atrabilious (adj.) Look up atrabilious at
1650s, from Latin atra bilis, translating Greek melankholia "black bile" (see melancholy; also compare bile). Atra is fem. of ater "black, dark, gloomy," perhaps related to root of atrocity. Related: Atrabiliousness.
atremble (adv.) Look up atremble at
1852, from a- (1) + tremble (v.).
atresia (n.) Look up atresia at
"occlusion of a natural passage in the body," 1807, from Modern Latin atresia, from Greek atretos "not perforated," from a-, privative prefix, + tresis "perforation," from PIE *tere- (1) "to rub, turn," with derivatives referring to boring and drilling (see throw (v.)).
Atreus Look up Atreus at
in Greek mythology, the son of Pelops, father of Agamemnon and Menelaus.
atria (n.) Look up atria at
classical plural of atrium.
atrial (adj.) Look up atrial at
by 1860 in the medical sense, from atrium + -al (1).
atrium (n.) Look up atrium at
1570s, from Latin atrium "central court or main room of an ancient Roman house, room which contains the hearth," sometimes said (on authority of Varro, "De Lingua Latina") to be an Etruscan word, but perhaps from PIE *ater- "fire," on notion of "place where smoke from the hearth escapes" (through a hole in the roof). Anatomical sense of "either of the upper cavities of the heart" first recorded 1870. Meaning "skylit central court in a public building" first attested 1967.
atrocious (adj.) Look up atrocious at
1660s, from stem of Latin atrox "fierce, savage, cruel" (see atrocity) + -ous. Colloquial sense "very bad" is late 19c. Related: Atrociously; atrociousness.
atrocity (n.) Look up atrocity at
1530s, from Middle French atrocité or directly from Latin atrocitatem (nominative atrocitas) "cruelty, fierceness, harshness," noun of quality from atrox "fierce, cruel, frightful," from PIE *atro-ek-, from root *ater- "fire" (see atrium) + *okw- "see" (see eye (n.)); thus "of fiery or threatening appearance." The meaning "an atrocious deed" is from 1793.
atrophic (adj.) Look up atrophic at
1819; see atrophy + -ic.
atrophy (v.) Look up atrophy at
1822 (implied in atrophied), from atrophy (n.). Related: Atrophying.
atrophy (n.) Look up atrophy at
"a wasting away through lack of nourishment," 1620s (atrophied is from 1590s), from French atrophie, from Late Latin atrophia, from Greek atrophia "a wasting away," abstract noun from atrophos "ill-fed, un-nourished," from a- "not" + trophe "nourishment," from trephein "to fatten" (see -trophy).
atropine (n.) Look up atropine at
1836, from Latin atropa "deadly nightshade" (from which the alkaloid poison is extracted), from Greek atropos "inflexible," also the name of one of the Fates (see Atropos) + chemical suffix -ine (2).
Atropos Look up Atropos at
one of the Fates (the one who holds the shears and determines the manner of a person's death and cuts the thread), from Greek, "inflexible," literally "not to be turned away," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + stem of trepein "to turn" (see trope). Related form Atropa was the Greek name for deadly nightshade.
attaboy Look up attaboy at
1909, probably from common pronunciation of "that's the boy!" a cheer of encouragement or approval.
attach (v.) Look up attach at
mid-14c. (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), "to take or seize (property or goods) by law," a legal term, from Old French atachier (11c.), earlier estachier "to attach, fix; stake up, support" (Modern French attacher, also compare Italian attaccare), perhaps from a- "to" + Frankish *stakon "a post, stake" or a similar Germanic word (see stake (n.)). Meaning "to fasten, affix, connect" is from c. 1400. Related: Attached; attaching.
attachable (adj.) Look up attachable at
1570s, from attach + -able.
attache (n.) Look up attache at
1835, from French attaché "junior officer attached to the staff of an ambassador, etc.," literally "attached," past participle of attacher "to attach" (see attach). Attache case "small leather case for carrying papers" first recorded 1900.
attached (adj.) Look up attached at
"affectionate, devoted, fond," 1793, past participle adjective from attach.
attachment (n.) Look up attachment at
c. 1400, "arrest of a person on judicial warrant" (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), from French attachement, from attacher (see attach). Application to property (including, later, wages) dates from 1590s; meaning "sympathy, devotion" is recorded from 1704; that of "something that is attached to something else" dates from 1797 and has become perhaps the most common use since the rise of e-mail.
attack (v.) Look up attack at
c. 1600, from French attaquer (16c.), from Florentine Italian attaccare (battaglia) "join (battle)," thus the word is a doublet of attach, which was used 15c.-17c. also in the sense now reserved to attack. Related: Attacked; attacking.
attack (n.) Look up attack at
1660s, from attack (v.). Compare Middle English attach "a seizure or attack" (of fever), late 14c.
attain (v.) Look up attain at
c. 1300, "to succeed in reaching," from ataign-, stem of Old French ataindre (11c., Modern French atteindre) "to come up to, reach, attain, endeavor, strive," from Vulgar Latin *attangere, corresponding to Latin attingere "to touch, to arrive at," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + tangere "to touch" (see tangent (adj.)). Latin attingere had a wide range of meanings, including "to attack, to strike, to appropriate, to manage," all somehow suggested by the literal sense "to touch." Related: Attained; attaining.
attainable (adj.) Look up attainable at
1640s; see attain + -able. Related: Attainability.
attainder (n.) Look up attainder at
"extinction of rights of a person sentenced to death or outlaw," mid-15c., from noun use of Old French ataindre "to touch upon, strike, hit, seize, accuse, condemn" (see attain). For use of French infinitives as nouns, especially in legal language, see waiver.
attainment (n.) Look up attainment at
late 14c., "encroachment" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French ataignement (Modern French atteignement), from ataindre; see attain. Meaning "action of attaining" is from 1540s; sense of "that which is attained, personal accomplishment" dates from 1670s.
attar (n.) Look up attar at
1798, from Persian 'atar-gul "essence of roses," from 'atar "fragrance," from Arabic 'utur "perfumes, aromas."
attemper (v.) Look up attemper at
late 14c., from Old French attemprer, from Latin attemperare, from ad- "to" (see ad-) + temperare "to mix in due proportion, modify, blend; restrain oneself" (see temper (v.)). Related: Attempered; attempering.
attempt (v.) Look up attempt at
late 14c., from Old French attempter (14c.), earlier atenter "to try, attempt, test," from Latin attemptare "to try" (source also of Italian attentare, Old Provençal, Portuguese attentar, Spanish atentar), from ad- "to, upon" (see ad-) + temptare "to try" (see tempt). Related: Attempted; attempting.
attempt (n.) Look up attempt at
1530s, from attempt (v.). Meaning "effort to accomplish something by violence" is from 1580s, especially as an assault on someone's life.
attend (v.) Look up attend at
c. 1300, "to direct one's mind or energies," from Old French atendre (12c., Modern French attendre) "to expect, wait for, pay attention," and directly from Latin attendere "give heed to," literally "to stretch toward," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + tendere "stretch" (see tenet). The notion is of "stretching" one's mind toward something. Sense of "take care of, wait upon" is from early 14c. Meaning "to pay attention" is early 15c.; that of "to be in attendance" is mid-15c. Related: Attended; attending.
attendance (n.) Look up attendance at
late 14c., "act of attending to one's duties," from Old French atendance "attention, wait, hope, expectation," from atendant, present participle of atendre (see attend). Meaning "action of waiting on someone" dates from late 14c. (to dance attendance on someone is from 1560s); that of "action of being present, presenting oneself" (originally with intent of taking a part) is from mid-15c. Meaning "number of persons present" is from 1835.
attendant (n.) Look up attendant at
1550s, "one who waits upon," from the adjective, or from Middle French atendant, noun use of present participle of atendre (see attend).
attendant (adj.) Look up attendant at
late 14c., "solicitous, attentive," see attendant (n.). Sense of "serving under, accompanying in a dependant position" is from c. 1400.
attendee (n.) Look up attendee at
"one who attends" (something), 1961, from attend + -ee. Attender is older (mid-15c.) but had senses "one who waits upon" and "one who gives heed."
attent (adj.) Look up attent at
late 15c., "attentive," from Latin attentus, past participle of attendere (see attend). As a noun, "intention, aim" (early 13c.), from Old French atente "act of attending," from fem. of Latin attentus.
attention (n.) Look up attention at
late 14c., "giving heed," from Latin attentionem (nominative attentio) "attention, attentiveness," noun of action from past participle stem of attendere "mental heeding" (see attend). Used with a remarkable diversity of verbs (such as pay, gather, attract, draw, call). As a military cautionary word preparative to giving a command, it is attested from 1792. Attention span is from 1903 (earlier span of attention, 1892).
attention deficit disorder (n.) Look up attention deficit disorder at
(abbreviated ADD) became a diagnosis in the third edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (1980); expanded to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ("the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring infrequently alone;" ADHD) in DSM-III (1987).
attentive (adj.) Look up attentive at
late 14c. (implied in attentively), from Old French attentif, from Vulgar Latin *attenditus, from Latin attentus "heedful, observant" (see attend). Sense of "actively ministering to the needs and wants" (of another person) is from early 16c. Related: Attentively.
attentiveness (n.) Look up attentiveness at
mid-15c., from attentive + -ness.
attenuate (v.) Look up attenuate at
"to make thin, to make less," 1520s, from Latin attenuatus "enfeebled, weak," past participle of attenuare "to make thin, lessen, diminish," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + tenuare "make thin," from tenuis "thin" (see tenet). Related: Attenuated; attenuating. Earlier was Middle English attenuen "to make thin (in consistency)," early 15c.
attenuation (n.) Look up attenuation at
early 15c., of persons, "emaciation;" of diet, "reduction," from Latin attenuationem (nominative attenuatio) "a lessening," noun of action from past participle stem of attenuare (see attenuate).
attercop (n.) Look up attercop at
"spider," Old English attorcoppe, literally "poison-head," from ator "poison, venom," from Proto-Germanic *aitra- "poisonous ulcer" (source also of Old Norse eitr, Old High German eitar "poison;" German eiter "pus," Old High German eiz "abscess, boil;" Old English atorcræft "art of poisoning") + copp "top, summit, round head," probably also "spider" (compare cobweb and Dutch spinne-cop "spider").
Amptes & attircoppes & suche oþer þat ben euere bisy ben maide to schewe man ensaumple of stodye & labour. [Elucidarium of Honorius of Autun (Wycliffite version) c. 1400]
attest (v.) Look up attest at
1590s, from Middle French attester (Old French atester, 13c.) "affirm, attest," from Latin attestari "confirm," literally "bear witness to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + testari "bear witness," from testis "witness" (see testament). Related: Attested; attesting.
attestation (n.) Look up attestation at
mid-15c., from Middle French attestation and directly from Latin attestationem (nominative attestatio) "an attesting, testimony," noun of action from past participle stem of attestari "to prove, confirm" (see attest).
Attic (adj.) Look up Attic at
1590s, "pertaining to Attica," from Latin Atticus, from Greek Attikos "Athenian, of Attica," the region around Athens (see Attica). Attested from 1560s as an architectural term for a type of column base.
attic (n.) Look up attic at
"top story under the roof of a house," 1855, shortened from attic storey (1724). The term Attic order in classical architecture meant a small, square decorative column of the type often used in a low story above a building's main facade, a feature associated with the region around Athens (see Attic). The word then was applied by architects to "a low decorative facade above the main story of a building" (1690s in English) to convey a classical heritage where none exists, and it came to mean the space enclosed by such a structure. The modern use is via French attique. "An attic is upright, a garret is in a sloping roof" [Weekley].
Attica Look up Attica at
traditionally explained as from Greek Attikos (Latin Atticus) "of Athens" (see Athens); but perhaps ultimately from Greek akte "shore, maritime place," also "raised place."
attire (v.) Look up attire at
c. 1300, "to fit out, equip; to dress in finery, to adorn," from Old French atirier "to equip, ready, prepare," from a- "to" + tire "order, row, dress" (see tier). Related: Attired; attiring.
attire (n.) Look up attire at
c. 1300, "equipment of a man-at-arms; fine apparel," from attire (v.).