contumely (n.) Look up contumely at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French contumelie, from Latin contumelia "a reproach, insult," probably related to contumax "haughty, stubborn," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + tumere "to swell up" (from PIE root *teue- "to swell").
The unhappy man left his country forever. The howl of contumely followed him across the sea, up the Rhine, over the Alps; it gradually waxed fainter; it died away; those who had raised it began to ask each other, what, after all, was the matter about which they had been so clamorous, and wished to invite back the criminal whom they had just chased from them. [Thomas Babington Macaulay, "Lord Byron," 1877]
contusion (n.) Look up contusion at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Middle French contusion, from Latin contusionem (nominative contusio) "crushing, bruising," from contus-, past participle stem of contundere "to beat, break to pieces," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + tundere "to beat" (see obtuse).
contusive (adj.) Look up contusive at Dictionary.com
1798, from Latin contus-, past participle stem of contundere (see contusion) + -ive.
conundrum (n.) Look up conundrum at Dictionary.com
1590s, Oxford University slang for "pedant," also "whim," etc., later (1790) "riddle, puzzle." Also spelled quonundrum. The sort of ponderous pseudo-Latin word that was once the height of humor in learned circles.
conurbation (n.) Look up conurbation at Dictionary.com
1915, from Latin com "with, together" (see com-) + urbs "city" (see urban (adj.)) + noun ending -ation. Coined by Scottish biologist and urban planner Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) in "Cities in Evolution."
conus (n.) Look up conus at Dictionary.com
1885, from Latin conus "cone" (see cone).
convalesce (v.) Look up convalesce at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Latin convalescere "thrive, regain health," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + valescere "to begin to grow strong," inchoative of valere "to be strong" (from PIE root *wal- "to be strong"). Only in Caxton and Scottish writers until 19c. Related: Convalesced; convalescing.
convalescence (n.) Look up convalescence at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French convalescence (15c.), from Late Latin convalescentia "regaining of health," from convalescentem (nominative convalescens), present participle of convalescere (see convalesce).
convalescent (adj.) Look up convalescent at Dictionary.com
1650s, from French convalescent, from Latin convalescentem (nominative convalescens), present participle of convalescere (see convalesce). As a noun, attested from 1758.
convection (n.) Look up convection at Dictionary.com
1620s, from Latin convectionem (nominative convectio) "the act of carrying," noun of action from past participle stem of convehere "to carry together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + vehere "to carry" (see vehicle). Related: Convective. Convection current recorded from 1868.
convenance (n.) Look up convenance at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from French convenance "convention, agreement, convenience," from convenant, present participle of convenir "to come together" (see convene).
convene (v.) Look up convene at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French convenir "to suit, agree," from Latin convenire "unite, be suitable, agree, assemble," from com- "together" (see com-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come." Related: Convened; convener; convening.
convenience (n.) Look up convenience at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "agreement, conformity," from Latin convenientia "meeting together, agreement, harmony," from conveniens, present participle of convenire (see convene). Meaning "suitable, adapted to existing conditions" is from c. 1600; that of "personally not difficult" is from 1703.
conveniences (n.) Look up conveniences at Dictionary.com
"material appliances conducive to personal comfort," 1670s, plural of convenience.
convenient (adj.) Look up convenient at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin convenientem (nominative conveniens), present participle of convenire "unite, be suitable, agree, assemble," from com- "together" (see com-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come."
conveniently (adv.) Look up conveniently at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "harmoniously," from convenient + -ly (2). Meaning "in a way that avoids difficulty" is from c. 1500.
convenor (n.) Look up convenor at Dictionary.com
variant of convener (see convene).
convent (n.) Look up convent at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, covent, cuvent, from Anglo-French covent, from Old French convent, from Latin conventus "assembly," used in Medieval Latin for "religious house," originally past participle of convenire "come together" (see convene). Not exclusively feminine until 18c. The form with restored Latin -n- emerged early 15c. The Middle English form remains in London's Covent Garden district (notorious late 18c. for brothels), so called because it had been the garden of a defunct monastery.
COVENT GARDEN ABBESS. A bawd.
COVENT GARDEN AGUE. The venereal diſeaſe.
["Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]
conventicle (n.) Look up conventicle at Dictionary.com
from Latin conventiculum "a small assembly," diminutive of conventus "assembly," originally past participle of convenire "unite, be suitable, agree, assemble," from com- "together" (see com-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come."
convention (n.) Look up convention at Dictionary.com
early 15c., convencioun, "a formal agreement, covenant, treaty," also "a formal meeting or convention" (of rulers, etc.), also "a private or secret agreement," from Middle French convention and directly from Latin conventionem (nominative conventio) "meeting, assembly, covenant," noun of action from past participle stem of convenire "unite, be suitable, agree, assemble," from com- "together" (see com-) + venire "to come," from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come."

Originally of princes, powers, and potentates. In diplomacy, of agreements between states, from mid-15c.; of agreements between opposing military commanders from 1780. Meaning "assembly of persons for a common objective," especially involving legislation or deliberation is from mid-16c. Conventions were important in U.S. history and the word is attested in colonial writings from 1720s; in reference to political party nomination meetings by 1817 (originally at the state level; national conventions began to be held in the 1830s).

In the social sense, "general agreement on customs, etc., as embodied in accepted standards or usages" (sometimes in a bad sense) by 1747. Hence "rule or practice based on general conduct" (1790).
conventional (adj.) Look up conventional at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "of the nature of an agreement," from Late Latin conventionalis "pertaining to convention or agreement," from Latin conventionem "a meeting, assembly, covenant" (see convention). Meaning "of the nature of a convention" in the "formal meeting" sense is from 1812, now rare; that of "established by social convention" is from 1761. Sense of "following tradition" is from 1831; that of "non-nuclear" is from 1955. Realted: Conventionality; conventionally.
converge (v.) Look up converge at Dictionary.com
1690s, from Late Latin convergere "to incline together" from com "with, together" (see com-) + vergere "to bend, turn, tend toward" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Related: Converged; converging.
convergence (n.) Look up convergence at Dictionary.com
1713, from converge + -ence. Related: Convergent. Convergent evolution was in use among biologists by 1890.
conversant (adj.) Look up conversant at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French conversant, present participle of converser (see converse (v.)).
conversate (v.) Look up conversate at Dictionary.com
by 1994, apparently a back-formation from conversation or an elaboration of converse. According to some, from African-American vernacular.
conversation (n.) Look up conversation at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "living together, having dealings with others," also "manner of conducting oneself in the world;" from Old French conversation, from Latin conversationem (nominative conversatio) "act of living with," noun of action from past participle stem of conversari "to live with, keep company with," literally "turn about with," from Latin com "with, together" (see com-) + versare, frequentative of vertere "to turn," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."

Specific sense of "talk" is 1570s. Used as a synonym for "sexual intercourse" from at least 1511, hence criminal conversation, legal term for adultery from late 18c. Related: Conversationalist; conversationist.
conversational (adj.) Look up conversational at Dictionary.com
1779, from conversation + -al (1).
converse (v.) Look up converse at Dictionary.com
"to communicate (with)," 1590s; earlier "to move about, live, dwell" (mid-14c.), from Old French converser "to talk" (12c.), from Latin conversari (see conversation). Related: Conversed; conversing.
converse (adj.) Look up converse at Dictionary.com
"exact opposite," 1560s, from Latin conversus "turn around," past participle of convertere "to turn about, turn around, transform," from com "with, together" (see com-) + vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Originally mathematical. The noun is attested from 1550s in mathematics. Related: Conversely.
conversion (n.) Look up conversion at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., originally of religion, from French conversion, from Latin conversionem (nominative conversatio), noun of action from past participle stem of convertere (see convert (v.)). General sense of "transformation" is early 15c. Of buildings, from 1921. Conversion disorder "hysteria" (attested from 1946 but said to have been coined by Freud) was in DSM-IV (1994).
convert (n.) Look up convert at Dictionary.com
1560s, from convert (v.). Earlier was convers (early 14c.).
convert (v.) Look up convert at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French convertir, from Vulgar Latin *convertire, from Latin convertere "turn around, transform," from com "with, together" (see com-) + vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Originally in the religious sense. The Latin word is glossed in Old English by gecyrren, from cierran "to turn, return." Related: Converted; converting.
converter (n.) Look up converter at Dictionary.com
1530s, agent noun from convert (v.). Of machinery, from 1867.
convertible (adj.) Look up convertible at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French convertible (13c.), from Late Latin convertibilis "changeable," from Latin convertere (see convert (v.)). The noun is recorded from 1610s; meaning "automobile with a fold-down top" is from 1916.
convex (adj.) Look up convex at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Middle French convexe, from Latin convexus "vaulted, arched," past participle of convehere "to bring together," from com- "together," or "thoroughly" (see com-) + vehere "to bring, carry, convey" (see vehicle). Possibly from the idea of vaults carried together to meet at the point of a roof. Related: Convexity. Convex lens is from 1822.
convey (v.) Look up convey at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "to go along with;" late 14c., "to carry, transport;" from Anglo-French conveier, from Old French convoier "to escort" (Modern French convoyer), from Vulgar Latin *conviare "to accompany on the way," from Latin com "with, together" (see com-) + via "way, road" (see via). It was a euphemism for "steal" 15c.-17c., which helped broaden its meaning. Related: Conveyed; conveying.
conveyance (n.) Look up conveyance at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "act of conveying," from convey + -ance. Meaning "document by which something is legally conveyed" is from 1570s; sense "means of transportation" is attested from 1590s. Related: Conveyanced; conveyancing.
conveyer (n.) Look up conveyer at Dictionary.com
1510s, agent noun from convey. Latinate form conveyor is later (1640s).
convict (n.) Look up convict at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from convict (v.). Slang shortening con is from 1893.
convict (v.) Look up convict at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Latin convictus, past participle of convincere "to 'overcome' in argument, to overcome decisively," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + vincere "to conquer" (from nasalized form of PIE root *weik- (3) "to fight, conquer"). Replaced Old English verb oferstælan. Related: Convicted; convicting.
conviction (n.) Look up conviction at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "the proving of guilt," from Late Latin convictionem (nominative convictio) "proof, refutation," noun of action from past participle stem of convincere (see convince). Meaning "mental state of being convinced" is from 1690s; that of "firm belief, a belief held as proven" is from 1841.
convictions (n.) Look up convictions at Dictionary.com
"those ideas which one believes to be true," 1883, plural of conviction.
convince (v.) Look up convince at Dictionary.com
1520s, "to overcome in argument," from Latin convincere "to overcome decisively," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + vincere "to conquer" (from nasalized form of PIE root *weik- (3) "to fight, conquer"). Meaning "to firmly persuade" is from c. 1600. Related: Convinced; convincing; convincingly.
convival (adj.) Look up convival at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Latin convivalis, from conviva, from convivere (see convivial). Has been replaced in most uses by convivial.
convive (n.) Look up convive at Dictionary.com
1640s, from French convive, from Latin conviva "one who feasts with others," from convivere (see convivial). In mid-19c., also "woman 'who lives in the same house with a number of others.' "
convivial (adj.) Look up convivial at Dictionary.com
1660s, "pertaining to a feast," from Late Latin convivialis, from Latin convivium "a feast," from convivere "to carouse together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + vivere "to live" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). Meaning "sociable" is from 18c. Related: Conviviality.
convocate (v.) Look up convocate at Dictionary.com
mid-16c., from Latin convocatus, past participle of convocare (see convocation).
convocation (n.) Look up convocation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "assembly of persons," from Old French convocation and directly from Latin convocationem (nominative convocatio), noun of action from past participle stem of convocare "to call together," from com "with, together" (see com-) + vocare "to call," from vox "voice" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak"). Related: Convocational.
convoke (v.) Look up convoke at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Middle French convoquer (14c.), from Latin convocare "to call together" (see convocation). Related: Convoked; convoking.
convolute (adj.) Look up convolute at Dictionary.com
"rolled up together," 1794, from Latin convolutus, past participle of convolvere (see convolution). The noun meaning "something convoluted" is from 1846.