strenuous (adj.) Look up strenuous at
"characterized by great effort," mid-15c. (implied in strenuously), from Latin strenuus "active, brisk, quick, nimble, prompt, vigorous, keen." Probably cognate with Greek strenes, strenos "keen, strong," strenos "arrogance, eager desire," Old English stierne "hard, severe, keen" (see stern (adj.)). Mocked by Ben Jonson as a pedantic neologism in "Poetaster" (1601). Sense of "requiring much energy" is first recorded 1670s. Related: Strenuousness; strenuosity.
strep Look up strep at
1927, in strep throat, short for streptococcus.
Strephon Look up Strephon at
"lover," from name of shepherd lover in Sidney's "Arcadia" (begun 1580).
strepto- Look up strepto- at
word-forming element used in science to mean "twisted," from Latinized combining form of Greek streptos "twisted, easy to bend, pliant," verbal adjective of strephein "to turn, twist," from PIE root *streb(h)- "to wind, turn."
streptococcus (n.) Look up streptococcus at
bacteria genus, 1877, Modern Latin, coined by Viennese surgeon Albert Theodor Billroth (1829-1894) from strepto- "twisted" + Modern Latin coccus "spherical bacterium," from Greek kokkos "berry" (see cocco-). So called because the bacteria usually form chains.
streptomycin (n.) Look up streptomycin at
antibiotic drug, 1944, from Modern Latin Streptomyces, genus name of the bacterium from which the antibiotic was obtained, from strepto- "twisted" + -mycin, element used in forming names of substances obtained from fungi, from Latinized form of Greek mykes "fungus" (see mucus). First isolated by U.S. microbiologist Selman Abraham Waksman (1888-1973) and others.
stress (v.) Look up stress at
c. 1300, "to subject (someone) to force or compulsion," from Middle French estrecier, from Vulgar Latin *strictiare, from Latin stringere "draw tight," which also is the source of stress (n.). The figurative meaning "put emphasis on" is first recorded 1896, from notion of laying pressure on something by relying on it. Related: Stressed; stressing.
stress (n.) Look up stress at
c. 1300, "hardship, adversity, force, pressure," in part a shortening of Middle English distress (n.); in part from Old French estrece "narrowness, oppression," from Vulgar Latin *strictia, from Latin strictus "tight, compressed, drawn together," past participle of stringere "draw tight" (see strain (v.)). Meaning "physical strain on a material object" is from mid-15c. As an abstract force in mechanics from 1855. The purely psychological sense is attested from 1955.
stressful (adj.) Look up stressful at
1846, from stress (n.) + -ful. Related: Stressfully; stressfulness.
stressor (n.) Look up stressor at
1950, agent noun in Latin form from stress (v.).
stretch (n.) Look up stretch at
late 12c., "expanse of land;" 1540s, "act of stretching," from stretch (v.); meaning "unbroken continuance of some activity" is first recorded 1660s; meaning "straightaway of a race course" (as in home stretch) is recorded from 1839.
stretch (v.) Look up stretch at
Old English streccan (transitive and intransitive) "to stretch, spread out, prostrate; reach, extend" (past tense strehte, past participle streht), from Proto-Germanic *strakjanan (source also of Danish strække, Swedish sträcka, Old Frisian strekka, Old High German strecchan, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Old High German, German strecken "to stretch, draw out"), perhaps a variant of the root of stark, or else from PIE root *strenk- "tight, narrow; pull tight, twist" (see string (n.)).

Meaning "to extend (the limbs or wings)" is from c. 1200; that of "to lay out for burial" is from early 13c. To stretch (one's) legs "take a walk" is from c. 1600. Meaning "to lengthen by force" first recorded late 14c.; figurative sense of "to enlarge beyond proper limits, exaggerate," is from 1550s. Stretch limo first attested 1973. Stretch marks is attested from 1960. Related: Stretched; stretching.
stretcher (n.) Look up stretcher at
early 15c., "person who stretches," agent noun from stretch (v.). As "canvas frame for carrying the sick or wounded," from 1845.
strew (v.) Look up strew at
Old English strewian, streowian "to scatter," from Proto-Germanic *strawjan- (source also of Old Frisian strewa, Old Saxon strowian, Old Norse stra, Danish strø, Swedish strö, Middle Dutch strowen, Dutch strooien, Old High German strouwen, German streuen, Gothic straujan "to sprinkle, strew"), from suffixed form of PIE root *stere- "to spread." Related: Strewed; strewn; strewing.
strewn Look up strewn at
past participle of strew (v.).
stria (n.) Look up stria at
plural striae, "narrow stripe, groove," 1560s, from Latin stria "a furrow, flute of a column" (see striate).
striate (v.) Look up striate at
1670s, from special modern use of Latin striatus, past participle of striare "to groove, to flute," from Latin stria "furrow, channel, flute of a column" (in Modern Latin "strip, streak"), from PIE root *streig- "to stroke, rub, press" (see strigil). Related: Striated (1640s); striating.
striation (n.) Look up striation at
1849, "a parallel streak," noun of action from striate (v.).
strick (n.) Look up strick at
"handful of broken hemp, jute, flax, etc.," c. 1400, apparently from root of strike (v.). Also as a verb (c. 1400).
stricken (adj.) Look up stricken at
1510s, "wounded, affected (by disease, trouble, etc.)," adjective use of archaic past participle of strike (v.). Figurative meaning "overwhelmed with terror, grief, etc." is from 1530s. An earlier development is reflected in 13c. phrase striken in elde "advanced in years," from strike in the sense of "to move, go," hence "far advanced."
strict (adj.) Look up strict at
early 15c., "narrow, drawn in, small," from Latin strictus "drawn together, close, tight," past participle of stringere (2) "to draw or bind tight" (see strain (v.)). The sense of "stringent and rigorous" (of law) is first found in 1570s; of qualities or conditions generally, 1590s.
strictly (adv.) Look up strictly at
late 15c., "exactly," from strict + -ly (2). From 1640s as "narrowly, closely;" from 1938 as "exclusively."
stricture (n.) Look up stricture at
c. 1400, "abnormal narrowing in a body part," from Late Latin strictura "contraction, constriction," from past participle stem of stringere (2) "to bind or draw tight" (see strain (v.)). Sense of "criticism, critical remark" is first recorded 1650s, perhaps from the other Latin word stringere "to touch lightly" (see strigil).
stride (n.) Look up stride at
"a step in walking," especially a long one, from Old English stride "a stride, a step," from the root of stride (v.). Compare Dutch strijd, Old High German strit, German Streit "fight, contention, combat," Swedish and Danish strid "combat, contention." From c. 1300 as a measure of distance roughly the length of a stride. Figurative meaning "advance rapidly, make progress" is from c. 1600. Of animals (especially horses) from early 17c. To take (something) in stride (1832), i.e. "without change of gait," originally is of horses leaping hedges in the hunting-field; figurative sense attested from 1902. To hit (one's) stride is from horse-racing. Jazz music stride tempo is attested from 1938. Meaning "a standing with the legs apart, a straddle" is from 1590s.
stride (v.) Look up stride at
Old English stridan (past tense strad, past participle striden), "to straddle, mount" (a horse), from Proto-Germanic *stridanan (source also of Middle Low German strede "stride, strive;" Old Saxon stridian, Danish stride, Swedish strida "to fight," Dutch strijden, Old High German stritan, German etreiten "to fight, contend, struggle," Old Norse striðr "strong, hard, stubborn, severe").

The sense connection in the various Germanic forms is perhaps "strive, make a strong effort;" the senses having to do with walking and standing are found only in English and Low German. Meaning "to walk with long or extended steps" is from c. 1200. Cognate words in most Germanic languages mean "to fight, struggle;" the notion behind the English usage might be the effort involved in making long strides, striving forward.
strident (adj.) Look up strident at
1650s, from French strident (16c.) and directly from Latin stridentem (nominative stridens), present participle of stridere "utter an inarticulate sound, grate, screech," from PIE *(s)trei-, possibly of imitative origin (source also of Greek trismos "a grinding, scream"). Related: Stridently; stridence; stridency.
strider (n.) Look up strider at
1805, agent noun from stride (v.).
stridor (n.) Look up stridor at
"harsh, creaking noise, shrill sound," 1630s, from Latin stridor, from stridere (see strident).
stridulous (adj.) Look up stridulous at
1610s, from Latin stridulus "giving a shrill sound, creaking," from stridere "to utter an inarticulate sound, grate, creak" (see strident). Stridulation is from 1831. Stridulate (v.) first recorded 1838. Related: Stridulated; stridulating; stridulously; stridulousness.
strife (n.) Look up strife at
c. 1200, "quarrel, fight, discord," from Old French estrif "fight, battle, combat, conflict; torment, distress; dispute, quarrel," variant of estrit "quarrel, dispute, impetuosity," probably from Frankish *strid "strife, combat" or another Germanic source (compare Old High German strit "quarrel, dispute"), related to Old High German stritan "to fight;" see stride (v.).
strigil (n.) Look up strigil at
"ancient tool for scraping the skin after a bath," 1580s, from Latin strigilis "scraper, horse-comb," from stringere (1) "draw along a surface, graze, touch lightly; strip off, pluck off, cut away; clip, prune; lay bare, unsheathe," figuratively "waste, consume, reduce; touch, move, affect, cause pain," from PIE root *streig- "to stroke, rub, press" (source also of Latin striga "stroke, strike, furrow," stria "furrow, channel;" Old Church Slavonic striga "shear;" Old English stracian "to stroke;" German streichen "to stroke, rub"). Etymologists dispute over whether this is connected to Latin stringere (2), root of strain (v.).
strike (n.) Look up strike at
1580s, "act of striking," from strike (v.). Meaning "concentrated cessation of work by a body of employees" is from 1810. Baseball sense is first recorded 1841, originally meaning any contact with the ball; modern sense developed by 1890s, apparently from foul strike, which counted against the batter, and as hit came to be used for "contact with the ball" this word was left for "a swing and a miss" that counts against the batter; figurative sense of have two strikes against (of a possible three) is from 1938. Bowling sense attested from 1859. Meaning "sudden military attack" is attested from 1942.
strike (v.) Look up strike at
Old English strican (past tense strac, past participle stricen) "pass lightly over, stroke, smooth, rub," also "go, move, proceed," from Proto-Germanic *strikan- (source also of Old Norse strykva "to stroke," Old Frisian strika, Middle Dutch streken, Dutch strijken "to smooth, stroke, rub," Old High German strihhan, German streichen), from PIE root *streig- "to stroke, rub, press" (see strigil). Related to streak and stroke, and perhaps influenced in sense development by cognate Old Norse striuka.

Sense of "to deal a blow" developed by early 14c.; meaning "to collide" is from mid-14c.; that of "to hit with a missile" is from late 14c. Meaning "to cancel or expunge" (as with the stroke of a pen) is attested from late 14c. A Middle English sense is preserved in strike for "go toward." Sense of "come upon, find" is from 1835 (especially in mining, well-digging, etc., hence strike it rich, 1854). Baseball sense is from 1853. To strike a balance is from the sense "balance accounts" (1530s).

Meaning "refuse to work to force an employer to meet demands" is from 1768, perhaps from notion of striking or "downing" one's tools, or from sailors' practice of striking (lowering) a ship's sails as a symbol of refusal to go to sea (1768), which preserves the verb's original sense of "make level, smooth."
striker (n.) Look up striker at
late 14c., "vagabond," agent noun from strike (v.). From mid-15c. as "coiner;" 1580s as "fighter;" 1850 as "worker on strike;" 1963 as a soccer position.
striking (adj.) Look up striking at
1610s, "that strikes," present participle adjective from strike (v.). Meaning "producing a vivid impression" id from 1752, from the verb in the sense of "to catch the fancy of" (1590s). Related: Strikingly.
string (v.) Look up string at
c. 1400, "to fit a bow with a string," from string (n.). Meaning "to thread (beads, etc.) on a string" is from 1610s. Of musical instruments from 1520s (stringed instrument is from c. 1600). To string (someone) along is slang from 1902; string (v.) in the sense "deceive" is attested in British dialect from c. 1812; perhaps ultimately from the musical instrument sense and with a notion of "to 'tune' someone (for some purpose)." Related: Stringed (later strung); stringing.
string (n.) Look up string at
Old English streng "line, cord, thread, string of a bow or harp," in plural "tackle, rigging; lineage, race," from Proto-Germanic *strangiz (source also of Old Norse strengr, Danish streng, Middle Dutch strenge, Dutch streng, Old High German strang, German Strang "rope, cord"), from *strang- "taut, stiff," from PIE root *strenk- "tight, narrow." Gradually restricted by early Middle English to lines that are smaller than a rope. Sense of "a number of objects arranged in a line" first recorded late 15c.

Old English meaning "ligaments, tendons" is preserved in hamstring (n.), heart-strings. Meaning "limitations, stipulations" (1888) is American English, probably from the common April Fool's joke of leaving a purse that appears to be full of money on the sidewalk, then tugging it away with an attached string when someone stoops to pick it up.

To pull strings "control the course of affairs" (1860) is from the notion of puppet theater. First string, second string, etc. in athletics (1863) is from archers' custom of carrying spare bowstrings in the event that one breaks. Strings "stringed instruments" is attested from mid-14c. String bean is from 1759; string bikini is from 1974.
stringency (n.) Look up stringency at
1829, from stringent + -cy.
stringent (adj.) Look up stringent at
c. 1600, "astringent," especially with reference to taste, from Latin stringentem (nominative stringens), present participle of stringere (2) "to compress, contract, bind or draw tight" (see strain (v.)). Of regulations, procedures, etc., 1846.
stringer (n.) Look up stringer at
early 15c., "one who makes bow-strings," agent noun from string (v.). Meaning "newspaper correspondent paid by length of copy" is from 1950, probably from earlier figurative sense of "one who strings words together" (1774).
stringy (adj.) Look up stringy at
1660s, from string (n.) + -y (2). Related: Stringiness.
strip (v.) Look up strip at
"make bare," early 13c., from Old English -striepan, -strypan "to plunder, despoil" (as in West Saxon bestrypan "to plunder"), from Proto-Germanic *straupijan (source also of Middle Dutch stropen "to strip off, to ramble about plundering," Old High German stroufen "to strip off, plunder," German streifen "strip off, touch upon, to ramble, roam, rove"). Meaning "to unclothe" is recorded from early 13c. Intransitive sense from late 14c. Of screw threads, from 1839; of gear wheels, from 1873. Meaning "perform a strip-tease" is from 1929. Related: Stripped; stripping. Strip poker is attested from 1916, in a joke in "The Technology Monthly and Harvard Engineering Journal":
"Say, Bill how, did the game come out?"
"It ended in a tie."
"Oh, were you playing strip poker?"
strip search is from 1947, in reference to World War II prison camps.
strip (n.) Look up strip at
"long, narrow, flat piece," mid-15c., "narrow piece of cloth," probably related to or from Middle Low German strippe "strap, thong," and from the same source as stripe (n.1). Sense extension to wood, land, etc. first recorded 1630s.

Sense in comic strip is from 1920. Airport sense is from 1936; race track sense from 1941. Meaning "street noted for clubs, bars, etc." is attested from 1939, originally in reference to Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. Strip mine (n.) attested by 1892, as a verb by 1916; so called because the surface material is removed in successive parallel strips.
strip-tease (n.) Look up strip-tease at
also striptease, 1936, perhaps a back-formation from stripteaser (1930); see strip (v.) + tease (n.). Strip (v.) and tease (v.) both were used in this sense in late 1920s. Life magazine used strippeuse (1938-40).
stripe (n.1) Look up stripe at
"a line or band in cloth," early 15c., from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German stripe "stripe, streak," from Proto-Germanic *stripan (source also of Danish stribe "a striped fabric," German Streifen "stripe"), cognate with Old Irish sriab "stripe," from PIE root *streig- "to stroke, rub, press" (see strigil). Of soldiers' chevrons, badges, etc., attested from 1827. Stripes for "prison uniform" is by 1887, American English.
stripe (n.2) Look up stripe at
"a stroke or lash," early 15c., probably a special use of stripe (n.1), from the marks left by a lash. Compare also Dutch strippen "to whip," West Frisian strips, apparently cognate but not attested as early as the English word.
stripe (v.) Look up stripe at
"ornament with stripes," early 15c., from stripe (n.1). Compare Middle Flemish stripen, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch stripen. Related: Striped; striping.
striper (n.) Look up striper at
"striped bass," 1945, from stripe (n.1).
stripling (n.) Look up stripling at
"a youth," late 14c., of uncertain origin, possibly from strip (n.1) "long, narrow piece," on the notion of "one who is slender as a strip, whose figure is not yet filled out" + -ling.
stripper (n.) Look up stripper at
1580s, transitive, "person who strips" (the bark off trees, etc.), agent noun from strip (v.). Meaning "machine or appliance for stripping" is from 1835. Sense of "strip-tease dancer" is from 1930 (see strip-tease). Meaning "chemical for removing paint" is from 1937.