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    improvement (n.) — incarnate (v.)

    improvement (n.)

    mid-15c., enprowment "profitable use, management of something for profit," from Anglo-French emprowement, from emprouwer "turn to profit" (see improve). Meaning "betterment; act of making better, amelioration" is from 1640s. Meaning "production of something better, something better (than something else)" is from 1712. Meaning "buildings, etc. on a piece of property" is from 1773. Related: Improvements.ETD improvement (n.).2

    improvidence (n.)

    "lack of foresight, rashness," mid-15c., from Late Latin improvidentia, from assimilated form of in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin providentia "foresight, precaution" (see providence).ETD improvidence (n.).2

    improvident (adj.)

    1510s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + provident. It retains a stronger connection with the "provide" aspect of Latin providere than provident now does. Related: Improvidently.ETD improvident (adj.).2

    improvisational (adj.)

    1879; see improvisation + -al (1). Earlier adjectives were improvisatorial (1819), improvisatory (1806).ETD improvisational (adj.).2

    improvise (v.)

    1808, from Italian improvisare "to sing or speak extempore," from Latin improviso "unforeseen; not studied or prepared beforehand," ablative of improvisus "not foreseen, unexpected," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + provisus "foreseen," also "provided," past participle of providere "foresee, provide" (see provide). Also partly from French improviser.ETD improvise (v.).2

    Regarded as a foreign word and generally printed in italics in English in early 19c. Other verbs were improvisate (1825), improvisatorize (1828), the latter from improvisator "one of a class of noted extemporaneous poets of Italy" (1765), the earliest word of the group to appear in English. Related: Improvised; improvising.ETD improvise (v.).3

    improvisation (n.)

    "act of improvising musically," 1786, from French improvisation, from improviser "compose or say extemporaneously" (17c.), from Italian improvisare "to sing or speak extempore," from Latin improviso "unforeseen; not studied or prepared beforehand," ablative of improvisus "not foreseen, unexpected," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + provisus "foreseen," also "provided," past participle of providere "foresee, provide" (see provide). From music the sense expanded to a general meaning "do or perform on the spur of the moment."ETD improvisation (n.).2

    improvision (n.)

    "want of forethought," 1640s, from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + provision.ETD improvision (n.).2

    imprudence (n.)

    early 15c., "quality of rashness or heedlessness; imprudent act," from Old French imprudence (14c.) or directly from Latin imprudentia "lack of foresight, inconsiderateness, ignorance, inadvertence," abstract noun from imprudens "unaware, inconsiderate" (see imprudent).ETD imprudence (n.).2

    imprudent (adj.)

    late 14c., from Latin imprudentem (nominative imprudens) "not foreseeing, unaware, inconsiderate, heedless," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + prudens, contraction of providens, present participle of providere "to provide," literally "to see before (one)" (see provide). Related: Imprudently.ETD imprudent (adj.).2

    impudence (n.)

    late 14c., from Latin impudentia "shamelessness," abstract noun from impudens "shameless" (see impudent).ETD impudence (n.).2

    impudent (adj.)

    late 14c., from Latin impudentem (nominative impudens) "without shame, shameless," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + pudens "ashamed, modest," present-participle adjective from pudere "to cause shame" (see pudendum). Related: Impudently.ETD impudent (adj.).2

    impugn (v.)

    "attack by argument," late 14c., from Old French impugner (14c.), from Latin impugnare "to fight against, assault, attack," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + pugnare "to fight" (see pugnacious). Related: Impugned; impugning. Impugnable has meant "liable to be assailed" (1823) and "that cannot be assailed" (1560s).ETD impugn (v.).2

    impulsivity (n.)

    1891; see impulsive + -ity.ETD impulsivity (n.).2

    impulse (n.)

    early 15c., "an act of impelling, a thrust, push," from Latin impulsus "a push against, pressure, shock," figuratively "incitement, instigation," past participle of impellere "to strike against, push against," from assimilated form of in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + pellere "to push, drive" (from PIE root *pel- (5) "to thrust, strike, drive"). Meaning "a stimulus in the mind to action, arising from some state or feeling" is first recorded 1640s. As an adjective, in reference to purchases made on impulse, 1955 (in impulse buyer).ETD impulse (n.).2

    impulsion (n.)

    early 15c., "a driving, pushing, thrusting," from Old French impulsion (14c.), from Latin impulsionem (nominative impulsio) "external pressure," figuratively "incitement, instigation," noun of action from past participle stem of impellere (see impel).ETD impulsion (n.).2

    impulsively (adv.)

    1751, from impulsive + -ly (2).ETD impulsively (adv.).2

    impulsiveness (n.)

    1650s, from impulsive + -ness.ETD impulsiveness (n.).2

    impulsive (adj.)

    early 15c., impulsif, originally in reference to medicine that reduces swelling or humors, from Medieval Latin impulsivus, from Latin impuls-, past participle stem of impellere "strike against, push against" (see impel).ETD impulsive (adj.).2

    The meaning "having the property of impelling" (of force, cause, energy, etc.) is from c. 1600. Of persons, "rash, characterized by impulses," from 1847, from impulse. Earlier, at least once, in reference to maniacs:ETD impulsive (adj.).3

    impunity (n.)

    1530s, from French impunité (14c.) and directly from Latin impunitatem (nominative impunitas) "freedom from punishment, omission of punishment," also "rashness, inconsideration," from impunis "unpunished, without punishment," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + poena "punishment" (see penal).ETD impunity (n.).2

    impune (adj.)

    "unpunished" (obsolete), 1610s, from Latin impunis "unpunished" (see impunity). For the word meaning "attack by argument," see impugn.ETD impune (adj.).2

    impure (adj.)

    mid-15c., of wine, "muddy, not clear," from Old French impur (13c.), from Latin impurus "not pure, unclean, filthy, foul," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + purus "pure" (see pure).ETD impure (adj.).2

    In English, the subsequent order of sense appearance seems to be "earthly, mundane, not spiritual" (c. 1500); "obscene, lewd, unchaste, immoral" (1530s); "mixed with offensive matter, tainted" (1590s); "mixed or combined with other things" (without reference to foulness), 1620s. As a noun from 1784. Related: Impurely.ETD impure (adj.).3

    impurity (n.)

    mid-15c., impurite, "thing which makes or is impure;" c. 1500, "fact or quality of being impure," from Latin impuritas "uncleanness" (in a moral sense), from impurus "not pure" (see impure). Related: Impurities.ETD impurity (n.).2

    Impuritan (n.)

    "one who is not a Puritan," 1610s, a hostile coinage of the Puritans, from im- "not, opposite of" + Puritan, perhaps also with suggestion of impure.ETD Impuritan (n.).2

    imputation (n.)

    1540s, noun of action from impute (v.) on model of French imputation, or else from Late Latin imputationem (nominative imputatio) "a charge, an account," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin imputare "to charge, ascribe."ETD imputation (n.).2

    impute (v.)

    early 15c., from Old French imputer, emputer (14c.) and directly from Latin imputare "to reckon, make account of, charge, ascribe," from assimilated form of in- "in, into" (from PIE root *en "in") + putare "to trim, prune; reckon, clear up, settle (an account)," from PIE *puto- "cut, struck," suffixed form of root *pau- (2) "to cut, strike, stamp." Related: Imputed; imputing.ETD impute (v.).2

    imputable (adj.)

    1620s, from Medieval Latin imputabilis, from Latin imputare "to charge, ascribe" (see impute). Related: Imputability.ETD imputable (adj.).2

    -ine (1)

    also -in, adjectival word-forming element, Middle English, from Old French -in/-ine, or directly from Latin suffix -inus/-ina/-inum "of, like," forming adjectives and derived nouns, as in divinus, feminus, caninus; from PIE adjectival suffix *-no- (see -en (2)).ETD -ine (1).2

    The Latin suffix is cognate with Greek -inos/-ine/-inon, and in some modern scientific words the element is from Greek. Added to names, it meant "of or pertaining to, of the nature of" (Florentinus), and so it also was commonly used in forming Roman proper names, originally appellatives (Augustinus, Constantinus, Justinus, etc.) and its descendants in Romanic languages continued active in name-forming. The Latin fem. form, -ina, was used in forming abstracts (doctrina, medicina). Relics of the attempt to continue a distinction between Latin -ina and -inus account for the English hesitation in spelling between -in and -ine.ETD -ine (1).3

    -in (2)

    word-forming element in chemistry, usually indicating a neutral substance, antibiotic, vitamin, or hormone; a modification and specialized use of -ine (2).ETD -in (2).2

    in (adv., prep.)

    a Middle English merger of Old English in (prep.) "in, into, upon, on, at, among; about, during;" and Old English inne (adv.) "within, inside," from Proto-Germanic *in (source also of Old Frisian, Dutch, German, Gothic in, Old Norse i), from PIE root *en "in." The simpler form took on both senses in Middle English.ETD in (adv., prep.).2

    Sense distinction between in and on is from later Middle English, and nuances in use of in and at still distinguish British and American English (in school/at school). Sometimes in Middle English shortened to i.ETD in (adv., prep.).3

    The noun sense of "influence, access (to power or authorities)," as in have an in with, is first recorded 1929 in American English. to be in for it "certain to meet with something unpleasant" is from 1690s. To be in with "on friendly terms with" is from 1670s. Ins and outs "intricacies, complications of an action or course" is from 1660s. In-and-out (n.) "copulation" is attested from 1610s.ETD in (adv., prep.).4

    in- (1)

    word-forming element meaning "not, opposite of, without" (also im-, il-, ir- by assimilation of -n- with following consonant, a tendency which began in later Latin), from Latin in- "not," cognate with Greek an-, Old English un-, all from PIE root *ne- "not."ETD in- (1).2

    In Old French and Middle English often en-, but most of these forms have not survived in Modern English, and the few that do (enemy, for instance) no longer are felt as negative. The rule of thumb in English has been to use in- with obviously Latin elements, un- with native or nativized ones.ETD in- (1).3

    in- (2)

    element meaning "into, in, on, upon" (also im-, il-, ir- by assimilation of -n- with following consonant), from Latin in- "in," from PIE root *en "in."ETD in- (2).2

    In Old French (and hence in Middle English) this often became en-, which in English had a strong tendency to revert to Latin in-, but not always, which accounts for pairs such as enquire/inquire. There was a native form, which in West Saxon usually appeared as on- (as in Old English onliehtan "to enlighten"), and some of those verbs survived into Middle English (such as inwrite "to inscribe"), but all now seem to be extinct.ETD in- (2).3

    Not related to in- (1) "not," which also was a common prefix in Latin, causing confusion: to the Romans impressus could mean "pressed" or "unpressed;" inaudire meant "to hear," but inauditus meant "unheard of;" in Late Latin investigabilis could mean "that may be searched into" or "that cannot be searched into." Latin invocatus was "uncalled, uninvited," but invocare was "to call, appeal to."ETD in- (2).4

    The trouble has continued in English; the hesitation over what is meant by inflammable being a commonly cited example. Implume (1610s) meant "to feather," but implumed (c. 1600) meant "unfeathered." Impliable can mean "capable of being implied" (1865) or "inflexible" (1734). Impartible in 17c. could mean "incapable of being divided" or "capable of being imparted." Impassionate can be "free from passion" or it can mean "strongly stirred by passion." Inanimate (adj.) is "lifeless," but Donne uses inanimate (v.) to mean "infuse with life or vigor." Irruption is "a breaking in," but irruptible is "unbreakable."ETD in- (2).5

    In addition to improve "use to one's profit," Middle English also had a verb improve meaning "to disprove" (15c.). To inculpate is "to accuse," but inculpable means "not culpable, free from blame." Infestive has meant "troublesome, annoying" (1560s, from infest) and "not festive" (1620s). In Middle English inflexible could mean "incapable of being bent" or "capable of being swayed or moved." In 17c., informed could mean "current in information," formed, animated," or "unformed, formless" ("This was an awkward use" [OED]). Inhabited has meant "dwelt in" (1560s) and "uninhabited" (1610s); inhabitable likewise has been used on opposite senses, a confusion that goes back to Late Latin.ETD in- (2).6

    inning (n.)

    Old English innung "a taking in, a putting in," gerundive of innian "get within, put or bring in; lodge; include; fill up, restore," from inn (adv.) "in" (see in). Meaning "a team's turn in action in a game" first recorded 1735, usually plural in cricket, singular in baseball.ETD inning (n.).2

    -ine (2)

    word-forming element in chemistry, often interchangeable with -in (2), though modern use distinguishes them; early 19c., from French -ine, the suffix commonly used to form words for derived substances, hence its extended use in chemistry. It was applied unsystematically at first (as in aniline), but now has more restricted use.ETD -ine (2).2

    The French suffix is from Latin -ina, fem. form of -inus, suffix used to form adjectives from nouns, and thus is identical with -ine (1).ETD -ine (2).3

    in (adj.)

    "that is within, internal," 1590s, from in (adv.). Sense of "holding power" (the in party) first recorded c. 1600; that of "exclusive" (the in-crowd, an in-joke) is from 1907 (in-group); that of "stylish, fashionable" (the in thing) is from 1960.ETD in (adj.).2

    -in (1)

    the adverb in attached to a verb as a word-forming element, by 1960, abstracted from sit-in, which is attested from 1941 in reference to protests and 1937 in reference to labor union actions (which probably was influenced by sit-down strike) but was popularized in reference to civil disobedience protests aimed at segregated lunch counters.ETD -in (1).2

    As a word-forming element it was extended first of other types of protests, then by 1965 (teach-in) to any sort of communal gathering (such as love-in, attested by 1967; slim-in, for dieters, 1973). In labor actions it was perhaps less useful: "a mass of workers calling in sick to absent themselves in protest" was called both a sick-out (1970) and a sick-in (1974).ETD -in (1).3


    fem. word- and name-forming element, from Latin -ina (see -ine (1)), or its identical descendants in Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian. The French form is -ine. As a suffix in royal titles (czarina, etc.) it represents an extension from Latin regina.ETD -ina.2

    inability (n.)

    mid-15c., inhabilite, "disqualification for office," from in- (1) + ability. Earlier was unability "incapability; incompetence" (late 14c.). General sense "state of being unable" is recorded by c. 1500.ETD inability (n.).2

    inable (v.)

    obsolete form of enable.ETD inable (v.).2

    in absentia (adv.)

    Latin, literally "in (his/her/their) absence" (see absence). By 1831 in English, earlier in legal Latin.ETD in absentia (adv.).2

    inaccessible (adj.)

    "not to be reached or approached," early 15c., from Old French inaccessible (14c.), from Late Latin inaccessibilis "unapproachable," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + accessibilis "approachable" (see accessible). Related: Inaccessibly; inaccessibility. Earlier in same sense was unaccessible (c. 1400).ETD inaccessible (adj.).2

    inaccurate (adj.)

    "not exact or correct," 1690s, from in- (1) "not" + accurate. Unaccurate is attested from 1670s. Related: Inaccurately (1660s).ETD inaccurate (adj.).2

    inaccuracy (n.)

    1701, "quality or condition of being inaccurate," from inaccurate + abstract noun suffix -cy. As "an instance of being inaccurate, that which is inaccurate," 1704.ETD inaccuracy (n.).2

    inactive (adj.)

    "not active or acting," 1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + active. Perhaps a back-formation from inactivity.ETD inactive (adj.).2

    inactivity (n.)

    "want of action or exertion, sluggishness," 1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + activity. Phrase masterly inactivity attested by 1791.ETD inactivity (n.).2

    inaction (n.)

    "want of action, idleness," 1705, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + action (n.). Perhaps modeled on French Inaction.ETD inaction (n.).2

    inadequate (adj.)

    "not equal to what is required, insufficient to effect the end desired," 1670s; see in- (1) "not, opposite of" + adequate. Related: Inadequately.ETD inadequate (adj.).2

    inadequacy (n.)

    "incompleteness, ineffectiveness, state or quality of being insufficient," 1764, from inadequate + abstract noun suffix -cy. Related: Inadequacies.ETD inadequacy (n.).2

    inadmissible (adj.)

    "not proper to be admitted, allowed, or received," 1744, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + admissible. Perhaps modeled on French inadmissible. Related: Inadmissibility.ETD inadmissible (adj.).2

    inadvertently (adv.)

    1670s, from inadvertent + -ly (2). "Inattentively, carelessly," hence "unintentionally."ETD inadvertently (adv.).2

    inadvertent (adj.)

    1650s, "not properly attentive" (of persons), a back-formation from inadvertence. Meaning "unconscious, unintentional" (of actions) is from 1724.ETD inadvertent (adj.).2

    inadvertence (n.)

    "carelessness, negligence, inattention," mid-15c., from Old French inadvertance "thoughtlessness, heedlessness" (14c.), from Scholastic Latin inadvertentia, from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + advertentia, from Latin advertere "to direct one's attention to," literally "to turn toward" (see advertise).ETD inadvertence (n.).2

    inadvisability (n.)

    "quality of being inadvisable," 1839, from inadvisable + -ity.ETD inadvisability (n.).2

    inadvisable (adj.)

    "unadvisable," 1819, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + advisable.ETD inadvisable (adj.).2

    inalienable (adj.)

    "that cannot be given up," 1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + alienable (adj.). Perhaps from French inaliénable (16c.). Related: Inalienably; Inalienability.ETD inalienable (adj.).2

    inamorata (n.)

    "female lover, woman with whom one is in love," 1650s, from Italian innamorata "mistress, sweetheart," noun use of fem. of innamorato, past participle of innamorare "to fall in love," from in "in" (from Latin, see in) + amore "love," from Latin amor (see Amy).ETD inamorata (n.).2

    inamorato (n.)

    "male lover; man who is in love," 1590s, from Italian innamorato, noun use of masc. past participle of innamorare "to fall in love" (see inamorata).ETD inamorato (n.).2

    inane (adj.)

    1660s, "empty, void," from Latin inanis or else a back-formation from inanity (q.v.). Sense of "silly, empty-headed" is from 1819. Related: Inanely. Bailey's Dictionary (1731) has inaniloquent "given to empty talk."ETD inane (adj.).2

    inanity (n.)

    c. 1600, "emptiness, hollowness," literal and figurative, from French inanité (14c.) or directly from Latin inanitas "emptiness, empty space," figuratively "worthlessness," noun of quality from inanis "empty, void; worthless, useless," a word of uncertain origin. De Vaan writes that "The chronology of attestations suggests that 'empty, devoid of' is older than 'hollow'." Meaning "silliness, want of intelligence" is from 1753.ETD inanity (n.).2

    inanimate (adj.)

    early 15c., "without vital force, having lost life," from Late Latin inanimatus "lifeless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + animatus (see animation). The classical form of the adjective was inanimis or inanimus. Post-classical Latin also used inanimalis, also inanimans "lifeless." The meaning "lacking vivacity, without spirit, dull" is from 1734.ETD inanimate (adj.).2

    Inanimate also was a verb in 17c. English, "infuse with life or vigor," from the other in- (see in- (2)).ETD inanimate (adj.).3

    inanition (n.)

    in medicine, "exhaustion from lack of nourishment," c. 1400, "pathological draining or depletion of blood, humors, or bodily fluids," from Old French inanition (14c.) and directly from Latin inanitionem (nominative inanitio) "emptiness," noun of action from past-participle stem of inanire "to empty," from inanis "empty, void; worthless, useless," a word of uncertain origin.ETD inanition (n.).2

    inappetence (n.)

    "failure of appetite," 1690s, from French inappétence (16c.), from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + appétence "desire" (for food); see appetence. Related: Inappetency (1610s).ETD inappetence (n.).2

    inapplicable (adj.)

    "incapable of being or not proper to be applied, not suited or suitable," 1650s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + applicable. Related: Inapplicably; inapplicability.ETD inapplicable (adj.).2

    inapposite (adj.)

    "not pertinent, not fit or suitable," 1620s (implied in inappositely), from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + apposite.ETD inapposite (adj.).2

    inappreciable (adj.)

    1773, "too inconsiderable to matter;" 1787, "that cannot be sufficiently appreciated," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + appreciable. Perhaps modeled on French inappreciable. Related: Inappreciably.ETD inappreciable (adj.).2

    inapprehensible (adj.)

    "not intelligible," 1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + apprehensible.ETD inapprehensible (adj.).2

    inappropriate (adj.)

    "not proper, unsuitable," 1791, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + appropriate (adj.). Related: Inappropriately; inappropriateness. Unappropriate is from 1742.ETD inappropriate (adj.).2

    inapt (adj.)

    "ill-suited to the purpose or occasion," 1734, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + apt. Related: Inaptly; inaptness. Compare inept.ETD inapt (adj.).2

    inaptitude (n.)

    "unsuitableness, unfitness; unskilfulness, awkwardness," 1610s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + aptitude. The Frenchified version is ineptitude.ETD inaptitude (n.).2

    inarticulate (adj.)

    c. 1600, "not clear or intelligible" (of speech); "not jointed or hinged, not composed of segments connected by joints" (in biology), from Late Latin inarticulatus "not articulate, not distinct," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + articulatus, past participle of articulare "to separate into joints; to utter distinctly" (see articulation). Of persons, "not able to speak clearly," 1754. Related: Inarticulately; inarticulateness; inarticulable.ETD inarticulate (adj.).2

    inartistic (adj.)

    "not conformable to the rules or principles of art" [Century Dictionary], 1836, from in- (1) "not" + artistic. Inartistical is attested from 1849. Related: Inartistically.ETD inartistic (adj.).2

    inasmuch (adv.)

    contraction of phrase in as much "to such a degree," which is first attested c. 1300 as in als mikel, a Northern form. Contracted to in asmuch, then, beginning 14c. and especially since 17c., to one word. Meaning "in view of the fact" (followed by as) is from late 14c.ETD inasmuch (adv.).2


    word-forming element typically indicating "extreme; ultimate" when appended to verbs, names or titles; by 1992, likely abstracted from Terminator, the title of a popular 1984 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger went on to a political career and early -inator coinages often referred to him. See terminator (the suffix misdivides the word; the -in- belongs to the Latin stem).ETD -inator.2

    Earlier Kelvinator (1916), name of a type of home refrigerator, is from William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, who developed the concept of absolute zero and for whom the Kelvin temperature scale is named. The name was thought appropriate for a company that manufactured ice-boxes and refrigerators.ETD -inator.3

    inattention (n.)

    "heedlessness, negligence," 1710, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + attention. Perhaps modeled on French inattention.ETD inattention (n.).2

    inattentive (adj.)

    "heedless, careless, negligent," 1650s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + attentive. Related: Inattentively; inattentiveness.ETD inattentive (adj.).2

    inaudibility (n.)

    "state or quality of being inaudible," 1808, from inaudible + -ity.ETD inaudibility (n.).2

    inaudible (adj.)

    c. 1600, "unable to be heard," from Late Latin inaudibilis "inaudible," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + audibilis (see audible). Used in Middle English in the sense "unfit to be heard" (mid-15c.). Related: Inaudibly. Classical Latin had inauditus "unheard, unheard of."ETD inaudible (adj.).2

    inauguration (n.)

    "ceremonial investiture with office; act of solemnly or formally introducing or setting in motion anything of importance or dignity," 1560s, from French inauguration "installation, consecration," and directly from Late Latin inaugurationem (nominative inauguratio) "consecration," presumably originally "installment under good omens;" noun of action from past-participle stem of inaugurare "take omens from the flight of birds; consecrate or install when omens are favorable," from in- "on, in" (from PIE root *en "in") + augurare "to act as an augur, predict" (see augur (n.)).ETD inauguration (n.).2

    inaugural (adj.)

    1680s, from French inaugural (17c.), from inaugurer "to inaugurate" (14c.), from Latin inaugurare "to inaugurate" (see inauguration). The noun meaning "an inaugural address" is recorded from 1832, American English.ETD inaugural (adj.).2

    inaugurate (v.)

    "induct into office by formal ceremony," c. 1600, a back-formation from inauguration (q.v.) and also from Latin inauguratus, past participle of inaugurare. The etymological sense is "make a formal beginning or induction into office with suitable ceremonies" (which in ancient Rome included especially the taking of auguries). The earlier verb in English was augur (1540s). Related: Inaugurated; inaugurating; inaugurator.ETD inaugurate (v.).2

    inauspicious (adj.)

    "ill-omened, unlucky, unfavorable," 1590s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + auspicious. Related: Inauspiciously; inauspiciousness. The Latin word was inauspicatus "without auspices; with bad auspices," which had a brief career in English as inauspicate (17c.).ETD inauspicious (adj.).2

    inauthentic (adj.)

    1783, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + authentic. Related: Inauthentically.ETD inauthentic (adj.).2

    in-between (n.)

    1815, "an interval;" also "a person who intervenes," noun use of prepositional phrase, from in (adv.) + between. Related: In-betweener (1912); in-betweenity (1927).ETD in-between (n.).2

    inboard (adv.)

    "within the hull or interior of a ship," 1830, from in (adv.) + board (n.2).ETD inboard (adv.).2

    inborn (adj.)

    Old English inboren "native to a place, indigenous, aboriginal," from in (prep.) "within" + boren "brought forth" (see born). Of personal qualities, "innate, implanted by nature," 1510s.ETD inborn (adj.).2

    inbound (adj.)

    1857, "homeward," from in + bound (adj.2). Originally of ships.ETD inbound (adj.).2

    inbox (n.)

    by 1984 in electronic mail sense, from in + mailbox (n.). Compare in-basket, in reference to office mail systems, by 1940; in-tray (1917).ETD inbox (n.).2

    inbred (adj.)

    1590s, "native, produced within," also "inherent by nature," from in + bred. The genetic sense is attested from 1892 (see inbreeding).ETD inbred (adj.).2

    inbreeding (n.)

    "breeding of animals from the same parentage," c. 1842, from in + verbal noun from breed (v.). The older term for "to breed from animals of the same parentage" was to breed in and in (1765). The verb inbreed is attested from 1590s in the sense "produce within" (intransitive).ETD inbreeding (n.).2


    U.S. abbreviation of Incorporated in company names (equivalent of British Ltd.), first attested 1904.ETD Inc..2

    Inca (n.)

    1590s, from Spanish Inga (1520s), from Quechea Inca, literally "lord, king." Technically only of the high Inca, but it was used widely among the Incas for "man of royal blood." Related: Incan.ETD Inca (n.).2

    incalculable (adj.)

    "incapable of being reckoned," 1772, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + calculable "that can be counted" (see calculate). Related: Incalculably; incalculability.ETD incalculable (adj.).2

    incandescent (adj.)

    "glowing with heat, rendered luminous by heat," 1794, from French incandescent (18c.) or directly from Latin incandescentem (nominative incandescens), present participle of incandescere "become warm, glow, kindle," from in- "within" (from PIE root *en "in") + candescere "begin to glow, become white," inceptive of candere "to glow, to shine" (from PIE root *kand- "to shine"). In reference to electric light, from 1881. The verb incandesce (1838), originally in science, is perhaps a back-formation.ETD incandescent (adj.).2

    incandescence (n.)

    1650s, figurative, "state of being 'inflamed,' " from French incandescence, from incandescent (see incandescent). Literal meaning "the condition of glowing from heat" is by 1794.ETD incandescence (n.).2

    incantation (n.)

    "art or act of enchanting by uttering magical words, with ceremonies supposed to have magical power; the formula of words or the ceremony employed," late 14c., from Old French incantacion "spell, exorcism" (13c.), from Late Latin incantationem (nominative incantatio) "art of enchanting," noun of action from past-participle stem of incantare "to bewitch, charm, cast a spell upon, chant magic over, sing spells" (see enchantment).ETD incantation (n.).2

    incapable (adj.)

    "not capable," 1590s, from French incapable (16c.) and directly from Medieval Latin incapabilis "incapable," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + capabilis "receptive; able to grasp or hold" (see capable). Related: Incapably; incapability.ETD incapable (adj.).2

    incapacity (n.)

    1610s, "lack of ability, powerlessness," from French incapacité (16c.), from Medieval Latin incapacitatem (nominative incapacitas), from Late Latin incapax (genitive incapacis) "incapable," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + Latin capax "capable," literally "able to hold much," from capere "to take," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." As a legal term (1640s), "lack of qualification," referring to inability to take, receive, or deal with in some way.ETD incapacity (n.).2

    incapacitate (v.)

    1650s in a legal sense; 1660s in general use, "deprive of natural power," from incapacity + -ate. Related: Incapacitated; incapacitating.ETD incapacitate (v.).2

    incapacitation (n.)

    "act of incapacitating, state of being incapacitated; act of disqualifying; disqualification," 1741, noun of action from incapacitate.ETD incapacitation (n.).2

    incarceration (n.)

    "fact of being imprisoned," 1530s, from Medieval Latin incarcerationem (nominative incarceratio), noun of action from past-participle stem of incarcerare "to imprison," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + carcer "prison, an enclosed space," from Proto-Italic *kar-kr(o)-, which is of uncertain origin.ETD incarceration (n.).2

    The word appears earlier in English in an obsolete medical sense of "retention of pus" (early 15c.).ETD incarceration (n.).3

    incarcerate (v.)

    "imprison, shut up in jail," 1550s, a back-formation from incarceration (q.v.), or else from Medieval Latin incarceratus, past participle of incarcerare "to imprison." Related: Incarcerated; incarcerating.ETD incarcerate (v.).2

    incarnate (v.)

    "clothe or embody in flesh," 1530s, a back-formation from incarnation, or else from Late Latin incarnatus "made flesh," past participle of incarnare "to make flesh; be made flesh." Meaning "make or form flesh" (as in healing a wound) is from 1670s. Related: Incarnated; incarnating.ETD incarnate (v.).2

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