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    I (pron.) — identical (adj.)

    I (pron.)

    12c., a shortening of Old English ic, the first person singular nominative pronoun, from Proto-Germanic *ek (source also of Old Frisian ik, Old Norse ek, Norwegian eg, Danish jeg, Old High German ih, German ich, Gothic ik), from PIE *eg- "I," nominative form of the first person singular pronoun (source also of Sanskrit aham, Hittite uk, Latin ego (source of French je), Greek ego, Russian ja, Lithuanian ).ETD I (pron.).2

    Reduced to i by mid-12c. in northern England, later everywhere; the form ich or ik, especially before vowels, lingered in northern England until c. 1400 and survived in southern dialects until 18c. It began to be capitalized mid-13c. to mark it as a distinct word and avoid misreading in handwritten manuscripts.ETD I (pron.).3

    The dot on the "small" letter -i- began to appear in 11c. Latin manuscripts to distinguish the letter from the stroke of another letter (such as -m- or -n-). Originally a diacritic, it was reduced to a dot with the introduction of Roman type fonts. The letter -y- also was written with a top dot in Old English and early Middle English, during the centuries when it tended to be written with a closed loop at the top and thus was almost indistinguishable from the lower-case thorn (þ). In names of U.S. highways (by 1966) it is short for Interstate (adj.).ETD I (pron.).4

    -i (2)

    plural suffix sometimes preserved in English for words from Latin, it is the Latin plural of nouns of the second declension (such as focus/foci, radius/radii).ETD -i (2).2


    a "connective" element in many words formed with Latin or Greek suffixes, now often felt as part of them (as in -iac, -iacal, -ial, -ian, -ify, -ity, etc.). Properly it forms no proper part of the suffix but is often the stem-vowel of the initial word in the Latin compounds (genial from genius), or a modified form of it. As such forms were very common, -i- was used merely connectively or euphonically in some Latin compounds (uniformis) and in later words made from Latin components in English or French (centennial, editorial).ETD -i-.2

    The Greek equivalent is -o-, which also became an active connective in English, but they now are used indifferently with elements from either language.ETD -i-.3

    -i (1)

    as a termination in certain people names (Iraqi, Israeli), it represents the common Semitic national designation suffix -i.ETD -i (1).2


    word-forming element in names of countries, diseases, and flowers, from Latin and Greek -ia, noun ending, in Greek especially used in forming abstract nouns (typically of feminine gender); see -a (1). The classical suffix in its usual evolution (via French -ie) comes to Modern English as -y (as in familia/family, also -logy, -graphy). Compare -cy.ETD -ia.2

    In paraphernalia, Mammalia, regalia, etc. it represents Latin or Greek -a (see -a (2)), plural suffix of nouns in -ium (Latin) or -ion (Greek), with formative or euphonic -i-.ETD -ia.3


    adjectival word-forming element, variant of -al (1) with connective -i-. From Latin -ialis, in which the -i- originally was from the stem of the word being attached but later came to be felt as connective.ETD -ial.2

    iamb (n.)

    in prosody, a foot of two syllables, the first short or unaccented, the second long or accented, 1842, from French iambe (16c.) or directly from Latin iambus "an iambic foot; an iambic poem," from Greek iambos "metrical foot of one unaccented followed by one accented syllable" (see iambic).ETD iamb (n.).2

    Iambus itself was used in English in this sense from 1580s. In English as in Greek, it has been held to be the natural cadence of speech. The full Greek iamb consisted of two such units, one variable the other weighted like a modern English iamb. In Greek, the measure was said to have been first used by satiric writers.ETD iamb (n.).3

    Compare trochee, spondee. The Greeks gave names to recurring patterns imparted to the words of their ritual songs and dances. The patterns were associated with certain types of songs and dances, and tended to take their names accordingly. The Roman poets picked up the vocabulary from the Greeks and applied it, somewhat ill-fitted, to their own (undanced) verses.ETD iamb (n.).4

    The English poets of the 16c., building a prosody for modern English, hesitated but then accepted the Latin foot names and applied them to stress patterns in English that, in only some ways, approximate those of Latin. Consequently the Greek meanings of the foot-names have almost no relevance to the modern use of them in prosody.ETD iamb (n.).5


    in prosody, 1570s (n.) "a foot of two syllables, the first short or unaccented, the second long or accented;" 1580s (adj.), "pertaining to or employing iambs," from Late Latin iambicus, from Greek iambikos, from iambos "metrical foot of one unaccented followed by one accented syllable; an iambic verse or poem," traditionally said to be from iaptein "to assail, attack" (in words), literally "to put forth, send forth" (in reference to missiles, etc.), but Beekes says "doubtless of Pre-Greek origin."ETD iambic.2

    The meter of invective and lampoon in classical Greek since it was first used 7c. B.C.E. by Archilochus, whose tomb, Gaetulicus says, is haunted by wasps; iambics of various length formed the bulk of all English poetry before 20c. and a great deal since. The iambic of classical Greek and Latin poetry was quantitative.ETD iambic.3


    variant of suffix -an (q.v.), with connective -i-. From Latin -ianus, in which the -i- originally was from the stem of the word being attached but later came to be felt as connective. In Middle English frequently it was -ien, via French.ETD -ian.2


    masc. proper name, Scottish form of John (q.v.).ETD Ian.2


    form of -ana (q.v.) with nouns whose adjectival forms end in -ian.ETD -iana.2


    a titan, son of Uranus and Gaia; Latinized form of Greek Iapetos, which is of uncertain origin. It has been connected with biblical Japheth or with Greek iaptein "to put forth, send forth" (perhaps as "the one thrown" by Zeus into Tartaros" or "the one who throws" a spear, etc.). Beekes finds these improbable and suggests that, as the name of a pre-Olympian god, it is a Pre-Greek word.ETD Iapetus.2


    medical Latin word-forming element used in naming diseases, from Greek -asis, abstract noun suffix (often expressing "disease, morbid condition") from the aorist of verbs in -aein. The -i- is connective.ETD -iasis.2


    word-forming element meaning "medical treatment," from French -iatrie, from Greek iatreia "healing, medical treatment" (see -iatric).ETD -iatry.2


    word-forming element, from Latinized form of Greek iatrikos "healing," from iatros "physician, healer" (related to iatreun "treat medically," and iasthai "heal, treat"); of uncertain origin, perhaps from iaomai "to cure," related to iaino "heat, warm, cheer," probably from a root meaning "enliven, animate."ETD -iatric.2


    word-forming element meaning "a physician; medicine; healing," from Greek iatros "healer, physician" (see -iatric).ETD iatro-.2

    iatrogenic (adj.)

    "induced by a physician," 1920, from iatro- + -genic.ETD iatrogenic (adj.).2

    I-beam (n.)

    1869; see beam (n.). So called for its shape. I-bar is from 1890; also I-rail (1873).ETD I-beam (n.).2


    from Latin Iberia, the ancient name of the large southwestern peninsula of Europe, from Greek Iberes, the name of a Celtic people of ancient Spain. An identical name was given to an Asiatic people near the Caucasus in what is now Georgia. Of unknown origin in both uses, but the word as applied in Spain is believed to be related to that of the River Ebro. Related: Iberian (c. 1600 as a noun; 1610s as an adjective).ETD Iberia.2

    ibex (n.)

    "chamois, wild goat of the Alps and Apennines," c. 1600, from Latin ibex, which probably is from a pre-Latin Alpine language. The German Steinbock.ETD ibex (n.).2

    ibis (n.)

    stork-like bird, late 14c., from Latin ibis (plural ibes), from Greek ibis, from Egyptian hab, a sacred bird of Egypt.ETD ibis (n.).2

    ibid. (adv.)

    "at the place or in the book already mentioned" (used to avoid repetition of references), 1660s, abbreviation of Latin ibidem "in the same place, just there," from ibi "there," pronominal adverb of place, + demonstrative suffix -dem. Also ibid, but properly with the period.ETD ibid. (adv.).2


    word-forming element making adjectives from verbs, borrowed in Middle English from Old French -ible and directly from Latin adjective suffix -ibilis (properly -bilis); see -able.ETD -ible.2


    also (in early use) I.B.M., initialism (acronym) attested by 1921 from International Business Machines Co.; the company name in use from 1918.ETD IBM.2

    ibogaine (n.)

    nerve stimulant, 1901, from French ibogaine, from iboga, Congolese name of the shrub from which the chemical is extracted, + chemical suffix -ine (2).ETD ibogaine (n.).2

    ice (n.)

    Old English is "ice, piece of ice" (also the name of the Anglo-Saxon rune for -i-), from Proto-Germanic *is- "ice" (source also of Old Norse iss, Old Frisian is, Dutch ijs, German Eis), of uncertain origin; possible relatives are Avestan aexa- "frost, ice," isu- "frosty, icy;" Afghan asai "frost." Slang meaning "diamonds" is attested from 1906.ETD ice (n.).2

    Modern spelling begins to appear 15c. and makes the word look French. On ice "kept out of the way until wanted" is from 1890. Thin ice in the figurative sense is from 1884. To break the ice "to make the first opening to any attempt" is from 1580s, metaphoric of making passages for boats by breaking up river ice though in modern use it usually has implications of "cold reserve." Ice-fishing is from 1869; ice-scraper is from 1789 in cookery.ETD ice (n.).3


    Middle English -ik, -ick, word-forming element making adjectives, "having to do with, having the nature of, being, made of, caused by, similar to," from French -ique and directly from Latin -icus or from cognate Greek -ikos "in the manner of; pertaining to." From PIE adjective suffix *-(i)ko, which also yielded Slavic -isku, adjectival suffix indicating origin, the source of the -sky (Russian -skii) in many surnames. In chemistry, indicating a higher valence than names in -ous (first in benzoic, 1791).ETD -ic.2

    In Middle English and after often spelled -ick, -ike, -ique. Variant forms in -ick (critick, ethick) were common in early Modern English and survived in English dictionaries into early 19c. This spelling was supported by Johnson but opposed by Webster, who prevailed.ETD -ic.3


    in the names of sciences or disciplines (acoustics, aerobics, economics, etc.), a 16c. revival of the classical custom of using the neuter plural of adjectives with Greek -ikos "pertaining to" (see -ic) to mean "matters relevant to" and also as the titles of treatises about them. Subject matters that acquired their English names before c. 1500, however, tend to be singular in form (arithmetic, logic, magic, music, rhetoric). The grammatical number of words in -ics (mathematics is/mathematics are) is a confused question.ETD -ics.2

    ice (v.)

    c. 1400, ysen, "cover with ice," from ice (n.). Related: Iced; icing.ETD ice (v.).2

    icing (n.)

    1769 in the confectionery sense, "coating of concreted sugar," verbal noun of ice (v.). Earlier in this sense was simple ice (1723); frosting came later. Meaning "process of becoming covered with ice" is from 1881.ETD icing (n.).2


    compound adjectival word-forming element, usually interchangeable with -ic but sometimes with specialized sense (such as historic/historical, politic/political), Middle English, from Late Latin -icalis, from Latin -icus + -alis (see -al (1)). Probably it was needed because the forms in -ic often took on a noun sense (for example physic). Forms in -ical tend to be attested earlier in English than their twins in -ic.ETD -ical.2


    son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, from Latinized form of Greek Ikaros, a name of unknown origin, connected to Icaria and the Icarian Sea. He flew too high on artificial wings and so plunged to his death. Used allusively in English from 1580s.ETD Icarus.2

    ICBM (n.)

    also I.C.B.M., 1955, initialism (acronym) for Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile. IBM in the same sense is from 1954.ETD ICBM (n.).2

    ice age (n.)

    1855, from ice (n.) + age (n.). Perhaps translating German Eiszeit (1837). An earlier term in the same sense was glacial epoch (1841). Local scientific men had noticed from the late 18c. evidence that the Alpine glaciers once had been much larger; in the 1830s stray boulders, moraines, and polished bedrock in northern Europe (formerly interpreted as relics of catastrophic floods) began to be understood as revealing the former presence of a large ice cap there. When Agassiz, a convert to the theory, came to America in 1846 he found similar evidence in New England. The glacial theory and the notion that there had been several worldwide ice ages seems to have been generally accepted by the 1870s.ETD ice age (n.).2

    iceberg (n.)

    1774, "glacier humped like a hill;" 1820 as "detached piece of a glacier or ice pack at sea," partial loan-translation of Dutch ijsberg, literally "ice mountain," from ijs "ice" (see ice (n.)) + berg "mountain" (from PIE root *bhergh- (2) "high," with derivatives referring to hills and hill-forts.). Similar formation in Norwegian isberg, Danish isbjerg.ETD iceberg (n.).2

    Earlier English terms were sea-hill (1690s), island of ice (1610s). Phrase tip of the iceberg in a figurative sense (in allusion to most of it being unseen underwater) first recorded 1962. Iceberg lettuce attested from 1893, apparently originally a trade name.ETD iceberg (n.).3

    ice-bound (adj.)

    "obstructed by ice; frozen in; surrounded or hemmed in by ice, so as to prevent progress or approach," 1650s, from ice (n.) + bound (adj.1).ETD ice-bound (adj.).2

    ice-box (n.)

    also icebox, 1839, "an ice chest," later "the small compartment in a refrigerator containing the ice," from ice (n.) + box (n.).ETD ice-box (n.).2

    ice-cap (n.)

    "a general or continuous permanent covering of a certain area of land, whether large or small, with snow or ice, especially in the arctic regions," 1859 in geology, from ice (n.) + an extended sense of cap (n.).ETD ice-cap (n.).2

    Ice-Capade (n.)

    1941, originally a film title, from ice (n.) + a punning play on escapade.ETD Ice-Capade (n.).2

    ice-chest (n.)

    1839, originally a wooden chest lined with zinc, from ice (n.) + chest (n.).ETD ice-chest (n.).2

    ice-cold (adj.)

    "cold as ice, extremely cold," Old English isceald; see ice (n.) + cold (adj.).ETD ice-cold (adj.).2

    ice-cream (n.)

    1744, earlier iced cream (1680s), "a confection made by congealing variously flavored cream or custard in a vessel surrounded with a freezing-mixture," from ice (n.) + cream (n.). For ice-cream cone (1909), see cone.ETD ice-cream (n.).2

    ice-cube (n.)

    "ice cut in small blocks for cooling drinks, etc.," 1902, from ice (n.) + cube (n.).ETD ice-cube (n.).2

    ice-house (n.)

    "a structure, usually with double walls, packed between with sawdust or similar non-conducting material, used for the storage of ice," 1680s, from ice (n.) + house (n.).ETD ice-house (n.).2


    c. 1200, so called for its ice-choked fjords. Related: Icelander; Icelandic.ETD Iceland.2

    iceman (n.)

    "dealer in ice," 1844, from ice (n.) + man (n.).ETD iceman (n.).2

    ice-pick (n.)

    "small hand-tool, shaped like an awl, used for breaking ice," 1858, from ice (n.) + pick (n.1).ETD ice-pick (n.).2

    ice-skate (v.)

    "to glide across a frozen surface on ice-skates," 1690s, from ice (n.) + skate (n.2). The verb usually was skate until the advent of roller-skating mid-18c. made distinction necessary. A run of severe winters that froze over the Thames in the late 17c. made ice-skating popular in England. Related: Ice-skates (1862).ETD ice-skate (v.).2

    ice-water (n.)

    "water from melted ice; water cooled by ice," 1722, from ice (n.) + water (n.1).ETD ice-water (n.).2

    I Ching

    1876, from Chinese, said to mean "Book of Changes."ETD I Ching.2

    ichneumon (n.)

    1570s, "weasel-like animal of Egypt," from Latin ichneumon, from Greek ikhneumon "ichneumon," literally "searcher, tracker," perhaps so called because it hunts crocodile eggs, from ikhneuein "hunt for, track," from ikhnos "a track, footstep, trace, clue," which is of unknown origin. Used by Aristotle for a species of wasp that hunts spiders (a sense attested in English from 1650s).ETD ichneumon (n.).2

    ichnolite (n.)

    "stone presenting a fossil footprint," 1841, from Latinized form of Greek ikhnos "a track, footprint" (which is of unknown origin) + -lite. Ichnite in the same sense is from 1854. Ichnology, "scientific study of fossil footprints," is from 1837.ETD ichnolite (n.).2

    ichnomancy (n.)

    "the reading of traces of footsteps to determine the nature and peculiarities of what made them," 1855, from Latinized form of Greek ikhnos "a track, footprint" (which is of unknown origin) + -mancy "divination by means of."ETD ichnomancy (n.).2

    ichor (n.)

    "ethereal fluid that serves for blood in the veins of the gods," 1630s, from French ichor (16c.) or Modern Latin ichor, from Greek ikhōr, a word of unknown origin, possibly from a non-Indo-European language. Related: Ichorous.ETD ichor (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "fish," from Latinized form of Greek ikhthys "a fish" (in plural, "a fish-market"), from PIE root *dhghu- "fish" (source also of Armenian jukn, Lithuanian žuvis).ETD ichthyo-.2

    ichthyology (n.)

    "the science of fishes; the department of zoology which treats of fishes," 1640s, from ichthyo- "fish" + -logy. Related: Ichthyologist; ichthyological.ETD ichthyology (n.).2

    ichthyomorphic (adj.)

    "fish-shaped," 1870 in biology, 1879 in mythology, from ichthyo- "fish" + -morphic, from Greek morphē "form, shape," a word of uncertain etymology.ETD ichthyomorphic (adj.).2

    ichthyophagous (adj.)

    "fish-eating," 1791, from Latinized form of ikhthyophagos "fish-eating;" see ichthyo- + -phagous. Related: Ichthyophagist (1727).ETD ichthyophagous (adj.).2

    ichthyosaur (n.)

    extinct aquatic reptile, 1830, Modern Latin, from Latinized form of Greek ikhthys "fish" (see ichthyo-) + -saurus. Related: Ichthyosaurus (1819); ichthyosaurian.ETD ichthyosaur (n.).2

    ichthyosis (n.)

    congenital disease of the epidermis, 1815, coined in Modern Latin (1801); see ichthyo- + -osis. So called for the hard dry scales and plates which form on the skin.ETD ichthyosis (n.).2

    icy (adj.)

    Old English isig; see ice (n.) + -y (2). Modern use is said to be a late Middle English re-formation. Figurative sense "characterized by coldness or chill, frigid" (of manners, expressions, etc.) is from 1590s. Similar formation in Dutch ijzig, German eisig, Swedish isig. Related: Icily; iciness.ETD icy (adj.).2

    icicle (n.)

    "pendent mass of ice tapering downward to a point, formed by the freezing of drops of water flowing down from the place of attachment," early 14c., isykle, from is "ice" (see ice (n.)) + Middle English ikel, a word that by itself meant "icicle," from Old English gicel "icicle, ice" (found in compounds, such as cylegicel "chill ice"), from Proto-Germanic *jekilaz (source also of Old Norse jaki "piece of ice," diminutive jökull "icicle, ice; glacier;" Old High German ihilla "icicle"), from PIE *yeg- "ice" (source also of Middle Irish aig "ice," Welsh ia). Dialectal ickle "icicle" survived into 20c.ETD icicle (n.).2

    icky (adj.)

    1935, American English, probably from icky-boo (c. 1920) "sickly, nauseated," which probably is a baby talk elaboration of sick (adj.). Originally a swing lover's term for more sentimental jazz music; in general use, "sticky and repulsive," from 1938. Also a noun, "person with conventional taste in jazz," 1937.ETD icky (adj.).2

    ickle (adj.)

    childish pronunciation of little (adj.), attested by 1846.ETD ickle (adj.).2

    Icknield Way

    prehistoric trackway from Norfolk to Dorset, Old English Iccenhilde, Icenhylte (903), which is of unknown meaning and origin. There was a Romano-British Iceni tribe in modern Norfolk. The name was transferred 12c. to the ancient Roman road from Burton on the Water to Templeborough.ETD Icknield Way.2

    iconic (adj.)

    1650s, "of or pertaining to a portrait," from Late Latin iconicus, from Greek eikonikos "pertaining to an image," from eikon "likeness, image, portrait" (see icon). In art, applied to statues of victorious athletes, sovereigns, etc., 1801.ETD iconic (adj.).2

    icon (n.)

    also ikon, 1570s, "image, figure, picture," also "statue," from Late Latin icon, from Greek eikon "likeness, image, portrait; image in a mirror; a semblance, phantom image;" in philosophy, "an image in the mind," related to eikenai "be like, look like," which is of uncertain origin. The specific Eastern Church sense is attested from 1833 in English. Computing sense first recorded 1982.ETD icon (n.).2

    iconoclasm (n.)

    1797 in reference to an act of breaking or destroying idols physically; figuratively from 1858 in reference to beliefs, cherished institutions, etc.; see iconoclast. An older word for it was iconomachy (1580s), from Greek eikonomakhia (see -machy).ETD iconoclasm (n.).2

    iconoclast (n.)

    "breaker or destroyer of images," 1590s, from French iconoclaste and directly from Medieval Latin iconoclastes, from Late Greek eikonoklastes, from eikon (genitive eikonos) "image" + klastes "breaker," from klas- past tense stem of klan "to break" (see clastic).ETD iconoclast (n.).2

    Originally in reference to those in the Eastern Church in 8c. and 9c. whose mobs of followers destroyed icons and other religious objects on the grounds that they were idols. Applied to 16c.-17c. Protestants in Netherlands who vandalized former Catholic churches on similar grounds. Extended sense of "one who attacks orthodox beliefs or cherished institutions" is first attested 1842.ETD iconoclast (n.).3

    iconoclastic (adj.)

    1640s; see iconoclast + -ic. Related: Iconoclastically.ETD iconoclastic (adj.).2

    iconography (n.)

    1670s, "illustration by drawing or figures," from Medieval Latin iconographia, from Greek eikonographia "sketch, description," from eikon (see icon) + -graphia (see -graphy). Related: Iconographic; iconographer.ETD iconography (n.).2

    iconology (n.)

    "study of icons," 1736; see icon + -logy.ETD iconology (n.).2

    icosahedron (n.)

    "twenty-sided body," 1560s, from Latinized form of Greek eikosahedron, noun use of neuter of eikosahedros, from eikosi "twenty" + -hedra "seat, base, chair, face of a geometric solid," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit." Greek eikosi is from PIE *wikmti- "twenty," from *wi- "in half" (hence "two") + (d)kmti-, from root *dekm- "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten"). Related: icosahedral.ETD icosahedron (n.).2

    icteric (adj.)

    "jaundiced," c. 1600, from Latin ictericus, from Greek ikterikos "jaundiced," from ikteros "jaundice" (see icterus). Related: Icterical.ETD icteric (adj.).2

    icterus (n.)

    "jaundice," 1706, medical Latin, from Greek ikteros "jaundice," also the name of a yellowish bird the sight of which was supposed, by sympathetic magic, to cure jaundice (but the bird died). As a zoological genus (American orioles), from 1713.ETD icterus (n.).2

    ictus (n.)

    rhythmical or metrical stress, 1752, from Latin ictus "a blow, stroke, thrust;" of voices "a beat, impulse, stress," from icere (past participle ictus) "to strike, hit," which is related to iacere "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). Reckoned in Anglo-Saxon poetry; in Modern English it generally is identical to syllabic stress or accent.ETD ictus (n.).2


    adjectival word-forming element, especially in zoology, "belonging to, connected with, member of a group or class," in some cases probably via from French -ide, back-formed from Modern Latin names of zoological classes in -idae, as arachnid "a spider" from the biological class name arachnidae.ETD -id.2

    This -idae is the plural of Latin -ides, a masculine patronymic (indicating "descent from"), from Greek -ides "son of," denoting descent from the person to whose name it is attached (such as Heraklides).ETD -id.3

    In astronomy, of meteor showers, "having its radiant in" the constellation named (Perseid, Leonid, etc.), it probably represents Latin -idis, from Greek -idos, the genitive of the feminine form of the patronymic suffix.ETD -id.4

    ide (n.)

    see ides.ETD ide (n.).2

    id (n.)

    1924, in Joan Riviere's translation of Freud's "Das Ich und das Es" (1923), from Latin id "it" (as a translation of German es "it" in Freud's title), used in psychoanalytical theory to denote the unconscious instinctual force. Latin id is from PIE pronominal stem *i- (see yon).ETD id (n.).2

    ides (n.)

    "middle day of a Roman month," early 14c., from Old French ides (12c.), from Latin idus (plural) "the ides," a word perhaps of Etruscan origin. In the Roman calendar the eighth day after the nones, corresponding to the 15th of March, May, July, and October; the 13th of other months. "Debts and interest were often payable on the ides" [Lewis].ETD ides (n.).2


    also ID (but pronounced as separate letters), short for identification, attested from 1955.ETD I.D..2


    word-forming element used in chemistry to coin names for simple compounds of one element with another element or radical; originally abstracted from oxide, which was the first so classified, in which the -ide is from acide "acid."ETD -ide.2


    word-forming element used to coin family names in zoology (by being suffixed to the name of the genus whence that of the family is derived), from Latin -idae, plural of noun suffix -ides (see -id).ETD -idae.2


    fem. proper name, Medieval Latin, from Old High German Ida, which is perhaps related to Old Norse "work." As the name of a mountain near Troy and one in Crete (the mystic birthplace of Zeus), it probably is a different word, of unknown or non-IE origin; related: Idaean.ETD Ida.2


    1861 as a place name, originally applied by U.S. Congress to a proposed territorial division centered in what is now eastern Colorado; said at the time to mean "Gem of the Mountains" but probably rather from Kiowa-Apache (Athabaskan) idaahe "enemy," a name applied by them to the Comanches. Modern Idaho was organized 1861 as a county in Washington Territory; in 1863 became a territory in its own right and it was admitted as a state in 1890.ETD Idaho.2

    idea (n.)

    late 14c., "archetype, concept of a thing in the mind of God," from Latin idea "Platonic idea, archetype," a word in philosophy, the word (Cicero writes it in Greek) and the idea taken from Greek idea "form; the look of a thing; a kind, sort, nature; mode, fashion," in logic, "a class, kind, sort, species," from idein "to see," from PIE *wid-es-ya-, suffixed form of root *weid- "to see."ETD idea (n.).2

    In Platonic philosophy, "an archetype, or pure immaterial pattern, of which the individual objects in any one natural class are but the imperfect copies, and by participation in which they have their being" [Century Dictionary].ETD idea (n.).3

    Meaning "mental image or picture" is from 1610s (the Greek word for it was ennoia, originally "act of thinking"), as is the sense "concept of something to be done; concept of what ought to be, differing from what is observed." Sense of "result of thinking" first recorded 1640s.ETD idea (n.).4

    Idée fixe (1836) is from French, literally "fixed idea." Through Latin the word passed into Dutch, German, Danish as idee, which also is found in English dialects. The philosophical sense has been somewhat further elaborated since 17c. by Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant. Colloquial big idea (as in what's the ...) is from 1908.ETD idea (n.).5

    ideagenous (adj.)

    "generating or giving rise to ideas," 1839; see idea + -genous. A word from early psychology, apparently coined by Dr. Thomas Laycock, house surgeon to York County Hospital [Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, vol. lii].ETD ideagenous (adj.).2

    idealism (n.)

    1796 in the abstract metaphysical sense "belief that reality is made up only of ideas," from ideal (adj.) + -ism. Probably formed on model of French idéalisme. Meaning "tendency to represent things in an ideal form" is from 1829. Meaning "pursuit of the ideal, a striving after the perfect state" (of truth, purity, justice, etc.).ETD idealism (n.).2

    In the philosophical sense the Germans have refined it into absolute (Hegel), subjective (Fichte), objective (von Schelling), and transcendental (Kant).ETD idealism (n.).3

    idealization (n.)

    "act of forming in idea or in thought; act of making ideal," 1796; see idealize + noun ending -ation. Perhaps via French idéalisation.ETD idealization (n.).2

    ideal (n.)

    "(hypothetical) perfect person, thing, or state," 1796, in a translation of Kant, from ideal (adj.). Hence "standard or model of perfection" (1849).ETD ideal (n.).2

    ideally (adv.)

    "in the best conceivable situation," 1840, from ideal + -ly (2). Earlier "in an archetype" (1640s); "in idea or imagination" (1590s).ETD ideally (adv.).2

    idealize (v.)

    1786, "make ideal, consider as ideal," probably formed from ideal (adj.) + -ize. Related: Idealized; idealizing.ETD idealize (v.).2

    ideality (n.)

    1817, "quality of being ideal;" see ideal (adj.) + -ity. In phrenology, "imaginative faculty" (1828); as the opposite of reality, 1877.ETD ideality (n.).2

    ideal (adj.)

    early 15c., "pertaining to an archetype or model," from Late Latin idealis "existing in idea," from Latin idea in the Platonic sense (see idea). Senses "conceived as perfect; existing only in idea," are from 1610s.ETD ideal (adj.).2

    idealist (n.)

    "one who represents things in an ideal form," 1829, from ideal + -ist. Earlier (1796) in a philosophical sense "one who believes reality consists only in (Platonic) ideals" (see idealism).ETD idealist (n.).2

    Earlier still, "one who holds doctrines of philosophical idealism" (1701).ETD idealist (n.).3

    idealistic (adj.)

    "striving after perfect good," 1819; see idealist + -ic. Related: Idealistically.ETD idealistic (adj.).2

    ideate (v.)

    c. 1600, "imagine, form ideas," from idea + -ate (2). From 1862 as "to think." Related: Ideated; ideating.ETD ideate (v.).2

    ideation (n.)

    "process or act of forming ideas," 1829; see idea + -ation. Related: Ideational.ETD ideation (n.).2

    Related: Ideational.ETD ideation (n.).3

    idem (adv.)

    "the same (as above)," used to avoid repetition in writing, Latin, literally "the same," from id "it, that one," from PIE pronominal stem *i- (see yon) + demonstrative suffix -dem.ETD idem (adv.).2

    idempotent (n.)

    in algebra, quantity which multiplied by itself gives itself, 1870, from Latin idem "the same, identical with" (see idem) + potentem "powerful" (see potent).ETD idempotent (n.).2

    identical (adj.)

    1610s as a term in logic; general sense of "being the same or very similar" is from 1630s, from Medieval Latin identicus "the same," from Late Latin identitas "identity, sameness," ultimately from combining form of Latin idem "the same" (see idem). Replaced Middle English idemptical (late 15c.), from Medieval Latin idemptitas "identity," from Latin idem. Related: Identically.ETD identical (adj.).2

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