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    luminaire (n.) — -ly (2)

    luminaire (n.)

    electric lighting unit, 1921, a trade term, from French luminaire, from Old French luminarie "lamp, candle; brightness, illumination" (see luminary).ETD luminaire (n.).2

    luminary (n.)

    mid-15c., "lamp, light-giver, source of light," from Old French luminarie (12c.), "lamp, lights, lighting; candles; brightness, illumination," from Late Latin luminare "light, torch, lamp, heavenly body," literally "that which gives light," from Latin lumen (genitive luminis) "light, source of light, daylight, the light of the eye; distinguished person, ornament, glory," related to lucere "to shine," from suffixed (iterative) form of PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness."ETD luminary (n.).2

    From late 15c. as "celestial body." Sense of "notable person" is first recorded 1690s, though the Middle English word also had a figurative sense of "source of spiritual light, example of holiness" (mid-15c.). As an adjective, "pertaining to light," from 1794 but this is rare.ETD luminary (n.).3

    luminescence (n.)

    1884, coined in German physicist Eilhard Wiedemann (1852-1928) from Latin lumen (genitive luminis) "light" (from suffixed form of PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness") + -escence.ETD luminescence (n.).2

    The verb luminesce (1896) is a back-formation.ETD luminescence (n.).3

    luminescent (adj.)

    "characterized by luminescence," 1889; see luminescence + -ent.ETD luminescent (adj.).2

    luminosity (n.)

    1630s, "quality of being luminous," from French luminosité (cognate with Medieval Latin luminositas "splendor") or else a native formation from luminous + -ity. Meaning "intensity of light in a color" (of a flame, spectrum, etc.) is from 1876. In astronomy, "intrinsic brightness of a heavenly body" (as distinguished from apparent magnitude, which diminishes with distance), attested from 1906.ETD luminosity (n.).2

    lummox (n.)

    "clumsy, stupid man," 1825, East Anglian slang, of unknown origin. Perhaps from dumb ox, influenced by lumbering; or from or related to dialectal verb lummock "move heavily or clumsily," itself a word of uncertain origin.ETD lummox (n.).2

    lump (v.2)

    "endure" (now usually in antithesis to like), 1791, apparently an extended sense from an older meaning "to look sulky, dislike" (1570s), of unknown origin, perhaps, as OED suggests "of symbolic sound" (compare grump, harumph, glum, etc.). Or from lump (n.) on the notion of "swallow the whole."ETD lump (v.2).2

    lump (n.)

    early 14c., lumpe, "small mass of material, solid but of irregular shape" (1224 as surname), etymology and original sense unknown. Perhaps it was in Old English, but it is not recorded there. Perhaps from a Scandinavian or continental source: Compare Danish lumpe "block, stump, log" (16c.), Middle High German lumpe, early modern Dutch lompe. All appear in the Middle Ages; there seems to be no trace of the word in older Germanic languages.ETD lump (n.).2

    Late 15c. as "protuberant part;" from 1520s as "a great quantity;" 1590s as "dull, stupid person." Phrase lump in (one's) throat "swelling in the throat," especially "feeling of tightness brought on by emotion," is from 1803. Lumps "hard knocks, a beating" is colloquial, from 1934. Lump sum, covering a number of items at one time, is from 1867 (the same sense of lump is in lump-work, 1851).ETD lump (n.).3

    lump (v.1)

    early 15c., "to curl up in a ball, to gather into a lump" (implied in lumped), from lump (n.). Transitive meaning "to put together in one mass or group" is from 1620s. Related: Lumped; lumping (from 1705 as a slang present-participle adjective meaning "great, big"):ETD lump (v.1).2

    lumpectomy (n.)

    1971, from lump (n.) on model of mastectomy.ETD lumpectomy (n.).2

    lumpenproletariat (n.)

    1897, from German Lumpenproletariat, coined by Marx, who used it in the sense of "the rabble, poorest of the working class," "who make no contribution to the workers' cause" [OED]. From German lump "ragamuffin," which is related to lumpen "a rag, tatter," probably ultimately related to English lump (n.). With proletariat.ETD lumpenproletariat (n.).2

    Marx used it first, apparently, in 1850 in German newspaper articles collected and republished in 1895 as "Die Klassenkämpfe in Frankreich 1848-1850." Its secondary sense of "boorish, stupid people" led to lumpen- being taken as a word-forming element meaning "unenlightened."ETD lumpenproletariat (n.).3

    lumpy (adj.)

    1707, "abounding in lumps," from lump (n.) + -y (2). In early 19c. slang, "drunk." Among sailors, of the sea when forming small waves in rough water, from 1857. Related: Lumpiness.ETD lumpy (adj.).2

    lumpish (adj.)

    1520s, from lump (n.) + -ish.ETD lumpish (adj.).2

    luna (n.)

    late 14c. "the moon," especially as personified in a Roman goddess answering to Greek Selene; also an alchemical name for "silver;" from Latin luna "moon, goddess of the moon," from PIE *leuksna- (source also of Old Church Slavonic luna "moon," Old Prussian lauxnos "stars," Middle Irish luan "light, moon"), suffixed form of root *leuk- "light, brightness." The luna moth (1841, American English) so called for the crescent-shaped eye-spots on its wings.ETD luna (n.).2

    lunacy (n.)

    1540s, "condition of being a lunatic," formed irregularly in English from lunatic (q.v.) + -cy. Originally in reference to intermittent periods of insanity, such as were believed to be triggered by the moon's cycle. The Old English equivalent was monaðseocnes "month-sickness." In later legal use, any unsoundness of mind sufficient to render one incapable of civil transactions or management of one's affairs. Weakened figurative sense "act of madness or folly" is from 1580s.ETD lunacy (n.).2

    lunar (adj.)

    early 15c., "crescent-shaped;" 1620s, "pertaining to the moon," from Old French lunaire (15c.), from Latin lunaris "of the moon," from luna "moon" (see luna).ETD lunar (adj.).2

    Lunarian (n.)

    1708, "moon-man, inhabitant of the moon;" see lunar + -ian. Also "expert on or student of lunar phenomena" (1817).ETD Lunarian (n.).2

    lunatic (adj.)

    late 13c., "affected with periodic insanity dependent on the changes of the moon," from Old French lunatique "insane," or directly from Late Latin lunaticus "moon-struck," from Latin luna "moon" (see luna).ETD lunatic (adj.).2

    Compare Old English monseoc "lunatic," literally "moon-sick;" Middle High German lune "humor, temper, mood, whim, fancy" (German Laune), from Latin luna. Compare also New Testament Greek selēniazomai "be epileptic," from selēnē "moon."ETD lunatic (adj.).3

    Lunatic fringe (1913) was popularized and apparently coined by U.S. politician Theodore Roosevelt.ETD lunatic (adj.).4

    Earlier it was a term for a type of hairstyle worn over the forehead (1877). Lunatic soup (1918) was slang for "alcoholic drink" or several different alcoholic drinks taken together.ETD lunatic (adj.).5

    lunatic (n.)

    "lunatic person," late 14c., from lunatic (adj.). Originally one with lucid intervals; later, in legal use, a general term for a person of unsound mind.ETD lunatic (n.).2

    lunate (adj.)

    "crescent-shaped," 1777, from Latin lunatus "half-moon shaped," from luna "moon" (see luna).ETD lunate (adj.).2

    lunation (n.)

    "time from one new moon to the next," late 14c., from Medieval Latin lunationem, from Latin luna "moon" (see luna).ETD lunation (n.).2

    lunch (v.)

    "to take a lunch," 1786, from lunch (n.). Related: Lunched; lunching.ETD lunch (v.).2

    lunch (n.)

    "mid-day repast, small meal between breakfast and dinner," 1786, a shortened form of luncheon (q.v.) in this sense (1650s), which is of uncertain origin; it appears to be identical with an older word meaning "thick piece, hunk" (1570s), which perhaps evolved from lump (n.) [OED]. There also was a contemporary nuncheon "light mid-day meal," from noon + Middle English schench "drink." Old English had nonmete "afternoon meal," literally "noon-meat" (Middle English non-mete). The verb meaning "to take to lunch" (said to be from the noun) also is attested from 1786:ETD lunch (n.).2

    As late as 1817 the only definition of lunch (n.) in Webster's is "a large piece of food," but this is now obsolete or provincial. OED says in 1820s the word "was regarded either as a vulgarism or as a fashionable affectation." Related: Lunched; lunching.ETD lunch (n.).3

    Lunch money is attested from 1868. Lunch-time is from 1821; lunch hour is from 1840; lunch-break is from 1960. Slang phrase out to lunch "insane, stupid, clueless" first recorded 1955, on notion of being "not there."ETD lunch (n.).4

    lunch-box (n.)

    1864, from lunch (n.) + box (n.1).ETD lunch-box (n.).2

    lunch-counter (n.)

    "long, elevated table where customers eat standing or sitting on high stools," 1854, American English; see lunch (n.) + counter (n.).ETD lunch-counter (n.).2

    luncheon (n.)

    "light repast between mealtimes," 1650s (lunching; spelling luncheon by 1706); earlier "thick piece, hunk (of bread)," 1570s (luncheon), which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps it is based on northern English dialectal lunch "hunk of bread or cheese" (1580s; said to be probably from Spanish lonja "a slice," literally "loin"), blended with or influenced by nuncheon (Middle English nonechenche, mid-14c.) "light mid-day meal," from none "noon" (see noon) + schench "drink," from Old English scenc, from scencan "pour out."ETD luncheon (n.).2

    Despite the form lunching in the 1650s source OED discounts that it possibly could be from lunch (v.), which is first attested more than a century later. It suggests perhaps an analogy with truncheon, etc., or to simulate a French origin. Especially in reference to an early afternoon meal eaten by those who have a noontime dinner.ETD luncheon (n.).3

    luncheonette (n.)

    type of restaurant, 1906, American English, from luncheon + diminutive ending -ette.ETD luncheonette (n.).2

    lunchmeat (n.)

    also lunch-meat, 1931, from lunch (n.) + meat (n.).ETD lunchmeat (n.).2

    lunch-pail (n.)

    "pail such as working men used to carry their lunches to job sites," by 1811, from lunch (n.) + pail (n.). As an adjective, indicating working-class men or values, by 1990s, also lunch-bucket (1873 in the literal se4nse). Compare lunch-box (1864); lunch-basket (1840).ETD lunch-pail (n.).2

    lune (n.)

    "figure formed by two arcs of circles; anything in the shape of a crescent or half-moon," 1704, from Latin luna "moon; crescent-shaped badge" (see luna).ETD lune (n.).2

    lunette (n.)

    1570s, "semi-circular partial horseshoe," from French lunette (13c.), literally "little moon," diminutive of lune "moon," from Latin luna (see luna + -ette). Later applied to a wide range of objects and ornamentations more or less resembling a crescent moon.ETD lunette (n.).2

    lung (n.)

    "human or animal respiratory organ," c. 1300, from Old English lungen (plural), from Proto-Germanic *lunganjo- (source also of Old Norse lunge, Old Frisian lungen, Middle Dutch longhe, Dutch long, Old High German lungun, German lunge "lung"), literally "the light organ," from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight" (source also of Russian lëgkij, Polish lekki "light;" Russian lëgkoje "lung").ETD lung (n.).2

    So called perhaps because in a cook pot lungs of a slaughtered animal float, while the heart, liver, etc., do not. Compare Portuguese leve "lung," from Latin levis "light;" Irish scaman "lungs," from scaman "light;" Welsh ysgyfaint "lungs," from ysgafn "light." See also lights, pulmonary. Lung cancer is attested from 1882. Lung-power "strength of voice" is from 1852 (an account of singing from 1841 describes twenty-lung-power effort.ETD lung (n.).3

    lunge (n.)

    1735, "a thrust with a sword," originally a fencing term, shortened from allonge, from French allonger "to extend, thrust," from Old French alongier "to lengthen, make long," from à "to" + Old French long, from Latin longus "long" (see long (adj.)).ETD lunge (n.).2

    lunge (v.)

    "to thrust," as in fencing, 1735 (implied in lunged), from lunge (n.). Sense of "make a sudden forward rush" is from 1821. Related: Lunging.ETD lunge (v.).2

    lung-fish (n.)

    also lungfish, "type of freshwater fish having lung-like sacks that enable it to survive for a time out of water," 1883, from lung (n.) + fish (n.).ETD lung-fish (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "of the moon, of the moon and," from Latin luna "moon" (see luna).ETD luni-.2

    lunk (n.)

    "solid, slow-witted person," 1867, American English colloquial, shortened from lunkhead (1852), which is possibly an altered form of lump (n.) + head (n.)ETD lunk (n.).2

    Lupercalia (n.)

    Roman festival held Feb. 15 in honor of Lupercus a god (identified with Lycean Pan, hence regarded as a protective divinity of shepherds) who had a grotto at the foot of the Palatine Hill, from Latin Lupercalia (plural), from Lupercalis "pertaining to Lupercus," whose name derives from lupus "wolf" (see wolf (n.)). The ceremony is regarded as dating from distant antiquity. Related: Lupercalian.ETD Lupercalia (n.).2

    lupine (adj.)

    "wolf-like," 1650s, from French lupin "wolf-like; vicious, ferocious," from Latin lupinus "of the wolf" (source also of Spanish and Italian lupino), from lupus "wolf" (see wolf (n.)).ETD lupine (adj.).2

    lupin (n.)

    also lupine, flowering plant of the genus Lupinus, late 14c., from Latin lupinus, the name of the plant, a noun use of an adjective meaning "of a wolf," from lupus "wolf" (see wolf (n.)). The reason for the name is unclear; perhaps the plant was so called because of a belief that it was harmful to soil (compare lupus in the "wasting disease" sense), but in modern Europe it was regarded as useful and valued for improving sandy soil. In Portugal it was used to choke out weeds.ETD lupin (n.).2

    lupus (n.)

    late 14c., used of several diseases that cause ulcerations of the skin, from Medieval Latin lupus, from Latin lupus "wolf" (see wolf (n.)), apparently because it "devours" the affected part. As the name of a southern constellation representing a wolf, by 1706.ETD lupus (n.).2

    lurch (v.)

    1821, "to roll or sway suddenly to one side," from lurch (n.1). Meaning "walk with an uneven gait" is from 1851. Related: Lurched; lurching.ETD lurch (v.).2

    lurch (n.2)

    "predicament," 1580s, from Middle English lurch (v.) "to beat in a game of skill (often by a great many points)," mid-14c. (implied in lurching), probably literally "to make a complete victory in lorche," an old game akin to backgammon, with a name of uncertain origin. Perhaps it is related to Middle English lurken, lorken "to lie hidden, lie in ambush" (Middle English Compendium; see lurk), or it may be from Old French lourche, from Middle High German lurz "left," also "wrong" [OED]. The immediate source of the transferred use in leave in the lurch "leave suddenly and unexpectedly in an embarrassing predicament" (1590s) would be cribbage.ETD lurch (n.2).2

    lurch (n.1)

    "sudden pitch to one side," 1784, from earlier lee-larches (1765), a nautical term for "the sudden roll which a ship makes to lee-ward in a high sea, when a large wave strikes her, and bears her weather-side violently up, which depresses the other in proportion" ["Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences," London 1765]. This is perhaps from French lacher "to let go," from Latin laxus (see lax).ETD lurch (n.1).2

    lure (n.)

    early 14c., "something which allures or entices, an attraction" (a figurative use), originally the name of a device for recalling a hawk, from Anglo-French lure, Old French loirre "device used to recall hawks, lure," from Frankish *lothr or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *lothran "to call" (source also of Middle High German luoder, Middle Low German loder "lure, bait," German Luder "lure, deceit, bait;" also Old English laþian "to call, invite," German laden "invite, summon").ETD lure (n.).2

    The original lure was a bunch of feathers, arranged so as to resemble a bird, on a long cord, from which the hawk was fed during its training. Used of means of alluring other animals (especially fish) from c. 1700. Technically, bait (n.) is something the animal could eat; lure is a more general term. Also in 15c. a collective word for a group of young women (as a c. 1400 document has it, "A lure of ffaukones & damezelez").ETD lure (n.).3

    lureful (adj.)

    "enticing, attractive," 1753, from lure (n.) + -ful.ETD lureful (adj.).2

    lure (v.)

    late 14c., "attract (a hawk) by casting a lure or decoy," also of persons, "to allure, entice, tempt," from lure (n.). Related: Lured; luring; lurement.ETD lure (v.).2

    lurid (adj.)

    1650s, "pale, wan," from Latin luridus "pale yellow, ghastly, the color of bruises," a word of uncertain origin and etymology, perhaps cognate with Greek khlōros "pale green, greenish-yellow" (see Chloe), or connected to Latin lividus (see livid).ETD lurid (adj.).2

    It has more to do with the interplay of light and darkness than it does with color. It suggests a combination of light and gloom; "Said, e.g. of the sickly pallor of the skin in disease, or of the aspect of things when the sky is overcast" [OED]; "having the character of a light which does not show the colors of objects" [Century Dictionary]. Meaning "glowing in the darkness" is from 1727 ("of the color or appearance of dull smoky flames" - Century Dictionary]. In scientific use (1767) "of a dingy brown or yellowish-brown color" [OED]. The figurative sense of "sensational" is first attested 1850, via the notion of "ominous" (if from the flames sense) or "ghastly" (if from the older sense). Related: Luridly.ETD lurid (adj.).3

    lurk (v.)

    c. 1300, lurken "to hide, lie hidden," probably from Scandinavian (compare dialectal Norwegian lurka "to sneak away," dialectal Swedish lurka "to be slow in one's work"), perhaps ultimately related to Middle English luren "to frown, lurk" (see lower (v.2)). From late 14c. as "move about secretly;" also "escape observation." Related: Lurked; lurking.ETD lurk (v.).2

    lurker (n.)

    "one who keeps out of sight," early 14c., agent noun from lurk (v.). In the internet sense by 1990.ETD lurker (n.).2


    1550s, from Medieval Latin Lusatia.ETD Lusatian.2

    luscious (adj.)

    late 15c., according to The Middle English Compendium a variant of Middle English licius "delicious" (c. 1400), which is a shortening of delicious, with the variant form perhaps influenced by Old French luxure, lusure. But OED 2nd ed. and Century Dictionary are against all this and the former considers it "of obscure origin" while the latter suggests lusty with a pseudo-Latin ending. John Palsgrave, the 16c. grammarian, spelled it lussyouse. Related: Lusciously; lusciousness.ETD luscious (adj.).2

    lush (adj.)

    mid-15c., "lax, flaccid, soft, tender" (obsolete or dialectal), from Old French lasche "soft, loose, slack, negligent, cowardly," from laschier "loosen," from Late Latin laxicare "become shaky," related to Latin laxare "loosen," from laxus "loose" (from PIE root *sleg- "be slack, be languid"). The main modern sense of the word, with reference to plant life, "luxuriant in growth," is first attested c. 1600, in Shakespeare. Related: Lushly; lushness.ETD lush (adj.).2

    lush (n.)

    "drunkard," 1890, from earlier slang meaning "liquor" (1790, especially in phrase lush ken "alehouse"), of obscure origin; perhaps a humorous use of lush (adj.) or from a word in Romany or Shelta (tinkers' jargon). It also was a verb, "to drink heavily" (1811).ETD lush (n.).2

    Hence also Lushington humorous generic name for a tippler (1823). It was an actual surname.ETD lush (n.).3


    Latin name of a region roughly corresponding to modern Portugal and part of Spain; in modern use, allusive or poetic for "Portugal." The Cunard ocean liner (sister ship of the Mauretania and Aquitania, also named after Roman Atlantic coastal provinces) was launched in 1906, torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-20 on May 7, 1915. Related: Lusitanian.ETD Lusitania.2

    lusory (adj.)

    "playful," 1650s, from Latin lusorius "belonging to a player," from lusor "player," from stem of ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Related: Lusorious (1610s).ETD lusory (adj.).2

    lustful (adj.)

    Old English lustful "wishful, desirous, having an eager desire;" see lust (n.) + -ful. Specifically of immoderate sexual desire from 1570s. Related: Lustfully; lustfulness. Formerly also "vigorous" (1560s), a sense now given to lusty. Middle English also had lustsome, which was used in a sense of "voluptuous, lustful" from c. 1400, and lustly "pleasant," also "lustful." Old English had lustbære "desirable, pleasant, cheerful, joyous."ETD lustful (adj.).2

    lust (n.)

    Old English lust "desire, appetite; inclination, pleasure; sensuous appetite," from Proto-Germanic *lustuz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch lust, German Lust, Old Norse lyst, Gothic lustus "pleasure, desire, lust"), abstract noun from PIE *las- "to be eager, wanton, or unruly" (source also of Latin lascivus "wanton, playful, lustful;" see lascivious).ETD lust (n.).2

    In Middle English, "any source of pleasure or delight," also "an appetite," also "a liking for a person," also "fertility" (of soil). Specific and pejorative sense of "sinful sexual desire, degrading animal passion" (now the main meaning) developed in late Old English from the word's use in Bible translations (such as lusts of the flesh to render Latin concupiscentia carnis in I John ii:16); the cognate words in other Germanic languages tend to mean simply "pleasure." Masculine in Old English, feminine in modern German.ETD lust (n.).3

    lust (v.)

    c. 1200, "to wish, to desire eagerly," from lust (n.), absorbing or replacing the older verb, Old English lystan (see list (v.4)). In Middle English also "to please, delight." Sense of "to have an intense, especially sexual, desire (for or after)" is first attested 1520s in biblical use. Related: Lusted; lusting.ETD lust (v.).2

    luster (n.1)

    "gloss, radiance, quality of shining by reflecting light," 1520s, from French lustre "gloss, radiance" (14c.), common Romanic (cognates: Spanish and Portuguese lustre, Rumanian lustru, Italian lustro "splendor, brilliancy"), a noun ultimately from Latin lustrare "spread light over, brighten, illumine," which is related to lustrum "purification" (from PIE *leuk-stro-, suffixed form of root *leuk- "light, brightness").ETD luster (n.1).2

    Especially "quality of glossiness or radiance in a textile material or fabric." Figurative meaning "radiant beauty" is from c. 1600; that of "splendor, renown" is from 1550s. Lusterware, also lustre-ware, "stoneware or crockery having surface ornamentations in metallic colors," is attested by 1820.ETD luster (n.1).3

    luster (n.2)

    "one who feels intense longing desire," 1590s, agent noun from lust (v.).ETD luster (n.2).2

    lusterless (adj.)

    "without luster," 1796, from luster (n.1) + -less.ETD lusterless (adj.).2

    lustgarden (n.)

    1580s, translation or partial translation of German Lust-garten, Dutch lustgaard "pleasure garden;" see lust (n.) + garden (n.).ETD lustgarden (n.).2

    lusty (adj.)

    early 13c., "joyful, merry;" late 14c., "full of healthy vigor," from lust (n.) + -y (2). Used of handsome dress, fine weather, good food, pleasing language, it largely escaped the Christianization and denigration of the noun in English. The sense of "full of desire" is attested from c. 1400 but seems to have remained secondary. Related: Lustily; lustiness.ETD lusty (adj.).2

    lustily (adv.)

    early 13c., lustliche, "willingly, eagerly, readily;" see lusty + -ly (2). Meaning "with pleasure, voluptuously" is c. 1300; meaning "vigorously, energetically" is c. 1400. Sometimes 15c.-16c. with a sense "lustfully, carnally," but this now goes with lustfully.ETD lustily (adv.).2

    lustless (adj.)

    early 14c., "wanting vigor or energy," from lust (n.) + -less. From 1580s as "wanting sexual appetite."ETD lustless (adj.).2

    lustre (n.)

    "gloss, radiance," 1520s, from French lustre (see luster (n.1)), and see -re. Related: Lustreless.ETD lustre (n.).2

    lustral (adj.)

    "pertaining to purification," 1530s, from Latin lustralis "of purification," from lustrum "purification; ritual purification of the Roman people every five years" (see lustrum). Hence, also, "every five years" (1781).ETD lustral (adj.).2

    lustrate (v.)

    "purify by means of an offering," 1650s, from Latin lustratus, past participle of lustrare "purify ceremonially," from lustrum "purificatory sacrifice" (see lustrum) Related: Lustration (1610s).ETD lustrate (v.).2


    c. 1600, "reflecting light;" 1742 "giving or shedding light;" see luster (n.1) + -ous. Related: Lustrously; lustrousness.ETD lustrous.2

    lustrum (n.)

    (plural lustra), "ceremonial purification of the Roman people every five years," 1580s, from Latin lustrum "a purificatory sacrifice, ceremony of purification; five-year period," from Proto-Italic *lustro- "expiation," which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps [OED] from root of luere "to wash" (from PIE root *leue- "to wash"). Or [Watkins, Klein], based on a possible earlier meaning "illumination," from PIE *leuk-stro-, from root *leuk- "light, brightness." De Vaan prefers as most likely the explanation "that lustrum was derived from *luH- 'to set free'," with suffix *-stro- also found in monstrum, etc.ETD lustrum (n.).2

    lusus naturae (n.)

    in natural history, "freak of nature," 1660s, a Latin phrase, from lusus "a play," from stem of ludere "to play" (see ludicrous) + genitive of natura (see nature (n.)). Originally of fossils, before there was a scientific basis for understanding their existence.ETD lusus naturae (n.).2

    lute (n.)

    stringed musical instrument, late 13c., from Old French lut, leut (Modern French luth), from Old Provençal laut, a misdivision of Arabic al-'ud, the Arabian lute, literally "the wood" (source of Medieval Latin lutana, Spanish laud, Portuguese alaude, Italian liuto), where al is the definite article.ETD lute (n.).2

    Dutch luit, German Laute, Danish luth are from Romanic. A player is a luter (Middle English), a lutist (1620s) or a lutanist (c. 1600, from Medieval Latin lutanista).ETD lute (n.).3

    luteal (adj.)

    "pertaining to the corpus luteum," 1906, from Latin luteus "yellow," from lutum, the name of a weed used in dying yellow, a word of unknown origin. Luteal phase is attested by 1932.ETD luteal (adj.).2

    luteous (adj.)

    "deep orange-yellowish," 1650s, from Latin luteus "golden-yellow, orange-yellow," from lutum, the name of a weed used in dyeing yellow, a word of unknown origin.ETD luteous (adj.).2

    lute-string (n.)

    1520s, from lute (n.) + string (n.).ETD lute-string (n.).2

    Lutetian (adj.)

    archaic or humorous way to say "Parisian," from the old Gallo-Roman name of the place, Lutetia Parisorum (see Paris), literally "Parisian swamps," from Latin lutum "mud, dirt, clay" (see lutose).ETD Lutetian (adj.).2

    lutetium (n.)

    rare metallic element, 1907, from French lutécium, from Latin Lutetia, representing "Paris" (see Paris) + metallic element ending -ium.ETD lutetium (n.).2


    1520s, adjective and noun, "of or pertaining to Martin Luther or to the sect he founded, which has his name, or its doctrines," from name of German religious reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther called it the Evangelical Church. Used by Catholics 16c. in reference to all Protestants, regardless of sect. In 16c. Lutherian also was used. Related: Lutheranism (1560s).ETD Lutheran.2

    luthier (n.)

    "lute-maker," 1879, from French luthier, from luth (see lute).ETD luthier (n.).2

    lutose (adj.)

    "muddy, covered with clay," from Latin lutosus, from lutum "mud, dirt, mire, clay," from Proto-Italic *luto-, *lustro-, from PIE *l(h)u-to- "dirt," *l(h)u-(s)tro- "dirty place," from root *leu- "dirt; make dirty" (cognates: Greek lythron "gore, clotted blood," lyma "dirty water; moral filth, disgrace," lymax "rubbish, refuse," lyme "maltreatment, damage;" Latin lues "filth;" Old Irish loth "mud, dirt;" Welsh lludedic "muddy, slimy; Albanian lum "slime, mud;" Lithuanian liūtynas "loam pit").ETD lutose (adj.).2

    Hence also English lute (n.) as a type of tenacious clay or cement used to stop holes, seal joints, etc. (c. 1400), from Old French lut or Medieval Latin lutum, from the Latin noun. Lute also was a verb in English.ETD lutose (adj.).3

    lutz (n.)

    type of skating jump, 1932, from the name Alois Lutz, "an obscure Austrian skater of the 1920s" [James R. Hines, "Historical Dictionary of Figure Skating," 2011], who is said to have first performed it in 1913. The surname is from a form of Ludwig.ETD lutz (n.).2


    affectionate, dialectal, or colloquial spelling of love (noun and verb), attested from 1825.ETD luv.2

    Luvian (n.)

    1924, language of an ancient Anatolian people contemporary with the Hittites, from an old name for that region of Asia Minor.ETD Luvian (n.).2

    lux (n.)

    unit of illumination, 1889, from Latin lux "light," from PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness."ETD lux (n.).2


    "luxury, elegance," 1550s, from French luxe "luxury, sumptuousness, profusion," from Latin luxus (see luxury).ETD luxe.2

    luxation (n.)

    "dislocation of a bone or joint," 1550s, from Late Latin luxationem (nominative luxatio) "a dislocation," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin luxare "dislocate," literally "oblique," from Greek loxos "bent to the side, slanting, oblique," figuratively "ambiguous," a word of uncertain origin.ETD luxation (n.).2

    luxate (v.)

    "dislocate," 1590s, from Latin luxatus, past participle of luxare "dislocate," literally "oblique" (see luxation).ETD luxate (v.).2


    also Luxemburg, European state, from Germanic lutilla "little" + burg "fort, castle." Related: Luxembourgeois (1843); Luxembourger (1874). Hence also lushburg (mid-14c.), Middle English word for "a base coin made in imitation of the sterling or silver penny and imported from Luxemburg in the reign of Edward III" [OED].ETD Luxembourg.2


    place in Egypt, from a misdivision of Arabic al-uqsur, plural of al-qasr, which is from an Arabicized form of Latin castrum "fortified camp" (see castle (n.)). Remains of Roman camps are nearby.ETD Luxor.2

    luxuriant (adj.)

    "exuberant in growth or quantity," 1530s, from French luxuriant and directly from Latin luxuriantem (nominative luxurians), present participle of luxuriare "have to excess, grow profusely" (see luxuriate). Related: Luxuriantly.ETD luxuriant (adj.).2

    luxury (n.)

    c. 1300, "sexual intercourse;" mid-14c., "lasciviousness, sinful self-indulgence;" late 14c., "sensual pleasure," from Old French luxurie "debauchery, dissoluteness, lust" (12c., Modern French luxure), from Latin luxuria "excess, extravagant living, profusion; delicacy" (source also of Spanish lujuria, Italian lussuria), from luxus "excess, extravagance; magnificence," probably a figurative use of luxus (adj.) "dislocated," which is related to luctari "wrestle, strain" (see reluctance).ETD luxury (n.).2

    The English word lost its pejorative taint 17c. Meaning "habit of indulgence in what is choice or costly" is from 1630s; that of "sumptuous surroundings" is from 1704; that of "something choice or comfortable beyond life's necessities" is from 1780. Used as an adjective from 1916.ETD luxury (n.).3

    luxurious (adj.)

    c. 1300, "lascivious, lecherous, unchaste," from Old French luxurios "lustful, lascivious" (Modern French luxurieux), from Latin luxuriosus "immoderate, excessive; voluptuous; profuse," from luxuria "excess, profusion; extravagant living" (see luxury). Meaning "given to luxury, voluptuous" (of persons) is from c. 1600. Of things, "characterized by luxury," from 1640s. Related: Luxuriously; luxuriousness.ETD luxurious (adj.).2

    luxuriate (v.)

    1620s, "grow exuberantly or in abundance," also "indulge in luxury," from Latin luxuriatus, past participle of luxuriare "have to excess," figuratively "run riot, be dissolute, indulge to excess," from luxuria "excess, rankness, luxuriance" (see luxury). Related: Luxuriated; luxuriating.ETD luxuriate (v.).2

    luxuriance (n.)

    "abundant or vigorous growth or quantity," 1650s; see luxuriant + -ance. Related: Luxuriancy (1640s).ETD luxuriance (n.).2

    LXX (n.)

    Roman numerals for "seventy," hence "Septuagint" (q.v.).ETD LXX (n.).2

    -ly (1)

    suffix forming adjectives from nouns and meaning "having qualities of, of the form or nature of" (manly, lordly), "appropriate to, fitting, suited to" (bodily, earthly, daily); irregularly descended from Old English -lic, from Proto-Germanic *-liko- (Old Frisian -lik, Dutch -lijk, Old High German -lih, German -lich, Old Norse -ligr), related to *likom- "appearance, form" (Old English lich "corpse, body;" see lich, which is a cognate; see also like (adj.), with which it is identical).ETD -ly (1).2

    lying (adj.1)

    "being prostrate," late Old English, present-participle adjective from lie (v.2) "to recline."ETD lying (adj.1).2

    lying (adj.2)

    "untruthful," early 13c., present-participle adjective from lie (v.1) "to tell an untruth." Related: Lyingly.ETD lying (adj.2).2

    lying (n.1)

    "reclining," early 13c., verbal noun from lie (v.2) "to recline." Lying-in "a being in childbed" is attested from mid-15c.ETD lying (n.1).2

    -ly (2)

    common adverbial suffix, forming, from adjectives, adverbs signifying "in a manner denoted by" the adjective; Middle English -li, from Old English -lice, from Proto-Germanic *-liko- (source also of Old Frisian -like, Old Saxon -liko, Dutch -lijk, Old High German -licho, German -lich, Old Norse -liga, Gothic -leiko). See -ly (1). It is cognate with lich, and identical with like (adj.).ETD -ly (2).2

    Weekley notes as "curious" that Germanic uses a word essentially meaning "body" for the adverbial formation, while Romanic uses one meaning "mind" (as in French constamment from Latin constanti mente). The modern English form emerged in late Middle English, probably from influence of Old Norse -liga.ETD -ly (2).3

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