artwork (n.) Look up artwork at Dictionary.com
also art-work, 1847, from art (n.) + work (n.). Perhaps modeled on German Kunstwerk.
arty (adj.) Look up arty at Dictionary.com
"having artistic pretentions," 1901, from art (n.) + -y (2). Compare artsy.
arugula (n.) Look up arugula at Dictionary.com
edible cruciform plant (Eruca sativa) used originally in the Mediterranean region as a salad, 1967, the American English and Australian form of the name (via Italian immigrants), from a dialectal variant of Italian ruchetta, a diminutive form of ruca-, from Latin eruca, a name of some cabbage-like plant, from PIE *gher(s)-uka-, from root *ghers- "to bristle" (see horror).

In England, the usual name is rocket (see rocket (n.1)), which is from Italian ruchetta via French roquette. It also sometimes is called hedge mustard.
ARVN (n.) Look up ARVN at Dictionary.com
acronym for Army of the Republic of Vietnam, ground military force of South Vietnam, organized 1955.
Aryan Look up Aryan at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, as a term in classical history, from Latin Arianus, Ariana, from Greek Aria, Areia, names applied in classical times to the eastern part of ancient Persia and to its inhabitants. Ancient Persians used the name in reference to themselves (Old Persian ariya-), hence Iran. Ultimately from Sanskrit arya- "compatriot;" in later language "noble, of good family."

Also the name Sanskrit-speaking invaders of India gave themselves in the ancient texts. Thus it was the word early 19c. European philologists (Friedrich Schlegel, 1819, who linked it with German Ehre "honor") applied to the ancient people we now call Indo-Europeans, suspecting that this is what they called themselves. This use is attested in English from 1851. In German from 1845 it was specifically contrasted to Semitic (Lassen).

German philologist Max Müller (1823-1900) popularized Aryan in his writings on comparative linguistics, recommending it as the name (replacing Indo-European, Indo-Germanic, Caucasian, Japhetic) for the group of related, inflected languages connected with these peoples, mostly found in Europe but also including Sanskrit and Persian. The spelling Arian was used in this sense from 1839 (and is more philologically correct), but it caused confusion with Arian, the term in ecclesiastical history.
The terms for God, for house, for father, mother, son, daughter, for dog and cow, for heart and tears, for axe and tree, identical in all the Indo-European idioms, are like the watchwords of soldiers. We challenge the seeming stranger; and whether he answer with the lips of a Greek, a German, or an Indian, we recognize him as one of ourselves. [Müller, "History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature," 1859]
Aryan was gradually replaced in comparative linguistics c. 1900 by Indo-European, except when used to distinguish Indo-European languages of India from non-Indo-European ones. From the 1920s Aryan began to be used in Nazi ideology to mean "member of a Caucasian Gentile race of Nordic type." As an ethnic designation, however, it is properly limited to Indo-Iranians (most justly to the latter) and has fallen from general academic use since the Nazis adopted it.
Aryanism (n.) Look up Aryanism at Dictionary.com
1858, "characteristic Aryan principles," from Aryan + -ism. As a belief in cultural or racial superiority of Aryans, from 1905.
Aryanize (v.) Look up Aryanize at Dictionary.com
"to render 'Aryan,'" in the Nazi sense, 1935, from Aryan + -ize. Related: Aryanized; Aryanizing.
as (adv., conj., pron.) Look up as at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, worn-down form of Old English alswa "quite so, wholly so," literally "all so" (see also), fully established by c. 1400. Equivalent to so; any distinction in use is purely idiomatic. Related to German als "as, than," from Middle High German also.

Phrase as well "just as much" is recorded from late 15c.; the phrase also can imply "as well as not," "as well as anything else." Phrase as if, in Kantian metaphysics (translating German als ab), introducing a supposition not to be taken literally, is from 1892; as an interjection of incredulity (as if!; i.e. "as if that really could happen") is attested from 1995. It duplicates Latin quasi. Phrase as it were "as if it were so" is attested from late 14c.
as- Look up as- at Dictionary.com
assimilated form of ad- before -s-.
asafetida (n.) Look up asafetida at Dictionary.com
"pungent sap from the roots of several plants native to Persia and Afghanistan," used as a drug, late 14c., from Medieval Latin asa (Latinized from Persian aza "mastic") + foetida, fem. of foetidus "stinking" (see fetid).
asafoetida (n.) Look up asafoetida at Dictionary.com
alternative spelling of asafetida (q.v.); also see oe.
asap Look up asap at Dictionary.com
see a.s.a.p.
asbestine (adj.) Look up asbestine at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to or of the nature of asbestos; incombustible," 1620s, from Latin asbestinus, from Greek asbestinos, from asbestos (see asbestos).
asbestos (n.) Look up asbestos at Dictionary.com
1650s, earlier albeston, abestus (c. 1100), name of a fabulous stone, which, set afire, could not be extinguished; from Old French abeste, abestos (Modern French asbeste), from Latin asbestos "quicklime" (which "burns" when cold water is poured on it), from Greek asbestos, literally "inextinguishable," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + sbestos, verbal adjective from sbennynai "to quench," from PIE root *(s)gwes- "to quench, extinguish" (source also of Lithuanian gestu "to go out," Old Church Slavonic gaso, Hittite kishtari "is being put out").

The Greek word was used by Dioscorides as a noun meaning "quicklime." "Erroneously applied by Pliny to an incombustible fibre, which he believed to be vegetable, but which was really the amiantos of the Greeks" [OED]. Asbestos in this "fibrous mineral capable of being woven into incombustible fabric" sense is in English from c. 1600; earlier this had been called amiant (early 15c.), from the Greek word mentioned above, which means "undefiled" (because it showed no mark or stain when thrown into fire). Supposed in the Middle Ages to be salamanders' wool; another old name for it in English was fossil linen (18c.). Prester John, the Emperor of India, and Pope Alexander III were said to have had robes or tunics made of it.
asbestosis (n.) Look up asbestosis at Dictionary.com
"lung disease caused by inhalation of asbestos," 1927; see asbestos + -osis.
ascend (v.) Look up ascend at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "move upward," from Latin ascendere "to climb up, mount," of planets, constellations, "come over the horizon," figuratively "to rise, reach," from ad "to" (see ad-) + scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). Also in 15c. used with a sense "to mount (a female) for copulation." Meaning "slope upward" is from 1832. Related: Ascended; ascending. An Old English word for it was stigan.
ascendance (n.) Look up ascendance at Dictionary.com
1742, from ascend + -ance. According to OED, properly "the act of ascending," but used from the start in English as a synonym of ascendancy.
ascendancy (n.) Look up ascendancy at Dictionary.com
"dominant power or influence, state of being in the ascendant," 1712; see ascendant + -cy.
ascendant (adj.) Look up ascendant at Dictionary.com
late 14c., ascendent, in astrology, "rising over the horizon," from Latin ascendentem (nominative ascendans), present participle of ascendere "to mount, ascend, go up" (see ascend). Sense "moving upward, rising" is recorded from 1590s.

As a noun in astrology, "point of the ecliptic or sign of the zodiac which is on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth." The planet that rules the ascendant is believed to have predominant influence on the horoscope. Hence in the ascendant "ruling, dominant" (not, as is often thought, "rising"), 1670s, and the adjective meaning "superior, dominant," 1806.
ascendence (n.) Look up ascendence at Dictionary.com
alternative spelling of ascendance (see -ance). Related: Ascendent; ascendency.
ascender (n.) Look up ascender at Dictionary.com
1620s, agent noun from ascend (v.). In typography from 1867.
ascending (adj.) Look up ascending at Dictionary.com
"proceeding from a lower position to a higher," 1610s, present-participle adjective from ascend (v.).
ascension (n.) Look up ascension at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "ascent of Christ from earth into Heaven in the presence of his disciples on the 40th day after the Resurrection," from Latin ascensionem (nominative ascensio) "a rising," noun of action from past participle stem of ascendere "to mount, ascend, go up" (see ascend). It is commemorated in the Church as Holy Thursday. Astronomical sense is recorded late 14c.; meaning "action of ascending" is from 1590s. Related: Ascensional.
ascent (n.) Look up ascent at Dictionary.com
c. 1610, "action of rising, upward movement," from ascend on model of descend/descent. Meaning "act of climbing" is from 1753.
ascertain (v.) Look up ascertain at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to inform, to give assurance" (a sense now obsolete), from Anglo-French acerteiner, Old French acertener "to assure, certify" (13c.), from a- "to" (see ad-) + certain "sure, assured" (see certain). Meaning "find out for sure by experiment or investigation" is first attested 1794. Related: Ascertained; ascertaining.
ascertainable (adj.) Look up ascertainable at Dictionary.com
"capable of being found out," 1765, from ascertain + -able. Related: Ascertainably.
ascertainment (n.) Look up ascertainment at Dictionary.com
1650s, "a reducing to certainty;" see ascertain + -ment. From 1799 as "act of attaining certainty, discovery as a result of investigation."
ascetic (adj.) Look up ascetic at Dictionary.com
1640s, "practicing rigorous self-denial as a religious exercise," from Latinized form of Greek asketikos "rigorously self-disciplined, laborious," from asketes "monk, hermit," earlier "skilled worker, one who practices an art or trade," especially "athlete, one in training for the arena," from askein "to exercise, train," especially "to train for athletic competition, practice gymnastics, exercise," perhaps originally "to fashion material, embellish or refine material."

The Greek word was applied by the stoics to the controlling of the appetites and passions as the path to virtue and was picked up from them by the early Christians. Figurative sense of "unduly strict or austere" also is from 1640s. Related: Ascetical (1610s).
ascetic (n.) Look up ascetic at Dictionary.com
1650s, "one rigorous in self-denial," especially as an act of religious devotion; 1670s, Ascetic, "one of the early Christians who retired to the desert to live solitary lives of meditation, self-denial, and prayer," from ascetic (adj.).
asceticism (n.) Look up asceticism at Dictionary.com
1640s, from ascetic (adj.) + -ism. Sometimes also ascetism (1830).
Ascians (n.) Look up Ascians at Dictionary.com
inhabitants of the torrid zone, 1630s, from Medieval Latin Ascii, from Greek askioi, from a- "not, without" (see a- (3)) + skia "shade, shadow," from PIE root *skai- (2) "to gleam, shine, flicker" (see shine (v.)). So called because they "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].
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
"abdominal dropsy," late 14c., from Latin ascites, from Greek askites (hydrops), literally "baglike dropsy," from askos "leather bag, sack, wine-skin," a word of unknown origin.
ascitic (adj.) Look up ascitic at Dictionary.com
"afflicted with ascites," 1680s; see ascites + -ic. Related: Ascitical (1670s).
Asclepius Look up Asclepius at Dictionary.com
Latinized form of Greek Asklepios, which is of unknown origin. Beekes writes that "The name is typical for Pre-Greek words ...." Originally a Thessalian prince famous as a physician, later regarded as a son of Apollo and god of medicine.
ascorbic (adj.) Look up ascorbic at Dictionary.com
1933 (in ascorbic acid), from a- (2) "off, away from" + scorbic, scorbutic "of scurvy," from Medieval Latin scorbuticus "scurvy," which is perhaps of German or Dutch origin. Originally in reference to Vitamin C, which is an anti-scorbutic.
Ascot Look up Ascot at Dictionary.com
village near Windsor, Berkshire, literally "eastern cottage." The site of fashionable horse race meetings, hence its use attributively for clothes suitable for the event; especially a type of tie (1889).
ascribable (adj.) Look up ascribable at Dictionary.com
"capable of being attributed," 1670s, from ascribe + -able. Related: Ascribably; ascribability.
ascribe (v.) Look up ascribe at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., ascrive, "attribute, impute, credit" (something to someone), from Old French ascrivre "to inscribe; attribute, impute," from Latin ascribere "to write in, enter in a list; add to in a writing," figuratively "impute, attribute," from ad "to" (see ad-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). English spelling was conformed to Latin 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 "to write in, add to in a writing; impute, attribute," from ad "to" (see ad-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut").
ascus (n.) Look up ascus at Dictionary.com
"sack-like spore-case in lichens and certain other fungi," 1830, Modern Latin, from Greek askos "leather bag, wine-skin," which is of unknown origin. Plural asci.
asea (adj.) Look up asea at Dictionary.com
"at or to the sea," 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- (3) "not" + seismic. Alternative aseismatic "designed to be stable" is by 1868.
aseity (n.) Look up aseity at Dictionary.com
"a being by itself, independent existence," 1690s, from Medieval Latin aseitas "state of being by itself," from Latin a "from" (see ab-) + se "oneself" (see suicide).
asepsis (n.) Look up asepsis at Dictionary.com
"absence of micro-organisms causing putrefaction or fermentation," 1855, from a- (3) "not" + sepsis.
aseptic (adj.) Look up aseptic at Dictionary.com
"free from the micro-organisms that cause putrefaction or fermentation," 1855, from a- (3) "not" + septic. As a noun, "aseptic substance," from 1884.
asexual (adj.) Look up asexual at Dictionary.com
1829, as a term in biology, "having no sex or sexual system," a hybrid from a- (3) "not" + sexual. In general contexts, "wanting sexuality, being of or referring to neither sex," attested from 1896.
asexuality (n.) Look up asexuality at Dictionary.com
1853, originally in biology; see asexual + -ity.
asexually (adv.) Look up asexually at Dictionary.com
1857; see asexual + -ly (2).