suffragist (n.) Look up suffragist at
1822, "advocate of extension of the political franchise in Britain," without regard to gender, or, in the U.S., of voting rights for free blacks; from suffrage + -ist. After c. 1885 especially with reference to voting rights for women.
suffuse (v.) Look up suffuse at
1580s, from Latin suffusus, past participle of suffundere "overspread, pour beneath, pour upon" (see suffusion). Related: Suffused; suffusing.
suffusion (n.) Look up suffusion at
late 14c., from Latin suffusionem (nominative suffusio) "a pouring over," noun of action from past participle stem of suffundere "pour upon, overspread, suffuse," from sub "under" (see sub-) + fundere "to pour" (see found (v.2)).
suffusive (adj.) Look up suffusive at
1775; see suffuse + -ive. Related: Suffusively.
Sufi (n.) Look up Sufi at
member of a Muslim mystical order, 1650s (earlier Sufian, 1580s), from Arabic sufi, literally "man of wool" (i.e., "man wearing woolen garments," as opposed to silk), from suf "wool." According to Klein, so-called from the habit of "putting on the holy garment" (labs-as-suf) to devote oneself to mysticism. Related: Sufic.
Sufism (n.) Look up Sufism at
"mystical teachings of the Sufis," 1817, Sufiism (modern form by 1836), from Sufi + -ism.
sug- Look up sug- at
assimilated form of sub- before -g-.
sugar (n.) Look up sugar at
late 13c., sugre, from Old French sucre "sugar" (12c.), from Medieval Latin succarum, from Arabic sukkar, from Persian shakar, from Sanskrit sharkara "ground or candied sugar," originally "grit, gravel" (cognate with Greek kroke "pebble"). The Arabic word also was borrowed in Italian (zucchero), Spanish (azucar, with the Arabic article), and German (Old High German zucura, German Zucker), and its forms are represented in most European languages (such as Serbian cukar, Polish cukier, Russian sakhar).

Its Old World home was India (Alexander the Great's companions marveled at the "honey without bees") and it remained exotic in Europe until the Arabs began to cultivate it in Sicily and Spain; not until after the Crusades did it begin to rival honey as the West's sweetener. The Spaniards in the West Indies began raising sugar cane in 1506; first grown in Cuba 1523; first cultivated in Brazil 1532. The reason for the -g- in the English word is obscure (OED compares flagon, from French flacon). The pronunciation shift from s- to sh- is probably from the initial long vowel sound syu- (as in sure).

As a type of chemical compound from 1826. Slang "euphemistic substitute for an imprecation" [OED] is attested from 1891. As a term of endearment, first recorded 1930. Sugar-cane is from 1560s. Sugar-maple is from 1731. Sugar loaf was originally a moulded conical mass of refined sugar (early 15c.); now obsolete, but sense extended 17c. to hills, hats, etc. of that shape.
sugar (v.) Look up sugar at
early 15c., "to sweeten with sugar," also figuratively, "to make more pleasing, mitigate the harshness of," from sugar (n.). Related: Sugared; sugaring.
sugar daddy (n.) Look up sugar daddy at
also sugar-daddy, "elderly man who lavishes gifts on a young woman" [OED], 1926, from sugar + daddy.
sugar-coat (v.) Look up sugar-coat at
also sugarcoat, 1870, originally of medicine; figuratively, "make more palatable," from 1910; from sugar (n.) + coat (v.). Related: Sugarcoated; sugarcoating.
sugar-plum (n.) Look up sugar-plum at
c. 1600, figurative, "something sweet or agreeable;" see sugar (n.) + plum (n.). As a type of small, round, flavored candy, from 1660s.
sugary (adj.) Look up sugary at
1590s, literal and figurative, from sugar (n.) + -y (2). Related: Sugariness.
suggest (v.) Look up suggest at
1520s, "place before another's mind; put forward a proposition," from Latin suggestus, past participle of suggerere "bring up, bring under, lay beneath; furnish, afford, supply; prompt" (see suggestion). Meaning "to act so as to call up the idea of (something else)" is from 1709. Related: Suggested; suggesting.
suggestible (adj.) Look up suggestible at
1851, "capable of being influenced," from suggest + -ible. Meaning "that can be suggested" is from 1836. Related: Suggestibly; suggestibility.
suggestion (n.) Look up suggestion at
mid-14c., "a prompting to evil," from Anglo-French and Old French suggestioun "hint, temptation," from Latin suggestionem (nominative suggestio) "an addition, intimation, suggestion," noun of action from suggestus, past participle of suggerere "bring up, bring under, lay beneath; furnish, afford, supply; prompt," from sub "up" (see sub-) + gerere "bring, carry" (see gest). Sense evolution in Latin is from "heap up, build" to "bring forward an idea." Meaning "proposal, statement, declaration" appeared by late 14c., but original English notion of "evil prompting" remains in suggestive. Hypnotism sense is from 1887.
suggestive (adj.) Look up suggestive at
1630s, "conveying a hint," from suggest + -ive. From 1888 specifically as a faintly euphemistic reference to proposals of indecent behavior. Related: Suggestively; suggestiveness.
sui generis Look up sui generis at
1787, Latin, literally "of one's own kind, peculiar." First element from sui, genitive of suus "his, her, its, one's," from Old Latin sovos, from PIE root *swe-, pronoun of the third person (see idiom).
sui juris Look up sui juris at
1610s, "of full legal age and capacity," in ancient Rome, "of the status of one not subject to the patria potestas." For first element, see sui generis; for second element, see jurist.
suicidal (adj.) Look up suicidal at
"leading or tending to suicide," 1777, from suicide + -al (1). Related: Suicidally.
suicide (n.) Look up suicide at
"deliberate killing of oneself," 1650s, from Modern Latin suicidium "suicide," from Latin sui "of oneself" (genitive of se "self"), from PIE *s(u)w-o- "one's own," from root *s(w)e- (see idiom) + -cidium "a killing" (see -cide). Probably an English coinage; much maligned by Latin purists because it "may as well seem to participate of sus, a sow, as of the pronoun sui" [Phillips]. The meaning "person who kills himself deliberately" is from 1728. In Anglo-Latin, the term for "one who commits suicide" was felo-de-se, literally "one guilty concerning himself."
Even in 1749, in the full blaze of the philosophic movement, we find a suicide named Portier dragged through the streets of Paris with his face to the ground, hung from a gallows by his feet, and then thrown into the sewers; and the laws were not abrogated till the Revolution, which, having founded so many other forms of freedom, accorded the liberty of death. [W.E.H. Lecky, "History of European Morals," 1869]
In England, suicides were legally criminal if of age and sane, but not if judged to have been mentally deranged. The criminal ones were mutilated by stake and given degrading burial in highways until 1823. Suicide blonde (one who has "dyed by her own hand") first attested 1921. Baseball suicide squeeze is attested from 1937.
suit (n.) Look up suit at
c. 1300, sute, also suete, suite, seute, "a band of followers; a retinue, company;" also "set of matching garments" worn by such persons, "matching livery or uniform;" hence " kind, sort; the same kind, a match;" also "pursuit, chase," and in law, "obligation (of a tenant) to attend court; attendance at court," from Anglo-French suit, siwete, from Old French suite, sieute "pursuit, act of following, hunt; retinue; assembly" (12c., Modern French suite), from Vulgar Latin *sequita, fem. of *sequitus, from Latin secutus, past participle of sequi "to attend, follow" (see sequel).

Legal sense of "lawsuit; legal action" is from mid-14c. Meaning "the wooing of a woman" is from late 15c. Meaning "set of clothes to be worn together" is attested from late 14c., also "matching material or fabric," from notion of the livery or uniform of court attendants. As a derisive term for "businessman," it dates from 1979. Meaning "matched set of objects, number of objects of the same kind or pattern used together" is from late 14c., as is that of "row, series, sequence." Meaning "set of playing cards bearing the same symbol" is first attested 1520s, also ultimately from the notion of livery. To follow suit (1670s) is from card-playing: "play a card of the same suit first played," hence, figuratively, "continue the conduct of a predecessor."
suit (v.) Look up suit at
"be agreeable or convenient, fall in with the views of," 1570s, from suit (n.), perhaps from the notion of "join a retinue clad in like clothes." Earlier "seek out" (mid-15c.); "be becoming" (mid-14c.). Meaning "make agreeable or convenient" is from 1590s. Meaning "provide with clothes" is from 1570s; that of "dress oneself" is from 1590s; with up (adv.) from 1945. Expression suit yourself attested by 1851. Related: Suited; suiting.
suitability (n.) Look up suitability at
1680s, from suitable + -ity.
suitable (adj.) Look up suitable at
1580s, from suit (v.) + -able. Earlier suit-like (1560s); suitly (mid-15c.). Related: Suitably; suitableness.
suitcase (n.) Look up suitcase at
1898, from suit (n.) + case (n.2). Originally a case for holding a suit of clothes. In reference to small nuclear weapons, 1954.
suite (n.) Look up suite at
1670s, "train of followers or attendants," from French suite, from Old French suite, sieute "act of following, attendance" (see suit (n.), which is an earlier borrowing of the same French word). The meanings "set of instrumental compositions" (1680s), "connected set of rooms" (1716), and "set of furniture" (1805) were imported from French usages or re-spelled on the French model from suit in its sense of "a number of things taken collectively and constituting a sequence; collection of things of like kind."
suitor (n.) Look up suitor at
c. 1300, "a frequenter;" late 14c., "follower, disciple," from Anglo-French seutor, suitor or directly from Late Latin secutor "follower, pursuer," from sect- past participle stem of sequi "to follow" (see suit (n.)). Meaning "plaintiff in a lawsuit" is from mid-15c. Meaning "one who seeks (a woman) in marriage" is from 1580s.
Sukey Look up Sukey at
also Sukie, familiar form of fem. proper name Susan, Susanna. As "a tea kettle" from 1823.
Sulawesi Look up Sulawesi at
see Celebes.
sulcate (adj.) Look up sulcate at
"furrowed, grooved," 1760, from Latin sulcatus, past participle of sulcare "to make furrowed," from sulcus "furrow, trench, ditch" (see sulcus).
sulcus (n.) Look up sulcus at
plural sulci, "fissure between convolutions of the brain," 1833, from medical use of Latin sulcus "furrow, trench, ditch, wrinkle," apparently literally "the result of plowing," from PIE *selk- "to pull, draw" (cognates: Greek holkos "furrow," Old English sulh "plow," Lithuanian velku "I draw").
sulfa Look up sulfa at
1942, short name for the group of drugs derived from sulfanilamide ("amide of sulfanilic acid," 1937, which is so called because it is a sulphonic derivative of the dye-stuff aniline), and shortened from that word. The usual British English spelling is sulpha.
sulfate (n.) Look up sulfate at
salt of sulfuric acid, 1790 (sulphat), from French sulphate (1787), from Modern Latin sulphatum acidum, from Latin sulpur, sulphur (see sulfur) + chemical ending -ate (3). The spelling with -ph- is standard in Britain.
sulfide (n.) Look up sulfide at
compound of sulfur with another element, 1831, from French sulfide; see sulfur + -ide.
sulfite (n.) Look up sulfite at
salt of sulfurous acid, 1790, from sulfur + -ite (2).
sulfur (n.) Look up sulfur at
also sulphur, c. 1300, from Anglo-French sulfere, Old French soufre "sulfur, fire and brimstone, hellfire" (13c.), later also sulphur, from Late Latin sulfur, from Latin sulphur, probably from a root meaning "to burn." Ousted native brimstone and cognate Old English swefl, German schwefel, Swedish swafel, Dutch zwavel. The spelling with -ph- is standard in Britain, but its suggestion of a Greek origin is misleading.
sulfuric (adj.) Look up sulfuric at
"of, pertaining to, or obtained from sulfur," also sulphuric, 1790, from French sulfurique; see sulfur + -ic. The spelling with -ph- is standard in Britain.
sulfurous (adj.) Look up sulfurous at
1520s, "containing or resembling sulfur, of the nature of brimstone," from Latin sulphurosus "full of sulfur," or a native formation from sulfur + -ous. Hence figurative use with suggestions of hellfire (c. 1600). Scientific chemistry sense is from 1790. The spelling with -ph- is standard in Britain. Earlier in the "brimstone-like" sense was sulphureose (early 15c.), and Old English had sweflen. Related: Sulfurously; sulphurously; sulfurousness.
sulk (v.) Look up sulk at
1781, back-formation of sulky (adj.). Related: Sulked; sulking. As a noun from 1792.
sulky (adj.) Look up sulky at
"quietly sullen," 1744, of uncertain origin. Connection has been suggested to obsolete, rare sulke "hard to sell" (1630s) and to Old English asolcen "idle, lazy, slow," past participle adjective from aseolcan "become sluggish, be weak or idle" (related to besylcan "be languid"), from Proto-Germanic *seklan (cognates: Middle High German selken "to drop, fall"). But words of similar meaning often are held to be imitative (compare miff, mope, boudoir). Related: Sulkily; sulkiness.
sulky (n.) Look up sulky at
"light carriage with two wheels," 1756, apparently a noun use of sulky (adj.), on notion of "standoffishness," because the carriage has room for only one person and obliges the rider to be alone.
sullen (adj.) Look up sullen at
1570s, alteration of Middle English soleyn "unique, singular," from Anglo-French *solein, formed on the pattern of Old French solain "lonely," from soul "single," from Latin solus "by oneself, alone" (see sole (adj.)). The sense shift in Middle English from "solitary" to "morose" (i.e. "remaining alone through ill-humor") occurred late 14c. Related: Sullenly; sullenness.
sully (v.) Look up sully at
1590s, probably from Middle French souiller "to soil," also figurative, from Old French soillier "make dirty" (see soil (v.)). Related: Sullied (1570s); sullying.
sulphur (n.) Look up sulphur at
see sulfur. The form preferred in Britain; however, the spelling's suggestion of a Greek origin is misleading.
sulphureous (adj.) Look up sulphureous at
1550s, from Latin sulphureus "of sulfur," from sulphur (see sulfur).
sulphuric (adj.) Look up sulphuric at
see sulfuric.
sulphurous (adj.) Look up sulphurous at
see sulfurous.
sultan (n.) Look up sultan at
1550s, from Middle French sultan "ruler of Turkey" (16c.), ultimately from Arabic sultan "ruler, prince, monarch, king, queen," originally "power, dominion." According to Klein's sources, this is from Aramaic shultana "power," from shelet "have power." Earlier English word was soldan, soudan (c. 1300), used indiscriminately of Muslim rulers and sovereigns, from Old French souldan, soudan, from Medieval Latin sultanus. Related: Sultanic.
sultana (n.) Look up sultana at
wife, mother, daughter, or concubine of a sultan, 1580s, from Italian sultana, fem. of sultano (see sultan). Middle English had soudanesse "sultaness" (late 14c.).