inoperative (adj.) Look up inoperative at
"not working," 1630s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + operative (adj.).
inopportune (adj.) Look up inopportune at
1530s, from Late Latin inopportunus "unfitting," from in- "not" + opportunus "favorable, convenient" (see opportune). Rare or obsolete in 18c. Related: Inopportunely; inopportuneness; inopportunity.
inordinate (adj.) Look up inordinate at
late 14c., "not ordered, lacking order or regularity," from Latin inordinatus "unordered, not arranged," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + ordinatus, past participle of ordinare "to set in order" (see order (n.)). Sense of "immoderate, excessive" is from notion of "not kept within orderly limits." Related: Inordinately; inordinateness.
inorganic (adj.) Look up inorganic at
1794, "without the organized structure which characterizes living things," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + organic (adj.). Inorganical in this sense is from 1670s. Meaning "not arriving by natural growth" is recorded from 1862.
inpatient (n.) Look up inpatient at
also in-patient, "patient lodged and fed, as well as treated, at a hospital or infirmary," 1760, from in (adj.) + patient (n.). As an adjective from 1959.
input (n.) Look up input at
1753, "a sum (of cash) put in, a sharing, contribution," from verbal phrase; see in (adv.) + put (v.). Meaning "energy supplied to a device or machine" is from 1902, later of electronic devices; computing sense of "data fed into a machine" is from 1948, though this is perhaps from the verb in the computing sense.
input (v.) Look up input at
late 14c., "put on, impose," from in (adv.) + put (v.). Modern sense "feed data into a machine" is from 1946, a new formation from the same elements.
inquest (n.) Look up inquest at
late 13c., enquest, an-queste "legal or judicial inquiry," especially one before a jury, from Old French enqueste "inquiry" (Modern French enquête), from Vulgar Latin *inquaestia (source also of Italian inchiesta), from Latin inquisita (res) "(a thing) looked into; an inquiry," from fem. past participle of Latin inquirere "to seek after, search for" (see inquire). The form with in- prevailed from 18c.
inquiline (n.) Look up inquiline at
1640s, "a lodger," from Latin inquilinus "an inhabitant of a place not his own," from *incolinus, from incola "an inhabitant," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + colere "inhabit, dwell" (see colony). Zoological sense of "animal living in the abode of another, a commensal" is from 1879.
inquire (v.) Look up inquire at
c. 1300, enqueren, anqueren, "to ask (a question), ask about, ask for (specific information); learn or find out by asking, seek information or knowledge; to conduct a legal or official investigation (into an alleged offense)," from Old French enquerre "ask, inquire about" (Modern French enquérir) and directly from Medieval Latin inquerere, from in- "into" (see in- (2)) + Latin quaerere "ask, seek" (see query (v.)), in place of classical Latin inquirere "seek after, search for, examine, scrutinize." The English word was respelled 14c. on the Latin model, but half-Latinized enquire persists. Related: Inquired; inquiring.
inquirer (n.) Look up inquirer at
1560s, "one who inquires, a seeker, an investigator," agent noun from inquire.
inquiring (adj.) Look up inquiring at
"given to inquiry or investigation," 1590s, present-participle adjective from inquire (v.). Related: Inquiringly.
inquiry (n.) Look up inquiry at
early 15c., enquery, "a judicial examination of facts to determine truth;" mid-15c. in general sense "attempt to learn something, act or fact of inquiring," probably an Anglo-French noun developed from enqueren "to inquire" (see inquire). Respelled from mid-16c. to conform to Latin.
inquisition (n.) Look up inquisition at
late 14c., "judicial investigation, act or process of inquiring," from Old French inquisicion "inquiry, investigation" (12c., Modern French inquisition), from Latin inquisitionem (nominative inquisitio) "a searching into, a seeking; legal examination, a seeking of grounds for accusation," noun of action from past participle stem of inquirere (see inquire).

In Church history, inquisitors were appointed from 382 C.E. to root out heretics; the ecclesiastical court appointed 13c. by Innocent III to suppress heresy never operated in Britain. The English word began to be used in this sense (and with a capital initial letter) after c. 1500, and usually refers to the office's reorganization 1478-1483 in Spain, where it fell under the control of the state as what is commonly called the Spanish Inquisition, noted especially for its severity, secrecy, and the number of its victims.
inquisitive (adj.) Look up inquisitive at
late 14c., from Old French inquisitif, from Late Latin inquisitivus "making inquiry," from Latin inquisit-, past participle stem of inquirere "seek after, search for; examine, investigate" (see inquire).
An housbonde shal nat been Inquisityf of goddes pryuetee nor of his wyf. [Chaucer, "Miller's Prologue"]
Related: Inquisitively; inquisitiveness.
inquisitor (n.) Look up inquisitor at
c. 1400, "an inspector, one who makes inquiries," from Anglo-French inquisitour, Old French inquisiteur, or directly from Latin inquisitor "searcher, examiner; a legal investigator, collector of evidence," agent noun from Latin inquirere (see inquire). As the title of an officer of the Inquisition, from 1540s. Related: Inquisitorial. Of the fem. forms, inquisitress (1727) is senior to inquisitrix (1879).
inro Look up inro at
1610s, from Japanese, from Chinese yin "seal" + lung "basket." The small ornamental baskets originally held seals, among other small items.
inroad (n.) Look up inroad at
1540s, "hostile incursion, raid, foray," from in- (2) "in;" second element is road (n.) in the obsolete sense of "riding;" related to raid (v.). Related: Inroads.
insalubrious (adj.) Look up insalubrious at
1630s, from Latin insalubris "unhealthy, unwholesome," or else a native formation from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + salubrious. Related: Insalubriety.
insane (adj.) Look up insane at
1550s, of persons, "mentally damaged," from Latin insanus "mad, insane, of unsound mind; outrageous, excessive, extravagant," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sanus "well, healthy, sane" (see sane). In reference to actions, "irrational, evidencing madness," from 1842 in English. The noun meaning "insane person" is attested from 1786. For the notion of insanity as sickness, compare lunatic; and Italian pazzo "insane," originally a euphemism, from Latin patiens "suffering." German verrückt, literally past participle of verrücken "to displace," "applied to the brain as to a clock that is 'out of order' " [Buck].
insanity (n.) Look up insanity at
1580s, "state of being insane, seriously impaired state of mental functioning," from Latin insanitatem (nominative insanitas) "unhealthfulness, unsoundness, disease," noun of quality from insanus "mad, insane; outrageous, excessive" (see insane). Meaning "extreme folly" is from 1844.
insatiability (n.) Look up insatiability at
1650s, from Late Latin insatiabilitas, from Latin insatiabilis "not to be satisfied" (see insatiable). Possibly via French insatiabilité (16c.).
insatiable (adj.) Look up insatiable at
early 15c., insaciable, from Old French insaciable "ravenous" (15c., Modern French insatiable), or directly from Latin insatiabilis "not to be satisfied," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + satiabilis, from satiare (see satiate). Related: Insatiably; insatiableness.
insatiate (adj.) Look up insatiate at
"not to be satisfied," mid-15c., insaciate, from Latin insatiatus "unsatisfied," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + satiatus, past participle of satiare "to fill, satisfy" (see satiate).
inscribe (v.) Look up inscribe at
1550s, "to write on or in" (something durable and conspicuous), from Latin inscribere "to write in or on," (see inscription). Meaning "to dedicate (by means of an inscription)" is from 1640s. Form inscriven is from late 14c. Related: Inscribed; inscribing.
inscription (n.) Look up inscription at
late 14c., from Latin inscriptionem (nominative inscriptio) "a writing upon, inscription," noun of action from past participle stem of inscribere "inscribe, to write on or in anything," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + scribere "to write" (see script (n.)).
inscrutability (n.) Look up inscrutability at
1650s, from inscrutable + -ity.
inscrutable (adj.) Look up inscrutable at
c. 1500, from Late Latin inscrutabilis, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + scrutabilis, from scrutari "examine, ransack" (see scrutiny). Related: Inscrutably.
insect (n.) Look up insect at
c. 1600, from Latin (animal) insectum "(animal) with a notched or divided body," literally "cut into," from neuter past participle of insectare "to cut into, to cut up," from in- "into" (see in- (2)) + secare "to cut" (see section (n.)). Pliny's loan-translation of Greek entomon "insect" (see entomology), which was Aristotle's term for this class of life, in reference to their "notched" bodies.

First in English in 1601 in Holland's translation of Pliny. Translations of Aristotle's term also form the usual word for "insect" in Welsh (trychfil, from trychu "cut" + mil "animal"), Serbo-Croatian (zareznik, from rezati "cut"), Russian (nasekomoe, from sekat "cut"), etc.
insecticide (n.) Look up insecticide at
"substance which kills insects," 1865, from insect + -cide.
insectivore (n.) Look up insectivore at
1863, from French insectivore (1817), from Latin insectivorus, from comb. form of insectum (see insect) + vorare "devour, swallow" (see voracity).
insectivorous (adj.) Look up insectivorous at
1610s; see insect + -vorous.
insecure (adj.) Look up insecure at
1640s, "unsafe," from Medieval Latin insecurus, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin securus (see secure). Psychological sense dates from 1935; insecurity in this sense dates from 1917. Related: Insecurely.
insecurity (n.) Look up insecurity at
1640s, from Medieval Latin insecuritas, from insecurus (see insecure). Specific psychological sense is by 1917.
inseminate (v.) Look up inseminate at
1620s, "to cast as seed," from Latin inseminatus, past participle of inseminare "to sow, implant," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + semen (genitive semenis) "seed." Meaning "to impregnate with semen" is attested from 1923. Related: Inseminated; inseminating.
insemination (n.) Look up insemination at
1650s, "action of sowing," noun of action from inseminate. Meaning "infusion of semen" is from 1860.
insensate (adj.) Look up insensate at
1510s, from Late Latin insensatus "irrational, foolish," from Latin in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sensatus "gifted with sense" (see sensate). Insensate means "not capable of feeling sensation," often "inanimate;" insensible means "lacking the power to feel with the senses," hence, often, "unconscious;" insensitive means "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," often "tactless."
insense (v.) Look up insense at
"cause (someone) to understand," c. 1400, ensense, from Old French ensenser "to enlighten, to bring to sense," from en- "in" (see in- (2)) + sens (see sense (n.)). Restricted to Northern English dialect from 17c.
insensibility (n.) Look up insensibility at
late 14c., from Late Latin insensibilitas, from Latin insensibilis (see insensible).
insensible (adj.) Look up insensible at
c. 1400, "lacking the power to feel with the senses," from Latin insensibilis "that cannot be felt," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + sensibilis (see sensible). Also sometimes in Middle English "incapable of being felt or perceived by the senses" (early 15c.). Meaning "unconscious" is attested from early 15c. See insensate.
insensibly (adv.) Look up insensibly at
early 15c.; see insensible + -ly (2).
insensitive (adj.) Look up insensitive at
c. 1600, "having little or no reaction to what is perceived by one's senses," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + sensitive. For sense, see insensate. Meaning "without consideration for the feelings of others" attested by 1975. Related: Insensitively.
inseparability (n.) Look up inseparability at
1620s, from Late Latin inseparabilitas, from Latin inseparabilis (see inseparable).
inseparable (adj.) Look up inseparable at
mid-14c., from Latin inseparabilis "that cannot be separated," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + separabilis, from separare (see separate (v.)). Related: Inseparably.
insert (v.) Look up insert at
"to set in, put or place in," 1520s, from insert, past participle of Middle English inseren "to set in place, to graft, to introduce (into the mind)" (late 14c.), from Latin inserere "to put in, implant," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + serere "join together" (see series). Related: Inserted; inserting. The noun meaning "something inserted" is from 1893.
insertion (n.) Look up insertion at
1590s, "act of putting in," from Late Latin insertionem (nominative insertio), noun of action from past participle stem of inserere (see insert). Meaning "that which is inserted" attested from 1620s.
inservice (adj.) Look up inservice at
also in-service, 1928, from in + service.
inset (n.) Look up inset at
1550s, "influx of water, place where water flows in," from in + set (n.2). Meaning "extra pages of a book, etc." is from 1875; that of "small map in the border of a larger one" is from 1881.
inshallah Look up inshallah at
1857, phonetic spelling of Arabic in sha Allah "if Allah wills (it)."
inside (n.) Look up inside at
late 14c., ynneside "interior of the body," compound of in (adv.) + side (n.). The adjective is 1610s, from the noun. Inside job "robbery, espionage, etc., committed by or with the help of a resident or servant of a place" is attested by 1887, American English (also, late 19c., early 20c., "indoors work"). Inside track "advantage" is metaphoric because those lanes are shorter on a curved track. Inside of, in reference to time, is from 1839.