taxicab (n.) Look up taxicab at
1907, short for taximeter cab; see taxi (n.) + cab (n.).
taxidermy (n.) Look up taxidermy at
1820, from comb. form of Greek taxis "arrangement, an arranging, the order or disposition of an army, battle array; order, regularity" (see tactics) + derma "skin" (see derma). Related: Taxidermist (1827).
taxine (adj.) Look up taxine at
1888, from Latin taxus "yew tree," probably from a Scythian word, + -ine (1).
taxis (n.) Look up taxis at
"operation whereby displaced parts are put back in their natural situation," 1758, medical Latin, from Greek taxis "arrangement, an arranging, the order or disposition of an army, battle array; order, regularity," verbal noun of tassein "arrange," from PIE root *tag- "to set aright, set in order" (see tangent).
taxman (n.) Look up taxman at
1803, from tax (n.) + man (n.).
taxon (n.) Look up taxon at
1929, from German (1926), shortened from taxonomie (see taxonomy).
taxonomy (n.) Look up taxonomy at
"science of classification," 1819, from French taxonomie (1813), coined irregularly from Greek taxis "arrangement" (see tactics) + -nomia "method," from -nomos "managing," from nemein "manage" (see numismatic). Related: Taxonomic; taxonomist.
taxpayer (n.) Look up taxpayer at
also tax-payer, 1816, from tax (n.) + payer.
tay (n.) Look up tay at
mid-15c., "case, sheath," from French teie (Old French toie "pillowcase, cushion-cover), from Latin theca, from Greek theke "case to put something in" (see theco-). As "outer membrane of the brain" from 1560s.
Tay-Sachs Look up Tay-Sachs at
fatal inherited disorder, 1907, named in German (1901) by German neurologist Henryk Higier (1866-1942) from names of British ophthalmologist Warren Tay (1843-1927) and U.S. physician and neurologist Warren Sachs (1858-1944) who had independently described it in 1881 and 1887 respectively.
Taylor Look up Taylor at
surname, attested from late 12c., variant of tailor.
tchotchke (n.) Look up tchotchke at
"trinket, gewgaw," also (transferred) "pretty girl," 1964, American English, from Yiddish, from a Slavic source (compare Russian tsatska).
Te Deum Look up Te Deum at
early 12c., from Late Latin Te Deum laudamus "Thee God we praise," first words of the ancient Latin hymn.
tea (n.) Look up tea at
1650s, tay, also in early spellings thea, tey, tee and at first pronounced so as to rhyme with obey; the modern pronunciation predominates from mid-18c. But earlier in English as chaa (1590s), also cha, tcha, chia, cia. The two forms of the word reflect two paths of transmission: chaa is from Portuguese cha, attested in Portuguese from 1550s, via Macao, from Mandarin (Chinese) ch'a (cf chai). The later form, which became Modern English tea, is via Dutch, from Malay teh and directly from Chinese (Amoy dialect) t'e, which corresponds to Mandarin ch'a.

The distribution of the different forms of the word in Europe reflects the spread of use of the beverage. The modern English form, along with French thé, Spanish te, German Tee, etc., derive via Dutch thee from the Amoy form, reflecting the role of the Dutch as the chief importers of the leaves (through the Dutch East India Company, from 1610). Meanwhile, Russian chai, Persian cha, Greek tsai, Arabic shay, and Turkish çay all came overland from the Mandarin form.

First known in Paris 1635, the practice of drinking tea was first introduced to England 1644. Meaning "afternoon meal at which tea is served" is from 1738. Slang meaning "marijuana" (which sometimes was brewed in hot water) is attested from 1935, felt as obsolete by late 1960s. Tea ball is from 1895.
tea party (n.) Look up tea party at
1772, from tea + party (n.). Political references to tea party all trace to the Boston tea party of 1773 (the name seems to date from 1824), in which radicals in Massachusetts colony boarded British ships carrying tea and threw the product into Boston Harbor in protest royal taxation. It has been a model for other libertarian political actions in the U.S. (mostly symbolic), including citizen gatherings begun in early 2009 to protest government spending.
tea-berry (n.) Look up tea-berry at
American wintergreen, 1818, from tea + berry, so called because the dried berries were used as a substitute for tea.
tea-cup (n.) Look up tea-cup at
1700, from tea + cup (n.).
tea-kettle (n.) Look up tea-kettle at
1705, from tea + kettle.
tea-leaf (n.) Look up tea-leaf at
1756, from tea + leaf (n.). Related: Tea-leaves.
tea-pot (n.) Look up tea-pot at
also teapot, 1660s, from tea + pot (n.1). The children's song beginning "I'm a little tea-pot" attested by 1943.
tea-rose (n.) Look up tea-rose at
1825, from tea + rose (n.1); so called because it has a scent supposed to resemble that of tea.
tea-table (n.) Look up tea-table at
1680s, from tea + table (n.).
teabag (n.) Look up teabag at
also tea-bag 1857, a small permeable packet for holding loose tea, from tea + bag (n.). As a sex act, by 2000.
teach (v.) Look up teach at
Old English tæcan (past tense tæhte, past participle tæht) "to show, point out, declare, demonstrate," also "to give instruction, train, assign, direct; warn; persuade," from Proto-Germanic *taikijan "to show" (cognates: Old High German zihan, German zeihen "to accuse," Gothic ga-teihan "to announce"), from PIE *deik- "to show, point out" (see diction). Related to Old English tacen, tacn "sign, mark" (see token). Related: Taught; teaching.
enraged Lemonade Vendor [Edgar Kennedy]: I'll teach you to kick me!
Chico: you don't have to teach me, I know how. [kicks him]
The usual sense of Old English tæcan was "show, declare, warn, persuade" (compare German zeigen "to show," from the same root); while the Old English word for "to teach, instruct, guide" was more commonly læran, source of modern learn and lore.
teachable (adj.) Look up teachable at
late 15c., "capable of being taught" (of persons), from teach (v.) + -able. Of subjects, from 1660s. Teachable moment, attested from 1917, not common until after c. 1960, extends the sense to "appropriate for instruction." Related: Teachableness.
teacher (n.) Look up teacher at
"one who teaches," c. 1300; agent noun from teach (v.). It was used earlier in a sense of "index finger" (late 13c.). Teacher's pet attested from 1856.
teaching (n.) Look up teaching at
Old English tecunge "act of teaching," verbal noun from teach (v.). As "that which is taught" from c. 1300.
Teague (n.) Look up Teague at
old contemptuous name for an Irishman, 1660s, from prevalence of Teague as an Irish name.
teak (n.) Look up teak at
type of large East Indian tree yielding dark, heavy wood, 1690s, from Portuguese teca, from Malayam tekka, corresponding to Tamil tekku, Telugu teku, Kanarese tegu "the teak tree." The Hindi name is sagwan, sagun.
teal (n.) Look up teal at
"small freshwater duck," early 14c., of uncertain origin, probably from an unrecorded Old English word cognate with Middle Dutch teling "teal," Middle Low German telink, from West Germanic *taili. As the name of a shade of dark greenish-blue resembling the color patterns on the fowl's head and wings, it is attested from 1923 in clothing advertisements.
team (n.) Look up team at
Old English team "descendant, family, race, line; child-bearing, brood; company, band; set of draft animals yoked together," from Proto-Germanic *tau(h)maz (cognates: Old Norse taumr, Old Frisian tam "bridle; progeny, line of descent," Dutch toom, Old High German zoum, German Zaum "bridle"), probably literally "that which draws," from PIE *douk-mo-, from root *deuk- "to pull" (see duke (n.)).

Applied in Old English to groups of persons working together for some purpose, especially "group of people acting together to bring suit;" modern sense of "persons associated in some joint action" is from 1520s. Team spirit is recorded from 1928. Team player attested from 1886, originally in baseball.
team (v.) Look up team at
1550s, "to harness beasts in a team," from team (n.). From 1841 as "drive a team." The meaning "to come together as a team" (usually with up) is attested from 1932. Transitive sense "to use (something) in conjunction" (with something else) is from 1948. Related: Teamed; teaming. The Old English verb, teaman, tieman, is attested only in the sense "bring forth, beget, engender, propagate."
teammate (n.) Look up teammate at
also team-mate, 1901, from team (n.) + mate (n.).
teamster (n.) Look up teamster at
"person who drives a team of horses" (especially in hauling freight), 1776, from team (n.) + -ster. Transferred to motor truck drivers by 1907.
teamwork (n.) Look up teamwork at
also team-work, 1828 in the literal sense, "work done by a team of horses, oxen, etc." (as distinguished from manual labor), from team (n.) + work (n.). Attested by 1909 in the extended sense.
tear (n.1) Look up tear at
"fluid drop from the eye," Old English tear "tear, drop, nectar, what is distilled in drops," from earlier teahor, tæhher, from Proto-Germanic *tahr-, *tagr- (cognates: Old Norse, Old Frisian tar, Old High German zahar, German Zähre, Gothic tagr "tear"), from PIE *dakru- (cognates: Latin lacrima, Old Latin dacrima, Irish der, Welsh deigr, Greek dakryma). To be in tears "weeping" is from 1550s. Tear gas first recorded 1917.
tear (n.2) Look up tear at
"act of ripping or rending," 1660s, from tear (v.1). Old English had ter (n.) "tearing, laceration, thing torn."
tear (v.1) Look up tear at
"pull apart," Old English teran "to tear, lacerate" (class IV strong verb; past tense tær, past participle toren), from Proto-Germanic *teran (cognates: Old Saxon terian, Middle Dutch teren "to consume," Old High German zeran "to destroy," German zehren, Gothic ga-tairan "to tear, destroy"), from PIE *der- (2) "to split, peel, flay," with derivatives referring to skin and leather (cognates: Sanskrit drnati "cleaves, bursts," Greek derein "to flay," Armenian terem "I flay," Old Church Slavonic dera "to burst asunder," Breton darn "piece").

The Old English past tense survived long enough to get into Bible translations as tare before giving place 17c. to tore, which is from the old past participle toren. Sense of "to pull by force" (away from some situation or attachment) is attested from late 13c. To be torn between two things (desires, loyalties, etc.) is from 1871.
tear (v.2) Look up tear at
early 15c., "shed tears," 1650s, "fill with tears" mainly in American English, from tear (n.1). Related: Teared; tearing. Old English verb tæherian, tearian "to weep" did not survive into Middle English.
tear-drop (n.) Look up tear-drop at
also teardrop, 1799, from tear (n.1) + drop (n.).
tear-jerker (n.) Look up tear-jerker at
1911, in reference to newspaper stories about tragic situations, on model of soda-jerker and perhaps especially beer-jerker, from tear (n.1) + jerk (v.).
tearful (adj.) Look up tearful at
1580s, from tear (n.1) + -ful. Related: Tearfully; tearfulness.
teary (adj.) Look up teary at
Old English tearig; see tear (n.1) + -y (2). Related: Tearily; teariness.
tease (v.) Look up tease at
formerly also teaze, Old English tæsan "pluck, pull, tear; pull apart, comb" (fibers of wool, flax, etc.), from Proto-Germanic *taisijan (cognates: Danish tæse, Middle Dutch tesen, Dutch tezen "to draw, pull, scratch," Old High German zeisan "to tease, pick wool").

The original sense is of running thorns through wool or flax to separate, shred, or card the fibers. The figurative sense of "vex, worry, annoy" (sometimes done in good humor) emerged 1610s. For similar sense development, compare heckle. Hairdressing sense is recorded from 1957. Related: Teased; teasing; teasingly.
tease (n.) Look up tease at
1690s, "act of teasing," from tease (v.). Meaning "one who teases" is from 1852. Specifically as short for cock-teaser, it was in use by 1976.
teasel (n.) Look up teasel at
also teazel, teazle, type of plant, Old English tæsel "large thistle used in teasing cloth," from Proto-Germanic *taisilo (cognates: Old High German zeisala), from root of Old English tæsan "to pluck" (see tease (v.)).
teaser (n.) Look up teaser at
"one who teases" (wool, flax, etc.), late 15c. (late 13c. as a surname), agent noun from tease (v.). From 1934 as "short sample, introductory advertisement."
teaspoon (n.) Look up teaspoon at
1680s, from tea + spoon (n.). Related: teaspoonful.
teat (n.) Look up teat at
mid-13c., from Old French tete "teat" (12c., Modern French tette), from Proto-Germanic *titta (source of Old English titt, see tit). Spanish teta, Italian tetta are from the same source.
tec (n.) Look up tec at
1879 in thieves' slang as short for detective (n.); 1934 as short for detective story.