cynic (n.)
mid-16c., in reference to the ancient philosophy, from Greek kynikos "a follower of Antisthenes," literally "dog-like," from kyon (genitive kynos) "dog" (from PIE root *kwon- "dog"). Supposedly from the sneering sarcasm of the philosophers, but more likely from Kynosarge "Gray Dog," name of the gymnasium outside ancient Athens (for the use of those who were not pure Athenians) where the founder, Antisthenes (a pupil of Socrates), taught. Diogenes was the most famous. Popular association even in ancient times was "dog-like" (Lucian has kyniskos "a little cynic," literally "puppy"). Meaning "sneering sarcastic person" is from 1590s.
cynical (adj.)
1580s, "resembling Cynic philosophers," from cynic + -al (1). By late 17c. the meaning had shaded into the general one of "critical, disparaging the motives of others, captious, sneering, peevish." Related: Cynically.
cynicism (n.)
1670s, "philosophy of the Cynics," from cynic + -ism. Meaning "cynical character" is from 1847. For nuances of usage of cynicism, see humor (n.).
cynosure (n.)
1590s, from Middle French cynosure (16c.), from Latin Cynosura, literally "dog's tail," the constellation (now Ursa Minor) containing the North Star, the focus of navigation, from Greek kynosoura, literally "dog's tail," from kyon (genitive kynos; from PIE root *kwon- "dog") + oura "tail" (see arse).
Cynthia
fem. proper name, also "the Moon," from Latin Cynthia dea "the Cynthian goddess," epithet of Artemis/Diana, said to have been born on Mt. Cynthus on Delos.
cypress (n.)
type of evergreen tree (sacred to Pluto), late 12c., from Old French cipres (12c., Modern French cyprès), from Late Latin cypressus, from Latin cupressus, from Greek kyparissos, probably from an unknown pre-Greek Mediterranean language. Perhaps related to Hebrew gopher, name of the tree whose wood was used to make the ark (Genesis vi.14).
Cyprian (adj.)
1620s, "of Cyprus," from Latin Cyprianus, from Cyprius, from Greek Kyprios (see Cyprus). The island was famous in ancient times as the birthplace of Aphrodite and for erotic worship rituals offered to her there; hence Cyprian meant "licentious, lewd," the earliest attested sense in English (1590s) and was applied 18c.-19c. to prostitutes.
Cyprus
eatern Mediterranean island, from Greek Kypros "land of cypress trees" (see cypress).
Cyrene
ancient Greek colony in Libya; the name is of unknown origin. Cyrenaic referred to the philosophy ("practical hedonism") of Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435-c. 356 B.C.E.).
Cyrillic
1842, in reference to the Slavic alphabet, from St. Cyril, 9c. apostle of the Slavs, who supposedly invented it. The alphabet replaced earlier Glagolitic. The name Cyril is Late Latin Cyrillus, from Greek Kyrillos, literally "lordly, masterful," related to kyrios "lord, master" (see church).
Cyrus
Latinized form of Greek Kyros, from Old Persian Kurush, a name of unknown etymology. In Hebrew, Koresh, and in that form taken c. 1990 by Wayne Howell of Texas, U.S., when he became head of the Branch Davidian church there.
cyst (n.)
1713, from Modern Latin cystis (in English as a Latin word from 1540s), from Greek kystis "bladder, pouch."
cystic (adj.)
1630s, "pertaining to the gall bladder," from French cystique (16c.), from Modern Latin cysticus, from Greek kystis "bladder, pouch." Meaning "pertaining to a cyst" is from 1713. Cystic fibrosis coined in 1938.
cystitis (n.)
c. 1780, from cyst + -itis "inflammation."
cystocele (n.)
1811, from French cystocèle, from Greek kystis "bladder, pouch" + kele "tumor, rupture, hernia," from PIE *kehul- "tumor" (source also of Old Norse haull, Old English heala "groin rupture," Old Church Slavonic kyla, Lithuanian kulas "rupture").
cystoscopy (n.)
1910, from Latinized combining form of Greek kystis "bladder, pouch" + -scopy.
cyto-
before a vowel, cyt-, word-forming element, from Latinized form of Greek kytos "a hollow, receptacle, basket" (from PIE *ku-ti-, from root *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal;" see hide (n.1)); used in modern science since c. 1859 for "cell," perhaps especially from the sense (in Aristophanes) of "a cell of a hive of wasps or bees."
cytology (n.)
1857, from cyto- + -logy. Related: Cytologist (1884).
cytoplasm (n.)
1874, from cyto- + -plasm.
cytosine (n.)
1894, from German cytosin (1894), from cyto- "cell" + -ose + chemical suffix -ine (2). "The name cytosine (due to Kossel and Neumann) is misleading. Cytosine is not, like adenosine and guanosine, a nucleoside but the sugar-free base." [Flood]
cytotoxic (adj.)
1902, from cyto- + toxic. Related: Cytotoxicity.
czar (n.)
1550s, from Russian tsar, from Old Slavic tsesari, from Gothic kaisar, from Greek kaisar, from Latin Caesar. First adopted by Russian emperor Ivan IV, 1547.
The spelling with cz- is against the usage of all Slavonic languages; the word was so spelt by Herberstein, Rerum Moscovit. Commentarii, 1549, the chief early source of knowledge as to Russia in Western Europe, whence it passed into the Western Languages generally; in some of these it is now old-fashioned; the usual Ger. form is now zar; French adopted tsar during the 19th c. This also became frequent in English towards the end of that century, having been adopted by the Times newspaper as the most suitable English spelling. [OED]
The Germanic form of the word also is the source of Finnish keisari, Estonian keisar. The transferred sense of "person with dictatorial powers" is first recorded 1866, American English, initially in reference to President Andrew Johnson. The fem. czarina is 1717, from Italian czarina, from Ger. Zarin, fem. of Zar "czar." The Russian fem. form is tsaritsa. His son is tsarevitch, his daughter is tsarevna.
Czech
said to be from the name of an ancestral chief, but perhaps from a source akin to Czech četa "army."
Czechoslovakia (n.)
Central European nation from 1919-1992, from Czecho-, Latinized comb. form of Czech + Slovakia (see Slovak).