proportion (n.) Look up proportion at
late 14c., "due relation of one part to another," also "size, extent; compartative relation in size, degree, number, etc.," from Old French proporcion "measure, proportion" (13c.), from Latin proportionem (nominative proportio) "comparative relation, analogy," from phrase pro portione "according to the relation" (of parts to each other), from pro "for" (see pro-) + ablative of *partio "division," related to pars "a part, piece, a share, a division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). Phrase out of proportion attested by 1670s.
My fortunes [are] as ill proportioned as your legs. [John Marston, "Antonio and Mellida," 1602]
proportional (adj.) Look up proportional at
late 14c. (implied in proportionally), from Late Latin proportionalis "pertaining to proportions," from proportio (see proportion). Related: Proportionally.
proportionality (n.) Look up proportionality at
1560s, from French proportionalité (14c.) or directly from Medieval Latin proportionalitas, from proportio (see proportion).
proportionate (adj.) Look up proportionate at
late 14c., "of proper proportion," from Medieval Latin proportionatus "proportioned," past participle of proportionare (see proportion (n.)). Related: Proportionately.
proposal (n.) Look up proposal at
1650s, from propose + -al (2); specific sense of "offer of marriage" is from 1749.
propose (v.) Look up propose at
mid-14c., from Old French proposer "propose, advance, suggest" (12c.), from pro "forth" (see pro-) + poser "put, place" (see pose (v.1)). Meaning "make an offer of marriage" is first recorded 1764. Related: Proposed; proposing. See also propone, which coexisted with this word for a time.
proposition (v.) Look up proposition at
1914, from proposition (n.); specifically of sexual favors from 1936. Related: Propositioned; propositioning.
proposition (n.) Look up proposition at
mid-14c., "a setting forth as a topic for discussion," from Old French proposicion "proposal, submission, (philosophical) proposition" (12c.), from Latin propositionem (nominative propositio) "a setting forth, statement, a presentation, representation; fundamental assumption," noun of action from past participle stem of proponere (see propound). Meaning "action of proposing something to be done" is from late 14c. General sense of "matter, problem, undertaking" recorded by 1877. Related: Propositional.
propound (v.) Look up propound at
late 16c. variant of Middle English proponen "to put forward" (late 14c.), from Latin proponere "put forth, set forth, lay out, display, expose to view," figuratively "set before the mind; resolve; intend, design," from pro "before" (see pro-) + ponere "to put" (see position (n.)). Perhaps influenced in form by compound, expound; also compare pose (v.). Related: Propounded; propounding.
proprietary (adj.) Look up proprietary at
mid-15c., "possessing worldly goods in excess of a cleric's needs," from Medieval Latin proprietarius "owner of property," noun use of Late Latin adjective proprietarius "of a property holder," from Latin proprietas "owner" (see property). Meaning "held in private ownership" is first attested 1580s. The word was used earlier in English as a noun meaning "proprietor," also "worldly person" (c. 1400), from a noun use in French and Medieval Latin.
proprietor (n.) Look up proprietor at
1630s, "owner, by royal grant, of an American colony," probably from proprietary (n.) in sense "property owner" (late 15c., see proprietary). In general sense of "one who holds something as property" it is attested from 1640s.
propriety (n.) Look up propriety at
mid-15c., "proper character, disposition," from Old French proprieté "individuality, peculiarity; property" (12c.), from Latin proprietatem (nominative proprietas) "appropriateness," also "ownership" (see property). Meaning "fitness, appropriateness" is attested from 1610s; sense of "conformity to good manners" is from 1782.
proprioception (n.) Look up proprioception at
1906, from proprioceptor, from Latin proprius "own" (see proper) + reception. Coined by English neurophysiologist C.S. Sherrington (1857-1952). Related: Proprioceptive; proprioceptor.
propulsion (n.) Look up propulsion at
1610s, "expulsion," noun of action formed from propuls-, past participle stem of Latin propellere "to propel" (see propel). Meaning "act of driving forward, propulsive force" first attested 1799.
propulsive (adj.) Look up propulsive at
1640s, from propuls-, past participle stem of Latin propellere "to propel" (see propel) + -ive.
prorate (v.) Look up prorate at
also pro-rate, "divide proportionally," 1860, American English, verb derived from Latin pro rata (parte); see pro rata. Related: Prorated; prorating.
proration (n.) Look up proration at
1893, noun of action from prorate (v.).
prorogue (v.) Look up prorogue at
early 15c., "to prolong, extend," from Old French proroger, proroguer (14c.), from Latin prorogare, literally "to ask publicly," from pro "before" (see pro-) + rogare "to ask, inquire, question; ask a favor," also "to propose (a law, a candidate);" see rogation. Perhaps the original sense in Latin was "to ask for public assent to extending someone's term in office." Legislative meaning "discontinue temporarily" is attested from mid-15c. Related: Prorogation.
prosaic (adj.) Look up prosaic at
1650s, "having to do with prose," from Middle French prosaique and directly from Medieval Latin prosaicus "in prose" (16c.), from Latin prosa "prose" (see prose). Meaning "having the character of prose (in contrast to the feeling of poetry)" is by 1746; extended sense of "ordinary" is by 1813, both from French.
proscenium (n.) Look up proscenium at
c. 1600, "stage of an ancient theater," from Latin proscaenium, from Greek proskenion "the space in front of the scenery," also "entrance of a tent," from pro "in front, before" (see pro-) + skene "stage, tent, booth" (see scene). Modern sense of "space between the curtain and the orchestra" is attested from 1807.
prosciutto (n.) Look up prosciutto at
Italian spiced ham, 1911, from Italian, alteration (probably by influence of prosciugato "dried") of presciutto, from pre-, here an intensive prefix, + -sciutto, from Latin exsuctus "lacking juice, dried up," past participle of exsugere "suck out, draw out moisture," from ex "out" (see ex-) + sugere "to suck" (see sup (v.2)).
proscribe (v.) Look up proscribe at
early 15c., "write before, prefix," from Latin proscribere "publish in writing" (literally "write in front of"), including senses of "publish as having forfeited one's property, condemn, outlaw before the world," from pro "before" (see pro-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut"). Meaning "prohibit as wrong or dangerous" first recorded 1620s.
proscription (n.) Look up proscription at
late 14c., "decree of condemnation, outlawry," from Latin proscriptionem (nominative proscriptio) "a public notice (of sale); proscription, outlawry, confiscation," noun of action from past participle stem of proscribere (see proscribe).
proscriptive (adj.) Look up proscriptive at
1757, from Latin proscript-, past participle stem of proscribere (see proscribe) + -ive. Related: Proscriptively.
prose (n.) Look up prose at
c. 1300, "story, narration," from Old French prose (13c.), from Latin prosa oratio "straightforward or direct speech" (without the ornaments of verse), from prosa, fem. of prosus, earlier prorsus "straightforward, direct," from Old Latin provorsus "(moving) straight ahead," from pro "forward" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + vorsus "turned," past participle of vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend").
"Good prose, to say nothing of the original thoughts it conveys, may be infinitely varied in modulation. It is only an extension of metres, an amplification of harmonies, of which even the best and most varied poetry admits but few." [Walter Savage Landor, "Imaginary Conversations"]
Meaning "prose writing; non-poetry" is from mid-14c. The sense of "dull or commonplace expression" is from 1680s, out of earlier sense "plain expression" (1560s). Those who lament the want of an English agent noun to correspond to poet might try prosaist (1776), proser (1620s), or Frenchified prosateur (1880), though the first two in their day also acquired in English the secondary sense "dull writer."
prosecute (v.) Look up prosecute at
early 15c., "follow up, pursue" (some course or action), from Latin prosecutus, past participle of prosequi "follow after, accompany; chase, pursue; attack, assail, abuse," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + sequi "follow" (from PIE root *sekw- (1) "to follow"). Meaning "bring to a court of law" is first recorded 1570s. Meaning "go into detail" is from 1530s.
prosecution (n.) Look up prosecution at
1560s, "action of pursuing," from Middle French prosecution (late 13c.) and directly from Late Latin prosecutionem (nominative prosecutio) "a following," noun of action from past participle stem of prosequi (see prosecute). Meaning "legal action" is from 1630s.
prosecutor (n.) Look up prosecutor at
1590s, from Medieval Latin prosecutor, agent noun from prosequi (see prosecute). Specific legal sense of "one who brings a case in a court of law" is from 1620s; earlier such a person was a promoter (late 15c.). Related: Prosecutorial.
proselyte (n.) Look up proselyte at
late 14c., from Old French proselite (13c., Modern French prosélyte), from Late Latin proselytus, from Greek proselytos "convert (to Judaism), stranger, one who has come over," noun use of adjective meaning "having arrived," from second aorist stem of proserkhesthai "to come or go; surrender; associate with," from proti "toward" + root of eleusesthai "to be going to come," from PIE *elu-to-, from root *leudh- "to go." Originally in English "a Gentile converted to Judaism" (late 14c.).
proselytise (v.) Look up proselytise at
chiefly British English spelling of proselytize (q.v.). For suffix, see -ize. Related: Proselytised; proselytising.
proselytism (n.) Look up proselytism at
1650s, from proselyte + -ism.
proselytization (n.) Look up proselytization at
1846, from proselytize + noun ending -ation.
proselytize (v.) Look up proselytize at
1670s, "to make proselytes," from proselyte + -ize. Related: Proselytized; proselytizing.
proselytizer (n.) Look up proselytizer at
1811, agent noun from proselytize.
Proserpina Look up Proserpina at
daughter of Ceres and wife of Pluto, Latin (or Etruscan) modification of Greek Persephone, perhaps influenced by Latin proserpere "to creep forth" on notion of the germination of plants.
prosify (v.) Look up prosify at
1774, from prose + -ify. Related: Prosified; prosifying.
prosiness (n.) Look up prosiness at
1814, from prosy + -ness.
prosit (interj.) Look up prosit at
1846, toast or expression wishing good health (from 16c., famously a drinking pledge by German students), Latin, literally "may it advantage (you)," third person singular present subjunctive of prodesse "to do good, be profitable" (see proud).
prosodemic (adj.) Look up prosodemic at
1964, with -ic + prosodeme (1940), from Greek proso-, probably related to pros "toward, to, at, against, near."
prosody (n.) Look up prosody at
late 15c., from Latin prosodia "accent of a syllable," from Greek prosoidia "song sung to music," also "accent, modulation," literally "a singing in addition to," from pros "to, forward, near" + oide "song, poem" (see ode). Related: Prosodiacal; prosodist.
prosopagnosia (n.) Look up prosopagnosia at
1950, Medical Latin from German prosopagnosie (1948), from Greek prosopon "face" (see prosopopeia) + agnosia "ignorance" (see agnostic).
prosopopeia (n.) Look up prosopopeia at
also prosopopoeia, 1560s, from Latin prosopopoeia, from Greek prosopopoiia "the putting of speeches into the mouths of others," from prosopon "person, face" (literally "that which is toward the eyes," from pros "to" + ops "eye, face," from PIE root *okw- "to see") + poiein "make" (see poet). Generally, a rhetorical figure in which an imaginary or absent person is made to speak or act.
prospect (v.) Look up prospect at
"explore for gold, examine land with a view to a mining claim," 1841, from prospect (n.) in specialized sense of "spot giving prospects of ore" (1832). Earlier in a sense "look forth, look out over" (1550s), from Latin prospectare. Related: Prospected; prospecting.
prospect (n.) Look up prospect at
early 15c., "act of looking into the distance," from Latin prospectus "distant view, look out; sight, faculty of sight," noun use of past participle of prospicere "look out on, look forward," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + specere "look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). Meaning "extensive view of the landscape" is from 1530s; transferred sense of "mental view or survey" is from 1620s. Sense of "person or thing considered promising" is from 1922. Prospects "expectations, things looked forward to" is from 1660s.
prospective (adj.) Look up prospective at
1580s, from obsolete French prospectif and directly from Medieval Latin prospectivus "affording a prospect; pertaining to a prospect," from Latin prospect-, past participle stem of prospicere "look out on, look forward," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + specere "look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). In 17c. also as a noun, "spy glass, telescope." Related: Prospectively.
prospector (n.) Look up prospector at
also prospecter, 1846 in the mining sense; agent noun from prospect (v.).
prospectus (n.) Look up prospectus at
1765, from French prospectus (1723) and directly from Latin prospectus "view" (see prospect (n.)).
prosper (v.) Look up prosper at
mid-14c., from Old French prosperer (14c.) and directly from Latin prosperare "cause to succeed, render happy," from prosperus "favorable, fortunate, prosperous," perhaps literally "agreeable to one's wishes," traditionally regarded as from Old Latin pro spere "according to expectation, according to one's hope," from pro "for" + ablative of spes "hope," from PIE root *spe- "to flourish, succeed, thrive, prosper" (see speed (n.)).
prosperity (n.) Look up prosperity at
c. 1200, from Old French prosprete (12c., Modern French prospérité) and directly from Latin prosperitatem (nominative prosperitas) "good fortune," from prosperus (see prosper).
prosperous (adj.) Look up prosperous at
early 15c., "tending to bring success," from prosper + -ous, or else from obsolete Middle French prospereus (15c.), from prosperer. The sense of "flourishing" is first recorded late 15c.