stray (adj.) Look up stray at
c. 1600, of animals; 19c. of persons and things, from stray (n.) and in part a shortening of astray.
streak (n.) Look up streak at
Old English strica "line of motion, stroke of a pen" (related to strican "pass over lightly"), from Proto-Germanic *strikon- (cognates: Middle Dutch streke, Dutch streek, Middle Low German streke "a stroke, line," Old High German, German strich, Gothic striks "a stroke, line"), from PIE root *streig- "to stroke, rub, press" (see strigil; also strike (v.), stroke (v.)). Sense of "long, thin mark" is first found 1560s. Meaning "a temporary run (of luck)" is from 1843.
streak (v.2) Look up streak at
1768, "to go quickly, to rush, run at full speed," respelling (probably by association with streak (v.1)) of streek "to go quickly" (late 14c.), originally "to stretch oneself" (mid-13c.), a northern Middle English variant of stretch (v.). Related: Streaked; streaking.
streak (v.1) Look up streak at
"make streaks on" (transitive), 1590s, from streak (n.). Intransitive sense of "become streaked" is from 1870. Related: Streaked; streaking.
streaking (n.) Look up streaking at
"running naked in public," 1973, verbal noun from streak (v.).
streaky (adj.) Look up streaky at
1660s, from streak (n.) + -y (2). Related: Streakiness.
stream (v.) Look up stream at
early 13c., "to flow copiously," from stream (n.). Transitive sense "discharge in a stream" is from late 14c. Related: Streamed; streaming. Compare German strömen, Dutch stroomen, Danish strömme, all verbs from nouns.
stream (n.) Look up stream at
Old English stream "a course of water," from Proto-Germanic *straumaz (cognates: Old Saxon strom, Old Norse straumr, Danish strøm, Swedish ström, Norwegian straum, Old Frisian stram, Dutch stroom, Old High German stroum, German Strom "current, river"), from PIE root *sreu- "to flow" (see rheum).

From early 12c. as "anything issuing from a source and flowing continuously." Meaning "current in the sea" (as in Gulf Stream) is recorded from late 14c., as is the sense of "steady current in a river." Stream of consciousness in lit crit first recorded 1930, originally in psychology (1855). Stream of thought is from 1890.
streamer (n.) Look up streamer at
"flag that streams in the air," late 13c., agent noun from stream (v.).
streamline (v.) Look up streamline at
1913, "give a streamline form to," from streamline (n.). From 1936 in the extended sense of "simplify and organize." Related: Streamlined; streamlining.
streamline (n.) Look up streamline at
1868, "line drawn from point to point, so that its direction is everywhere that of the motion of the fluid" [Lamb, "Hydrodynamics," 1906], from stream (n.) + line (n.). The adjective is attested from 1898, "free from turbulence," 1907 in sense of "shaped so that the flow around it is smooth."
street (n.) Look up street at
Old English stret (Mercian, Kentish), stræt (West Saxon) "street, high road," from Late Latin strata, used elliptically for via strata "paved road," from fem. past participle of Latin sternere "lay down, spread out, pave," from PIE *stre-to- "to stretch, extend," from root *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see structure (n.)).

One of the few words in use in England continuously from Roman times. An early and widespread Germanic borrowing (Old Frisian strete, Old Saxon strata, Middle Dutch strate, Dutch straat, Old High German straza, German Strasse, Swedish stråt, Danish sträde "street"). The Latin is also the source of Spanish estrada, Old French estrée, Italian strada.

"The normal term in OE for a paved way or Roman road, later extended to other roads, urban streets, and in SE dialects to a street of dwellings, a straggling village or hamlet" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names]. Originally of Roman roads (Watling Street, Icknield Street). "In the Middle Ages, a road or way was merely a direction in which people rode or went, the name street being reserved for the made road" [Weekley].

Used since c. 1400 to mean "the people in the street;" modern sense of "the realm of the people as the source of political support" dates from 1931. The street for an especially important street is from 1560s (originally of London's Lombard-street). Man in the street "ordinary person, non-expert" is attested from 1831. Street people "the homeless" is from 1967; expression on the street "homeless" is from 1852. Street smarts is from 1971; street-credibility is from 1979. Street-sweeper as an occupation is from 1848.
street-car (n.) Look up street-car at
"passenger car for city travel," horse-drawn at first, later cable-powered, 1859, American English, from street (n.) + car (n.).
street-walker (n.) Look up street-walker at
"common prostitute," 1590s, from street (n.) + agent noun from walk (v.).
street-wise (adj.) Look up street-wise at
1951, from street + wise (adj.) "smart, savvy."
strength (n.) Look up strength at
Old English strengþu, strengð "bodily power, force, vigor, firmness, fortitude, manhood, violence, moral resistance," from Proto-Germanic *strangitho (cognates: Old High German strengida "strength"), from PIE *strenk- "tight, narrow" (see string (n.)), with Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)). Compare length/long. From the same root as strong,
strengthen (v.) Look up strengthen at
late 14c., from strength + -en (1). Related: Strengthened; strengthening; strengthener. Earlier verb was simply strength (12c.).
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 comb. form of Greek streptos "twisted, easy to bend, pliant," verbal adjective of strephein "to turn, twist," from PIE *streb(h)- "to wind, turn" (see strophe).
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 (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.
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.
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 (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 (cognates: 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.
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.
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- (cognates: 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 PIE root *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out" (see structure (n.)). 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 (v.) Look up stride at
Old English stridan (past tense strad, past participle striden), "to straddle, mount" (a horse), from Proto-Germanic *stridanan (cognates: Middle Low German strede "stride, strive;" Old Saxon stridian, Danish stride, Swedish strida "to fight," Dutch stridjen, 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.
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.
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 (cognates: 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" (cognates: 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 (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- (cognates: 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."
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.