Moeris Look up Moeris at
former large lake of northern Egypt, from Egyptian mer-ur "big lake," from mer "lake" + ur "big."
Mogadishu Look up Mogadishu at
city in Somalia, from Arabic mukaddas "holy."
Mogen David Look up Mogen David at
1904, "star of David," six-pointed star, symbol of Judaism or Zionism, from Hebrew maghen Dawidh "shield of David," king of Judah and Israel, died c. 973 B.C.E.
mogul (n.1) Look up mogul at
"powerful person," 1670s, from Great Mogul, Mongol emperor of India after the conquest of 1520s, from Persian and Arabic mughal, mughul, alteration of Mongol (q.v.), the Asiatic people.
mogul (n.2) Look up mogul at
"elevation on a ski slope," 1961, probably [Barnhart] from Scandinavian (compare dialectal Norwegian mugje, fem. muga, "a heap, a mound"), or [OED] from southern German dialect mugel in the same sense.
mohair (n.) Look up mohair at
1610s, earlier mocayre, 1560s, "fine hair of the Angora goat," also "a fabric made from this," from Middle French mocayart (16c.), Italian mocaiarro, both from Arabic mukhayyar "cloth of goat hair," literally "selected, choice," from khayyara "he chose." Spelling influenced in English by association with hair. Moire "watered silk" (1650s) probably represents English mohair borrowed into French and back into English.
Mohammed Look up Mohammed at
former common English transliteration of Muhammad.
The worst of letting the learned gentry bully us out of our traditional Mahometan & Mahomet ... is this: no sooner have we tried to be good & learnt to say, or at least write, Mohammed than they are fired with zeal to get us a step or two further on the path of truth, which at present seems likely to end in Muhammad with a dot under the h .... [H.W. Fowler, "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage," 1926]
Mohammedan Look up Mohammedan at
see Mohammed. Related: Mohammedanism.
Mohawk Look up Mohawk at
North American Indian tribe name, Iroquoian, 1630s, Mohowawogs (plural), said to mean "they eat living things" in a southern New England Algonquian tongue, probably a reference to cannibalism. Compare Unami Delaware /muhuwe:yck/ "cannibal monsters." The people's name for themselves is kanye'keha:ka. Meaning "haircut style favored by punk rockers" is c. 1975, from fancied resemblance to hair style of the Indians in old illustrations. The style of cut earlier was called a Mohican (1960). Mohoc, Mohock, variant form of the word, was the name given 1711 to gangs of aristocratic London ruffians.
Mohican Look up Mohican at
from Mahican (Algonquian) ma:hi:kan "people of the tidal estuary." Spelling with -o- popularized by James Fenimore Cooper's novel.
moiety (n.) Look up moiety at
"an equal half," mid-15c., from Old French moite, earlier meitiet (12c., Modern French moitié) "half; middle; portion, piece," from Latin meditatem (nominative medietas) "half," originally "middle point," from medius "middle" (from PIE root *medhyo- "middle").
moil (n.) Look up moil at
"toil, labor," 1612, from moil (v.).
moil (v.) Look up moil at
"to labour in the mire" [Johnson], c. 1400, from Old French moillier "to wet, moisten" (12c., Modern French mouiller), from Vulgar Latin *molliare, from Latin mollis "soft," from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft." Related: Moiled; moiling.
Moira Look up Moira at
fem. proper name, one of the Fates, from Greek Moira, literally "share, fate," related to moros "fate, destiny, doom," meros "part, lot," meiresthai "to receive one's share" (see merit (n.)).
moire (n.) Look up moire at
"watered silk," 1650s, from French moire (17c.); see mohair. As an adjective, moiré "having the appearance of watered silk," it is attested from 1823.
moist (adj.) Look up moist at
late 14c., "moist, wet; well-irrigated," from Old French moiste "damp, wet, soaked" (13c., Modern French moite), from Vulgar Latin *muscidus "moldy," also "wet," from Latin mucidus "slimy, moldy, musty," from mucus "slime" (see mucus). Alternative etymology [Diez] is from Latin musteus "fresh, green, new," literally "like new wine," from musteum "new wine" (see must (n.1)). If this wasn't the source, it influenced the form of the other word in Old French. Related: Moistly; moistness.
moisten (v.) Look up moisten at
1570s, from moist + -en (1). Related: Moistened; moistening. The earlier verb was simply moist (early 14c.), from Old French moistir.
moistener (n.) Look up moistener at
1610s, agent noun from moisten (v.).
moisture (n.) Look up moisture at
mid-14c., from Old French moistour "moisture, dampness, wetness" (13c., Modern French moiteur), from moiste (see moist).
moisturize (v.) Look up moisturize at
1945, from moisture + -ize. Related: Moisturized; moisturizing.
moisturizer (n.) Look up moisturizer at
1915, from moisture; attested earlier than moisturize.
Mojave Look up Mojave at
also Mohave, 1831, from native (Yuman) name, hamakhaav, perhaps containing aha "water."
mojo (n.) Look up mojo at
"magic," 1920s, probably of Creole origin, compare Gullah moco "witchcraft," Fula moco'o "medicine man."
moke (n.) Look up moke at
"dolt," 1855, originally (16c.) "donkey;" of unknown origin, perhaps originally a personal name. In U.S., "black person," from 1856.
mola (n.2) Look up mola at
"false conception," c. 1600, from Latin mola "false conception," from earlier sense "salt cake;" literally "millstone" (from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind").
mola (n.1) Look up mola at
type of fish, 1670s, from Latin mola, literally "millstone" (from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind"). So called because of the fish's shape and rough skin.
molar (adj.) Look up molar at
in chemistry, "pertaining to one mole," 1902, from mole (n.4) + -ar.
molar (n.) Look up molar at
"grinding tooth," mid-14c., from Latin molaris dens "grinding tooth," from mola "millstone," from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind." As an adjective in this sense from 1620s. In Old English they were cweornteð "quern-teeth."
molasses (n.) Look up molasses at
1580s, from Portuguese melaço, from Late Latin mellaceum "new wine," properly neuter of mellaceus "resembling honey," from Latin mel (genitive mellis) "honey" (see Melissa). Adopted in English in plural form, but regarded as a singular noun.
mold (v.) Look up mold at
also mould, mid-14c., "to mix, blend;" late 14c. "to knead, shape," from mold (n.1). Figurative sense (of character, etc.) is from c. 1600. Related: Molded; molding.
mold (n.2) Look up mold at
also mould, "furry fungus," early 15c., probably from moulde, past participle of moulen "to grow moldy" (early 13c.), related to Old Norse mygla "grow moldy," possibly from Proto-Germanic *(s)muk- indicating "wetness, slipperiness," from PIE *meug- (see mucus). Or it might have evolved from (or been influenced by) Old English molde "loose earth" (see mold (n.3)).
mold (n.3) Look up mold at
also mould, "loose earth," Old English molde "earth, sand, dust, soil; land, country, world," from Proto-Germanic *mulda (source also of Old Frisian molde "earth, soil," Old Norse mold "earth," Middle Dutch moude, Dutch moude, Old High German molta "dust, earth," Gothic mulda "dust"), from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind." Specifically, since late (Christian) Old English, "the earth of the grave."
mold (n.1) Look up mold at
also mould, "hollow shape," c. 1200, originally "fashion, form; nature, native constitution, character," metathesized from Old French modle "model, plan, copy; way, manner" (12c., Modern French moule), from Latin modulum (nominative modulus) "measure, model," diminutive of modus "manner" (from PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures"). From c. 1300 as "pattern or model by which something is shaped or made." To break the mold "render impossible the creation of another" is from 1560s.
moldable (adj.) Look up moldable at
also mouldable, 1620s, from mold (v.) + -able. Related: Moldably; moldability.
Moldavia Look up Moldavia at
Latinized form of Moldova.
Moldavian Look up Moldavian at
c. 1600 (n.); 1760 (adj.), from Moldavia + -ian.
molded (adj.) Look up molded at
also moulded, 1680s, past participle adjective from mold (v.).
molder (n.) Look up molder at
also moulder, mid-15c., "one who molds or forms," agent noun from mold (v.). From late 13c. as a surname.
molder (v.) Look up molder at
also moulder, "to crumble away," 1530s, probably frequentative based on mold (n.3) "loose earth." Related: Moldered; moldering.
molding (n.) Look up molding at
also moulding, early 14c., "act of kneading," from mold (n.1). Architectural sense is from mid-15c.; carpentry sense is from 1670s.
Moldova Look up Moldova at
country in Eastern Europe, named for the river through it, probably from PIE root *mel- (2) "dark, darkish color, soiled, black" (see melanin).
moldwarp (n.) Look up moldwarp at
also mouldwarp, early 14c., moldewarp, from Proto-Germanic *moldo-worpo(n)-, literally "earth-thrower," from to Old English molde "earth, soil" (see mole (n.2) + weorpan "to throw" (see warp (v.)). Common Germanic, compare Old Saxon moldwerp, Dutch mulworp, Norwegian moldvarp, Danish muldvarp, Old High German multwurf, German Maulwurf (influenced by Maul "mouth").
moldy (adj.) Look up moldy at
also mouldy, 1570s, earlier mowly (late 14c.), from mold (n.2) + -y (2). Related: Moldiness.
mole (n.1) Look up mole at
spot on skin, Old English mal "spot, mark, blemish," especially on cloth or linen, from Proto-Germanic *mailan "spot, mark" (source also of Old High German meil, German Mal, Gothic mail "wrinkle"), from PIE root *mai- (2) "to stain, soil, defile" (source also of Greek miainein "to stain, defile," see miasma). Specifically of dark marks on human skin from late 14c.
mole (n.2) Look up mole at
type of small burrowing mammal (Talpa europea), mid-14c., probably from obsolete moldwarp, literally "earth-thrower." Spy sense first recorded 1974 in John le Carré (but suggested from early 20c.), from notion of "burrowing." Metaphoric use for "one who works in darkness" is from c. 1600.
mole (n.3) Look up mole at
"breakwater," 1540s, from Middle French môle "breakwater" (16c.), ultimately from Latin moles "mass, massive structure, barrier," from PIE root *mo- "to exert oneself" (source also of Greek molos "effort," molis "hardly, scarcely;" German mühen "to tire," müde "weary, tired;" Russian majat' "to fatigue, exhaust," maja "hard work").
mole (n.4) Look up mole at
unit of molecular quantity, 1902, from German Mol coined 1900 by German chemist Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1912), short for Molekül (see molecule).
molecular (adj.) Look up molecular at
1823, from molecule + -ar or else from French moléculaire or Modern Latin molecularis. Molecular biology first attested 1950.
molecule (n.) Look up molecule at
1794, "extremely minute particle," from French molécule (1670s), from Modern Latin molecula, diminutive of Latin moles "mass, barrier" (see mole (3)). For ending see -cule. A vague meaning at first; the vogue for the word (used until late 18c. only in Latin form) can be traced to the philosophy of Descartes. First used of Modern Latin molecula in modern scientific sense by Amedeo Avogadro (1811).
molehill (n.) Look up molehill at
also mole-hill, mid-15c., from mole (n.2) + hill (n.).
To much amplifying thinges yt. be but small, makyng mountaines of Molehils. [John Foxe, "Acts and Monuments," 1570]