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    aquiline (adj.) — archive (n.)

    aquiline (adj.)

    "curved like an eagle's beak," 1640s, originally in English in reference to long, hooked noses, from Latin aquilinus "of or like an eagle," from aquila "eagle," a word of uncertain origin. The meaning "pertaining to an eagle" is from 1650s; that of "eagle-like" is by 1742.ETD aquiline (adj.).2

    Latin aquila often is explained as "the dark bird;" compare aquilus "blackish, swarthy, of the color of darkness," but some suggest the color word is from the bird. De Vaan writes, "It is possible that 'eagle' was derived from aquilus 'dark' when this had received its colour meaning. It may not be the only dark bird, but it is certainly one of the biggest and most majestic of them." As for aquilus, "The Romans derived this colour from aqua 'water', which [Etymologicum Magnum] reject because they cannot imagine water being black. Still, this seems a more likely derivation to me than from aquila 'eagle' ...."ETD aquiline (adj.).3


    historical duchy in southwestern France, from Latin Aquitania, the first element from aqua "water" (from PIE root *akwa- "water"), the second probably meaning "land, province." Related: Aquitanian.ETD Aquitaine.2

    aquiver (adv.)

    "tremblingly, with much quivering," 1864, from a- (1) + quiver (v.).ETD aquiver (adv.).2


    Greek god of war in all its violence, brutality, confusion, and destruction; identified by Romans with their Mars, from Greek Arēs, literally "injurer, destroyer," from arē "bane, ruin," and perhaps cognate with Sanskrit irasya "ill-will" (see ire).ETD Ares.2


    form of ad- before -r-.ETD ar-.2

    are (v.)

    present plural indicative of be (q.v.), from Old English earun (Mercian), aron (Northumbrian), from Proto-Germanic *ar-, probably a variant of PIE *es- "to be" (see am). Also from Old Norse cognates.ETD are (v.).2

    In 17c. it began to replace be, ben as first person plural present indicative in standard English. The only non-dialectal survival of be in this sense is the powers that be. But in southwest England, we be (in Devonshire us be) remains non-standard idiom as a contradictory positive ("You people aren't speaking correct English." "Oh, yes we be!"), and we be has reappeared in African-American vernacular.ETD are (v.).3

    are (n.)

    metric unit of square measure, 10 meters on each side (100 square meters), 1819, from French, formed 1795 by decree of the French National Convention, from Latin area "vacant piece of ground" (see area).ETD are (n.).2


    word-formation element meaning "pertaining to, of the nature of," from Latin -arem, -aris "of the kind of, belonging to," a secondary form (by dissimilation) of -alis, used after syllables with an -l- (such as insularis for *insulalis, stellaris for *stellalis).ETD -ar.2


    also arə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to fit together."ETD *ar-.2

    It forms all or part of: adorn; alarm; aristarchy; aristo-; aristocracy; arm (n.1) "upper limb of the body;" arm (n.2) "weapon;" armada; armadillo; armament; armature; armilla; armistice; armoire; armor; armory; army; art (n.) "skill as a result of learning or practice;" arthralgia; arthritis; arthro-; arthropod; arthroscopy; article; articulate; artifact; artifice; artisan; artist; coordination; disarm; gendarme; harmony; inert; inertia; inordinate; ordain; order; ordinal; ordinance; ordinary; ordinate; ordnance; ornament; ornate; primordial; subordinate; suborn.ETD *ar-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit irmah "arm," rtih "manner, mode;" Armenian arnam "make," armukn "elbow;" Greek arti "just," artios "complete, suitable," artizein "to prepare," arthron "a joint;" Latin ars (stem art-) "art, skill, craft," armus "shoulder," artus "joint," arma "weapons;" Old Prussian irmo "arm;" German art "manner, mode."ETD *ar-.4


    ancient southern constellation, 1590s, from Latin āra "altar, hearth," from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow."ETD Ara.2

    Arabic (adj.)

    "belonging to Arabia," early 14c., from Old French arabique (13c.) and directly from Latin Arabicus "Arabic" (see Arab). Old English used Arabisc "Arabish." Originally in reference to gum arabic. The noun meaning "Arabic language" (a Semitic tongue, the language of the Arabs and the Quran) is from late 14c.ETD Arabic (adj.).2

    Arabic numerals (actually Indian) first attested 1727; they were introduced in Europe by Gerbert of Aurillac (later Pope Sylvester II) after a visit to Islamic Spain in 967-970. A prominent man of science, he taught in the diocesan school at Reims, but the numbers made little headway against conservative opposition in the Church until after the Crusades. The earliest depiction of them in English, in "The Crafte of Nombrynge" (c. 1350) correctly identifies them as "teen figurys of Inde."ETD Arabic (adj.).3

    Arab (n.)

    "one of the native people of Arabia and surrounding regions," late 14c. (Arabes, a plural form), from Old French Arabi, from Latin Arabs (accusative Arabem), from Greek Araps (genitive Arabos), from Arabic 'arab, indigenous name of the people, perhaps literally "inhabitant of the desert" and related to Hebrew arabha "desert."ETD Arab (n.).2

    The meaning "homeless little wanderer, child of the street" is from 1848 (Arab of the city, but the usual form was city arab), an allusion to the nomadic ways of the Bedouin. The Arab League was formed in Cairo, March 22, 1945.ETD Arab (n.).3

    arabesque (n.)

    1786, "Moorish or Arabic ornamental design," from French arabesque (16c.), from Italian arabesco, from Arabo "Arab" (see Arab), with reference to Moorish architecture. In reference to an ornamented theme or passage in piano music it is attested by 1853, originally the title given in 1839 by Robert Schumann to one of his piano pieces ("Arabeske in C major"). As a ballet pose, attested by 1830.ETD arabesque (n.).2


    1711; see Arab + -ia. The older name for "the country of Arabia" was Araby (late 13c.).ETD Arabia.2


    c. 1300, adjective and noun; see Arab + -ian. As a prized type of horse, it is attested from 1660s. The Arabian bird was the phoenix.ETD Arabian.2

    arable (adj.)

    early 15c., "suitable for plowing" (as opposed to pasture- or wood-land), from Old French arable (12c.), from Latin arabilis, from arare "to plow," from PIE root *erie- "to plow" (source also of Greek aroun, Old Church Slavonic orja, orati, Lithuanian ariu, arti "to plow;" Gothic arjan, Old English erian, Middle Irish airim, Welsh arddu "to plow;" Old Norse arþr "a plow," Middle Irish arathar, Armenian arawr, Lithuanian arklas "a plow").ETD arable (adj.).2

    By late 18c. it replaced or absorbed native erable, from Old English erian "to plow," from the same PIE source. Related: Arability.ETD arable (adj.).3

    arachnid (n.)

    1854, "a spider," from French arachnide (1806) or Modern Latin Arachnida (plural), the zoological name for the class of arthropods including spiders, scorpions, and mites, introduced as a class-name 1815 by French biologist Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de Lamarck, from Latinized form of Greek arakhnē (fem.) "spider; spider's web," which probably is cognate with Latin aranea "spider, spider's web," from aracsna, which is of unknown origin.ETD arachnid (n.).2

    The Latin word could be a borrowing of the Greek one, or both could be from a common root. Beekes writes, "As the word looks non-IE and since it is limited to these two languages, it is probably a borrowing." Latin aranea is the source of common words for "spider" in French (araignée, Old French araigne), Spanish (araña), Italian (aragna), etc. It also was borrowed in Old English as renge "spider;" Middle English had araine "spider" (late 14c., from Old French), which survived in dialect as arain, noted in John Ray's "Collection of English Words" (1768) as a Nottinghamshire word for "the larger kind of spiders." Also compare araneology.ETD arachnid (n.).3

    Earlier noun forms were arachnidian (1828), arachnidan (1843). As adjectives, arachnidean (1853), arachnidian (1854), arachnidial (1877), arachnidal (1850), arachnidous (1833) have been used.ETD arachnid (n.).4

    arachnoid (adj.)

    "cobweb-like," especially of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord, 1789, from Modern Latin arachnoides, from Greek arakhnoeides "cobweb-like," from arakhnē "cobweb" (see arachnid) + -oeidēs (see -oid).ETD arachnoid (adj.).2

    arachnologist (n.)

    "student of arachnids," 1806; see arachnid + -ology. Related: Arachnology (1850).ETD arachnologist (n.).2

    arachnophobia (n.)

    "morbid fear of spiders," 1925, from combining form of arachnid + -phobia "fear."ETD arachnophobia (n.).2


    medieval northern Spanish kingdom, named for a river that runs through it, probably from a PIE root meaning "water." Related: Aragonese (late 14c., Arragounneys); Middle English also had a noun Aragoner.ETD Aragon.2

    Aramaic (adj.)

    1824, in reference to the northern branch of the Semitic language group, from Greek Aramaia, the biblical land of 'Aram, roughly corresponding to modern Syria. The place name probably is related to Hebrew and Aramaic rum "to be high," thus originally "highland." As a noun, "the Aramaic langue," from 1833; Aramaic was the lingua franca of the Assyrian empire, the official language of the Persian kingdom, and the daily language of the Jews at the time of Christ.ETD Aramaic (adj.).2

    Aramaean (adj.)

    "belonging to the people of Aram," 1816, from Greek aramaios, from Aramaia (see Aramaic).ETD Aramaean (adj.).2

    araneology (n.)

    "study of spiders," 1798, from araneae, zoological name of the order of spiders, from Latin aranea "spider" (source of French araignée, Spanish araña, Italian aragna; see arachnid) + -ology. Related: Araneous (ad.), 1650s; araneidan (n.), 1835; araneologist.ETD araneology (n.).2

    arational (adj.)

    also a-rational, "not purporting to be governed by laws of reason," 1935; see a- (2) + rational.ETD arational (adj.).2

    Araucanian (n.)

    language spoken by the Araucanian people of central Chile, 1809, also Araucano, Mapudungu.ETD Araucanian (n.).2

    Arawakan (n.)

    language group formerly widespread in the West Indies and South America, 1910, from the self-designation of the Arawak people on continental South America. They were identical with, or closely related to the natives whom Columbus encountered on the islands, who were historically called Taino.ETD Arawakan (n.).2

    arbalest (n.)

    type of crossbow, also arbalist, c. 1300, from Old French arbaleste "large crossbow with a crank" (12c., Modern French arbalète), from Vulgar Latin *arbalista, from Late Latin arcuballista "catapult," from Latin arcus "bow" (see arc (n.)) + ballista "machine for throwing projectiles" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). German Armbrust is from the same French word but mangled by folk etymology. Related: Arbalester.ETD arbalest (n.).2

    arbiter (n.)

    late 14c., "person who has power of judging absolutely according to his own pleasure in a dispute or issue," from Old French arbitre "arbiter, judge" (13c.) and directly from Latin arbiter "one who goes somewhere (as witness or judge)," in classical Latin used of spectators and eye-witnesses; specifically in law, "he who hears and decides a case, a judge, umpire, mediator;" from ad "to" (see ad-) + baetere "to come, go," a word of unknown etymology.ETD arbiter (n.).2

    The specific sense of "one chosen by two disputing parties to decide the matter" is from 1540s. Compare arbitrator. The earliest form of the word attested in English is the fem. noun arbitress (mid-14c.) "a woman who settles disputes." Gaius Petronius Arbiter (circa 27-66 C.E.) was a friend of Nero, noted voluptuary, reputed author of the "Satyricon," and an authority on matters of taste and style (elegantiae arbiter, punning on the name).ETD arbiter (n.).3

    arbitration (n.)

    late 14c., arbitracioun, "faculty of making a choice or decision, judgment, discretion;" early 15c., "authority or responsibility for deciding a dispute," from Old French arbitracion and directly from Latin arbitrationem (nominative arbitratio) "judgment, will," noun of action from past-participle stem of arbitrari "to be of an opinion, give a decision," from arbiter "a judge, umpire, mediator" (see arbiter). The meaning "settlement of a dispute by a third party" is from 1630s. Related: Arbitrative.ETD arbitration (n.).2

    arbitral (adj.)

    "pertaining to arbitration" (without the negative overtones of arbitrary), c. 1600; see arbiter + -al (1).ETD arbitral (adj.).2

    arbitrator (n.)

    "person chosen by opposite parties to decide some point at issue between them," early 15c., from Late Latin arbitrator "a spectator, hearer, witness; a judge," agent noun from past-participle stem of arbitrari "be of an opinion, give a decision," from arbiter "a judge, umpire, mediator" (see arbiter).ETD arbitrator (n.).2

    The legal form of popular arbiter. In modern usage, an arbiter makes decisions of his own accord and is accountable to no one but himself; an arbitrator decides issues referred to him by the parties. "It is often the practice to appoint two or more arbitrators, with an umpire, chosen usually by them, as final referee" [OED].ETD arbitrator (n.).3

    arbitrer (n.)

    "arbitrator," late 14c., from Anglo-French arbitrour, Old French arbitreor "arbitrator, judge" (13c.), from Old French arbitrer "a judge, umpire, mediator" (see arbiter). Fem. form arbitress is from mid-14c.ETD arbitrer (n.).2

    arbitrate (v.)

    1580s, "act as an umpire, mediate, decide, determine, give an authoritative decision," from Latin arbitratus, past participle of arbitrari "be of an opinion, give a decision," from arbiter "a judge, umpire, mediator" (see arbiter). The meaning "act as an arbitrator" is from 1610s. Related: Arbitrated; arbitrating; arbitrable (1530s). The earlier verb form was arbitren "decide a dispute by arbitration" (early 15c.).ETD arbitrate (v.).2

    arbitrage (n.)

    "arbitration, exercise of the function of an arbitrator," late 15c., from Old French arbitrage "arbitration, judgment," from arbitrer "to arbitrate, judge," from Late Latin arbitrari, from Latin arbiter "judge, umpire, mediator" (see arbiter). In finance, "the business founded on a calculation of the temporary differences in the price of securities in different markets." by 1875.ETD arbitrage (n.).2

    arbitrary (adj.)

    c. 1400, arbitrarie, "deciding by one's own discretion, depending on one's judgment," generally in reference to an authority or government, from Latin arbitrarius "of arbitration, done by means of arbitration, not regulated by fixed law," hence "depending on the will;" also "uncertain;" from arbiter "a judge, umpire, mediator," etymologically "one who goes somewhere" as witness or judge (see arbiter).ETD arbitrary (adj.).2

    Latin arbitrarius in legal language was opposed to certus "fixed, established" which also meant "placed beyond doubt, sure" (see certain), and arbitrarius came to mean, popularly, "uncertain, unsure."ETD arbitrary (adj.).3

    The legal and classical sense of "at the discretion of an arbitrator or other legally recognized authority" (as opposed to "to be determined by fixed rules") is attested in English by 1580s. The senses of "derived from mere opinion" (Browne) and "uncontrolled by law, capricious, ungoverned by reason or rule, despotic" (arbitrary government) are attested from 1640s. Related: Arbitrarily; arbitrarious; arbitrariness.ETD arbitrary (adj.).4

    arboreal (adj.)

    1660s, "pertaining to trees," from Latin arboreus "pertaining to trees," from arbor, arboris "tree" (see arbor (n.2)) + -al (1). From 1834 as "living in or among trees."ETD arboreal (adj.).2

    arbor (n.1)

    c. 1300, herber, "herb garden, pleasure garden," from Old French erbier "field, meadow; kitchen garden," from Latin herba "grass, herb" (see herb). Later "a grassy plot" (mid-14c., a sense also in Old French), "shaded nook, bower formed by intertwining of trees, shrubs, or vines" (mid-14c.). It is probably not from Latin arbor "tree" (see arbor (n.2)), though perhaps that word has influenced its spelling:ETD arbor (n.1).2

    But the change from er- to ar- before consonants in Middle English also reflects a pronunciation shift: compare farm from ferme, harbor from Old English herebeorg.ETD arbor (n.1).3

    arbor (n.2)

    "main support or beam of a machine," 1650s, from Latin arbor, arboris "tree," from Proto-Italic *arthos, which de Vaan derives from PIE *herdhos "height, uprightness," from root *eredh- "to grow, high" (see ortho-).ETD arbor (n.2).2

    Arbor Day

    day set aside in U.S. "for planting forest trees to make lumber for the generations yet to come" ["Congressional Record," June 1892], first celebrated April 10, 1872, in Nebraska (a largely treeless state), the brainchild of U.S. agriculturalist and journalist J. Sterling Morton (1832-1902). From Latin arbor, arboris "tree" (see arbor (n.2)).ETD Arbor Day.2

    arboretum (n.)

    "tree-garden, place where trees or shrubs are cultivated," 1838, from Latin arboretum, literally "a place grown with trees," from arbor "tree" (see arbor (n.2)) + -etum, suffix used to form the names of gardens and woods.ETD arboretum (n.).2

    arboricide (n.)

    "wanton destruction of trees," 1853, from Latin arbor "tree" + ending from suicide, etc. The meaning "one who wantonly cuts down trees" is from 1873. Related: Arboricidal (1865).ETD arboricide (n.).2

    arboriculture (n.)

    "the are of planting, training, and trimming trees and shrubs," 1822, from Latin arbor, arboris "tree" (see arbor (n.2)) + -culture, abstracted from agriculture. Perhaps modeled on French arboriculture (by 1808). Related: Arboricultural; arboriculturist (1825).ETD arboriculture (n.).2

    arborist (n.)

    1570s, from Latin arbor "tree" (see arbor (n.2)) + -ist. In early use probably from French arboriste.ETD arborist (n.).2

    arbor vitae (n.)

    also arbor-vitae, type of evergreen shrub, 1660s, name given by French physician and botanist Charles de Lécluse, Latin, literally "tree of life;" see arbor (n.2) + vital. Also used in late 18c. rogue's slang as a cant word for "penis."ETD arbor vitae (n.).2

    arbour (n.)

    chiefly British English spelling of arbor (n.1); for spelling, see -or.ETD arbour (n.).2

    arc (n.)

    late 14c., "part of a curved line," originally in reference to the sun's apparent motion across the sky, from Old French arc "bow, arch, vault" (12c.), from Latin arcus "a bow, arch," from Proto-Italic *arkwo- "bow."ETD arc (n.).2

    This has Germanic cognates in Gothic arhvazna, Old English earh, Old Norse ör "arrow," from Proto-Germanic *arkw-o- "belonging to a bow." It also has cognates in Greek arkeuthos, Latvian ercis "juniper," Russian rakita, Czech rokyta, Serbo-Croatian rakita "brittle willow." De Vaan sees an Italo-Germanic word for "bow" which can be connected with Balto-Slavic and Greek words for "willow" and "juniper" "under the well-founded assumption that the flexible twigs of juniper or willow were used as bows." The Balto-Slavic and Greek forms point to *arku-; "as with many plant names, this is likely to be a non-IE loanword."ETD arc (n.).3

    The electrical sense is attested from 1821.ETD arc (n.).4

    arc (v.)

    1882, in the electrical sense, from arc (n.). Meaning "to move in an arc" is attested by 1940. Related: Arced; arcing.ETD arc (v.).2

    arcade (n.)

    1731, "vaulted space" (as arcado from 1640s), via French arcade, which probably is from Italian arcata "arch of a bridge," from arco "arc," from Latin arcus "a bow, arch" (see arc (n.)).ETD arcade (n.).2

    The English word was applied to passages formed by a succession of arches supported on piers or pillars, avenues of trees, and ultimately to any covered avenue (1731), especially one lined with shops (1795) or amusements; hence arcade game (1977).ETD arcade (n.).3


    mountainous district in central Peloponnesus, a Latinized form of Greek Arkadia, which is traditionally from Arkas (genitive Arkadas), son of Zeus, name of the founder and first ruler of Arcadia.ETD Arcadia.2

    The idealized Arcadia of later pastoral romance, "the home of piping shepherds and coy shepherdesses, where rustic simplicity and plenty satisfied the ambition of untutored hearts, and where ambition and its crimes were unknown" [John Mahaffy, "History of Classical Greek Literature," 1880] seems to have been inspired by "Arcadia," a description of shepherd life in prose and verse by Italian Renaissance poet Iacopo Sannazaro, published in 1502, which went through 60 editions in the century. It is exemplified in English by Sir Philip Sidney's poem, published in 1590, and in Spanish by Lope de Vega's, printed in 1598. Classical Arcadia, Mahaffy writes:ETD Arcadia.3

    Poetic Arcady is from 1580s.ETD Arcadia.4

    Arcadian (adj.)

    "ideally rustic or rural;" as a noun, "an idealized rustic," 1580s, from Greek Arkadia, a mountainous district landlocked in the Peloponnesus, regarded by the ancient Greeks as rude, impoverished, and inhospitable, but taken by 16c. European poets as an ideal region of rural felicity. See Arcadia.ETD Arcadian (adj.).2

    arcane (adj.)

    "hidden, secret," 1540s, from Latin arcanus "secret, hidden, private, concealed," from arcere "to close up, enclose, contain," from arca "chest, box, place for safe-keeping," from PIE root *ark- "to hold, contain, guard" (source also of Greek arkos "defense," arkein "to ward off;" Armenian argel "obstacle;" Lithuanian raktas "key," rakinti "to shut, lock").ETD arcane (adj.).2

    arcana (n.)

    "hidden things, mysteries," 1590s, a direct adoption of the Latin plural of arcanum "a secret, a mystery," an important word in alchemy, from neuter of adjective arcanus "secret, hidden, private, concealed" (see arcane). It was occasionally mistaken for a singular and pluralized as arcanas, because arcana is far more common than arcanum.ETD arcana (n.).2

    arcanum (n.)

    "a secret, a mystery," proper singular form of arcana (q.v.); in alchemy, a supposed great secret of nature, hence, generally, "the secret virtue" of anything.ETD arcanum (n.).2

    arch (n.)

    "structure (in a building, bridge, etc.) in the shape of a curve that stands when supported only a the extremities," c. 1300, from Old French arche "arch of a bridge, arcade" (12c.), from Latin arcus "a bow" (see arc (n.)). It largely replaced native bow (n.1) in this sense.ETD arch (n.).2

    Originally architectural in English; transferred by early 15c. to anything having a curved form (eyebrows, feet, etc.). The commemorative or monumental arch is attested in English from late 14c.ETD arch (n.).3

    Compare Middle English Seinte Marie Chirche of the Arches (c. 1300) in London, later known as St. Mary-le-Bow, site of an ecclesiastical court, so called for the arches that supported its steeple (the modern church is by Sir Christopher Wren, rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666).ETD arch (n.).4

    arch (adj.)

    1540s, "chief, principal," from separate use of the prefix arch-, which is attested from late Old English (in archangel, archbishop, etc.). The prefix figured in so many derogatory uses (arch-rogue, arch-knave, etc.) that by mid-17c. it had acquired a meaning of "roguish, mischievous," softened by 19c. to "saucy." The shifting sense is exemplified by archwife (late 14c.), variously defined as "a wife of a superior order" or "a dominating woman, virago." Related: Archly; archness.ETD arch (adj.).2

    arch (v.)

    early 14c., "to form an arch" (implied in arched); c. 1400 in transitive sense "furnish with an arch," from arch (n.). Related: Arching.ETD arch (v.).2


    word-forming element meaning "a ruler," from Greek arkhos "leader, chief, ruler," from arkhē "beginning, origin, first place," verbal noun of arkhein "to be the first," hence "to begin" and "to rule" (see archon).ETD -arch.2


    also archi-, word-forming element meaning "chief, principal; extreme, ultra; early, primitive," from Latinized form of Greek arkh-, arkhi- "first, chief, primeval," combining form of arkhos "a chief, leader, commander," arkhein "be first, begin" (see archon).ETD arch-.2

    Archaean (adj.)

    "of the earliest geological age," 1872, coined by U.S. geologist and zoologist James Dwight Dana (1813-1895) from Latinized form of Greek arkhaios "ancient," from arkhē "beginning," verbal noun of arkhein "to be the first," hence "to begin" and "to rule" (see archon).ETD Archaean (adj.).2

    archaebacteria (n.)

    a name for microorganisms similar to bacteria but seemingly more primitive, 1977, from archaeo- "primitive, ancient" + bacteria. Singular is archaebacterium.ETD archaebacteria (n.).2


    before vowels archae-, word-forming element in scientific compounds meaning "ancient, olden, primitive, primeval, from the beginning," from Latinized form of Greek arkhaios "ancient, primeval," from arkhē "beginning," verbal noun of arkhein "to be the first," hence "to begin" (see archon).ETD archaeo-.2

    archaeoastronomy (n.)

    a general term for disciplined studies of ancient astronomies, 1971, from archaeo- "ancient" + astronomy.ETD archaeoastronomy (n.).2

    archaeological (adj.)

    "pertaining to archaeology," 1766, in the antiquarian sense, from archaeology + -ical. Earlier was archaeologic (1731). Related: Archaeologically.ETD archaeological (adj.).2

    archaeology (n.)

    c. 1600, "ancient history," from French archéologie (16c.) or directly from Greek arkhaiologia "the study of ancient things;" see archaeo- + -ology. The meaning "scientific study of ancient peoples and past civilizations" is recorded by 1825.ETD archaeology (n.).2

    archaeologist (n.)

    1824; see archaeology + -ist. Other early forms were archaeologian (1820), archaeologue (1839, from French archéologue). Greek arkhaiologos meant "antiquary."ETD archaeologist (n.).2

    archaeopteryx (n.)

    Jurassic fossil animal long considered the oldest known bird (in 21c. new candidates emerged), 1871, from German (1861), coined in Modern Latin by German paleontologist Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer, from archaeo- "ancient, primitive" + Greek pteryx "wing" (from PIE root *pet- "to rush, to fly"). Discovered (first as a single feather) by Andreas Wagner in 1860 or '61 in Bavaria.ETD archaeopteryx (n.).2

    archaic (adj.)

    1810, from or by influence of French archaique (1776), ultimately from Greek arkhaikos "old-fashioned," from arkhaios "ancient, old-fashioned, antiquated, primitive," from arkhē "beginning, origin," verbal noun of arkhein "to be the first," hence "to begin" and "to rule" (see archon). Not merely crude, the archaic has "a rudeness and imperfection implying the promise of future advance" [Century Dictionary]. Archaical is attested from 1799.ETD archaic (adj.).2

    archaism (n.)

    1640s, "retention of what is old and obsolete," from Modern Latin archaismus, from Greek arkhaismos, from arkhaizein "to copy the ancients" (in language, etc.); see archaic. Meaning "that which is archaic," especially "an archaic word or expression," is by 1748.ETD archaism (n.).2

    archaistic (adj.)

    "affectedly archaic," 1847; see archaic + -istic. Related: Archaist (n.), 1851.ETD archaistic (adj.).2

    archangel (n.)

    "an angel of the highest order," late 12c., from Old French archangel (12c.) or directly from Late Latin archangelus, from New Testament Greek arkhangelos "chief angel," from arkh- "chief, first" (see archon) + angelos (see angel). Replaced Old English heah encgel.ETD archangel (n.).2

    archangelic (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to archangels," mid-15c.; see archangel + -ic.ETD archangelic (adj.).2

    archbishop (n.)

    "a bishop of the highest rank," in the West from 9c. especially of metropolitan bishops, Old English ærcebiscop, from Late Latin archiepiscopus, from Greek arkhi- "chief" (see archon) + episkopos "bishop," literally "overseer" (see bishop). Replaced earlier Old English heah biscop. The spelling was conformed to Latin from 12c.ETD archbishop (n.).2

    archbishopric (n.)

    "province over which an archbishop exercised authority," Middle English archebishop-riche, from Old English arcebiscoprice, from archbishop + rice "realm, dominion, province," from Proto-Germanic *rikja "rule" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").ETD archbishopric (n.).2

    archdeacon (n.)

    "ecclesiastic who has charge of a part of a diocese," Middle English arche-deken, from Old English arcediacon, from Church Latin archidiaconus, from Ecclesiastical Greek arkhidiakonon "chief deacon;" see arch- + deacon. Related: Archdeaconship.ETD archdeacon (n.).2

    archdiocese (n.)

    the see of an archbishop, 1762, from arch- "chief" + diocese.ETD archdiocese (n.).2

    archduchess (n.)

    1610s, "the wife of an archduke," modeled on French archiduchesse; see arch- "chief" + duchess. In later use generally "a princess of the reigning family of Austria," translating German Erzherzogin. Compare archduke, which is the masc. form.ETD archduchess (n.).2

    archduke (n.)

    1520s, from French archeduc (Modern French archiduc), from Merovingian Latin archiducem (c. 750); see arch- + duke (n.). Formerly the title of the rulers of Austrasia, Lorraine, Brabant, and Austria; later the titular dignity of the sons of the Emperor of Austria. Related: Archducal; archduchy.ETD archduke (n.).2

    arch-enemy (n.)

    also archenemy, "a chief enemy," 1540s, from arch- + enemy. Originally especially Satan.ETD arch-enemy (n.).2

    archeological (adj.)

    alternative spelling of archaeological (see archaeology); also see æ (1).ETD archeological (adj.).2

    archeology (n.)

    alternative spelling of archaeology. Also see æ (1).ETD archeology (n.).2

    archeologist (n.)

    alternative spelling of archaeologist. Also see æ (1).ETD archeologist (n.).2

    archer (n.)

    "one who shoots arrows from a (long) bow," late 13c., from Anglo-French archer, Old French archier "archer; bow-maker," from Late Latin arcarius, alteration of Latin arcuarius "maker of bows," from arcus "bow" (see arc (n.)). The classical Latin word was arquites "archers;" the Greeks shunned archery as an unmanly tactic, and the Romans seem to have had little appreciation for it until their later encounters with mounted barbarian archers.ETD archer (n.).2

    Also a 17c. name for the bishop in chess. As a type of tropical fish, 1834, from its shooting drops of water at insects. For "archer" Middle English had bowman, also scutte, from Old English scytta, also bender (which also meant "maker of bows," a surname).ETD archer (n.).3

    archery (n.)

    "use of the bow and arrow," c. 1400, from Anglo-French archerye, Old French archerie, from archier "archer" (see archer).ETD archery (n.).2

    archetypal (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to an archetype," 1640s; see archetype + -al (1). The Jungian sense is from 1923.ETD archetypal (adj.).2

    archetype (n.)

    "model, first form, original pattern from which copies are made," 1540s [Barnhart] or c. 1600 [OED], from Latin archetypum, from Greek arkhetypon "pattern, model, figure on a seal," neuter of adjective arkhetypos "first-moulded," from arkhē "beginning, origin, first place" (verbal noun of arkhein "to be the first;" see archon) + typos "model, type, blow, mark of a blow" (see type).ETD archetype (n.).2

    The Jungian psychology sense of "pervasive idea or image from the collective unconscious" is from 1919. Jung defined archetypal images as "forms or images of a collective nature which occur practically all over the earth as constituents of myths and at the same time as autochthonous individual products of unconscious origin." ["Psychology and Religion" 1937]ETD archetype (n.).3

    arch-fiend (n.)

    1667, from arch (adj.) + fiend (n.). Originally and typically Satan (arch-foe "Satan" is from 1610s).ETD arch-fiend (n.).2


    word-forming element of Greek origin meaning "rule," from Latin -archia, from Greek -arkhia "rule," from arkhos "leader, chief, ruler," from arkhē "beginning, origin, first place," verbal noun of arkhein "to be the first," hence "to begin" and "to rule" (see archon).ETD -archy.2


    masc. proper name, from Old High German Erchanbald, literally "genuine-bold," from erchan "genuine" + bald (see bold). Archie, British World War I military slang for "German anti-aircraft fire" or the guns that produce it (1915) is said in contemporary sources to be from the airmen dodging hostile fire and thinking of the refrain of a then-popular music hall song.ETD Archibald.2

    Archilochian (adj.)

    1751, of composition, "severe, ill-natured," literally "in the style of Archolochus" (Latinized from Greek Arkhilokos), famed poet and satirist of Paros (c. 700 B.C.E.). Also of his characteristic verse forms.ETD Archilochian (adj.).2

    Archimedean (adj.)

    1798, "of or pertaining to Archimedes" (Latinized from Greek Arkhimedes), celebrated practical mathematician of antiquity, born in Syracuse 3c. B.C.E. Archimedean screw is from 1806.ETD Archimedean (adj.).2

    archipelago (n.)

    c. 1500, from Italian arcipelago "the Aegean Sea" (13c.), from arci- "chief, principal," from Latin archi- (see arch-) + pelago "pool; gulf, abyss," from Medieval Latin pelagus "pool; gulf, abyss, sea," from Greek pelagos "sea, high sea, open sea, main" (see pelagic).ETD archipelago (n.).2

    The elements of the word are Greek, but there is no record of arkhipelagos in ancient or Medieval Greek (the modern word in Greek is borrowed from Italian), so the word perhaps is an Italian compound or an alteration in Italian of Medieval Latin Egeopelagus, from Greek Aigaion pelagos "Aegean Sea." The Aegean being full of island chains, the meaning was extended in Italian to "any sea studded with islands" (a sense attested in English from c. 1600) and to the islands themselves. Related: Archipelagian; archipelagic.ETD archipelago (n.).3

    architect (n.)

    "person skilled in the art of building, one who plans and designs buildings and supervises their construction," 1560s, from French architecte, from Latin architectus, from Greek arkhitekton "master builder, director of works," from arkhi- "chief" (see archon) + tekton "builder, carpenter" (from PIE root *teks- "to weave," also "to fabricate").ETD architect (n.).2

    Old English used heahcræftiga "high-crafter" as a loan-translation of Latin architectus. Middle English had architectour "superintendent." Extended sense of "one who plans or contrives" anything is from 1580s.ETD architect (n.).3

    architectonic (adj.)

    1640s (architectonical is from 1590s), "pertaining to architecture," from Latin architectonicus, from Greek arkhitektonikos "pertaining to a master builder," from arkhitekton "chief workman" (see architect). The metaphysical sense, "pertaining to systematization of knowledge," is from 1801.ETD architectonic (adj.).2

    architecture (n.)

    1560s, "the art of building," especially of fine or beautiful building; "tasteful application of scientific and traditional rules of good construction to the materials at hand," from French architecture, from Latin architectura, from architectus "master builder, chief workman" (see architect). The meaning "buildings constructed architecturally" is from 1610s.ETD architecture (n.).2

    architectural (adj.)

    "pertaining or relating to architecture or the art of building; according to the principles of architecture," 1759; see architecture + -al (1). Related: Architecturally.ETD architectural (adj.).2

    architrave (n.)

    1560s as an architectural feature of columns, "lower division of an entablature; part which rests immediately on the column and supports those portions of the structure above it;" extended 1660s to window parts, from Italian architrave, from Latin archi- "beginning, origin" (see archon) + Italian trave "beam," from Latin trabem (nominative trabs) "beam, timber" (from PIE root *treb- "dwelling," for which see tavern).ETD architrave (n.).2

    archives (n.)

    c. 1600, "records or documents preserved as evidence," from French archif (16c., Modern French archives), from Late Latin archivum (plural archiva) "written records," also the place where they are kept, from Greek ta arkheia "public records," plural of arkheion "town hall, public building," from arkhē "government," literally "beginning, origin, first place" (verbal noun of arkhein "to be the first;" see archon). The sense of "place where public records and historical documents are kept" in English is from 1640s.ETD archives (n.).2

    archive (v.)

    "to file or enter into an archive collection," 1819 (implied in archived), from archives. Related: Archiving.ETD archive (v.).2

    archival (adj.)

    "pertaining to or contained in public records," 1800; see archives + -al (1). Related: Archivally.ETD archival (adj.).2

    archive (n.)

    see archives.ETD archive (n.).2

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