- 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 (cognates: 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.)
- 1829, 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 (cognates: 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?"
- strip (n.)
- "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.)
- 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)
- "a line or band in cloth," early 15c., from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German stripe "stripe, streak," from Proto-Germanic *stripan (cognates: 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)
- "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.)
- "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.)
- "striped bass," 1945, from stripe (n.1).
- stripling (n.)
- "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.)
- 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.
- strive (v.)
- c.1200, "quarrel, contend," from Old French estriver "to quarrel, dispute, resist, struggle, put up a fight, compete," from estrif, estrit "quarrel" (see strife). It became a strong verb (past tense strove) by rhyming association with drive, dive, etc. Meaning "try hard" is from early 14c. Related: Striving.
- strobe (n.)
- 1942, shortening of stroboscope. As a shortened form of strobe light, from 1949. As an adjective from 1942.
- strobic (adj.)
- "resembling a top," 1876, from Greek strobos (see stroboscope) + -ic.
- stroboscope (n.)
- "instrument for studying motion by periodic light," 1896, from -scope + comb. form of Greek strobos "a twisting, act of whirling," from PIE *streb(h)- "to wind, turn" (see strophe). Earlier as the name of a similar device used as a "scientific toy" [OED]. Related: Stroboscopic (1846).
- past tense of stride (v.).
- stroganoff (n.)
- a beef dish cooked in sauce containing sour cream, 1932, from French, from name of the prominent Russian family, usually said to be for specifically in honor of diplomat Count Paul Stroganov (1774-1817).
- stroke (n.)
- "act of striking," c.1300, probably from Old English *strac "stroke," from Proto-Germanic *straik- (cognates: Middle Low German strek, German streich, Gothic striks "stroke"); see stroke (v.).
The meaning "mark of a pen" is from 1560s; that of "a striking of a clock" is from mid-15c. Sense of "feat, achievement" (as in stroke of luck, 1853) first found 1670s; the meaning "single pull of an oar or single movement of machinery" is from 1731. Meaning "apoplectic seizure" is from 1590s (originally the Stroke of God's Hand). Swimming sense is from 1800.
- stroke (v.)
- "pass the hand gently over," Old English stracian "to stroke," related to strican "pass over lightly," from Proto-Germanic *straik-, from PIE root *streig- "to stroke, rub, press" (see strigil). Figurative sense of "soothe, flatter" is recorded from 1510s. The noun meaning "a stroking movement of the hand" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Stroked; stroking.
- stroll (v.)
- c.1600, a cant word introduced from the Continent, probably from dialectal German strollen, variant of Swiss German strolchen "to stroll about, loaf," from Strolch "vagabond, vagrant," also "fortuneteller," perhaps from Italian astrologo "astrologer." Related: Strolled; strolling.
- stroll (n.)
- 1753, from stroll (v.).
- stroller (n.)
- c.1600, "strolling player;" 1670s, "one who strolls, a wanderer," agent noun from stroll (v.). Meaning "child's push-chair" is from 1920.
- stroma (n.)
- 1835 in anatomy, plural stromae, Modern Latin, from Latin stroma "bed covering," from Greek stroma "coverlet, covering, mattress, anything spread out for lying or sitting on" (see structure (n.)).
- strong (adj.)
- Old English strang "physically powerful, powerful in effect; forceful, severe, firm, bold, brave; constant, resolute; arduous, violent," from Proto-Germanic *strangaz (cognates: Old Norse strangr "strong," Dutch streng "strict, rigorous," Old High German strang "strong, bold, hard," German streng "strict, rigorous"), possibly from PIE *strenk- "tight, narrow." Originally compared strenger, strengest (compare old/elder/eldest).
Grammatical sense, of noun and verb inflections, is first attested 1841, translating German stark, used in a grammatical sense by J. Grimm (the terms strong and weak better fit German inflections). Strong suit (1865) is from card-playing. Strong man "man of great strength" (especially one who displays it professionally) is recorded from 1690s; meaning "dominating man in a political organization" is from 1859.
- strong (adv.)
- Old English strange "strongly, violently, severely, furiously" (alongside strongly), from the same source as strong (adj.). Going strong (1898) is from racing. To come on strong was originally come it strong (1812).
- strong-arm (adj.)
- "using physical force," 1897, from noun phrase (c.1600), from strong (adj.) + arm (n.). As a verb from 1903. Related: Strong-armed; strong-arming.
- strong-box (n.)
- 1680s, from strong (adj.) + box (n.1).
- stronghold (n.)
- early 14c., from strong (adj.) + hold (n.) "fortified place, refuge."
- strongly (adv.)
- Old English stranglice "firmly, stoutly, boldly, bravely;" see strong (adj.) + -ly (2).
- strontium (n.)
- light metallic element, 1808, coined in Modern Latin by English chemist Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) from Strontian, name of a parish in Argyllshire, Scotland, the site of lead mines where strontium was first found, in 1787.
- strop (n.)
- mid-14c., "loop or strap on a harness," probably from Old French estrop, making it the older and more correct form of strap (n.), replaced by it from 16c. Specific sense of "leather strap used for sharpening razors" first recorded 1702. The verb in this sense is from 1841. Related: Stropped; stropping. Distribution of senses between strap and strop is arbitrary.
- strophe (n.)
- c.1600, from Greek strophe "stanza," originally "a turning," in reference to the section of an ode sung by the chorus while turning in one direction, from strephein "to turn," from PIE *streb(h)- "to wind, turn" (cognates: Greek strophaligs "whirl, whirlwind," streblos "twisted," stremma "that which is twisted").
- strophic (adj.)
- 1810, from strophe + -ic.
- stroppy (adj.)
- "rebellious," by 1943, British nautical slang, perhaps a slang mangling of obstreperous. "Sea Passages: A Naval Anthology and Introduction to the Study of English" [1943, Geoffrey Callender] quotes from a letter:
Why Nobby should reckon that his raggie should blow the gaff, when there are crushers everywhere, leaves me guessing; but there it is. In the last dog he rounded on me and called me a white rat. I got stroppy and told him he was shooting a line: but all he said was, 'Oh! choke your luff! I'm looking for another oppo you snivelling sand-catcher.' So that looks like paying off.
to which Callender adds, "There is nothing in this letter which an active service rating could fail to understand."
- past tense of strive (v.).
- past tense and past participle of strike (v.).
- structural (adj.)
- 1814, from structure + -al (1). Related: Structurally.
- structuralism (n.)
- 1891, from structural + -ism.
- structure (n.)
- mid-15c., "action or process of building or construction;" 1610s, "that which is constructed, a building or edifice;" from Latin structura "a fitting together, adjustment; a building, mode of building;" figuratively, "arrangement, order," from structus, past participle of struere "to pile, place together, heap up; build, assemble, arrange, make by joining together," related to strues "heap," from PIE *stere- "to spread, extend, stretch out."
The widespread descendants of this ancient root are believed to include: Sanskrit strnoti "strews, throws down;" Avestan star- "to spread out, stretch out;" Greek stronymi "strew," stroma "bedding, mattress," sternon "breast, breastbone;" Latin sternere "to stretch, extend;" Old Church Slavonic stira, streti "spread," strama "district;" Russian stroji "order;" Gothic straujan, Old High German strouwen, Old English streowian "to sprinkle, strew;" Old English streon "strain," streaw "straw, that which is scattered;" Old High German stirna "forehead," strala "arrow, lightning bolt;" Old Irish fo-sernaim "spread out," srath "a wide river valley;" Welsh srat "plain."
- structure (v.)
- "put together systematically," by 1855 (occasional use from late 16c.), from structure (n.). Related: Structured; structuring.
- structured (adj.)
- 1810, past participle adjective from structure (v.). Meaning "organized so as to produce results" is from 1959.
- strudel (n.)
- kind of Austrian pastry, 1893, from German Strudel, literally "eddy, whirlpool," from Old High German stredan "to bubble, boil, whirl, eddy," from PIE root *ser- (2) "to flow" (see serum).
- struggle (v.)
- late 14c., of uncertain origin, probably a frequentative form (compare trample, scuffle), of uncertain origin. Skeat suggests Old Norse strugr "ill will;" others suggest a connection to Dutch struikelen, German straucheln "to stumble." Related: Struggled; struggling.
- struggle (n.)
- 1690s, from struggle (v.).