- around (adv.)
- c. 1300, "in circumference, in a circle, on every side," from phrase on round; see a- (1) + round (adj.). Rare before 1600. In sense of "here and there with no fixed direction" it is attested from 1776 in American English (British English prefers about). As a preposition, "on or along a circuit," late 14c.; "on all sides, encircling, about" 1660s; of time, from 1888. To have been around "gained worldly experience" is from 1927, U.S. colloquial; to get around to it is from 1864.
- arousal (n.)
- 1827, "action of arousing, state of being awakened," from arouse + -al (2). Sexual association is from c. 1900.
- arouse (v.)
- 1590s, "awaken, stir to action" (transitive), from a- (1) "on" + rouse. Related: Aroused; arousing.
- acronym from Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, set up in 1969 by a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense in partnership with four universities; acknowledged as "the world's first operational packet switching network" and predecessor of the internet.
- arpeggio (n.)
- 1742, from Italian arpeggio, literally "harping," from arpeggiare "to play upon the harp," from arpa "harp," which is of Germanic origin (see harp (n.)). Related: Arpeggiated (1875); arpeggiation.
- arr (v.)
- "to growl like a dog," late 15c., imitative. In classical times, the letter R was called littera canina "the dog letter" (Persius).
- arrack (n.)
- c. 1600, probably picked up in India (as were Portuguese araca, Spanish arac, French arack), via Hindi arak, Tamil araku, etc., ultimately from Arabic araq "distilled spirits, strong liquor," literally "sweat, juice;" used of native liquors in Eastern countries, especially those distilled from fermented sap of coconut palm, sometimes from rice or molasses.
- arrah (interj.)
- supposedly a characteristic Irish expression of emotion or excitement, 1705 (Farquhar).
- arraign (v.)
- late 14c., araynen, "to call to account," also "to call up on a criminal charge," from Old French araisnier "speak to, address; accuse (in a law court)," from Vulgar Latin *arrationare, from Latin adrationare, from ad "to" (see ad-) + *rationare, from ratio "argumentation; reckoning, calculation" (from rat-, past participle stem of reri "to reckon, calculate," also "think" (see reason (n.)). The unetymological -g- is a 16c. overcorrection based on reign, etc. Related: Arraigned; arraigning.
- arraignment (n.)
- mid-15c., from Old French araisnement, from araisnier
- arrange (v.)
- late 14c., "draw up a line of battle," from Old French arengier "put in a row, put in battle order" (12c., Modern French arranger), from a- "to" (see ad-) + rangier "set in a row" (Modern French ranger), from rang "rank," from Frankish *hring or a similar Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hringaz "something curved, circle" (see rank (n.)).
A rare word until the meaning generalized to "to place things in order" c. 1780-1800. Meaning "come to an agreement or understanding" is by 1786. Musical sense of "adapt for other instruments or voices" is from 1808. Related: Arranged; arranging. Arranged marriage attested from 1854.
- arrangement (n.)
- "act of arraigning, act of putting in proper order," 1740, from French arrangement (Old French arengement), from arranger "arrange" (see arrange). Meaning "that which is put in order, combination of parts or materials" is from 1800. Sense in music is from 1813. Meaning "final settlement, adjustment by agreement" is from 1855.
- arrant (adj.)
- late 14c., variant of errant (q.v.); at first merely derogatory, "wandering, vagrant;" then (16c.) gradually losing its opprobrious force and acquiring a meaning "thoroughgoing, downright, notorious."
- arras (n.)
- "pictured tapestry," especially as used for covering the walls of a room, late 14c., from Anglo-French draps d'arras, from Arras, city in France where pictured tapestries were made. The place-name is from Latin Atrebates, name of a tribe of the Belgae who inhabited the Artois region; probably literally "inhabitants," from Celtic trebu "tribe."
- array (n.)
- mid-14c., "order or position of things, arrangement, sequence," from Anglo-French arrai, Old French aroi, arroi (12c.), from areer "to put in order" (see array (v.)). From late 14c. as "rank or line of soldiers; troops drawn up in battle formation," also "equipment, furnishings, gear; splendid furnishings, grandeur, magnificence." Meaning "an orderly assemblage" is from 1814.
- array (v.)
- mid-14c., "marshal (troops), arrange (an army for battle);" late 14c., "put (things) in order, arrange; get (something) ready, prepare; equip, fit out, put clothing on; adorn, decorate," from Old French areyer, earlier areer "to put in order," from Vulgar Latin *ar-redare "put in order" (source also of Italian arredare), from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + *redum, from Frankish *ræd- "ready" or some cognate Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *raidjan "to place in order" (source also of Gothic garadis, Old English geræde "ready;" see ready (adj.)). Related: Arrayed; arraying.
- arrear (adv.)
- c. 1300, "at a disadvantage;" mid-14c., "in times past;" late 14c., "in or to the rear," from Old French ariere (see arrears). Meaning "behind in duties or payments" is from 1620s.
- arrearage (n.)
- "unpaid debt," early 14c., from Old French arierage "detriment, prejudice" in a legal sense (Modern French arrérages), from ariere "behind" (see arrears).
- arrears (n.)
- "balance due, that which is behind in payment," early 15c., plural noun from Middle English arrere (adv.) "in or to the rear; in the past; at a disadvantage" (c. 1300), from Anglo-French arrere, Old French ariere "behind, backward" (12c., Modern French arrière), from Vulgar Latin *ad retro, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + retro "behind" (see retro-).
It generally implies that part of the money already has been paid. Arrearage (early 14c.) was the earlier noun. Phrase in arrears first recorded 1610s, but in arrearages is from late 14c.
- arrest (v.)
- "to cause to stop," also "to detain legally," late 14c., from Old French arester "to stay, stop" (12c., Modern French arrêter), from Vulgar Latin *arrestare "to stop, restrain" (source also of Italian arrestare, Spanish and Portuguese arrestar), from ad "to" (see ad-) + Latin restare "to stop, remain behind, stay back," from re- "back" (see re-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *stā- "to stand, set down, make or be firm" (see stet). Figurative sense of "to catch and hold" (the attention, etc.) is from 1814.
- arrest (n.)
- "act of stopping; state of being stopped," late 14c., from Anglo-French arest, Old French areste (n.) "stoppage, delay" (12c., Modern French arrêt), from arester "to stay, stop" (see arrest (v.)). Especially in law, "the taking of a person into custody, usually by warrant from authority, to answer an alleged or suspected crime" (early 15c.).
- arrested (adj.)
- "halted, stopped," 1610s, past-participle adjective from arrest (v.). Arrested development is first recorded 1859 in evolutionary biology.
- arresting (adj.)
- 1792, "stopping," present-participle adjective from arrest (v.). Figurative sense of "striking, that captures the imagination" is by 1883.
- arrhythmia (n.)
- in medicine, "irregularity of pulse" (arrhythmia cordis), 1888, from Greek noun of action from arrhythmos "irregular, unrhythmical," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + rhythmos "measured flow or movement, rhythm; proportion, symmetry" (see rhythm). Nativized form arrhythmy, in reference to metrics, is attested from 1844.
- arrhythmic (adj.)
- "without rhythm," 1844 (arhythmic), in relation to musical sensibility, Modern Latin, from Greek arrhythmos "irregular, unrhythmical, without measure," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + rhythmos "measured flow or movement, rhythm; proportion, symmetry" (see rhythm). Related: Arrhythmically.
- arrival (n.)
- late 14c., "act of coming to land at the end of a voyage by sea, disembarkation," from Anglo-French arrivaille, from Old French ariver "to come to land" (see arrive). General meaning "act of coming to the end of any voyage" is from 1510s. Arrivage (late 14c.) also was used in the literal sense.
- arrive (v.)
- c. 1200, "reach land, reach the end of a journey by sea," from Anglo-French ariver, Old French ariver "to come to land" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *arripare "to touch the shore," from Latin ad ripam "to the shore," from ad "to" (see ad-) + ripa "shore" (see riparian). The original notion is of coming ashore after a long voyage. Of journeys other than by sea, from late 14c. Sense of "to come to a position or state of mind" is from late 14c. Related: Arrived; arriving.
- arriviste (n.)
- "a pushy, ambitious person," 1901, from French arriviste, from arriver "to arrive" (see arrive). The notion is of a person intent on "arriving" at success or in society.
- arrogance (n.)
- "a manifest feeling of superiority of one's worth or importance, combined with contempt of others," c. 1300, from Old French arrogance (12c.), from Latin arrogantia "presumption, pride, haughtiness," abstract noun from arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself, assume," from ad "to" (see ad-) + rogare "to ask, to propose (a law, a candidate); to ask a favor, entreat, request" (see rogation).
- arrogant (adj.)
- "disposed to give oneself undue importance, aggressively haughty," late 14c., from Old French arrogant (14c.), from Latin arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself, assume," from ad "to" (see ad-) + rogare "to ask, to propose (a law, a candidate); to ask a favor, entreat, request" (see rogation). Related: Arrogantly.
- arrogate (v.)
- "claim or demand presumptuously," 1530s, from Latin arrogatus, past participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + rogare "to ask, to propose (a law, a candidate); to ask a favor, entreat, request" (see rogation). Related: Arrogated; arrogating.
- arrogation (n.)
- "act of taking more than one's due," 1590s, from Latin arrogationem (nominative arrogatio) "a taking to oneself," noun of action from past participle stem of arrogare "to claim for oneself" (see arrogate).
- arrondissement (n.)
- "administrative subdivision of a French department," 1807, from French, literally "a rounding," from stem of arrondir "to make round," from a- "to" (see ad-) + rond "round" (see round (adj.)). They were created during the Revolution.
- arrow (n.)
- early 14c., from Old English arwan, earlier earh "arrow," possibly borrowed from Old Norse ör (genitive örvar), from Proto-Germanic *arkhwo (source also of Gothic arhwanza), from PIE root *arku-, source of Latin arcus (see arc (n.)). The ground sense would be "the thing belonging to the bow," perhaps a superstitious avoidance of the actual name. Meaning "a mark like an arrow" in cartography, etc. is from 1834.
A rare word in Old English. More common words for "arrow" were stræl (which is cognate with the word still common in Slavic and once prevalent in Germanic, related to words meaning "flash, streak") and fla, flan (the -n perhaps mistaken for a plural inflection), from Old Norse, a North Germanic word, perhaps originally with the sense of "splinter." Stræl disappeared by 1200; fla became flo in early Middle English and lingered in Scottish until after 1500.
Robyn bent his joly bowe,
Therein he set a flo.
["Robyn and Gandelyn," in a minstrel book from c. 1450 in the British Museum]
- arrow-head (n.)
- also arrowhead, late 15c., from arrow + head (n.). Ancient ones dug up were called elf-arrows (17c.).
- arrow-root (n.)
- also arrowroot, 1690s, from arrow + root (n.). So called because the plant's fresh roots or tubers were used to absorb toxins from poison-dart wounds.
- arroyo (n.)
- "watercourse, dry stream bed," 1845, a California word, from American Spanish, in Spanish, "rivulet, small stream," perhaps from Latin arrugia "shaft or pit in a gold mine," which is apparently a compound of ad "to" (see ad-) + ruga "a wrinkle" (see rough (adj.)).
- arse (n.)
- "buttocks, hinder part of an animal," Old English ærs "tail, rump," from Proto-Germanic *arsoz (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Norse ars, Middle Dutch ærs, German Arsch "buttock"), from PIE root *ors- "buttock, backside" (source also of Greek orros "tail, rump, base of the spine," Hittite arrash, Armenian or "buttock," Old Irish err "tail").
To hang the arse "be reluctant or tardy" is from 1630s. Middle English had arse-winning "money obtained by prostitution" (late 14c.). To turn arse over tip is attested by 1922.
- arsehole (n.)
- c. 1400, arce-hoole; see arse + hole (n.). In Old English, Latin anus was glossed with earsðerl, literally "arse-thrill" (compare nostril).
- arsenal (n.)
- c. 1500, "dockyard, dock with naval stores," from Italian arzenale, from Arabic dar as-sina'ah "workshop," literally "house of manufacture," from dar "house" + sina'ah "art, craft, skill," from sana'a "he made."
Applied by the Venetians to a large wharf in their city, which was the earliest reference of the English word. Sense of "public place for making or storing weapons and ammunition" is from 1570s. The London football club (1886) was named for the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, where the original players worked.
- arsenic (n.)
- late 14c., "yellow arsenic, arsenic trisulphide," from Old French arsenic, from Latin arsenicum, from late Greek arsenikon "arsenic" (Dioscorides; Aristotle has it as sandarake), adapted from Syriac (al) zarniqa "arsenic," from Middle Persian zarnik "gold-colored" (arsenic trisulphide has a lemon-yellow color), from Old Iranian *zarna- "golden," from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives referring to bright materials and gold (see glass).
The form of the Greek word is folk etymology, literally "masculine," from arsen "male, strong, virile" (compare arseno-koites "lying with men" in New Testament) supposedly in reference to the powerful properties of the substance. As an element, from 1812. The mineral (as opposed to the element) is properly orpiment, from Latin auri pigmentum, so called because it was used to make golden dyes.
- arseward (adv.)
- "backward," c. 1400, from arse + -ward.
- arson (n.)
- "malicious burning of property," 1670s, from Anglo-French arsoun (late 13c.), Old French arsion, from Late Latin arsionem (nominative arsio) "a burning," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow" (see ash (n.1)). The Old English term was bærnet, literally "burning;" and Coke has indictment of burning (1640).
- arsonist (n.)
- 1864, from arson + -ist.
- arsy-versy (adv.)
- "backside foremost," 1530s, probably a reduplication of arse, perhaps with suggestions of reverse.
- art (n.)
- early 13c., "skill as a result of learning or practice," from Old French art (10c.), from Latin artem (nominative ars) "work of art; practical skill; a business, craft," from PIE *ar-ti- (source also of Sanskrit rtih "manner, mode;" Greek arti "just," artios "complete, suitable," artizein "to prepare;" Latin artus "joint;" Armenian arnam "make;" German art "manner, mode"), from root *ar- "fit together, join" (see arm (n.1)), which makes art etymologically akin to Latin arma "weapons."
In Middle English usually with a sense of "skill in scholarship and learning" (c. 1300), especially in the seven sciences, or liberal arts. This sense remains in Bachelor of Arts, etc. Meaning "human workmanship" (as opposed to nature) is from late 14c. Meaning "system of rules and traditions for performing certain actions" is from late 15c. Sense of "skill in cunning and trickery" first attested late 16c. (the sense in artful, artless). Meaning "skill in creative arts" is first recorded 1610s; especially of painting, sculpture, etc., from 1660s.
Supreme art is a traditional statement of certain heroic and religious truths, passed on from age to age, modified by individual genius, but never abandoned. The revolt of individualism came because the tradition had become degraded, or rather because a spurious copy had been accepted in its stead. [William Butler Yeats]
Expression art for art's sake (1824) translates French l'art pour l'art. First record of art critic is from 1847. Arts and crafts "decorative design and handcraft" first attested in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, founded in London, 1888.
- art (adj.)
- "produced with conscious artistry" (as opposed to popular or folk), 1890, from art (n.), possibly from influence of German kunstlied "art song." Art film is from 1960; art rock from 1968.
- art (v.)
- second person singular present indicative of be; Old English eart. Also see are (v.). It became archaic in the 1800s.
- art brut (n.)
- art done by prisoners, lunatics, etc., 1955, French, literally "raw art" (see art (n.) + brute (adj.)).
- art deco (n.)
- decorative and architectural style popular from 1925-1940, attested from 1966, from shortening of French art décoratif, literally "decorative art" (see decorative); the French phrase is from the title of L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris 1925.