atemporal (adj.) Look up atemporal at
1870, from a- "not" + temporal. Related: Atemporally.
Aten Look up Aten at
a name of the sun in ancient Egypt, from Egyptian itn.
Athabascan Look up Athabascan at
1846, Athapaskan, from the name of the North American Indian people, from Lake Athabaska in northern Alberta, Canada, from Woods Cree (Algonquian) Athapaskaw, said by Webster to mean literally "grass or reeds here and there," referring to the delta region west of the lake. Also in reference to their language group.
Athanasian (adj.) Look up Athanasian at
1580s, from Athanasius, archbishop of Alexandria in the reign of Constantine. The name is Latin, from Greek Athanasios, from athanatos "immortal," from a- "not," privative prefix, + thanatos "death" (see thanatology).
atheism (n.) Look up atheism at
1580s, from French athéisme (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god" (see atheist). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (1530s) which is perhaps from Italian atheo "atheist." Ancient Greek atheotes meant "ungodliness."
atheist (n.) Look up atheist at
1570s, from French athéiste (16c.), from Greek atheos "without god, denying the gods; abandoned of the gods; godless, ungodly," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see theo-).
The existence of a world without God seems to me less absurd than the presence of a God, existing in all his perfection, creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of Hell. [Armand Salacrou, "Certitudes et incertitudes," 1943]
atheistic (adj.) Look up atheistic at
1630s, from atheist + -ic. Atheistical attested from c. 1600.
atheling (n.) Look up atheling at
"member of a noble family," Old English æðling, from æðel "noble family," related to Old English æðele "noble," from Proto-Germanic *athala-, from PIE *at-al- "race, family," from *at(i)- "over, beyond, super" + *al- "to nourish." With suffix -ing "belonging to." A common Germanic word (cognates: Old Saxon ediling, Old Frisian etheling, Old High German adaling).
Athelstan Look up Athelstan at
masc. proper name, Old English Æðelstane, literally "noble stone;" see atheling + stone (n.).
Athena Look up Athena at
Greek goddess of wisdom, skill in the arts, warfare, etc., from Latin Athena, from Greek Athene, perhaps from a name in a lost pre-Hellenic language.
Athenaeum (n.) Look up Athenaeum at
1727, from Latinized form of Greek Athenaion "the temple of Athene," in ancient Athens, in which professors taught and actors or poets rehearsed. Meaning "literary club-room or reading room" is from 1799; "literary or scientific club" is from 1864.
Athenian (n.) Look up Athenian at
Old English Atheniense (plural noun), from Latin Atheniensis, from Athenae (see Athens).
Athens Look up Athens at
city of ancient Attica, capital of modern Greece, from Greek Athenai (plural because the city had several distinct parts), traditionally derived from Athena, but probably assimilated from a lost name in a pre-Hellenic language.
atheroma (n.) Look up atheroma at
"encysted tumor," 1706, medical Latin, from Greek atheroma, from athere "groats, porridge" (related to ather "chaff"), in reference to what is inside. For ending, see -oma.
atherosclerosis (n.) Look up atherosclerosis at
1908, from atherosklerose, coined in German 1904; see atheroma + sclerosis.
athetosis (n.) Look up athetosis at
1871, from Greek athetos "not fixed, without position or place, set aside" + -osis. Coined by U.S. nerve specialist William Alexander Hammond (1828-1900).
athlete (n.) Look up athlete at
early 15c., from Latin athleta "a wrestler, athlete, combatant in public games," from Greek athletes "prizefighter, contestant in the games," agent noun from athlein "to contest for a prize," related to athlos "a contest" and athlon "a prize," which is of unknown origin. Before 1750, usually in Latin form. In this sense, Old English had plegmann "play-man." Athlete's foot first recorded 1928, for an ailment that has been around much longer.
athletic (adj.) Look up athletic at
1630s (athletical is from 1590s), "pertaining to an athlete," from Latin athleticus, from Greek athletikos, from athletes (see athlete). Meaning "strong of body; vigorous; lusty; robust" [Johnson, who spells it athletick] is from 1650s.
athleticism (n.) Look up athleticism at
1835, from athletic + -ism.
athletics (n.) Look up athletics at
c. 1730, from athletic; also see -ics. Probably formed on model of gymnastics.
athrob (adj.) Look up athrob at
1857, from a- (1) + throb. Related: Athrobbing.
athwart (adv.) Look up athwart at
late 15c., from a- (1) + thwart.
atilt (adv.) Look up atilt at
1560s, from a- (1) + tilt (n.).
Atlantic Look up Atlantic at
late 14c., occean of Athlant "sea off the west coast of Africa" (early 15c. as occean Atlantyke), from Latin Atlanticus, from Greek Atlantikos "of Atlas," adjectival form of Atlas (genitive Atlantos), in reference to Mount Atlas in Mauritania (see Atlas). Applied to the whole ocean since c. 1600.
Atlantis Look up Atlantis at
mythical island-nation, from Greek Atlantis, literally "daughter of Atlas." All references trace to Plato's dialogues "Timaeus" and "Critias," both written c. 360 B.C.E.
Atlas Look up Atlas at
1580s, Titan, son of Iapetus and Clymene, supposed to uphold the pillars of heaven, which was his punishment for being the war leader of the Titans in the struggle with the Olympian gods. The name in Greek perhaps means "The Bearer (of the Heavens)," from a-, copulative prefix, + stem of tlenai "to bear," from PIE root *tele- "to lift, support, weigh." Mount Atlas, in Mauritania, was important in Greek cosmology as a support of the heavens.
atlas (n.) Look up atlas at
"collection of maps in a volume," 1636, first in reference to the English translation of "Atlas, sive cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi" (1585) by Flemish geographer Gerhardus Mercator (1512-1594), who might have been the first to use this word in this way. A picture of the Titan Atlas holding up the world appeared on the frontispiece of this and other early map collections.
atlatl (n.) Look up atlatl at
Native American throwing stick, 1871, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) atlatl "spear-thrower."
ATM Look up ATM at
1976, acronym for automated teller machine (1974), which was developed in modern form c. 1968.
atman (n.) Look up atman at
1785, from Sanskrit atma "essence, breath, soul," from PIE *etmen "breath" (a root found in Sanskrit and Germanic; source also of Old English æðm, Dutch adem, Old High German atum "breath," Old English eþian, Dutch ademen "to breathe").
atmosphere (n.) Look up atmosphere at
1630s, atmosphaera (modern form from 1670s), from Modern Latin atmosphaera, from Greek atmos "vapor, steam" + spharia "sphere" (see sphere). Greek atmos is from PIE *awet-mo-, from root *wet- (1) "to blow" (also "to inspire, spiritually arouse;" see wood (adj.)). First used in English in connection with the Moon, which, as it turns out, practically doesn't have one.
It is observed in the solary eclipses, that there is sometimes a great trepidation about the body of the moon, from which we may likewise argue an atmosphaera, since we cannot well conceive what so probable a cause there should be of such an appearance as this, Quod radii solares a vaporibus lunam ambitntibus fuerint intercisi, that the sun-beams were broken and refracted by the vapours that encompassed the moon. [Rev. John Wilkins, "Discovery of New World or Discourse tending to prove that it probable there may be another World in the Moon," 1638]
Figurative sense of "surrounding influence, mental or moral environment" is c. 1800.
atmospheric (adj.) Look up atmospheric at
1783, from atmosphere + -ic. In a sense of "creating a mood or mental environment" it is from 1908. Atmospherics "disturbances in wireless communication" is from 1905.
atoll (n.) Look up atoll at
1620s, atollon, from Malayam atolu "reef," probably from adal "closing, uniting." Popularized in present form by Darwin's writings.
atom (n.) Look up atom at
late 15c., as a hypothetical indivisible body, the building block of the universe, from Latin atomus (especially in Lucretius) "indivisible particle," from Greek atomos "uncut, unhewn; indivisible," from a- "not" + tomos "a cutting," from temnein "to cut" (see tome). An ancient term of philosophical speculation (in Leucippus, Democritus), revived 1805 by British chemist John Dalton. In late classical and medieval use also a unit of time, 22,560 to the hour. Atom bomb is from 1945 as both a noun and a verb; compare atomic.
atomic (adj.) Look up atomic at
1670s as a philosophical term (see atomistic); scientific sense dates from 1811, from atom + -ic. Atomic number is from 1821; atomic mass is from 1848. Atomic energy first recorded 1906 in modern sense (as intra-atomic energy from 1903).
March, 1903, was an historic date for chemistry. It is, also, as we shall show, a date to which, in all probability, the men of the future will often refer as the veritable beginning of the larger powers and energies that they will control. It was in March, 1903, that Curie and Laborde announced the heat-emitting power of radium. [Robert Kennedy Duncan, "The New Knowledge," 1906]
Atomic bomb first recorded 1914 in writings of H.G. Wells, who thought of it as a bomb "that would continue to explode indefinitely."
When you can drop just one atomic bomb and wipe out Paris or Berlin, war will have become monstrous and impossible. [S. Strunsky, "Yale Review," January 1917]
Atomic Age is from 1945. Atomical is from 1640s.
atomies (n.) Look up atomies at
1590s, "atoms," also "diminutive beings," from atomy, from Latin atomi, plural of atomus (see atom), but taken as a singular in English and re-pluralized in the native way. Perhaps also in some cases a plural of atomy (from misdivision of anatomy).
atomistic (adj.) Look up atomistic at
1809, in reference to the classical philosophical doctrine of atomism (1670s); modern philosophical sense (logical atomism) traces to 1914 and Bertrand Russell.
atomization (n.) Look up atomization at
1866, noun of action from atomize.
atomize (v.) Look up atomize at
"reduce to atoms," 1845; "reduce a liquid to a very fine mist," 1865, verb formed from atom + -ize. Related: Atomized; atomizing. Originally in reference to medical treatment for injured or diseased lungs; sense of "to destroy with atomic weapons" is from 1945.
atomizer (n.) Look up atomizer at
1865, agent noun from atomize.
Aton Look up Aton at
variant of Aten.
atonal (adj.) Look up atonal at
1922, from a- "not" (see a- (2)) + tonal.
atonality (n.) Look up atonality at
1950; see atonal + -ity.
atone (v.) Look up atone at
1550s, from adverbial phrase atonen (c. 1300) "in accord," literally "at one," a contraction of at and one. It retains the older pronunciation of one. The phrase perhaps is modeled on Latin adunare "unite," from ad- "to, at" (see ad-) + unum "one." Related: Atoned; atoning.
atonement (n.) Look up atonement at
1510s, "condition of being at one (with others)," from atone + -ment. Meaning "reconciliation" (especially of sinners with God) is from 1520s; that of "propitiation of an offended party" is from 1610s.
atop (adv.) Look up atop at
1650s, from a- (1) + top. Two words or hyphenated at first; not fully established as one word till late 19c.
atopic (adj.) Look up atopic at
1923, from atopia (see atopy) + -ic.
atopy (n.) Look up atopy at
1923, coined by Edward D. Perry, professor of Greek at Columbia University, at the request of medical men, from Greek atopia "unusualness, strangeness, a being out of the way," from atopos "out of place, strange, odd, eccentric," from a-, privative prefix (see a- (3)), + topos "place" (see topos).
ATP Look up ATP at
abbreviation of adenosine triphosphate, attested from 1939.
atrabiliary (adj.) Look up atrabiliary at
1725, from Medieval Latin atrabilarius; see atrabilious.