Fergus Look up Fergus at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Gaelic Fearghus or Old Irish Fergus "man-ability," first element cognate with Latin vir "man," second from Old Irish gus "ability, excellence, strength, inclination," from Celtic root *gustu- "choice," from PIE root *geus- "to taste" (see gusto).
ferhoodle (v.) Look up ferhoodle at Dictionary.com
"to confuse, perplex," from Pennsylvania German verhuddle "to confuse, tangle," related to German verhudeln "to bungle, botch." Related: Ferhoodled; ferhoodling.
ferial (adj.) Look up ferial at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to holidays," late 14c., from Old French ferial, from Medieval Latin ferialis, from Latin feriae (see feast (n.)).
ferine (adj.) Look up ferine at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Latin ferinus "pertaining to wild animals," from fera "wild beast" (see fierce).
Feringhee (n.) Look up Feringhee at Dictionary.com
name used in India for "European," 1630s, from Persian Farangi, from Arabic Faranji (10c.), from Old French Franc "Frank" (see Frank) + Arabic ethnic suffix -i. The fr- sound is not possible in Arabic.
fermata (n.) Look up fermata at Dictionary.com
1876, musical term, Italian, literally "stop, pause," from fermare "to fasten, to stop," from fermo "strong, fastened," from Latin firmus (see firm (adj.)).
ferment (v.) Look up ferment at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French fermenter (13c.) and directly from Latin fermentare "to leaven, ferment," from fermentum "substance causing fermentation, leaven," from root of fervere "to boil, seethe" (see brew). Figurative use from 1650s. Related: Fermented; fermenting.
ferment (n.) Look up ferment at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French ferment, from Latin fermentum (see ferment (v.)). Figurative sense of "anger, passion" is from 1670s.
fermentation (n.) Look up fermentation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., in alchemy, with a broad sense; modern scientific sense is from c.1600; from Late Latin fermentationem (nominative fermentatio), noun of action from fermentare (see ferment (v.)). Figurative use attested from 1650s.
Fermium (n.) Look up Fermium at Dictionary.com
discovered in the debris of a 1952 U.S. nuclear test in the Pacific, named 1955 for Italian-born U.S. physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-1954).
fern (n.) Look up fern at Dictionary.com
Old English fearn, from Proto-Germanic *farno- (cognates: Old Saxon farn, Middle Dutch vaern, Dutch varen, Old High German farn, German Farn), possibly with a sense of "having feathery fronds" and from PIE *por-no-, a root which has yielded words for "feather, wing" (cognates: Sanskrit parnam "feather;" Lithuanian papartis "fern;" Russian paporot'; Greek pteris "fern," pteron "feather"), from root *per- (see petition (n.)). The plant's ability to appear as if from nothing accounts for the ancient belief that fern seeds conferred invisibility.
ferocious (adj.) Look up ferocious at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Latin ferocis, oblique case of ferox "fierce, wild-looking" (see ferocity). Related: Ferociously; ferociousness.
ferocity (n.) Look up ferocity at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from French férocité, from Latin ferocitatem (nominative ferocitas) "fierceness," from ferocis, oblique case of ferox "wild, bold, courageous, warlike, fierce," literally "wild-looking," a derivative of ferus "wild" (see fierce) + -ox, -ocem (genitive -ocis), a suffix meaning "looking or appearing" (cognate with Greek ops "eye, sight").
ferret (v.) Look up ferret at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from ferret (n.), in reference to the use of half-tame ferrets to kill rats and flush rabbits from burrows; the extended sense of "search out, discover" is 1570s. Related: Ferreted; ferreting.
ferret (n.) Look up ferret at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French furet, diminutive of fuiron "weasel, ferret," literally "thief," probably from Late Latin furionem (related to furonem "cat," also "robber"), from Latin fur (genitive furis) "thief."
ferric (adj.) Look up ferric at Dictionary.com
1799, from Latin ferrum "iron" (see ferro-) + -ic. Of iron, especially with a valence of three.
ferrier (n.) Look up ferrier at Dictionary.com
"ferryman," mid-15c., from ferry + -er (1).
Ferris wheel (n.) Look up Ferris wheel at Dictionary.com
1893, American English, from U.S. engineer George W.G. Ferris (1859-1896), who designed it for the World's Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, 1893. It was 250 feet tall and meant to rival the Eiffel Tower, from the 1889 Paris Exposition. The surname is said to be a 16c. form of Ferrers, borne in England by two families, from two places named Ferrières in Normandy.
ferrite (n.) Look up ferrite at Dictionary.com
1851, from Latin ferrum "iron" (see ferro-) + -ite (2).
ferro- Look up ferro- at Dictionary.com
before vowels ferr-, word-forming element indicating the presence of iron, from Latin ferro-, comb. form of ferrum "iron," possibly of Semitic origin, via Etruscan [Klein].
ferromagnetic (adj.) Look up ferromagnetic at Dictionary.com
1840, from ferro- "iron" + magnetic.
ferrous (adj.) Look up ferrous at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to or containing iron," 1865, from Latin ferreus "made of iron," from ferrum "iron" (see ferro-). In chemistry, "containing iron," especially with a valence of two.
ferrule (n.) Look up ferrule at Dictionary.com
"metal cap on a rod," 1610s, ferule, earlier verrel (early 15c.), from Old French virelle, from Latin viriola "bracelet," diminutive of viriae "bracelets," from a Gaulish word (compare Old Irish fiar "bent, crooked"); spelling influenced by Latin ferrum "iron."
ferry (v.) Look up ferry at Dictionary.com
Old English ferian "to carry, convey, bring, transport," from Proto-Germanic *farjan "to ferry" (cognates: Old Frisian feria "carry, transport," Old Norse ferja "to pass over, to ferry," Gothic farjan "travel by boat"), from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over" (see port (n.1)). Related to fare (v.). Related: Ferried; ferries; ferrying.
ferry (n.) Look up ferry at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "a passage over a river," from Old Norse ferju- "passage across water," ultimately from the same Germanic root as ferry (v.). The modern noun (1580s) is a shortening of ferry boat (mid-15c.).
fertile (adj.) Look up fertile at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle French fertil and directly from Latin fertilis "bearing in abundance, fruitful, productive," from ferre "to bear" (see infer). Fertile Crescent (1914) was coined by U.S. archaeologist James H. Breasted (1865-1935).
fertilisation (n.) Look up fertilisation at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of fertilization. For spelling, see -ize.
fertility (n.) Look up fertility at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French fertilité, from Latin fertilitatem (nominative fertilitas) "fruitfulness, fertility," from fertilis (see fertile).
fertilization (n.) Look up fertilization at Dictionary.com
1857, noun of action from fertilize.
fertilize (v.) Look up fertilize at Dictionary.com
1640s, "make fertile;" see fertile + -ize. Its biological sense of "unite with an egg cell" is first recorded 1859. Related: Fertilized; fertilizing.
fertilizer (n.) Look up fertilizer at Dictionary.com
1660s, "a person who fertilizes," agent noun from fertilize. As a euphemism for "manure," from 1846.
ferule (n.) Look up ferule at Dictionary.com
"rod for punishing children," 1590s, earlier "giant fennel" (early 15c.), from Middle English ferula "fennel plant" (late 14c.), from Latin ferula "reed, whip, rod, ferule, staff; fennel plant or rod," probably related to festuca "stalk, straw, rod."
fervent (adj.) Look up fervent at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French fervent, from Latin ferventem (nominative fervens) "boiling, hot, glowing," figuratively "violent, impetuous, furious," present participle of fervere "to boil, glow," from PIE root *bhreue- (see brew (v.)). The figurative sense of "impassioned" is first attested c.1400. Related: Fervency; fervently.
fervid (adj.) Look up fervid at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Latin fervidus "glowing, burning; vehement, fervid," from fervere "to boil, glow" (see brew (v.)). Figurative sense of "impassioned" is from 1650s. Related: Fervidly.
fervor (n.) Look up fervor at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "warmth or glow of feeling," from Old French fervor (Modern French ferveur) "heat, enthusiasm, ardor, passion," from Latin fervor "a boiling, violent heat; passion, ardor, fury," from fervere "to boil" (see brew (v.)).
fervour (n.) Look up fervour at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of fervor (q.v.); for spelling, see -or.
Fescennine (adj.) Look up Fescennine at Dictionary.com
"vulgar, obscene, scurrilous," from Latin Fescenninus (versus), a rude form of dramatic or satiric verse, from Fescennia, city in Etruria, noted for such productions.
The Fescennine Songs were the origin of the Satire, the only important species of literature not derived from the Greeks, and altogether peculiar to Italy. These Fescennine Songs were rude dialogues, in which the country people assailed and ridiculed one another in extempore verses, and which were introduced as an amusement in various festivals. [William Smith, "A Smaller History of Rome," London, 1870]
fescue (n.) Look up fescue at Dictionary.com
1510s, "teacher's pointer," alteration of festu "piece of straw, twig" (late 14c.), from Old French festu (Modern French fétu), a kind of straw, from Vulgar Latin festucum, from Latin festuca "straw, stalk, rod," probably related to ferula (see ferule). Sense of "pasture, lawn grass" is first recorded 1762.
fess (v.) Look up fess at Dictionary.com
shortened form of confess, attested by 1840, American English. Related: Fessed; fesses; fessing.
fess (n.) Look up fess at Dictionary.com
"white horizontal band across an escutcheon," late 15c., from Old French faisce, from Latin fascia (see fasces).
fest Look up fest at Dictionary.com
see -fest.
festal (adj.) Look up festal at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French festal, from Late Latin festalis, from Latin festum "feast" (see feast (n.)).
fester (v.) Look up fester at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French festre "small sore discharging pus," from Latin fistula "pipe, ulcer" (see fistula). The noun is from c.1300. Related: Festered; festering.
festival (n.) Look up festival at Dictionary.com
1580s, from earlier adjective (14c.), from Old French festival "suitable for a feast, solemn, magnificent, joyful, happy," and directly from Medieval Latin festivalis "of a church holiday" (see festivity).
festive (adj.) Look up festive at Dictionary.com
1650s, "pertaining to a feast," from Latin festivus "festive, joyous, gay," from festum "festival, holiday," noun use of neuter of adjective festus (see feast (n.)).

Meaning "mirthful" is attested by 1774. Unattested from 1651 to 1735; modern use may be a back-formation from festivity. Related: Festively; festiveness.
festivity (n.) Look up festivity at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French festivité, from Latin festivitatem (nominative festivitas) "good fellowship, generosity," from festivus "festive," from festum "festival or holiday," neuter of festus "of a feast" (see feast (n.)). Related: Festivities.
festoon (n.) Look up festoon at Dictionary.com
1620s, from French feston (16c.), from Italian festone, literally "a festive ornament," apparently from festa "celebration, feast," from Vulgar Latin *festa (see feast (n.)). The verb is attested from 1789. Related: Festooned.
festschrift (n.) Look up festschrift at Dictionary.com
1898, from German Festschrift, literally "festival writing."
Festus Look up Festus at Dictionary.com
male proper name, from Latin, literally "solemn, joyous, festive" (see feast (n.)).
fet (v.) Look up fet at Dictionary.com
"to fetch," Old English fetian "to bring near, fetch, obtain," of uncertain origin. See fetch (v.).