usury (n.) Look up usury at
c. 1300, "practice of lending money at interest," later, at excessive rates of interest, from Medieval Latin usuria, alteration of Latin usura "payment for the use of money, interest," literally "a usage, use, enjoyment," from usus, from stem of uti (see use (v.)). From mid-15c. as "premium paid for the use of money, interest," especially "exorbitant interest."
Utah Look up Utah at
U.S. teritory organized 1850 (admitted as a state 1896), from Spanish yuta, name of the indigenous Uto-Aztecan people of the Great Basin (Modern English Ute), perhaps from Western Apache (Athabaskan) yudah "high" (in reference to living in the mountains).
Ute Look up Ute at
1826; see Utah.
utensil (n.) Look up utensil at
late 14c., from Old French utensile "implement" (14c., Modern French ustensile), from Latin utensilia "materials, things for use," noun use of neuter plural of utensilis (adj.) "fit for use, of use, useful," from uti (see use (v.)).
uterine (adj.) Look up uterine at
1610s, "pertaining to the womb" (from early 15c. as "having the same birth-mother"), from Old French uterin, from Late Latin uterinus "pertaining to the womb," also "born of the same mother," from Latin uterus "womb" (see uterus).
utero- Look up utero- at
before vowels uter-, word-forming element, from comb. form of Latin uterus (see uterus).
uterus (n.) Look up uterus at
"female organ of gestation, womb," late 14c., from Latin uterus "womb, belly" (plural uteri), from PIE root *udero- "abdomen, womb, stomach" (source also of Sanskrit udaram "belly," Greek hystera "womb," Lithuanian vederas "sausage, intestines, stomach, lower abdomen," Old Church Slavonic vedro "bucket, barrel," Russian vedro).
Utgard Look up Utgard at
abode of the giants in Norse mythology, from Old Norse Utgarðar, from ut "out" (see out (adv.)) + garðr "yard" (from PIE root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose").
utile (adj.) Look up utile at
late 15c., from Old French utile "useful" (13c.), from Latin utilis "useful, beneficial, profitable," from uti "make use of, profit by, take advantage of" (see use (v.)).
utilisation (n.) Look up utilisation at
chiefly British English spelling of utilization (q.v.). For spelling, see -ize.
utilitarian (n.) Look up utilitarian at
1781, coined by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) from utility + -arian on the model of + unitarian, etc. One guided by the doctrine of the greatest happiness for the greatest number. From 1802 as an adjective; in the general sense "having regard to utility rather than beauty," from 1847.
utilitarianism (n.) Look up utilitarianism at
1827, from utilitarian + -ism. The doctrine that the end of all action should be the greatest happiness of the greatest number.
utility (n.) Look up utility at
late 14c., "fact of being useful," from Old French utilite "usefulness" (13c., Modern French + utilité), earlier utilitet (12c.), from Latin utilitatem (nominative utilitas) "usefulness, serviceableness, profit," from utilis "usable," from uti "make use of, profit by, take advantage of" (see use (v.)). Meaning "a useful thing" is from late 15c. As a shortened form of public utility it is recorded from 1930.
utilization (n.) Look up utilization at
1847, noun of action from utilize. Compare French utilisation.
utilize (v.) Look up utilize at
1794, from French utiliser, from Italian utilizzare, from utile "usable," from Latin utilis "usable," from uti "make use of, profit by, take advantage of" (see use (v.)).
Utilize is fast antiquating improve, in the sense of 'turn to account.' [Fitzedward Hall, "Modern English," 1873]
utmost (adj.) Look up utmost at
Old English utmest (Anglian) "outermost," double superlative of ut "out" (see out (adv.)) + -most. Meaning "being of the greatest or highest degree" is from early 14c.
utopia (n.) Look up utopia at
1551, from Modern Latin Utopia, literally "nowhere," coined by Thomas More (and used as title of his book, 1516, about an imaginary island enjoying the utmost perfection in legal, social, and political systems), from Greek ou "not" + topos "place" (see topos). Extended to any perfect place by 1610s. Commonly, but incorrectly, taken as from Greek eu- "good" (see eu-) an error reinforced by the introduction of dystopia.
utopian (adj.) Look up utopian at
1550s, with reference to More's fictional country; 1610s as "extravagantly ideal, impossibly visionary," from utopia + -an. As a noun meaning "visionary idealist" it is recorded by 1832 (also in this sense was utopiast, 1845). Utopian socialism is from 1849, originally pejorative, in reference to the Paris uprising of 1848; also a dismissive term in communist jargon, in reference to the ideas of Fourier, St. Simon, and Owen, "the pre-scientific and infantile stage" of modern, practical socialism.
utopianism (n.) Look up utopianism at
1783, from utopian + -ism.
utter (adj.) Look up utter at
Old English utera, uterra, "outer, exterior, external," from Proto-Germanic *utizon (source also of Old Norse utar, Old Frisian uttra, Middle Dutch utere, Dutch uiter-, Old High German uzar, German äußer "outer"), comparative adjective from ut (see out (adv.)). Meaning "complete, total" (i.e. "going to the utmost point") is from early 15c.
utter (v.) Look up utter at
"speak, say," c. 1400, in part from Middle Dutch uteren or Middle Low German utern "to turn out, show, speak," from uter "outer," comparative adjective from ut "out" (see utter (adj.)); in part from Middle English verb outen "to disclose," from Old English utan "to put out," from ut (see out (v.)). Compare German äussern "to utter, express," from aus "out;" and colloquial phrase out with it "speak up!" Formerly also used as a commercial verb (as release is now). Related: Uttered; uttering.
utterance (n.) Look up utterance at
"that which is uttered," c. 1400, from utter (v.) + -ance.
utterly (adv.) Look up utterly at
early 13c., "truly, plainly, outspokenly," from utter (v.) + -ly (1); meaning "to an absolute degree" is late 14c., from utter (adj.)). Cf similarly formed German äusserlich. Old English uterlic (adj.) meant "external."
uttermost (adj.) Look up uttermost at
late 14c., from utter (adj.) + -most. More recent than utmost. Compare utmost. Middle English also had uttermore (late 14c.), now, alas, no longer with us.
UV Look up UV at
abbreviation of ultraviolet, by 1928.
uvea (n.) Look up uvea at
late 14c., from medical Latin uvea, from Latin uva "grape; uvula" (see uvula). Partial loan-translation of Greek hrago-eides (khiton) "(the covering) resembling berries or grapes" (Galen). Related: Uveal.
uvula (n.) Look up uvula at
late 14c., from Late Latin uvula, from Latin uvola "small bunch of grapes," diminutive of uva "grape," from PIE root *og- "fruit, berry." So called from fancied resemblance of the organ to small grapes. Related: Uvular.
uxorial (adj.) Look up uxorial at
"of or pertaining to a wife," 1778, from Latin uxoris (see uxorious) + -al (1). Sometimes is used in the sense of uxorius.
We still say that a husband hangs out the broom when his wife goes from home for a short time; and on such occasions a broom besom has been exhibited as a signal that the house was freed from uxorial restraint, and where the master might be considered as a temporary bachelor. [Samuel Johnson and George Steevens, notes to "The Tempest," 1778]
uxoricide (n.) Look up uxoricide at
1830, "one who kills his wife;" 1835, "the murder of one's wife," from French uxoricide (in use 1820s) from Latin uxor "wife" (see uxorious) + -cide. Related: Uxoricidal.
uxorious (adj.) Look up uxorious at
"excessively fond of or submissive to one's wife," 1590s, from Latin uxorius "of or pertaining to a wife," also "devoted to a wife" or "ruled by a wife," from uxor (genitive uxoris) "wife," according to Watkins from PIE *uk-sor- "'she who gets accustomed" (to a new household)' after patrilocal marriage."
Uzi Look up Uzi at
1959, trademark name for Israeli-made submachine gun, developed by Usiel Gal (1923–2002), and manufactured by IMI.