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    khanate (n.) — king (adj.)

    khanate (n.)

    "the dominion of a khan," 1799, from khan + -ate (1).ETD khanate (n.).2

    khatib (n.)

    Muslim preacher, 1620s, from Arabic, from khataba "to preach."ETD khatib (n.).2

    khedive (n.)

    title of the Turkish viceroy of Egypt, 1867, from French khédive, from Turkish khidiv, from Persian khidiw "prince," derivative of khuda "master, prince," from Old Persian khvadata- "lord," from compound *khvat-data-, literally "created from oneself," from khvat- (from PIE *swe-tos "from oneself," ablative of root *s(w)e-; see idiom) + data- "created." His wife was a khediva.ETD khedive (n.).2


    1867, native name. Khmer Rouge, communist party of Cambodia, literally "Red Khmer," is with French rouge (see rouge (n.)).ETD Khmer.2

    kibble (n.)

    "ground-up meat used as dog food, etc.," 1957, apparently from the verb meaning "to bruise or grind coarsely," which is attested from 1790, first in milling; a word of unknown origin. The same or an identical word was used in the coal trade in the late 19c. and in mining from the 1670s for "bucket used to haul up ore or waste."ETD kibble (n.).2

    kibbutz (n.)

    "Israeli collective settlement," 1931, from Modern Hebrew qibbus "gathering," earlier "a gathering together," verbal noun from root of qibbetz "he gathered together." Plural is kibbutzim. Related to Arabic quabada "he grasped, seized."ETD kibbutz (n.).2

    kibitz (v.)

    "to look on at a card game and offer unwelcome advice," 1915, from Yiddish kibitsen "to offer gratuitous advice as an outsider," from German kiebitzen "to look on at cards, to kibitz," originally in Rotwelsch (thieves' cant) "to visit," from Kiebitz, name of a shore bird (European peewit, lapwing) with a folk reputation as a meddler, from Middle High German gibitz "pewit," imitative of its cry (see peewit). Young lapwings are proverbially precocious and active, and were said to run around with half-shells still on their heads soon after hatching. Related: Kibitzing. Also see kibitzer.ETD kibitz (v.).2

    kibitzer (n.)

    "one who looks on at card games and offers unwelcome advice," 1915, from Yiddish, agent noun from kibitz (q.v.). "Der Kibitzer" is noted as the name of a Yiddish humorous weekly published in New York from 1908-1912. ["The Jewish Press in New York City," 1918]ETD kibitzer (n.).2

    kibosh (n.)

    1836, kye-bosk, in British English slang phrase put the kibosh on, of unknown origin, despite intense speculation. The earliest citation is in Dickens. Looks Yiddish, but its original appearance in a piece set in the heavily Irish "Seven Dials" neighborhood in the West End of London seems to argue against this.ETD kibosh (n.).2

    One candidate is Irish caip bháis, caipín báis "cap of death," sometimes said to be the black cap a judge would don when pronouncing a death sentence, but in other sources this is identified as a gruesome method of execution "employed by Brit. forces against 1798 insurgents" [Bernard Share, "Slanguage, A Dictionary of Irish Slang"]. Coles' dictionary of "difficult terms" (1684) has cabos'd "having the head cut off close to the shoulders." Or the word might somehow be connected with Turkish bosh (see bosh).ETD kibosh (n.).3

    kick (n.)

    1520s, "a blow or thrust with the foot," from kick (v.). Meaning "recoil (of a gun) when fired" is from 1826. Meaning "surge or fit of pleasure" (often as kicks) is from 1941; originally "stimulation from liquor or drugs" (1844). Hence kickster "one who lives for kicks" (1963). The kick "the fashion" is from c. 1700. Kicks in slang also has meant "trousers" (1700), "shoes" (1904).ETD kick (n.).2

    kick (v.)

    late 14c., "to strike out with the foot," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Old Norse kikna "bend backwards, sink at the knees." "The doubts OED has about the Scandinavian origin of kick are probably unfounded" [Liberman]. Older sources guessed it to be from Celtic. Earliest in the biblical phrase that is now usually rendered as kick against the pricks. Related: Kicked; kicking.ETD kick (v.).2

    Transitive sense "give a blow with the foot" is from 1580s. Meaning "to strike in recoiling" (as a gun, etc.) is from 1832. Figurative sense of "complain, protest, manifest strong objection, rebel against" (late 14c.) probably is at least in part from the Bible verse. Slang sense of "die" is attested from 1725 (kick the wind was slang for "be hanged," 1590s; see also bucket). Meaning "to end one's drug habit" is from 1936.ETD kick (v.).3

    Kick in "to break (something) down" is from 1876, sense of "contribute" is from 1908, American English; kick out "expel" is from 1690s. To kick around (intransitive) "wander about" is from 1839; transitive sense of "treat contemptuously" is from 1871 on the notion of "kick in all directions." To be kicked upstairs "removed from action by ostensible promotion" is from 1750. To kick oneself in self-reproach is from 1891. The children's game of kick the can is attested from 1891.ETD kick (v.).4


    Native American people of the Algonquian family, 1722, from native /kiikaapoa/ which is sometimes interpreted as "wanderers" [Bright].ETD Kickapoo.2

    kickback (n.)

    also kick-back, "mechanical reaction in an engine," from 1905 in various mechanical senses, from the verbal phrase (1895); see kick (v.) + back (adv.). By 1926 the verbal phrase was being used in a slang sense of "be forced to return pelf, pay back to victims," which was extended to illegal partial give-backs of government-set wages that were extorted from workers by employers. Hence the noun in the sense of "illegal or improper payment" (1932). The verbal phrase in the sense "make oneself comfortable, prepare to relax" is from 1975.ETD kickback (n.).2

    kick-ball (n.)

    also kickball, children's game, 1854; see kick (v.) + ball (n.1).ETD kick-ball (n.).2

    kickboxing (n.)

    also kick-boxing, 1968, from kick (n.) + boxing (n.). Related: Kickbox (v.); kickboxer (1978).ETD kickboxing (n.).2

    kicker (n.)

    1570s, originally of horses, agent noun from kick (v.). Kickee is recorded from 1820.ETD kicker (n.).2

    kicky (adj.)

    1790, "clever; showy, gaudy," from kick (n.) in the 18c. sense "that which is stylish" + -y (2). Meaning "full of thrills, providing kicks" is from 1968. Kickish "given to kicking" is from 1580s.ETD kicky (adj.).2

    kick-off (n.)

    also kickoff, kick off, 1857, "first kick in a football match," from kick (v.) + off (adv.). The verbal phrase also is from 1857. Figurative sense of "start, beginning event" is from 1875.ETD kick-off (n.).2

    kickshaw (n.)

    "a fancy dish in cookery" (especially a non-native one), late 16c., earlier quelk-chose from English pronunciation of French quelque chose "a something, a little something." Quelque is from Latin qualis "of what kind?" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns).ETD kickshaw (n.).2

    kicksie-wicksie (n.)

    also kicksy-wicksy, ludicrous or loving term for "wife" in Shakespeare ("All's Well," II iii.297), 1601, perhaps a perversion of kickshaw "a fancy dish in cookery."ETD kicksie-wicksie (n.).2

    kickstand (n.)

    also kick-stand, "metal support for holding a bicycle upright," 1936, from kick (n.) + stand (n.). So called for the method of putting it in position.ETD kickstand (n.).2

    kick-start (v.)

    1919 (implied in kick-starter), "method of starting an internal combustion engine (of a motorcycle) by pushing down a lever with the foot," from kick (n.) + start (n.). Figurative sense of "take a course of action that will quickly start a process" is by 1995.ETD kick-start (v.).2

    kid (v.)

    "tease playfully," 1839, earlier, in thieves' cant, "to coax, wheedle, hoax" (1811), probably from kid (n.), via notion of "treat as a child, make a kid of." Related: Kidded; kidding. Colloquial interjection no kidding! "that's the truth" is from 1914.ETD kid (v.).2

    kid (n.)

    c. 1200, "the young of a goat," from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse kið "young goat," from Proto-Germanic *kidjom (source also of Old High German kizzi, German kitze, Danish and Swedish kid), a word of uncertain origin.ETD kid (n.).2

    The extended meaning "child" is recorded as slang by 1590s, established in informal usage by 1840s. Applied to skillful young thieves and pugilists at least since 1812. Kid stuff "something easy" is from 1913 (the phrase was in use about that time in reference to vaudeville acts or advertisements featuring children, and to child-oriented features in newspapers).ETD kid (n.).3

    In clothing, "made of soft leather," as though from the skin of a kid, but commercially often of other skins. Hence kid glove "a glove made of kidskin leather" is from 1680s; sense of "characterized by wearing kid gloves," therefore "dainty, delicate" is from 1856.ETD kid (n.).4

    kidder (v.)

    "playful teaser," 1888, agent noun from kid (v.).ETD kidder (v.).2


    type of two-ply carpet, 1832, named for the town in England where it was manufactured. The place name is Anglo-French Chideminstre, literally "Cydder's Monastery," from an Old English personal name.ETD Kidderminster.2

    kiddy (n.)

    also kiddie; 1570s as "young goat;" 1780 as "flash thief;" 1889 as "little child," from various senses of kid (n.) + -y (3). Other diminutives in the "small child" sense were kidlet (1889), kidling (1899). Related: Kiddies.ETD kiddy (n.).2

    kiddo (n.)

    1893, familiar form of kid (n.) in the "child" sense.ETD kiddo (n.).2

    kidnap (v.)

    1680s, thieves' cant, a compound of kid (n.) "child" and nap (v.) "snatch away," which probably is a variant of nab (v.). Perhaps a back-formation from kidnapper, which is recorded earlier. Originally "to steal children to provide servants and laborers in the American colonies." Related: Kidnapped; kidnapping.ETD kidnap (v.).2

    kidnapping (n.)

    1680s, verbal noun from kidnap (v.).ETD kidnapping (n.).2

    kidnapper (n.)

    1670s; see kidnap (though this word is attested a few years earlier).ETD kidnapper (n.).2

    kidney (n.)

    early 14c., kidenere, a word of unknown origin, perhaps a compound of Old English cwið "womb" (see chitterlings) + ey "egg" (see egg (n.)) in reference to the shape of the organ. Figurative sense of "temperament" is from 1550s. Kidney-bean is from 1540s, so called for its shape.ETD kidney (n.).2

    kielbasa (n.)

    1951, from Polish kiełbasa "sausage" (cognate with Russian kolbasa, Serbo-Croatian kobasica); perhaps from Turkish kulbasti, "grilled cutlet," literally "pressed on the ashes." Or perhaps, via Jewish butchers, from Hebrew kolbasar "all kinds of meat."ETD kielbasa (n.).2


    Ukrainian Kyyiv, of unknown origin; explanation from the name of a founding prince named Kiy probably is folk etymology. Related: Kievan.ETD Kiev.2

    kike (n.)

    derogatory slang for "a Jew," by 1901, American English; early evidence supports the belief that it was used at first among German-American Jews in reference to newcomers from Eastern Europe, perhaps because the names of the latter ended in -ki or -ky.ETD kike (n.).2

    Philip Cowen, first editor of "The American Hebrew," suggests a source in Yiddish kikel "circle." According to him, Jewish immigrants, ignorant of writing with the Latin alphabet, signed their entry forms with a circle, eschewing the customary "X" as a sign of Christianity. On this theory, Ellis Island immigration inspectors began calling such people kikels, and the term shortened as it passed into general use.ETD kike (n.).3

    Kikuyu (n.)

    Bantu language of Kenya, 1904.ETD Kikuyu (n.).2


    first element in many Celtic place names, meaning "cell (of a hermit); church; burial place," from Gaelic and Irish -cil, from cill, gradational variant of ceall "cell, church, burial place," from Latin cella (see cell).ETD kil-.2


    dormant volcano in Tanzania, it is the highest mountain in Africa. The name is of unknown origin; the first element appears to be Swahili kilima "(little) mountain," but even this is uncertain. See J.A. Hutchinson, "The Meaning of Kilimanjaro," in Tanganyika Notes and Records, 1965.ETD Kilimanjaro.2


    county in Leinster, Ireland. The county is named for its town, from Irish Cill Chainnigh "Church of (St.) Kenneth" (see kil-). The story of the Kilkenny cats, a pair of which fought until only their tails were left, is attested from 1807.ETD Kilkenny.2

    kill (n.1)

    early 13c., "a stroke, a blow," from kill (v.). Meaning "the act of killing" is from 1814 in hunting slang; that of "a killed animal" is from 1878. Lawn tennis serve sense is from 1903. The kill "the knockout" is boxing jargon, 1950. Kill ratio is from 1968, American English.ETD kill (n.1).2

    kill (v.)

    c. 1200, "to strike, hit, beat, knock;" c. 1300, "to deprive of life, put to death;" perhaps from an unrecorded variant of Old English cwellan "to kill, murder, execute," from Proto-Germanic *kwaljanan (source also of Old English cwelan "to die," cwalu "violent death;" Old Saxon quellian "to torture, kill;" Old Norse kvelja "to torment;" Middle Dutch quelen "to vex, tease, torment;" Old High German quellan "to suffer pain," German quälen "to torment, torture"), from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach," with extended sense "to pierce." Related: Killed; killing.ETD kill (v.).2

    The meaning "to nullify or neutralize the qualities of" is attested from 1610s. Of time, from 1728; of engines, from 1886; of lights, from 1934. Kill-devil, colloquial for "rum," especially if new or of bad quality, is from 1630s. Dressed to kill is first attested 1818 in a letter of Keats (compare killing (adj.) in the sense "overpowering, fascinating, attractive").ETD kill (v.).3

    killing (adj.)

    mid-15c., "deadly, depriving of life," present-participle adjective from kill (v.). Meaning "overpowering, fascinating, attractive" is 1630s, from the verb in a figurative sense "overwhelm (someone) by strong effect on the mind or senses." Meaning "very powerful in effect, exceedingly severe, so as to (almost) kill one" is from 1844. Related: Killingly.ETD killing (adj.).2

    killing (n.)

    "act of slaying, "mid-15c., verbal noun from kill (v.). Meaning "large profit" is from 1886, American English slang.ETD killing (n.).2

    kill (n.2)

    "stream, creek," 1630s, American English, from Dutch kil "a channel," from Middle Dutch kille "riverbed, inlet." The word is preserved in place names in the Mid-Atlantic American states (such as Schuylkill, Catskill, Fresh Kills, etc.). A common Germanic word, the Old Norse form, kill, meant "bay, gulf" and gave its name to Kiel Fjord on the Baltic coast and thence to Kiel, the German port city founded there in 1240.ETD kill (n.2).2

    killable (adj.)

    1755, from kill (v.) + -able.ETD killable (adj.).2

    killdeer (n.)

    also killdee, species of large North American ring-plover, 1731, American English. The name is imitative of its shrill, two-syllable cry.ETD killdeer (n.).2

    killer (n.)

    late 15c., agent noun from kill (v.). But a surname, Ric[hard] Le Kyller is attested from 1288. Figurative use from 1550s. Meaning "impressive person or thing" is by 1900 (as an adjective, 1979); reduplicated form killer-diller attested by 1938. Killer whale is from 1854 (earlier simply killer 1725); killer instinct is attested from 1931, originally in boxing.ETD killer (n.).2

    killjoy (n.)

    also kill-joy, 1776, from kill (v.) + joy. Kill formerly was used with other stems (for example kill-courtesy "boorish person," kill-cow "bully, big man," etc.; also compare Kellogg).ETD killjoy (n.).2

    kiln (n.)

    Old English cyln, cylen "kiln, oven, furnace for drying or baking," from Latin culina "kitchen, cooking stove," unexplained variant of coquere "to cook" (from PIE root *pekw- "to cook, ripen"). According to OED, Old Norse kylna, Welsh cilin probably are from English.ETD kiln (n.).2

    kilo (n.)

    1870, shortening of kilogram. Slang shortening key (in drug trafficking) is attested from 1968.ETD kilo (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "one thousand," introduced in French 1795, when the metric system was officially adopted there; irregularly reduced from Greek khilioi "thousand," from PIE *gheslo- "thousand," source also of Sanskrit sahasra-, Avestan hazanjra "thousand." "It is usually assumed that Lat. mille should be connected too" [Beekes]; see milli-. "In the metric system, kilo- means multiplied, & milli- divided, by 1000" [Fowler].ETD kilo-.2

    kilobyte (n.)

    1970, from kilo- + byte.ETD kilobyte (n.).2

    kilocalorie (n.)

    also kilo-calorie, 1889 (by 1866 in French, 1870 in German); see kilo- + calorie.ETD kilocalorie (n.).2

    kilocycle (n.)

    also kilo-cycle, 1921, from kilo- + cycle (n.).ETD kilocycle (n.).2

    kilogram (n.)

    "one thousand grams," standard of mass in the metric system, 1797, from French kilogramme (1795); see kilo- + gram.ETD kilogram (n.).2

    kilojoule (n.)

    1893, from kilo- + joule.ETD kilojoule (n.).2

    kiloliter (n.)

    1810, from French kilolitre; see kilo- + liter.ETD kiloliter (n.).2

    kilolitre (n.)

    chiefly British English spelling of kiloliter; also see -re.ETD kilolitre (n.).2

    kilometer (n.)

    "one thousand meters," 1810, from French kilomètre (1795); see kilo- + meter (n.2). Related: Kilometric.ETD kilometer (n.).2

    kilometre (n.)

    chiefly British English spelling of kilometer; also see -re.ETD kilometre (n.).2

    kiloton (n.)

    also kilo-ton, 1950, from kilo- + ton (n.1).ETD kiloton (n.).2

    kilowatt (n.)

    1884, from kilo- + watt. Kilowatt hour is from 1892. Related: Kilowattage.ETD kilowatt (n.).2

    kilowatt (n. 1)

    also kilo-watt, 1884, from kilo- + watt.ETD kilowatt (n. 1).2


    U.S. military graffito character, 1945, said to be either Sgt. Francis J. Kilroy Jr., U.S. Army Air Transport, whose friend or friends began writing his name everywhere as a prank; or war materiéls inspector James J. Kilroy of Quincy, Mass., who wrote "Kilroy was here" on everything he checked.ETD Kilroy.2

    kilt (n.)

    "plaited tartan skirt," originally the part of the belted plaid which hung below the waist, c. 1730, quelt, from Middle English verb kilten "to tuck up" (mid-14c.), from a Scandinavian source (compare Danish kilte op "to tuck up;" Old Norse kilting "shirt," kjalta "fold made by gathering up to the knees").ETD kilt (n.).2

    kilt (v.)

    "to tuck up," mid-14c., surviving in Scottish, a word of Scandinavian origin (compare Danish kilte "to truss, to tuck up," Swedish kilta "swaddle"); see kilt (n.). Related: Kilted; kilting.ETD kilt (v.).2

    kilter (n.)

    "order, good condition," in out of kilter (1620s), apparently a variant of English dialectal kelter (c. 1600) "good condition, order," a word of unknown origin.ETD kilter (n.).2


    South African city, founded 1871; also region in northwest Australia; both named for John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley, who was British secretary of state for the colonies; the earldom is from a place in Norfolk, England (the name also is found in Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire). The second element is Old English leah "meadow, clearing in a woodland" (see lea); the first reflect various Old English personal names; the one in Norfolk appears first as Chineburlai (1086) and seems to be "clearing of a woman called Cyneburg."ETD Kimberley.2


    fem. proper name, apparently from the place or surname Kimberley. Not much known in U.S. before 1946; a top-10 name for girls born there 1964-1977.ETD Kimberly.2

    kimchi (n.)

    1898, from Korean.ETD kimchi (n.).2

    kimono (n.)

    1630s, from Japanese kimono, literally "a thing put on," from ki "wear, put on" + mono "thing."ETD kimono (n.).2

    kin (n.)

    c. 1200, from Old English cynn "family; race; kind, sort, rank; nature" (also "gender, sex," a sense obsolete since Middle English), from Proto-Germanic *kunja- "family" (source also of Old Frisian kenn, Old Saxon kunni "kin, kind, race, tribe," Old Norse kyn, Old High German chunni "kin, race;" Danish kjön, Swedish kön, Middle Dutch, Dutch kunne "sex, gender;" Gothic kuni "family, race," Old Norse kundr "son," German Kind "child"), from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.ETD kin (n.).2

    Related to both words kind and to child. From 1590s as an adjective, from the noun and as a shortening of akin. Legal next of kin (1540s) does not include the widow, "she being specifically provided for by the law as widow" [Century Dictionary], and must be a blood relation of the deceased.ETD kin (n.).3


    diminutive suffix, first attested late 12c. in proper names adopted from Flanders and Holland. As it is not found in Old English it probably is from Middle Dutch -kin, properly a double-diminutive, from -k + -in. Equivalent to German -chen. Also borrowed in Old French as -quin, where it usually has a bad sense.ETD -kin.2

    Used in later Middle English with common nouns. In some words it is directly from Dutch or Flemish.ETD -kin.3

    kinase (n.)

    1902, from Greek kinein "to move" (from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion") + chemical suffix -ase.ETD kinase (n.).2

    kind (n.)

    "class, sort, variety," from Old English gecynd "kind, nature, race," related to cynn "family" (see kin), from Proto-Germanic *kundjaz "family, race," from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups.ETD kind (n.).2

    Ælfric's rendition of "the Book of Genesis" into Old English came out gecyndboc. The prefix disappeared 1150-1250. No exact cognates beyond English, but it corresponds to adjective endings such as Goth -kunds, Old High German -kund. Also in English as a suffix (mankind, etc., also compare godcund "divine"). Other earlier, now obsolete, senses included "character, quality derived from birth" and "manner or way natural or proper to anyone."ETD kind (n.).3

    Phrase a kind of (1590s) indicating something like or similar to something else led to the colloquial extension as adverb (1804) in phrases such as kind of stupid "a kind of stupid (person), (one) not far from stupidity." However "good usage" once condemned as inaccurate the use as an adjective as in our kind of people, some kind of joke. All kinds is Old English alles cynnes, in Middle English sometimes contracted to alkins.ETD kind (n.).4

    kind (adj.)

    "friendly, deliberately doing good to others," Middle English kinde, from Old English (ge)cynde "natural, native, innate," originally "with the feeling of relatives for each other," from Proto-Germanic *kundi- "natural, native," from *kunjam "family" (see kin), with collective or generalizing prefix *ga- and abstract suffix *-iz. The word rarely appeared in Old English without the prefix, but Old English also had it as a word-forming element -cund "born of, of a particular nature" (see kind (n.)). Sense development probably is from "with natural feelings," to "well-disposed" (c. 1300), "benign, compassionate, loving, full of tenderness" (c. 1300).ETD kind (adj.).2

    kindness (n.)

    c. 1300, "courtesy, noble deeds," from kind (adj.) + -ness. Meanings "kind deeds; kind feelings; quality or habit of being kind" are from late 14c. Old English kyndnes meant "nation," also "produce, an increase."ETD kindness (n.).2


    1890, representing a casual pronunciation of kind of (see kind (n.)). Also sometimes written kinder (1834) but the "humorous R" is not meant to be pronounced. Dickens has kiender.ETD kinda.2

    kindergartener (n.)

    1872, "kindergarten teacher," from kindergarten + -er (1). The German form kindergartner is recorded in American English from 1863. As "kindergarten pupil," attested from 1935.ETD kindergartener (n.).2

    kindergarten (n.)

    1852, from German Kinder-Garten (1840), literally "children-garden, garden of children," a metaphoric name from Kinder "children" (plural of Kind "child;" see kin (n.)) + Garten "garden" (from suffixed form of PIE root *gher- (1) "to grasp, enclose"). Coined by German educator Friedrich Fröbel (1782-1852) in reference to his method of developing intelligence in young children. Compare the double sense in nurseryETD kindergarten (n.).2

    The first in England was established 1850 by Johannes Ronge, German Catholic priest; in America, 1868, by Elizabeth Peabody of Boston, Mass. Taken into English untranslated, whereas other nations that borrowed the institution nativized the name (Danish börnehave, Modern Hebrew gan yeladim, literally "garden of children"). Sometimes partially Englished as kindergarden (a form attested by 1879).ETD kindergarten (n.).3

    kind-hearted (adj.)

    also kindhearted, 1530s; see kind (adj.) + -hearted. Related: Kindheartedly, kindheartedness.ETD kind-hearted (adj.).2

    kindle (v.)

    c. 1200, cundel, "to set fire to, to start on fire," probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse kynda "to kindle, to light a fire," Swedish quindla "kindle," all of uncertain origin, + frequentative suffix -le. Figurative use (of feelings, passions, etc.) is from c. 1300. Intransitive sense "to begin to burn, to catch fire" is from c. 1400. Related: Kindled; kindling.ETD kindle (v.).2

    Modern sources do not connect it to Latin candela. In the literal sense, Old English had ontyndan "kindle, set fire to," from tendan "to kindle" (see tinder). The word was influenced in form, and sometimes in Middle English in sense, by kindel "to give birth" (of animals), "bring forth, produce" (c. 1200), from kindel (n.) "offspring of an animal, young one," from Old English gecynd (see kind (n.)) + -el.ETD kindle (v.).3

    kindling (n.)

    "material for lighting fire," usually dry wood in small pieces, 1510s, verbal noun from kindle (v.). Earlier "a setting alight" (c. 1300).ETD kindling (n.).2

    kindly (adj.)

    c. 1200, cundelich, "natural, right, lawful," from Old English gecyndelic "natural, innate; in accordance with the laws or processes of nature, suitable, lawful" (of birth, etc.); see kind (adj.) + -ly (1). From late 14c. as "pleasant, agreeable;" from 1560s as "full of loving courtesy." Related: Kindliness. The Old English word also meant "pertaining to generation," hence cyndlim "womb," in plural "genitalia," literally "kind-limb."ETD kindly (adj.).2

    kindly (adv.)

    c. 1200, cundeliche, "natively, congenitally; according to nature," from Old English gecyndelice "naturally;" see kind (adj.) -ly (2). From mid-13c. as "pleasantly, gladly, with kind feelings, in a kind manner." Also in Middle English, "by birth or descent; in the approved manner, properly" (late 14c.).ETD kindly (adv.).2

    kindred (n.)

    c. 1200, perhaps late Old English, kinraden, "family, lineage; race, nation, tribe, people; kinsfolk, blood relations," compound of kin (q.v.) + -rede (see -red). With unetymological first -d- (17c.) probably for phonetic reasons (see D) but perhaps encouraged by kind (n.). As an adjective, 1520s, from the noun.ETD kindred (n.).2

    kine (n.)

    archaic plural of cow (n.); a double plural (compare children) or genitive plural of Middle English kye "cows," from Old English cy (genitive cyna), plural of cu "cow." The old theory that it represents a contraction of Old English cowen is long discarded.ETD kine (n.).2

    The Old Testament kine of Bashan, railed against in Amos 4:1-3 because they "oppress the poor," "crush the needy," and "say to their masters, Bring and let us drink," usually are said to be a figure for the voluptuous and luxuriously wanton women of Samaria, "though some scholars prefer to see this as a reference to the effeminate character of the wealthy rulers of the land" ["The K.J.V. Parallel Bible Commentary," 1994]. The word there translated Hebrew parah "cow, heifer." The cows of Bashan, east of the Sea of Galilee, grazed in lush pastures and were notably well-fed and strong beasts.ETD kine (n.).3

    kinema (n.)

    former alternative spelling of cinema, with the Greek k-.ETD kinema (n.).2

    kinematics (n.)

    "the science of motion," 1840, from French cinématique (Ampère, 1834), from Latinized form of Greek kinēsis "movement, motion," from kinein "to move" (from PIE *kie-neu-, suffixed form of root *keie- "set in motion"). Related: Kinematic (adj.), 1846; kinematical; kinematically.ETD kinematics (n.).2

    kinesics (n.)

    study of body language, 1952, from Greek kinēsis "movement, motion," from kinein "to move" (from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion") + -ics. Related: kinesic.ETD kinesics (n.).2

    kinesis (n.)

    "physical movement, muscular action," 1819, from Greek kinēsis "movement, motion," from kinein "to move" (from PIE *kie-neu-, suffixed form of root *keie- "set in motion").ETD kinesis (n.).2

    kinesiology (n.)

    1894, from Greek kinēsis "movement, motion," from kinein "to move" (from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion") + -ology. Related: Kinesiological; kinesiologically.ETD kinesiology (n.).2

    kinesthesia (n.)

    also kinaesthesia, "the sense of muscular movement," 1888, Modern Latin compound of elements from Greek kinein "to set in motion; to move" (from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion") + aisthēsis "perception" (see anesthesia). Earlier was kinaesthesis (1880).ETD kinesthesia (n.).2

    kinesthetic (adj.)

    also kinaesthetic, "pertaining to kinesthesia," 1880, coined by British neurologist Henry Charlton Bastian (1837-1915) from Greek kinein "to move" (from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion") + aisthēsis "sensation" (from PIE root *au- "to perceive"). The coinage is perhaps on model of aesthetic, prosthetic.ETD kinesthetic (adj.).2

    kinesthetics (n.)

    also kinaesthetics, "power of movement or sensation in the body," by 1893, from kinesthetic "pertaining to kinesthesia" + -ics.ETD kinesthetics (n.).2

    kinetics (n.)

    "science of motion and forces acting on bodies in motion," 1864, from kinetic; see -ics.ETD kinetics (n.).2

    kinetic (adj.)

    "relating to muscular motion," 1841, from Greek kinētikos "moving, putting in motion," from kinētos "moved," verbal adjective of kinein "to move" (from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion").ETD kinetic (adj.).2

    From 1855 as "causing motion." Related: Kinetical; kinetically.ETD kinetic (adj.).3


    word-forming element used from late 19c. and meaning "motion," from Greek kineto-, combining form of kinein "to move" (from PIE root *keie- "to set in motion").ETD kineto-.2

    kinfolk (n.)

    also kin-folk, 1802, principally American English but the earliest references are British; from kin (n.) + folk (n.). Kinsfolk is recorded from 1844.ETD kinfolk (n.).2

    king (n.)

    a late Old English contraction of cyning "king, ruler" (also used as a title), from Proto-Germanic *kuningaz (source also of Dutch koning, Old Norse konungr, Danish konge, Old Saxon and Old High German kuning, Middle High German künic, German König).ETD king (n.).2

    This is of uncertain origin. It is possibly related to Old English cynn "family, race" (see kin), making a king originally a "leader of the people." Or perhaps it is from a related prehistoric Germanic word meaning "noble birth," making a king etymologically "one who descended from noble birth" (or "the descendant of a divine race"). The sociological and ideological implications render this a topic of much debate. "The exact notional relation of king with kin is undetermined, but the etymological relation is hardly to be doubted" [Century Dictionary].ETD king (n.).3

    General Germanic, but not attested in Gothic, where þiudans (cognate with Old English þeoden "chief of a tribe, ruler, prince, king") was used. Finnish kuningas "king," Old Church Slavonic kunegu "prince" (Russian knyaz, Bohemian knez), Lithuanian kunigas "clergyman" are forms of this word taken from Germanic. Meaning "one who has superiority in a certain field or class" is from late 14c.ETD king (n.).4

    In Old English, used for chiefs of Anglian and Saxon tribes or clans, of the heads of states they founded, and of the British and Danish chiefs they fought. The word acquired a more imposing quality with the rise of European nation-states, but then it was applied to tribal chiefs in Africa, Asia, North America. The chess piece is so called from c. 1400; the playing card from 1560s; the use in checkers/draughts is first recorded 1820. Three Kings for the Biblical Wise Men is from c. 1200.ETD king (n.).5

    king (adj.)

    king (n.) applied, at first in natural history, to species deemed remarkably big or dominant, such as king crab (1690s); the U.S. king snake (1737), which attacks other snakes and is regarded especially as the enemy of the rattlesnake; king cobra (1888). In marketing, king-size is from 1939, originally of cigarettes. A king-bolt (1825) was the large bolt connecting the fore part of a carriage with the fore-axle.ETD king (adj.).2

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