barrow (n.2)
"mound, hill, grave-mound," Old English beorg (West Saxon), berg (Anglian) "barrow, mountain, hill, mound," from Proto-Germanic *bergaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German berg "mountain," Old North bjarg "rock"), from PIE root *bhergh- (2) "high," with derivatives referring to hills and hill-forts. Obsolete by c. 1400 except in place-names and southwest England dialect; revived by modern archaeology.
In place-names used of small continuously curving hills, smaller than a dun, with the summit typically occupied by a single farmstead or by a village church with the village beside the hill, and also of burial mounds. [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names]
Meaning "mound erected over a grave" was in late Old English. Barrow-wight first recorded 1869 in Eirikr Magnusson and William Morris's translation of the Icelandic saga of Grettir the Strong.
barstool (n.)
also bar-stool, bar stool, 1910, from bar (n.2) + stool.
Bart
masc. proper name, abbreviation of Bartholomew, etc.
bart.
abbreviation of baronet. Attested from c. 1771.
bartender (n.)
also bar-tender; 1836, American English, from bar (n.2) + agent noun of tend (v.2).
barter (v.)
"to traffic or trade by exchanging one commodity for another," mid-15c., apparently from Old French barater "to barter, cheat, deceive, haggle" (also, "to have sexual intercourse"), 12c., which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Celtic language (compare Irish brath "treachery"). Connection between "trading" and "cheating" exists in several languages. Related: Bartered; bartering.

As a noun, "act of exchanging, commerce by exchange of commodities" (rather than buying and selling for money), 1590s, from the verb.
Bartholomew
masc. proper name, from Old French Barthelemieu, from Latin Bartholomæus, from Greek Bartholomaios, from Aramaic (Semitic) bar Talmay, literally "son of Talmai," from the proper name Talmai, literally "abounding in furrows." One of the twelve Apostles, his festival is Aug. 24. On this date in 1572 took place the massacre of Protestants in France. London's popular Bartholomew Fair was held annually around his day from 1133 to 1855.
bas-relief (n.)
1660s, from French bas-relief, a loan-translation of Italian basso-rilievo "low relief, raised work." See bass (adj.) + relief.
basal (adj.)
"relating to or situated at a base," 1828, from base (n.) + -al (1).
basalt (n.)
type of volcanic rock, c. 1600, from Late Latin basaltes, misspelling of Latin basanites "very hard stone," from Greek basanites "a species of slate used to test gold," from basanos "touchstone," also "a trial, examination, test whether anything be true," from Egyptian baban "slate," a stone which was used by the Egyptians as a touchstone of gold. According to Beekes, "It came to Greece via Lydia." In Pliny, basaniten by mistake became basalten, which is the origin of basalt.

Any hard, very dark rock would do as a touchstone; the assayer compared the streak left by the alleged gold with that of real gold or baser metals. From the noun in Greek came Greek basanizein "to be put to the test, be examined closely, be cross-examined, be put to torture." Not connected with salt. Related: Basaltic.
base (adj.)
late 14c., "low, of little height," from Old French bas "low, lowly, mean," from Late Latin bassus "thick, stumpy, low" (used only as a cognomen in classical Latin, humilis being there the usual word for "low in stature or position"), possibly from Oscan, or Celtic, or related to Greek basson, comparative of bathys "deep."

Meaning "low on the social scale" is from late 15c.; that of "low in the moral scale" is first attested 1530s in English. Meaning "benefiting an inferior person or thing, unworthy" is from 1590s. Base metals (c. 1600) were worthless in contrast to noble or precious metals. Related: Basely.
base (v.)
1580s, "serve as a foundation for;" 1841, "to place on a foundation," from base (n.). Related: Based; basing.
base (n.)
"bottom of anything considered as its support, foundation, pedestal," early 14c., from Old French bas "depth" (12c.), from Latin basis "foundation," from Greek basis "a stepping, a step, that on which one steps or stands, pedestal," from bainein "to go, walk, step," from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come."

The military sense "secure ground from which operations proceed" is from 1860. The chemical sense "compound substance which unites with an acid to form a salt" (1810) was introduced in French 1754 by French chemist Guillaume-François Rouelle (1703-1770). Sporting sense of "starting point" is from 1690s, also "destination of a runner" (1812). As a "safe" spot in a tag-like or ball game, suggested from mid-15c. (as the name of the game later called prisoner's base). Hence base-runner (1867), base-hit (1874), etc. Meaning "resources on which something draws for operation" (as in power-base, database, etc.) is by 1959.
baseball (n.)
in the modern sense of a game of ball for teams of nine, 1845, American English, from base (n.) + ball (n.1). Earlier references, such as in Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey," refer to the game of rounders, of which baseball is a more elaborate variety. The modern game was legendarily invented 1839 by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, N.Y. Base was used for "start or finish line of a race" from 1690s; and the sense of "safe spot" found in modern children's game of tag can be traced to 15c. (the use in reference to the bags in modern baseball is from 1868).
baseboard (n.)
also base-board, "line of boarding around the interior walls of a room near the floor," 1854, from base (n.) + board (n.1). Baseboard heating attested by 1954.
Basel
city in northwestern Switzerland, founded 44 C.E. as Robur (from Latin roburetum "oak grove"); renamed 374 as Basilia (from Greek basilea "royal") when it became the "royal" fortress of Valentinian I.
baseless (adj.)
"having no foundation or support," c. 1600, from base (n.) + -less. Related: Baselessly; baselessness.
baseline (n.)
also base-line, "line upon which others depend," 1750, originally in surveying, from base (n.) + line (n.). In tennis, the end-line of the court. Baseball diamond sense is from 1867. Baseline estimate in use by 1983.
baseman (n.)
in baseball, player whose defensive position is at one of the three bases, by 1857, from base (n.) + man (n.).
basement (n.)
"lowest story of a building, wholly or partly underground," 1730, from base (v.) + -ment.
baseness (n.)
1550s, "state or condition of being low in rank or scale," from base (adj.) + -ness. From 1590s as "state of being morally vile."
bash (v.)
"to strike violently," 1640s, perhaps of Scandinavian origin, from Old Norse *basca "to strike" (cognate with or otherwise related to Swedish basa "to baste, whip, flog, lash," Danish baske "to beat, strike, cudgel"); or the whole group might be independently derived and echoic. Figurative sense of "abuse verbally or in writing" is from 1948. Related: Bashed; bashing.
bash (n.)
"a heavy blow," 1805, from bash (v.). Meaning "an attempt" is attested by 1948. On a bash "on a drunken spree" is slang from 1901, which gave the word its sense of "a wild party."
bashaw (n.)
1530s, earlier Englishing of pasha.
basher (n.)
1882, agent noun from bash (v.).
bashful (adj.)
1540s, "excessively modest, shy and sheepish," with -ful + baishen "to be filled with consternation or dismay" (mid-14c.), from Old French baissier "bring down, humiliate" (see abash). An unusual case of this suffix attached to a verbal stem in the passive sense. Related: Bashfully; bashfulness (1530s).
BASIC
computer language, 1964, initialism (acronym) for Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code; invented by Hungarian-born U.S. computer scientist John G. Kemeny (1926-1992) and U.S. computer scientist Thomas E. Kurtz (b.1928).
basic (adj.)
"relating to a base," 1832, originally in chemistry, from base (n.) + -ic.
basically (adv.)
1903; see basic (adj.) + -ly (2).
basics (n.)
"rudiments or fundamentals of anything," by 1934, from basic. Also see -ics. Phrase back-to-basics was in use by 1975.
basil (n.)
aromatic shrubby plant, early 15c., from Old French basile (15c., Modern French basilic), from Medieval Latin basilicum, from Greek basilikon (phyton) "royal (plant)," from basileus "king" (see Basil). So called, probably, because it was believed to have been used in making royal perfumes. In Latin, confused with basiliscus (see basilisk) because it was supposed to be an antidote to the basilisk's venom.
Basil
masc. proper name, from Latin Basilius, from Greek Basileios "kingly, royal," from basileus "king," especially the king of Persia, "prince," possibly from a language of Asia Minor (compare Lydian battos "king"), but according to Beekes, it "is no doubt of PreGreek origin (i.e., not a loanword from another country)." The youngest of the Greek words for "king" (alongside koiranos and anax). St. Basil the Great lived 4c. and was the founder of Eastern monasticism.
basilica (n.)
1540s, "type of building based on the Athenian royal portico, large oblong building with double columns and a semicircular porch at the end," from Latin basilica "building of a court of justice," from Greek (stoa) basilike "royal (portal)," in Athens the portico of the archon basileus, the official who dispensed justice in Athens; from fem. adjective of basileus "king" (see Basil).

In Rome, the style of building used for halls of justice, many of which were subsequently appropriated as churches, and so it became a standard plan for new churches. The word is applied to the seven principal Roman churches founded by Constantine. The specific reference to Christian churches in English is attested by 1560s.
basilisk (n.)
fabulous lizard-like creature, c. 1300, from Latin basiliscus, from Greek basiliskos name of a kind of serpent, also the golden-crested wren, literally "little king," diminutive of basileus "king" (see Basil); said by Pliny to have been so called because of a crest or spot on its head resembling a crown.
The basilisk has since the fourteenth century been confused with the Cockatrice, and the subject is now a complicated one. [T.H. White, "The Bestiary. A Book of Beasts," 1954]
Its breath and glance were said to be fatal. The South American lizard so called (1813) because it, like the mythical beast, has a crest. From 1540s as a type of large cannon, throwing shot of 200 lb.
basin (n.)
"large shallow vessel or dish used chiefly to hold water or other liquid," c. 1200, from Old French bacin (11c., Modern French bassin), from Vulgar Latin *baccinum (source also of Spanish bacin, Italian bacino), from *bacca "water vessel," perhaps originally Gaulish (but OED dismisses the proposed Celtic cognates on sense grounds). Meaning "large-scale artificial water-holding landscape feature" is from 1712. Geological sense of "tract of country drained by one river or draining into one sea" is from 1830.
basinet (n.)
"small, light, rounded steel headpiece," c. 1300, from Old French bacinet, bassinet, diminutive of bacin (see basin).
basis (n.)
1570s, "bottom or foundation" (of something material), from Latin basis "foundation," from Greek basis "a going, a step; a stand, base, that whereon one stands," from bainein "to go, walk, step," from PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Transferred and figurative senses (of immaterial things) are from c. 1600.
bask (v.)
late 14c., basken "to wallow" (especially in warm water or blood, from Old Norse baðask "to bathe oneself" (with loss of middle syllable), reflexive of baða "bathe" (see bathe) + Proto-Germanic *-sik "one's self" (source also of German sich; see -sk). Meaning "soak up a flood of warmth" is apparently due to Shakespeare's use of the word in reference to sunshine in "As You Like It" (1600). Related: Basked; basking.
Baskerville
typeface style, 1802 (the type was created in the 1750s), named for John Baskerville (1706-1775), British type-founder and printer.
The initial version were cut by John Handy under Baskerville's watchful eye. The result is the epitome of Neoclassicism and eighteenth-century rationalism in type -- a face far more popular in Republican France and the American colonies than in eighteenth-century England, where it was made. [Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style," 1992]
The surname is Norman, from Boscherville, Eure.
basket (n.)
early 13c., from Anglo-French bascat; of obscure origin despite much speculation. On one theory, it is from Latin bascauda "kettle, table-vessel," said by the Roman poet Martial to be from Celtic British and perhaps cognate with Latin fascis "bundle, faggot," in which case it probably originally meant "wicker basket." But OED frowns on this, and there is no evidence of such a word in Celtic unless later words in Irish and Welsh, sometimes counted as borrowings from English, are original. As "a goal in the game of basketball," 1892; as "a score in basketball, by 1907.
basket case (n.)
1919, American English, originally a reference to rumors of quadriplegics as a result of catastrophic wounds suffered in World War I (the U.S. military authorities vehemently denied there were any such in its hospitals), from basket (n.) + case (n.2). Probably literal, i.e., stuck in a basket, but basket had colloquial connotations of poverty (begging) and helplessness long before this. Figurative sense of "person emotionally unable to cope" is from 1921.
basketball (n.)
also basket-ball, "game in which the object is to throw the ball into one of the two baskets placed at opposite ends of the court," 1892, American English, from basket + ball (n.1). The game was invented 1891 by James A. Naismith (1861-1939), physical education instructor in Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
basking (adj.)
1742, present participle adjective from bask (v.). The basking shark (1769) is named for frequently being seen basking on the surface of the sea.
basmati (n.)
"superior variety of rice," 1845, from Hindi, literally "fragrant."
Basque
1817 (adj.), 1835 (n.), from French, from Spanish vasco (adj.), from vascon (n.), from Latin Vascones (Vasconia was the Roman name for the up-country of the western Pyrenees), said by von Humboldt to originally mean "foresters" but more likely a Latinized version of the people's name for themselves, euskara or eskuara.
This contains a basic element -sk- which is believed to relate to maritime people or sailors, and which is also found in the name of the Etruscans .... [Room, "Placenames of the World," 2006]
Earlier in English was Basquish (1610s, noun and adjective); Baskles (plural noun, late 14c.); Baskon (mid-15c.).
bass (n.1)
freshwater fish, c. 1400 corruption of Middle English baers, from Old English bærs "a fish, perch," from Proto-Germanic base *bars- "sharp" (source also of Middle Dutch baerse, Middle High German bars, German Barsch "perch," German barsch "rough"), from PIE root *bhar- "point, bristle" (see bristle (n.)). The fish was so called for its dorsal fins. For loss of -r-, see ass (n.2).
bass (adj.)
late 14c., of things, "low, not high," from Late Latin bassus "short, low" (see base (adj.)). Meaning "low in social scale or rank" is recorded from late 14c. Of voices and music notes, "low in tone" from mid-15c. (technically, ranging from the E flat below the bass stave to the F above it), infuenced by Italian basso.
bass (n.2)
"lowest part of a harmonized musical composition," c.1500, from bass (adj.) or cognate noun in Italian. Meaning "singer having a bass voice" is from 1590s. Meaning "bass-viol" is from 1702; that of "double-bass" is from 1927.
basset (n.)
type of short-legged dog, 1610s, from French basset, from Old French bas "low" (see base (adj.)) + diminutive suffix.
bassinet (n.)
"wicker cradle," 1854, from French bassinet "a little basin," diminutive of bassin (see basin), or, as per Klein, the English word is from French bercelonette, double diminutive of berceau "cradle," altered by bassin "basin." Middle English had bacinet "hemispherical helmet" (c. 1300).