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    Moses — mouthful (n.)


    masc. proper name, name of the Hebrew prophet and lawgiver, Middle English Moises, from Latin, from Greek Mouses, from Hebrew Mosheh, which is of unknown origin.ETD Moses.2

    As an expletive or oath, Oh, Moses, 1840; Holy Moses is attested by 1877.ETD Moses.3

    mosey (v.)

    1829, "move off or away, get out," American English slang, of unknown origin, perhaps related to British dialectal mose about "go around in a dull, stupid way." Or perhaps from some abbreviation of Spanish vamos (see vamoose). Related: Moseyed; moseying.ETD mosey (v.).2


    river in Western Europe, Latin Mosella, literally "Little Meuse," in reference to the longer River Meuse (Latin Mosa), into which it flows. From 1680s as "wine from the valley of the Moselle."ETD Moselle.2

    mosh (v.)

    "to dance (with a certain amount of violence) to metal music in a tightly packed arena," 1987, perhaps a variant of mash. Related: Mosh pit.ETD mosh (v.).2


    see Muslim.ETD Moslem.2

    mosque (n.)

    "Islamic place of worship and the ecclesiastical organization connected with it," 1717, earlier moseak (c. 1400), also mosquee (16c.), probably in part from French mosquée, from Italian moschea, earlier moscheta, from Spanish mesquita (modern mezquita), from Arabic masjid "temple, place of worship," from sajada "he worshipped" + prefix ma- denoting "place." Mangled in Middle English as muskey, moseache, etc.ETD mosque (n.).2

    mosquito (n.)

    name given to gnat-like insects the females of which bite animals and draw blood through a piercing and sucking proboscis, 1580s, from Spanish mosquito "little gnat," diminutive of mosca "fly," from Latin musca "fly," from PIE root *mu- "gnat, fly" (compare Sanskrit maksa-, Greek myia, Old English mycg, Modern English midge, Old Church Slavonic mucha), perhaps imitative of the sound of humming insects. Related: Mosquital. Mosquito-hawk as a name for a kind of dragon-fly which preys on mosquitoes is from 1737. Mosquito-net "gauze or other fabric used as a screen against mosquitoes" is from 1745.ETD mosquito (n.).2

    moss (n.)

    the meanings "mass of small, cryptogamous, herbaceous plants growing together" and "bog, peat-bog" are the same word: Old English meos "moss plant" and mos "bog;" both are from Proto-Germanic *musan (source also of Old High German mios, Danish mos, German Moos), also in part from Old Norse mosi "moss, bog," and Medieval Latin mossa "moss," from the same Germanic source.ETD moss (n.).2

    These are from PIE *meus- "damp," with derivatives referring to swamps and swamp vegetation (source also of Latin muscus "moss," Lithuanian mūsai "mold, mildew," Old Church Slavonic muchu "moss"). The Germanic languages have the word in both senses, which is natural because moss is the characteristic plant of boggy places. It is impossible to say which sense is original. The proverb that a rolling stone gathers no moss is suggested from 14c.:ETD moss (n.).3

    Moss-agate "agate stone with moss-like dendrite forms (caused by metallic oxides)" is from 1790. Scott (1805) revived 17c. moss-trooper "freebooter infesting Scottish border marshes" (compare bog-trotter).ETD moss (n.).4

    mossback (n.)

    "extreme conservative, one attached to antiquated notions," 1874, American English, used especially of poor rural whites; earlier (1872) in reference to those from the Carolinas who had hid out to avoid service in the Confederate army (and would have stayed out "till the moss grew on their backs"); from moss + back (n.). The same image is behind the use of the word in angling for "a large old bass or other fish" (by 1889).ETD mossback (n.).2

    mossy (adj.)

    early 15c., "like moss, downy, velvety, or hairy;" 1560s, "overgrown with moss," from moss + -y (2).ETD mossy (adj.).2

    most (adj.)

    Old English mast "greatest in number, amount, or extent; largest," earlier mæst, from Proto-Germanic *maistaz (source also of Old Saxon mest, Old Frisian mast, Old Norse mestr, Dutch meest, German meist, Gothic maists "most"), superlative form of Proto-Germanic *maiz, root of Old English ma, mara (see more). Used in Old English as superlative of micel "great, large" (see mickle), hence, in later use, superlative of much. The vowel has been influenced by more.ETD most (adj.).2

    Original sense of "greatest" survives in phrase for the most part (mid-14c.; late Old English had þa mæste dæl). Slang the most meaning "the best, extremely good" is attested from 1953. Also used as an adverb in Old English and in late Old English as a noun, "the greatest or greater number." The sense of "greatest value or advantage" in the phrase make the most of (something) is by 1520s. Related: Mostly.ETD most (adj.).3

    Double superlative mostest "greatest amount or degree" is by 1849 in U.S. Southern and African-American vernacular. The formula for victory in battle attributed to famously unschooled Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest is first attested (1886) as Git thar the fastest with the mostest men.ETD most (adj.).4

    From 15c.-17c. English also had mostwhat "for the most part," mostwhen "on most occasions," mostwhere "in most places."ETD most (adj.).5


    superlative suffix of adjectives and adverbs, Middle English alteration (by influence of unrelated most) of Old English -mest, a double superlative, from -mo, -ma (cognate with Latin -mus; compare Old English forma "first," meduma "midmost") + superlative ending -est. Now generally mistaken as a suffixal form of most.ETD -most.2


    city in northern Iraq, from Arabic al-Mawsul, literally "the joined," a reference to the bridge and ford over the Tigris here.ETD Mosul.2

    mot (n.)

    "a brief and forcible or witty saying," 1813; earlier "a motto" (1580s, a sense now obsolete), from French mot (12c.) "remark, short speech," literally "word," cognate of Italian motto, from Medieval Latin muttum "a word," from Latin mutum "a grunt, a murmur" (see mutter). Also compare bon mot. Mot juste (1912) is French, literally "exact word," the precisely appropriate expression in some situation.ETD mot (n.).2

    mote (n.)

    "small particle, as of dust visible in a ray of sunlight," Old English mot, of unknown origin; perhaps related to Dutch mot "dust from turf, sawdust, grit," Norwegian mutt "speck, mote, splinter, chip." Hence, anything very small. Many references are to Matthew vii.3.ETD mote (n.).2

    motel (n.)

    1925, coined from motor- + hotel. Originally a hotel for automobile travelers.ETD motel (n.).2

    motet (n.)

    "choral composition on a sacred text, intended to be sung in a Church service," late 14c., from Old French motet (13c.), diminutive of mot "word" (see mot), or from Medieval Latin motetum, diminutive of motto.ETD motet (n.).2

    moth (n.)

    "nocturnal lepidopterous insect," Middle English motthe, from Old English moððe (Northumbrian mohðe), a common Germanic word (compare Old Norse motti, Middle Dutch motte, Dutch mot, German Motte "moth"), perhaps related to Old English maða "maggot," or perhaps from the root of midge (q.v.). Until 16c. the word was used mostly of the larva and usually in reference to devouring woolen fabrics (see Matthew vi.20). Words for the adult moth in Middle English included flindre (mid-14c.), which is cognate with Dutch vlinder "butterfly." Moth-eaten is attested from late 14c.ETD moth (n.).2

    mothball (v.)

    1902 in a literal sense (to store away with mothballs), from mothball (n.); figurative sense "to lay up or disuse for a long time" is from 1901, popularized c. 1946 in U.S. in reference to warships at the end of World War II.ETD mothball (v.).2

    mothball (n.)

    also moth-ball, moth ball, "naphthalene ball stored among fabrics to keep off moths," 1891, from moth + ball (n.1).ETD mothball (n.).2

    mothering (n.)

    "motherly care," 1868, verbal noun from mother (v.). Earlier it was used in reference to the rural custom of visiting one's parents with presents on Mid-Lent Sunday (1640s).ETD mothering (n.).2

    mother (n.1)

    "female parent, a woman in relation to her child," Middle English moder, from Old English modor, from Proto-Germanic *mōdēr (source also of Old Saxon modar, Old Frisian moder, Old Norse moðir, Danish moder, Dutch moeder, Old High German muoter, German Mutter), from PIE *mater- "mother" (source also of Latin māter, Old Irish mathir, Lithuanian motė, Sanskrit matar-, Greek mētēr, Old Church Slavonic mati). Watkins writes that this is "[b]ased ultimately on the baby-talk form *mā- (2); with the kinship term suffix *-ter-." The spelling with -th- dates from early 16c., though that pronunciation is probably older (compare father (n.)).ETD mother (n.1).2

    The sense of "that which has given birth to anything" is from late Old English; as a familiar term of address to an elderly woman, especially of the lower class, by c. 1200.ETD mother (n.1).3

    Mother Nature as a personification is attested from c. 1600; mother earth as an expression of the earth as the giver of life is from 1580s. Mother tongue "one's native language" is attested from late 14c. Mother country "a country in relation to its colonies" is from 1580s. Mother-love "such affection as is shown by a mother" is by 1854. Mother-wit "native wit, common sense" is from mid-15c.ETD mother (n.1).4

    Mother of all ________ (1991), is Gulf War slang, from Saddam Hussein's use in reference to the coming battle; it is an Arabic idiom (as well as an English one); Ayesha, second wife of Muhammad, is known as Mother of Believers; the figure is attested in English in 19c. (Virginia is called mother of commonwealths from 1849). Mother Carey's chickens is late 18c. sailors' nickname for storm petrels, or for snowflakes.ETD mother (n.1).5

    mother (v.)

    early 15c., intransitive, "be a mother;" 1540s, transitive, "to be the mother of;" from mother (n.1). Meaning "to take care of act as a mother to" is from 1863. Related: Mothered; mothering.ETD mother (v.).2

    mother (n.2)

    "a thick substance concreting in liquors; the lees or scum concreted" [Johnson], 1530s, probably from Middle Dutch modder "filth, dregs," from PIE *meu- (see mud).ETD mother (n.2).2

    motherboard (n.)

    "Primary circuit board in a computer" by 1965. From mother + board.ETD motherboard (n.).2

    motherfucker (n.)

    also mother-fucker, by 1956, usually simply an intensive of fucker. It is implied in clipped form mother (with the context made clear) by 1928; motherfucking is by 1906. Abbreviation m.f. (for motherfucking) is in a rendition of soldier talk in Pound's "Pisan Cantos" (1948).ETD motherfucker (n.).2

    Mother Goose

    probably a translation of mid-17c. French contes de ma mère l'oye, which meant "fairy tales." The phrase appeared on the frontispiece of Charles Perrault's 1697 collection of eight fairy tales ("Contes du Temps Passé"), which was translated in English 1729 as "Mother Goose's Tales", and a very popular collection of traditional nursery rhymes published by John Newbery c. 1765 was called "Mother Goose's Melody." Her own biographical story is no earlier than 1806.ETD Mother Goose.2

    motherhood (n.)

    "state or fact of being a mother," 1590s, from mother (n.1) + -hood. Earlier was moderhede "motherhead" (mid-14c.).ETD motherhood (n.).2

    Mother Hubbard

    in reference to a kind of loose, full gown worn by women, 1878, from Old Mother Hubbard, nursery rhyme, which was printed 1805, written by Sarah Catherine Martin (1768-1826) but based on earlier material of unknown origin. The name is attested from 1591.ETD Mother Hubbard.2

    mother-in-law (n.)

    late 14c., moder-in-laue, "mother of one's spouse," from mother (n.1) + in-law. Also in early use, "stepmother." In British slang c. 1884, mother-in-law was said to mean "a mixture of ales old and bitter."ETD mother-in-law (n.).2

    motherland (n.)

    also mother-land, "land of one's origin, land whence a people originated," 1711, from mother (n.1) + land (n.).ETD motherland (n.).2

    motherless (adj.)

    "lacking or having lost a mother," Old English moderleas; see mother (n.1) + -less.ETD motherless (adj.).2

    motherly (adj.)

    Old English modorlic "pertaining to a mother;" see mother (n.1) + -ly (1). Meaning "befitting a mother, parental, affectionate" is from mid-13c. Similar formation in Dutch moederlijk, Old High German muoterlih, German mütterlich. Related: Motherliness.ETD motherly (adj.).2

    mother lode

    "important vein of an ore or mineral in rock," 1849, from mother (n.1) + lode (n.); said to be a translation of Mexican Spanish veta madre, a name given to rich silver veins. The American use is first in reference to a conspicuous vein of quartz rich in gold discovered during the gold rush in the Sierra Nevada of California. The colloquial or figurative sense of "richest source of something" is by 1916.ETD mother lode.2

    mother-of-pearl (n.)

    "nacreous inner layer of the shell of various bivalve mollusks," c. 1500, translating Medieval Latin mater perlarum, with the first element perhaps connected in popular imagination with obsolete mother (n.2) "dregs." Compare Italian madreperla, French mère-perle, Dutch parelmoer, German Perlmutter, Danish perlemor. It is the stuff of pearls but in a layer instead of a mass.ETD mother-of-pearl (n.).2

    Mothers' Day

    the spelling used in the U.S. congressional resolution first recognizing it, May 9, 1908.ETD Mothers' Day.2

    mother-ship (n.)

    "large ship or craft escorting or having charge of a number of other, usually smaller, craft," 1890, from mother (n.1) + ship (n.).ETD mother-ship (n.).2

    mothership (n.)

    "motherhood, conduct befitting a mother," mid-15c., from mother (n.1) + -ship.ETD mothership (n.).2

    motif (n.)

    "theme, predominant feature that recurs often in an artistic or dramatic work," 1848, from French motif "dominant idea, theme," from Medieval Latin motivus "moving, impelling," from past participle stem of movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away"). Also a Middle English form of motive (late 14c.).ETD motif (n.).2

    motility (n.)

    "capacity of automatic or spontaneous movement," 1827, from French motilité (1827), from Latin mot-, stem of movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").ETD motility (n.).2

    motile (adj.)

    "capable of spontaneous movement," 1831, back-formation from motility.ETD motile (adj.).2

    motion (n.)

    late 14c., mocioun, "process of moving; change of place, continuous variation of position;" also "suggestion, proposal or proposition formally made," from Old French mocion "movement, motion; change, alteration" (13c., Modern French motion) and directly from Latin motionem (nominative motio) "a moving, a motion; an emotion," from past-participle stem of movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").ETD motion (n.).2

    From c. 1400 in legal sense of "application to a court or judge." To be in motion "in a state of motion" is from c. 1600; to set in motion "set working" is from 1590s. To go through the motions in the figurative sense of "pretend, do in a perfunctory manner" is by 1816 from the notion of "simulate the motions of." Motion picture is attested from 1896; motion sickness by 1942.ETD motion (n.).3

    motion (v.)

    late 15c., "to request, petition" (obsolete), from motion (n.). The sense in parliamentary procedure, "to propose, move" is by 1747; with meaning "to guide or direct by a significant sign, gesture, or movement," as with the hand or head, it is attested from 1787. Related: Motioned; motioning.ETD motion (v.).2

    motionless (adj.)

    "without motion, being at rest," 1590s, from motion (n.) + -less. Related: Motionlessly; motionlessness.ETD motionless (adj.).2

    motivator (n.)

    "someone or something that initiates or stimulates action or behavior," 1917, agent noun in Latin form from motivate (v.).ETD motivator (n.).2

    motivational (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to motivation," 1931, from motivation + -al (1).ETD motivational (adj.).2

    motivate (v.)

    "to stimulate toward action, act as the inciting cause of," 1863, from motive + -ate (2); perhaps modeled on French motiver or German motivieren. Related: Motivated; motivating.ETD motivate (v.).2

    motive (n.)

    late 14c., "something brought forward, a proposition, assertion, or argument" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French motif "will, drive, motivation," noun use of adjective, literally "moving," from Medieval Latin motivus "moving, impelling," from Latin motus "a moving, motion," past participle of movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").ETD motive (n.).2

    Meaning "that which inwardly moves a person to behave a certain way, mental state or force which induces an action of volition" is from early 15c. Hence "design or object one has in any action."ETD motive (n.).3

    motivation (n.)

    1873, "act or process of furnishing with an incentive or inducement to action;" see motivate + -ion. Perhaps borrowed from German, where motivation is attested by 1854. Psychological use, "inner or social stimulus for an action," is from 1904.ETD motivation (n.).2

    motive (adj.)

    late 14c., "having control of motion, causing motion, having power to move someone or something," from Old French motif "moving" or directly from Medieval Latin motivus "moving, impelling," from past-participle stem of movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").ETD motive (adj.).2

    motiveless (adj.)

    "having no motive or aim," 1798, from motive (n.) + -less.ETD motiveless (adj.).2

    motley (adj.)

    late 14c., "parti-colored, variegated in color" (originally of fabric), from Anglo-French motteley, a word of unknown origin, perhaps [OED] based on Old English mot "speck" or a cognate Germanic word (see mote). But Klein's sources say probably from Gaulish. Century Dictionary rejects both. "Diversified in color," especially of a fool's dress. Hence, allusively, "a fool" (1600). As a noun meaning "cloth of contrasting mixed color" from late 14c.ETD motley (adj.).2


    word-forming element meaning "motion, motor," from Latin motus, past participle of movere "to move, set in motion" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").ETD moto-.2


    also moto-cross, "cross-country motorcycle racing," by 1956, from motorcycle + cross-country.ETD motocross.2

    motor (n.)

    "one who or that which imparts motion," mid-15c., "controller, prime mover (in reference to God);" from Late Latin motor, literally "mover," agent noun from past-participle stem of Latin movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away"). Sense of "agent or force that produces mechanical motion" is first recorded 1660s; that of "machine that supplies motive power" is from 1856. Motor-home is by 1966. Motor-scooter is from 1919. First record of slang motor-mouth "fast-talking person" is from 1970.ETD motor (n.).2


    element used extensively in 20c. word formation to indicate motorcar.ETD motor-.2

    motor (v.)

    travel or drive in a motor vehicle," "1896, from motor (n.). Related: Motored; motoring.ETD motor (v.).2

    motorize (v.)

    "to furnish with a motor or motors," 1913, from motor (n.) + -ize. Related: Motorized; motorizing; motorization.ETD motorize (v.).2

    motor-bike (n.)

    also motorbike, "motorcycle," 1903, from motor (n.) + bike (n.).ETD motor-bike (n.).2

    motor-boat (n.)

    also motorboat, "motor-driven boat," 1875, from motor (n.) + boat (n.).ETD motor-boat (n.).2

    motorcade (n.)

    "procession of motorcars," 1909, from motor- + suffix from cavalcade.ETD motorcade (n.).2

    motorcar (n.)

    also motor-car, "horseless carriage, wheeled vehicle which carries its own propelling mechanism," 1895 from motor (n.) + car.ETD motorcar (n.).2

    motorcycle (n.)

    "a large bicycle propelled by a small motor," 1895, a hybrid from motor + -cycle, from bicycle. Motocycle also was used late 19c.ETD motorcycle (n.).2

    Related: Motorcyclist.ETD motorcycle (n.).3

    motorist (n.)

    "motor-car driver," 1896, from motor- + -ist. Earlier as a name for electric railway drivers (1889). Other early alternatives included motorneer.ETD motorist (n.).2

    motorway (n.)

    "specialized highway for fast motor traffic," 1903, from motor- + way (n.). Earliest uses were hypothetical; the thing became a reality 1930s.ETD motorway (n.).2


    recording label launched 1960 by Berry Gordy Jr., from Mo(tor) Town, perhaps based on Motor City, a nickname for Detroit attested by 1911.ETD Motown.2

    mottle (v.)

    "to mark or cover with spots or blotches of different colors or shades," 1670s; see mottle (n.). Related: Mottled; mottling.ETD mottle (v.).2

    mottled (adj.)

    "dappled, marked with spots or patches of color of unequal intensity passing insensibly into one another," 1670s, past-participle adjective from see mottle (v.).ETD mottled (adj.).2

    mottle (n.)

    "a pattern or arrangement of marks or blotches of different colors or shades," 1670s, probably a back-formation from motley.ETD mottle (n.).2

    motto (n.)

    1580s, "word or phrase on an emblem explaining or emphasizing its symbolic significance; phrase or short sentence inscribed on something used to indicate the tenor of that to which it is attached," from Italian motto "a saying, legend attached to a heraldic design," from Late Latin muttum "a grunt; a word," from Latin muttire "to mutter, mumble, murmur" (see mutter). Meaning "proverbial pithy maxim adopted by someone as a rule of conduct" is from 1796. Motto-kiss "candy wrapped in fancy paper having a motto or scrap of poetry enclosed with it" is from 1858.ETD motto (n.).2

    moue (n.)

    "a pout," 1850, from French moue "mouth, lip, pout," from Old French moe, perhaps from Middle Dutch mouwe, with the same senses, but this could as easily be from French. As a verb from 1909.ETD moue (n.).2


    chiefly British English spelling of mold (q.v.) in various senses. Related: Moulded; moulding.ETD mould.2


    see molder. Related: Mouldered; mouldering.ETD moulder.2

    mouldy (adj.)

    see moldy.ETD mouldy (adj.).2


    see molt.ETD moult.2

    mound (n.)

    1550s, "hedge, fence," also "an embankment, a dam" (a sense probably influenced by mount (n.)), a word of obscure origin. The relationship between the noun and the verb is uncertain.ETD mound (n.).2

    Commonly supposed to be from Middle English mounde "the hand; guardianship, power," from Old English mund (cognate with Latin manus), but this is not certain (OED discounts it on grounds of sense). Perhaps it is a confusion of the native word and Middle Dutch mond "protection," used in military sense for fortifications of various types, including earthworks.ETD mound (n.).3

    From 1726 as "artificial elevation of earth" (as over a grave); 1810 as "natural low elevation." As the place where the pitcher stands on a baseball field, from 1912. Mound-builder "one of the prehistoric race of the Mississippi Valley that erected extensive earthworks" is by 1838.ETD mound (n.).4

    In Middle English mounde also meant "the world," from Old French monde, from Latin mundus (see mundane).ETD mound (n.).5

    mound (v.)

    1510s, "to enclose with a fence;" c. 1600 as "to enclose or fortify with an embankment;" see mound (n.). From 1859 as "to heap up." Related: Mounded; mounding.ETD mound (v.).2

    mounted (adj.)

    1590s, "on horseback," past-participle adjective from mount (v.). From 1690s as "set up for display."ETD mounted (adj.).2

    mount (v.)

    c. 1300, mounten, "to get up on a horse;" mid-14c., "to rise up, rise in amount, ascend; fly," from Old French monter "to go up, ascend, climb, mount," from Vulgar Latin *montare, from Latin mons (genitive montis) "mountain" (from PIE root *men- (2) "to project"). The transitive meaning "to set or place in position" first recorded 1530s. Sense of "to get up on for purposes of copulation" is from 1590s. Meaning "prepare for presentation or exhibition" is by 1712. Military meaning "set up or post for defense" is by 1706; to mount an attack is by 1943. Related: Mounted; mounting.ETD mount (v.).2

    mount (n.1)

    "mountain, lofty hill, elevation of land," late Old English, from Anglo-French mount, Old French mont "mountain;" also perhaps partly from Old English munt "mountain;" both the Old English and the French words from Latin montem (nominative mons) "mountain," from PIE root *men- (2) "to stand out, project." "From the 17th c. in prose used chiefly of a more or less conical hill of moderate height rising from a plain; a hillock" [OED]. Archaic or poetic only by late 19c. except as part of a proper name. The Sermon on the Mount is in Matthew v-vii and Luke vi.ETD mount (n.1).2

    mount (n.2)

    late 15c., "an act of mounting," from mount (v.) or from Old French monte. Sense of "that on which something is fixed for use and by which it is supported and held in place" is by 1739. The colloquial meaning "a horse for riding" is recorded by 1831 in sporting magazines.ETD mount (n.2).2

    mountaineer (n.)

    c. 1600, "native of or dweller in mountains," from mountain + -eer or from French montanier. The verb meaning "to be a mountain-climber" is from 1803 (compare electioneer). Related: Mountaineering.ETD mountaineer (n.).2

    mountain (n.)

    "natural elevation rising more or less abruptly and attaining a conspicuous height," c. 1200, from Old French montaigne (Modern French montagne), from Vulgar Latin *montanea "mountain, mountain region," noun use of fem. of *montaneus "of a mountain, mountainous," from Latin montanus "mountainous, of mountains," from mons (genitive montis) "mountain" (from PIE root *men- (2) "to project").ETD mountain (n.).2

    Until 18c., applied to a fairly low elevation if it was prominent (such as Sussex Downs or the hills around Paris); compare hill (n.). As an adjective, "of or situated on a mountain," from late 14c.ETD mountain (n.).3

    Mountain dew "raw and inferior whiskey" is attested by 1839; earlier a type of Scotch whiskey (1816); Jamieson's 1825 "Supplement" to his Scottish dictionary defines it specifically as "A cant term for Highland whisky that has paid no duty." Mountain-climber is recorded from 1839; mountain-climbing from 1836. Mountain laurel is from 1754; mountain-lion "puma" is from 1849, American English; the mountain goat of the Western U.S. is so called by 1841 (by 1827 as Rocky Mountain goat).ETD mountain (n.).4

    mountainous (adj.)

    late 14c., mounteinous, "abounding in or characterized by mountains," from mountain + -ous or else from Medieval Latin montaniosus, from Vulgar Latin *montaneosus "mountainous," from *montanea.ETD mountainous (adj.).2

    mountebank (n.)

    "peripatetic quack; one who sells nostrums at fairs, etc.," in Johnson's words, "a doctor that mounts a bench in the market, and boasts his infallible remedies and cures;" 1570s, from Italian montambanco, contraction of monta in banco "quack, juggler," literally "mount on bench" (to be seen by crowd), from monta, imperative of montare "to mount" (see mount (v.)) + banco, variant of banca "bench," from a Germanic source (see bench (n.)). Figurative and extended senses, in reference to any impudent pretender or charlatan, are from 1580s. Related: Mountebankery.ETD mountebank (n.).2

    Mountie (n.)

    1914, member of the Royal Canadian (originally North-west) Mounted Police, formed 1873 to keep order in the former Hudson's Bay Company lands. Also see -ie.ETD Mountie (n.).2

    mournful (adj.)

    "expressing sorrow; oppressed with grief; doleful," early 15c., morneful, from mourn + -ful. Related: Mournfully; mournfulness.ETD mournful (adj.).2

    mourn (v.)

    Middle English mornen, from Old English murnan "to feel or express sorrow, grief, or regret; bemoan, long after," also "be anxious about, be careful" (class III strong verb; past tense mearn, past participle murnen), from Proto-Germanic *murnan "to remember sorrowfully" (source also of Old Saxon mornon, Old High German mornen, Gothic maurnan "to mourn," Old Norse morna "to pine away"), probably from suffixed form of PIE root *(s)mer- (1) "to remember." Or, if the Old Norse sense is the base one, from *mer- "to die, wither."ETD mourn (v.).2

    Specifically, "to lament the death of" from c. 1300. Meaning "display the conventional appearance of grieving for a period following the death of someone" is from 1520s. Related: Mourned; mourning.ETD mourn (v.).3

    mourning (n.)

    "feeling or expression of sorrow, sadness, or grief," c. 1200, from Old English murnung "complaint, grief, act of lamenting," verbal noun from mourn (v.). Meaning "customary dress or garment worn by mourners" is from 1650s (mourning habit is from late 14c.). The North American mourning dove (1820) is so called for its call.ETD mourning (n.).2

    mourner (n.)

    late 14c., mornere, "one who laments or grieves" (especially for the death of a friend or relation), agent noun from mourn (v.). Meaning "one hired to lament for the dead" is from 1690s.ETD mourner (n.).2

    mouse (n.)

    Middle English mous, from Old English mus "small rodent," also "muscle of the arm" (compare muscle (n.)); from Proto-Germanic *mus (source also of Old Norse, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Danish, Swedish mus, Dutch muis, German Maus "mouse").ETD mouse (n.).2

    This is from PIE *mus-, the old Indo-European name of the mouse, retained in several language families (source also of Sanskrit mus "mouse, rat," Old Persian mush "mouse," Old Church Slavonic mysu, Latin mus, Lithuanian muse "mouse," Greek mys "mouse, muscle").ETD mouse (n.).3

    Plural form mice (Old English mys) shows effects of i-mutation. As a type of something timid or weak, from late 14c. Contrasted with man (n.) from 1620s (nor man nor mouse).ETD mouse (n.).4

    The meaning "black eye" (or other discolored lump on the body) is from 1842. The computer sense of "small device moved by the hand over a flat surface to maneuver a cursor or arrow on a display screen" is from 1965, though the word was applied to other things resembling a mouse in shape since 1750, mainly in nautical use.ETD mouse (n.).5

    mouse (v.)

    "to hunt or catch mice," mid-13c., mousen, from mouse (n.). Related: Moused; mousing.ETD mouse (v.).2

    mouse-hole (n.)

    "very small hole where mice go in and out, a hole only big enough to admit a mouse," early 15c., from mouse (n.) + hole (n.).ETD mouse-hole (n.).2

    mouser (n.)

    "cat that hunts mice," mid-15c., agent noun from mouse (v.).ETD mouser (n.).2

    mousetrap (n.)

    "trap for catching mice," mid-15c., from mouse (n.) + trap (n.). Figurative use from 1570s. The thing is older than the word. Old English had musfealle ("mouse-fall," because the trap falls on the mouse); Middle English had mouscacche ("mouse-catch," late 14c.).ETD mousetrap (n.).2

    mousy (adj.)

    "resembling a mouse," 1812 with reference to quietness; 1853, of color; from mouse (n.) + -y (2).ETD mousy (adj.).2

    mousse (n.)

    1892, in cookery sense in reference to a frothy dish stiffened with egg whites, etc., from French mousse, from Old French mousse "froth, scum," from Late Latin mulsa "mead," from Latin mulsum "honey wine, mead," from neuter of mulsus "mixed with honey," related to mel "honey" (from PIE root *melit- "honey"). Meaning "preparation for hair" is from 1977, so called for resemblance of the substance. As a verb in this sense from 1984. Related: Moussed.ETD mousse (n.).2

    moustache (n.)

    see mustache. Related: moustachial.ETD moustache (n.).2

    mouth (n.)

    Old English muþ "oral opening of an animal or human; opening of anything, door, gate," from Proto-Germanic *muntha- (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian muth, Old Norse munnr, Danish mund, Middle Dutch mont, Dutch mond, Old High German mund, German Mund, Gothic munþs "mouth"), with characteristic loss of nasal consonant in Old English (compare tooth), probably an IE word, but the exact etymology is disputed. Perhaps from the source of Latin mentum "chin" (from PIE root *men- (2) "to project," on the notion of "projecting body part"), presuming a semantic shift from "chin" to "mouth."ETD mouth (n.).2

    In the sense of "outfall of a river" it is attested from late Old English; as the opening of anything with capacity (a bottle, cave, etc.) it is recorded from mid-13c. Mouth-organ attested from 1660s. Mouth-breather is by 1883. Mouth-to-mouth "involving contact of one person's mouth with another's" is from 1909.ETD mouth (n.).3

    Word of mouth "spoken words, oral communication" (as distinguished from written words) is by 1550s. To put words in (someone's) mouth "represent as having said what one did not say" is from late 14c.; to take the words out of (someone's) mouth "anticipate what one is about to say" is from 1520s. To be down in the mouth "dejected" (1640s) is from the notion of having the corners of the mouth turned downward.ETD mouth (n.).4

    mouth (v.)

    early 14c., "to speak," from mouth (n.). Related: Mouthed; mouthing. Old English had muðettan "to blab." In 17c.-18c. especially "to speak pompously or affectedly." Meaning "form the shape of words with the mouth without uttering them" is by 1953.ETD mouth (v.).2

    mouthful (n.)

    early 15c., "as much as a mouth can hold," from mouth (n.) + -ful. Meaning "a lot to say" is from 1748.ETD mouthful (n.).2

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