CD-ROM Look up CD-ROM at Dictionary.com
1983, in computer jargon; also cd-rom; from compact disc read-only memory.
CDC Look up CDC at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of Centers for Disease Control, renamed 1970 from earlier U.S. federal health lab, originally Communicable Diseases Center (1946). Since 1992, full name is Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the usual initialism (acronym) remains CDC.
cease (n.) Look up cease at Dictionary.com
"cessation, stopping," c. 1300, from cease (n.) or else from Old French cesse "cease, cessation," from cesser.
cease (v.) Look up cease at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, cesen, from Old French cesser "to come to an end, stop, cease; give up, desist," from Latin cessare "to cease, go slow, give over, leave off, be idle," frequentative of cedere (past participle cessus) "go away, withdraw, yield" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield"). Related: Ceased; ceasing. Old English in this sense had geswican, blinnan.
cease-fire (n.) Look up cease-fire at Dictionary.com
also ceasefire, "a cessation of shooting," 1916, from verbal phrase cease fire, 1847 as a military command (formerly also signaled by bugles), from cease (v.) + fire (n.) in the gunnery sense. Generally two words until after mid-20c.
ceaseless (adj.) Look up ceaseless at Dictionary.com
1580s, from cease (n.) + -less. Related: Ceaselessly; ceaselessness.
Cecil Look up Cecil at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Latin Caecilius (fem. Caecilia), name of a Roman gens, from caecus "blind."
Cecilia Look up Cecilia at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, fem. of Cecil (q.v.).
cecum (n.) Look up cecum at Dictionary.com
variant of caecum.
cedar (n.) Look up cedar at Dictionary.com
Old English ceder, blended in Middle English with Old French cedre, both from Latin cedrus, from Greek kedros "cedar, juniper," origin uncertain. Cedar oil was used by the Egyptians in embalming as a preservative against decay and the word for it was used figuratively for "immortality" by the Romans. Cedar chest attested from 1722. Related: Cedrine.
cede (v.) Look up cede at Dictionary.com
1630s, from French céder or directly from Latin cedere "to yield, give place; to give up some right or property," originally "to go from, proceed, leave," from Proto-Italic *kesd-o- "to go away, avoid," from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield." Related: Ceded; ceding. The sense evolution in Latin is via the notion of "to go away, withdraw, give ground."
cedilla (n.) Look up cedilla at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from Spanish cedilla, zedilla, literally "little z," from a Latin-like diminutive of Greek zeta "the letter 'z'." The mark (formerly also used in Spanish) was derived from that letter and indicates a "soft" sound in letters in positions where normally they have a "hard" sound. See zed.
Cedric Look up Cedric at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, modern, apparently introduced by Sir Walter Scott (Cedric the Saxon is a character in "Ivanhoe"); apparently a mistake for Old English name Cerdic.
cee (n.) Look up cee at Dictionary.com
"name of the letter C," 1540s.
ceilidh (n.) Look up ceilidh at Dictionary.com
1875, from Irish céilidhe, from Old Irish céle "companion," from PIE *kei-liyo-, suffixed form of root *kei- (1) "beloved, dear," primarily "to lie; bed, couch."
ceiling (n.) Look up ceiling at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., celynge, "act of paneling a room," noun formed (with -ing) from Middle English verb ceil "put a cover or ceiling over," later "cover (walls) with wainscoting, panels, etc." (early 15c.); probably from Middle French celer "to conceal," also "cover with paneling" (12c.), from Latin celare "to hide" (from PIE root *kel- (1) "to cover, conceal, save"). Probably influenced by Latin caelum "heaven, sky" (see celestial).

Extended to the paneling itself from late 14c. The meaning "top surface of a room" is attested by 1530s. Figurative sense "upper limit" is from 1934. Colloquial figurative phrase hit the ceiling "lose one's temper, get explosively angry" attested by 1908; earlier it meant "to fail" (by 1900, originally U.S. college slang). Glass ceiling in the figurative sense of "invisible barrier that prevents women from advancing" in management, etc., is attested from 1988.
cel (n.) Look up cel at Dictionary.com
"celluloid sheet for an animated cartoon," from celluloid; became current by c. 1990 when they became collectible.
celadon (n.) Look up celadon at Dictionary.com
"pale grayish-green," 1768, from French Céladon, name of a character in the romance of "l'Astrée" by Honoré d'Urfé (1610); an insipidly sentimental lover who wore bright green clothes, he is named in turn after Greek Keladon, a character in Ovid's "Metamorphoses," whose name is said to mean "sounding with din or clamor." The mineral celadonite (1868) is so called for its color.
celeb (n.) Look up celeb at Dictionary.com
colloquial shortening of celebrity "celebrated person," by 1908, American English.
Celebes Look up Celebes at Dictionary.com
old name for modern Sulawesi (which itself might be a native corruption of Celebes) in Indonesia, first used by Portuguese, 1512, perhaps from Os Célebres "the famous ones," a name given by navigators to the dangerous capes on the island's northeast coast.
celebrant (n.) Look up celebrant at Dictionary.com
1731, from French célébrant "officiating clergyman" or directly from Latin celebrantem (nominative celebrans), present participle of celebrare (see celebrate).
celebrate (v.) Look up celebrate at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., originally of the Mass, from Latin celebratus "much-frequented; kept solemn; famous," past participle of celebrare "assemble to honor," also "to publish; sing praises of; practice often," originally "to frequent in great numbers," from celeber "frequented, populous, crowded;" with transferred senses of "well-attended; famous; often-repeated." Related: Celebrated; celebrating.
celebrated (adj.) Look up celebrated at Dictionary.com
"much-talked-about," 1660s, past participle adjective from celebrate (v.).
celebration (n.) Look up celebration at Dictionary.com
1520s, "honoring of a day or season by appropriate festivities," formed in English from celebrate, or else from Latin celebrationem (nominative celebratio) "numerous attendance" (especially upon a festival celebration), noun of action from past participle stem of celebrare. Meaning "performance of a religious ceremony" (especially the Eucharist) is from 1570s; that of "extolling in speeches, etc." is from 1670s.
celebratory (adj.) Look up celebratory at Dictionary.com
1855, from celebrate + -ory.
celebrity (n.) Look up celebrity at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "solemn rite or ceremony," from Old French celebrité "celebration" or directly from Latin celibritatem (nominative celebritas) "multitude, fame," from celeber "frequented, populous" (see celebrate). Meaning "condition of being famous" is from c. 1600; that of "famous person" is from 1849.
When the old gods withdraw, the empty thrones cry out for a successor, and with good management, or even without management, almost any perishable bag of bones may be hoisted into the vacant seat. [E.R. Dodds, "The Greeks and the Irrational"]
celerity (n.) Look up celerity at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Old French celeritee (14c., Modern French célérité), from Latin celeritatem (nominative celeritas) "swiftness," from celer "swift," from possible PIE root *kel- (3) "to drive, set in swift motion" (source also of Sanskrit carati "goes," Greek keles "fast horse or ship," keleuthos "journey, road," Lithuanian sulys "a gallop," Old High German scelo "stallion").
celery (n.) Look up celery at Dictionary.com
1660s, from French céleri (17c., originally sceleri d'Italie), said by French sources to be from Italian (Lombard dialect) seleri (singular selero), from Late Latin selinon, from Greek selinon "parsley," which is of uncertain origin.
[O]ne day, in a weak and hungry moment, my roommate and I succumbed to a bit of larceny. A greengrocer's truck had parked down the street and was left unattended. We grabbed the first crate we could off the back. It turned out to be celery. For two days we ate nothing but celery and used up more calories chewing than we realized in energy. "Damn it," I said to my roommate, "What're we going to do? We can't starve." "That's funny," he replied. "I thought we could." [Chuck Jones, "Chuck Amuck," 1989]
Celeste Look up Celeste at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from French céleste (11c.) "sky, heaven," from Latin caelestis "heavenly" (see celestial).
celestial (adj.) Look up celestial at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "pertaining to heaven," from Old French celestial "celestial, heavenly, sky-blue," from Latin caelestis "heavenly, pertaining to the sky," from caelum "heaven, sky; abode of the gods; climate," which is of uncertain origin; perhaps from PIE *kaid-slo-, perhaps from a root also found in Germanic and Baltic meaning "bright, clear" (compare Lithuanian skaidrus "shining, clear;" Old English hador, German heiter "clear, shining, cloudless," Old Norse heið "clear sky").

The Latin word is the source of the usual word for "sky" in most of the Romance languages, such as French ciel, Spanish cielo, Italian cielo. General sense of "heavenly, very delightful" in English is from early 15c.
Celia Look up Celia at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from Italian Celia, from Latin Caelia, fem. of Caelius, name of a Roman gens. Sheila is a variant.
celiac (adj.) Look up celiac at Dictionary.com
alternative spelling of coeliac (q.v.); also see oe.
celibacy (n.) Look up celibacy at Dictionary.com
1660s, formed in English, with -cy + Latin caelibatus "state of being unmarried," from caelebs "unmarried," a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps from PIE *kaiwelo- "alone" + lib(h)s- "living." De Vaan suggests as an alternative PIE *kehi-lo- "whole," which would relate it to health (q.v.): "[I]f this developed to 'unboundness, celibacy', it may explain the meaning 'unmarried' of caelebs-."
celibate (n.) Look up celibate at Dictionary.com
1610s, "state of celibacy" (especially as mandated to clergy in the Catholic church) from French célibat (16c.), from Latin caelibatus (see celibacy). This was the only sense until early 19c. The adjective meaning "unmarried, sworn to remain single" is recorded from 1825. As a noun, one who is sworn to such a condition, from 1838.
cell (n.) Look up cell at Dictionary.com
early 12c., "small monastery, subordinate monastery" (from Medieval Latin in this sense), later "small room for a monk or a nun in a monastic establishment; a hermit's dwelling" (c. 1300), from Latin cella "small room, store room, hut," related to Latin celare "to hide, conceal," from PIE root *kel- (1) "to cover, conceal, save."

Sense of monastic rooms extended to prison rooms (1722). Used in 14c., figuratively, of brain "compartments;" used in biology by 17c. of various cavities (wood structure, segments of fruit, bee combs), gradually focusing to the modern sense of "basic structure of living organisms" (which OED dates to 1845).

Electric battery sense is from 1828, based on original form. Meaning "small group of people working within a larger organization" is from 1925. Cell body is from 1851; cell division from 1846; cell membrane from 1837 (but cellular membrane is 1732); cell wall from 1842.
cellar (n.) Look up cellar at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "store room," from Anglo-French celer, Old French celier "cellar, underground passage" (12c., Modern French cellier), from Latin cellarium "pantry, storeroom," literally "group of cells;" which is either directly from cella (from PIE root *kel- (1) "to cover, conceal, save"), or from noun use of neuter of adjective cellarius "pertaining to a storeroom," from cella. The sense in late Middle English gradually shifted to "underground room." Cellar door attested by 1640s.
celled (adj.) Look up celled at Dictionary.com
in compounds, "having cells" (of a certain number or type), from late 18c., from cell (n.).
cellist (n.) Look up cellist at Dictionary.com
1880, short for violoncellist on model of cello.
cello (n.) Look up cello at Dictionary.com
1857, shortening of violoncello (q.v.).
cellophane (n.) Look up cellophane at Dictionary.com
1912, trademark name for a flexible, transparent product made from regenerated cellulose, coined by the inventor, Swiss chemist Jacques E. Brandenberger (1872-1954), probably from cellulose + connective o + -phane.
cellphone (n.) Look up cellphone at Dictionary.com
also cell phone, 1984, short for cellular phone.
cellular (adj.) Look up cellular at Dictionary.com
1753, with reference to cellular tissue, from Modern Latin cellularis "of little cells," from cellula "little cell," diminutive of cella (see cell). Of mobile phone systems (in which the area served is divided into "cells" of a few square miles served by transmitters), 1977. Related: Cellularity.
cellulite (n.) Look up cellulite at Dictionary.com
"lumpy, dimpled fat," 1968, from French cellulite, from cellule "a small cell" (16c., from Latin cellula "little cell," diminutive of cella; see cell) + -ite (see -ite (1)).
cellulitis (n.) Look up cellulitis at Dictionary.com
1832, from Latin cellula, diminutive of cella "cell" (see cell) + -itis "inflammation."
celluloid (n.) Look up celluloid at Dictionary.com
transparent plastic made from nitro-celluloses and camphor, 1871, trademark name (reg. U.S.), a hybrid coined by U.S. inventor John Wesley Hyatt (1837-1900) from cellulose + Greek-based suffix -oid. Used figuratively for "motion pictures" from 1934. Abbreviated form cell "sheet of celluloid" is from 1933 (see cel).
cellulose (n.) Look up cellulose at Dictionary.com
1840, from French cellulose, coined c. 1835 by French chemist Anselme Payen (1795-1871) and confirmed 1839, from noun use of adjective cellulose "consisting of cells," 18c., from Latin cellula (see cellulite) + -ose (see -ose (2)).
Celsius Look up Celsius at Dictionary.com
1850, for Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701-1744) inventor of the centigrade scale in 1742.
celt (n.) Look up celt at Dictionary.com
"stone chisel," 1715, from a Latin ghost word (apparently a misprint of certe) in Job xix.24 in Vulgate: "stylo ferreo, et plumbi lamina, vel celte sculpantur in silice;" translated, probably correctly, in KJV as, "That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever." But assumed by others to be a genuine carving tool, partly because it was in the Bible, and thereafter adapted by archaeologists as a name for a class of prehistoric implements.
Celt (n.) Look up Celt at Dictionary.com
also Kelt, c. 1600, from Latin Celta, singular of Celtae, from Greek Keltoi, Herodotus' word for the Gauls (who also were called Galatai). Used by the Romans of continental Gauls but apparently not of the British Celtic tribes. Originally in English in reference to ancient peoples; extention to their modern descendants is from mid-19c., from French usage.
Celt-Iberian (adj.) Look up Celt-Iberian at Dictionary.com
also Celtiberian, c. 1600, from Celt + Iberian.