Larger font
Smaller font
Etymology dictionary - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    annulus (n.) — anthropocentrism (n.)

    annulus (n.)

    1560s in medical use, "ring-like area or space," from a Medieval Latin misspelling of Latin anulus "little ring, finger ring," a diminutive of anus "ring" (see anus).ETD annulus (n.).2

    annunciation (n.)

    early 14c., anunciacioun, "Lady-day, Church festival commemorating announcement of the incarnation of Christ," from Anglo-French anunciacioun, Old French anonciacion "announcement, news; Feast of the Annunciation," from Latin annuntiationem (nominative annuntiatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of annuntiare "announce, relate" (see announce).ETD annunciation (n.).2

    The general sense of "an announcing" is attested from early 15c. The Church festival (March 25) commemorates the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, foretelling the incarnation. Old English for "Annunciation Day" was bodungdæg.ETD annunciation (n.).3

    annunciate (v.)

    "bring tidings of," 1530s, from Latin annunciatus, misspelling of annuntiatus, past participle of annuntiare "to announce, relate" (see announce). In some cases perhaps a back-formation from annunciation. Middle English had also a past-participle adjective annunciate "announced in advance, declared" (late 14c.). Related: Annunciated; annunciating.ETD annunciate (v.).2

    annus mirabilis (n.)

    Latin, literally "wonderful year, year of wonders," title of a 1667 publication by Dryden, with reference to 1666, which was a year of calamities in London (plague, fire, war), but the English overcame them and scored important military victories in the war against the Dutch. From annus "year" (see annual (adj.)) + mirabilis "wonderful, marvelous, extraordinary; strange, singular" (see marvel (n.)).ETD annus mirabilis (n.).2

    anode (n.)

    1834, coined from Greek anodos "way upward," from ano "upward," from ana "up" (see ana-) + hodos "a way," a word of uncertain origin (see Exodus). Proposed by the Rev. William Whewell, English polymath, and published by English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday. So called from the path the electrical current was thought to take. Compare cathode. Related: Anodic, anodal.ETD anode (n.).2

    anodize (v.)

    "coat (a metal) with a protective oxide layer," 1931, from anode + -ize. Related: Anodized; anodizing.ETD anodize (v.).2

    anodyne (adj.)

    "having power to relieve pain," 1540s, from Medieval Latin anodynus "pain-removing, allaying pain," from Latin anodynus "painless," from Greek anodynos "free from pain," from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + odynē "pain, torment" (of the body or mind), a word of uncertain origin, evidently Indo-European, but none of the proposed etymologies satisfies Beekes. Some suggest it is a suffixed form of PIE root *ed- "to eat" (compare Lithuanian ėdžioti "to devour, bite," ėdžiotis "to suffer pain").ETD anodyne (adj.).2

    As a noun, "substance which alleviates pain," 1540s; in old slang, frequently a euphemism for "death" (as the final relief from the mental pain or distress of life) as in anodyne necklace "hangman's noose." Related: Anodynous.ETD anodyne (adj.).3

    anoint (v.)

    mid-14c., enointen, "pour oil upon, smear with ointment," from Old French enoint "smeared on," past participle of enoindre "smear on," from Latin inunguere "to anoint," from in- "in, into" (see in) + unguere "to smear" (see unguent (n.)).ETD anoint (v.).2

    Forms in a- by late 14c. Originally in reference to grease or oil smeared on for medicinal purposes; its use in the Coverdale Bible in reference to Christ (as in The Lord's Anointed; see chrism) has spiritualized the word. Related: Anointed; anointing (c. 1300 as a verbal noun).ETD anoint (v.).3

    anointed (adj.)

    late 14c., "smeared with oil," past-participle adjective from anoint (v.). Earlier was annoint (c. 1300), from Old French enoint, Latin inunctum. The noun meaning "a consecrated one" (as in Lord's Anointed) is recorded from 1520s.ETD anointed (adj.).2

    anole (n.)

    or anoli, type of American lizard, 1906, from a native name in the Antilles.ETD anole (n.).2

    anomic (adj.)

    1898, from French anomique (Durkheim, 1897); see anomie.ETD anomic (adj.).2

    Also attested from 1919 in a sense "non-legal."ETD anomic (adj.).3

    anomalous (adj.)

    "deviating from a general rule," 1640s, from Late Latin anomalus, from Greek anomalos "uneven, irregular," from an- "not" (see an- (1)) + homalos "even," from homos "same" (from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with"). Related: Anomalously; anomalousness.ETD anomalous (adj.).2

    anomaly (n.)

    1570s, "unevenness;" 1660s, "deviation from the common rule," from Latin anomalia, from Greek anomalia "inequality," abstract noun from anomalos "uneven, irregular," from an- "not" (see an- (1)) + homalos "even," from homos "same" (from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with"). From 1722 as "something abnormal or irregular."ETD anomaly (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "deviating from the usual, abnormal," from Greek anomalos "uneven, irregular" (see anomaly).ETD anomalo-.2

    anomy (n.)

    "lawlessness, violation of (divine) law," 1590s, Englished from French anomie, from Greek anomia "lawlessness," abstract noun from anomos "without law, lawless," from a- "without" (see a- (3)) + nomos "law" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take").ETD anomy (n.).2

    anomie (n.)

    "absence of accepted social values," 1915, in reference to Durkheim, who gave the word its modern meaning in social theory in French; a reborrowing with French spelling of anomy.ETD anomie (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "irregular, unusual," from Greek anomos, from a- "without" (see a- (3)) + nomos "law," from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take."ETD anomo-.2

    anomphalous (adj.)

    "without a navel," 1742, from Latinized compound of Greek an- "without" (see an- (1)) + omphalos "navel" (see omphalos).ETD anomphalous (adj.).2

    anon (adv.)

    late Old English anon "straightway, forthwith," earlier on an, literally "into one," thus "continuously; straightway (in one course), at once;" see one. As a reply, "at once, coming!" By gradual misuse, "soon, in a little while" (1520s). An etymological one-word lesson in procrastination.ETD anon (adv.).2

    anonymously (adv.)

    "without a name, in an anonymous manner," 1728, from anonymous + -ly (2).ETD anonymously (adv.).2

    anonymity (n.)

    "state or quality of being nameless," 1820; see anonym "nameless person" + -ity. In same sense anonymousness is recorded from 1802.ETD anonymity (n.).2

    anonymous (adj.)

    c. 1600, "without a name;" 1670s, "published under no name, of unknown authorship," from Late Latin anonymus, from Greek anonymos "without a name," from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + onyma, Æolic dialectal form of onoma "name" (from PIE root *no-men- "name").ETD anonymous (adj.).2

    anonym (n.)

    1812, "nameless person," from French anonyme, from noun use of Latin anonymus, from Greek anonymos "without a name" (see anonymous). The meaning "fictitious name" is recorded from 1864.ETD anonym (n.).2

    Anopheles (n.)

    genus of mosquitoes, Modern Latin, coined 1818 by German entomologist Johann Wilhelm Meigen from Greek anopheles "hurtful, harmful," literally "useless," from an- "not, without" (see an- (1)) + ophelos "use, help, advantage" (from PIE root *obhel- "to avail;" see Ophelia). So called because it conveys malaria.ETD Anopheles (n.).2

    anorak (n.)

    Eskimo's waterproof, hooded jacket, 1924, from Greenland Eskimo anoraq. Applied to Western imitations of this garment from 1930s. In British slang, "socially inept person" (Partridge associates it with a fondness for left-wing politics and pirate radio), by 1983, on the notion that that sort of person typically wears this sort of coat.ETD anorak (n.).2

    anorectic (adj.)

    "characterized by want of appetite," 1832, medical Latin, from Greek anorektos "without appetite," from an- "not, without" (see an- (1)) + orektos, verbal adjective of oregein "to long for, desire" (see anorexia). As a noun, attested from 1913.ETD anorectic (adj.).2

    anorexic (adj.)

    1876, "lacking an appetite;" see anorexia + -ic. The immediate source or model is perhaps French anorexique. As a noun meaning "person with anorexia nervosa" it is attested from 1913.ETD anorexic (adj.).2

    anorexia (n.)

    1590s, "morbid want of appetite," Modern Latin, from Greek anorexia, from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + orexis "appetite, desire," from oregein "to desire, long for," literally "reach out (one's hand), stretch oneself, stretch out for" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line") + abstract noun ending -ia. In current use, often short for anorexia nervosa.ETD anorexia (n.).2

    anorexia nervosa (n.)

    "emaciation as a result of severe emotional disturbance," coined 1873 by William W. Gull, who also offered as an alternative apepsia hysterica as a name for it. See anorexia.ETD anorexia nervosa (n.).2

    anormal (adj.)

    "not according to rule, abnormal," 1812, from French anormal, from Medieval Latin anormalus, a corruption of anomalus (from Greek anomalos "uneven, irregular;" see anomaly), as if from Latin ab "away" + norma "rule, pattern." In 20c., it was used as "an antonym of 'normal' when the association of 'abnormal', i.e. 'unhealthy', 'unnatural', would be inappropriate" [OED].ETD anormal (adj.).2

    anosmia (n.)

    "loss of sense of smell," 1811, Modern Latin, from Greek an- "not, without" (see an- (1)) + osmē "smell" (Doric odmē), from *odsme, from PIE root *hed- "to smell" (see odor) + abstract noun ending -ia.ETD anosmia (n.).2

    another (pron., adv.)

    "not this, not the same; someone or something else," early 13c., a contraction of an other (see an + other). Old English used simply oþer. Originally "a second of two." The compound reciprocal pronoun one another is attested by 1520s.ETD another (pron., adv.).2

    anoxic (adj.)

    "characterized by or causing lack of oxygen in tissues," 1920, medical Latin, from Greek an- "not, without" (see an- (1)) + first two letters of oxygen + -ic. Anoxia "oxygen deficiency" is attested from 1931.ETD anoxic (adj.).2

    Anschauung (n.)

    "sense-perception," 1833 as a German word in English, nativized from 1848, from German Anschauung "mode of view," literally "a looking at," from anschauen "to look at," from Middle High German aneschouwen, from an (see on) + Old High German scouwon "to look at" (from PIE root *keu- "to see, observe, perceive"). A term in Kantian philosophy.ETD Anschauung (n.).2

    anschluss (n.)

    1924 as a German word in English, from German Anschluß, "connection; addition; junction," literally "joining, union," from anschließen "to join, annex," from an "at, to, toward" (from Old High German ana- "on;" see on) + schließen "to shut, close, lock, bolt; contract" (a marriage); see slot (n.2). Specifically the Pan-Germanic proposal to unite Germany and Austria, accomplished in 1938.ETD anschluss (n.).2


    masc. proper name, from Latin Anselmus, from Old High German Ansehelm, literally "having a divine helmet," or "with the gods for a hemlet," from ansi "god" (see Aesir) + helm "helmet" (see helm (n.2)). Related: Anselmian.ETD Anselm.2

    answer (n.)

    Middle English answere, from Old English andswaru "a response, a reply to a question," from and- "against" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + -swaru "affirmation," from swerian "to swear" (see swear). The proposed etymology suggests an original sense of "sworn statement rebutting a charge." The meaning "solution of a problem" is from c. 1300.ETD answer (n.).2

    A common Germanic compound (cognates: Old Saxon antswor, Old Norse andsvar, Old Frisian ondser, Danish and Swedish ansvar), implying a Proto-Germanic *andswara-. The simpler idea of "a word in reply" is expressed in Gothic anda-vaurd, German Antwort.ETD answer (n.).3

    answer (v.)

    Middle English answeren, from Old English answarian "make a statement in reply," from and- "against" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + swerian "to swear" (see swear), suggesting an original sense of "make a sworn statement rebutting a charge."ETD answer (v.).2

    The meanings "conform, correspond" and "be responsible for" are from early 13c; that of "suffer the consequences of" is from late 13c.; that of "respond in antiphony" is from early 15c. The sense of "respond in act or action, give back in kind" is from 1570s; that of "solve, find the result of" is from 1742. Related: Answered; answering. The telephone answering machine was so called by 1961.ETD answer (v.).3

    answerable (adj.)

    "liable to be held responsible," 1540s, from answer (v.) in the "be responsible for" sense + -able. The less-common meaning "able to be answered" is from 1690s.ETD answerable (adj.).2

    answerless (adj.)

    "having no answer to give; offering no substantial reply," 1530s, from answer (n.) + -less.ETD answerless (adj.).2

    ante (n.)

    in the game of poker, "stake of money placed in a pool by each player before drawing cards," 1838, American English poker slang, apparently from Latin ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before"). From 1846 as a verb.ETD ante (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "before, in front of; previous, existing beforehand; introductory to," from Latin ante (prep., adv.) "before (in place or time), in front of, against," also used in compounds, from PIE *anti- "facing opposite, against," inflected form (locative singular) of root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before."ETD ante-.2


    agent or instrumental suffix, from Old French and French -ant, from Latin -antem, accusative of -ans, present-participle suffix of many Latin verbs. Compare -ance.ETD -ant.2

    ant (n.)

    c. 1500 shortening of Middle English ampte (late 14c.), from Old English æmette "ant," from West Germanic *emaitjon (source also of Old High German ameiza, German Ameise) from a compound of Germanic *e-, *ai- "off, away" + *mai- "cut," from PIE root *mai- (1) "to cut" (see maim). Thus the insect's name is, etymologically, "the biter-off."ETD ant (n.).2

    Emmet survived into 20c. as an alternative form. By a similar contraction, aunt "a parent's sister" is from Latin amita. White ant "termite" is from 1729. To have ants in one's pants "be nervous and fidgety" is from 1934, made current by a popular song; antsy embodies the same notion.ETD ant (n.).3


    Proto-Indo-European root meaning "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before; end." Also see *ambhi-.ETD *ant-.2

    It forms all or part of: advance; advantage; along; ancestor; ancient (adj.); answer; Antaeus; ante; ante-; ante meridiem; antecede; antecedent; antedate; antediluvian; ante-partum; antepenultimate; anterior; anti-; antic; anticipate; anticipation; antique; antler; avant-garde; elope; end; rampart; un- (2) prefix of reversal; until; vambrace; vamp (n.1) "upper of a shoe or boot;" vanguard.ETD *ant-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit antah "end, border, boundary;" Hittite hanti "opposite;" Greek anta, anten "opposite," anti "over against, opposite, before;" Latin ante (prep., adv.) "before (in place or time), in front of, against;" Old Lithuanian anta "on to;" Gothic anda "along;" Old English and- "against;" German ent- "along, against."ETD *ant-.4

    antacid (n.)

    "alkali used as a remedy for acidity in the stomach," 1732, medical hybrid from anti- (which is shortened to ant- before vowels and -h-) + acid (n.). Also from 1732 as an adjective.ETD antacid (n.).2


    Libyan giant slain by Herakles, from Latinized form of Greek Antaios, literally "opposite, opposed to, hostile," from anta "over against, face to face," related to anti "opposite, against" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before").ETD Antaeus.2

    antagonize (v.)

    1630s, "to compete with" (obsolete); 1742, "act in opposition to, struggle against continuously," from Greek antagonizesthai "to struggle against, oppose, be a rival," from anti "against" (see anti-) + agonizesthai "to contend for a prize," from agon "a struggle, a contest" (see agony). The meaning "make antagonistic" is by 1882. Related: Antagonized; antagonizing; antagonization.ETD antagonize (v.).2

    antagonism (n.)

    "state of being mutually opposed; opposition between two things or against something," 1797, from French antagonisme or directly from late Greek antagonisma, noun of action from antagonizesthai "to struggle against, oppose, be a rival," from anti "against" (see anti-) + agonizesthai "to contend for a prize," from agon "a contest, a struggle" (see agony). Milton used antagony as a noun.ETD antagonism (n.).2

    antagonise (v.)

    chiefly British English spelling of antagonize; see -ize. Related: Antagonised; antagonising.ETD antagonise (v.).2

    antagonist (n.)

    "one who contends with another," 1590s, from French antagoniste (16c.) or directly from Late Latin antagonista, from Greek antagonistēs "competitor, opponent, rival," agent noun from antagonizesthai "to struggle against, oppose, be a rival," from anti "against" (see anti-) + agonizesthai "to contend for a prize," from agon "a struggle, a contest" (see agony). Originally in battle or sport, extended 1620s to any sphere of human activity.ETD antagonist (n.).2

    antagonistic (adj.)

    "acting in opposition," 1630s, from antagonist + -ic. Related: Antagonistical (1620s); antagonistically.ETD antagonistic (adj.).2

    antalgic (adj.)

    "alleviating pain," 1775, from Greek ant-, form of anti- used before vowels (see anti-), + algos "pain" (see -algia) + -ic. As a noun, "preparation which alleviates pain," 1753.ETD antalgic (adj.).2

    antanaclasis (n.)

    in rhetoric, "repetition of the same word in a different sense" ("While we live, let us live"), 1650s, from Latinized form of Greek antanaklasis "reflection of light or sound," literally "a bending back against," from anti "against" (see anti-) + anaklan "to bend back."ETD antanaclasis (n.).2

    antaphrodisiac (adj.)

    1719, "used against sexual appetite;" 1742, "used against venereal disease;" from anti- + Greek aphrodisios "venereal" (see aphrodisiac). From 1753 as a noun, "medicine used against venereal disease." Antaphroditic is from 1706 as a noun, "medicine having the power to mitigate venereal disease;" 1755 as an adjective.ETD antaphrodisiac (adj.).2


    bright star in Scorpio, from Greek Antares, contracted from anti Ares "rival of Mars," in reference to its red color, which resembles that of the red planet. See anti- + Ares. In Middle English, Cor Scorpionis (late 14c.).ETD Antares.2

    antarchism (n.)

    "opposition to all social government or control of individuals by law," 1845, from antarchy + -ism. Related: Antarchist; antarchistic.ETD antarchism (n.).2

    antarchy (n.)

    "opposition to government," 1650s, from anti- "against, opposed to" + -archy "rule." Related: Antarchic.ETD antarchy (n.).2

    antarctic (adj.)

    late 14c., antartyk "opposite to the north pole" (adj.), from Old French antartique, from Medieval Latin antarcticus, from Greek antarktikos "opposite the north," from anti- "opposite" (see anti-) + arktikos "arctic" (see arctic).ETD antarctic (adj.).2

    The first -c- ceased to be pronounced in Medieval Latin and was dropped in Old French. Modern English restores it in spelling from 17c. Also from late 14c. as a noun (with capital A-), "region around the South pole of the sky or the southern regions of the Earth."ETD antarctic (adj.).3


    continent name attributed to Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew, who used it on a map published in 1887. From antarctic (q.v.). Hypothetical southern continents had been imagined since antiquity; the first sighting of Antarctica by Europeans probably was in 1820 (Lazarev and Bellingshausen). Also compare antipodes.ETD Antarctica.2

    ant-eater (n.)

    also anteater, "animal that feeds upon ants," 1764, in reference to the South American species; 1868 of the Australian echidna; from ant + agent noun from eat (v.).ETD ant-eater (n.).2

    ante-bellum (adj.)

    also antebellum, from Latin phrase ante bellum, literally "before the war;" see ante- + bellicose. In U.S., usually in reference to the American Civil War (1861-65); attested in that specific sense by 1862 (it appears in a June 14 entry in Mary Chesnut's diary).ETD ante-bellum (adj.).2

    antecedence (n.)

    1650s, "fact or act of coming before (another or others) in time, place, or order," from Latin antecedens "a going before" (see antecedent). From 1660s in the specific sense in astronomy, "apparent contrary motion of a planet" (from east to west). Related: Antecedency (1590s).ETD antecedence (n.).2

    antecedent (n.)

    late 14c. in grammar ("noun to which a pronoun refers") and in logic ("if A is, then B is;" A is the antecedent, B the consequent), from Old French antecedent (14c.) or directly from Latin antecedentem (nominative antecedens), noun use of present participle of antecedere "go before, precede," from ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + cedere "to yield" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield").ETD antecedent (n.).2

    Hence "an event upon which another follows" (1610s). As an adjective in English from c. 1400. Related: Antecedently.ETD antecedent (n.).3

    antecede (v.)

    "come before in time, place, or order," early 15c. (implied in anteceding), from Latin antecedere "go before," from ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + cedere "to yield" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield"). Related: Anteceded; anteceding.ETD antecede (v.).2

    antecessor (n.)

    c. 1300, "an ancestor;" c. 1400, "a predecessor;" see ancestor.ETD antecessor (n.).2

    antechamber (n.)

    "chamber which gives access to a principal chamber; waiting room," 1650s, antichamber, from French antichambre (16c.), on analogy of Italian anticamera (see ante- and chamber (n.)). English spelling Latinized to ante- in 18c.ETD antechamber (n.).2

    antedate (v.)

    1580s, "to date before the true time," earlier as noun meaning "a backdating, false early date attached to a document or event" (1570s); from Latin ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + date (v.1). The meaning "be of older date than" is from 1660s. Related: Antedated; antedating.ETD antedate (v.).2

    antediluvian (adj.)

    "before Noah's flood," 1640s, from Latin ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + diluvium "a flood" (see deluge (n.)). Hence (humorously or disparagingly) "very antiquated" (1726). Coined by English physician Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682). As a noun meaning "person who lived before the Flood," from 1680s. Related: antediluvial (1823).ETD antediluvian (adj.).2

    antelope (n.)

    early 15c., from Old French antelop, from Medieval Latin antalopus, anthalopus (11c.), from Late Greek antholops (Eusebius of Antioch, c. 336 C.E.), in reference to a fabulous animal haunting the banks of the Euphrates, very savage, hard to catch and having long saw-like horns capable of cutting down trees. In modern zoology, the name was applied c. 1600 to a living type of deer-like mammal of India. In the western U.S., the name is used in reference to the pronghorn.ETD antelope (n.).2

    The word's original sense and language are unknown (it looks like Greek "flower-eye," as if from anthos + ops, but that may be Greek folk etymology). The creature figures in heraldry, and also was known in Medieval Latin as talopus and calopus.ETD antelope (n.).3

    ante meridiem

    "of morning, before mid-day," 1560s, Latin, literally "before noon," from ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + accusative of meridies "midday, noon" (see meridian). The adjective antemeridian is attested from 1650s.ETD ante meridiem.2

    ante-mortal (adj.)

    "occurring before death," 1827; see ante- + mortal (adj.).ETD ante-mortal (adj.).2

    antemundane (adj.)

    "existing or happening before the creation of the world," 1731; see ante- + mundane.ETD antemundane (adj.).2

    antenatal (adj.)

    "before birth," 1798; see ante- "before" + natal "pertaining to birth." Ante-nati was an old term for (in Scotland) those born before the accession of James I to the English throne, also used in U.S. in reference to those born in the colonies before the Declaration of Independence.ETD antenatal (adj.).2

    antenna (n.)

    1640s, "feeler or horn of an insect or other arthropod," from Latin antenna, antemna "sail yard," the long yard that sticks up on some sails, which is of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE root *temp- "to stretch, extend." In the entomological sense, it is a loan-translation of Aristotle's Greek keraiai "horns" (of insects). Modern use in radio, etc., for "aerial wire" is from 1902. Adjectival forms are antennal (1815), antennary (1833), antennular (1853).ETD antenna (n.).2

    antennae (n.)

    classically correct plural of antenna; see -ae.ETD antennae (n.).2

    antennas (n.)

    nativized plural of antenna; see -ae.ETD antennas (n.).2

    antenuptial (adj.)

    "prior to marriage," 1757, originally in reference to children's births, from Late Latin antenuptialis; see ante- + nuptial.ETD antenuptial (adj.).2

    ante-partum (adj.)

    also antepartum, "occurring or existing before birth," 1908, from Latin phrase ante partum "before birth," from ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + accusative of partus "a bearing, a bringing forth," from partus, past participle of parire "to bring forth" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").ETD ante-partum (adj.).2

    antepenult (n.)

    1610s, shortening of antepenultima "last syllable but two in a word" (1580s); see antepenultimate.ETD antepenult (n.).2

    antepenultimate (adj.)

    "the last but two," 1730, from antepenult (n.), 1610s, abbreviation of Latin antepænultima (syllaba) "last syllable but two in a word," from fem. of antepænultimus, from ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + pænultima, from pæne "almost" (a word of uncertain origin) + ultima "last" (see ultimate).ETD antepenultimate (adj.).2

    antephialtic (adj.)

    "tending to prevent nightmares," 1848; see anti- + ephialtes.ETD antephialtic (adj.).2

    anterior (adj.)

    "more in front; earlier," 1610s, Latin, literally "former," comparative of ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before"). Related: Anteriorly (1590s); anteriority.ETD anterior (adj.).2

    ante-room (n.)

    also anteroom, "small room giving access to a larger," especially a waiting room for visitors, 1762, literally "a room in front;" after French antichambre, Italian anticamera, from Latin ante "before" (see ante-) + camera "vaulted room" (see chamber (n.)).ETD ante-room (n.).2

    anthelion (n.)

    "faint luminous ring caused by diffraction of light," 1660s, from Greek anthēlion, noun use of neuter of anthēlios, from assimilated form of anti "opposite" (see anti-) + hēlios "sun" (from PIE root *sawel- "the sun").ETD anthelion (n.).2

    anthem (n.)

    Middle English anteme, from Old English ontemn, antefn, "a composition (in prose or verse) sung in alternate parts," from Late Latin antefana, from Greek antiphona "verse response" (see antiphon).ETD anthem (n.).2

    The sense evolved to "a composition (usually from Scripture) set to sacred music" (late 14c.), then "song of praise or gladness" (1590s). It came to be used in reference to the English national song (technically, as OED points out, a hymn) and extended to those of other nations. The modern spelling is from late 16c.; perhaps it is a mistaken attempt to restore a Greek original, but the -th- is unetymological.ETD anthem (n.).3

    anthemic (adj.)

    of music, "felt to resemble an anthem," 1841, from anthem + -ic. In reference to a type of acid, 1859, so called because isolated from dog-fennel (Anthemis arvensis).ETD anthemic (adj.).2

    anther (n.)

    1550s, "medical extract of flowers," from French anthère or Modern Latin anthera "a medicine extracted from a flower," from Greek anthera, fem. of antheros "flowery, blooming," from anthos "flower," from PIE root *andh- "to bloom" (source also of Sanskrit andhas "herb," Armenian and "field," Middle Irish ainder "young girl," Welsh anner "young cow"). The botanical sense of "polliniferous part of a stamen" attested by 1791.ETD anther (n.).2

    anthesis (n.)

    "full bloom, period or act of blooming, time that the flower is expanded," 1811, from Greek anthesis, noun of action from antheein "to blossom," from anthos "flower" (see anther).ETD anthesis (n.).2

    ant-hill (n.)

    also anthill, "mound of dirt formed by ants in building their nest," late 13c., from ant + hill (n.).ETD ant-hill (n.).2

    anthology (n.)

    1630s, "collection of poetry," from Latin anthologia, from Greek anthologia "collection of small poems and epigrams by several authors," literally "flower-gathering," from anthos "a flower" (see anther) + logia "collection, collecting," from legein "gather" (see -logy). The modern sense (which emerged in Late Greek) is metaphoric: "flowers" of verse, small poems by various writers gathered together.ETD anthology (n.).2

    anthologize (v.)

    "include (a work or author) in an anthology," 1889; see anthology + -ize. Related: Anthologized; anthologizing.ETD anthologize (v.).2

    anthomania (n.)

    "extravagant passion for flowers," 1775, from Greek anthos "flower" (see anther) + mania. Related: Anthomaniac.ETD anthomania (n.).2


    masc. proper name, from Latin Antonius, name of a Roman gens (with an unetymological -h- probably suggested by many Greek loan words beginning anth-, such as anthros "flower," anthropos "man").ETD Anthony.2

    St. Anthony (4c.), Egyptian hermit, was patron saint of swineherds, to whom one of each litter was usually vowed, hence Anthony for "smallest pig of the litter" (1660s; in condensed form tantony pig from 1590s). St. Anthony's Fire (1520s), popular name for erysipelas, is said to be so called from the tradition that those who sought his intercession recovered from that distemper during a fatal epidemic in 1089.ETD Anthony.3

    anthracite (n.)

    "non-bituminous coal, hard coal," 1812, earlier (c. 1600) a type of ruby-like gem described by Pliny, from Latin anthracites "bloodstone, semi-precious gem," from Greek anthrakitēs "coal-like," from anthrax (genitive anthrakos) "live coal" (see anthrax). Deep black with a brilliant luster, it is nearly pure carbon and burns almost without a flame and formerly was mined extensively in eastern Pennsylvania and south Wales. Related: Anthractic (adj.), anthracitic.ETD anthracite (n.).2

    anthracomancy (n.)

    "divination by inspection of burning coals," 1895, from Latinized combining form of Greek anthrax "live coal" (see anthrax) + -mancy "divination by means of."ETD anthracomancy (n.).2

    anthrax (n.)

    late 14c., "severe boil or carbuncle," from Latin anthrax "virulent ulcer," from Greek anthrax "charcoal, live coal," also "carbuncle," which is of unknown origin; probably [Beekes] from a pre-Greek language. The specific sense in reference to a malignant disease in sheep and cattle (and occasionally humans) is from 1876.ETD anthrax (n.).2


    see anthropo-.ETD anthro-.2

    anthropic (adj.)

    "pertaining to a human being," 1836, from Greek anthrōpikos "human; of or for a man," from anthrōpos "male human being, man" (see anthropo-). Related: Anthropical (1804).ETD anthropic (adj.).2


    before a vowel, anthrop-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to man or human beings," from Greek anthrōpos "man; human being" (including women), as opposed to the gods, from andra (genitive andros), Attic form of Greek anēr "man" (as opposed to a woman, a god, or a boy), from PIE root *ner- (2) "man," also "vigorous, vital, strong."ETD anthropo-.2

    Anthropos sometimes is explained as a compound of anēr and ōps (genitive ōpos) "eye, face;" so literally "he who has the face of a man." The change of -d- to -th- is difficult to explain; perhaps it is from some lost dialectal variant, or the mistaken belief that there was an aspiration sign over the vowel in the second element (as though *-dhropo-), which mistake might have come about by influence of common verbs such as horao "to see." But Beekes writes, "As no IE explanation has been found, the word is probably of substrate origin."ETD anthropo-.3

    anthropocentrism (n.)

    "system or theory that regards human beings as the central fact of creation," 1897; see anthropocentric + -ism.ETD anthropocentrism (n.).2

    Larger font
    Smaller font