fought Look up fought at Dictionary.com
past tense and past participle of fight (v.). The past participle form foughten (Old English fohten) has been archaic since 18c. but occasionally appears in the phrase foughten field.
foul (adj.) Look up foul at Dictionary.com
Old English ful "rotten, unclean, vile, corrupt, offensive to the senses," from Proto-Germanic *fulaz (cognates: Old Saxon and Old Frisian ful, Middle Dutch voul, Dutch vuil, Old High German fül, German faul, Gothic füls), from root *fu-, corresponding to PIE *pu-, perhaps from the sound made in reaction to smelling something bad (compare Sanskrit puyati "rots, stinks," putih "foul, rotten;" Greek puon "discharge from a sore;" Latin pus "putrid matter," putere "to stink," putridus "rotten;" Lithuanian puviu "to rot").

Old English ful occasionally meant "ugly" (as contrasted with fæger (adj.), modern fair (adj.)), a sense frequently found in Middle English, and the cognate in Swedish is the usual word for "ugly." Of weather, first recorded late 14c. In the sporting sense of "irregular, unfair" it is first attested 1797, though foul play is recorded from mid-15c. Baseball sense of "out of play" attested by 1860. Foulmart was a Middle English word for "polecat" (from Old English mearð "marten").
foul (v.) Look up foul at Dictionary.com
Old English fulian "to become foul, rot," from ful (see foul (adj.)). Related: Fouled; fouling.
foul-mouthed (adj.) Look up foul-mouthed at Dictionary.com
also foulmouthed, 1590s, apparently first in Shakespeare ["Henry IV," 1596].
foully (adv.) Look up foully at Dictionary.com
Old English fullice; see foul (adj.) + -ly (2).
foulness (n.) Look up foulness at Dictionary.com
Old English fulness "foulness, filthy smell;" see foul (adj.) + -ness.
found (v.1) Look up found at Dictionary.com
"establish," late 13c., from Old French founder (12c., Modern French fonder), from Latin fundare "to lay the bottom or foundation of something," from fundus "bottom, foundation" (see fund (n.)). Related: Founded; founding. Phrase founding fathers with reference to the creators of the American republic is attested from 1916.
found (v.2) Look up found at Dictionary.com
"cast metal," late 14c., "to mix, mingle," from Middle French fondre "pour out, melt, mix together," from Old French fondre, from Latin fundere "melt, cast, pour out," from PIE *gheud- (cognates: Gothic giutan, German gießen, Old English geotan "to pour"), from root *gheu- "to pour" (cognates: Greek khein "to pour," khoane "funnel," khymos "juice"). Meaning "to cast metal" is from 1560s.
found (adj.) Look up found at Dictionary.com
"discovered," late 14c., past participle adjective from find (v.). Expression and found in old advertisements for job openings, travelling berths, etc., attached to the wages or charges, indicates that meals are provided, from the expression to find one's self "to provide for one's self." "When a laborer engages to provide himself with victuals, he is said to find himself, or to receive day wages" [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]. Hence, so much and found for "wages + meals provided."
foundation (n.) Look up foundation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "action of founding," from Old French fondacion (14c.) or directly from Latin fundationem (nominative fundatio) "a founding," noun of action from past participle stem of fundare (see found (v.1)). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by staþol. Meaning "that which is founded" (a college, hospital, etc.) is from 1510s; meaning "funds endowed" is early 15c. Sense of "solid base of a structure" is from late 15c.
foundational (adj.) Look up foundational at Dictionary.com
1680s, from foundation + -al (1).
founder (v.) Look up founder at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French fondrer "collapse; submerge, sink, fall to the bottom," from fond "bottom," from Latin fundus "bottom, foundation" (see fund (n.)). Related: Foundered; foundering.
founder (n.1) Look up founder at Dictionary.com
"one who establishes, one who sets up or institutes something," mid-14c., from Anglo-French fundur, Old French fondeor, from Latin fundator, agent noun from fundare (see found (v.1)).
founder (n.2) Look up founder at Dictionary.com
"one who casts metal," c.1400, agent noun from found (v.2).
foundling (n.) Look up foundling at Dictionary.com
"deserted infant," c.1300, from Middle English founden "found," past participle of finden (see find (v.)) + diminutive suffix -ling. Compare Dutch vondeling, German Findling.
foundry (n.) Look up foundry at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from French fonderei, from fondre "to cast" (see found (v.2)).
fount (n.) Look up fount at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., probably a shortening of fountain, influenced by Middle French font "fount."
fountain (n.) Look up fountain at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "spring of water that collects in a pool," from Old French fontaine "natural spring" (12c.), from Late Latin fontana "fountain, spring" (source of Spanish and Italian fontana), from noun use of fem. of Latin fontanus "of a spring," from fons (genitive fontis) "spring (of water);" cognate with Sanskrit dhanvati "flows, runs."

The extended sense of "artificial jet of water" (and the structures that make them) is first recorded c.1500. "A French fountain-pen is described in 1658 and Miss Burney used one in 1789" [Weekley].
fountainhead (n.) Look up fountainhead at Dictionary.com
"spring from which a stream flows," 1580s, from fountain + head (n.). Figurative use is from c.1600.
four (n.) Look up four at Dictionary.com
Old English feower, from Proto-Germanic *fedwor- (cognates: Old Saxon fiwar, Old Frisian fiuwer, Frankish *fitter-, Dutch and German vier, Old Norse fjorir, Danish fire, Swedish fyra, Gothic fidwor "four"), from PIE *kwetwer- "four" (cognates: Sanskrit catvarah, Avestan čathwaro, Persian čatvar, Greek tessares, Latin quattuor, Oscan petora, Old Church Slavonic četyre, Lithuanian keturi, Old Irish cethir, Welsh pedwar). The phonetic evolution of the Germanic forms has not been fully explained; Watkins explains the -f- as being from the following number (Modern English five).

Slang four-eyes "person who wears glasses" first recorded 1874. Four-letter word first attested 1934; four-letter man, however, is recorded from 1923 (as a euphemism for a shit). A four-in-hand (1793) was a carriage with four horses driven by one person; in the sense of "loosely tied necktie" it is attested from 1892. To study The History of the Four Kings (1760, compare French Livres des Quatre Rois) contains euphemistic slang phrase for "a pack of cards" from the time when card-playing was considered a wicked pastime for students. Slang 4-1-1 "essential information" (by 1993) is from the telephone number called to get customer information.
four-door (adj.) Look up four-door at Dictionary.com
of cars, 1957, from four + door.
four-flusher (n.) Look up four-flusher at Dictionary.com
"cheat, dishonest person," 1900, from verb four-flush "to bluff a poker hand, claim a flush (n.) while holding only four cards in the suit" (1896).
four-footed (adj.) Look up four-footed at Dictionary.com
Old English feowerfote; see four + foot (n.).
fourfold (adj.) Look up fourfold at Dictionary.com
Old English feowerfeald; see four + -fold.
Fourierism (n.) Look up Fourierism at Dictionary.com
1841, in reference to ideas of French socialist François-Marie-Charles Fourier (1772-1837), whose plan also was called phalansterianism.
fourscore (n.) Look up fourscore at Dictionary.com
"eighty," mid-13c., "formerly current as an ordinary numeral" [OED], from four + score (n.).
foursome (n.) Look up foursome at Dictionary.com
early 16c., from four + -some (1). Golf sense is from 1867.
fourteen (n.) Look up fourteen at Dictionary.com
c.1300, from Old English feowertyne; see four + -teen. Compare Old Saxon fiertein, Old Frisian fiuwertine, Dutch veertien, Old High German fiorzehan, German vierzehn, Gothic fidwortaihun.
fourteenth (adj.) Look up fourteenth at Dictionary.com
c.1300, by influence of fourteen, replacing or modifying fourtende, fowrtethe, from Old English feowerteoða, Old Norse *feowertandi (see fourteen) + -th (1). Compare Dutch veertiende, German vierzehnte.
fourth (adj.) Look up fourth at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., alteration, by influence of four, of ferthe, from Old English feorða; see four + -th (1). Compare Old Saxon fiortho, Old Norse fiorðe, Dutch vierde, Old High German fiordo, German vierte. In Quaker usage, which rejected the pagan weekday names, fourth day was Wednesday, often a secondary day of meeting for worship. The celebration of the Fourth of July as the epoch of American independence is attested from 1777.
That there is due to Daniel Smith, of the city tavern, for his bill of expences of Congress, on the 4 of July last, including a balance of an old account, the sum of 729 68/90 dollars; also a bill for materials, workmanship, &c furnished for the fire works on the 4 July, the sum of 102 69/90 dollars .... [Auditor General's report, Aug. 8, 1777, "Journals of Congress," vol. VII]
fourth estate (n.) Look up fourth estate at Dictionary.com
"the press," by 1824, and especially from 1831, British English. For the other three, see estate. Earlier the term had been applied in various senses that did not stick, including "the mob" (1752), "the lawyers" (1825). The extension to the press is perhaps an outgrowth of the former.
Hence, through the light of letters and the liberty of the press, public opinion has risen to the rank of a fourth estate in our constitution; in times of quiet and order, silent and still, but in the collisions of the different branches of our government, deciding as an umpire with unbounded authority. ["Memoir of James Currie, M.D.," 1831]



[Newspapers] began to assume some degree of political importance, during the civil wars of the seventeenth century, in England; but it is not until within the last fifty years that they have become, -- as they are now justly styled, -- a Fourth Estate, exercising a more powerful influence on the public affairs of the countries in which they are permitted to circulate freely, than the other three put together. [Alexander H. Everett, "Address to the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Bowdoin College," 1834]
fovea (n.) Look up fovea at Dictionary.com
1849, from Latin fovea "small pit," related to favissae "underground reservoirs;" of unknown origin, perhaps from Etruscan.
fowl (n.) Look up fowl at Dictionary.com
Old English fugel "bird," representing the general Germanic word for them, from Proto-Germanic *foglaz (cognates: Old Frisian fugel, Old Norse fugl, Middle Dutch voghel, Dutch vogel, German vogel, Gothic fugls), probably by dissimilation from *flug-la-, literally "flyer," from the same root as Old English fleogan, modern fly (v.1).

Originally "bird;" narrower sense of "domestic hen or rooster" (the main modern meaning) is first recorded 1570s; in U.S. also extended to ducks and geese. As a verb, Old English fuglian "to catch birds." Related: Fowled; fowling.
fowler (n.) Look up fowler at Dictionary.com
Old English fugelere, agent noun from fuglian "to hunt fowl" (see fowl).
fox (n.) Look up fox at Dictionary.com
Old English fox, from Proto-Germanic *fukhs (cognates Old Saxon vohs, Middle Dutch and Dutch vos, Old High German fuhs, German Fuchs, Old Norse foa, Gothic fauho), from Proto-Germanic base *fuh-, corresponding to PIE *puk- "tail" (source also of Sanskrit puccha- "tail").

The bushy tail is also the source of words for "fox" in Welsh (llwynog, from llwyn "bush"); Spanish (raposa, from rabo "tail"); and Lithuanian (uodegis "fox," from uodega "tail"). Metaphoric extension to "clever person" is early 13c. Meaning "sexually attractive woman" is from 1940s; but foxy in this sense is recorded from 1895.
Fox Look up Fox at Dictionary.com
Algonquian people, confederated with the Sac after 1760, translating French renards, which itself may be a translation of an Iroquoian term meaning "red fox people." Their name for themselves is /meškwahki:-haki/ "red earths." French renard "fox" is from Reginhard, the name of the fox in old Northern European fables (as in Low German Reinke de Vos), originally "strong in council, wily."
fox (v.) Look up fox at Dictionary.com
1560s (but perhaps implied in Old English foxung "foxlike wile, craftiness"), from fox (n.). Foxed in booksellers' catalogues means "stained with fox-colored marks." In other contexts, it typically meant "drunk" (1610s).
fox trot (n.) Look up fox trot at Dictionary.com
also fox-trot, foxtrot, "pace with short steps," such as a fox's, 1872, from fox (n.) + trot (n.). As a type of popular dance, from 1915.
fox-fire (n.) Look up fox-fire at Dictionary.com
also foxfire, late 15c., from fox (n.) + fire (n.).
fox-hunting (n.) Look up fox-hunting at Dictionary.com
1670s, from fox (n.) + hunting. Related: Fox-hunt; fox-hunter.
foxglove (n.) Look up foxglove at Dictionary.com
Old English foxes glofa; the reason for fox is uncertain. Compare Old English foxesfot ("fox foot") "xiphion;" foxesclate "burdock."
foxhole (n.) Look up foxhole at Dictionary.com
also fox-hole, Old English fox-hol "a fox's den," from fox (n.) + hole (n.). Military sense is from World War I.
foxhound (n.) Look up foxhound at Dictionary.com
1763, from fox (n.) + hound (n.).
foxy (adj.) Look up foxy at Dictionary.com
1520s, "crafty, cunning," from fox (n.) + -y (2). Of colors, stains, tints, etc. from 18c. Meaning "attractive" is 1895, American English slang. Related: Foxiness.
foy (n.) Look up foy at Dictionary.com
"parting entertainment," Scottish and dialectal, late 15c., probably ultimately from French voie "way, journey" (see voyage (n.)).
foyer (n.) Look up foyer at Dictionary.com
1859, from French foyer "green room, room for actors when not on stage," literally "fireplace," from Old French foier "furnace, stove, hearth, fireplace" (12c.), from Latin focarium, noun use of neuter of adjective focarius "having to do with the hearth," from focus "hearth, fireplace" (see focus (n.)).
fracas (n.) Look up fracas at Dictionary.com
1727, from French fracas (15c.), from Italian fracasso "uproar, crash," back-formation from fracassare "to smash, crash, break in pieces," from fra-, a shortening of Latin infra "below" + Italian cassare "to break," from Latin quassare "to shake" (see quash).
fractal Look up fractal at Dictionary.com
1975, from French fractal, from Latin fractus "interrupted, irregular," literally "broken," past participle of frangere "to break" (see fraction). Coined by French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot in "Les Objets Fractals."
Many important spatial patterns of Nature are either irregular or fragmented to such an extreme degree that ... classical geometry ... is hardly of any help in describing their form. ... I hope to show that it is possible in many cases to remedy this absence of geometric representation by using a family of shapes I propose to call fractals -- or fractal sets. [Mandelbrot, "Fractals," 1977]
fraction (n.) Look up fraction at Dictionary.com
late 14c., originally in the mathematical sense, from Anglo-French fraccioun (Old French fraccion, 12c., "breaking") and directly from Late Latin fractionem (nominative fractio) "a breaking," especially into pieces, noun of action from past participle stem of Latin frangere "to break," from PIE root *bhreg- "to break" (cognates: Sanskrit (giri)-bhraj "breaking-forth (out of the mountains);" Gothic brikan, Old English brecan "to break;" Lithuanian brasketi "crash, crack;" Old Irish braigim "break" wind). Meaning "a breaking or dividing" is from early 15c.; sense of "broken off piece, fragment," is from c.1600.
fractional (adj.) Look up fractional at Dictionary.com
1670s, from fraction + -al (1).