a missile; wound caused by a missile," from ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).
astroid (adj.) Look up astroid at Dictionary.com
"star-shaped," 1897, from Greek astroeides, from astron "star" (see astro-) + -oeides (see -oid).
astrolabe (n.) Look up astrolabe at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French astrelabe, from Medieval Latin astrolabium, from Greek astrolabos (organon) "star taking (instrument)," from astron "star" (see astro-) + lambanien "to take" (see analemma).
astrologer (n.) Look up astrologer at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from astrology + -er (1). Drove out French import astrologein, which, had it survived, probably would have yielded *astrologian, as in Chaucer's "The wise Astrologen." Earliest recorded reference is to roosters as announcers of sunrise.
astrological (adj.) Look up astrological at Dictionary.com
1590s; see astrology + -ical. Related: Astrologically.
astrology (n.) Look up astrology at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin astrologia "astronomy, the science of the heavenly bodies," from Greek astrologia "telling of the stars," from astron "star" (see astro-) + -logia "treating of" (see -logy).

Originally identical with astronomy, it had also a special sense of "practical astronomy, astronomy applied to prediction of events." This was divided into natural astrology "the calculation and foretelling of natural phenomenon" (tides, eclipses, etc.), and judicial astrology "the art of judging occult influences of stars on human affairs" (also known as astromancy, 1650s). Differentiation between astrology and astronomy began late 1400s and by 17c. this word was limited to "reading influences of the stars and their effects on human destiny."