is (v.) Look up is at
third person singular present of be, Old English is, from Germanic stem *es- (cognates: Old High German, German, Gothic ist, Old Norse es, er), from PIE *es-ti- (cognates: Sanskrit asti, Greek esti, Latin est, Lithuanian esti, Old Church Slavonic jesti), from PIE root *es- "to be." Old English lost the final -t-. Until 1500s, pronounced to rhyme with kiss. Phrase it is what it is, indicating resigned acceptance of an unpleasant but inevitable situation or circumstance about which nothing truly positive can be said, is attested by 2001.
Isaac Look up Isaac at
masc. proper name, name of a biblical patriarch, from Late Latin, from Greek Isaak, from Hebrew Yitzhaq, literally "he laughs," imperf. of tzahaq "he laughed."
Isabel Look up Isabel at
fem. proper name, a form of Elizabeth that seems to have developed in Provence. A popular name in Middle Ages; pet forms included Ibb, Libbe, Nibb, Tibb, Bibby, and Ellice. The Spanish form was Isabella, which is attested as a color name ("greyish-yellow") in English from c. 1600; the Isabella who gave her name to it has not been identified. Related: Isabelline.
isagoge (n.) Look up isagoge at
1650s, from Latin isagoge, from Greek eisagoge "introduction (into court), importation (of goods)," from eis "into" + agoge "a leading," from agein "to lead" (see act). Related: Isagogic; isagogical (1520s).
Isaiah Look up Isaiah at
masc. proper name, name of a biblical prophet, from Hebrew Yesha'yah, abbreviated form of Yesha'yahu, literally "salvation of the Lord," from yesha, yeshua "salvation, deliverance."
ISBN Look up ISBN at
1969, acronym for International Standard Book Number.
Iscariot Look up Iscariot at
"traitor," 1640s, from the surname of Judas, betrayer of Jesus, in New Testament, from Latin Iscariota, from Greek Iskariotes, said to be from Hebrew ishq'riyoth "man of Kerioth" (a place in Palestine).
ischaemia (n.) Look up ischaemia at
also ischemia, 1866 (but as far back as 1660s in form ischaimes), from medical Latin ischaemia, from ischaemus "stopping blood," from Greek iskhaimos "stanching or stopping of blood," from iskhein "to hold" + haima "blood" (see -emia). Related: Ischemic.
ischium (n.) Look up ischium at
"the seat bone," 1640s, from Latin, from Greek iskhion "hip joint," in plural, "the hips," probably from iskhi "loin," of unknown origin.
ish kabibble Look up ish kabibble at
1913, "I should worry," of unknown origin, but perhaps derived from Yiddish nisht gefidlt. Said to have been popularized by comedienne Fanny Brice (1891-1951), but earliest references do not mention her.
Chicken pox doesn't poison the wellsprings of one's existence like 'Ish kabibble,' and 'I should worry.!' Do you think it's any fun to bring up children to speak decent English, and then have their conversation strewed with phrases like that and with ain'ts? Do you think I like to hear Robert talking about his little friends as 'de guys' and 'de ginks?' [Mary Heaton Vorse, "Their Little Friends," in "Woman's Home Companion," February 1916]
Ishihara Look up Ishihara at
name for the popular type of colorblindness test, 1924, from Japanese ophthalmologist Shinobu Ishihara (1879-1963), who devised it in 1917.
Ishmael Look up Ishmael at
masc. proper name, biblical son of Abraham and Hagar, from Hebrew Yishma'el, literally "God hears," from yishma, imperf. of shama "he heard." The Arabs claim descent from him. Figurative sense of "an outcast," "whose hand is against every man, and every man's hand against him" is from Gen. xvi:12.
Ishtar Look up Ishtar at
ancient Sumero-Babylonian goddess of love and fertility, counterpart of Phoenician Astarte (q.v.), from Akkad. Ishtar.
Isidore Look up Isidore at
masc. proper name, from French, from Latin Isidorus, from Greek Isidoros, literally "gift of Isis," from doron "gift" (see date (n.1)). St. Isidore, archbishop of Seville (600-636) wrote important historical, etymological, and ecclesiastical works and in 2001 was named patron saint of computers, computer users, and the Internet.
isinglass (n.) Look up isinglass at
1520s, said to be perversion of Dutch huysenblas, literally "sturgeon bladder," from huysen "sturgeon" + blas "bladder;" so called because the substance was obtained from it.
Islam (n.) Look up Islam at
"religious system revealed by Muhammad," 1818, from Arabic islam, literally "submission" (to the will of God), from root of aslama "he resigned, he surrendered, he submitted," causative conjunction of salima "he was safe," and related to salam "peace."
... Islam is the only major religion, along with Buddhism (if we consider the name of the religion to come from Budd, the Divine Intellect, and not the Buddha), whose name is not related to a person or ethnic group, but to the central idea of the religion. ["The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity," Seyyed Hossein Nasr, 2002]
Earlier English names for the faith include Mahometry (late 15c.), Muhammadism (1610s), Islamism (1747), and Ismaelism (c. 1600), which in part is from Ishmaelite, a name formerly given (especially by Jews) to Arabs, as descendants of Ishmael (q.v.), and in part from Arabic Ismailiy, name of the Shiite sect that after 765 C.E. followed the Imamship through descendants of Ismail (Arabic for Ishmael), eldest son of Jafar, the sixth Imam. The Ismailians were not numerous, but among them were the powerful Fatimid dynasty in Egypt and the Assassins, both of whom loomed large in European imagination.
Islamic (adj.) Look up Islamic at
1791, from Islam + -ic.
Islamist (n.) Look up Islamist at
1850, "Muslim," from Islam + -ist. Later also "scholar of Islamic studies." By 1962 as "strict fundamentalist Sunni Muslim." Islamism is attested from 1747 as "the religion of the Muslims, Islam."
island (n.) Look up island at
1590s, earlier yland (c. 1300), from Old English igland "island," from ieg "island" (from Proto-Germanic *aujo "thing on the water," from PIE *akwa- "water;" see aqua-) + land (n.). Spelling modified 15c. by association with similar but unrelated isle. An Old English cognate was ealand "river-land, watered place, meadow by a river." In place names, Old English ieg is often used of "slightly raised dry ground offering settlement sites in areas surrounded by marsh or subject to flooding" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names]. Related: Islander.
isle (n.) Look up isle at
late 13c., from Old French ile, earlier isle, from Latin insula "island," of uncertain origin, perhaps (as the Ancients guessed) from in salo "(that which is) in the sea," from ablative of salum "the open sea." The -s- was restored first in French, then in English in the late 1500s.
islet (n.) Look up islet at
1530s, from Middle French islette (Modern French îlette), diminutive of isle (see isle).
ism (n.) Look up ism at
1670s, the suffix -ism used as an independent word, chiefly disparagingly.
iso- Look up iso- at
word-forming element meaning "equal, similar, identical; isometric," from comb. form of Greek isos "equal to, the same as" (as in isometor "like one's mother"). Used properly only with words of Greek origin; the Latin equivalent is equi- (see equi-).
isobar (n.) Look up isobar at
1864, coined from Greek isos "equal" (see iso-) + baros "weight," from PIE root *gwere- (2) "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). Line connecting places with the same barometric pressure at the same time.
isocephalic (adj.) Look up isocephalic at
"having the heads of the principal figures at about the same level," from Greek isokephalos "like-headed," from isos "equal" (see iso-) + kephale "head" (see cephalo-).
isochronous (adj.) Look up isochronous at
1706, with suffix -ous, from Modern Latin isochronus, from Greek isokhronos "equal in time," from iso- "equal" (see iso-) + khronos "time" (see chrono-). Earlier in same sense was isochronal (1670s).
isocracy (n.) Look up isocracy at
"equal power," 1650s, from Greek isokratia "equality of power," from isokrates "of equal power, possessing equal rights," from isos "equal" (see iso-) + -kratia "power, rule, authority" (see -cracy). Related: Isocratic.
isokinetic (adj.) Look up isokinetic at
1958, from iso- + kinetic.
isolate (v.) Look up isolate at
by 1786, a new formation from isolated (q.v.).
The translation of this work is well performed, excepting that fault from which few translations are wholly exempt, and which is daily tending to corrupt our language, the adoption of French expressions. We have here evasion for escape, twice or more times repeated; brigands very frequently; we have the unnecessary and foolish word isolate; and, if we mistake not, paralize, which at least has crept in through a similar channel. Translators cannot be too careful on this point, as it is a temptation to which they are constantly exposed. ["The British Critic," April 1799]
As a noun from 1890, from earlier adjectival use (1819).
isolated (adj.) Look up isolated at
1763, from French isolé "isolated" (17c.) + English -ated (see -ate (2)). The French word is from Italian isolato, from Latin insulatus "made into an island," from insula "island." The French word was used at first in English (isole, also isole'd, c. 1750), then after isolate became an English word, isolated became its past participle.
isolation (n.) Look up isolation at
1800, noun of action from isolate, or else from French isolation, noun of action from isoler (see isolated).
isolationist Look up isolationist at
in reference to U.S. foreign policy, 1899 (earlier in reference to treatment of leprosy), from isolation + -ist. Isolationism is attested by 1922.
Isold Look up Isold at
fem. proper name, French Isolt, Iseut, of Germanic origin, literally "ice-rule," from *is "ice" (see ice (n.)) + *waltan (see wield).
isomer (n.) Look up isomer at
1866, back-formation from isomeric. Greek isomeres meant "sharing equality," from iso- (see iso-) + meros "part, share" (see merit (n.)).
isometric (adj.) Look up isometric at
1838, literally "of the same measure," coined from Greek isos "equal" (see iso-) + metron "measure" (see meter (n.2)). Originally a method of using perspective in drawing; the physiological sense relating to muscular action is from 1891, from German isometrisch in this sense (1882).
isometrics (n.) Look up isometrics at
1962, American English, from isometric; also see -ics.
isometry (n.) Look up isometry at
1941, from Greek isometria "equality of measure," from iso- (see iso-) + metria "a measuring" (see -metry).
isomorphic (adj.) Look up isomorphic at
1862, from iso- + Greek morphe (see Morpheus).
isomorphism (n.) Look up isomorphism at
from German Isomorphismus, 1828, coined by German chemist Eilhard Mitscherlich (1794-1863) from isomorph; see isomorphic. Related: Isomorph.
isopod (n.) Look up isopod at
1835, from French isopode, from Latin isopoda (neuter plural), from Greek iso- "equal, identical" (see iso-) + pod-, stem of pous "foot," from PIE root *ped- (1) "a foot" (see foot (n.)).
isosceles (adj.) Look up isosceles at
"having two equal sides," 1550s, from Late Latin isosceles, from Greek isoskeles "with equal sides," from isos "equal" (see iso-) + skelos "leg," from PIE *skel-es-, from root *(s)kel- (3) "crooked" (see scoliosis).
isostasy (n.) Look up isostasy at
1889, from iso- + Greek stasis "setting, weighing, standing" (see stasis). Related: Isostatic.
isotherm (n.) Look up isotherm at
1860, from French isotherme (Humboldt, 1817), from Greek iso- (see iso-) + therme "heat" (see thermal).
isothermal Look up isothermal at
1826 (adj.); 1852 (n.), from French isotherme (see isotherm) + -al (1).
isotonic (adj.) Look up isotonic at
1828, from Greek isotonos "of level pitch; equally stretched," from iso- (see iso-) + tonos (see tenet).
isotope (n.) Look up isotope at
1913, literally "having the same place," introduced by British chemist Frederick Soddy (1877-1956) on suggestion of Margaret Todd, from Greek isos "equal" (see iso-) + topos "place" (see topos); so called because despite the different atomic weights, the various forms of an element occupy the same place on the periodic table.
isotropic (adj.) Look up isotropic at
1864, from iso- + Greek tropikos "belonging to a turning," from tropos "a turning, way, manner" (see trope).
Israel Look up Israel at
Old English, "the Jewish people, the Hebrew nation," from Latin Israel, from Greek, from Hebrew yisra'el "he that striveth with God" (Gen. xxxii.28), symbolic proper name conferred on Jacob and extended to his descendants, from sara "he fought, contended" + El "God." As the name of an independent Jewish state in the Middle East, it is attested from 1948. Compare Israeli, Israelite.
Israeli Look up Israeli at
"citizen of the state of Israel," 1948; from Israel + Hebrew national designation suffix -i. Also used in English as the adjective. Coined to distinguish citizens of the modern state from the ancient people who had been known in English since 14c. as Israelites.
Israelite (n.) Look up Israelite at
mid-14c., "one of the people of ancient Israel," from Latin israelita, from Greek Israelites, from Israel (see Israel). The Middle English adjective was Israelish (Old English Israelisc), sometimes Israelitish.