assiento (n.) Look up assiento at
1714, "contract between the King of Spain and another power," especially that made at the Peace of Utrecht, 1713, with Great Britain for furnishing African slaves to the Spanish colonies in the Americas (abrogated in 1750), from Spanish asiento, formerly assiento "a compact or treaty; a seat in court, a seat," from asentar/assentar "to adjust, settle, establish," literally "to place on a seat," from a sentar, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + sedens, present participle of sedere "to sit" (see sedentary).
assify (v.) Look up assify at
"to make an ass of" (someone), 1804, from ass (n.1) + -ify. Related: Assified; assification (1823).
assign (v.) Look up assign at
c. 1300, "to transfer, convey, bequeath (property); appoint (to someone a task to be done); order, direct (someone to do something); fix, settle, determine; appoint or set (a time); indicate, point out," from Old French assiginer "assign, set (a date, etc.); appoint legally; allot" (13c.), from Latin assignare/adsignare "to mark out, to allot by sign, assign, award," from ad "to" (see ad-) + signare "make a sign," from signum "mark" (see sign (v.)). Original use was in legal transferences of personal property. Related: Assigned; assigning.
assignat (n.) Look up assignat at
paper money of the French Revolution, 1790, from French assignat, from Latin assignatus, past participle of assignare/adsignare (see assign). Based on the security of confiscated Church lands, it was over-issued and the value quickly deteriorated.
assignation (n.) Look up assignation at
early 14c., "appointment by authority," from Old French assignacion (14c., Modern French assignation), from Latin assignationem (nominative assignatio) "an assigning, allotment," noun of action from past participle stem of assignare/adsignare "to mark out, to allot by sign, assign, award," from ad "to" (see ad-) + signare "make a sign," from signum "mark" (see sign (v.)).

Meaning "action of legally transferring" (a right or property) is from 1570s; that of "a meeting by arrangement, tryst" is from 1650s, especially for a love-affair; assignation-house (1870) was an old euphemism for "brothel."
assignee (n.) Look up assignee at
early 15c., "one who is appointed to act for another," from Old French assigne, past participle of assignier "appoint legally" (see assign).
assignment (n.) Look up assignment at
late 14c., "an order, request, directive," from Old French assignement "(legal) assignment (of dower, etc.)," from Late Latin assignamentum, noun of action from Latin assignare/adsignare "to allot, assign, award" (see assign). Meaning "appointment to office" is mid-15c.; that of "a task assigned (to someone), commission" is by 1848.
assimilable (adj.) Look up assimilable at
1660s, from Latin assimilabilis, from assimilare "to make like; assume the form of" (see assimilate). Related: Assimilability.
assimilate (v.) Look up assimilate at
early 15c., in physiology, "absorb into and make part of the body," from Latin assimilatus, past participle of assimilare, assimulare "to make like, copy, imitate, assume the form of; feign, pretend," from ad "to" (see ad-) + simulare "make similar," from similis "like, resembling" (see similar).

Meaning "make alike, cause to resemble," and intransitive sense "become incorporated into" are from 1620s. In linguistics, "bring into accordance or agreement in speech," from 1854. Related: Assimilated; assimilating.
assimilation (n.) Look up assimilation at
early 15c., "act of assimilating," in reference to the body's use of nutrition, from Old French assimilacion, from Latin assimilationem (nominative assimilatio) "likeness, similarity," noun of action from past participle stem of assimilare "to make like" (see assimilate). Meaning "process of becoming alike or identical, conversion into a similar substance" is from 1620s. Figurative use from 1790. Psychological sense is from 1855.
assimilationist (n.) Look up assimilationist at
"one who advocates racial or ethnic integration," 1900, originally in reference to Hawaii and possessions obtained by the U.S. in the war against Spain; later with reference to Jews in European nations; see assimilation + -ist. In Portuguese, assimilado (literally "assimilated," past participle of assimilar) was used as a noun of natives of the Portuguese colonies in Africa who were admitted to equal rights and citizenship.
assimilative (adj.) Look up assimilative at
1520s; see assimilate + -ive. Alternative assimilatory is from 1856.
assist (n.) Look up assist at
1570s, "an act of assistance," from assist (v.). In the sporting sense attested 1877 in baseball, 1925 in ice hockey.
assist (v.) Look up assist at
early 15c., from Old French assister "to stand by, help, put, place, assist" (14c.), from Latin assistere "stand by, take a stand near, attend," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + sistere "stand still, take a stand; to set, place, cause to stand," from PIE *si-st-, reduplicated form of root *stā- "to stand" (see stet). Related: Assisted; assisting. Medical assisted suicide attested from 1884.
assistance (n.) Look up assistance at
early 15c., "act of helping or aiding; help given, aid," from Old French assistance and Medieval Latin assistentia, from the respective verbs (see assist (v.)).
assistant (n.) Look up assistant at
mid-15c., assistent "one who helps or aids another," from Latin assistentem (nominative assistens), noun use of present participle of assistere "stand by, attend" (see assist (v.)). The spelling changed in French then (16c.) in English.
assistant (adj.) Look up assistant at
mid-15c., "helpful, of assistance," from Latin assistentem (nominative assistens), present participle of assistere "stand by, attend" (see assist (v.)). The spelling changed in French then (16c.) in English.
assize (n.) Look up assize at
"session of a law court," c. 1300 (attested from mid-12c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French assise "session, sitting of a court" (12c.), noun use of fem. past participle of asseoir "to cause to sit," from Latin assidere "to sit beside" (see assess). Originally "all legal proceedings of the nature of inquests or recognitions;" hence sessions held periodically in each county of England to administer civil and criminal justice.
associate (n.) Look up associate at
1530s, from associate (adj.).
associate (adj.) Look up associate at
early 15c., "allied, connected, paired," from Latin associatus, past participle of associare (see associate (v.)).
associate (v.) Look up associate at
mid-15c., from Latin associatus past participle of associare "join with," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + sociare "unite with," from socius "companion" (see social (adj.)). Related: Associated; associating. Earlier form of the verb was associen (late 14c.), from Old French associier "associate (with)."
association (n.) Look up association at
1530s, "action of coming together," from Medieval Latin associationem (nominative associatio), noun of action from past participle stem of associare (see associate). Meaning "a body of persons with a common purpose" is from 1650s. Meaning "mental connection" is from 1680s; that of "quality or thing called to mind by something else" is from 1810.
associative (adj.) Look up associative at
1812, from associate (v.) + -ive.
assonance (n.) Look up assonance at
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 assimilated form of 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
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
"arranged in sorts," 1797, past participle adjective from assort (v.).
assortment (n.) Look up assortment at
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
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
1708, probably from assume on model of persuasive, etc.
assumable (adj.) Look up assumable at
1780 (re-assumable is from 1724), from assume + -able. Related: Assumably; assumability.
assume (v.) Look up assume at
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, toward, up to" (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
legal Latin, "he has taken upon himself," perfect indicative of Latin assumere (see assume).
assumption (n.) Look up assumption at
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
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
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
late 14c., from Old French asseurer (12c., Modern French assurer) "to reassure, calm, protect, to render sure," from Vulgar Latin *assecurar, from assimilated form of Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + securus "safe, secure" (see secure (adj.)). Related: Assured; assuring.
assured (adj.) Look up assured at
of persons, "confident, self-assured," late 14c., past participle adjective from assure. Related: Assuredly; assuredness.
Assyria Look up Assyria at
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
1846, from Assyria + -ology. Related: Assyriologist.
Astarte Look up Astarte at
name of a Phoenician goddess identified by the Greeks with their Aphrodite, from Greek Astarte, from Phoenician Astoreth (plural Ashtaroth), equivalent to Assyrian Ishtar.
astatic (adj.) Look up astatic at
1827, from Greek astatos "unstable, not steadfast," from a- "not, without" (see a- (3)) + statos "placed, standing," from PIE root *stā- (see stet).
astatine (n.) Look up astatine at
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
"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
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
"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
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
1620s, from a- (1) "on" + stern (n.).
asteroid (n.) Look up asteroid at
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
"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- "not, without" (see a- (3)) + sthenos "strength, power, ability, might," which is of unknown origin.
asthenic (adj.) Look up asthenic at
1789, from Modern Latin, from Greek asthenikos, from asthenes "weak, without strength, feeble" (see asthenia).