insulator (n.) Look up insulator at
1801, agent noun in Latin form from insulate.
insulin (n.) Look up insulin at
1922 (earlier insuline, 1914), coined in English from Latin insula "island," so called because the hormone is secreted by the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Insuline was coined independently in French in 1909.
insult (v.) Look up insult at
1560s, "triumph over in an arrogant way," from Middle French insulter (14c.) and directly from Latin insultare "to assail, to leap upon" (already used by Cicero in sense of "insult, scoff at, revile"), frequentative of insilire "leap at or upon," from in- "on, at" (see in- (2)) + salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). Sense of "to verbally abuse, affront, assail with disrespect" is from 1610s. Related: Insulted; insulting.
insult (n.) Look up insult at
c. 1600 in the sense of "attack;" 1670s as "an act of insulting," from Middle French insult (14c.) or directly from Late Latin insultus, from insilire (see insult (v.)). To add insult to injury translates Latin injuriae contumeliam addere.
insuperable (adj.) Look up insuperable at
mid-14c., "unconquerable," from Latin insuperabilis "that cannot be passed over, unconquerable," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + superabilis "that may be overcome," from superare "to overcome," from superus "one that is above," from super "over" (see super-). Figurative use from 1650s. Related: Insuperably.
insupportable (adj.) Look up insupportable at
1520s, from French insupportable (14c.) or directly from Late Latin insupportabilis, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin supportare "to carry" (see support).
insurance (n.) Look up insurance at
1550s, "engagement to marry," a variant of ensurance (see ensure). Commercial sense of "security against loss or death in exchange for payment" is from 1650s. Assurance was the older term for this (late 16c.).
insure (v.) Look up insure at
mid-15c., insuren, spelling variant of ensuren (see ensure). Took on its particular sense of "make safe against loss by payment of premiums" from mid-17c. (replacing assure in that meaning). Related: Insured; insuring.
insurer (n.) Look up insurer at
1650s, agent noun from insure.
insurgence (n.) Look up insurgence at
1847; see insurgency + -ence.
insurgency (n.) Look up insurgency at
1803, from insurgent + -cy.
insurgent (n.) Look up insurgent at
"one who rises in revolt," 1765, from Latin insurgentem (nominative insurgens), present participle of insurgere "rise up, rise against, revolt," from in- "against," or perhaps merely intensive, + surgere "to rise" (see surge). An obsolete verb insurge "to rise in opposition or insurrection" is attested from 1530s.
insurmountable (adj.) Look up insurmountable at
1690s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + surmountable. Related: Insurmountably. Brachet calls French insurmontable a "ghastly philological monster."
insurrection (n.) Look up insurrection at
early 15c., from Middle French insurrection, from Late Latin insurrectionem (nominative insurrectio) "a rising up," noun of action from past participle stem of insurgere "to rise up" (see insurgent).
insurrectionary Look up insurrectionary at
1796 (adj.), 1893 (n.), from insurrection + -ary.
intact (adj.) Look up intact at
mid-15c., from Latin intactus "untouched, uninjured, undefiled," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + tactus, past participle of tangere "to touch" (see tangent (adj.)).
intaglio (n.) Look up intaglio at
1640s, from Italian intaglio "engraved work" (plural intagli), from intagliare "to cut in, engrave," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + tagliare "to cut" (see entail).
intail (v.) Look up intail at
obsolete form of entail.
intake (n.) Look up intake at
c. 1800, "place where water is taken into a channel or pipe," from verbal phrase, from in (adv.) + take (v.). Meaning "act of taking in" (food, breath, etc.) is first attested 1808.
intangible (adj.) Look up intangible at
1630s, "incapable of being touched," from French intangible (c. 1500) or directly from Medieval Latin intangibilis, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Late Latin tangibilis "that may be touched" (see tangible). Figurative sense of "that cannot be grasped by the mind" is from 1880. Noun meaning "anything intangible" is from 1914. Related: Intangibly.
integer (n.) Look up integer at
"a whole number" (opposed to fraction), 1570s, from Latin integer (adj.) "whole, complete," figuratively, "untainted, upright," literally "untouched," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + root of tangere "to touch" (see tangent (adj.)). The word was used earlier in English as an adjective meaning "whole, entire" (c. 1500).
integral (adj.) Look up integral at
late 15c., "of or pertaining to a whole," from Middle French intégral (14c.), from Medieval Latin integralis "forming a whole," from Latin integer "whole" (see integer). Related: Integrally. As a noun, 1610s, from the adjective.
integrate (v.) Look up integrate at
1630s, "to render (something) whole," from Latin integratus, past participle of integrare "make whole," from integer "whole" (see integer). Meaning "to put together parts or elements and combine them into a whole" is from 1802. Integrate in the "racially desegregate" sense is a back-formation from integration, dating to the 1948 U.S. presidential contest. Related: Integrated; integrating.
integrated (adj.) Look up integrated at
1580s, "combined into a whole," past participle adjective from integrate (v.). Sense of "not divided by race, etc." is from 1948.
integration (n.) Look up integration at
1610s, from French intégration and directly from Latin integrationem (nominative integratio) "renewal, restoration," noun of action from past participle stem of integrare (see integrate). Anti-discrimination sense is recorded from 1940 in a S.African context.
integrity (n.) Look up integrity at
c. 1400, "innocence, blamelessness; chastity, purity," from Old French integrité or directly from Latin integritatem (nominative integritas) "soundness, wholeness, blamelessness," from integer "whole" (see integer). Sense of "wholeness, perfect condition" is mid-15c.
integument (n.) Look up integument at
1610s, from Latin integumentum "a covering," from integere "to cover over," from in- "in, upon" (see in- (2)) + tegere "to cover" (see stegosaurus).
integumentary (adj.) Look up integumentary at
1826, from integument + -ary.
intellect (n.) Look up intellect at
late 14c. (but little used before 16c.), from Old French intellecte "intellectual capacity" (13c.), and directly from Latin intellectus "discernment, a perception, understanding," from noun use of past participle of intelligere "to understand, discern" (see intelligence).
intellectual (adj.) Look up intellectual at
late 14c., "grasped by the understanding" (rather than by the senses), from Old French intellectuel and directly from Latin intellectualis "relating to the understanding," from intellectus "discernment, understanding," from past participle stem of intelligere "to understand, discern" (see intelligence). Intellectual property attested from 1845. Other adjective formations included intellective (late 15c.), intellectile (1670s).
intellectual (n.) Look up intellectual at
1590s, "mind, intellect," from intellectual (adj.); sense of "an intellectual person" is from 1650s. Related: Intellectuals.
intellectualism (n.) Look up intellectualism at
1829; see intellectual + -ism. Probably based on German Intellektualismus (said by Klein to have been coined 1803 by Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775-1854) from Late Latin intellectualis). In English, originally with reference to the doctrines of Leibnitz.
intellectuality (n.) Look up intellectuality at
mid-15c., "the part of the mind which understands; understanding, intellect;" from Old French intellectualité and directly from Late Latin intellectualitas, from Latin intellectualis (see intellectual).
intellectualization (n.) Look up intellectualization at
1821, noun of action from intellectualize.
intellectualize (v.) Look up intellectualize at
1819, from intellectual + -ize. Related: Intellectualized; intellectualizing.
intellectually (adv.) Look up intellectually at
late 14c., from intellectual + -ly (2).
intelligence (n.) Look up intelligence at
late 14c., "faculty of understanding," from Old French intelligence (12c.), from Latin intelligentia, intellegentia "understanding, power of discerning; art, skill, taste," from intelligentem (nominative intelligens) "discerning," present participle of intelligere "to understand, comprehend," from inter- "between" (see inter-) + legere "choose, pick out, read" (see lecture (n.)).

Meaning superior understanding, sagacity" is from early 15c. Sense of "information, news" first recorded mid-15c., especially "secret information from spies" (1580s). Intelligence quotient first recorded 1921 (see I.Q.).
intelligencer (n.) Look up intelligencer at
1580s, "spy, informant," agent noun from intelligence. Meaning "bringer of news" is from 1630s; as a newspaper name from 1640s.
intelligent (adj.) Look up intelligent at
c. 1500, a back-formation from intelligence or else from Latin intelligentem (nominative intelligens), present participle of intelligere, earlier intellegere (see intelligence). Intelligent design, as a name for an alternative to atheistic cosmology and the theory of evolution, is from 1999. Related: Intelligently.
intelligentsia (n.) Look up intelligentsia at
"the intellectual class collectively," 1905, from Russian intelligyentsia, from Latin intelligentia (see intelligence). Perhaps via Italian intelligenzia.
intelligibility (n.) Look up intelligibility at
1670s, from intelligible + -ity.
intelligible (adj.) Look up intelligible at
late 14c., "able to understand," from Latin intelligibilis, intellegibilis "that can understand, that can be understood," from intellegere "to understand" (see intelligence). In English, sense of "capable of being understood" first recorded c. 1600. Related: Intelligibly.
intemperance (n.) Look up intemperance at
early 15c., from Middle French intemperance (14c.), from Latin intemperantia "intemperateness, immoderation, excess," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + temperantia (see temperance). Originally of climate; meaning "lack of moderation" in English is from 1540s.
intemperate (adj.) Look up intemperate at
"characterized by excessive indulgence in a passion or appetite," late 14c., from Latin intemperatus "untempered, inclement, immoderate," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + temperantia (see temperance). Related: Intemperately.
intend (v.) Look up intend at
c. 1300, "direct one's attention to," from Old French entendre, intendre "to direct one's attention" (in Modern French principally "to hear"), from Latin intendere "turn one's attention, strain," literally "stretch out, extend," from in- "toward" (see in- (2)) + tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Sense of "have as a plan" (late 14c.) was present in Latin. A Germanic word for this was ettle, from Old Norse ætla "to think, conjecture, propose," from Proto-Germanic *ahta "consideration, attention" (cognates: Old English eaht, German acht). Intended (n.) "one's intended husband or wife" is from 1767.
intendant (n.) Look up intendant at
"one who has charge of some business," 1650s, from French intendant (16c.), from Latin intendantem, present participle of intendere (see intend).
intense (adj.) Look up intense at
c. 1400, from Middle French intense (13c.), from Latin intensus "stretched, strained, tight," originally past participle of intendere "to stretch out, strain" (see intend); thus, literally, "high-strung." Related: Intensely.
intensification (n.) Look up intensification at
1847, noun of action from intensify.
intensify (v.) Look up intensify at
1817, from intense + -ify, first attested in Coleridge, in place of intend, which he said no longer was felt as connected with intense. Middle English used intensen (v.) "to increase (something), strengthen, intensify," early 15c. Related: Intensified; intensifying.
intension (n.) Look up intension at
c. 1600, from Latin intensionem (nominative intensio) "a stretching, straining, effort," noun of action from past participle stem of intendere (see intend).