Iliad Look up Iliad at
from Latin Ilias (genitive Iliadis), from Greek Ilias poiesis "poem of Ilion" (Troy), literally "city of Ilius," the mythical founder.
ilium (n.) Look up ilium at
pelvic bone, 1706, Modern Latin, from Latin ilia (plural) "groin, flank" (see ileum).
ilk (adj.) Look up ilk at
Old English ilca "same" (n. and adj.), from Proto-Germanic *ij-lik, in which the first element is from the PIE demonstrative particle *i- (see yon) and the second is that in Old English -lic "form" (see like). Of similar formation are which and such. Phrase of that ilk implies coincidence of name and estate, as in Lundie of Lundie; applied usually to families, so by c. 1790 it began to be used with meaning "family," then broadening to "type, sort."
ill (adj.) Look up ill at
c. 1200, "morally evil" (other 13c. senses were "malevolent, hurtful, unfortunate, difficult"), from Old Norse illr "ill, bad," of unknown origin. Not considered to be related to evil. Main modern sense of "sick, unhealthy, unwell" is first recorded mid-15c., probably related to Old Norse idiom "it is bad to me." Slang inverted sense of "very good, cool" is 1980s. As a noun, "something evil," from mid-13c.
ill (v.) Look up ill at
early 13c., "to do evil to," from ill (adj.). Meaing "to speak disparagingly" is from 1520s. Related: Illed; illing.
ill (adv.) Look up ill at
c. 1200, "wickedly; with hostility;" see ill (adj.). Meaning "not well, poorly" is from c. 1300. It generally has not shifted to the realm of physical sickess, as the adjective has done. Ill-fated recorded from 1710; ill-informed from 1824; ill-tempered from c. 1600; ill-starred from c. 1600. Generally contrasted with well, hence the useful, but now obsolete or obscure illcome (1570s), illfare (c. 1300), and illth.
illative (adj.) Look up illative at
"inferential," 1610s, from Late Latin illativus, from Latin illatus "brought in," used as past participle of inferre. As a noun from 1590s.
illegal (adj.) Look up illegal at
1620s, from French illégal or directly from Medieval Latin illegalis, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Latin legalis (see legal). Term illegal immigrant first recorded 1892 in American English (illegal immigration is from 1887).
illegality (n.) Look up illegality at
1630s, from illegal + -ity; or else from French illegalité (14c.).
illegally (adv.) Look up illegally at
1620s, from illegal + -ly (2).
illegible (adj.) Look up illegible at
1630s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + legible. Related: Illegibly; illegibility.
illegitimacy (n.) Look up illegitimacy at
1670s; see illegitimate + -acy.
illegitimate (adj.) Look up illegitimate at
1530s, "born out of wedlock," formed in English (and replacing earlier illegitime, c. 1500), modeled on Latin illegitimus "not legitimate" (see il- + legitimate). Sense of "unauthorized, unwarranted" is from 1640s. Phrase illegitimi non carborundum, usually "translated" as "don't let the bastards grind you down," is fake Latin (by 1965, said to date from c. 1939) (Carborundum was a brand of abrasives).
illiberal (adj.) Look up illiberal at
1530s, "ungentlemanly, base, mean," from Middle French illiberal (14c.), from Latin illiberalis "ungenerous, mean, sordid; unworthy of a freeman," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + liberalis (see liberal). A sense of "narrow-minded politically; unconcerned with the rights or liberties of others" is attested from 1640s, and might conceivably be revived to take up some of the burden that drags down conservative.
illicit (adj.) Look up illicit at
c. 1500, from Old French illicite (14c.) "unlawful, forbidden," from Latin illicitus "not allowed, unlawful, illegal," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + licitus "lawful," past participle of licere "to be allowed" (see licence). Related: Illicitly.
illimitable (adj.) Look up illimitable at
1590s, from il- "not" + limitable.
illing (n.) Look up illing at
"evil-doing, malevolent treatment," early 13c.; see ill (v.).
Illinois Look up Illinois at
U.S. territory created 1809; name is from a native Algonquian people who called themselves Inoca (1725), also written Ilinouek, Old Ottawa for "ordinary speaker." The modern form represents a 17c. French spelling, pronounced "ilinwe" at that time. Admitted as a state 1818.
illiquid (adj.) Look up illiquid at
1690s, from il- "not" + liquid in the financial sense.
illiteracy (n.) Look up illiteracy at
1650s, from illiterate + -cy. Earlier in this sense was illiterature (1590s).
illiterate (adj.) Look up illiterate at
early 15c., "uneducated, unable to read (originally of Latin)," from Latin illiteratus "unlearned, unlettered, ignorant; without culture, inelegant," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + literatus, literally "furnished with letters" (see literate). Rendered in Old English as unstæfwis. As a noun meaning "illiterate person" from 1620s. Hence, illiterati (1788).
illness (n.) Look up illness at
"disease, sickness," 1680s, from ill + -ness. Earlier it meant "bad moral quality" (c. 1500).
illocution (n.) Look up illocution at
1955, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + locution.
illocutionary (adj.) Look up illocutionary at
1955, from illocution + -ary.
illogical (adj.) Look up illogical at
1580s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + logical. Related: Illogically.
illth (n.) Look up illth at
1867, coined by John Ruskin from ill (adv.) on model of wealth (also see -th (2)).
[S]uch things, and so much of them as he can use, are, indeed, well for him, or Wealth; and more of them, or any other things, are ill for him, or Illth. [Ruskin, "Munera Pulveris"]
illude (v.) Look up illude at
early 15c., "to mock, to trick," from Latin illudere "to make sport of," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous).
illuminate (v.) Look up illuminate at
c. 1500, "to light up, shine on," a back-formation from illumination, or else from Latin illuminatus, past participle of illuminare (see illumination). Earlier was enlumyen (late 14c.) "decorate written material with gold, silver, bright colors," from Old French enluminer, from Late Latin inluminare; also illumine (late 14c.). Related: Illuminated; illuminating.
illuminati (n.) Look up illuminati at
1590s, plural of Latin illuminatus "enlightened" (in figurative sense), past participle of illuminare (see illumination). Originally applied to a 16c. Spanish sect (the Alumbrados), then to other sects; since 1797 used as a translation of German Illuminaten, name of a secret society founded 1776 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and holding deistic and republican principles; hence used generally of free-thinkers and sarcastically of those professing intellectual enlightenment (1816). Related: Illuminatism; illuminatist.
illumination (n.) Look up illumination at
late 14c., "spiritual enlightenment," from Latin illuminationem (nominative illuminatio), from past participle stem of illuminare "to throw into light, make bright, light up;" figuratively "to set off, illustrate," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + lumen (genitive luminis) "light," related to lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)). Meaning "action of lighting" is from 1560s.
illumine (v.) Look up illumine at
late 14c., "to enlighten spiritually;" mid-15c., "to light up, shine light on," from Old French illuminer, from Latin illuminare (see illumination). Related: illumined.
illusion (n.) Look up illusion at
mid-14c., "act of deception," from Old French illusion "a mocking, deceit, deception" (12c.), from Latin illusionem (nominative illusio) "a mocking, jesting, irony," from illudere "mock at," literally "to play with," from assimilated form of in- "at, upon" (see in- (2)) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Sense of "deceptive appearance" developed in Church Latin and was attested in English by late 14c. Related: Illusioned "full of illusions" (1920).
illusionary (adj.) Look up illusionary at
1886, from illusion + -ary.
illusionist (n.) Look up illusionist at
"conjurer, magic act performer," 1840, from illusion + -ist. Earlier "one suffering from illusions" (1812).
illusive (adj.) Look up illusive at
"deceptive, illusory," formed in English 1670s, from stem of illusion + -ive. Also see illusory.
illusory (adj.) Look up illusory at
1590s, from French illusorie, from Late Latin illusorius "ironical, of a mocking character," from illus-, past participle stem of Latin illudere "mock at," literally "to play with," from assimilated form of in- "at, upon" (see in- (2)) + ludere "to play" (see ludicrous).
illustrate (v.) Look up illustrate at
1520s, "light up, shed light on;" 1610s, "educate by means of examples," back-formation from illustration, and in some cases from Latin illustratus, past participle of illustrare (see illustration). Sense of "provide pictures to explain or decorate" is 1630s. Related: Illustrated; illustrating.
illustration (n.) Look up illustration at
c. 1400, "a shining;" early 15c., "a manifestation;" mid-15c., "a spiritual illumination," from Old French illustration "apparition, appearance," and directly from Latin illustrationem (nominative illustratio) "vivid representation" (in writing), literally "an enlightening," from past participle stem of illustrare "light up, make light, illuminate;" figuratively "make clear, disclose, explain; adorn, render distinguished," from assimilated form of in- "in" (see in- (2)) + lustrare "make bright, illuminate," related to lucere "shine," lux "light" (see light (n.)). Mental sense of "act of making clear in the mind" is from 1580s. Meaning "an illustrative picture" is from 1816.
illustrative (adj.) Look up illustrative at
1640s, from illustrate + -ive.
illustrator (n.) Look up illustrator at
1590s, "one who enlightens," from illustrate + Latinate agent-noun suffix -or. Meaning "one who draws pictures" is 1680s.
illustrious (adj.) Look up illustrious at
1560s, from Latin illustris "lighted, bright, brilliant;" figuratively "distinguished, famous," probably a back-formation from illustrare "embellish, distinguish, make famous" (see illustration). Sometimes also illustrous. Replaced illustre in same sense (mid-15c.), from Middle French illustre.
illy (adv.) Look up illy at
"in an ill manner," 1540s, from ill (adj.) + -ly (2).
Illyria Look up Illyria at
ancient country on the northeast shore of the Adriatic in modern Croatia; the name is of obscure origin.
Ilocano Look up Ilocano at
from Philippine Spanish Ilocos, literally "river men," from Tagalog ilog "river."
im- Look up im- at
variant of in- before -b-, -m-, -p-, in the sense of "not, opposite of" (immobile, impersonal) as well as "in, into" (implant, impoverish). See in-. In some English words it alternates with em- (1).
image (n.) Look up image at
c. 1200, "piece of statuary; artificial representation that looks like a person or thing," from Old French image "image, likeness; figure, drawing, portrait; reflection; statue," earlier imagene (11c.), from Latin imaginem (nominative imago) "copy, statue, picture," figuratively "idea, appearance," from stem of imitari "to copy, imitate" (see imitation).

Meaning "reflection in a mirror" is early 14c. The mental sense was in Latin, and appears in English late 14c. Sense of "public impression" is attested in isolated cases from 1908 but not in common use until its rise in the jargon of advertising and public relations, c. 1958.
image (v.) Look up image at
late 14c., "to form a mental picture," from Old French imagier, from image (see image (n.)). Related: Imaged; imaging.
imagery (n.) Look up imagery at
mid-14c., "piece of sculpture, carved figures," from Old French imagerie (13c.), from imagier "painter," from image (see image (n.)). Meaning "ornate description" (in poetry, etc.) is from 1580s.
imaginable (adj.) Look up imaginable at
late 14c., ymaginable, from Old French imaginable and directly from Late Latin imaginabilis, from Latin imaginari (see imagine). Related: Imaginably.
imaginary (adj.) Look up imaginary at
"not real," late 14c., ymaginaire, from imagine + -ary; or else from Late Latin imaginarius "seeming, fancied," from imaginari. Imaginary friend (one who does not exist) attested by 1789.