granger (n.) Look up granger at
late 12c., "farm steward, man in charge of a grange," also as a surname, from Old French grangier "share-cropper, market-gardener," from grange "farmstead" (see grange). From 1873 in American English in reference to members of the Patrons of Husbandry farmers' association.
granite (n.) Look up granite at
1640s, from French granit(e) (17c.) or directly from Italian granito "granite," originally "grained," past participle adjective from granire "granulate, make grainy," from grano "grain," from Latin granum "grain" (see grain (n.)). In reference to the appearance of the rock. Used figuratively for "hardness" (of the heart, head, etc.) from 1839. New Hampshire, U.S., has been the Granite State since at least 1825.
granitic (adj.) Look up granitic at
1749, from granite + -ic.
granny (n.) Look up granny at
also grannie, 1660s, according to OED, most likely a diminutive and contraction of grannam, shortened form of grandame, rather than from grandmother. The sailor's granny knot (by 1803), originally granny's knot, readily jammed and insecure, is a reef or square knot with the second part crossed the wrong way, so called in contempt because "it is the natural knot tied by women or landsmen" [Smyth, "Sailor's Word-Book," 1867]. Granny Smith apples (1895) are said to have been named for Maria Ann Smith (d. 1870) of Australia, who originated them. Granny glasses attested from 1966.
granola (n.) Look up granola at
by 1967, American English, probably from Italian grano "grain," or granular, with commercial suffix -ola. Earlier, with a capital G-, it was a proprietary name (reg. 1886 by W.K. Kellogg, in use into early 20c.) for a kind of breakfast cereal.
grant (n.) Look up grant at
late 14c., "something granted; authoritative bestowal of a privilege, etc.," from Anglo-French graunt, Old French graant, collateral variant of creant "promise, assurance, vow; agreement, pact; will, wish, pleasure," from creanter "be pleasing; assure, promise, guarantee; confirm, authorize" (see grant (v.)). Earlier in English in now-obsolete sense of "allowance, permission" (c. 1200). Especially "money formally granted by an authority" from c. 1800. In American English, especially of land, from c. 1700.
grant (v.) Look up grant at
in early use also graunt, early 13c., "to allow, permit (something); consent to (a prayer, request, etc.)," from Old French graanter, variant of creanter "assure, promise, guarantee, swear; confirm, authorize, approve (of)," from Latin credentem (nominative credens), present participle of credere "to believe, to trust" (see credo). From c. 1300 as "transfer possession of in any formal way." Meaning "admit to be true, acknowledge" in English is from c. 1300; hence to take (something) for granted "regard as not requiring proof" (1610s). The irregular change of -c- to -g- in Old French is perhaps from influence of garantir. Related: Granted; granting.
grantee (n.) Look up grantee at
in legal language, "person to whom a thing is granted," late 15c., from grant (v.) + -ee.
grantor (n.) Look up grantor at
in legal language, "person who makes a grant or conveyance," 1620s, from Anglo-French grantor, Old French graanter agent noun from granter "give; agree, consent; admit; permit" (see grant (v.)). Native form granter (n.) is attested from c. 1400.
granular (adj.) Look up granular at
1790, from Late Latin granulum "granule, a little grain," diminutive of Latin granum "grain, seed," from PIE root *gre-no- "grain" (see corn (n.1)) + -ar. Replaced granulous (late 14c.). Related: Granularity.
granulate (v.) Look up granulate at
1660s, transitive and intransitive, back-formation from granulation. Related: Granulated; granulating.
granulation (n.) Look up granulation at
1610s, from Late Latin granulum "granule" (see granular) + -ation.
granule (n.) Look up granule at
1650s, from French granule or directly from Late Latin granulum "small grain," diminutive of Latin granum "grain," from PIE root *gre-no- "grain" (see corn (n.1)).
granuloma (n.) Look up granuloma at
"granulated tissue produced by certain diseases," from Latin granulum "granule" (see granular) + -oma, on model of glaucoma, etc.
granulose (n.) Look up granulose at
part of starch convertible into sugar, 1874, coined in German by Swiss botanist Carl Nägeli (1817-1891) from Late Latin granulum "granule, small grain," diminutive of granum "grain" (see grain) + chemical suffix -ose (2).
grape (n.) Look up grape at
mid-13c., "a grape, a berry of the vine," also collective singular, from Old French grape "bunch of grapes, grape" (12c.), probably a back-formation from graper "steal; grasp; catch with a hook; pick (grapes)," from a Frankish or other Germanic word, from Proto-Germanic *krappon "hook," from a group of Germanic words meaning "bent, crooked, hooked" (cognates: Middle Dutch crappe, Old High German krapfo "hook;" also see cramp (n.2)). The original notion thus perhaps was "vine hook for grape-picking." The vine is not native to England. The word replaced Old English winberige "wine berry." Spanish grapa, Italian grappa also are from Germanic.
grapefruit (n.) Look up grapefruit at
1814, from grape + fruit. Said to have been so called for its taste, or perhaps because it grows in clusters. Perhaps a marketing name; it was known by various names (pomelo, shaddock) before the current one emerged. The fruit itself was known since 1693 (in Hans Sloane's catalogue of Jamaican plants); presumably it originated in Jamaica from chance hybrids between other cultivated citrus. An ornamental plant chiefly at first, not much eaten until late 19c.
grapeshot (n.) Look up grapeshot at
also grape-shot, 1747, from grape + shot (n.). So called for its appearance. Originally simply grape (1680s), a collective singular. The whiff of grapeshot was popularized in English from 1837, from Carlyle's history of the French Revolution (in which it was a chapter title).
grapevine (n.) Look up grapevine at
also grape-vine, 1736, from grape + vine. Meaning "a rumor; a secret or unconventional method of spreading information" (1863) is from the use of grapevine telegraph as "secret source of information and rumor" in the American Civil War; in reference to Southerners under northern occupation but also in reference to black communities and runaway slaves.
The false reports touching rebel movements, which incessantly circulated in Nashville, brings us to the consideration of the "grapevine telegraph"--a peculiar institution of rebel generation, devised for the duplex purpose of "firing the Southern heart," and to annoy the "Yankees." It is worthy of attention, as one of the signs of the times, expressing the spirit of lying which war engenders. But it is no more than just to say that there is often so little difference between the "grapevine" and the associated press telegraph, that they might as well be identical. ["Rosecrans' Campaign with the Fourteenth Corps," Cincinnati, 1863]
graph (n.) Look up graph at
1878, shortening of graphic formula (see graphic). The verb meaning "to chart on a graph" is from 1889. Related: Graphed; graphing.
grapheme (n.) Look up grapheme at
1937, apparently coined by U.S. linguistics professor William Freeman Twaddell (1906-1982), from graph "letter, symbol" (see -graphy) + -eme "unit of language structure." Related: Graphemic.
graphic (adj.) Look up graphic at
"vivid, describing accurately ," 1660s (graphically "vividly" is from 1570s), from Latin graphicus "picturesque," from Greek graphikos "of or for writing, belonging to drawing, picturesque," from graphe "writing, drawing," from graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Meaning "pertaining to drawing" is from 1756. Meaning "pertaining to the use of diagrams" is from 1866. Related: Graphically. Graphic design is attested by 1956. Graphic equalizer is from 1969.
graphics (n.) Look up graphics at
by 1842 as "the art of precise mechanical drawing;" by 1889 in reference to the use of diagrams, from graphic; also see -ics. Layout and typography sense attested from 1960; of computers by 1966.
graphite (n.) Look up graphite at
"black lead," 1796, from German Graphit, coined 1789 by German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner (1750-1817) from Greek graphein "write" (see -graphy) + mineral suffix -ite. So called because it was used in making pencils. Related: Graphitic.
graphology (n.) Look up graphology at
"study of handwriting," 1882, from French graphologie, coined 1868 by Abbé Jean-Hippolyte Michon (1806-1881) from Greek graphein "to write" (see -graphy) + -ologie (see -ology). Especially, "character study based on handwriting" (1886); an earlier word for this was graptomancy (1858).
graphomania (n.) Look up graphomania at
"morbid desire for writing," 1811, from Greek graphein "to write" (see -graphy) + mania. Related: Graphomaniac.
grapnel (n.) Look up grapnel at
"small hook," especially one fixed on a rope and thrown for seizing and holding, late 14c., grapenel, from an assumed Anglo-French diminutive of grapon, from Old French grapil, grapin "hook," diminutive of grape "hook" (see grape). Earlier form was grapel (compare grapple (n.)).
grappa (n.) Look up grappa at
"brandy distilled from the residue of wine-making," 1893, from Italian grappa, literally "grapes" (see grape).
grapple (n.) Look up grapple at
"iron hook for fastening one thing to another," late 13c., from Old French grapil "hook" (see grapnel).
grapple (v.) Look up grapple at
1520s, "seize and hold fast," originally in reference to a ship, by means of a grapple, from grapple (n.). Extended sense of "battle, struggle in close contact" (usually with with) is from 1580s of persons, 1630s of immaterial things. Related: Grappled; grappling. Grappling hook is from 1620s.
grappler (n.) Look up grappler at
1620s, "a grappling hook," agent noun from grapple (v.). Of a person, by 1832.
graptolite (n.) Look up graptolite at
fossilized colonial animal from the Cambrian and later, 1838, from Modern Latin graptolithus, literally "written-stone," from Greek graptos "engraved, written, painted" (verbal adjective of graphein; see -graphy) + lithos "stone" (see litho-). So called because the fossils resemble pens. Related: Graptolitic.
grasp (v.) Look up grasp at
mid-14c., "to reach, grope, feel around," possibly a metathesis of grapsen, from Old English *græpsan "to touch, feel," from Proto-Germanic *grap-, *grab- (cognates: East Frisian grapsen "to grasp," Middle Dutch grapen "to seize, grasp," Old English grapian "to touch, feel, grope"), from PIE root *ghrebh- (1) "to seize, reach" (see grab (v.)). With verb-formative -s- as in cleanse. Sense of "seize" first recorded mid-16c. Transitive use by 17c. Figurative use from c. 1600; of intellectual matters from 1680s. Related: Grasped; grasping.
grasp (n.) Look up grasp at
1560s, "a handle," from grasp (v.). As "act of grasping" from c. 1600; also "power of grasping." Meaning "power of intellect" is from 1680s.
Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?

[Browning, "Andrea del Sarto"]
grasping (adj.) Look up grasping at
"greedy, acquisitive," late 14c., present participle adjective from grasp (v.). Related: Graspingly.
grass (n.) Look up grass at
Old English græs, gærs "herb, plant, grass," from Proto-Germanic grasan (cognates: Old Norse, Old Saxon, Dutch, Old High German, German, Gothic gras, Swedish gräs), from PIE *ghros- "young shoot, sprout," from root *ghre- "to grow, become green" (related to grow and green, but not to Latin gramen).

As a color name (especially grass-green, Old English græsgrene) by c. 1300. Sense of "marijuana" is recorded by 1932, American English. The grass skirt worn by people native to tropical regions is mentioned by 1874; the warning to keep off the grass by 1843 (in New York City's Central Park). Grass-fed of cattle, etc., (opposed to stall-fed) is from 1774.
grass roots (n.) Look up grass roots at
1650s, from grass + root (n.). The image of grass roots as the most fundamental level of anything is from 1901; U.S. political sense of "the rank and file of the electorate" (also grassroots) is attested from 1912; as an adjective by 1918.
grass widow (n.) Look up grass widow at
1520s, the earliest recorded sense is "mistress;" the allusion to grass is not clear, but it commonly was believed to refer to casual bedding (compare bastard and German Strohwitwe, literally "straw-widow," and compare the expression give (a woman) a grass gown "roll her playfully on the grass" (1580s), also euphemistic for the loss of virginity). Revived late 18c. as "one that pretends to have been married, but never was, yet has children;" in early 19c. use it could mean "married woman whose husband is absent" (and often presumed, but not certainly known to be, dead), also often applied to a divorced or discarded wife or an unmarried woman who has had a child. Both euphemistic and suggestive.
[G]rasse wydowes ... be yet as seuerall as a barbours chayre and neuer take but one at onys. [More, 1528]

GRASS WIDOW, s. a forsaken fair one, whose nuptials, not celebrated in a church, were consummated, in all pastoral simplicity, on the green turf. [Rev. Robert Forby, "Vocabulary of East Anglia," London, 1830]
grasshopper (n.) Look up grasshopper at
popular name of insects with hind legs suited to jumping, mid-14c. (late 13c. as a surname), earlier greshoppe (c. 1200), from Old English gærshoppa; see grass + hopper (n.1). Similar formation in Middle Swedish gräshoppare, German Grashüpfer. As a term of reproach, from Eccl. xii:5. Also recorded c. 1300 as a name for the hare.
grassland (n.) Look up grassland at
also grass-land, "land perpetually under grass," 1680s, from grass + land (n.).
grassy (adj.) Look up grassy at
"abounding in grass, covered in grass," mid-15c., from grass + -y (2).
grate (n.) Look up grate at
late 14c., "grill for cooking;" early 15c., "iron bars or cagework across a door or window," from Anglo-Latin (mid-14c.), from Old French grate or directly from Medieval Latin grata "a grating, lattice," from Latin cratis "wickerwork, hurdle" (see hurdle (n.)). As a verb meaning "to fit with a grate," from mid-15c. Related: Grated; grating.
grate (v.) Look up grate at
"to scrape, rub," late 14c. (implied in grated), from Old French grater "to scrape, scratch (out or off); erase; destroy, pull down" (Modern French gratter), from Frankish *kratton, from Proto-Germanic *krattojan (cognates: Old High German krazzon "to scratch, scrape," German kratzen "to scratch," Swedish kratta, Danish kratte "to rake, scrape"), probably of imitative origin. Senses of "sound harshly," and "annoy" are mid-16c. Italian grattare also is from Germanic. Related: Grated; grating.
grateful (adj.) Look up grateful at
1550s, "pleasing to the mind," also "full of gratitude, disposed to repay favors bestowed," from obsolete adjective grate "agreeable, pleasant," from Latin gratus "pleasing" (see grace (n.)). "A most unusual formation" [Weekley]. Is there another case where English uses -ful to make an adjective from an adjective? Related: Gratefully (1540s); gratefulness.
Grateful often expresses the feeling and the readiness to manifest the feeling by acts, even a long time after the rendering of the favor; thankful refers rather to the immediate acknowledgment of the favor by words. [Century Dictionary]
Grateful Dead Look up Grateful Dead at
San Francisco rock band, 1965, the name taken, according to founder Jerry Garcia, from a dictionary entry he saw about the folk tale motif of a wanderer who gives his last penny to pay for a corpse's burial, then is magically aided by the spirit of the dead person. A different version of the concept is found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
grater (n.) Look up grater at
instrument for scraping (bread, ginger, etc.), late 14c., from Old French grateor, agent noun from grater "to scrape, scratch out or off" (see grate (v.)).
gratification (n.) Look up gratification at
1590s, "act of gratifying," from Middle French gratification or directly from Latin gratificationem (nominative gratificatio) "obligingness, complaisance," noun of action from past participle stem of gratificari "to please, oblige, do favor to" (see gratify). Meaning "state of being gratified" is by 1712.
gratify (v.) Look up gratify at
c. 1400, "to bestow grace upon;" 1530s, "to show gratitude to," from Latin gratificari "to do favor to, oblige, gratify," from gratus "pleasing" (see grace (n.)) + root of facere "to make, do, perform" (see factitious). Meaning "to give pleasure to" is from 1560s. Related: Gratified; gratifying.
gratin (n.) Look up gratin at
light crust over a dish, 1806 (in au gratin), from French gratin "crust" (16c.), from gratter "to scrape, scratch" (see grate (v.)).
grating (adj.) Look up grating at
"annoying, irritating," 1560s, figurative use of present participle adjective from grate (v.).