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    gloomy (adj.) — goal-post (n.)

    gloomy (adj.)

    1580s, probably from gloom (n.) even though that word is not attested as early as this one. Shakespeare used it of woods, Marlowe of persons.ETD gloomy (adj.).2

    Gloomy Gus has been used in a general sense of "sullen person" since 1902, the name of a pessimistic and defeatist newspaper comics character introduced about that time by U.S. illustrator Frederick Burr Opper. Related: Gloomily; gloominess.ETD gloomy (adj.).3

    glop (n.)

    "inferior food," 1943, imitative of the sound of something unappetizingly viscous hitting a dinner plate.ETD glop (n.).2

    glory (n.)

    c. 1200, gloire "the splendor of God or Christ; praise offered to God, worship," from Old French glorie "glory (of God); worldly honor, renown; splendor, magnificence, pomp" (11c., Modern French gloire), from Latin gloria "fame, renown, great praise or honor," a word of uncertain origin.ETD glory (n.).2

    Meaning "one who is a source of glory" is from mid-14c. Also in Middle English "thirst for glory, vainglory, pride, boasting, vanity" (late 14c.), Sense of "magnificence" is late 14c. in English. Meaning "worldly honor, fame, renown." Latin also had gloriola "a little fame." Glory days was in use by 1970. Old Glory for "the American flag" is first attested 1862.ETD glory (n.).3

    The Christian senses are from the Latin word's use in the Bible to translate Greek doxa "expectation" (Homer), later "an opinion, judgment," and later still "opinion others have of one (good or bad), fame; glory," which was used in Biblical writing to translate a Hebrew word which had a sense of "brightness, splendor, magnificence, majesty of outward appearance." The religious use has colored that word's meaning in most European tongues. Wuldor was an Old English word used in this sense.ETD glory (n.).4

    glory (v.)

    mid-14c., "to rejoice" (now always with in), from Old French gloriier "glorify; pride oneself on, boast about," and directly from Latin gloriari which in classical use meant "to boast, vaunt, brag, pride oneself," from gloria (see glory (n.)). Related: Gloried; glorying.ETD glory (v.).2


    fem. proper name, literally "glory" (see gloria (n.)).ETD Gloria.2

    gloria (n.)

    name of one of the Christian songs of praise, early 13c., from Medieval Latin gloria in Gloria in Excelsis, the Great Doxology, Gloria Patri (the Lesser Doxology), from Latin gloria "glory" (see glory (n.)).ETD gloria (n.).2

    glorification (n.)

    early 15c. "admission to Heaven, exaltation" (theological), from Late Latin glorificationem (nominative glorificatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of glorificare "to glorify" (see glorify). General sense by mid-19c. Also in 15c. as a term in alchemy, "action of refining; state of being refined." Gloriation "praising" is from c. 1400.ETD glorification (n.).2

    glorify (v.)

    mid-14c., "praise, honor, extol" (God or a person), also "vaunt, be proud of, boast of; glorify oneself, be proud, boast;" from Old French glorefiier "glorify, extol, exalt; glory in, boast" (Modern French glorifier), from Late Latin glorificare "to glorify," from Latin gloria "fame, renown, praise, honor" (see glory (n.)) + -ficare, combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). From mid-15c. in non-theological sense, "praise highly." In Chaucer also "to vaunt, boast," But this sense has faded in English. Related: Glorified; glorifying.ETD glorify (v.).2

    glorified (adj.)

    mid-14c., "invested with glory," past-participle adjective from glorify. Weakened sense of "transformed into something better" is from 1821.ETD glorified (adj.).2

    glorious (adj.)

    late 13c., from Anglo-French glorious, Old French glorieus "glorious, blessed" (12c., Modern French glorieux), from Latin gloriosus "full of glory, famous," from gloria (see glory (n.)). In classical Latin and in English late 14c.-17c. it also could mean "boastful, vainglorious." Related: Gloriously; gloriousness. In Middle English with comparative gloriouser, superlative gloriousest.ETD glorious (adj.).2

    glory hole (n.)

    1825, "drawer or box where things are heaped together in a disorderly manner." The first element probably is a variant of Scottish glaur "to make muddy, dirty, defile" (Middle English glorien, mid-15c.), which is perhaps from Old Norse leir "mud." Hence, in nautical use, "a small room between decks," and, in mining, "large opening or pit." Meaning "opening through which the interior of a furnace may be seen and reached" (originally in glassblowing) is from 1849, probably from glory (n.), which had developed a sense of "circle or ring of light" by 1690s. Sexual (originally homosexual) sense from 1940s.ETD glory hole (n.).2

    gloss (n.1)

    "glistening smoothness, luster," 1530s, probably from Scandinavian (compare Icelandic glossi "a spark, a flame," related to glossa "to flame"), or obsolete Dutch gloos "a glowing," from Middle High German glos; probably ultimately from the same source as English glow (v.). Superficial lustrous smoothness due to the nature of the material (unlike polish, which is artificial).ETD gloss (n.1).2

    gloss (n.2)

    "word inserted as an explanation, translation, or definition," c. 1300, glose (modern form from 1540s; earlier also gloze), from Late Latin glossa "obsolete or foreign word," one that requires explanation; later extended to the explanation itself, from Greek glōssa (Ionic), glōtta (Attic) "language, a tongue; word of mouth, hearsay," also "obscure or foreign word, language," also "mouthpiece," literally "the tongue" (as the organ of speech), from PIE *glogh- "thorn, point, that which is projected" (source also of Old Church Slavonic glogu "thorn," Greek glokhis "barb of an arrow").ETD gloss (n.2).2

    Glosses were common in the Middle Ages, usually rendering Hebrew, Greek, or Latin words into vernacular Germanic, Celtic, or Romanic. Originally written between the lines, later in the margins. By early 14c. in a bad sense, "deceitful explanation, commentary that disguises or shifts meaning." This sense probably has been colored by gloss (n.1). Both glossology (1716) and glottology (1841) have been used in the sense "science of language."ETD gloss (n.2).3

    gloss (v.)

    c. 1300, glosen "use fair words; speak smoothly, cajole, flatter;" late 14c. as "comment on (a text), insert a word as an explanation, interpret," from Medieval Latin glossare and Old French gloser, from Late Latin glossa (see gloss (n.2)). Modern spelling from 16c.; formerly also gloze.ETD gloss (v.).2

    The other verb, meaning "to add luster, make smooth and shining," is from 1650s, from gloss (n.1). Figurative sense of "smooth over, hide" is from 1729, mostly from the first verb, in its extended sense of "explain away, veil or shift the meaning of," but showing influence of the second. Related: Glossed; glossing.ETD gloss (v.).3

    glossalgia (n.)

    "pain in the tongue," 1847, medical Latin, from glosso- "tongue" + -algia "pain." Greek glossalgia meant only "talking till one's tongue aches."ETD glossalgia (n.).2

    glossary (n.)

    "collected explanations of words (especially those not in ordinary use), a book of glosses," mid-14c., from Latin glossarium "collection of glosses," from Greek glossarion, diminutive of glōssa "obsolete or foreign word" (see gloss (n.2)). Related: Glossarial.ETD glossary (n.).2

    glossator (n.)

    "writer of glosses," late 14c., from Medieval Latin glossator, from Latin glossa (see gloss (n.2)). Also in same sense were glosser (c. 1600), glossographer (c. 1600), glossist (1640s), glossarist (1774), glossographist (1774).ETD glossator (n.).2

    glossy (adj.)

    "smooth and shining," 1550s, from gloss (n.1) + -y (2). Figurative use from 1690s. The noun sense of "photograph with a glossy surface" is from 1931. Related: Glossies; glossiness.ETD glossy (adj.).2


    before vowels gloss-, word-forming element meaning "tongue," from Greek glosso-, used as a combining form of glōssa (Attic glōtta) "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)). Also sometimes meaning "gloss, word inserted as explanation," as in glossography "the writing of glosses."ETD glosso-.2

    glossocomium (n.)

    in medical use, "case for a broken limb," 1670s, from Latinized form of Greek glossocomion "small case for holding the reed of a wind instrument," from glōssa "mouthpiece," literally "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)).ETD glossocomium (n.).2

    glossolalia (n.)

    "gift of tongues, speaking in tongues, ability to speak foreign languages without having learned them," 1857 (earlier in German and Italian), from Greek glōssa "tongue, language" (see gloss (n.2)) + lalia "talk, prattle, a speaking," from lalein "to speak, prattle," echoic.ETD glossolalia (n.).2

    glottal (adj.)

    1846, "pertaining to or formed by the glottis;" see glottis + -al (1). Glossal is attested from 1860.ETD glottal (adj.).2

    glottis (n.)

    "mouth of the windpipe, opening at the top of the larynx," 1570s, from Greek glōttis "mouthpiece of a pipe," from glōtta, Attic dialect variant of glōssa "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)).ETD glottis (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "language," from Attic Greek glōtto-, from glōtta, variant of glōssa "tongue; language" (see gloss (n.2)).ETD glotto-.2

    glottochronology (n.)

    1953, from glotto- + chronology.ETD glottochronology (n.).2


    English county, Old English Gleawceaster, from Latin Coloniae Glev (2c.), from Glevo, a Celtic name meaning "bright place" (perhaps influenced by Old English gleaw "wise, prudent") + Old English ceaster "Roman town" (see Chester). In reference to a type of cheese by 1802.ETD Gloucester.2

    glove (n.)

    Old English glof "glove, covering for the hand having separate sheaths for the fingers," also "palm of the hand," from Proto-Germanic *galofo "covering for the hand" (source also of Old Norse glofi), probably from *ga- collective prefix + *lofi "hand" (source also of Old Norse lofi, Middle English love, Gothic lofa "flat of the hand"), from PIE *lep- (2) "be flat; palm, sole, shoulder blade" (source also of Russian lopata "shovel;" Lithuanian lopa "claw," lopeta "shovel, spade").ETD glove (n.).2

    German Handschuh, the usual word for "glove," literally "hand-shoe" (Old High German hantscuoh; also Danish and Swedish hantsche) is represented by Old English Handscio (the name of one of Beowulf's companions, eaten by Grendel), but this is attested only as a proper name. Meaning "boxing glove" is from 1847. Figurative use of fit like a glove is by 1771.ETD glove (n.).3

    glove (v.)

    "to cover or fit with a glove," c. 1400, from glove (n.). Related: Gloved; gloving. Old English had adjective glofed. Glover as a surname is from mid-13c.ETD glove (v.).2

    glow (n.)

    mid-15c., "glowing heat," from glow (v.). Meaning "a flush of radiant feeling" is from 1793.ETD glow (n.).2

    glow (v.)

    Old English glowan "to glow, shine as if red-hot," from Proto-Germanic *glo- (source also of Old Saxon gloian, Old Frisian gled "glow, blaze," Old Norse gloa, Old High German gluoen, German glühen "to glow, glitter, shine"), from PIE root *ghel- (2) "to shine," with derivatives referring to bright materials and gold. Figuratively from late 14c. Related: Glowed; glowing. Swedish dialectal and Danish glo also have the extended sense "stare, gaze upon," which is found in Middle English.ETD glow (v.).2

    glower (v.)

    mid-14c., "to shine;" c. 1500, "to stare with wide eyes," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian dialectal glora "to glow, gleam; stare"), or related to Middle Dutch gluren "to leer;" in either case from Proto-Germanic *glo- (see glow (v.)), root of Old English glowan "to glow," which influenced the spelling of this word. Meaning "to look angrily, look intently and threateningly, scowl" is from 18c. Related: Glowered; glowering. As a noun, 1715, "an angry or threatening stare," from the verb.ETD glower (v.).2

    glow-worm (n.)

    early 14c., from glow (v.) + worm (n.). Actually the wingless female form of a beetle (Lampyris noctiluca). The males have wings but do not glow.ETD glow-worm (n.).2

    glucagon (n.)

    1923, from gluco- + Greek agon, present participle of agein "push forward, put in motion; stir up; excite, urge," from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move."ETD glucagon (n.).2


    before vowels, gluc-, word-forming element used since c. 1880s, a later form of glyco-, from Greek glykys "sweet," figuratively "delightful; dear; simple, silly," from *glku-, a dissimilation in Greek from PIE root *dlk-u- "sweet" (source also of Latin dulcis). De Vaan writes that "It is likely that we are dealing with a common borrowing from an unknown source." Now usually with reference to glucose.ETD gluco-.2

    glucose (n.)

    name of a group of sugars (in commercial use, "sugar-syrup from starch"), 1840, from French glucose (1838), said to have been coined by French professor Eugène Melchior Péligot (1811-1890) from Greek gleukos "must, sweet wine," related to glykys "sweet" (see gluco-). It first was obtained from grape sugar. Related: Glucosic.ETD glucose (n.).2

    glue (n.)

    "viscous adhesive substance," early 13c., from Old French glu "glue, birdlime" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *glutis or Late Latin glutem (nominative glus) "glue," from Latin gluten "glue, beeswax," from PIE *gleit- "to glue, paste" (source also of Lithuanian glitus "sticky," glitas "mucus;" Old English cliða "plaster"), from root *glei- "clay," also forming words with a sense of "to stick together" (see clay). Formerly also glew. In reference to glue from boiled animal hoofs and hides, c. 1400. Glue-sniffing attested from 1963.ETD glue (n.).2

    glue (v.)

    "join or fasten with glue," late 14c., from Old French gluer, gluier "smear with glue; join together," from glu "glue, birdlime" (see glue (n.)). Related: Glued; gluing.ETD glue (v.).2

    gluey (adj.)

    late 14c., from glue (n.) + -y (2).ETD gluey (adj.).2

    glue-pot (n.)

    late 15c., from glue (n.) + pot (n.1). Typically a double pot, one within the other, the inner one for the glue, the outer for the hot water.ETD glue-pot (n.).2

    glug (n.)

    1768, imitative of the sound of swallowing a drink, etc. From 1895 as a verb. Compare Middle English glub "to swallow greedily."ETD glug (n.).2

    glum (adj.)

    1540s, "sullen, moody, frowning," from Middle English gloumen (v.) "become dark" (c. 1300), later gloumben "look gloomy or sullen" (late 14c.); see gloom. Or from or influenced by Low German glum "gloomy, troubled, turbid." In English the word was also formerly a noun meaning "a sullen look" (1520s). An 18c. extended or colloquial form glump led to the expression the glumps "a fit of sulkiness." Glunch (1719) was a Scottish variant. Related: Glumly; glumness.ETD glum (adj.).2

    glut (v.)

    early 14c., glotien "to feed to repletion" (transitive), probably from Old French glotir "to swallow, gulp down, engulf," from Latin glutire/gluttire "to swallow, gulp down" (see gullet). Intransitive sense "feed (oneself) to repletion" is from c. 1400. Related: Glutted; glutting.ETD glut (v.).2

    glut (n.)

    1530s, "a gulp, a swallowing," from glut (v.). Meaning "condition of being full or sated" is 1570s; mercantile sense "superabundance, oversupply of a commodity on the market" first recorded 1590s.ETD glut (n.).2

    glutamate (n.)

    salt of glutamic acid, 1876, from glutamic acid (see gluten) + -ate (3).ETD glutamate (n.).2

    gluteal (adj.)

    also glutaeal, by 1804, from gluteus + -al (1).ETD gluteal (adj.).2

    gluten (n.)

    1630s, "a sticky substance," from French gluten "sticky substance" (16c.) or directly from Latin gluten (glutin-) "glue" (see glue (n.)). Used 16c.-19c. for the part of animal tissue now called fibrin; used since 1803 of the nitrogenous part of the flour of wheat or other grain; hence glutamic acid (1871), a common amino acid, and its salt, glutamate.ETD gluten (n.).2

    gluteus (n.)

    buttocks muscle, 1680s, from Modern Latin glutaeus, from Greek gloutos "the rump," in plural, "the buttocks."ETD gluteus (n.).2

    glutinous (adj.)

    "viscous, sticky, of the nature of glue," early 15c., from Latin glutinosus "gluey, viscous, tenacious," from gluten (genitive glutinis) "glue" (see glue (n.)). Glutinosity is from c. 1400. Related: Glutinousness.ETD glutinous (adj.).2

    glutin (n.)

    1825, from French glutine, probably from Latin gluten "glue" (see gluten) + chemical suffix -ine (2). Used in chemistry in several senses before settling on "gelatin prepared from animal hides, hoofs, etc." (1845).ETD glutin (n.).2

    glutton (n.)

    "one who eats and drinks to excess," early 13c., from Old French gloton "glutton;" also "scoundrel," a general term of abuse (Modern French glouton), from Latin gluttonem (nominative glutto) "overeater," which is related to gluttire "to swallow," gula "throat" (see gullet). General sense in reference to one who indulges in anything to excess is from 1704. Glutton for punishment is from pugilism; the phrase is from 1854, but the idea is older:ETD glutton (n.).2

    gluttonous (adj.)

    mid-14c.; see glutton + -ous. Related: Gluttonously.ETD gluttonous (adj.).2

    gluttony (n.)

    "extravagant indulgence of appetite," c. 1200, glutunie, from Old French glotonie "debauchery, gluttony," from gloton "glutton" (see glutton). Gluttonry recorded from late 12c.ETD gluttony (n.).2

    glycemic (adj.)

    1923, from glycemia + -ic.ETD glycemic (adj.).2

    glycemia (n.)

    also glycaemia, "presence or level of sugar in the blood," 1901, from glyco- "sugar" + -emia "condition of the blood."ETD glycemia (n.).2

    glyceride (n.)

    compound of glycerol and organic acids, 1864; see glycerin + -ide.ETD glyceride (n.).2

    glycerine (n.)

    see glycerin.ETD glycerine (n.).2

    glycerin (n.)

    also glycerine, thick, colorless syrup, 1838, from French glycérine, coined by French chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889), from glycero- "sweet" (see glyco-) + chemical ending -ine (2). So called for its sweet taste. Still in popular use, but in chemistry the substance now is known as glycerol.ETD glycerin (n.).2

    glycerol (n.)

    1872, from glycerine + -ol, suffix denoting alcohols.ETD glycerol (n.).2


    before vowels glyc-, word-forming element meaning "sweet," from Latinized combining form of Greek glykys, glykeros "sweet" (see gluco-). Used in reference to sugars generally. OED says a regular formation would be glycy-.ETD glyco-.2

    glycogenic (adj.)

    1856, from French; see glycogen + -ic.ETD glycogenic (adj.).2

    glycogen (n.)

    starch-like substance found in the liver and animal tissue, 1860, from French glycogène, "sugar-producer," from Greek-derived glyco- "sweet" (see glyco-) + French -gène (see -gen). Coined in 1848 by French physiologist Claude Bernard (1813-1878).ETD glycogen (n.).2

    glycolysis (n.)

    1891, from French; see glyco- + -lysis.ETD glycolysis (n.).2

    glyph (n.)

    1727, "ornamental groove in sculpture or architecture," from French glyphe (1701), from Greek glyphē "a carving," from glyphein "to hollow out, cut out with a knife, engrave, carve," also "to note down" on tablets, from PIE root *gleubh- "to cut, slice, tear apart." Meaning "sculpted mark or symbol" (as in hieroglyph) is from 1825. Related: Glyphic.ETD glyph (n.).2

    glyptodon (n.)

    extinct gigantic armadillo-like mammal from the Pleistocene of South America, 1838, irregularly formed from Greek glyptos "carved, engraved" (verbal adjective of glyphein "to engrave, carve;" from PIE root *gleubh- "to tear apart, cleave") + odon (genitive odontos) "tooth" (from PIE root *dent- "tooth"). So named for its fluted teeth.ETD glyptodon (n.).2

    G-man (n.)

    "FBI agent," 1930, shortening of government man; used earlier in an Irish context (1917), but the abbreviation is perhaps the same one.ETD G-man (n.).2


    consonant cluster at the head of some words; the -g- formerly was pronounced. Found in words from Old English (gnat, gnaw), in Low German, and Scandinavian as a variant of kn- (gneiss), in Latin and Greek (gnomon, gnostic) and representing sounds in non-Indo-European languages (gnu).ETD gn-.2

    gnarl (v.)

    "contort, twist, make knotty," 1814, a back-formation from gnarled (q.v.). As a noun from 1824, "a knotty growth on wood." Earlier an identical verb was used imitatively in a sense of "to snarl" like a dog (1590s); Farmer and Henley ("Slang and Its Analogues") lists gnarler as thieves' slang for "a watch-dog."ETD gnarl (v.).2

    gnarled (adj.)

    c. 1600, probably a variant of knurled, from Middle English knar "knob, knot in wood, protruding mass on a tree" (late 14c.), earlier "a crag, rugged rock or stone" (early 13c.), from a general group of Germanic words that includes English knob, knock, knuckle, knoll, knurl. Gnarl (v.) "make knotty," gnarl (n.) "a knotty growth on wood," and gnarly (adj.) all seem to owe their existence in modern English to Shakespeare's use of gnarled in 1603:ETD gnarled (adj.).2

    "(Gnarled) occurs in one passage of Shakes. (for which the sole authority is the folio of 1623), whence it came into general use in the nineteenth century" [OED].ETD gnarled (adj.).3

    gnarly (adj.)

    "knotted and rugged," c. 1600, from gnarl (see gnarled) + -y (2). Picked up 1970s as surfer slang to describe a dangerous wave; it had spread to teen slang by 1982, where it meant both "excellent" and "disgusting."ETD gnarly (adj.).2

    gnash (v.)

    early 15c. variant of Middle English gnasten "to grind the teeth together" in rage, sorrow, or menace (early 14c.), perhaps from Old Norse gnasta, gnista "to gnash the teeth," of unknown origin, probably imitative. Compare German knistern "to crackle," Old English gnidan "to rub, bruise, pound, break to pieces," Danish knaske "crush with the teeth." Related: Gnashed; gnashing.ETD gnash (v.).2

    gnat (n.)

    Old English gnæt "gnat, midge, small flying insect," earlier gneat, from Proto-Germanic *gnattaz (source also of Low German gnatte, German Gnitze); perhaps literally "biting insect" and related to gnaw.ETD gnat (n.).2

    Gnat-catcher, insectivorous bird of the U.S. woodlands, is from 1823.ETD gnat (n.).3

    gnathic (adj.)

    "pertaining to the jaw," 1882, with -ic + Greek gnathos "jaw, cheek," properly "the lower jaw," from PIE root *genu- (2) "jawbone, chin."ETD gnathic (adj.).2


    before vowels gnath-, word-forming element meaning "jaw, mouth part, beak (of a bird)," from Greek gnathos "jaw," from PIE root *genu- (2) "jawbone, chin."ETD gnatho-.2

    gnaw (v.)

    Old English gnagan "to gnaw, bite off little by little" (past tense *gnog, past participle gnagan), from Proto-Germanic *gh(e)n- "to gnaw" (source also of Old Saxon gnagan, Old Norse, Swedish gnaga, Middle Dutch, Dutch knagen, Old High German gnagan, German nagen "to gnaw"), probably imitative of gnawing. Figurative sense "wear away as if by continued biting" is from early 13c. Related: Gnawed; gnawing.ETD gnaw (v.).2

    gneiss (n.)

    type of metamorphic rock, 1757, kneiss, from German Gneiss (16c.), which is probably from Middle High German gneist "spark" (so called because the rock glitters), from Old High German gneisto "spark" (compare Old English gnast "spark," Old Norse gneisti). Related: Gneissic.ETD gneiss (n.).2


    *gnō-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to know."ETD *gno-.2

    It forms all or part of: acknowledge; acquaint; agnostic; anagnorisis; astrognosy; can (v.1) "have power to, be able;" cognition; cognizance; con (n.2) "study;" connoisseur; could; couth; cunning; diagnosis; ennoble; gnome; (n.2) "short, pithy statement of general truth;" gnomic; gnomon; gnosis; gnostic; Gnostic; ignoble; ignorant; ignore; incognito; ken (n.1) "cognizance, intellectual view;" kenning; kith; know; knowledge; narrate; narration; nobility; noble; notice; notify; notion; notorious; physiognomy; prognosis; quaint; recognize; reconnaissance; reconnoiter; uncouth; Zend.ETD *gno-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit jna- "know;" Avestan zainti- "knowledge," Old Persian xšnasatiy "he shall know;" Old Church Slavonic znati "recognizes," Russian znat "to know;" Latin gnoscere "get to know," nobilis "known, famous, noble;" Greek gignōskein "to know," gnōtos "known," gnōsis "knowledge, inquiry;" Old Irish gnath "known;" German kennen "to know," Gothic kannjan "to make known."ETD *gno-.4

    gnocchi (n.)

    type of small potato dumplings, 1891, from Italian gnocchi, plural of gnocco, from nocchio "a knot in wood," perhaps from a Germanic source akin to knuckle (n.), gnarled, etc. So called for their shape.ETD gnocchi (n.).2

    gnome (n.2)

    "short, pithy statement of general truth," 1570s, from Greek gnōmē "judgment, opinion; maxim, the opinion of wise men," from PIE root *gno- "to know."ETD gnome (n.2).2

    gnome (n.1)

    "dwarf-like earth-dwelling spirit," 1712, from French gnome (16c.), from Medieval Latin gnomus, used 16c. in a treatise by Paracelsus, who gave the name pigmaei or gnomi to elemental earth beings, possibly from Greek *genomos "earth-dweller" (compare thalassonomos "inhabitant of the sea"). A less-likely suggestion is that Paracelsus based it on the homonym that means "intelligence" (see gnome (n.2)).ETD gnome (n.1).2

    Popularized in England in children's literature from early 19c. as a name for red-capped German and Swiss folklore dwarfs. Garden figurines of them were first imported to England late 1860s from Germany; garden-gnome attested from 1933. Gnomes of Zurich for "international financiers" is from 1964.ETD gnome (n.1).3

    gnomic (adj.)

    "full of instructive sayings," 1784, from French gnomique (18c.) and directly from Late Latin gnomicus "concerned with maxims, didactic," from Greek gnōmikos, from gnōmē "a means of knowing, a mark, token; the mind (as the organ of knowing), thought, judgment, intelligence; (one's) mind, will, purpose; a judgment, opinion; maxim, the opinion of wise men," from root of gignōskein "to come to know," from PIE root *gno- "to know." Gnomical is attested from 1610s.ETD gnomic (adj.).2

    gnomish (adj.)

    "resembling a gnome," 1822, from gnome (n.1) + -ish. Related: Gnomishly; gnomishness.ETD gnomish (adj.).2

    gnomist (n.)

    1865; see gnome (n.2) + -ist.ETD gnomist (n.).2

    gnomon (n.)

    "vertical shaft that tells time by the shadow it casts" (especially the triangular plate on a sundial), 1540s, from Latin gnomon, from Greek gnōmōn "indicator (of a sundial), carpenter's rule," also, in plural, "the teeth that mark the age of a horse or mule," literally "one that discerns or examines, interpreter, expert," from gignōskein "to come to know," from PIE root *gno- "to know." In geometry from 1560s, from a use in Greek. In early use in English sometimes folk-etymologized as knowman. Related: Gnomonic.ETD gnomon (n.).2

    gnosis (n.)

    "knowledge," especially "special knowledge of spiritual mysteries," 1703, from Greek gnōsis "a knowing, knowledge; a judicial inquiry, investigation; a being known," in Christian writers, "higher knowledge of spiritual things," from PIE *gnō-ti-, from root *gno- "to know."ETD gnosis (n.).2

    Gnostic (n.)

    1580s, "believer in a mystical religious doctrine of spiritual knowledge," from Late Latin Gnosticus "a Gnostic," from Late Greek Gnōstikos, noun use of adjective gnōstikos "knowing, able to discern, good at knowing," from gnōstos "known, to be known," from gignōskein "to learn, to come to know," from PIE root *gno- "to know." Applied to various early Christian sects that claimed direct personal knowledge beyond the Gospel or the Church hierarchy; they appeared in the first century A.D., flourished in the second, and were stamped out by the 6th.ETD Gnostic (n.).2

    gnostic (adj.)

    "relating to knowledge," especially mystical or esoteric knowledge of spiritual things, 1650s, from Greek gnōstikos "knowing, good at knowing, able to discern," from gnōstos "known, perceived, understood," earlier gnōtos, from gignōskein "learn to know, come to know, perceive; discern, distinguish; observe, form a judgment," from PIE *gi-gno-sko-, reduplicated and suffixed form of root *gno- "to know."ETD gnostic (adj.).2

    Gnosticism (n.)

    1660s, from Gnostic + -ism.ETD Gnosticism (n.).2

    GNP (n.)

    abbreviation of gross national product, attested by 1953.ETD GNP (n.).2

    gnu (n.)

    ox-like South African antelope, 1777, gnoo, from Dutch gnoe, used by German traveler Georg Forster (1754-1794) to render Khoisan (Hottentot) i-ngu "wildebeest," from Southern Bushman !nu: (in which ! and : represent clicks).ETD gnu (n.).2

    go (adj.)

    "in order," 1951, originally in aerospace jargon, from go (v.).ETD go (adj.).2

    go (n.)

    1727, "action of going," from use of go (v.) to start a race, etc. Meaning "an incident, an occurrence, affair, piece of business" is from 1796. Meaning "power of going, dash, vigor" is from 1825, colloquial, originally of horses. The sense of "an attempt, a try or turn at doing something" (as in give it a go, have a go at) is from 1825 (earlier it meant "a delivery of the ball in skittles," 1773). Meaning "something that goes, a success" is from 1876. Phrase on the go "in constant motion" is from 1843. Phrase from the word go "from the beginning" is by 1834. The go "what is in fashion" is from 1793. No go "of no use" is from 1825.ETD go (n.).2

    go (v.)

    Old English gan "to advance, walk; depart, go away; happen, take place; conquer; observe, practice, exercise," from West Germanic *gaian (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian gan, Middle Dutch gaen, Dutch gaan, Old High German gan, German gehen), from PIE root *ghē- "to release, let go; be released" (source also of Sanskrit jihite "goes away," Greek kikhano "I reach, meet with"), but there does not seem to be general agreement on a list of cognates.ETD go (v.).2

    A defective verb throughout its recorded history; the Old English past tense was eode, a word of uncertain origin but evidently once a different verb (perhaps connected to Gothic iddja); it was replaced 1400s by went, past tense of wenden "to direct one's way" (see wend). In northern England and Scotland, however, eode tended to be replaced by gaed, a construction based on go. In modern English, only be and go take their past tenses from entirely different verbs.ETD go (v.).3

    The word in its various forms and combinations takes up 45 columns of close print in the OED. Meaning "cease to exist" is from c. 1200; that of "to appear" (with reference to dress, appearance, etc.) is from late 14c.; that of "to be sold" is from early 15c. Meaning "to be known" (with by) is from 1590s; that of "pass into another condition or state" is from 1580s. From c. 1600 as "to wager," hence also "to stand treat," and to go (someone) better in wagering (1864). Meaning "say" emerged 1960s in teen slang. Colloquial meaning "urinate or defecate" attested by 1926, euphemistic (compare Old English gong "a privy," literally "a going").ETD go (v.).4

    To go back on "prove faithless to" is from 1859; to go under in the figurative sense "to fail" is from 1849. To go places "be successful" is by 1934.ETD go (v.).5

    going (n.)

    "a moving" in any way, c. 1300, verbal noun from go (v.). The Old English verbal noun was gang "a going, journey; passage, course" (see gang (n.)). Meaning "condition of a road or route for travel" is from 1848, American English; hence to go while the going is good (1907). Going to "be about to" is from late 15c. Goings-on "(questionable) proceedings" attested from 1775.ETD going (n.).2


    former Portuguese colony in India, from local goe mat "fertile land." Related: Goanese.ETD Goa.2

    goad (n.)

    Old English gad "point, spearhead, arrowhead, pointed stick used for driving cattle," from Proto-Germanic *gaido "goad, spear" (source also of Lombardic gaida "spear"), which is perhaps cognate with Sanskrit hetih "missile, projectile," himsati "he injures;" Avestan zaena- "weapon;" Greek khaios "shepherd's staff;" Old English gar "spear;" Old Irish gae "spear." Figurative use "anything that urges or stimulates" is since 16c., probably from the Bible.ETD goad (n.).2

    goad (v.)

    1570s, from goad (n.); earliest use is figurative, "incite, stimulate, instigate." Literal use by 1610s. Related: Goaded; goading.ETD goad (v.).2

    go-ahead (adj.)

    by 1840, "pushing, driving," from verbal phrase go ahead; see go (v.) + ahead (adv.). Go ahead as a command or invitation to proceed is from 1831, American English.ETD go-ahead (adj.).2

    goal (n.)

    1530s, "end point of a race," of uncertain origin. It appears once before this (as gol), in a poem from early 14c. and with an apparent sense of "boundary, limit." Perhaps from Old English *gal "obstacle, barrier," a word implied by gælan "to hinder" and also found in compounds (singal, widgal). That would make it a variant or figurative use of Middle English gale "a way, course." Also compare Old Norse geil "a narrow glen, a passage." Or from Old French gaule "long pole, stake," which is from Germanic. Sports sense of "place where the ball, etc. is put to score" is attested from 1540s. Figurative sense of "object of an effort" is from 1540s.ETD goal (n.).2

    goalie (n.)

    1921, from goal + -ie. Probably a shortening of goal-tender (1889), which tends to be the term used in ice hockey and lacrosse, as opposed to goal-keeper (1650s).ETD goalie (n.).2

    goalless (adj.)

    1835, of journeys, etc., "without a fixed destination or purpose," from goal + -less. By 1903 of sports matches where nobody scores. Related: Goallessly; goallessness.ETD goalless (adj.).2

    goal-post (n.)

    1834, from goal (n.) + post (n.1). To move the goal posts as a figurative expression for "cheat by changing the objectives after the process has begun" is by 1988.ETD goal-post (n.).2

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