cummin (n.) Look up cummin at Dictionary.com
alternative spelling of cumin.
cumulate (v.) Look up cumulate at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Latin cumulatus "heaped, increased, augmented," past participle of cumulare "to heap," from cumulus "mound, heap" (see cumulus). Related: Cumulated; cumulating.
cumulation (n.) Look up cumulation at Dictionary.com
1610s, noun of action from cumulate.
cumulative (adj.) Look up cumulative at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Latin cumulatus, past participle of cumulare "to heap," from cumulus "heap" (see cumulus) + -ive.
cumulonimbus (n.) Look up cumulonimbus at Dictionary.com
1887, from cumulo-, comb. form of cumulus, + nimbus.
cumulus (n.) Look up cumulus at Dictionary.com
1650s, "a heap," from Latin cumulus "a heap, pile, mass, surplus," from PIE *ku-m-olo-, suffixed shortened form of root *keue- "to swell" (compare Sanskrit svayati "swells up, is strong," Greek kyein "to swell," Lithuanian šaunas "firm, solid, fit, capable"). Meteorological use for "rounded mass of clouds" first attested 1803.
cun (v.) Look up cun at Dictionary.com
"to learn to know, inquire into," from Old English cunnian "to learn to know," ultimately from the same ancient root as can (v.1). Surviving into 17c. and perhaps later in dialects.
cuneiform (adj.) Look up cuneiform at Dictionary.com
1670s, "wedge shaped," from French cunéiforme (16c.), from Latin cuneus "a wedge, wedge-shaped thing," of unknown origin, + French -forme (see form (n.)). Applied to characters in ancient Middle Eastern inscriptions made with wedge-shaped writing tools; first used in this sense by German physician and traveller Engelbert Kämpfer (1681-1716); in English from 1818. As a noun from 1862.
cunnilingus (n.) Look up cunnilingus at Dictionary.com
1887, from Latin cunnus "vulva" (see cunt) + lingere "to lick" (see lick (v.)). The Latin properly would mean "one who licks a vulva," but it is used in English in reference to the action, not the actor. The verb ought to be *cunnilingue.
Cunnilingus was a very familiar manifestation in classical times; ... it tends to be especially prevalent at all periods of high civilization. [Havelock Ellis, 1905]
cunning (adj.) Look up cunning at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "learned, skillful," present participle of cunnen "to know" (see can (v.1)). Sense of "skillfully deceitful" is probably late 14c. As a noun from c.1300. Related: Cunningly.
cunt (n.) Look up cunt at Dictionary.com
"female intercrural foramen," or, as some 18c. writers refer to it, "the monosyllable," Middle English cunte "female genitalia," by early 14c. (in Hendyng's "Proverbs" -- ʒeve þi cunte to cunni[n]g, And crave affetir wedding), akin to Old Norse kunta, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, and Middle Low German kunte, from Proto-Germanic *kunton, of uncertain origin. Some suggest a link with Latin cuneus "wedge," others to PIE root *geu- "hollow place," still others to PIE *gwen-, root of queen and Greek gyne "woman."

The form is similar to Latin cunnus "female pudenda" (also, vulgarly, "a woman"), which is likewise of disputed origin, perhaps literally "gash, slit," from PIE *sker- (1) "to cut," or literally "sheath," from PIE *kut-no-, from root *(s)keu- "to conceal, hide."
Hec vulva: a cunt. Hic cunnus: idem est. [from Londesborough Illustrated Nominale, c.1500, in "Anglo-Saxon and Old English Vocabularies," eds. Wright and Wülcker, vol. 1, 1884]
First known reference in English apparently is in a compound, Oxford street name Gropecuntlane cited from c.1230 (and attested through late 14c.) in "Place-Names of Oxfordshire" (Gelling & Stenton, 1953), presumably a haunt of prostitutes. Used in medical writing c.1400, but avoided in public speech since 15c.; considered obscene since 17c.

in Middle English also conte, counte, and sometimes queinte, queynte (for this, see q). Chaucer used quaint and queynte in "Canterbury Tales" (late 14c.), and Andrew Marvell might be punning on quaint in "To His Coy Mistress" (1650).
"What eyleth yow to grucche thus and grone? Is it for ye wolde haue my queynte allone?" [Wife of Bath's Tale]
Under "MONOSYLLABLE" Farmer lists 552 synonyms from English slang and literature before launching into another 5 pages of them in French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. [A sampling: Botany Bay, chum, coffee-shop, cookie, End of the Sentimental Journey, fancy bit, Fumbler's Hall, funniment, goatmilker, heaven, hell, Itching Jenny, jelly-bag, Low Countries, nature's tufted treasure, parenthesis, penwiper, prick-skinner, seminary, tickle-toby, undeniable, wonderful lamp, and aphrodisaical tennis court. Dutch cognate de kont means "a bottom, an arse," but Dutch also has attractive poetic slang ways of expressing this part, such as liefdesgrot, literally "cave of love," and vleesroos "rose of flesh."

Alternative form cunny is attested from c.1720 but is certainly much earlier and forced a change in the pronunciation of coney (q.v.), but it was good for a pun while coney was still the common word for "rabbit": "A pox upon your Christian cockatrices! They cry, like poulterers' wives, 'No money, no coney.' " [Philip Massinger: "The Virgin-Martyr," Act I, Scene 1, 1622]
cup (n.) Look up cup at Dictionary.com
Old English cuppe, from Late Latin cuppa "cup" (source of Italian coppa, Spanish copa, Old French coupe "cup"), from Latin cupa "tub, cask, tun, barrel," from PIE *keup- "a hollow" (cognates: Sanskrit kupah "hollow, pit, cave," Greek kype "a kind of ship," Old Church Slavonic kupu, Lithuanian kaupas).

The Late Latin word was borrowed throughout Germanic: Old Frisian kopp "cup, head," Middle Low German kopp "cup," Middle Dutch coppe, Dutch kopje "cup, head." German cognate Kopf now means exclusively "head" (compare French tête, from Latin testa "potsherd"). Meaning "part of a bra that holds a breast" is from 1938. [One's] cup of tea "what interests one" (1932), earlier used of persons (1908), the sense being "what is invigorating."
cup (v.) Look up cup at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to draw blood by cupping," from cup (n.). Meaning "to form a cup" is from 1830. Related: Cupped; cupping.
cupboard (n.) Look up cupboard at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a board or table to place cups and like objects," from cup (n.) + board (n.1). As a type of closed cabinet for food, etc., from early 16c.
cupcake (n.) Look up cupcake at Dictionary.com
1828, American English, from cup (n.) + cake (n.), probably from the cups they are baked in, but possibly from the small measures of ingredients used to make them. Meaning "attractive young woman" is recorded from 1930s, American English.
cupful (n.) Look up cupful at Dictionary.com
mid-12c., from cup (n.) + -ful.
Cupid Look up Cupid at Dictionary.com
Roman god of passionate love, late 14c., from Latin Cupido, personification of cupido "desire, love," from cupere "to desire" (see cupidity). Identified with Greek Eros. Cupid's bow as a shape, especially of lips, is from 1858.
cupidity (n.) Look up cupidity at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Anglo-French cupidite, Middle French cupidité, from Latin cupiditatem (nominative cupiditas) "passionate desire, lust; ambition," from cupidus "eager, passionate," from cupere "to desire" (perhaps cognate with Sanskrit kupyati "bubbles up, becomes agitated," Old Church Slavonic kypeti "to boil," Lithuanian kupeti "to boil over"). Despite the primarily erotic sense of the Latin word, in English cupidity originally, and still especially, means "desire for wealth."
cupola (n.) Look up cupola at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Italian cupola, from Late Latin cupula "a little tub," diminutive of Latin cupa "cask, barrel" (see cup (n.)).
cuppa (n.) Look up cuppa at Dictionary.com
colloquial shortening of cup of (coffee, etc.), recorded from 1925; as a stand-alone (almost always with implied tea) it dates from 1934.
cupreous (adj.) Look up cupreous at Dictionary.com
1660s, from Late Latin cupreus "of copper," from cuprum, alternative form of cyprum "copper" (see copper (n.1)). Related: Cupric (1799).
cur (n.) Look up cur at Dictionary.com
early 13c., curre, earlier kurdogge used of both vicious dogs and cowardly dogs, probably from Old Norse kurra or Middle Low German korren both echoic, both meaning "to growl." Compare Swedish dialectal kurre, Middle Dutch corre "house dog."
curable (adj.) Look up curable at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from cure (v.) + -able; or from Old French curable (13c.) and directly from Late Latin curabilis, from Latin curare.
Curacao Look up Curacao at Dictionary.com
West Indian island, Curaçao, discovered 1499 by Alonso de Hojeda, who called it Isla de los Gigantes in reference to the stature of the natives. The modern name probably is a Europeanized version of some lost native word. The liqueur is made from the dried peel of the Curaçao orange.
curare (n.) Look up curare at Dictionary.com
1777, from Portuguese or Spanish curare, a corruption of the name in the Carib language of the Macusi Indians of Guyana, wurali or wurari, which had a sort of click sound at the beginning, and is said to mean "he to whom it comes falls."
curate (n.) Look up curate at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "spiritual guide," from Medieval Latin curatus "one responsible for the care (of souls)," from Latin curatus, past participle of curare "to take care of" (see cure (v.)). Church of England sense of "paid deputy priest of a parish" first recorded 1550s.
curation (n.) Look up curation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French curacion "treatment of illness," from Latin curationem (nominative curatio), "a taking care, attention, management," especially "medical attention," noun of action from past participle stem of curare "to cure" (see cure (v.)).
curative (adj.) Look up curative at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Old French curatif (15c.) "curative, healing," from Latin curat-, past participle stem of curare "to cure" (see cure (v.)). As a noun, attested from 1857.
curator (n.) Look up curator at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Latin curator "overseer, manager, guardian," agent noun from curatus, past participle of curare (see cure (v.)). Originally of those put in charge of minors, lunatics, etc.; meaning "officer in charge of a museum, library, etc." is from 1660s.
curb (n.) Look up curb at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "strap passing under the jaw of a horse" (used to restrain the animal), from Old French courbe (12c.) "curb on a horse," from Latin curvus, from curvare "to bend" (see curve (v.)). Meaning "enclosed framework" is from 1510s, probably originally with a notion of "curved;" extended to margins of garden beds 1731; to "margin of stone between a sidewalk and road" 1791 (sometimes spelled kerb). Figurative sense of "a check, a restraint" is from 1610s.
curb (v.) Look up curb at Dictionary.com
1520s, of horses, "to lead to a curb," from curb (n.). Figurative use from 1580s. Related: Curbed; curbing.
curbstone (n.) Look up curbstone at Dictionary.com
1791, from curb (n.) + stone (n.).
curcumin (n.) Look up curcumin at Dictionary.com
coloring matter, 1850, from Curcuma, genus name for plants of the ginger family, from which the chemical was drawn, Medieval Latin, from Arabic kurkum "saffron, tumeric." Compare crocus.
curd (n.) Look up curd at Dictionary.com
c.1500, metathesis of crud (late 14c.), originally "any coagulated substance," probably from Old English crudan "to press, drive," from PIE root *greut- "to press, coagulate," perhaps via ancestor of Gaelic gruth (because cognates are unknown in other Germanic or Romance languages).
curdle (v.) Look up curdle at Dictionary.com
1630s (earlier crudle, 1580s), "to thicken, cause to congeal," frequentative of curd (v.) "to make into curd" (late 14c.; see curd). Of blood, in figurative sense "to inspire horror" from c.1600. Related: Curdled (1590); curdling (c.1700, almost always with reference to blood, in the figurative sense).
cure (n.1) Look up cure at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "care, heed," from Latin cura "care, concern, trouble," with many figurative extensions, such as "study; administration; a mistress," and also "means of healing, remedy," from Old Latin coira-, from PIE root *kois- "be concerned." Meaning "medical care" is late 14c.
cure (n.2) Look up cure at Dictionary.com
parish priest, from French curé (13c.), from Medieval Latin curatus (see curate).
cure (v.) Look up cure at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French curer, from Latin curare "take care of," hence, in medical language, "treat medically, cure" (see cure (n.)). In reference to fish, pork, etc., first recorded 1743. Related: Cured; curing.

Most words for "cure, heal" in European languages originally applied to the person being treated but now can be used with reference to the disease, too. Relatively few show an ancient connection to words for "physician;" typically they are connected instead to words for "make whole" or "tend to" or even "conjurer." French guérir (with Italian guarir, Old Spanish guarir) is from a Germanic verb stem also found in in Gothic warjan, Old English wearian "ward off, prevent, defend" (see warrant (n.)).
cure-all (n.) Look up cure-all at Dictionary.com
"panacea," 1870, from cure (v.) + all. As a name of various plants, it is attested from 1793.
Curetes Look up Curetes at Dictionary.com
from Latin Curetes, from Greek Kouretes, plural of Koures, literally "youthful," related to koros "youth, child."
curettage (n.) Look up curettage at Dictionary.com
1897; see curette (q.v.) + -age.
curette (n.) Look up curette at Dictionary.com
surgical instrument, 1753, from French curette (15c.), from curer "to clear, cleanse" (from Latin curare; see cure (v.)) + -ette.
curfew (n.) Look up curfew at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "evening signal, ringing of a bell at a fixed hour," from Anglo-French coeverfu (late 13c.), from Old French cuevrefeu, literally "cover fire" (Modern French couvre-few), from cuevre, imperative of covrir "to cover" (see cover (v.)) + feu "fire" (see focus (n.)). The medieval practice of ringing a bell at fixed time in the evening as an order to bank the hearths and prepare for sleep. The original purpose was to prevent conflagrations from untended fires. The modern extended sense of "periodic restriction of movement" had evolved by 1800s.
curfuffle (n.) Look up curfuffle at Dictionary.com
1813 (carfuffle), first used by Scottish writers, from a dialect word of Scotland based on fuffle "to throw into disorder;" first element probably as in kersplash, etc. (see ker-).
curia (n.) Look up curia at Dictionary.com
c.1600, one of the ten divisions of each of the three ancient Roman tribes; also "the Senate-house of Rome," from Latin curia "court," perhaps from *co-wiria "community of men." Transferred to the Papal court (1840).
curie (n.) Look up curie at Dictionary.com
"unit of radioactivity," 1910, named for Pierre Curie (1859-1906) or his wife, Marie (1867-1934), discoverers of radium.
curio (n.) Look up curio at Dictionary.com
"piece of bric-a-brac from the Far East," 1851, shortened form of curiosity (n.).
curiosity (n.) Look up curiosity at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "careful attention to detail," also "desire to know or learn" (originally usually in a bad sense), from Old French curiosete "curiosity, avidity, choosiness" (Modern French curiosité), from Latin curiositatem (nominative curiositas) "desire of knowledge, inquisitiveness," from curiosus (see curious). Neutral or good sense is from early 17c. Meaning "an object of interest" is from 1640s.
curious (adj.) Look up curious at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "eager to know" (often in a bad sense), from Old French curios "solicitous, anxious, inquisitive; odd, strange" (Modern French curieux) and directly from Latin curiosus "careful, diligent; inquiring eagerly, meddlesome," akin to cura "care" (see cure (n.)). The objective sense of "exciting curiosity" is 1715 in English. In booksellers' catalogues, the word means "erotic, pornographic." Curiouser and curiouser is from "Alice in Wonderland" (1865).
curium (n.) Look up curium at Dictionary.com
1946, named by U.S. chemist Glenn T. Seaborg, who helped discover it in 1944, for the Curies (see Curie).