geriatrics (n.) Look up geriatrics at
coined 1909 by Austrian-born doctor Ignatz L. Nascher (1863-1944) in "New York Medical Journal" on the model of pediatrics (also see -ics), from the same elements found in geriatric (q.v.). The correct formation would be gerontiatrics.
germ (n.) Look up germ at
mid-15c., "bud, sprout;" 1640s, "rudiment of a new organism in an existing one," from Middle French germe "germ (of egg); bud, seed, fruit; offering," from Latin germen (genitive germinis) "spring, offshoot; sprout, bud," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE root *gen-, *gene- "to beget, bear" (see german (adj.)). The older sense is preserved in wheat germ and germ of an idea; sense of "seed of a disease" first recorded 1796 in English; that of "harmful micro-organism" dates from 1871. Germ warfare recorded from 1920.
german (adj.) Look up german at
"of the same parents or grandparents," c. 1300, from Old French germain "own, full; born of the same mother and father; closely related" (12c.), from Latin germanus "full, own (of brothers and sisters); one's own brother; genuine, real, actual, true," related to germen (genitive germinis) "sprout, bud," of uncertain origin; perhaps dissimilated from PIE *gen(e)-men-, from root *gene- "to give birth, beget" (see genus). Your cousin-german (also first cousin) is the son or daughter of an uncle or aunt; your children and your first cousin's are second cousins to one another; to you, your first cousin's children are first cousin once removed.
German (n.) Look up German at
"a native of Germany," 1520s, from Latin Germanus (adjective and noun, plural Germani), first attested in writings of Julius Caesar, who used Germani to designate a group of tribes in northeastern Gaul, of unknown origin. Probably originally the name of an individual tribe, but Gaulish (Celtic) origins have been proposed, from words perhaps originally meaning "noisy" (compare Old Irish garim "to shout") or "neighbor" (compare Old Irish gair "neighbor"). Middle English had Germayns (plural, late 14c.), but only in the sense "ancient Teuton, member of the Germanic tribes." The earlier English word was Almain (early 14c.; see Alemanni) or Dutch.
Þe empere passede from þe Grees to þe Frenschemen and to þe Germans, þat beeþ Almayns. [John of Trevisa, translation of Higdon's Polychronicon, 1387]
Their name for themselves, die Deutschen (see Dutch), dates from 12c. Roman writers also used Teutoni as a German tribal name, and writers in Latin after about 875 commonly refer to the German language as teutonicus (see Teutonic). Meaning "the German language" in English is from 1748. High German (1823 in English) and Low German as a division of dialects is geographical: High German (from 16c. established as the literary language) was the German spoken in the upland regions in southern Germany, Low German (often including Dutch, Frisian, Flemish), also called Plattdeutsch was spoken in the regions near the North Sea. In the U.S. German also was used of descendants of settlers from Germany.
German (adj.) Look up German at
"of or pertaining to Germany or the Germans," 1550s, from German (n.). German shepherd as a breed of dog (1922) is short for German shepherd dog (1889), which translates German deutscher Schäferhund. German Ocean as an old name for the North Sea translates Ptolemy. German measles attested by 1856. German-American is from 1880. German Reformed church is from 1812.
germane (adj.) Look up germane at
mid-14c., "having the same parents," same as german (adj.) but directly from Latin germanus instead of via French (compare urbane/urban). Main modern sense of "closely connected, relevant" (c. 1600) derives from use in "Hamlet" Act V, Scene ii: "The phrase would bee more Germaine to the matter: If we could carry Cannon by our sides," which is a figurative use of the word in the now-obsolete loosened sense of "closely related, akin" (late 15c.) in reference to things, not persons.
Germanic (adj.) Look up Germanic at
1630s, "of Germany or Germans," from Latin Germanicus, from Germani (see German (n.)). From 1773 as "of the Teutonic race;" from 1842 especially with reference to the language family that includes German, Dutch, English, etc. As a noun, the name of that language family, by 1892, replacing earlier Teutonic. Germanical is attested from 1550s.
germanium (n.) Look up germanium at
chemical element, coined 1885 in Modern Latin by its discoverer (German chemist Clemens Alexander Winkler (1838-1904)) from Latin Germania "Germany" (see Germany). With metallic element ending -ium.
Germany (n.) Look up Germany at
c. 1300, from Latin Germania, a Roman designation (see German (n.)). In Middle English the place also was called Almaine (early 14c.; see Alemanni).
germicide (n.) Look up germicide at
"substance capable of killing germs, 1881, from germ + -cide. Related: Germicidal.
germinal (adj.) Look up germinal at
"in the early stages of development," 1808, from Modern Latin germinalis "in the germ," from Latin germen (genitive germinis) "a sprout, bud, sprig, offshoot" (see germ).
germinate (v.) Look up germinate at
c. 1600, probably a back-formation from germination. Figurative use from 1640s. Related: Germinated; germinating. Earlier germynen (mid-15c.) was from Old French germiner or directly from Latin germinare.
germination (n.) Look up germination at
mid-15c., from Latin germinationem (nominative germinatio) "a sprouting forth, budding," noun of action from past participle stem of germinare "to sprout, put forth shoots," from germen (genitive germinis) "a sprout or bud" (see germ).
germy (adj.) Look up germy at
1912 in reference to microbes, from germ + -y (2). From 1889 in reference to wheat.
Geronimo (interj.) Look up Geronimo at
cry made in jumping, 1944 among U.S. airborne soldiers, apparently from the story of the Apache leader Geronimo making a daring leap to escape U.S. cavalry pursuers at Medicine Bluffs, Oklahoma (and supposedly shouting his name in defiance as he did). Adopted as battle cry by paratroopers in World War II, who perhaps had seen it in the 1939 Paramount Studios movie "Geronimo." The name is the Italian and Spanish form of Jerome, from Greek Hieronomos, literally "sacred name." One contemporary source also lists Osceola as a jumping cry.
gerontocracy (n.) Look up gerontocracy at
"rule by old men," 1830, a Latinized compound of Greek stem of geron (genitive gerontos) "old man" (see gerontology) + kratia "rule" (see -cracy). Related: Gerontocratic.
gerontologist (n.) Look up gerontologist at
1941, from gerontology + -ist.
gerontology (n.) Look up gerontology at
1903, coined in English from geronto-, used as comb. form of Greek geron (genitive gerontos) "old man," from PIE root *gere- "to become ripe, grow old" (cognates: Sanskrit jara "old age," jarati "makes frail, causes to age;" Avestan zaurvan "old age;" Ossetic zarond "old man;" Armenian cer "old, old man").
gerrymander (v.) Look up gerrymander at
1812, "arrange political divisions in disregard of natural boundaries so as to give one party an advantage in elections," also from 1812 as a noun, American English, from name of Elbridge Gerry + (sala)mander. Gerry, governor of Massachusetts, was lampooned when his party redistricted the state in a blatant bid to preserve an Antifederalist majority. One sprawling Essex County district resembled a salamander, and a newspaper editor dubbed it the Gerrymander. Related: Gerrymandered; gerrymandering.
[T]he division of this county into districts has given an opportunity for a Caracatura stamped at Boston and freely circulated here called the Gerrymander. The towns as they lie are disposed as parts of a monster whose feet and claws are Salem and Marblehead. It is one of those political tricks which have success as far as they go. [William Bentley, diary, April 2, 1812]
Gertrude Look up Gertrude at
fem. proper name, from French, from Old High German Geretrudis, from ger "spear" (see gar) + trut "beloved, dear."
gerund (n.) Look up gerund at
1510s, from Late Latin gerundium (also gerundivus modus), from Latin gerundum "to be carried out," gerundive of gerere "to bear, carry" (see gest). In Latin, a verbal noun used for all cases of the infinitive but the nominative; applied in English to verbal nouns in -ing. "So called because according to the old grammarians, the gerund prop[erly] expressed the doing or the necessity of doing something" [Century Dictionary]. Gerund-grinder "instructor in Latin grammar," also "pedant," is from 1710.
gerundive (adj.) Look up gerundive at
early 15c., from Latin gerundivus (modus), from gerundium (see gerund). Related: Gerundival.
Gervais Look up Gervais at
masc. proper name, French Gervais, from Old High German Gervas, literally "serving with one's spear," from ger "spear" (see gar) + Celtic base *vas- "servant," from Old Celtic *wasso- "young man, squire" (see vassal).
gesellschaft (n.) Look up gesellschaft at
1887, "social relationship based on duty to society or an organization," from German Gesellschaft, from geselle "companion" + -schaft "-ship."
gesso Look up gesso at
a mass or surface of plaster, especially as a ground for a painting, 1590s, from Italian gesso, from Latin gypsum "plaster" (see gypsum).
gest (n.) Look up gest at
"famous deed, exploit," more commonly "story of great deeds, tale of adventure," c. 1300, from Old French geste, jeste "action, exploit, romance, history" (of celebrated people or actions), from Medieval Latin gesta "actions, exploits, deeds, achievements," noun use of neuter plural of Latin gestus, past participle of gerere "to carry on, wage, perform," of unknown origin. Jest (n.) is the same word.
Gestalt (n.) Look up Gestalt at
1922, from German Gestaltqualität (1890, introduced by German philosopher Christian von Ehrenfels, 1859-1932), from German gestalt "shape, form, figure, configuration, appearance," abstracted from ungestalt "deformity," noun use of adj. ungestalt "misshapen," from gestalt, obsolete past participle of stellen "to set, place, arrange" (see stall (n.1)). As a school of psychology, it was founded c. 1912 by M. Wertheimer, K. Koffka, W. Köhler.
Gestapo Look up Gestapo at
Nazi secret state police, 1934, from German Gestapo, contracted from "Geheime Staats-polizei," literally "secret state police," set up by Hermann Göring in Prussia in 1933, extended to all Germany in January 1934.
gestate (v.) Look up gestate at
1847, a back-formation from gestation. Related: Gestated; gestating.
gestation (n.) Look up gestation at
"action or process of carrying young in the womb," 1610s, earlier (1530s) "riding on horseback, etc., as a form of exercise," from Latin gestationem (nominative gestatio) "a carrying," noun of action from past participle stem of gestare "bear, carry, gestate," frequentative of gerere (past participle gestus) "to bear, carry, bring forth" (see gest). Meaning "action or process of carrying young in the womb" is from 1610s.
gestational (adj.) Look up gestational at
1970, from gestation + -al (1). Related: Gestationally.
gesticulate (v.) Look up gesticulate at
c. 1600, from Latin gesticulatus, past participle of gesticulari "to gesture, mimic," from gesticulus "a mimicking gesture" (see gesticulation). Related: Gesticulated; gesticulating.
gesticulation (n.) Look up gesticulation at
early 15c., from Latin gesticulationem (nominative gesticulatio), noun of action from past participle stem of gesticulari "to gesture, mimic," from gesticulus "a mimicking gesture," diminutive of gestus "a gesture; carriage, posture," noun use of past participle of gerere "to bear, to carry" (see gest).
[G]esticulation is the using of gestures, & a gesture is an act of gesticulation. On the other hand, gesture also is sometimes used as an abstract, & then differs from gesticulation in implying less of the excited or emotional or theatrical or conspicuous. [Fowler]
gesticulator (n.) Look up gesticulator at
1690s, agent noun in Latin form from gesticulate.
gestural (adj.) Look up gestural at
1610s, from gesture (n.) + -al (1). Related: Gesturally.
gesture (n.) Look up gesture at
early 15c., "manner of carrying the body," from Medieval Latin gestura "bearing, behavior, mode of action," from Latin gestus "gesture, carriage, posture" (see gest). Restricted sense of "a movement of the body or a part of it, intended to express a thought or feeling," is from 1550s; figurative sense of "action undertaken in good will to express feeling" is from 1916.
gesture (v.) Look up gesture at
1540s, from gesture (n.). Related: Gestured; gesturing.
gesundheit (interj.) Look up gesundheit at
1914, from German Gesundheit, literally "health!", from Old High German gisunt, gisunti "healthy" (see sound (adj.)). Also in the German toast auf ihre Gesundheit "to your health." Lithuanian aciu, echoic of the sound of a sneeze, has come to mean "good luck, God bless you." God bless you after someone sneezes is credited to St. Gregory the Great, but the pagan Romans (Absit omen) and Greeks had similar customs.
get (v.) Look up get at
c. 1200, from Old Norse geta (past tense gatum, past participle getenn) "to obtain, reach; to be able to; to beget; to learn; to be pleased with," a word of very broad meaning, often used almost as an auxilliary verb, also frequently in phrases (such as geta rett "to guess right"). This is from Proto-Germanic *getan (cognates: Old Swedish gissa "to guess," literally "to try to get"), from PIE root *ghend-, also *ghed- "seize, take" (cognates: Greek khandanein "to hold, contain," Lithuanian godetis "be eager," second element in Latin prehendere "to grasp, seize," Welsh gannu "to hold, contain," Old Church Slavonic gadati "to guess, suppose").

Old English, as well as Dutch and Frisian, had the verb almost exclusively in compounds (such as begietan, "to beget;" forgietan "to forget"). Vestiges of an Old English cognate *gietan remain obliquely in modern past participle gotten and original past tense gat, also Biblical begat.

In compound phrases with have and had it is grammatically redundant, but often usefully indicates possession, obligation, or necessity, or gives emphasis. The word and phrases built on it take up 29 columns in the OED 2nd edition; Century Dictionary lists seven distinct senses for to get up.
"I GOT on Horseback within ten Minutes after I received your Letter. When I GOT to Canterbury I GOT a Chaise for Town. But I GOT wet through before I GOT to Canterbury, and I HAVE GOT such a Cold as I shall not be able to GET rid of in a Hurry. I GOT to the Treasury about Noon, but first of all I GOT shaved and drest. I soon GOT into the Secret of GETTING a Memorial before the Board, but I could not GET an Answer then, however I GOT Intelligence from the Messenger that I should most likely GET one the next Morning. As soon as I GOT back to my Inn, I GOT my Supper, and GOT to Bed, it was not long before I GOT to Sleep. When I GOT up in the Morning, I GOT my Breakfast, and then GOT myself drest, that I might GET out in Time to GET an Answer to my Memorial. As soon as I GOT it, I GOT into the Chaise, and GOT to Canterbury by three: and about Tea Time, I GOT Home. I HAVE GOT No thing particular for you, and so Adieu." [Philip Withers, "Aristarchus, or the Principles of Composition," London, 1789, illustrating the widespread use of the verb in Modern English]
As a command to "go, be off" by 1864, American English. Meaning "to seize mentally, grasp" is from 1892. Get wind of "become acquainted with" is from 1840, from earlier to get wind "to get out, become known" (1722). To get drunk is from 1660s; to get religion is from 1772; to get better "recover health" is from 1776. To get ready "prepare oneself" is from 1890; to get going "begin, start doing something" is by 1869 in American English; get busy "go into action, begin operation" is from 1904. Get lost as a command to go away is by 1947. To get ahead "make progress" is from 1807. To get to (someone) "vex, fret, obsess" is by 1961, American English (get alone as "to puzzle, trouble, annoy" is by 1867, American English). To get out of hand originally (1765) meant "to advance beyond the need for guidance;" sense of "to break free, run wild" is from 1892, from horsemanship. To get on (someone's) nerves is attested by 1970.
get (n.) Look up get at
early 14c., "offspring, child," from get (v.) or beget. Meaning "what is got, booty" is from late 14c.
get along (v.) Look up get along at
"agree, live harmoniously," 1875, from get (v.) + along (adv.).
get back (v.) Look up get back at
c. 1600 (intransitive) "to return;" 1808 (transitive) "to recover (something);" from get (v.) + back.(adv.). Meaning "retaliate" is attested by 1888.
get off (v.) Look up get off at
"escape," c. 1600, from get (v.) + off (adv.). Sexual sense attested by 1973.
get on (v.) Look up get on at
1590s, "to put on," from get (v.) + on (adv.). Meaning "prosper" is from 1785; that of "to advance, make progress" is from 1798; that of "be friendly" (with) is attested by 1816.
get over (v.) Look up get over at
1680s, "overcome," from get (v.) + over (adv.). From 1712 as "recover from;" 1813 as "have done with."
get-away (n.) Look up get-away at
also getaway, 1852, "an escape," originally in fox hunting, from verbal phrase get away "escape" (early 14c.); see get (v.) + away (adv.). Of prisoners or criminals from 1893.
get-out (n.) Look up get-out at
also getout, figuratively indicating a high degree of something, by 1838, colloquial, from get (v.) + out (adv.). Verbal phrase get out as a command to go away is from 1711, but sense connection is not clear.
get-rich-quick (adj.) Look up get-rich-quick at
in reference to projects or schemes, American English, 1891, when there was a rash of them, from the verbal phrase.
get-together (n.) Look up get-together at
1911, from get (v.) + together (adv.). The verbal phrase is attested by c. 1400 as "collect, gather;" meaning "to meet, to assemble" is from 1690s. As "to organize" (oneself), by 1962.
get-up (n.) Look up get-up at
also getup, 1847, "equipment, costume," from get (v.) + up (adv.). Meaning "initiative, energy" recorded from 1841. The verbal phrase is recorded from mid-14c. as "to rise."