Larger font
Smaller font
Etymology dictionary - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    minute (n.) — miserably (adv.)

    minute (n.)

    "sixtieth part of an hour or degree of a circle," late 14c., from Old French minut (13c.) or directly from Medieval Latin minuta "minute of time; short note," from Latin minuta "a small portion or piece," noun use of fem. of minutus "little, small, minute," past participle of minuere "to lessen, diminish" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small").ETD minute (n.).2

    In Medieval Latin, pars minuta prima "first small part" was used by mathematician Ptolemy for one-sixtieth of a circle, later one-sixtieth of an hour (next in order was secunda minuta, which became second (n.)). German Minute, Dutch minuut also are from French. Used vaguely for "short time" from late 14c. As a measure expressing distance (travel time) by 1886. Minute hand "hand which indicates the minutes on a clock or watch" is attested from 1726. Minute-jumper (1890) was the name for the kind of electric clock on which the hands move only at the end of each minute.ETD minute (n.).3

    minute (adj.)

    mid-15c., "chopped small," from Latin minutus "little, small, minute," past participle of minuere "to lessen, diminish" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small"). Meaning "very small in size or degree, diminutive or limited, petty" is attested from late 15c. That of "particular, closely precise or exact" is from 1680s. Related: Minutely; minuteness.ETD minute (adj.).2

    minutes (n.)

    "written record of proceedings at a meeting of a corporation, society, etc., made by its secretary or other recording officer," c. 1710, plural of minute "summary or draft of a document or letter," which is is attested from mid-15c. Perhaps from Latin minuta scriptura "rough notes," literally "small writing" (see minute (adj.)), on the notion of "a rough copy in small writing."ETD minutes (n.).2

    minuteman (n.)

    also minute-man, in U.S. history, one of a class of militia who held themselves in readiness for immediate service in arms (i.e. ready "at a minute's notice" or "in a matter of minutes"), 1774, from minute (n.) + man (n.). As the name of a type of ICBM, from 1961, so called because they could be launched with very little preparation.ETD minuteman (n.).2

    minutia (n.)

    "a small particular or detail, a trivial fact," 1751, usually in plural minutiae, from Latin minutia "smallness" (plural minutiae, in Late Latin "trifles"), from minutus "small" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small").ETD minutia (n.).2

    minx (n.)

    1540s, mynx "pet dog," later (1590s) "a young, pert, wanton girl" [Johnson], also "a lewd woman," a word of uncertain origin, perhaps a shortening of minikin "girl, woman," from Middle Dutch minnekijn "darling, beloved," from minne "love" (see minnesinger) + diminutive suffix -kijn (see -kin). Klein's sources suggest the word is from Low German minsk "a man," also "an impudent woman," related to German Mensch (see mensch), which in vulgar use also has a sense of "wench, hussy, slut."ETD minx (n.).2

    Miocene (adj.)

    "pertaining to the geological period between the Oligocene and Pliocene," 1831, irregular formation from Greek meion "less" (from PIE root *mei- (2) "small") + -cene "new, recent." The intention is "the middle division of the Tertiary period."ETD Miocene (adj.).2

    miosis (n.)

    "contraction of the pupil of the eye," 1819, from Greek myein "to shut (the eyes)" + -osis. Greek myein is perhaps originally "to close the lips," from PIE *meue- "to be silent" (see mute (adj.)). Related: Miotic.ETD miosis (n.).2


    1877, "a Russian commune or village," also (with capital M-) the name of a late 20c. space station, Russian, literally "peace, world," also "village, community," from Old Church Slavonic miru "peace," from Proto-Slavic *miru "commune, joy, peace" ("possibly borrowed from Iranian" [Watkins]), from PIE root *mei- (4) "to bind, tie" (see mitre). Old Church Slavonic miru was "used in Christian terminology as a collective 'community of peace' " [Buck], translating Greek kosmos. Hence, "the known world, mankind."ETD mir.2

    mirabile dictu (interj.)

    Latin, literally "wonderful to relate," from neuter of mirabilis "wonderful, marvelous, extraordinary; strange, singular" (see marvel (n.)) + ablative supine of dicere "to say, speak" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly"). The expression is found in Virgil. Mirable "wonderful, marvelous" was used in English 15c.ETD mirabile dictu (interj.).2

    miracle (n.)

    mid-12c., "a wondrous work of God," from Old French miracle (11c.) "miracle, story of a miracle, miracle play," from Latin miraculum "object of wonder" (in Church Latin, "marvelous event caused by God"), from mirari "to wonder at, marvel, be astonished," figuratively "to regard, esteem," from mirus "wonderful, astonishing, amazing," earlier *smeiros, from PIE *smei- "to smile, laugh" (source also of Sanskrit smerah "smiling," Greek meidan "to smile," Old Church Slavonic smejo "to laugh;" see smile (v.)). The Latin word is the source of Spanish milagro, Italian miracolo.ETD miracle (n.).2

    From mid-13c. as "something that excites wonder or astonishment, extraordinary or remarkable feat," without regard to divinity or supernatural power. It replaced Old English wundortacen, wundorweorc. The Greek words rendered as miracle in the English bibles were semeion "sign," teras "wonder," and dynamis "power," which in the Vulgate were translated respectively as signum, prodigium, and virtus.ETD miracle (n.).3

    Miracle-drug is by 1939 (in reference to sulfanilamide). Miracle-worker "a thaumaturge" is from 1560s (Middle English had mircleour, early 15c.). Miracle-play "medieval dramatic representation of the life of Christ or a saint or other sacred subjects" is by 1744 (miraclis pleynge is from c. 1400). The condiment Miracle Whip was introduced 1933 by Kraft Foods; apparently the name was first given to the patented machine that made it.ETD miracle (n.).4

    miraculous (adj.)

    "exceedingly surprising or wonderful; of the nature of a miracle," mid-15c., from Old French miraculos (Modern French miraculeux), from Medieval Latin miraculosus, from Latin miraculum "miracle, marvel, wonder" (see miracle). Related: Miraculously (early 15c.); miraculousness.ETD miraculous (adj.).2

    mirage (n.)

    "optical illusion of objects reflected in a sheet of water in hot, sandy deserts," 1800, in translations of French works, from French mirage (1753), from se mirer "to be reflected," from Latin mirare (see mirror (n.)). Or the French word is from Latin mirus "wonderful" (see miracle). The similarity to Arabic mi'raj has been noted, but the usual sense of that word is "ladder, stairs; climb, ascent," and the resemblance appears to be coincidental. The standard Arabic for "a desert mirage" is sarāb. The figurative sense of "deceptiveness of appearance, a delusive seeming" is by 1812. The phenomenon is produced by excessive bending of light rays through layers of air of different densities, producing distorted, displaced, or inverted images.ETD mirage (n.).2

    Miranda (1)

    fem. proper name, fem. of Latin mirandus "worthy to be admired," gerundive of mirari "to admire" (see miracle).ETD Miranda (1).2

    Miranda (2)

    in reference to criminal suspects' arrest rights in U.S., 1967, from the name of rape and robbery suspect Ernesto Miranda (1941-1976) and his Fifth Amendment cases, ruled on by U.S. Supreme Court June 13, 1966, under the heading Ernesto A. Miranda v. the State of Arizona.ETD Miranda (2).2

    mire (v.)

    c. 1400, in figurative sense of "to involve in difficulties," from mire (n.). Literal sense of "to plunge or fix in mire, sink or stall in mud" is from 1550s; that of "to cover in mud or filth" is from c. 1500. Related: Mired; miring.ETD mire (v.).2

    mire (n.)

    "deep mud, bog, marsh, swampland," c. 1300, from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse myrr "bog, swamp," from Proto-Germanic *miuzja- (source of Old English mos "bog, marsh"), from PIE *meus- "damp" (see moss).ETD mire (n.).2

    mirepoix (n.)

    in cookery, a mixture of diced vegetables, 1815, from French, evidently named for Charles Pierre Gaston François, duc de Mirepoix (1699-1757), French diplomat. The concoction supposedly was created by his head chef and named in his honor during the reign of Louis XV, one of the grand epochs of French cookery, when it was the style of the aristocracy to have dishes named in their honor.ETD mirepoix (n.).2

    miry (adj.)

    "abounding with mud, swampy, boggy," late 14c., from mire (n.) + -y (2). Related: Miriness.ETD miry (adj.).2


    fem. proper name, biblical sister of Moses and Aaron (Exodus xv.20), from Hebrew Miryam (see Mary).ETD Miriam.2

    mirror (n.)

    mid-13c., mirour, "polished surface (of metal, coated glass, etc.) used to reflect images of objects," especially the face of a person, from Old French mireoir "a reflecting glass, looking glass; observation, model, example," earlier miradoir (11c.), from mirer "look at" (oneself in a mirror), "observe, watch, contemplate," from Vulgar Latin *mirare "to look at," variant of Latin mirari "to wonder at, admire" (see miracle).ETD mirror (n.).2

    The Spanish cognate, mirador (from mirar "to look, look at, behold"), has come to mean "watch tower, gallery commanding an extensive view." Latin speculum "mirror" (or its Medieval Latin variant speglum) is the source of words for "mirror" in neighboring languages: Italian specchio, Spanish espejo, Old High German spiegal, German Spiegel, Dutch spiegel, Danish spejl, Swedish spegel. An ancient Germanic group of words for "mirror" is represented by Gothic skuggwa, Old Norse skuggsja, Old High German scucar, which are related to Old English scua "shade, shadow."ETD mirror (n.).3

    Figurative use, "that in or by which anything is shown or exemplified," hence "a model (of good or virtuous conduct)" is attested from c. 1300. Mirrors have been used in divination since classical and biblical times, and according to folklorists, in modern England they are the subject of at least 14 known superstitions. Belief that breaking one brings bad luck is attested from 1777. Mirror image "something identical to another but having right and left reversed" is by 1864. Mirror ball attested from 1968. To look in (the) mirror in the figurative sense of "examine oneself" is by early 15c.ETD mirror (n.).4

    mirror (v.)

    "to reflect," 1590s, from mirror (n.). Related: Mirrored; mirroring. The Middle English verb mirouren (early 15c.) meant "to be a model" (for conduct, behavior, etc.), while miren (mid-14c., from Old French mirer) meant "to look in a mirror."ETD mirror (v.).2

    mirth (n.)

    Old English myrgð "joy, pleasure, eternal bliss, salvation" (original senses now obsolete), from Proto-Germanic *murgitha (source also of Middle Dutch merchte), noun of quality from *murgjo- (see merry; also see -th (2)). By early 13c. as "expressions or manifestations of happiness, rejoicing;" by mid-14c. as "state or feeling of merriment, jollity, hilarity." Mirthquake "entertainment that excites convulsive laughter" first attested 1928, in reference to Harold Lloyd movies.ETD mirth (n.).2

    mirthful (adj.)

    early 14c., "delightful," from mirth + -ful. Related: Mirthfully; mirthfulness.ETD mirthful (adj.).2

    mirthless (adj.)

    "joyless, without mirth, unhappy," late 14c., from mirth + -less. Related: Mirthlessly.ETD mirthless (adj.).2

    miryachit (n.)

    "nervous disorder peculiar to Siberia, in which the patient mimics everything said or done by another," also often characterized by obscene speech, 1884, from Russian, said to mean literally "to be epileptic." Early writings on it compared it to the latah of South Asia and Malaysia and the Jumpers of Maine.ETD miryachit (n.).2

    misadventure (n.)

    "an unfortunate experience, a bad experience, ill-luck, calamity," c. 1300, misaventure, from Old French mesaventure (12c.) "accident, mishap," from mesavenir "to turn out badly;" see mis- (2) + adventure (n.) in the older sense of "that which happens by chance, fortune, luck." The spelling with -d- became regular after c. 1600.ETD misadventure (n.).2

    misalignment (n.)

    "faulty or wrong alignment," 1891, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + alignment.ETD misalignment (n.).2

    misaligned (adj.)

    "faulty or incorrect arrangement in line," 1903, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + past participle of align.ETD misaligned (adj.).2

    misalliance (n.)

    "marriage with a person of lower social position," 1738, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + alliance. Compare mesalliance.ETD misalliance (n.).2

    misandry (n.)

    "hatred of males," 1878, from miso- "hatred" + andros "of man, male," genitive of anēr "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"). Related: Misandrist.ETD misandry (n.).2

    misanthrope (n.)

    "one who hates humankind, one who distrusts human character or motives," 1560s, from Greek misanthrōpos "hating mankind," from misein "to hate" (see miso-) + anthrōpos "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"). Alternative form misanthropist is attested from 1650s.ETD misanthrope (n.).2

    misanthropic (adj.)

    "having the character of a misanthrope, hating mankind as a race," 1739, from misanthrope + -ic. Earlier was misanthropical (1620s).ETD misanthropic (adj.).2

    misanthropy (n.)

    "hatred or dislike of mankind, the habit of taking the worst possible view of human character and motives," 1650s, from Greek misanthrōpia "hatred of mankind," from misanthrōpos "hating mankind" (see misanthrope).ETD misanthropy (n.).2

    misapplication (n.)

    "a wrong or false application," c. 1600; see mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + application.ETD misapplication (n.).2

    misapply (v.)

    "make an erroneous application of," 1570s, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + apply. Related: Misapplied; misapplying.ETD misapply (v.).2

    misapprehend (v.)

    "misunderstand, take in a wrong sense," 1640s, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + apprehend "take hold of, grasp" physically or mentally. Related: Misapprehended; misapprehending.ETD misapprehend (v.).2

    misapprehension (n.)

    "a mistaking, wrong apprehension of (someone's) meaning or a fact," 1620s; from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + apprehension. Related: Misapprehensive.ETD misapprehension (n.).2

    misappropriation (n.)

    "application to a wrong use," 1746; from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + appropriation.ETD misappropriation (n.).2

    misappropriate (v.)

    "put to wrong use," 1803, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + appropriate (v.). Related: Misappropriated; misappropriating.ETD misappropriate (v.).2

    misascription (n.)

    also mis-ascription, "a false or erroneous attribution of authorship or origin," by 1876, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + ascription. Related: Misascribe; misascribed.ETD misascription (n.).2

    misattribution (n.)

    "attribution (of a work of art or literature) to the wrong person," 1865, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + attribution. Related: Misattribute; misattributed; misattributing.ETD misattribution (n.).2

    misbecome (v.)

    "suit ill, be unfitting," 1520s, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + become.ETD misbecome (v.).2

    misbefall (v.)

    mid-13c., of events, "to turn out badly;" early 15c., of persons, "suffer harm, come to grief;" from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + befall. Related: Misbefell; misbefalling.ETD misbefall (v.).2

    misbegotten (adj.)

    "bastard, illegitimate, unlawfully or irregularly begotten," 1550s, past-participle adjective from obsolete misbeget "beget wrongly or unlawfully" (c. 1300), from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + beget. "Used as a general epithet of opprobrium" [Century Dictionary].ETD misbegotten (adj.).2

    misbehave (v.)

    "conduct oneself improperly or indecorously," late 15c.; see mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + behave. Related: Misbehaved; misbehaving.ETD misbehave (v.).2

    misbehavior (n.)

    also misbehaviour, "improper, rude, or uncivil behavior," late 15c., from mis- (1) + behavior.ETD misbehavior (n.).2

    misbelief (n.)

    "heresy, erroneous or unorthodox religious belief," early 13c., from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + belief. Related: Misbelieve; misbelieving; misbeliever.ETD misbelief (n.).2

    misbetide (v.)

    "have bad fortune, experience defeat," c. 1400, from mis- (1) + betide. Now obsolete.ETD misbetide (v.).2

    misborn (adj.)

    "abortive, premature, mis-shapen from birth," late Old English misboren "abortive, degenerate," from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + born. From 1580s as "born of an unlawful union."ETD misborn (adj.).2

    miscall (v.)

    "call by a wrong name, name improperly," mid-15c., from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + call (v.). Related: Miscalled; miscalling.ETD miscall (v.).2

    miscalculation (n.)

    "erroneous calculation or estimate," 1720, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + calculation.ETD miscalculation (n.).2

    miscalculate (v.)

    "make a wrong estimate of," 1705; from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + calculate. Related: Miscalculated; miscalculating.ETD miscalculate (v.).2

    miscarry (v.)

    c. 1300, "go astray;" mid-14c., "come to harm; come to naught, perish;" of persons, "to die," of objects, "to be lost or destroyed," from mis- (1) "wrongly" + caryen "to carry" (see carry (v.)). Meaning "deliver an unviable fetus" is recorded from 1520s (compare abortion); that of "fail to reach the intended result, come to naught" (of plans or designs) is from c. 1600. Related: Miscarried; miscarrying.ETD miscarry (v.).2

    miscarriage (n.)

    1580s, "mistake, error, a going wrong;" 1610s, "misbehavior, wrong or perverse course of conduct;" see miscarry + -age. In pathology, the meaning "untimely delivery" is from 1660s, on the notion of "fail to reach the intended result." Miscarriage of justice is from 1875, from the "going wrong" sense.ETD miscarriage (n.).2

    miscast (v.)

    late 14c., "to cast (a glance, an 'eye') with evil intent" see mis- (1) + cast (v.). Meaning "to reckon erroneously" is from 1590s. Theatrical sense of "to place an actor in an unsuitable roll" is recorded from 1927. Related: Miscasting.ETD miscast (v.).2

    miscegenate (v.)

    "to mix races," originally and especially to breeding between black and white, 1863 (Croly); see miscegenation. Related: Miscegenated; miscegenating.ETD miscegenate (v.).2

    miscegenation (n.)

    "interbreeding of races," applied originally and especially to sexual union between black and white individuals, 1863, coined irregularly by U.S. journalist David Goodman Croly from Latin miscere "to mix" (from PIE root *meik- "to mix") + genus "race," from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups. It first appeared in "Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro," a pretended anti-Abolitionist pamphlet Croly and others published anonymously in advance of the 1864 U.S. presidential election. The old word was amalgamation.ETD miscegenation (n.).2

    miscellaneous (adj.)

    "consisting of a mixture, diversified," 1630s, from Latin miscellaneus "mixed, miscellaneous," from miscellus "mixed," from miscere "to mix" (from PIE root *meik- "to mix"). Related: Miscellaneously; miscellaneousness.ETD miscellaneous (adj.).2

    miscellany (n.)

    "a mixture of various kinds; a medley; a combination of diverse objects, parts, or elements," 1590s, from Latin miscellanea "a writing on miscellaneous subjects," originally "meat hash, hodge-podge" (food for gladiators), neuter plural of miscellaneus "mixed," from miscere "to mix" (from PIE root *meik- "to mix"). From 1610s as "a diversified literary collection;" 1630s as "a book containing compositions on various subjects" (miscellanea in this sense is from 1570s).ETD miscellany (n.).2

    mischance (v.)

    "to happen wrongly or unfortunately," 1540s, from mis- (1) + chance (v.). Related: Mischanced; mischancing.ETD mischance (v.).2

    mischance (n.)

    "mishap, ill-luck, disaster," c. 1300, from Old French mescheance "misfortune, mishap, accident; wickedness, malice," from Vulgar Latin *minuscadentiam; see mis- (2) + chance (n.). Now usually "bad luck;" formerly much stronger: "calamity, disaster, affliction."ETD mischance (n.).2

    mischaracterize (v.)

    also mischaracterise, "impute a wrong character to," by 1798, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + characterize. Related: Mischaracterized; mischaracterizing; mischaracterization.ETD mischaracterize (v.).2

    mischief (n.)

    c. 1300, "evil condition, misfortune; hardship, need, want; wickedness, wrongdoing, evil," from Old French meschief "misfortune, harm, trouble; annoyance, vexation" (12c., Modern French méchef), verbal noun from meschever "come or bring to grief, be unfortunate" (opposite of achieve), from mes- "badly" (see mis- (2)) + chever "happen, come to a head," from Vulgar Latin *capare "head," from Latin caput "head" (from PIE root *kaput- "head").ETD mischief (n.).2

    Meaning "harm or evil considered as the work of some agent or due to some cause" is from late 15c. Sense of "playful malice" is recorded by 1784. The meaning has softened with time; in Middle English to be full of mischief was to be miserable; to make mischief was "to result in misery."ETD mischief (n.).3

    Mischief Night in 19c. England was the eve of May Day and of Nov. 5, both major holidays, and perhaps the original point was pilfering for the next day's celebration and bonfire; but in Yorkshire, Scotland, and Ireland the night was Halloween. The useful Middle English verb mischieve (early 14c.), used by Skelton and Gavin Douglas, has, for some reason, fallen from currency.ETD mischief (n.).4

    mischievous (adj.)

    early 14c., "unfortunate, disastrous, miserably, wretchedly," probably from mischief + -ous. The sense of "playfully malicious or annoying" is attested by 1670s. "The stressing on the second syllable was common in literature till about 1700; it is now dialectal, vulgar, and jocular" [OED]. Related: Mischievously; mischievousness.ETD mischievous (adj.).2

    mischoose (v.)

    "to choose wrongly," mid-13c., from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + choose. Related: Mischoosing; mischosen.ETD mischoose (v.).2

    miscible (adj.)

    "capable of being mixed," 1560s, from Medieval Latin miscibilis "mixable," from Latin miscere "to mix" (from PIE root *meik- "to mix"). Related: Miscibility.ETD miscible (adj.).2

    miscommunication (n.)

    "faulty or erroneous communication," by 1959, from mis- (1) + communication. Related: Miscommunicate; miscommunicated.ETD miscommunication (n.).2

    misconceive (v.)

    late 14c., "to have a wrong notion of, misunderstand," from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + conceive. Related: Misconceived; misconceiving.ETD misconceive (v.).2

    misconception (n.)

    "a false opinion, erroneous conception," 1660s, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + conception. Middle English had misconceit (n.). Related: Misconceptions.ETD misconception (n.).2

    misconduct (v.)

    "mismanage, conduct amiss," 1707 (implied in misconducted), from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + conduct (v.). Related: Misconducting.ETD misconduct (v.).2

    misconduct (n.)

    1710, "bad management, neglect;" see mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + conduct (n.). Meaning "wrong conduct" is attested from 1729.ETD misconduct (n.).2

    misconstrue (v.)

    late 14c., "interpret erroneously, to put a wrong construction on" (words or deeds), from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + construe. Related: Misconstrued; misconstruing.ETD misconstrue (v.).2

    misconstruction (n.)

    "act of misconstruing, wrong interpretation," 1510s, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + construction. Compare misconstrue.ETD misconstruction (n.).2

    miscopy (v.)

    "copy wrongly or inaccurately," by 1737, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + copy (v.). Related: Miscopied; miscopying.ETD miscopy (v.).2

    miscounsel (v.)

    late 14c., miscounceilen, "counsel or advise falsely," from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + counsel (v.); or else from Old French mesconseillier "counsel badly," from mes- (see mis- (2)). Related: Miscounseled; miscounseling.ETD miscounsel (v.).2

    miscount (v.)

    late 14c., "to count erroneously," also "to misjudge, deceive oneself," from Old French mesconter "give a false statement; miscalculate, be wrong in reckoning" (Modern French mécompter), from mes- "badly, wrongly" (see mis- (2)) + conter (see count (v.)). Related: Miscounted; miscounting.ETD miscount (v.).2

    miscount (n.)

    "an erroneous counting or numbering," 1580s, from mis- (1) + count (n.2).ETD miscount (n.).2

    miscreant (adj.)

    c. 1300, "non-Christian, misbelieving, pagan, infidel;" early 15c., "heretical, unbelieving," from Old French mescreant "disbelieving" (Modern French mécréant), from mes- "wrongly" (see mis- (2)) + creant, present participle of creire "believe," from Latin credere "to believe" (see credo). Meaning "villainous, vile, detestable" is from 1590s. Related: Miscreance; miscreancy.ETD miscreant (adj.).2

    miscreant (n.)

    late 14c., "a heathen, a Saracen, a pagan, an unbeliever, a non-Christian," from miscreant (adj.) or from Old French mescreant, which had also a noun sense of "infidel, pagan, heretic." Sense of "villain, vile wretch, scoundrel" is first recorded 1590 in Spenser.ETD miscreant (n.).2

    miscredit (v.)

    "give no credit or belief to, disbelieve," 1550s, from mis- (1) + credit (v.). Related: Miscredited; miscrediting.ETD miscredit (v.).2

    miscue (n.)

    by 1873, in billiards, "failure to strike the ball properly with the cue; accidental slip of the cue at the moment of making a stroke, causing the tip to glance off the ball," from mis- (1) or perhaps miss (v.) + cue (n.2) in the billiards sense. General sense is attested by 1883.ETD miscue (n.).2

    misdate (v.)

    "give a false or wrong date to, date erroneously," 1580s, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + date (v.1). Related: Misdated; misdating. As a noun by 1832.ETD misdate (v.).2

    misdeed (n.)

    Old English misdæd (West Saxon), misded (Anglian, Kentish) "a wicked action, evil deed, sin," a common Germanic compound (compare Old Saxon misdad, Old Frisian misdede, Middle Dutch misdaet, Old High German mistat, German Missetat, Gothic missadeþs); see mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + deed (n.). The oldest surviving English noun in mis- (1).ETD misdeed (n.).2

    misdeal (v.)

    also mis-deal, 1746, "to make an incorrect distribution in dealing (cards);" from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + deal (v.). The noun, "a wrong deal in cards, a deal in which the players do not all receive the proper number of cards in the proper order," is attested from 1793. The original verbal sense (late 15c.) was "to distribute unfairly." Related: Misdealt; misdealing.ETD misdeal (v.).2

    misdeem (v.)

    "form an unfavorable judgment of; have a wrong opinion of," late 14c., from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + deem (v.). Related: Misdeemed.ETD misdeem (v.).2

    misdemeanor (n.)

    also misdemeanour, late 15c., "ill-behavior, evil conduct, fault," but almost always used in the legal sense of "an indictable offense of less grave nature than a felony;" from mis- (1) "wrong" + Middle English demenure "conduct, management" (see demeanor). Related: Misdemeanors; misdemeanours. Misdemean "behave ill, conduct (oneself) improperly" is from French (and from mis- (2)), but it is attested only from 1560s and is too late to be the source of this word.ETD misdemeanor (n.).2

    misdiagnose (v.)

    "make a wrong diagnosis," 1897, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + diagnose. Related: Misdiagnosed; misdiagnosing.ETD misdiagnose (v.).2

    misdiagnosis (n.)

    "a wrong diagnosis," 1880, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + diagnosis.ETD misdiagnosis (n.).2

    misdial (v.)

    "to mistakenly dial a wrong number on a telephone," by 1959; see mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + dial (v.). Related: Misdialed; misdialing.ETD misdial (v.).2

    misdirect (v.)

    "give erroneous information or instruction to, give a wrong course of direction to," c. 1600, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + direct (v.). Related: Misdirected; misdirecting.ETD misdirect (v.).2

    misdirection (n.)

    1736, "wrong direction, erroneous guidance," from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + direction. Meaning "action of a conjurer, thief, etc. to distract someone" is from 1943.ETD misdirection (n.).2

    misdivision (n.)

    "a wrong or faulty division," 1835, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + division. Or perhaps a back-formation from misdivide, which is attested by 1827. Related: Misdivided; misdividing. For examples of the thing, see N.ETD misdivision (n.).2

    misdo (v.)

    Old English misdon, "to do evil or wrong, transgress, err" (senses now obsolete), common Germanic compound (compare Old Frisian misdua, Middle Dutch misdoen, Old High German missituon, German misstun); see mis- (1) + do (v.). Meaning "to do (work, etc.) improperly" is from 1840. Related: Misdoer; misdone; misdoing.ETD misdo (v.).2

    misdoing (n.)

    "a wrong done, a fault or crime," early 13c., verbal noun from misdo.ETD misdoing (n.).2

    misdoubt (v.)

    1530s, "to have doubts (of the reality of), to suspect, to regard (the truth or reality of) with suspicion," from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + doubt (v.). Meaning "to fear or suspect (the existence of something evil) is from 1560s. Intransitive sense of "entertain doubt" is from 1630s. Related: Misdoubted; misdoubting. As a noun, "irresolution," 1590s.ETD misdoubt (v.).2

    miseducation (n.)

    "wrong or faulty education," 1620s, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + education.ETD miseducation (n.).2

    miseducate (v.)

    "educate wrongly," 1790, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + educate (v.). Related: Miseducated; miseducating.ETD miseducate (v.).2

    mise en scene

    "the entire scenery and properties of a stage play," 1830, from French mise en scène, literally "setting on the stage," from mise (13c.) "a putting, placing," noun use of fem. past participle of mettre "to put, place," from Latin mittere "to send" (see mission). Hence, figuratively, "the surroundings of an event" (1872).ETD mise en scene.2

    misemployment (n.)

    "misapplication, misuse," 1590s, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + employment.ETD misemployment (n.).2

    miserably (adv.)

    "in a miserable manner, pitiably, deplorable," early 15c.; see miserable + -ly (2).ETD miserably (adv.).2

    Larger font
    Smaller font