- card (n.1)
- c.1400, "playing card," from Middle French carte (14c.), from Latin charta "leaf of paper, tablet," from Greek khartes "layer of papyrus," probably from Egyptian. Form influenced after 14c. by Italian carta (see chart (n.)).
Sense of "playing cards" also is oldest in French. Sense in English extended by 1590s to similar small, flat, stiff bits of paper. Meaning "printed ornamental greetings for special occasions" is from 1869. Application to clever or original persons (1836, originally with an adjective, e.g. smart card) is from the playing-card sense, via expressions such as sure card "an expedient certain to attain an object" (c.1560).
Card table is from 1713. Card-sharper is 1859. House of cards in the figurative sense is from 1640s, first attested in Milton. To have a card up (one's) sleeve is 1898; to play the _______ card is from 1886, originally the Orange card, meaning "appeal to Northern Irish Protestant sentiment (for political advantage)."
- card (v.1)
- "to comb wool," late 14c., from card (n.2) or else from Old French carder, from Old Provençal cardar "to card," from Vulgar Latin *caritare, from Latin carrere "to clean or comb with a card," perhaps from PIE root *kars- "to scrape" (see harsh). Related: Carded; carding.
- card (v.2)
- 1540s, "to play cards" (now obsolete), from card (n.1). From 1925 as "to write (something) on a card for filing." Meaning "require (someone) to show ID" is from 1970s. Related: Carded; carding.
- card (n.2)
- "machine for combing," late 14c. (mid-14c. in surname Cardmaker), from Old French carde "card, teasel," from Old Provençal cardo or some other Romanic source (cf. Spanish and Italian carda "thistle, tease, card," back-formation from cardar "to card" (see card (v.1)). The English word probably also comes via Anglo-Latin cardo, from Medieval Latin carda "a teasel," from Latin carduus.
- card-carrying (adj.)
- 1948, used frequently during Cold War in U.S. (typically in reference to official membership in the communist party), from card (n.1) + present participle of carry (v.).
- cardamom (n.)
- 1550s, from French cardamome, from Latin cardamomum, from Greek kardamomon, from kardamon "cress" (of unknown origin) + amomon "spice plant." The word was in English from late 14c. in Latin form.
- cardboard (n.)
- 1848, from card (n.) + board (n.1). Figurative sense is from 1893. An earlier word for the same stuff was card paper (1777).
- cardiac (adj.)
- c.1600, from French cardiaque (14c.) or directly from Latin cardiacus, from Greek kardiakos "pertaining to the heart," from kardia "heart" (see heart (n.)). Cardiac arrest is attested from 1950.
Greek kardia also could mean "stomach" and Latin cardiacus "pertaining to the stomach." This terminology continues somewhat in modern medicine. Confusion of heart and nearby digestive organs also is reflected in Breton kalon "heart," from Old French cauldun "bowels," and English heartburn for "indigestion."
- cardigan (n.)
- 1868, from James Thomas Brudenell (1797-1868), 7th Earl of Cardigan, English general distinguished in the Crimean War, who set the style, in one account supposedly wearing such a jacket while leading the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava (1854). The place name is an anglicization of Welsh Ceredigion, literally "Ceredig's land." Ceredig lived 5c.
- cardinal (n.)
- early 12c., "one of the ecclesiastical princes who constitute the sacred college" (short for cardinalis ecclesiae Romanae or episcopus cardinalis), from Latin cardinalis "principal, chief, essential" (see cardinal (adj.)).
Ecclesiastical use began for the presbyters of the chief (cardinal) churches of Rome. The North American songbird (Cardinalis virginianus) is attested from 1670s, so named for its resemblance to the cardinals in their red robes.
- cardinal (adj.)
- "chief, pivotal," early 14c., from Latin cardinalis "principal, chief, essential," from cardo (genitive cardinis) "that on which something turns or depends; pole of the sky," originally "door hinge," of unknown origin. Related: Cardinally.
The cardinal points (1540s) are north, south, east, west. The cardinal sins (c.1600) are too well known to require rehearsal. The cardinal virtues (c.1300) were divided into natural (justice prudence, temperance, fortitude) and theological (faith, hope, charity). The natural ones were the original classical ones, which were amended by Christians. But typically in Middle English only the first four were counted as the cardinal virtues:
Of þe uour uirtues cardinales spekeþ moche þe yealde philosofes. ["Ayenbite of Inwyt," c.1340]
By analogy of this, and cardinal points, cardinal winds, cardinal signs (four zodiacal signs marking the equinoxes and the solstices), the adjective in Middle English acquired an association with the number four.
- cardinal number (n.)
- 1590s, "one, two, three," etc. as opposed to ordinal numbers "first, second, third," etc.; so called because they are the principal numbers and the ordinals depend on them (see cardinal (adj.)).
- cardinality (n.)
- 1520s, "condition of being a cardinal," from cardinal (n.) + -ity. Mathematical sense is from 1935 (see cardinal (adj.)).
- carding (n.)
- "wool-dressing," late 15c., verbal noun from card (v.1).
- before vowels cardi-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to the heart," from Latinized form of Greek kardia "heart" (see heart (n.)).
- cardiogram (n.)
- 1876, from cardio- + -gram.
- cardiograph (n.)
- 1867, from cardio- + -graph "something written."
Although the work does not treat of the recent means of diagnosis--the thermometer, laryngoscope, cardiograph, etc.,--still it is complete as far as it goes. [book review in "Medical Investigator," May 1867, p.94]
- cardiology (n.)
- 1847, from cardio- + -logy. Cardiologist attested from 1885.
- cardiopulmonary (adj.)
- 1908, from cardio- + pulmonary.
- cardiovascular (adj.)
- 1879, from cardio- + vascular. Cardiovascular system is recorded by 1918.
- cardoon (n.)
- 1610s, from French cardon, from Provençal cardon, properly "thistle," from Late latin cardonem (nominative cardo "thistle," related to Latin carduus "thistle, artichoke" (see harsh).
- care (n.)
- Old English caru, cearu "sorrow, anxiety, grief," also "burdens of mind; serious mental attention," from Proto-Germanic *karo (cf. Old Saxon kara "sorrow;" Old High German chara "wail, lament;" Gothic kara "sorrow, trouble, care;" German Karfreitag "Good Friday"), from PIE root *gar- "cry out, call, scream" (cf. Irish gairm "shout, cry, call;" see garrulous).
Different sense evolution in related Dutch karig "scanty, frugal," German karg "stingy, scanty." The sense development in English is from "cry" to "lamentation" to "grief." Meaning "charge, oversight, protection" is attested c.1400, the sense in care of in addressing. To take care of "take in hand, do" is from 1580s.
- care (v.)
- Old English carian, cearian "be anxious, grieve; to feel concern or interest," from Proto-Germanic *karojanan (cf. Old High German charon "to lament," Old Saxon karon "to care, to sorrow"), from the same source as care (n.). OED emphasizes that it is in "no way related to L. cura." Related: Cared; caring.
To not care as a negative dismissal is attested from mid-13c. Phrase couldn't care less is from 1946; could care less in the same sense (with an understood negative) is from 1966. Care also figures in many "similies of indifference" in the form don't care a _____, with the blank filled by fig, pin, button, cent, straw, rush, point, farthing, snap, etc., etc.
Positive senses, e.g. "have an inclination" (1550s); "have fondness for" (1520s) seem to have developed later as mirrors to the earlier negative ones.
- care package (n.)
- 1945, originally CARE package, supplies sent out by "Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe," established 1945 by U.S. private charities to coordinate delivery of aid packages to displaced persons in Europe after World War II and obviously named for the sake of the acronym. Name reupholstered late 1940s to "Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere," to reflect its expanded mission.
- care-free (adj.)
- also carefree, "free from cares," 1795, from care (n.) + free (adj.). In Old English and Middle English this idea was expressed by careless.
- care-taker (n.)
- also caretaker, 1858, from care (n.) + agent noun of take (v.). The back-formed verb caretake is attested by 1893.
- care-worm (n.)
- a word listed in 2nd print edition OED, whose editors found it once, in the 1598 edition of W. Phillip's translation of John Huyghen van Linschoten's account of his voyage to the East Indies, and marked it "? error for EAREWORM." But care-worm could be a useful word.
- careen (v.)
- 1590s, "to turn a ship on its side" (with the keel exposed), from French cariner, literally "to expose a ship's keel," from Middle French carene "keel" (16c.), from Italian (Genoese dialect) carena, from Latin carina "keel of a ship," originally "nutshell," possibly from PIE root *kar- "hard" (see hard (adj.)).
Intransitive sense of "to lean, to tilt" is from 1763, specifically of ships; in general use by 1883. In sense "to rush headlong," confused with career (v.) since at least 1923. [To career is to move rapidly; to careen is to lurch from side to side (often while moving rapidly).] Earlier figurative uses of careen were "to be laid up; to rest." Related: Careened; careening.
- career (n.)
- 1530s, "a running (usually at full speed), a course" (especially of the sun, etc., across the sky), from Middle French carriere "road, racecourse" (16c.), from Old Provençal or Italian carriera, from Vulgar Latin *(via) cararia "carriage (road), track for wheeled vehicles," from Latin carrus "chariot" (see car). Sense of "course of a working life" first attested 1803.
- career (v.)
- 1590s, "to charge at a tournament," from career (n.). The meaning "move rapidly, run at full speed" (1640s) is from the image of a horse "passing a career" on the jousting field, etc. Related: Careered; careering.
- careerist (n.)
- 1917, from career (n.) + -ist.
- careful (adj.)
- Old English cearful "mournful, sad," also "full of care or woe; anxious; full of concern" (for someone or something), thus "applying attention, painstaking, circumspect;" from care (n.) + -ful.
- carefully (adv.)
- Old English carful-lice; see careful + -ly (2).
- carefulness (n.)
- Old English carfulnys; see careful + -ness.
- caregiver (n.)
- by 1974, from care (n.) + giver. It has, in many senses, the same meaning as care-taker, which ought to be its antonym.
- careless (adj.)
- Old English carleas "free from anxiety; unconcerned," from care (n.) + -less; a compound probably from Proto-Germanic. Original senses extinct by mid-17c.; main modern meaning "not paying attention, inattentive, not taking due care" is first recorded 1560s (in carelessly).
- carelessness (n.)
- Old English carleasnes; see careless + -ness.
- cares (n.)
- "anxieties," late Old English, from care (n.).
- caress (n.)
- 1640s, "show of endearment, display of regard," from French caresse (16c.), back-formation from caresser or else from Italian carezza "endearment," from caro "dear," from Latin carus "dear, costly, beloved" (see whore (n.)). Meaning "affectionate stroke" attested in English from 1650s.
- caress (v.)
- 1650s, from French caresser, from Italian carezzare "to cherish," from carezza "endearment" (see caress (n.)). Related: Caressed; caressing.
- caret (n.)
- "mark in writing to show where something is to be inserted," 1680s, from Latin caret "there is lacking," 3rd person singular indicative of carere "to lack" (see caste).
- careworn (adj.)
- 1828, from care (n.) + worn.
- carfax (n.)
- see carrefour.
- cargo (n.)
- 1650s, "freight loaded on a ship," from Spanish cargo "burden," from cargar "to load, impose taxes," from Late Latin carricare "to load on a cart" (see charge (v.)). South Pacific cargo cult is from 1949. Cargo pants attested from 1977.
- Carib (n.)
- 1550s, from Spanish Caribe, from Arawakan kalingo or kalino, said to mean "brave ones" or else "strong men." As an adjective by 1881.
- from Carib, indigenous people's name for themselves, + -ean.
- caribou (n.)
- also cariboo, 1660s, from Canadian French caribou, from Micmac (Algonquian) kaleboo or a related Algonquian name, literally "pawer, scratcher," from its kicking snow aside to feed on moss and grass.
- caricature (v.)
- 1749, from caricature (n.). Related: Caricatured; caricaturing.
- caricature (n.)
- 1748 (figurative), 1750 (literal), from French caricature (18c.), from Italian caricatura "satirical picture; an exaggeration," literally "an overloading," from caricare "to load, exaggerate," from Vulgar Latin carricare "to load a car" (see charge (v.)). The Italian form had been used in English from 1680s and was common 18c.
- caricaturist (n.)
- 1754, from caricature (n.) + -ist.