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    aunt (n.) — autopathy (n.)

    aunt (n.)

    "sister of one's father or mother," c. 1300, from Anglo-French aunte, Old French ante (Modern French tante, from a 13c. variant), from Latin amita "paternal aunt" diminutive of *amma a baby-talk word for "mother" (source also of Greek amma "mother," Old Norse amma "grandmother," Middle Irish ammait "old hag," Hebrew em, Arabic umm "mother").ETD aunt (n.).2

    Extended senses include "an old woman, a gossip" (1580s); "a procuress" (1670s); and "any benevolent woman," in American English, where auntie was recorded since c. 1790 as "a term often used in accosting elderly women." The French word also has become the word for "aunt" in Dutch, German (Tante), and Danish.ETD aunt (n.).3

    Swedish has retained the original Germanic (and Indo-European) custom of distinguishing aunts by separate terms derived from "father's sister" (faster) and "mother's sister" (moster). The Old English equivalents were faðu and modrige. In Latin, too, the formal word for "aunt on mother's side" was matertera. Some languages have a separate term for aunts-in-law as opposed to blood relations.ETD aunt (n.).4

    auntie (n.)

    1787, also aunty, familiar diminutive form of aunt. It also was a form of kindly address to an older woman to whom one is not related, originally in southern U.S., of elderly slave women.ETD auntie (n.).2

    au pair (n.)

    1897 of the arrangement whereby a young woman from abroad helps with housework or child care in exchange for room and board; by 1960 in reference to the woman; French, literally "on an equal footing" (see au + pair (n.)).ETD au pair (n.).2

    aura (n.)

    1870 in spiritualism, "subtle emanation around living beings;" earlier "characteristic impression" made by a personality (1859), earlier still "an aroma or subtle emanation" (1732). Also used in some mystical sense in Swedenborgian writings (by 1847). All from Latin aura "breeze, wind, the upper air," from Greek aura "breath, cool breeze, air in motion" (from PIE *aur-, from root *wer- (1) "to raise, lift, hold suspended").ETD aura (n.).2

    The word was used in the classical literal sense in Middle English, "gentle breeze" (late 14c.). The modern uses all are figurative. In Latin and Greek, the metaphoric uses were in reference to changeful events, popular favor.ETD aura (n.).3

    aural (adj.)

    1844, "pertaining to the ear," from Latin auris "the ear as the organ of hearing" (see ear (n.1)) + -al (1). The meaning "received or perceived by ear" is attested by 1860. Related: Aurally.ETD aural (adj.).2

    aureate (adj.)

    early 15c., "resembling gold, gold-colored," also figuratively, "splendid, brilliant," from Latin aureatus "decorated with gold," from aureus "golden," from aurum "gold," from PIE root *aus- (2) "gold" (source also of Sanskrit ayah "metal," Avestan ayo, Latin aes "brass," Old English ar "brass, copper, bronze," Gothic aiz "bronze," Old Lithuanian ausas "gold"), which is probably related to root *aus- (1) "to shine."ETD aureate (adj.).2

    Especially of highly ornamented literary or rhetorical styles. Related: Aureation.ETD aureate (adj.).3

    aureole (n.)

    early 13c., "celestial crown worn by martyrs, virgins, etc., as victors over the flesh," from Latin aureola (corona), fem. diminutive of aureus "golden" (see aureate). In religious art aureola (1848) is the luminous cloud or aura surrounding holy figures.ETD aureole (n.).2

    au revoir (interj.)

    1690s, French, "good-bye for now," literally "to the seeing again." From au "to the" (see au) + revoir "see again, see in turn" (Old French reveoir, 12c.), from Latin revidere, from re- "back, again" (see re-) + videre "to see" (see vision).ETD au revoir (interj.).2

    auricle (n.)

    "external part of the human ear," 1650s, from Latin auricula "ear," diminutive of auris "the ear" (see ear (n.1)). As a chamber of the heart, early 15c., from Latin, so called from a perceived similarity in shape to an animal's ear.ETD auricle (n.).2

    auricular (adj.)

    1540s, "auditory" (originally of confessions), from Medieval Latin auricularis, from Latin auricula "ear," diminutive of auris (see ear (n.1)). The meaning "pertaining to the ear" is from 1640s.ETD auricular (adj.).2

    auriferous (adj.)

    "containing gold," 1727, from Latin aurifer "gold-bearing," from auri-, combining form of aurum "gold" (see aureate) + -fer "producing, bearing" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry").ETD auriferous (adj.).2


    northern constellation, from Latin auriga "a charioteer, driver," also the name of the constellation, which is often explained as from aureae "reins, bridle of a horse" (from os, genitive oris, "mouth;" see oral) + agere "set in motion, drive, lead" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Its bright star is Capella.ETD Auriga.2

    aurochs (n.)

    1766, a misapplication to the European bison (Bos bison) of a word that actually refers to a species of wild cattle (Bos ursus) that went extinct early 17c.; from German Aurochs, from Old High German urohso, from uro "aurochs" (cognate with Old English ur, Old Norse ürr), which is of unknown origin, + ohso "ox" (see ox). Latin urus and Greek ouros are Germanic loan-words.ETD aurochs (n.).2

    auroral (adj.)

    1550s, "pertaining to dawn," from aurora + -al (1). The meaning "of the color of dawn" is from 1827; the meaning "of the aurora borealis" is from 1828.ETD auroral (adj.).2

    aurora (n.)

    "morning light, dawn," late 14c., from Latin Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn, from PIE *ausus- "dawn," also the name of the Indo-European goddess of the dawn, from root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn (source also of Greek ēōs "dawn").ETD aurora (n.).2

    aurora borealis (n.)

    1620s, "Northern Lights," literally "northern dawn," said to have been coined by French philosopher Petrus Gassendus (1592-1655) after a spectacular display seen in France Sept. 2, 1621; see aurora + boreal. In northern Scotland and among sailors, sometimes called the dancers, pretty dancers, or merry dancers. Related: Aurora australis (1741).ETD aurora borealis (n.).2

    auscultation (n.)

    "act of listening," 1630s, from Latin auscultationem (nominative auscultatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of auscultare "listen attentively to" (see auscultate). The medical sense is from 1821, "a listening to the internal parts of the body via a stethoscope."ETD auscultation (n.).2

    auscultate (v.)

    "to listen" (especially with a stethoscope), 1832, from Latin auscultatus, past participle of auscultare "to listen attentively to," from aus-, from auris "ear" (see ear (n.1)); "the rest is doubtful" [OED 2nd. ed. print, 1989]. Tucker suggests the second element is akin to clinere "to lean, bend."ETD auscultate (v.).2

    auspex (n.)

    "one who observes flights of birds for the purpose of taking omens," 1590s, from Latin auspex "interpreter of omens given by birds," from PIE *awi-spek- "observer of birds," from root *awi- "bird" + root *spek- "to observe." Compare Greek oionos "bird of prey," also "bird of omen, omen," and ornis "bird," which also could mean "omen."ETD auspex (n.).2

    auspices (n.)

    plural (and now the usual form) of auspice (1530s), "observation of birds for the purpose of taking omens," from French auspice (14c.), from Latin auspicum "divination from the flight of birds; function of an auspex" (q.v.).ETD auspices (n.).2

    The meaning "any indication of the future (especially favorable)" is from 1650s; it is attested earlier (1630s) in extended sense of "benevolent influence of greater power, influence exerted on behalf of someone or something," originally in the expression under the auspices of.ETD auspices (n.).3

    auspicious (adj.)

    1590s, "of good omen" (implied in auspiciously), from Latin auspicium "divination by observing the flight of birds," from auspex (genitive auspicis) + -ous. Related: Auspiciousness.ETD auspicious (adj.).2

    Aussie (n.)

    short for Australian (n.) or Australia, attested from 1917.ETD Aussie (n.).2

    austere (adj.)

    early 14c., of persons, manner, etc., "harsh, severe; grim, fierce," from Old French austere "strict, severe, harsh, cruel" (13c., Modern French austère) and directly from Latin austerus "dry, harsh, sour, tart," from Greek austeros "bitter, harsh," especially "making the tongue dry" (originally used of fruits, wines), metaphorically "austere, harsh," from PIE root *saus- "dry" (see sere (adj.)).ETD austere (adj.).2

    From late 14c. as "severe, rigid;" by 1590s as "unadorned, simple in style, without luxuries;" by 1660s as "grave, sober." The classical literal sense of "sour, harsh" (1540s) is rare in English. Related: Austerely; austereness.ETD austere (adj.).3

    auster (n.)

    "south wind," late 14c., from Latin auster "the south wind; the south country" (see austral).ETD auster (n.).2

    austerity (n.)

    mid-14c., "sternness, harshness," from Old French austerite "harshness, cruelty" (14c.) and directly from Late Latin austeritatem (nominative austeritas), from austerus "severe, rigid," a figurative use, in classical Latin "harsh, sour" (see austere).ETD austerity (n.).2

    From 1580s as "severe self-discipline, ascetic practices;" hence "severe simplicity, absence of adornment or luxuries," applied during World War II to national policies limiting non-essentials as a wartime economy.ETD austerity (n.).3


    surname (also Austen) and masc. proper name, from Old French Aousten, an abbreviated form of Latin Augustine. St. Augustine of Canterbury is Austin in Layamon's "Brut" (c. 1200).ETD Austin.2

    austral (adj.)

    "southern, of or pertaining to the south," 1540s, from Latin australis, from auster "south wind; south," from Proto-Italic *aus-tero- (adj.) "towards the dawn," from PIE *heus-tero- (source also of Sanskrit usra- "red; matutinal," usar-budh- "waking at dawn;" Greek aurion "tomorrow;" Lithuanian aušra "dawn;" Old Church Slavonic jutro "dawn, morning; tomorrow;" Old High German ostara "Easter"), from PIE root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn.ETD austral (adj.).2

    The Latin sense shift in auster, if it is indeed the same word other Indo-European languages use for "east," for which Latin uses oriens (see Orient (n.)), perhaps is based on a false assumption about the orientation of the Italian peninsula, "with shift through 'southeast' explained by the diagonal position of the axis of Italy" [Buck]; see Walde, Alois, "Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch," 3rd. ed., vol. I, p.87; Ernout, Alfred, and Meillet, Alfred, "Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine," 2nd. ed., p.94.ETD austral (adj.).3

    Or perhaps the connection is more ancient, and from PIE root *aus- "to shine," source of aurora, which also produces words for "burning," with reference to the "hot" south wind that blows into Italy. Thus auster "(hot) south wind," metaphorically extended to "south."ETD austral (adj.).4


    1766 in geography, from French Australasie (De Brosses, 1756), "Australia and neighboring islands," also used later in zoology in a somewhat different sense (with reference to Wallace's line); see Australia + Asia. Related: Australasian.ETD Australasia.2


    from Latin Terra Australis (16c.), from australis "southern" + -ia. A hypothetical southern continent, known as terra australis incognita, had been proposed since 2c. Dutch explorers called the newfound continent New Holland; the current name was suggested 1814 by Matthew Flinders as an improvement over Terra Australis "as being more agreeable to the ear, and an assimilation to the name of the other great portions of the earth" ["Voyage to Terra Australis"]. In 1817 Gov. Lachlan Macquarie, having read Flinders' suggestion, began using it in official correspondence. The ultimate source is Latin auster "south wind," hence, "the south country" (see austral).ETD Australia.2

    Australian (n.)

    1690s, originally in reference to Aboriginal inhabitants, from Australia + -an. As an adjective by 1814. Australianism in speech is attested from 1891.ETD Australian (n.).2

    Australioid (adj.)

    "of the type of the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia," 1864; see Australia + -oid. Also sometimes Australoid.ETD Australioid (adj.).2

    Australopithecus (n.)

    1925, coined by Australian anthropologist Raymond A. Dart from Latin australis "southern" (see austral) + Greek pithekos "ape," a loan word from an unknown language. So called because first discovered in South Africa.ETD Australopithecus (n.).2


    central European nation, from Medieval Latin Marchia austriaca "eastern borderland." German Österreich is "eastern kingdom," from Old High German ostar "eastern" (from Proto-Germanic *aust- "east," literally "toward the sunrise," from PIE root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn) + reich "kingdom, realm, state" (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"). So called for being on the eastern edge of Charlemagne's empire. Related: Austrian.ETD Austria.2


    combining form meaning "Austrian;" see Austria.ETD Austro-.2

    autarchy (n.)

    1660s, "absolute sovereignty," from Latinized form of Greek autarkhia, from autarkhein "to be an absolute ruler," from autos "self" (see auto-) + arkhein "to rule" (see archon).ETD autarchy (n.).2

    autarky (n.)

    1610s, "self-sufficiency," from Greek autarkeia "sufficiency in oneself, independence," from autarkēs "self-sufficient, having enough, independent of others" (also used of countries), from autos "self" (see auto-) + arkein "to ward off, keep off," also "to be strong enough, sufficient" (see archon). From a different Greek source than autarchy, and thus the distinct spelling. As a term in international economics, prominent late 1930s. Related: Autarkic.ETD autarky (n.).2

    auteur (n.)

    "filmmaker whose influence and artistic control are so great that he is regarded as the author of the movie," 1962, from French, literally "author" (see author (n.)). Taken from the French-language writings of François Truffaut (1932-1984) originally in the phrase auteur theory which in early use sometimes was anglicized as "author theory."ETD auteur (n.).2

    authenticate (v.)

    "verify, establish the credibility of," 1650s, from Medieval Latin authenticatus, past participle of authenticare, from Late Latin authenticus (see authentic). Also "render authentic" (1650s). Related: Authenticated; authenticating.ETD authenticate (v.).2

    authentication (n.)

    "act of verifying or establishing the credibility of," 1748, noun of action from authenticate (v.).ETD authentication (n.).2

    authenticity (n.)

    "quality of being authentic, or entitled to acceptance as true or correct," 1760, from authentic + -ity. Earlier were authentity (1650s), authenticness (1620s).ETD authenticity (n.).2

    authentic (adj.)

    mid-14c., autentik, "authoritative, duly authorized" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French autentique "authentic; canonical" (13c., Modern French authentique) and directly from Medieval Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos "original, genuine, principal," from authentes "one acting on one's own authority," from autos "self" (see auto-) + hentes "doer, being" (from PIE root *sene- (2) "to accomplish, achieve"). The sense of "real, entitled to acceptance as factual" is recorded from mid-14c.ETD authentic (adj.).2

    Traditionally in modern use, authentic implies that the contents of the thing in question correspond to the facts and are not fictitious (hence "trustworthy, reliable"); while genuine implies that the reputed author is the real one and that we have it as it left the author's hand (hence "unadulterated"); but this is not always maintained: "The distinction which the 18th c. apologists attempted to establish between genuine and authentic ... does not agree well with the etymology of the latter word, and is not now recognized" [OED, 2nd ed. print, 1989].ETD authentic (adj.).3

    author (v.)

    1590s, "to do, originate," from author (n.). Revived 1940s, chiefly U.S. Related: Authored; authoring.ETD author (v.).2

    authority (n.)

    c. 1200, autorite, auctorite "authoritative passage or statement, book or quotation that settles an argument, passage from Scripture," from Old French autorité, auctorité "authority, prestige, right, permission, dignity, gravity; the Scriptures" (12c.; Modern French autorité), from Latin auctoritatem (nominative auctoritas) "invention, advice, opinion, influence, command," from auctor "master, leader, author" (see author (n.)).ETD authority (n.).2

    It usually was spelled with a -c- in English before 16c. but the letter was dropped in imitation of French, then with a -th-, probably by influence of authentic.ETD authority (n.).3

    It is attested from c. 1300 in the general sense of "legal validity," also "authoritative doctrine" (opposed to reason or experience), also "author whose statements are regarded as correct." It is from mid-14c. as "right to rule or command, power to enforce obedience, power or right to command or act."ETD authority (n.).4

    In Middle English it also meant "power derived from good reputation; power to convince people, capacity for inspiring trust." It is attested from c. 1400 as "official sanction, authorization." The meaning "persons in authority" is from 1610s; the authorities "those in charge, those with police powers" is recorded from mid-19c.ETD authority (n.).5

    author (n.)

    mid-14c., auctor, autour, autor "father, creator, one who brings about, one who makes or creates" someone or something, from Old French auctor, acteor "author, originator, creator, instigator" (12c., Modern French auteur) and directly from Latin auctor "promoter, producer, father, progenitor; builder, founder; trustworthy writer, authority; historian; performer, doer; responsible person, teacher," literally "one who causes to grow," agent noun from auctus, past participle of augere "to increase" (from PIE root *aug- (1) "to increase").ETD author (n.).2

    From late 14c. as "a writer, one who sets forth written statements, original composer of a writing" (as distinguished from a compiler, translator, copyist, etc.). Also from late 14c. as "source of authoritative information or opinion," which is now archaic but is the sense behind authority, etc.ETD author (n.).3

    In Middle English the word sometimes was confused with actor. The -t- changed to -th- 16c., on the model of a change in Medieval Latin which was made on the mistaken assumption of a Greek origin and from confusion with authentic.ETD author (n.).4

    authorize (v.)

    late 14c., auctorisen, autorisen, "give formal approval or sanction to," also "confirm as authentic or true; regard (a book) as correct or trustworthy," from Old French autoriser, auctoriser "authorize, give authority to" (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin auctorizare, from auctor (see author (n.)).ETD authorize (v.).2

    The meaning "give authority or legal power to" is from mid-15c. The modern spelling from late 16c. Related: Authorized; authorizing. Authorized Version as a popular name for the 1611 ("King James") English Bible is by 1811.ETD authorize (v.).3

    authorization (n.)

    "act of authorizing, conferment of legality," c. 1600, noun of action from authorize. Earlier form was auctorisation (late 15c.).ETD authorization (n.).2

    authoress (n.)

    "female author" in any sense, late 15c., from author (n.) + -ess. In modern use by 19c., author was used regardless of sex.ETD authoress (n.).2

    authorial (adj.)

    "pertaining to an author," by 1783, from author (n.) + -al (1).ETD authorial (adj.).2

    authorisation (n.)

    chiefly British English spelling of authorization (q.v.); for spelling, see -ize.ETD authorisation (n.).2

    authorise (v.)

    chiefly British English spelling of authorize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize. Related: Authorised; authorising; authorisation.ETD authorise (v.).2

    authoritative (adj.)

    c. 1600, "dictatorial" (a sense now restricted to authoritarian), earlier auctoritative (implied in auctoritativeli "with official approval or sanction"), from Medieval Latin auctoritativus, from Latin auctoritatem (see authority).ETD authoritative (adj.).2

    The meaning "having due authority, entitled to credence or obedience" is from 1650s; that of "proceeding from proper authority" is from 1809. Related: Authoritatively; authoritativeness.ETD authoritative (adj.).3

    authoritarian (adj.)

    "favoring imposed order over freedom," 1862, from authority + -an. Compare authoritative, which originally had this meaning to itself. The noun in the sense of "one advocating or practicing the principle of authority over individual freedom" is from 1859.ETD authoritarian (adj.).2

    authoritarianism (n.)

    "the practice, system, doctrines, etc. of authoritarians," 1883; see authoritarian + -ism. Early use was mostly in communist jargon.ETD authoritarianism (n.).2

    authorship (n.)

    c. 1500, "the function of being a writer," from author (n.) + -ship. The meaning "literary origination, source of something that has an author" is attested by 1808.ETD authorship (n.).2

    autism (n.)

    1912, from German Autismus, coined 1912 by Swiss psychiatrist Paul Bleuler from Greek autos "self" (see auto-) + -ismos suffix of action or of state (see -ism). The notion is of "morbid self-absorption."ETD autism (n.).2

    autistic (adj.)

    1912 (Bleuler), from autism (q.v.). The noun meaning "person with autism" is recorded from 1968 (earlier in this sense was autist). Related: Autistically.ETD autistic (adj.).2

    auto (n.)

    1899 as shortened form of automobile (q.v.). Similar evolution yielded French, German auto.ETD auto (n.).2


    word-forming element of Greek origin meaning "self, one's own, by oneself, of oneself" (and especially, from 1895, "automobile"), from Greek autos, reflexive pronoun, "self, same," which is of unknown origin. It also was a common word-forming element in ancient Greek, as in modern English, but very few of the old words have survived the interval.ETD auto-.2

    In Greek, as a word-forming element, auto- had the sense of "self, one's own, of oneself ('independently'); of itself ('natural, native, not made'); just exactly; together with." Before a vowel, it became aut-; before an aspirate, auth-. In Greek it also was used as a prefix to proper names, as in automelinna "Melinna herself." The opposite prefix would be allo-.ETD auto-.3

    autobahn (n.)

    "German expressway," 1937, from German Autobahn (1930s), from auto "motor car, automobile" (short for automobil; see auto) + bahn "path, road," from Middle High German ban, bane "way, road," literally "strike" (as a swath cut through), from PIE *gwhen- "to strike, kill" (see bane).ETD autobahn (n.).2

    autobiography (n.)

    "a memoir of a person written by himself," 1797, from auto- + biography. Related: Autobiographical; autobiographer; autobiographic.ETD autobiography (n.).2

    autocade (n.)

    "procession or parade of automobiles," 1922, from auto "automobile" + ending from cavalcade.ETD autocade (n.).2

    autocar (n.)

    "car which contains in itself a motor and a source of power," 1895, from auto- + car.ETD autocar (n.).2

    Compare automobile.ETD autocar (n.).3

    autochthonous (adj.)

    "native, aboriginal, indigenous," 1805, from autochthon + -ous. The opposite is allochthonous.ETD autochthonous (adj.).2

    autochthon (n.)

    1640s, "one sprung from the soil he inhabits" (plural autochthones), from Latinized form of Greek autokhthon "aborigines, natives, primitive inhabitants," literally "sprung from the land itself," used of the Athenians and others who claimed descent from the Pelasgians, from autos "self" (see auto-) + khthōn "land, earth, soil" (from PIE root *dhghem- "earth").ETD autochthon (n.).2

    autochthonic (adj.)

    "native, sprung from the soil," 1827, from autochthon + -ic.ETD autochthonic (adj.).2

    autoclave (n.)

    "stewing apparatus the lid of which is kept closed and tight by the steam itself," 1847, from French (1821), literally "self-locking," from auto- "self" (see auto-) + clave, from Latin clavis "key" (from PIE root *klau- "hook").ETD autoclave (n.).2

    autocracy (n.)

    1650s, "independent power, self-sustained power, self-government" (obsolete), from French autocratie, from Latinized form of Greek autokrateia "absolute rule, rule by oneself," abstract noun from autokratēs "ruling by oneself," from autos "self" (see auto-) + kratia "rule" (see -cracy). The meaning "absolute government, unlimited political power invested in a single person" is recorded from 1855.ETD autocracy (n.).2

    autocrat (n.)

    "absolute sovereign; ruler or monarch who holds power of government as by right, not subject to restrictions," 1800, in reference to the Russian tsars, who assumed it as a title, then to Napoleon, from French autocrate, from Latinized form of Greek autokratēs "ruling by oneself, absolute, autocratic," from autos "self" (see auto-) + kratia "rule," from kratos "strength, power" (see -cracy). The Greek noun was autokrator, and an earlier form in English was autocrator (1759). The earliest forms in English were the fem. autocratress (1762), autocratrix (1762), autocratrice (1767, from French).ETD autocrat (n.).2

    autocratic (adj.)

    "holding unlimited and independent powers of government," 1815 (in reference to Napoleon), from French autocratique, from autocrate, from Latinized form of Greek autokratēs "ruling by oneself, absolute, autocratic" (see autocrat). The earlier autocratoric (1670s) was directly from Greek autokratorikos "of or for an autocrat, despotically." Autocratical is attested from 1767 (in reference to Elizabeth I).ETD autocratic (adj.).2

    auto-da-fe (n.)

    "sentence passed by the Inquisition" (plural autos-da-fé), 1723, from Portuguese auto-da-fé "judicial sentence, act of the faith," especially the public burning of a heretic, from Latin actus de fide. The elements are auto "a play," in law, "an order, decree, sentence," from Latin actus (see act (v.)), de "from, of" (see de), fides "faith" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade"). The Spanish form is auto-de-fe, but the Portuguese form took hold in English, perhaps through popular accounts of the executions following the earthquake of 1755.ETD auto-da-fe (n.).2

    autodidactic (adj.)

    "self-taught," 1838, from Greek autodidaktikos "self-taught," from autos "self" (see auto-) + didaktos "taught" (see didactic).ETD autodidactic (adj.).2

    autodidact (n.)

    "self-taught person," 1746, probably via French, from Latinized form of Greek autodidaktos "self-taught" (see autodidactic).ETD autodidact (n.).2

    auto-erotic (adj.)

    also autoerotic, 1898, coined by Havelock Ellis from auto- + erotic. Related: Auto-eroticism (1898). The opposite is allo-erotic.ETD auto-erotic (adj.).2

    auto-focus (n.)

    "device that focuses automatically," by 1933 in photography, originally of enlargers; by 1942 of lenses, from auto- + focus (n.).ETD auto-focus (n.).2

    autogamy (n.)

    "self-fertilization," 1877, from auto- "self" + -gamy "fertilization." Related: Autogamous (1880).ETD autogamy (n.).2

    autogenous (adj.)

    "self-generated," 1846, earlier autogeneal (1650s), from Greek autogenetos "self-born," from autos "self" (see auto-) + genetos "born," from genes "formation, creation" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"). The modern form and biological use of the word are said to be due to English paleontologist Richard Owen.ETD autogenous (adj.).2

    autogenetic (adj.)

    "self-producing," 1865, see auto- + genetic. Related: Autogenic (1852); autogeny (1858); autogenesis (1859; by 1849 in German).ETD autogenetic (adj.).2

    autograph (n.)

    "a person's signature," 1791, from French autographe, from Late Latin autographum, from Greek autographon, neuter of autographos "written with one's own hand," from autos "self" (see auto-) + graphein "to write" (originally "to scratch;" see -graphy). Used earlier (1640s) to mean "author's own manuscript." As an adjective, "written by oneself," by 1832. Related: Autographic.ETD autograph (n.).2

    autograph (v.)

    "to sign one's name," 1837, from autograph (n.). Related: Autographed; autographing. Earlier "to write with one's own hand" (1818).ETD autograph (v.).2

    autoharp (n.)

    1882, name on a patent taken out by Charles F. Zimmermann of Philadelphia, U.S.A., for an improved type of harp, an instrument considerably different from the modern autoharp, which is actually a chord zither, and was invented about the same time by K.A. Gütter of Markneukirchen, Germany, who called it a Volkszither. See auto- + harp (n.).ETD autoharp (n.).2

    autoimmune (adj.)

    also auto-immune, "arising from an abnormal immune response to a normal body part," 1952, from auto- + immune. Related: Autoimmunity, attested by 1903 as "immunity, natural or acquired, effected by the unaided powers of the organism, independent of external agencies." The modern sense of "immune responses of an organism against its own healthy cells and tissues" is from 1950s.ETD autoimmune (adj.).2

    autolatry (n.)

    "self-worship," 1620s (in Latinate form autolatria), from auto- "self" + -latry "worship of."ETD autolatry (n.).2

    automation (n.)

    1948, in the manufacturing sense, "the large-scale use of automatic equipment in production," coined by Ford Motor Co. Vice President Delmar S. Harder, from automatic (adj.) + -ion. Earlier (1838) was automatism, which meant "quality of being automatic" in the classical sense.ETD automation (n.).2

    automate (v.)

    "to convert to automatic operation," 1954, back-formation from automated (q.v.). The ancient Greek verb automatizein meant "to act of oneself, to act unadvisedly." Related: Automating.ETD automate (v.).2

    automated (adj.)

    "done by automatic equipment," 1952, American English, adjective based on automation.ETD automated (adj.).2

    automaker (n.)

    "manufacturer of automobiles," 1925, from auto "automobile" + maker.ETD automaker (n.).2

    automat (n.)

    "automated cafeteria," 1903, probably from automatic (adj.), though the system itself is said to have originated in Germany, and the word may be from German. Earlier it meant "an automaton" (1670s).ETD automat (n.).2

    automatically (adv.)

    1834, "involuntarily, unconsciously," from automatical (see automatic (adj.)) + -ly (2).ETD automatically (adv.).2

    automatize (v.)

    1837, "to make into an automaton, make into a self-acting machine;" see automaton + -ize. The meaning "to make automatic" is attested by 1952 (see automatic (adj.)). Related: Automatized; automatizing.ETD automatize (v.).2

    automatic (n.)

    1902, "automatic weapon," from automatic (adj.). The meaning "motorized vehicle with automatic transmission" is from 1949.ETD automatic (n.).2

    automatism (n.)

    1803, "the doctrine that animals below man are devoid of consciousness;" see automaton + -ism. By 1856 as "automatic or involuntary action."ETD automatism (n.).2

    automatization (n.)

    in reference to the actions or reactions of higher animals, "a rendering automatic," by 1869, noun of action from automatize. Generally, automatization is used of animals, automation of machinery.ETD automatization (n.).2

    automatic (adj.)

    "self-acting, moving or acting on its own," 1812 (automatical is from 1580s; automatous from 1640s), from Greek automatos of persons "acting of one's own will;" of things "self-moving, self-acting," used of the gates of Olympus and the tripods of Hephaestus (also "without apparent cause, by accident"), from autos "self" (see auto-) + matos "thinking, animated" (from PIE root *men- (1) "to think").ETD automatic (adj.).2

    Of involuntary animal or human actions, from 1748, first used in this sense by English physician and philosopher David Hartley. The meaning "done by self-acting machinery" is by 1850. In reference to a type of firearm, from 1877; specifically of machinery that imitates human-directed action from 1940.ETD automatic (adj.).3

    automaton (n.)

    1610s, "a self-acting machine;" 1670s, "a living being acting mechanically," from Latin automaton (Suetonius), from noun use of Greek automaton, neuter of automatos "self-acting," from autos "self" (see auto-) + matos "thinking, animated, willing" (from PIE *mn-to-, from root *men- (1) "to think").ETD automaton (n.).2

    automobile (n.)

    "self-propelled motor vehicle," 1895, from French automobile, short for véhicule automobile (see automobile (adj.)). The modern Greek calls it autokineto "moved of itself." The French word had competition in the early years from locomobile; in English other early forms were motorcar and autocar (q.v.). An electrical car was an electromobile (1899).ETD automobile (n.).2

    automobile (adj.)

    "self-moving, self-movable," 1883, in reference to electric traction cars, from French automobile (adj.), 1861, a hybrid from Greek autos "self" (see auto-) + French mobile "moving," from Latin mobilis "movable" (see mobile (adj.)).ETD automobile (adj.).2

    automotive (adj.)

    "pertaining to automobiles," 1898, a hybrid from auto- "self," from Greek, and motive (adj.), from Latin. Used earlier as a noun (1865) in reference to some sort of helicopter-like device.ETD automotive (adj.).2

    autonomic (adj.)

    1832 (autonomical is recorded from 1650s), "self-governing;" see autonomy + -ic. Since late 19c. used mostly in physiology.ETD autonomic (adj.).2

    autonomous (adj.)

    1777, "subject to its own laws" (in translations of Montesquieu); 1780, "pertaining to autonomy;" from Greek autonomos "having one's own laws," of animals, "feeding or ranging at will," from autos "self" (see auto-) + nomos "law" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). Compare privilege. Used mostly in metaphysics and politics; see autonomic. Related: Autonomously.ETD autonomous (adj.).2

    autonomy (n.)

    "autonomous condition, power or right of self-government," 1620s, of states, from Greek autonomia "independence," abstract noun from autonomos "independent, living by one's own laws," from autos "self" (see auto-) + nomos "custom, law" (from PIE root *nem- "assign, allot; take"). Of persons, from 1803. In Kantian metaphysics, "doctrine of the Will giving itself its own law, based on conscience."ETD autonomy (n.).2

    autopathy (n.)

    "egotistic sentiment or feeling, exclusive self-consideration," 1640s; see auto- "self" + -pathy "feeling." Related: Autopath; autopathic.ETD autopathy (n.).2

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