- streamline (v.)
- 1913, "give a streamline form to," from streamline (n.). From 1936 in the extended sense of "simplify and organize." Related: Streamlined; streamlining.
- streamline (n.)
- 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.)
- 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, cf. 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 (e.g. 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 1972; street-credibility is from 1979. Street-sweeper as an occupation is from 1848.
- street-car (n.)
- "passenger car for city travel," horse-drawn at first, later cable-powered, 1859, American English, from street (n.) + car (n.).
- street-walker (n.)
- "common prostitute," 1590s, from street (n.) + agent noun from walk (v.).
- street-wise (adj.)
- 1965, from street + wise (adj.) "smart, savvy."
- strength (n.)
- Old English strengþu, strengð "bodily power, force, vigor, firmness, fortitude, manhood, violence, moral resistance," from Proto-Germanic *strangitho (cf. Old High German strengida "strength"), from PIE *strenk- "tight, narrow" (see string (n.)), with Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)). Cf. length/long. From the same root as strong,
- strengthen (v.)
- late 14c., from strength + -en (1). Related: Strengthened; strengthening; strengthener. Earlier verb was simply strength (12c.).
- strenuous (adj.)
- "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.
- 1927, in strep throat, short for streptococcus.
- "lover," from name of shepherd lover in Sidney's "Arcadia" (begun 1580).
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 1853, from stress (n.) + -ful. Related: Stressfully; stressfulness.
- stressor (n.)
- 1950, agent noun in Latin form from stress (v.).
- stretch (v.)
- Old English streccan (transitive and intransitive) "to stretch, spread out, prostrate; reach, extend" (past tense strehte, past participle streht), from Proto-Germanic *strakjanan (cf. 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.)
- 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" (e.g. home stretch) is recorded from 1839.
- stretcher (n.)
- early 15c., "person who stretches," agent noun from stretch (v.). As "canvas frame for carrying the sick or wounded," from 1845.
- strew (v.)
- Old English strewian, streowian "to scatter," from Proto-Germanic *strawjan- (cf. 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.
- past participle of strew (v.).
- stria (n.)
- plural striae, "narrow stripe, groove," 1560s, from Latin stria "a furrow, flute of a column" (see striate).
- striate (v.)
- 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.)
- 1849, "a parallel streak," noun of action from striate (v.).
- strick (n.)
- "handful of broken hemp, jute, flax, etc.," c.1400, apparently from root of strike (v.). Also as a verb (c.1400).
- stricken (adj.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- late 15c., "exactly," from strict + -ly (2). From 1640s as "narrowly, closely;" from 1938 as "exclusively."
- stricture (n.)
- 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.)
- Old English stridan (past tense strad, past participle striden), "to straddle, mount" (a horse), from Proto-Germanic *stridanan (cf. 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.)
- "a step in walking," especially a long one, from Old English stride "a stride, a step," from the root of stride (v.). Cf. 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.)
- 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 (cf. Greek trismos "a grinding, scream"). Related: Stridently; stridence; stridency.
- strider (n.)
- 1856, agent noun from stride (v.).
- stridor (n.)
- "harsh, creaking noise, shrill sound," 1630s, from Latin stridor, from stridere (see strident).
- stridulous (adj.)
- 1610s, from Latin stridulus "giving a shrill sound, creaking," from stridere "to utter an inarticulate sound, grate, creak" (see strident). Stridulation, stridulate (v.) first recorded 1838. Related: Stridulated; stridulating; stridulously; stridulousness.
- strife (n.)
- 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 (cf. Old High German strit "quarrel, dispute"), related to Old High German stritan "to fight;" see stride (v.).
- strigil (n.)
- "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" (cf. 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.)
- Old English strican (past tense strac, past participle stricen) "pass lightly over, stroke, smooth, rub," also "go, move, proceed," from Proto-Germanic *strikan- (cf. 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.)
- 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.
- striker (n.)
- 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.)
- 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 (n.)
- Old English streng "line, cord, thread, string of a bow or harp," in plural "tackle, rigging; lineage, race," from Proto-Germanic *strangiz (cf. 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, heartstrings. 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.
- string (v.)
- 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.
- stringency (n.)
- 1844, from stringent + -cy.
- stringent (adj.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 1660s, from string (n.) + -y (2). Related: Stringiness.
- strip (v.)
- "make bare," early 13c., from Old English -striepan, -strypan "to plunder, despoil" (as in West Saxon bestrypan "to plunder"), from Proto-Germanic *straupijan (cf. 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?"
strip search is from 1947, in reference to World War II prison camps.
"It ended in a tie."
"Oh, were you playing strip poker?"