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    cholecystitis (n.) — chronological (adj.)

    cholecystitis (n.)

    "inflammation of the gall bladder," 1846, from cholecyst "gall bladder" + -itis "inflammation."ETD cholecystitis (n.).2

    cholecyst (n.)

    "gall bladder," 1846, from medical Latin cholecystis, incorrectly formed from Greek khole "gall" (from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting "green, yellow," and thus "bile, gall") + kystis "bladder, cyst" (see cyst). Related: Cholecystectomy.ETD cholecyst (n.).2

    choler (n.)

    late 14c., "bile," as one of the humors, an excess of which was supposed in old medicine to cause irascibility or temper, from Old French colere "bile, anger," from Late Latin cholera "bile" (see cholera).ETD choler (n.).2

    choleric (adj.)

    mid-14c., colrik, "bilious of temperament or complexion," from Old French colerique, from Late Latin cholericus, from Greek kholerikos, from Greek kholera "a type of disease characterized by diarrhea, supposedly caused by bile," from khole "gall, bile," so called for its color, related to khloazein "to be green," khlōros "pale green, greenish-yellow," from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting "green, yellow," and thus "bile, gall." Meaning "easily angered, hot-tempered" is from 1580s (from the supposed effect of excess choler); that of "pertaining to cholera" is from 1834.ETD choleric (adj.).2

    choleraic (adj.)

    "pertaining to cholera," 1832, from cholera + -ic.ETD choleraic (adj.).2

    cholera (n.)

    late 14c., "bile, melancholy" (originally the same as choler), from French cholera or directly from Late Latin cholera, from Greek kholera "a type of disease characterized by diarrhea, supposedly caused by bile" (Celsus), from khole "gall, bile," so called for its color, related to khloazein "to be green," khlōros "pale green, greenish-yellow," from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting "green, yellow," and thus "bile, gall." But another sense of khole was "drainpipe, gutter."ETD cholera (n.).2

    Revived 1560s in classical sense as a name for a severe digestive disorder (rarely fatal to adults); and 1704 (especially as cholera morbus), for a highly lethal disease endemic in India, periodically breaking out in global epidemics, especially that reaching Britain and America in the early 1830s.ETD cholera (n.).3

    cholesterol (n.)

    white, solid substance present in body tissues, 1894, earlier cholesterin, from French cholestrine (Chevreul, 1827), from Latinized form of Greek khole "bile" (from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives denoting "green, yellow," and thus "bile, gall") + steros "solid, stiff" (from PIE root *ster- (1) "stiff"). So called because originally found in gallstones (Conradi, 1775). The name was changed to the modern form (with chemical suffix -ol, denoting an alcohol) after the compound was discovered to be a secondary alcohol.ETD cholesterol (n.).2

    cholinergic (adj.)

    1934, from choline, name of a basic substance abundant in bile (coined in German, 1862, from Greek khole "bile;" see cholera) + Greek ergon "work" (from PIE root *werg- "to do") + -ic.ETD cholinergic (adj.).2


    "Indian or mixed-race person of Latin America" (fem. Chola), 1851, from American Spanish (c. 1600), said to be from Nahuatl (Aztecan) xolotl "dog, mutt." Proposed derivation from Mexican city of Cholula seems too late, if this is the same word. In U.S., used of lower-class Mexican immigrants, but by 1970s the word began to be embraced in Latino gang slang in a positive sense.ETD Cholo.2

    chomp (v.)

    1640s, dialectal and American English variant of champ (v.). Related: Chomped; chomping.ETD chomp (v.).2


    word-forming element in scientific compounds meaning "cartilage," from Latinized form of Greek khondros "cartilage" (of the breastbone), also "grain, grain of salt, seed, barley-grain," of uncertain origin. This is sometimes said to be from the PIE root meaning "to grind" which is the source of English grind (v.), but there are serious phonological objections and the word might be non-Indo-European [Beekes, "Etymological Dictionary of Greek"]. The body material so called for its gristly nature.ETD chondro-.2

    choo-choo (n.)

    Child's name for "steam-engine locomotive," 1895, echoic (choo-choo cars is attested from 1891).ETD choo-choo (n.).2

    choose (v.)

    Old English ceosan "choose, seek out, select from two or more; decide, test, taste, try; accept, approve" (class II strong verb; past tense ceas, past participle coren), from Proto-Germanic *keus- (source also of Old Frisian kiasa, Old Saxon kiosan, Dutch kiezen, Old High German kiosan, German kiesen, Old Norse kjosa, Gothic kiusan "choose," Gothic kausjan "to taste, test"), from PIE root *geus- "to taste; to choose." Only remotely related to choice. Variant spelling chuse is Middle English, very frequent 16c.-18c. The irregular past participle leveled out to chosen by 1200.ETD choose (v.).2

    chooser (n.)

    "one who chooses, one who has power or right of choosing," 16c., agent noun from choose (v.). Replaced Middle English chesere (late 14c.), fem. cheseresse. Proverb beggars should be no choosers is in Heywood (1562).ETD chooser (n.).2

    choosy (adj.)

    "disposed to be fastidious," 1862, American English, from choose + -y (2). Also sometimes choosey. Related: Choosiness.ETD choosy (adj.).2

    chop (n.)

    mid-14c., "act of chopping, cutting with a quick blow," from chop (v.1). Meaning "piece cut off" is mid-15c.; specifically "slice of mutton, lamb, or pork" (usually cut from the loin and containing the rib) is from 1630s, probably from being "chopped" from the loin. Sense of "a blow, strike" is from 1550s. Specific cricket/baseball sense of "a downward stroke with the bat" is by 1888.ETD chop (n.).2

    chop (v.1)

    "to cut with a quick blow," mid-14c., of uncertain origin, not found in Old English, perhaps from Old North French choper (Old French coper "to cut, cut off," 12c., Modern French couper), from Vulgar Latin *cuppare "to behead," from a root meaning "head," but influenced in Old French by couper "to strike" (see coup). There are similar words in continental Germanic (Dutch, German kappen "to chop, cut").ETD chop (v.1).2

    Related: Chopped; chopping. Chopping-block "block of wood on which anything (especially food) is laid to be chopped" is from 1703.ETD chop (v.1).3

    chop (v.2)

    "shift quickly," 1530s, earlier "to bargain" (early 15c.), ultimately from Old English ceapian "to bargain" (see cheap); here with a sense of "changing back and forth," probably from common expressions such as to chop and change "barter." To chop logic "engage in sophistical argument" is recorded from 1570s. Related: Chopped; chopping.ETD chop (v.2).2

    chops (n.)

    "jaws, sides of the face," c. 1500, perhaps a variant of chaps (n.2) in the same sense, which is of unknown origin.ETD chops (n.).2

    chopping (adj.)

    "large and thriving," 1560s, present-participle adjective from chop (v.). Compare strapping, whopping in similar sense. Chopper "a stout, lusty child" is colloquial from c. 1600.ETD chopping (adj.).2

    chop-chop (adv.)

    "quickly," 1834, Pidgin English, from Chinese k'wai-k'wai (see chopstick).ETD chop-chop (adv.).2

    chop-house (n.)

    1680s, "a mean house of entertainment, where provision ready dressed is sold" [Johnson], from chop (n.) in the "meat" sense + house (n.).ETD chop-house (n.).2

    chopine (n.)

    "type of high shoe or clog, raised by means of a cork sole," worn c. 1600 in Spain and Italy (in England, the style was especially associated with Venice) by women as a symbol of status (but not forming part of English costume of the period), 1570s, from Spanish chopin, which is perhaps from chapa "plate of metal."ETD chopine (n.).2

    chopper (n.)

    1550s, "one who chops," agent noun from chop (v.1). Meaning "meat cleaver" is by 1818. Meaning "helicopter" is from 1951, Korean War military slang (compare egg-beater); as a type of stripped-down motorcycle (originally preferred by Hells Angels) from 1965.ETD chopper (n.).2

    choppy (adj.)

    1830, of seas, "running in short, irregular, broken waves," from chop (v.2) + -y (2). Earlier in this sense was chopping (1630s).ETD choppy (adj.).2

    chopstick (n.)

    also chop-stick, "small stick of wood or ivory used in pairs in eating in China, Korea, Japan," 1690s, sailors' partial translation of a Cantonese pronunciation of Chinese k'wai tse, variously given as "fast ones" or "nimble boys." The first element is from pidgin English chop, from Cantonese kap "urgent" (compare chop-chop); second element from Chinese tsze, an individualizing formative particle. Chopsticks, the two-fingered piano exercise, is first attested 1893, probably from the resemblance of the fingers to chopsticks.ETD chopstick (n.).2

    chop suey (n.)

    Chinese dish, 1885, American English, from Chinese (Cantonese dialect) tsap sui "odds and ends, miscellaneous bits." A Cantonese dish brought to the U.S. West Coast by Chinese immigrants.ETD chop suey (n.).2

    chorale (n.)

    1828, "sacred choral song; musical composition in harmony, suited for performance by a choir," from German Choral "metrical hymn in Reformed church," shortened from Choralgesang "choral song," translating Medieval Latin cantus choralis, from Latin choralis "belonging to a chorus or choir," from chorus (see chorus). The -e was added to indicate stress. Meaning "group of singers performing choral music" is from 1942.ETD chorale (n.).2

    choral (adj.)

    "pertaining to or characteristic of a chorus or choir," in music, "designed for vocal (as opposed to instrumental) performance," 1580s, from French choral or directly from Medieval Latin choralis "belonging to a chorus or choir," from Latin chorus (see chorus).ETD choral (adj.).2

    chord (n.2)

    "structure in animals resembling a string," 1540s, alteration of cord (n.), by influence of Greek khorde "gut-string, string of a lyre, tripe," from PIE root *ghere- "gut, entrail."ETD chord (n.2).2

    Meaning "string of a musical instrument" is from 1660s (earlier this was cord). The geometry sense "straight line intersecting a curve" is from 1550s; figurative meaning "feeling, emotion" first attested 1784, from the notion of the heart or mind as a stringed instrument.ETD chord (n.2).3

    chord (n.1)

    "related notes in music," 1590s, ultimately a shortening of accord (or borrowed from a similar development in French) and influenced by corde "string of a musical instrument" (c. 1300), which is Latin chorda "catgut, a string" of a musical instrument (see cord (n.)).ETD chord (n.1).2

    English cord as a shortening of accord is attested from mid-14c.; cord meaning "music" is attested in English from late 14c. The spelling with an -h- is first recorded c. 1600, from further confusion with chord (n.2) and perhaps also classical correction. Originally two notes sounded simultaneously; of three or more from 18c.ETD chord (n.1).3

    chordate (adj.)

    1885, "pertaining to or characteristic of the Chordata," from Chordata. Also from 1885 as a noun, "a chordate animal."ETD chordate (adj.).2


    "division of the animal kingdom including the true vertebrates," 1880, Modern Latin, from neuter plural of Latin chordatus "having a (spinal) cord," from chorda "cord, string" (from PIE root *ghere- "gut, entrail").ETD Chordata.2

    chore (n.)

    "a small job or task," especially "a piece of minor domestic work of regular or frequent recurrence," 1751, American English, variant of char, from Middle English cherre "odd job," from Old English cerr, cierr "turn, change, time, occasion, affair business." Related: Chores.ETD chore (n.).2

    chorea (n.)

    "nervous disease marked by irregular and involuntary motions," 1806, from Modern Latin chorea Sancti Viti "St. Vitus dance" (1620s) which originally was a mass hysteria prevalent in 15c. Europe characterized by uncontrolled dancing); from Latin chorea "a dance," from Greek khoreia "dance" (see chorus). Related: Choreal.ETD chorea (n.).2

    choreograph (v.)

    1928, American English, back-formation from choreography, or else from French choréographier (1827). Figurative sense from c. 1965. Related: choreographed.ETD choreograph (v.).2

    choreographer (n.)

    "composer or arranger of dance," 1829, from choreography + -er (1). Choreographist (1857) did not thrive. In Greek, a person who trained a chorus was a khorodidaskelikos.ETD choreographer (n.).2

    choreography (n.)

    "the composing or arrangement of dance," originally ballet, 1789, from French choréographie, coined from Latinized form of Greek khoreia "dance" (see chorus) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Related: Choreographic.ETD choreography (n.).2

    choreology (n.)

    "the study of dancing," 1955, from Latinized form of Greek khoreia "dance" (see chorus) + connective -o- + -logy.ETD choreology (n.).2

    choriambic (adj.)

    in prosody, "pertaining to or consisting of choriambs," 1650s, from Latin choriambicus, from Greek khōriambikos, from khōriambos. This is compounded from iambos (see iambic) + khoreios, the name of the foot we tend to call a trochee, literally "pertaining to a dance or theatrical chorus," from khoros (see chorus).ETD choriambic (adj.).2

    In classical prosody a four-syllable foot, the first and last long the middle two short. Common in English poetry 16c.-19c. (“Lilies without, roses within”), but in English it is less a foot than a two-foot pattern of an inverted iamb (a trochee, or choreus) followed by an iamb, typically at the start of an iambic decasyllable line or after a caesura. As a noun, "a foot constituting a choriamb," by 1866.ETD choriambic (adj.).3

    choric (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to a chorus," 1749, from Latin choricus, from Greek khorikos, from khoros "round dance; dancing-place; band of dancers; choir" (see chorus). Related: Chorical (1690s).ETD choric (adj.).2

    chorine (n.)

    "chorus girl," 1922, from chorus + fem. ending -ine.ETD chorine (n.).2

    chorion (n.)

    "outer membrane of the fetus," 1540s, medical Latin, from Greek khorion "membrane enclosing the fetus, afterbirth," from PIE root *ghere- "gut, entrail." Related: Chorionic.ETD chorion (n.).2

    chorister (n.)

    "member of a choir, singer in a chorus," mid-14c., queristre, from Anglo-French cueristre, variant of cueriste, from Church Latin chorista, from Latin chorus (see chorus) + -ster. Modern form is from late 16c.; compare choir.ETD chorister (n.).2

    chorizo (n.)

    "spiced pork sausage," 1846, from Spanish chorizo, ultimately from Medieval Latin salsicia "sausage" from Latin salsicus "seasoned with salt" (see sausage).ETD chorizo (n.).2

    chork (v.)

    mid-15c., now Scottish, "to make the noise which the feet do when the shoes are full of water" [Jamieson]. Related: Chorked; chorking.ETD chork (v.).2

    choroid (adj.)

    "like a chorion, membranous," 1680s, from Latinized form of Greek khoroeides, a corruption of khorioeides, from khorion (see chorion) + eidos "resemblance" (see -oid). Related: Choroidal.ETD choroid (adj.).2

    chortle (v.)

    coined 1871 by Lewis Carroll in "Through the Looking Glass," perhaps from chuckle and snort. Related: Chortled; chortling. As a noun, from 1903.ETD chortle (v.).2

    chorus (n.)

    1560s, in drama, "person who speaks the prologue and explains or comments on events on stage," from Latin chorus "a dance in a circle, the persons singing and dancing, the chorus of a tragedy," from Greek khoros "round dance; dancing-place; band of dancers; company of persons in a play, under a leader, who take part in dialogue with the actors and sing their sentiments at intervals."ETD chorus (n.).2

    The Greek word is of uncertain origin, because the original sense is unknown. Perhaps it is from PIE root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose," if the original sense of the Greek word is "enclosed dancing floor," or *gher- (2) "to like, want," if the original notion is "to rejoice."ETD chorus (n.).3

    Extension from dance to voice is because Attic drama arose from tales inserted in the intervals of the dance. In Attic tragedy, the khoros (of 12 or 15 (tragic) or 24 (comedic) persons) gave expression, between the acts, to the moral and religious sentiments evoked by the actions of the play. English 16c. theater adopted a stripped-down version of this.ETD chorus (n.).4

    The meaning "an organized company of singers" is from 1650s. Meaning "the refrain of a song" (which the audience joins in singing) is from 1590s; that of "a song to be sung by a (large) chorus" is from 1744. Meaning "main part of a modern popular song" (as distinguished from the verse, q.v.) is by 1926, originally in jazz. As a verb, 1703, from the noun. Chorus girl "young woman who sings and dances in a stage chorus" is by 1852.ETD chorus (n.).5


    past tense of choose (q.v.).ETD chose.2

    chosen (n.)

    "the elect, the select," especially those selected by God, c. 1200, from past participle of choose (v.). Chosen people for "the Jews" is recorded from 1530s.ETD chosen (n.).2

    chou (n.)

    "fashionable knot in a woman's dress or hat," 1883; earlier "small, round, cream-filled pastry" (1706), from French chou, literally "cabbage" (12c.), from Latin caulis "cabbage," literally "stalk" (see cole (n.1)).ETD chou (n.).2

    chouse (n.)

    "swindler, impostor," c. 1600; also "one easily cheated" (1640s); "a swindle, trick, sham, imposition" (1708), an obsolete word said to be from Turkish chaush "sergeant, herald, messenger," but the sense connection is obscure. Century Dictionary says the Turkish word is via Arabic khawas from Hindi khawas "an attendant." Also used as a verb, "to cheat, swindle" (1650s).ETD chouse (n.).2

    chow (n.)

    "food," originally especially "Chinese food," 1856, American English (originally in California), from Chinese pidgin English chow-chow (1795) "food; mixed pickle or preserve; mix or medley of any sort," perhaps a reduplication of Chinese cha or tsa "mixed," or Cantonese chaau "to fry, cook." Hence also chow-chow (adj.) "mixed" (1845), since used as a noun in reference to various preserves or relish.ETD chow (n.).2

    The dog breed of the same name is from 1886, of unknown origin, but some suggest a link to the Chinese tendency to see dogs as edible.ETD chow (n.).3

    chowder (n.)

    "thick fish soup," 1751, American English, apparently named for the pot it was cooked in: French chaudière "a pot" (12c.), from Late Latin caldaria "cooking pot" (source of Spanish calderon, Italian calderone), from Latin calidarium "hot bath," from calidus "warm, hot" (from PIE root *kele- (1) "warm").ETD chowder (n.).2

    The word and the practice were introduced in Newfoundland by Breton fishermen and spread from there to the Maritimes and New England.ETD chowder (n.).3

    The modern form of it usually features clams. In New England, usually made with milk; the Manhattan version is made with tomatoes. The derogatory chowderhead (1819) is a corruption of cholter-head (16c.), from jolt-head, which is of unknown origin.ETD chowder (n.).4

    chow mein (n.)

    Chinese dish of stir-fried noodles served with sauce, 1898, American English, from Chinese ch'ao mien, said to mean "fried dough."ETD chow mein (n.).2

    chrestomathy (n.)

    "collection of literary passages" (especially from a foreign language), 1774, from French chrestomathie, from Latinized form of Greek khrestomatheia "desire of learning; book containing selected passages," lit. "useful learning," from khrestos "useful" (verbal adjective of khresthai "to make use of," from PIE root *gher- (2) "to like, want") + manthanein "to learn" (from PIE root *mendh- "to learn"). Related: Chrestomathic.ETD chrestomathy (n.).2


    pet or familiar form of masc. proper name Christopher or fem. proper name Christine, Christina, etc.ETD Chris.2

    chrism (n.)

    "oil mingled with balm, a sacred ointment consecrated and used in Church rites," late Old English chrisma, from Church Latin chrisma, from Greek khrisma "an unguent, anointing, unction," from khriein "to anoint," from PIE root *ghrei- "to rub." Chrisom "baptismal robe," is a c. 1200 variant of this. Related: Chrismal; chrismatory.ETD chrism (n.).2

    Christ (n.)

    "the Anointed," synonymous with and translating to Greek Hebrew mashiah (see messiah), a title given to Jesus of Nazareth; Old English crist (by 830, perhaps 675), from Latin Christus, from Greek khristos "the anointed," noun use of verbal adjective of khriein "to rub, anoint" (from PIE root *ghrei- "to rub").ETD Christ (n.).2

    In the primitive Church it was a title, and used with the definite article, but from an early period it was used without it and regarded as part of the proper name of Jesus. It was treated as a proper name in Old English, but not regularly capitalized until 17c. Pronunciation with long -i- is result of Irish missionary work in England, 7c.-8c. The ch- form, regular since c. 1500 in English, was rare before. Capitalization of the word begins 14c. but is not fixed until 17c. The Latin term drove out Old English Hæland "healer, savior," as the preferred descriptive term for Jesus.ETD Christ (n.).3

    As an oath or strong exclamation (of surprise, dismay, etc.), attested by 1748. The 17c. mystical sect of the Familists edged it toward a verb with Christed "made one with Christ." Christ-child "Jesus as a baby" (1842) translates German Christkind.ETD Christ (n.).4


    fem. proper name, probably a combination of Christ + Belle.ETD Christabel.2

    christ-cross (n.)

    "mark of the cross," cut, printed, or stamped on anything, early 15c; see Christ + cross (n.), and compare crisscross.ETD christ-cross (n.).2

    christen (v.)

    c. 1200, "to baptize into the Christian church," from Old English cristnian "to baptize," literally "to make Christian," from cristen "Christian" (see Christian). Especially to baptize and name as an infant, hence "give a name to at baptism" (mid-15c.) and the general sense of "give a name to" anything, without reference to baptism (1530s). Related: Christened; christening.ETD christen (v.).2

    christening (n.)

    "act or ceremony of baptizing," c. 1300, verbal noun from christen (v.). Old English had cristnung.ETD christening (n.).2

    Christendom (n.)

    Old English cristendom "Christianity, state of being a Christian, profession of faith in Christ by baptism," from cristen (see Christian) + -dom, suffix of condition or quality. The native formation, crowded out by Latinate Christianity except in the sense of "lands where Christianity is the dominant religion" (late 14c.). Similar formations are found in Scandinavian languages.ETD Christendom (n.).2

    Christer (n.)

    "overly-zealous Christian," 1910, originally sailors' slang, from Christ + -er (1).ETD Christer (n.).2

    christianize (v.)

    1590s, from Christian + -ize. Originally intransitive ("follow or profess Christianity") as well as transitive ("make Christian, convert to Christianity"). Related: Christianized; christianizing; christianization.ETD christianize (v.).2

    Christianism (n.)

    1570s, "Christianity, the beliefs of Christians," from Christian + -ism. Obsolete, but revived or recoined c. 2004 in reference to politicized fundamentalist Christianity in the U.S. Related: Christianist.ETD Christianism (n.).2

    Christian (n., adj.)

    1520s as a noun, "a believer in and follower of Christ;" 1550s as an adjective, "professing the Christian religion, received into the Christian church," 16c. forms replacing Middle English Cristen (adjective and noun), from Old English cristen, from a West Germanic borrowing of Church Latin christianus, from Ecclesiastical Greek christianos, from Christos (see Christ). First used in Antioch, according to Acts xi.25-26:ETD Christian (n., adj.).2

    Meaning "having the manner and spiritual character proper to a follower of Christ" is from 1590s (continuing a sense in the Middle English word). Christian name, that given at christening, is from 1540s (also continuing a sense from Middle English Cristen). Christian Science as the name of a religious sect is from 1863.ETD Christian (n., adj.).3

    Christianity (n.)

    c. 1300, cristente, "Christians as a whole; state of being a Christian; the religion founded by Jesus," from Old French crestienté "Christendom; spiritual authority; baptism" (Modern French chrétienté), from Church Latin christianitatem (nominative christianitas), noun of state from christianus (see Christian). Gradually respelled to conform with Latin. Christendom is the older word for it. Old English also had cristennes.ETD Christianity (n.).2


    see Cristina.ETD Christina.2

    Christless (adj.)

    "having no faith in Christ, unchristian," 1650s, from Christ + -less.ETD Christless (adj.).2

    Christ-like (adj.)

    also Christlike, "characteristic of or resembling Jesus," 1680s, from Christ + like (adj.). Old English had cristlic, but the modern word appears to be a more recent formation.ETD Christ-like (adj.).2

    Christmas (n.)

    "Church festival observed annually in memory of the birth of Christ," late Old English Cristes mæsse, from Christ (and retaining the original vowel sound) + mass (n.2).ETD Christmas (n.).2

    Written as one word from mid-14c. As a verb, "to celebrate Christmas," from 1590s. Father Christmas is attested in a carol attributed to Richard Smart, Rector of Plymtree (Devon) from 1435-77. Christmas-tree in the modern sense is attested by 1835 in American English, rendering German Weihnachtsbaum. Christmas cards were first designed in 1843, popular by 1860s; the phrase Christmas-card was in use by 1850. Christmas present is from 1769. Christmas Eve is Middle English Cristenmesse Even (c. 1300).ETD Christmas (n.).3

    Christmassy (adj.)

    "characteristic of or suitable for Christmas," 1852, from Christmas + -y (2).ETD Christmassy (adj.).2

    Christmas-tide (n.)

    also Christmastide, "period from Christmas Eve to Epiphany," 1620s, from Christmas + tide (n.).ETD Christmas-tide (n.).2

    Christology (n.)

    "branch of theology which studies the person and character of Jesus," 1670s, from Christ + connective -o- + -logy.ETD Christology (n.).2


    masc. proper name, Church Latin Christophoros, from Ecclesiastical Greek khristophoros, literally "Christ-bearing;" from phoros "bearer," from pherein "to carry," from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children." In medieval legend he was a giant (one of the rare virtuous ones) who aided travellers by carrying them across a river. Medallions with his image (called Christophers) worn by travelers are known from the Middle Ages (Chaucer's Yeoman had one). Not a common name in medieval England.ETD Christopher.2

    Christy Minstrels

    a blackface troupe originated c. 1843 by Edwin P. Christy in Buffalo, N.Y.; one of the first (along with Dan Emmett) to expand blackface from a solo act to a full minstrel show and bring it into the mainstream of American entertainment.ETD Christy Minstrels.2

    chroma (n.)

    in reference to color, "intensity of distinctive hue, degree of departure of a color-sensation from that of white or gray," 1889, from Latinized form of Greek khrōma "surface of the body, skin, color of the skin," also used generically for "color" and, in plural, "ornaments, makeup, embellishments," a verbal noun from khroizein "to color, stain, to touch the surface of the body," khrosthenai "to take on a color or hue," from khros, khroia "surface of the body, skin."ETD chroma (n.).2

    Beekes considers this noun to be of uncertain origin. It sometimes is explained as being somehow from PIE *ghreu- "to rub, grind" (see grit (n.)).ETD chroma (n.).3

    chromatic (adj.)

    c. 1600, in music, "involving tones foreign to the normal tonality of the scale, not diatonic," from Latin chromaticus, from Greek khrōmatikos "relating to color, suited for color" (also used in reference to music), from khrōma (genitive khrōmatos) "color, complexion, character" (but chiefly used metaphorically of embellishments in music), originally "skin, surface" (see chroma).ETD chromatic (adj.).2

    Greek also used khrōma for certain modifications of the usual diatonic music scale. The reason the Greeks used this word in music is not now entirely clear. Perhaps the connection is the extended sense of khrōma, "ornaments, makeup, embellishments," via the notion of "characteristic" of a musical scale or speech.ETD chromatic (adj.).3

    In English, the musical sense of "progressing by half-tones, involving the sharps and flats of the staff" is by 1881. Meaning "of or pertaining to color" is from 1829.ETD chromatic (adj.).4

    chromatin (n.)

    protoplasm in cell nuclei, 1882, from German, coined 1879 by German anatomist Walther Flemming (1843-1905), from Latinized form of Greek khrōmat-, the correct combinational form of khrōma "color" (see chroma) + chemical suffix -in (2). So called because it has a special affinity for coloring matter and stains readily. Related: Chromatid. Compare chromosome.ETD chromatin (n.).2


    before vowels chromat-, word forming element indicating "color," in scientific use also "chromatin," from Latinized form of Greek khrōmato-, from khrōma "color" (see chroma).ETD chromato-.2

    chromatography (n.)

    "a treatise on colors," 1731, from chromato-, Latinized combining form of Greek khrōma (genitive khrōmatos) "color" (see chroma), denoting "color" or "chromatin" + -graphy. Related: Chromatograph.ETD chromatography (n.).2

    chromatology (n.)

    "the science of colors," 1846; see chromato- + -logy.ETD chromatology (n.).2

    chromatophore (n.)

    "pigment cell in an animal," 1864, from chromato- + Greek -phoros "bearing, bearer," from pherein "to carry" (from PIE root *bher- (1) "to carry"). Related: Chromatophorous.ETD chromatophore (n.).2

    chromatopsy (n.)

    also chromatopsia, "color-vision, abnormal condition in which things are seen unnaturally colored or sensations of color are independent of natural cause," 1849, from chromato- + -opsy, from Greek opsis "a sight" (from PIE root *okw- "to see")ETD chromatopsy (n.).2

    chrome (n.)

    1800, "chromium," from French chrome, the name proposed by Fourcroy and Haüy for a new element, from Greek khrōma "color" (see chroma); so called because it makes colorful compounds. The metallic element had been isolated 1798 by French chemist Louis Nicolas Vauquelin, who named it chrome. It is now known as chromium (q.v.).ETD chrome (n.).2

    Chrome continued in commercial use in English for "chrome steel" (steel with 2 percent or so chrome) after the chemical name was changed internationally. As a short form of chromium plating it dates from 1937. Related: Chromic.ETD chrome (n.).3

    chromium (n.)

    metallic element, 1807, Latinized from French chrome (Fourcroy and Haüy), from Greek chroma "color" (see chrome; also see chroma). So called for its colorful compounds. Related: Chromite.ETD chromium (n.).2

    chromophotography (n.)

    "process for rendering photographs in color by hand-coloring them on paper," 1863, from German chromophotographie; see chromato- + photography. Related: Chromophotograph.ETD chromophotography (n.).2

    chromosome (n.)

    1889, from German Chromosom, coined 1888 by German anatomist Wilhelm von Waldeyer-Hartz (1836-1921), from Latinized form of Greek khrōma "color" (see chroma) + -some (3)). So called because the structures contain a substance that stains readily with basic dyes.ETD chromosome (n.).2

    chromosphere (n.)

    "gaseous envelope around the sun," 1868, coined by English astronomer Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer (1836-1920), from chromo-, from Greek khrōma "color" (see chroma) + sphere. So called for its redness. Related: Chromospheric.ETD chromosphere (n.).2

    chronicity (n.)

    "state of being of long continuance," 1829; see chronic + -ity.ETD chronicity (n.).2

    chronic (adj.)

    early 15c., cronik, of diseases, "lasting a long time," from Old French chronique and directly from Latin chronicus, from Greek khronikos "of time, concerning time," from khronos "time" (see chrono-). Vague disapproving sense (from 17c.) is from association with diseases and later addictions. Literal sense "pertaining to time" is rare in English. As a popular slang catch-all word for "cannabis," popularized from 1992 by "The Chronic," an album released by rapper Dr. Dre; said to be because it described especially potent marijuana, on the notion of "extreme, severe." Related: Chronical; chronically.ETD chronic (adj.).2

    chronicler (n.)

    "a writer of a chronicle, a recorder of events," early 15c., agent noun from chronicle (v.).ETD chronicler (n.).2

    chronicle (n.)

    c. 1300, cronicle, "historical account of facts or events in the order of time," from Anglo-French cronicle, from Old French cronique "chronicle" (Modern French chronique), from Latin chronica (neuter plural mistaken for fem. singular), from Greek ta khronika (biblia) "the (books of) annals, chronology," neuter plural of khronikos "of time, concerning time," from khronos "time" (see chrono-).ETD chronicle (n.).2

    The ending was modified in Anglo-French, perhaps by influence of article. Old English had cranic "chronicle," cranicwritere "chronicler." The classical -h- was restored in English from 16c. As a one-word form, classical Greek had khronographia "chronicle, yearbook."ETD chronicle (n.).3

    chronicle (v.)

    "to record in a chronicle, make a simple record of occurrences in their order of time," c. 1400, croniclen, from chronicle (n.). Related: Chronicled; chronicling.ETD chronicle (v.).2


    before vowels chron-, word-forming element meaning "time," from Latinized form of Greek khronos "time, a defined time, a lifetime, a season, a while," which is of uncertain origin.ETD chrono-.2

    chronograph (n.)

    "precise time-measuring device," 1831, from chrono- "time" + -graph "instrument for recording; something written." Compare Greek khronographos "recording time and events" (adj.); "a chronicler" (n.). Related: Chronography; chronographic.ETD chronograph (n.).2

    chronology (n.)

    1590s, "the science of time," from French chronologie or directly from Modern Latin chronologia; see chrono- + -logy. Related: Chronologer (1570s). Meaning "particular statement of the supposed order of certain past events" is from 1610s.ETD chronology (n.).2

    chronological (adj.)

    "arranged in order by time," 1610s, from chronology + -ical. Chronological order is attested by 1754. Related: Chronologic (1610s); chronologically.ETD chronological (adj.).2

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