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    armless (adj.) — articulated (adj.)

    armless (adj.)

    late 14c., of physical conditions, from arm (n.1) + -less. The meaning "without weapons" is attested from 1610s (from arm (n.2)), but that sense more typically is expressed by unarmed or disarmed.ETD armless (adj.).2

    armlet (n.)

    1530s, "metal band or ring worn around the upper arm," diminutive of arm (n.1) with -let. Compare bracelet. The Latin word was armilla. As "a small intrusion of the sea into the land," also 1530s.ETD armlet (n.).2

    armoire (n.)

    "large wardrobe with doors and shelves," 1570s, from French armoire, from Old French armarie "cupboard, bookcase, reliquary" (12c., Modern French armoire), from Latin armarium "closet, chest, place for implements or tools," from arma "gear, tools, ship's tackle, weapons of war" (see arm (n.2)). The French word was borrowed earlier as ambry (late 14c.).ETD armoire (n.).2

    armor (n.)

    c. 1300, "mail, defensive covering worn in combat," also, generally, "means of protection," from Old French armeure "weapons, armor" (12c.), from Latin armatura "arms, equipment," from arma "weapons" (including defensive armor), literally "tools, implements (of war)," see arm (n.2). Figurative use in English is from mid-14c.ETD armor (n.).2

    The meaning "military equipment generally," especially siege engines, is from late 14c. The word might have died with jousting if not for 19c. transference to metal-sheathed combat machinery beginning with U.S. Civil War ironclads (the word first is attested in this sense in an 1855 report from the U.S. Congressional Committee on Naval Affairs). The meaning "protective envelope of an animal" is from c. 1600.ETD armor (n.).3

    armorer (n.)

    "maker or caretaker of armor," late 14c. (mid-13c. as a surname), from Anglo-French armurer, Old French aremurier, from armeure "armor" (see armor (n.)).ETD armorer (n.).2

    armor (v.)

    "to cover with armor or armor-plate," mid-15c., from armor (n.). Related: Armored; armoring.ETD armor (v.).2

    armory (n.)

    c. 1300, armurie, "arms and weapons collectively; defensive armor;" see arm (n.2) + -ory and compare Old French armeurerie, armoirie. The meaning "place where arms are manufactured" is from mid-15c. (see armor + -y (1)). Also in Middle English as "arsenal, storehouse of weapons" (mid-15c.); the sense of "science of heraldry" (late 15c.) is from Old French armoierie, from armoier "to blazon," from Latin arma "weapons" (see arm (n.2)).ETD armory (n.).2

    armorial (adj.)

    1570s, "belonging to heraldry," from armory in the heraldic sense + -al (1).ETD armorial (adj.).2


    ancient name for Brittany, from Gallo-Roman Aremorica, literally "before the sea," with a Celtic prefix meaning "before" (compare Old Irish ar) + mare "sea" (from PIE root *mori- "body of water").ETD Armorica.2

    armor-plate (n.)

    "metallic plate, usually of iron or steel, attached to the side of a ship or the outer wall of a fort to render it shot-proof," 1860, from armor + plate (n.).ETD armor-plate (n.).2


    chiefly British English spelling of armor (q.v.); for suffix, see -or. Related: Armoured; armourer.ETD armour.2

    armoury (n.)

    chiefly British English spelling of armory (q.v.); for suffix, see -or.ETD armoury (n.).2

    armpit (n.)

    mid-14c., "hollow place under the shoulder," from arm (n.1) + pit (n.1). Arm-hole (early 14c.) was used in this sense but was obsolete by 18c. Another Middle English word was asselle (early 15c.), from Old French asselle, from Latin axilla. The colloquial phrase armpit of the nation for any locale regarded as ugly and disgusting was in use by 1965.ETD armpit (n.).2

    arm-rest (n.)

    also armrest, "something designed as a rest for the arm," by 1850, from arm (n.1) + rest (n.).ETD arm-rest (n.).2

    arms-length (n.)

    "space equal to the length of a human arm," 1650s, from arm (n.1) + length. The figurative phrase at arm's end is recorded from 1570s.ETD arms-length (n.).2

    arms race (n.)

    1930, in reference to naval build-ups, from arms (see arm (n.2)) + race (n.1). First used in British English.ETD arms race (n.).2

    arnica (n.)

    plant genus of the borage family, native to central Europe, 1753, Modern Latin, a name of unknown origin. Klein suggests Arabic arnabiyah, a name of a type of plant, as the ultimate source. Century Dictionary suggests "perhaps a perversion of ptarmica."ETD arnica (n.).2


    masc. proper name, from Old High German Arenwald, literally "having the strength of an eagle," from arn "eagle," from Proto-Germanic *aron- "eagle" (from PIE root *or- "large bird;" see erne) + wald "power" (from PIE root *wal- "to be strong").ETD Arnold.2

    Arnout (n.)

    "native of Albania," especially as part of the Turkish military forces, 1717, from Turkish Arnaut, from Modern Greek Arnabites, metathesized from Arbanites, rhotacized from *Albanites, from Medieval Latin Albanus (see Albania).ETD Arnout (n.).2

    aroint (v.)

    intransitive verb, c. 1600, used by Shakespeare (only in imperative, aroint thee! "begone!"), obsolete and of obscure origin. "[T]he subject of numerous conjectures, none of which can be said to have even a prima facie probability." [OED]ETD aroint (v.).2

    aroma (n.)

    early 13c., "fragrant substance, spice" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin aroma "sweet odor," from Greek aroma "seasoning, a spice or sweet herb," which is of unknown origin. The meaning "fragrance, odor," especially an agreeable one, is from 1814. A hypercorrect plural is aromata. Related: Aromal.ETD aroma (n.).2

    aromatic (adj.)

    c. 1400, aromatyk, "giving out an aroma, fragrant, sweet," from Latin aromaticus, from Greek aromatikos, from aroma (genitive aromatos) "seasoning, sweet spice," which is of unknown origin.ETD aromatic (adj.).2

    aromatize (v.)

    "to perfume, render aromatic" (of medicines or the breath), early 15c. (Chauliac), aromatizen, from Latin aromatizare, from Greek aromatizein "to spice," from aromat-, stem of aroma "seasoning, sweet spice," which is of unknown origin. Related: Aromatized; aromatizing.ETD aromatize (v.).2

    aromatherapy (n.)

    "use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils in massage or baths," by 1992, from French aromathérapie, which is attested from 1930s; see aroma + therapy.ETD aromatherapy (n.).2

    arose (v.)

    past tense of arise (v.).ETD arose (v.).2

    around (adv., prep.)

    c. 1300, "in circumference, in a circle, on every side," from phrase on round; see a- (1) + round (adj.). It was rare before 1600. In the sense of "here and there with no fixed direction" it is attested from 1776 in American English (British English prefers about).ETD around (adv., prep.).2

    As a preposition, "on or along a circuit," from late 14c.; "on all sides, encircling, about" from 1660s; of time, by 1873. To have been around "gained worldly experience" is from 1927, U.S. colloquial; to get around to it is from 1864.ETD around (adv., prep.).3

    arousal (n.)

    1827, "action of arousing, state of being awakened," from arouse + -al (2). Sexual association is from c. 1900.ETD arousal (n.).2

    arouse (v.)

    1590s, "awaken, stir to action" (transitive), from a- (1) "on" + rouse. Related: Aroused; arousing.ETD arouse (v.).2


    acronym from Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, set up in 1969 by a branch of the U.S. Department of Defense in partnership with four universities; acknowledged as "the world's first operational packet switching network" and predecessor of the internet.ETD ARPANET.2

    arpeggio (n.)

    1742, from Italian arpeggio, literally "harping," from arpeggiare "to play upon the harp," from arpa "harp," which is of Germanic origin (see harp (n.)). Related: Arpeggiated (1875); arpeggiation.ETD arpeggio (n.).2

    arr (v.)

    "to growl like a dog," late 15c., imitative. In classical times, the letter R was called littera canina "the dog letter" (Persius).ETD arr (v.).2

    arras (n.)

    "pictured tapestry," especially as used for covering the walls of a room, late 14c., from Anglo-French draps d'arras, from Arras, city in France where pictured tapestries were made. The place-name is from Latin Atrebates, name of a tribe of the Belgae who inhabited the Artois region; probably literally "inhabitants," from Celtic trebu "tribe."ETD arras (n.).2

    arrack (n.)

    c. 1600, probably picked up in India (as were Portuguese araca, Spanish arac, French arack), via Hindi arak, Tamil araku, etc., ultimately from Arabic araq "distilled spirits, strong liquor," literally "sweat, juice;" used of native liquors in Eastern countries, especially those distilled from fermented sap of coconut palm, sometimes from rice or molasses.ETD arrack (n.).2

    arrah (interj.)

    supposedly a characteristic Irish expression of emotion or excitement, 1705 (Farquhar).ETD arrah (interj.).2

    array (v.)

    mid-14c., "marshal (troops), arrange (an army for battle);" late 14c., "put (things) in order, arrange; get (something) ready, prepare; equip, fit out, put clothing on; adorn, decorate," from Old French areyer, earlier areer "to put in order," from Vulgar Latin *ar-redare "put in order" (source also of Italian arredare), from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + *redum, from Frankish *ræd- "ready" or some cognate Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *raidjan "to place in order" (source also of Gothic garadis, Old English geræde "ready;" see ready (adj.)). Related: Arrayed; arraying.ETD array (v.).2

    array (n.)

    mid-14c., "order or position of things, arrangement, sequence," from Anglo-French arrai, Old French aroi, arroi (12c.), from areer "to put in order" (see array (v.)). From late 14c. as "rank or line of soldiers; troops drawn up in battle formation," also "equipment, furnishings, gear; splendid furnishings, grandeur, magnificence." The meaning "an orderly assemblage" is from 1814.ETD array (n.).2

    arraignment (n.)

    mid-15c., arreinement, in law, "process of calling an accused to answer to the charge," from Anglo-French, Old French araisnement, from araisnier "speak to, address; accuse" in a law court (see arraign).ETD arraignment (n.).2

    arraign (v.)

    late 14c., araynen, "to call to account," also "to call up on a criminal charge," from Old French araisnier "speak to, address; accuse (in a law court)," from Vulgar Latin *arrationare, from Latin adrationare, from ad "to" (see ad-) + *rationare, from ratio "argumentation; reckoning, calculation," from rat-, past-participle stem of reri "to reckon, calculate," also "think" (from PIE root *re- "to reason, count"). The unetymological -g- is a 16c. overcorrection based on reign, etc. Related: Arraigned; arraigning.ETD arraign (v.).2

    arrangement (n.)

    "act of arraigning, act of putting in proper order," 1740, from French arrangement (Old French arengement), from arranger "arrange" (see arrange). The meaning "that which is put in order, combination of parts or materials" is from 1800. The sense in music, "adaptation of a composition to voices or instruments, or to a purpose, for which it has not been designed," is by 1813. The meaning "final settlement, adjustment by agreement" is from 1855.ETD arrangement (n.).2

    arrange (v.)

    late 14c., arengen, "draw up a line of battle," from Old French arengier "put in a row, put in battle order" (12c., Modern French arranger), from a- "to" (see ad-) + rangier "set in a row" (Modern French ranger), from rang "rank," from Frankish *hring or a similar Germanic source. , from Proto-Germanic *hringaz "something curved, circle," the source also of ring (n.1). It is reconstructed to be from a nasalized form of the PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend."ETD arrange (v.).2

    It was a rare word until the meaning generalized to "to place things in order" c. 1780-1800. The sense of "come to an agreement or understanding" is by 1786. The musical sense of "adapt for other instruments or voices" is by 1808. Related: Arranged; arranging. Arranged marriage is attested by 1854.ETD arrange (v.).3

    arrant (adj.)

    late 14c., variant of errant (q.v.); at first merely derogatory, "wandering, vagrant;" then (16c.) gradually losing its opprobrious force and acquiring a meaning "thoroughgoing, downright, notorious."ETD arrant (adj.).2

    arrears (n.)

    "balance due, that which is behind in payment," early 15c., plural noun from Middle English arrere (adv.) "in or to the rear; in the past; at a disadvantage" (c. 1300), from Anglo-French arrere, Old French ariere "behind, backward" (12c., Modern French arrière), from Vulgar Latin *ad retro, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + retro "behind" (see retro-).ETD arrears (n.).2

    It generally implies that part of the money already has been paid. Arrearage (early 14c.) was the earlier noun. Phrase in arrears first recorded 1610s, but in arrearages is from late 14c.ETD arrears (n.).3

    arrear (adv.)

    c. 1300, "at a disadvantage;" mid-14c., "in times past;" late 14c., "in or to the rear," from Old French ariere (see arrears). The meaning "behind in duties or payments" is from 1620s.ETD arrear (adv.).2

    arrearage (n.)

    "unpaid debt," early 14c., from Old French arierage "detriment, prejudice" in a legal sense (Modern French arrérages), from ariere "behind" (see arrears).ETD arrearage (n.).2

    arrested (adj.)

    "halted, stopped," 1610s, past-participle adjective from arrest (v.). Arrested development is attested from 1859 in evolutionary biology.ETD arrested (adj.).2

    arrest (v.)

    "to cause to stop," also "to detain legally," late 14c., from Old French arester "to stay, stop" (12c., Modern French arrêter), from Vulgar Latin *arrestare "to stop, restrain" (source also of Italian arrestare, Spanish and Portuguese arrestar), from ad "to" (see ad-) + Latin restare "to stop, remain behind, stay back," from re- "back" (see re-) + stare "to stand" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm"). The figurative sense of "to catch and hold" (the attention, etc.) is from 1814.ETD arrest (v.).2

    arrest (n.)

    "act of stopping; state of being stopped," late 14c., from Anglo-French arest, Old French areste (n.) "stoppage, delay" (12c., Modern French arrêt), from arester "to stay, stop" (see arrest (v.)). Especially in law, "the taking of a person into custody, usually by warrant from authority, to answer an alleged or suspected crime" (early 15c.).ETD arrest (n.).2

    arresting (adj.)

    1792, "stopping," present-participle adjective from arrest (v.). Figurative sense of "striking, that captures the imagination" is by 1883.ETD arresting (adj.).2

    arrhythmic (adj.)

    "without rhythm," 1844 (arhythmic), in relation to musical sensibility, Modern Latin, from Greek arrhythmos "irregular, unrhythmical, without measure," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + rhythmos "measured flow or movement, rhythm; proportion, symmetry" (see rhythm). Related: Arrhythmically.ETD arrhythmic (adj.).2

    arrhythmia (n.)

    in medicine, "irregularity of pulse" (arrhythmia cordis), 1888, from Greek noun of action from arrhythmos "irregular, unrhythmical," from a- "not" (see a- (3)) + rhythmos "measured flow or movement, rhythm; proportion, symmetry" (see rhythm). A nativized form arrhythmy, in reference to metrics, is attested from 1844.ETD arrhythmia (n.).2

    arrive (v.)

    c. 1200, "reach land, reach the end of a journey by sea," from Anglo-French ariver, Old French ariver "to come to land" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *arripare "to touch the shore," from Latin ad ripam "to the shore," from ad "to" (see ad-) + ripa "shore" (see riparian). The original notion is of coming ashore after a long voyage. Of journeys other than by sea, from late 14c. The sense of "to come to a position or state of mind" is from late 14c. Related: Arrived; arriving.ETD arrive (v.).2

    arrival (n.)

    late 14c., "act of coming to land at the end of a voyage by sea, disembarkation," from Anglo-French arrivaille, from Old French ariver "to come to land" (see arrive). The general meaning "act of coming to the end of any voyage" is from 1510s. Arrivage (late 14c.) also was used in the literal sense.ETD arrival (n.).2

    arriviste (n.)

    "a pushy, ambitious person," 1901, from French arriviste, from arriver "to arrive" (see arrive). The notion is of a person intent on "arriving" at success or in society.ETD arriviste (n.).2

    arrogant (adj.)

    "disposed to give oneself undue importance, aggressively haughty," late 14c., from Old French arrogant (14c.), from Latin arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself, assume," from ad "to" (see ad-) + rogare "to ask, entreat, request," apparently a figurative use of a PIE verb meaning literally "to stretch out (the hand)," from root *reg- "move in a straight line." Related: Arrogantly.ETD arrogant (adj.).2

    arrogation (n.)

    "act of taking more than one's due," 1590s, from Latin arrogationem (nominative arrogatio) "a taking to oneself," noun of action from past-participle stem of arrogare "to claim for oneself" (see arrogate).ETD arrogation (n.).2

    arrogance (n.)

    "a manifest feeling of superiority of one's worth or importance, combined with contempt of others," c. 1300, from Old French arrogance (12c.), from Latin arrogantia "presumption, pride, haughtiness," abstract noun from arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself, assume," from ad "to" (see ad-) + rogare "to ask, to propose (a law, a candidate); to ask a favor, entreat, request," apparently a figurative use of a PIE verb meaning literally "to stretch out (the hand)," from root *reg- "move in a straight line."ETD arrogance (n.).2

    arrogate (v.)

    "claim or demand presumptuously," 1530s, from Latin arrogatus, past participle of arrogare "to claim for oneself," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + rogare "to ask, to propose (a law, a candidate); to ask a favor, entreat, request," apparently a figurative use of a PIE verb meaning literally "to stretch out (the hand)," from *rog-, variant of the root *reg- "move in a straight line." Related: Arrogated; arrogating.ETD arrogate (v.).2

    arrondissement (n.)

    "administrative subdivision of a French department," 1807, from French, literally "a rounding," from stem of arrondir "to make round," from a- "to" (see ad-) + rond "round" (see round (adj.)). They were created during the Revolution.ETD arrondissement (n.).2

    arrow (n.)

    "slender, pointed missile weapon, made to be shot from a bow," early 14c., from Old English arwan, earlier earh "arrow," possibly borrowed from Old Norse ör (genitive örvar), from Proto-Germanic *arkhwo (source also of Gothic arhwanza), from PIE root *arku-, source of Latin arcus (see arc (n.)). The etymological sense would be "the thing belonging to the bow." The meaning "a mark like an arrow" in cartography, etc. is from 1834.ETD arrow (n.).2

    It was a rare word in Old English. More common words for "arrow" were stræl (which is cognate with the word still common in Slavic and once prevalent in Germanic, related to words meaning "flash, streak") and fla, flan (the -n perhaps mistaken for a plural inflection), from Old Norse, a North Germanic word, perhaps originally with the sense of "splinter." Stræl disappeared by 1200; fla became flo in early Middle English and lingered in Scottish until after 1500.ETD arrow (n.).3

    arrow-head (n.)

    also arrowhead, "the head of an arrow," late 15c., from arrow + head (n.). Ancient ones dug up were called elf-arrows (17c.).ETD arrow-head (n.).2

    arrow-root (n.)

    also arrowroot, "starch obtained from some species of a West Indian plant," 1690s, from arrow + root (n.). So called because the plant's fresh roots or tubers were used to absorb toxins from poison-dart wounds.ETD arrow-root (n.).2

    arroyo (n.)

    "watercourse, dry stream bed," 1845, a California word, from American Spanish, in Spanish, "rivulet, small stream," perhaps from Latin arrugia "shaft or pit in a gold mine," which is apparently a compound of ad "to" (see ad-) + ruga "a wrinkle" (see rugae).ETD arroyo (n.).2

    arse (n.)

    "buttocks, hinder part of an animal," Old English ærs "tail, rump," from Proto-Germanic *arsoz (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German, Old Norse ars, Middle Dutch ærs, German Arsch "buttock"), from PIE root *ors- "buttock, backside" (source also of Greek orros "tail, rump, base of the spine," Hittite arrash, Armenian or "buttock," Old Irish err "tail").ETD arse (n.).2

    To hang the arse "be reluctant or tardy" is from 1630s. Middle English had arse-winning "money obtained by prostitution" (late 14c.). To turn arse over tip is attested by 1884, along with the alternative arse over tit.ETD arse (n.).3

    arsehole (n.)

    c. 1400, arce-hoole; see arse + hole (n.). In Old English, Latin anus was glossed with earsðerl, literally "arse-thrill," with thrill (n.) in its original sense of "hole" (compare nostril).ETD arsehole (n.).2

    arsenic (n.)

    late 14c., "yellow arsenic, arsenic trisulphide," from Old French arsenic, from Latin arsenicum, from late Greek arsenikon "arsenic" (Dioscorides; Aristotle has it as sandarakē), adapted from Syriac (al) zarniqa "arsenic," from Middle Persian zarnik "gold-colored" (arsenic trisulphide has a lemon-yellow color), from Old Iranian *zarna- "golden" (from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives referring to bright materials and gold).ETD arsenic (n.).2

    The form of the Greek word is folk etymology, literally "masculine," from arsen "male, strong, virile" (compare arseno-koites "lying with men" in New Testament) supposedly in reference to the powerful properties of the substance. As an element, from 1812. The mineral (as opposed to the element) is properly orpiment, from Latin auri pigmentum, so called because it was used to make golden dyes. Related: Arsenical.ETD arsenic (n.).3

    arsenal (n.)

    c. 1500, "dockyard, dock with naval stores," from Italian arzenale, from Arabic dar as-sina'ah "workshop," literally "house of manufacture," from dar "house" + sina'ah "art, craft, skill," from sana'a "he made."ETD arsenal (n.).2

    The word was applied by the Venetians to a large wharf in their city, and English picked it up in this sense. The meaning "public place for making or storing weapons and ammunition" is from 1570s. The London football club (1886) was named for the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, where the original players worked.ETD arsenal (n.).3


    also ars-smart, the herb Persicaria hydropiper (formerly Polygonum hydropiper), early 14c., from arse + smart (n.) in the "pain" sense. The herb also formerly was called culrage (early 14c.) and now is often smartweed (1786).ETD arse-smart.2

    The arse smart name is a direct translation of the Old French cul rage, from Old French cul (see tutu) + rage (see rage), which is said to be from Latin culli rabies, but this term is apparently unattested. The French word might be a folk etymology.ETD arse-smart.3

    arseward (adv.)

    "backward," c. 1400, from arse + -ward.ETD arseward (adv.).2

    arson (n.)

    "malicious burning of property," 1670s, from Anglo-French arsoun (late 13c.), Old French arsion, from Late Latin arsionem (nominative arsio) "a burning," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin ardere "to burn" (from PIE root *as- "to burn, glow"). The Old English term was bærnet, literally "burning;" and Coke (1640) has indictment of burning.ETD arson (n.).2

    arsonist (n.)

    "one who maliciously sets fires," 1864, from arson + -ist.ETD arsonist (n.).2

    arsy-versy (adv.)

    "backside foremost," 1530s, probably a reduplication of arse, perhaps with suggestions of reverse.ETD arsy-versy (adv.).2

    artful (adj.)

    1610s, "learned, well-versed in the (liberal) arts," also "characterized by technical skill, artistic," from art (n.) + -ful. The meaning "cunning, crafty, skilled in adapting means to ends" is from 1739. Related: Artfully; artfulness. The Artful Dodger (Jack Dawkins) is from Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (1837-39).ETD artful (adj.).2

    art (adj.)

    "produced with conscious artistry" (as opposed to popular or folk), 1890, from art (n.), possibly from influence of German kunstlied "art song." Art film is from 1960; art rock from 1968.ETD art (adj.).2

    art (n.)

    early 13c., "skill as a result of learning or practice," from Old French art (10c.), from Latin artem (nominative ars) "work of art; practical skill; a business, craft," from PIE *ar(ə)-ti- (source also of Sanskrit rtih "manner, mode;" Greek artizein "to prepare"), suffixed form of root *ar- "to fit together." Etymologically akin to Latin arma "weapons" (see arm (n.2)).ETD art (n.).2

    In Middle English usually with a sense of "skill in scholarship and learning" (c. 1300), especially in the seven sciences, or liberal arts. This sense remains in Bachelor of Arts, etc. The meaning "human workmanship" (as opposed to nature) is from late 14c. The meaning "system of rules and traditions for performing certain actions" is from late 15c. The sense of "skill in cunning and trickery" is attested by late 16c. (the sense in artful, artless). The meaning "skill in creative arts" is recorded by 1610s; especially of painting, sculpture, etc., from 1660s.ETD art (n.).3

    Expression art for art's sake (1824) translates French l'art pour l'art. First record of art critic is from 1847. Arts and crafts "decorative design and handcraft" is from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, founded in London in 1888.ETD art (n.).4

    art (v.)

    second-person singular present indicative of be; Old English eart. Also see are (v.). It became archaic in the 1800s.ETD art (v.).2


    Persian masc. proper name, in classical history a son of Xerxes II, also a son of Darius, from Greek Artaxerxes, from Old Persian Artaxšaca, literally "having a kingdom of justice," from arta- "justice" + xšaca "kingdom."ETD Artaxerxes.2

    art brut (n.)

    "art done by prisoners, lunatics, etc.," by 1948, as l'art brut, in a brief biography of Jean Dubuffet for Yale French Studies. French, literally "raw art" (see art (n.) + brute (adj.)).ETD art brut (n.).2

    art deco (n.)

    decorative and architectural style popular from 1925-1940, the name attested from 1966, from shortening of French art décoratif, literally "decorative art" (see decorative); the French phrase is from the title of L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925.ETD art deco (n.).2

    artefact (n.)

    older and alternative spelling of artifact (n.). Related: Artefactual; artefactually.ETD artefact (n.).2


    Greek goddess of the moon, wild animals, hunting, childbirth, etc. (identified by the Romans with their Diana); daughter of Zeus and Leto, twin sister of Apollo; her name is of unknown origin. Beekes points to arguments against the attempt to connect it with arktos "bear" (as "bear-goddess") and finds it possibly Pre-Greek.ETD Artemis.2

    artery (n.)

    late 14c., "an arterial blood vessel," from Anglo-French arterie, Old French artaire (13c.; Modern French artère), and directly from Latin arteria, from Greek arteria "windpipe," also "an artery," as distinct from a vein; related to aeirein "to raise" (see aorta).ETD artery (n.).2

    They were regarded by the ancients as air ducts because the arteries do not contain blood after death, and 14c.-16c. artery in English also could mean "trachea, windpipe." Medieval writers, based on Galen, generally took them as a separate blood system for the "vital spirits." The word is used in reference to artery-like systems of major rivers from 1805; of railways from 1844.ETD artery (n.).3

    arterial (adj.)

    early 15c., "of or pertaining to an artery," from French artérial (Modern French artériel), from Latin arteria "an artery; the windpipe" (see artery). The meaning "resembling an artery system, having a main channel and many branches" is from 1831.ETD arterial (adj.).2


    word-forming element meaning "arterial," from Latinized form of Greek arteria "windpipe; artery" (see artery).ETD arterio-.2

    arteriole (n.)

    "small artery," by 1808, from Modern Latin arteriola, diminutive of arteria "an artery" (see artery).ETD arteriole (n.).2

    arteriosclerosis (n.)

    "hardening of the arteries," 1885, medical Latin, from arterio- + sclerosis.ETD arteriosclerosis (n.).2

    artesian (adj.)

    1830, literally "pertaining to Artois," originally in artesian well, from French puits artésien "wells of Artois," the French province where such wells first were bored 18c. by French engineer Bernard Forest de Bélidor. The place name is from Old French Arteis, from Atrebates, a tribe that lived in northwestern Gallia (compare Arras). In a true artesian well the water rises naturally to the surface, but this depends on peculiarities of local geology; in the U.S. the term was used of any deep-bored well, even if the water must be pumped to the surface.ETD artesian (adj.).2

    art-form (n.)

    "form of artistic composition," 1855, from art (n.) + form (n.). Later also "any activity, regarded a form of artistic expression."ETD art-form (n.).2

    arthralgia (n.)

    "pain in a joint," 1848, earlier in French and German, from Greek arthron "joint" (from PIE root *ar- "to fit together") + -algia "pain." Related: Arthralgic.ETD arthralgia (n.).2

    arthritic (adj.)

    mid-14c., artetyk, "pertaining to arthritis," also as a noun, from Old French artetique (12c., Modern French arthritique), corresponding to Latin arthriticus, from Greek arthritikos, from arthritis (see arthritis). The spelling gradually was restored to Latin form in 17c.ETD arthritic (adj.).2

    arthritis (n.)

    "inflammation of a joint," 1540s, from medical Latin arthritis, from Greek (nosos) arthritis "(disease) of the joints," from arthritis, fem. of arthritēs (adj.) "pertaining to joints" (Greek nosos is a fem. noun), from arthron "a joint" (from PIE root *ar- "to fit together"). The older noun form was arthetica (late 14c.).ETD arthritis (n.).2


    before vowels arth-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to the joints," from Greek arthron "joint," from PIE *ar(ə)-dhro-, suffixed form of root *ar- "to fit together."ETD arthro-.2

    arthropod (n.)

    "a joined invertebrate with jointed legs," 1862, from Modern Latin Arthropoda, literally "those with jointed feet," biological classification of the phylum of segmented, legged invertebrates (see Arthropoda). As an adjective by 1865.ETD arthropod (n.).2

    Arthropoda (n.)

    phylum of articulated invertebrates, 1849, Modern Latin, literally "those with jointed feet," coined 1845 by German zoologist Karl Theodor Ernst von Siebold (1804-1885) from Greek arthron "a joint" (from PIE root *ar- "to fit together") + podos genitive of pous "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). They comprise the vast majority of animals, including insects, spiders, and crustaceans.ETD Arthropoda (n.).2

    arthroscopic (adj.)

    "pertaining to arthroscopy," by 1979; see arthroscopy + -ic.ETD arthroscopic (adj.).2

    arthroscopy (n.)

    "surgical procedure for joint problems that involves insertion of a narrow tube in the joint," by 1977, from arthro- + -scopy.ETD arthroscopy (n.).2


    masc. proper name, from Medieval Latin Arthurus/Arturus, usually said to be from Welsh arth "bear," cognate with Greek arktos, Latin ursus (see arctic).ETD Arthur.2

    Arthurian (adj.)

    "pertaining to the series of tales of British King Arthur and his knights," 1793, from Arthur + -ian.ETD Arthurian (adj.).2

    arty (adj.)

    "having artistic pretentions," 1901, from art (n.) + -y (2). Compare artsy.ETD arty (adj.).2

    artichoke (n.)

    thistle-like plant with large, prickly leaves, also the head of the flower stem, used as food, 1530s, from articiocco, Northern Italian variant of Italian arcicioffo, from Old Spanish alcarchofa, from Arabic al-hursufa "artichoke." The Northern Italian variation probably is from influence of ciocco "stump."ETD artichoke (n.).2

    Folk etymology has twisted the word in English; the ending probably has been influenced by choke, and early forms of the word in English include archecokk, hortichock, artychough, hartichoake, reflecting various folk-etymologies from French and Latin words.ETD artichoke (n.).3

    The plant is native to the Mediterranean and was known to the Romans and Greeks (see cardoon); the modern, improved variant seems to have been bred in North Africa (hence the new, Arabic name) and reached Italy by mid-15c. It was introduced into England in the reign of Henry VIII. French artichaut (16c.), German Artischocke (16c.) are from Italian, and from the same source come Russian artishoku, Polish karczock.ETD artichoke (n.).4

    article (n.)

    c. 1200, "separate parts of anything written" (such as the statements in the Apostles' Creed, the clauses of a statute or contract), from Old French article (13c.), from Latin articulus "a part, a member," also "a knuckle; the article in grammar," diminutive of artus "a joint" (from PIE *ar(ə)-tu-, suffixed form of root *ar- "to fit together").ETD article (n.).2

    The meaning "literary composition in a journal, etc." (independent and on a specific topic, but part of a larger work) is recorded by 1712. The older sense is preserved in Articles of War "military regulations" (1716), Articles of Confederation (U.S. history), etc. The extended meaning "piece of property, material thing, commodity" (clothing, etc.) is attested by 1796, originally in rogue's cant.ETD article (n.).3

    The grammatical sense of "word used attributively, to limit the application of a noun to one individual or set of individuals" is from 1530s, from this sense in Latin articulus, translating Greek arthron "a joint." The part of speech (with different meanings in ancient Greek and modern English) was so called on the notion of the "pivots" or "joints" on which the propositions in a sentence are variously tied together.ETD article (n.).4

    articulated (adj.)

    "jointed," 1610s, past-participle adjective from articulate (v.) in the sense "unite by means of joints." Earlier, "set forth in articles" (1550s). In reference to speech, 1704. The meaning "made distinct" is from 1855.ETD articulated (adj.).2

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