microtia (n.) Look up microtia at Dictionary.com
"abnormal smallness of the ear," 1881, Medical Latin, from micro- + Greek ous (genitive otos) "ear" (see ear (n.)) + abstract noun ending -ia.
microwavable (adj.) Look up microwavable at Dictionary.com
by 1982, from microwave + -able.
microwave (n.) Look up microwave at Dictionary.com
type of electromagnetic wave, 1931, coined in English from micro- + wave (n.). First record of microwave oven is from 1961; microwave as short for this is attested from 1974; as a verb, from 1976.
micturate (v.) Look up micturate at Dictionary.com
"urinate," by 1842, from micturition; malformed and with an erroneous sense; condemned from its birth.
micturition (n.) Look up micturition at Dictionary.com
1725, "the need very badly to urinate," from Latin micturitum, from past participle of micturire "to desire to urinate," desiderative of mingere "to urinate," from PIE *meigh- "to urinate" (source also of Sanskrit mehati "urinates;" Avestan maezaiti "urinates;" Greek omeikhein "to urinate;" Armenian mizem "urinate;" Lithuanian minžu "urinate;" Old English migan "to urinate," micga "urine," meox "dung, filth"). As during the final 20 minutes of a 4-hour film after drinking a 32-ounce Mountain Dew from the snack bar and the movie ends with a drawn-out farewell scene while Frodo is standing on the pier and wavelets lap audibly on the dock the whole time as if the director was a sadist set on compounding your torment.
mid (prep., adj.) Look up mid at Dictionary.com
Old English mid "with, in conjunction with, in company with, together with, among," from Proto-Germanic *medjaz (source also of Old Norse miðr, Old Saxon middi, Old Frisian midde, Old High German mitti, Gothic midjis "mid, middle"), from PIE root *medhyo- "middle." Now surviving in English only as a prefix (mid-air, midstream, etc.); as a preposition it often is a shortened form of amid (compare midshipman).
Mid East Look up Mid East at Dictionary.com
"Middle East," attested from 1944. Loosely defined.
mid-air (n.) Look up mid-air at Dictionary.com
also midair, 1660s, from mid + air (n.1). Lit. "the part of the air between the clouds and the air near the ground."
mid-course Look up mid-course at Dictionary.com
1560s, from mid + course (n.).
Midas Look up Midas at Dictionary.com
king of Phrygia whose touched turned everything to gold (including his food), 1560s. Some usages refer to the unrelated story of the ass's ears given him by Apollo for being dull to the charms of his lyre. The name is of Phrygian origin.
midday (n.) Look up midday at Dictionary.com
Old English middæg "midday, noon," contracted from midne dæg; see mid + day. Similar formation in Old High German mittitag, German mittag, Old Norse miðdagr.
midden (n.) Look up midden at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "dung hill," of Scandinavian origin; compare Danish mødding, from møg "muck" (see muck (n.)) + dynge "heap of dung" (see dung). Modern archaeological sense of "kitchen midden" is from Danish excavations.
middle (n.) Look up middle at Dictionary.com
Old English middel, from middle (adj.).
middle (adj.) Look up middle at Dictionary.com
Old English middel, from West Germanic *middila (source also of Old Frisian middel, Old Saxon middil, Middle Low German, Dutch middel, Old High German mittil, German mittel), from Proto-Germanic *medjaz, from PIE root *medhyo- "middle." Middle name attested from 1815; as "one's outstanding characteristic," colloquial, from 1911, American English.
According to Mr. H.A. Hamilton, in his "Quarter Sessions from Queen Elizabeth," the practice of giving children two Christian names was unknown in England before the period of the Stuarts, was rarely adopted down to the time of the Revolution, and never became common until after the Hanoverian family was seated on the throne. "In looking through so many volumes of county records," he says, "I have, of course, seen many thousands and tens of thousands of proper names, belonging to men of all ranks and degrees,--to noblemen, justices, jurymen, witnesses, sureties, innkeepers, hawkers, paupers, vagrants, criminals, and others,--and in no single instance, down to the end of the reign of Anne, have I noticed any person bearing more than one Christian name ...." [Walsh]
Middle school attested from 1838, originally "middle-class school, school for middle-class children;" the sense in reference to a school for grades between elementary and high school is from 1960. Middle management is 1957. Middle-of-the-road in the figurative sense is attested from 1894; edges of a dirt road can be washed out and thus less safe. Middle finger so called from c. 1000.
middle age (n.) Look up middle age at Dictionary.com
"period between youth and old age," late 14c.; middle-aged (adj.) first recorded c. 1600.
Middle Ages (n.) Look up Middle Ages at Dictionary.com
"period between ancient and modern times" (formerly roughly 500-1500 C.E., now more usually 1000-1500), attested from 1610s, translating Latin medium aevum (compare German mittelalter, French moyen âge).
middle class (n.) Look up middle class at Dictionary.com
1766; as an adjective, "characteristic of the middle class" (depreciative) it dates from 1893.
Middle East (n.) Look up Middle East at Dictionary.com
1899; never defined in a generally accepted way. Early use with reference to British India. Hence Middle-Eastern (1903).
middle passage (n.) Look up middle passage at Dictionary.com
1788, in reference to the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
middlebrow Look up middlebrow at Dictionary.com
1911 (adj.), 1912 (n.), from middle + brow (compare highbrow, lowbrow).
[T]here is an alarmingly wide chasm, I might almost say a vacuum, between the high-brow, who considers reading either as a trade or as a form of intellectual wrestling, and the low-brow, who is merely seeking for gross thrills. It is to be hoped that culture will soon be democratized through some less conventional system of education, giving rise to a new type that might be called the middle-brow, who will consider books as a source of intellectual enjoyment. ["The Nation," Jan, 25, 1912]
middleman (n.) Look up middleman at Dictionary.com
in the trading sense, 1795, from middle + man. From mid-15c. as the name of some type of workman in wire-making. From 1741 as "one who takes a middle course."
middlemost (adj.) Look up middlemost at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "middle; the middle one of three," from middle + -most.
Middlesex Look up Middlesex at Dictionary.com
literally "(land of the) Middle Saxons" (those between Essex and Wessex); originally a much larger region. See middle + Saxon.
Middletown Look up Middletown at Dictionary.com
"typical U.S. middle class community," 1929. The U.S. Geological Survey lists 40 towns by that name, not counting variant spellings.
middleweight (n.) Look up middleweight at Dictionary.com
also middle weight, 1842, from middle + weight.
middling (adj.) Look up middling at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Scottish mydlyn (mid-15c.), from middle + suffix -ing. Used to designate the second of three grades of goods. As an adverb by 1719.
middy (n.) Look up middy at Dictionary.com
colloquial abbreviation of midshipman, by 1818. As "loose, long type of women's blouse," 1911, from resemblance to shirts worn by midshipmen.
Midgard Look up Midgard at Dictionary.com
in Germanic cosmology, "world inhabited by men (opposed to Asgard, the abode of the gods), 1882, from Old Norse miðgarðr, from mið "mid" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle") + Proto-Germanic *gardoz "enclosure, tract" (from PIE root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose"). The Old English cognate was middangeard, which later was folk-etymologized as middle earth (late 13c.).
midge (n.) Look up midge at Dictionary.com
Old English mygg, mycg "gnat," from Proto-Germanic *mugjon (source also of Swedish mygga, Old Saxon muggia, Middle Dutch mugghe, Dutch mug, Old High German mucka, German Mücke "midge, gnat"). No certain cognates beyond Germanic, unless doubtful Armenian mun "gnat" and Albanian mize "gnat" are counted. But Watkins, Klein and others suggest an imitative root used for various humming insects and a relationship to Latin musca (see mosquito). Meaning "diminutive person" is from 1796.
midget (n.) Look up midget at Dictionary.com
as a type of tiny biting insect, 1839, American English, from midge, perhaps with diminutive suffix -et.
Dr. Webster is in error in saying the word "midge" is "not in use" at the present day. In the neighboring Green mountain districts, one or more most annoying species of Simulium that there abound, are daily designated in common conversation as the midges, or, as the name is often corrupted, the midgets. From Dr. Harris' treatise it appears that the same name is in popular use for the same insects in Maine. The term is limited in this country, we believe, exclusively to those minute insects, smaller than the musketoe, which suck the blood of other animals. ["Transactions of the New-York State Agricultural Society," vol. vi, Albany, 1847]
Transferred sense of "very small person" is attested by 1854. It is also noted mid-19c. as a pet form of Margaret.
MIDI Look up MIDI at Dictionary.com
1983, acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.
Midi Look up Midi at Dictionary.com
"southern France," 1883, from French midi "south," literally "midday" (12c.), from mi "middle" (from Latin medius "middle;" see medial (adj.)) + di "day" (from Latin dies, from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine"). Also compare meridian.
midland (adj.) Look up midland at Dictionary.com
early 15c., mydlonde; mid + land (n.). As a noun from 1550s, first of the Midlands of England.
midlife (n.) Look up midlife at Dictionary.com
also mid-life, 1837, from mid + life. Midlife crisis attested from 1965.
midmost (adj.) Look up midmost at Dictionary.com
Old English midmest; see mid + -most.
midnight (n.) Look up midnight at Dictionary.com
Old English mid-niht, or middre niht (with dative). See mid + night. Midnight oil symbolizing "late night work" is attested from 1630s.
midpoint (n.) Look up midpoint at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from mid + point (n.).
midriff (n.) Look up midriff at Dictionary.com
Old English midhrif, from mid "mid" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle") + hrif "belly," from Proto-Germanic *hrefiz- (source also of Old High German href, Old Frisian hrif "belly"), from PIE root *kwrep- "body, form, appearance." More or less obsolete after 18c. except in phrase to tickle (one's) midriff "to cause laughter;" the word revived 1941 in fashion usage for "portion of a woman's garment that covers the belly," as a euphemistic avoidance of belly; sense inverted and extended 1970 to a belly-baring style of women's top.
midshipman (n.) Look up midshipman at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, originally so called because he was stationed amidships when on duty (see amid).
midst (n.) Look up midst at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Middle English middes (mid-14c.), from mid + adverbial genitive -s. The unetymological -t is perhaps on model of superlatives (compare against).
midstream (n.) Look up midstream at Dictionary.com
also mid-stream, Old English midstream; see mid + stream (n.).
midsummer (n.) Look up midsummer at Dictionary.com
Old English midsumor, from mid + sumor "summer" (see summer (n.1)). Midsummer Day, as an English quarter-day, was June 24. Astronomically June 21, but traditionally reckoned in Europe on the night of June 23-24.
midway (n.) Look up midway at Dictionary.com
Old English mid-weg "the middle of a way or distance;" see mid + way (n.). Meaning "central avenue of a fairground" is first recorded 1893, American English, in reference to the Midway Plaisance of the Worlds Columbian Exposition held that year in Chicago. The Pacific island group so called for being midway between America and Asia. As an adverb from late Old English.
Midwest (n.) Look up Midwest at Dictionary.com
1926, in U.S. geographical sense, from earlier Midwestern (1889) in reference to a group of states originally listed as W.Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas; now generally meaning states somewhat farther northwest. Related: Midwesterner.
midwife (n.) Look up midwife at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "woman assisting," literally "woman who is 'with' " (the mother at birth), from Middle English mid "with" (see mid) + wif "woman" (see wife). Cognate with German Beifrau.
midwifery (n.) Look up midwifery at Dictionary.com
late 15c.; a hybrid from midwife + -ery.
midwinter (n.) Look up midwinter at Dictionary.com
also mid-winter, Old English midwinter, also midde winter; see mid + winter (n.). The middle of winter, especially the period around the winter solstice (Dec. 21). As an adjective from mid-12c.
mien (n.) Look up mien at Dictionary.com
"facial expression," 1510s, probably a shortening of Middle English demean "bearing, demeanor" (see demeanor) and influenced by Middle French mine "appearance, facial expression," which is of unknown origin, possibly Celtic (compare Breton min "beak, muzzle, nose," Irish men "mouth").
miff (v.) Look up miff at Dictionary.com
1797, "to take offense at;" 1811, "to put out of humor," from miff (n.). Related: miffed; miffing.
miff (n.) Look up miff at Dictionary.com
1620s, "fit of ill humor," perhaps imitative of an exclamation of disgust (compare German muffen "to sulk").