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    Ogygian (adj.) — omit (v.)

    Ogygian (adj.)

    "of great antiquity or age," 1809, from Greek Ōgygos, Ōgygēs, Ōgygios, name of a mythical king of Attica or Boeotia (or both) of whom nothing is known and who even in classical times was thought to have lived very long ago. Also sometimes with reference to a famous flood said to have occurred in his day.ETD Ogygian (adj.).2

    oh (interj.)

    interjection expressing various emotions (fear, surprise, pain, invocation, gladness, admiration, etc.), 1530s, from Middle English o, from Old French ô, oh or directly from Latin o, oh; a common Indo-European interjection (compare Greek ō; Old Church Slavonic and Lithuanian o; Irish och, Old Irish a; Sanskrit a). But it is not found in Old English (which had ea and translated Latin oh with la or eala) or the older Germanic languages except those that probably borrowed it from Greek or Latin.ETD oh (interj.).2

    Often extended for emphasis, as in Oh, baby, a stock saying from c. 1918; oh, boy (by 1917); oh, yeah (1924). Reduplicated form oh-oh as an expression of alarm or dismay is attested from 1944 (as uh-oh by 1935). Oh-so "so very" (often sarcastic or ironic) is by 1916. Oh yeah? "really? Is that so?" is attested from 1930.ETD oh (interj.).3


    U.S. state, admitted 1803, named for the river, which is from Seneca (Iroquoian) ohi:yo', a proper name from ohi:yo:h, literally "good river." The Seneca also used this of the Allegheny, which they considered the headwaters of the Ohio. Related: Ohian (1819); Ohioan (1818).ETD Ohio.2

    ohm (n.)

    unit of electrical resistance, 1867, in recognition of German physicist Georg S. Ohm (1789-1854), who determined the law of the flow of electricity. Originally proposed as ohma (1861) as a unit of voltage. Related: ohmage; ohmic; ohmeter.ETD ohm (n.).2

    oho (interj.)

    exclamation expressing surprise, c. 1400, from o (see oh) + ho (interj.).ETD oho (interj.).2


    word-forming element abstracted from alcoholic (q.v.); also see -aholic, which has tended to replace it in word formation.ETD -oholic.2

    oi (interj.)

    1962, vulgar or working class pronunciation of hoy a call or shout to attract attention (compare ahoy).ETD oi (interj.).2


    word-forming element meaning "like, like that of, thing like a ______," from Latinized form of Greek -oeidēs (three syllables), from eidos "form," related to idein "to see," eidenai "to know;" literally "to see" (from PIE *weid-es-, from root *weid- "to see"). The -o- is connective or a stem vowel from the previous element. Often implying an incomplete or imperfect resemblance to the thing indicated.ETD -oid.2


    word-forming element making adjectives from nouns in -oid; see -oid + -al (1).ETD -oidal.2

    oil (n.)

    late 12c., "olive oil," from Anglo-French and Old North French olie, from Old French oile, uile "oil" (12c., Modern French huile), from Latin oleum "oil, olive oil" (source of Spanish, Italian olio), from Greek elaion "olive tree," from elaia (see olive).ETD oil (n.).2

    Nearly all the European languages' words for "oil" (Croatian ulje, Polish olej, Hungarian olaj, Albanian uli, Lithuanian alejus, etc.) are from the Greek word; the Germanic (except Gothic) and Celtic one coming from Greek via Latin: Old English æle, Dutch olie, German Öl, Welsh olew, Gaelic uill, etc.ETD oil (n.).3

    In English it meant "olive oil" exclusively till c. 1300, when the word began to be extended to any fatty, greasy liquid substance (usually flammable and insoluble in water). Often especially "oil as burned in a lamp to afford light" (as in midnight oil, symbolizing late work). Use for "petroleum" is recorded from 1520s but not common until 19c.ETD oil (n.).4

    The artist's oils (1660s), short for oil-color (1530s), are paints made by grinding pigment in oil; oil-painting "art or craft of painting in oils" is by 1690s. The ocean-going oil-tanker is from 1900; oil-spill in the environmental catastrophe sense is by 1924. As a condiment, oil and vinegar is attested from 1620s. The figurative expression pour oil upon the waters "appease strife or disturbance" is by 1840, from an ancient trick of sailors.ETD oil (n.).5

    The phenomenon depends on what are called Marangoni effects; Benjamin Franklin experimented with it in 1765.ETD oil (n.).6

    oil (v.)

    "to smear or rub with oil or ointment," mid-15c., oilen, from oil (n.). Later especially "to lubricate (machinery)." Related: Oiled; oiling. An Old English verb in this sense was besmyrian.ETD oil (v.).2

    oil-can (n.)

    "can for holding oil," especially one with a long, narrow, tapering spout, used to oil machinery, 1839, from oil (n.) + can (n.).ETD oil-can (n.).2

    oil-cloth (n.)

    also oilcloth, 1690s, "cotton or a similar fabric waterproofed with oil," from oil (n.) + cloth. In reference to an oil-treated canvas used as a cheap floor covering, 1796.ETD oil-cloth (n.).2

    oiler (n.)

    late 13c., "maker or seller of oil," from oil (n.) + -er (1). By 1861 as "appliance for distributing oil in machines;" by 1916 as "navy vessel carrying oil for use by other ships."ETD oiler (n.).2

    oily (adj.)

    "resembling oil, having the qualities of oil," late 14c., oilei, from oil (n.) + -y (2). Figurative meaning "smooth, unctuous" is from 1590s. Related: Oilily; oiliness.ETD oily (adj.).2

    oil-mill (n.)

    "a crushing- or grinding-machine for expressing oil from seeds, fruits, nuts, etc.," early 15c., from oil (n.) + mill (n.1).ETD oil-mill (n.).2

    oil-skin (n.)

    also oilskin, "cloth of cotton, linen, etc., prepared with oil to make it water-proof," by 1714, from oil (n.) + skin (n.).ETD oil-skin (n.).2

    oil-tank (n.)

    "tank for holding oil," 1862, from oil (n.) + tank (n.1).ETD oil-tank (n.).2

    oil-well (n.)

    "a boring in the earth made for petroleum," 1847, from oil (n.) + well (n.).ETD oil-well (n.).2

    oink (v.)

    "to make a noise like a pig," by 1909, of imitative origin.ETD oink (v.).2


    Proto-Indo-European root meaning "one, unique."ETD *oi-no-.2

    It forms all or part of: a (1) indefinite article; alone; an; Angus; anon; atone; any; eleven; inch (n.1) "linear measure, one-twelfth of a foot;" lone; lonely; non-; none; null; once; one; ounce (n.1) unit of weight; quincunx; triune; unanimous; unary; une; uni-; Uniate; unilateral; uncial; unicorn; union; unique; unison; unite; unity; universal; universe; university; zollverein.ETD *oi-no-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek oinos "ace (on dice);" Latin unus "one;" Old Persian aivam; Old Church Slavonic -inu, ino-; Lithuanian vienas; Old Irish oin; Breton un "one;" Old English an, German ein, Gothic ains "one."ETD *oi-no-.4

    ointment (n.)

    "unctuous medicinal salve for external application," late 13c., oynement, from Old French oignement "ointment, salve, unguent," from Vulgar Latin *unguimentum, from Latin unguentum (see unguent). The first -t- emerged early 14c. in English, from Old French, which got it by influence of oint, past participle of the verb oindre "to anoint."ETD ointment (n.).2


    slang abbreviation of orange juice, attested by 1963.ETD OJ.2


    also Ojibway, Algonquian people of North America living along the shores of Lake Superior, 1700, from Ojibwa O'chepe'wag "plaited shoes," in reference to their puckered moccasins, which were unlike those of neighboring tribes. The older form in English is Chippewa, which is usually retained in U.S., but since c. 1850 Canadian English has taken up the more phonetically correct Ojibwa, and as a result the two forms of the word have begun to be used in reference to slightly differing groups in the two countries. Some modern Chippewas prefer anishinaabe, which means "original people."ETD Ojibwa.2

    OK (interj.)

    "all right, correct," 1839, only survivor of a slang fad in Boston and New York c. 1838-9 for abbreviations of common phrases with deliberate, jocular misspellings, such as K.G. for "no go," as if spelled know go; N.C. for enough said (" 'nuff ced"); K.Y. for no use ("know yuse"). In the case of O.K., the abbreviation is of "oll korrect." Also see P.D.Q.ETD OK (interj.).2

    Probably further popularized by use as an election slogan by the O.K. Club, New York boosters of Democratic president Martin Van Buren's 1840 re-election bid, in allusion to his nickname Old Kinderhook, from his birth in the N.Y. village of Kinderhook. Van Buren lost, the word stuck, in part because it filled a need for a quick way to write an approval on a document, bill, etc.ETD OK (interj.).3

    Spelled out as okeh, 1919, by Woodrow Wilson, on assumption that it represented Choctaw okeh "it is so" (a theory which lacks historical documentation); this spelling was ousted quickly by okay after the appearance of that form in 1929. Greek immigrants to America who returned home early 20c. having picked up U.S. speech mannerisms were known in Greece as okay-boys, among other things.ETD OK (interj.).4

    The noun is attested from 1841, "endorsement, approval, authorization" (especially as indicated by the letters O.K.); the verb, "to approve, agree to, sanction," is by 1888. Okey-doke is student slang is attested by 1932.ETD OK (interj.).5


    slang clipping of OK, attested from 1929.ETD oke.2


    see OK.ETD okay.2

    okapi (n.)

    short-necked, stripe-legged giraffe of central Africa, 1900, from the animal's name in Mbuba (Congo). Reported by English explorer Sir Harry Johnston.ETD okapi (n.).2


    "migrant agricultural worker," especially (but not exclusively) one driven from farms in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl, 1938, short for U.S. state of Oklahoma.ETD Okie.2


    largest of the Ryuku island chain, Japanese, literally "rope on the sea." Related: Okinawan.ETD Okinawa.2


    state in southwestern U.S., from Choctaw (Muskogean), literally "red people," from okla "nation, people" + homma "red." Coined by Choctaw scholar and Presbyterian minister Allen Wright (1826-1885), later principal chief of the Choctaw Nation, and first used in the Choctaw-Chickasaw treaty of April 28, 1866. Organized as a U.S. territory 1889; admitted as a state 1907. Related: Oklahoman.ETD Oklahoma.2

    okra (n.)

    vegetable cultivated in the East and West Indies and southern U.S., 1670s, from a West African language (compare Akan nkruma "okra").ETD okra (n.).2


    Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to see."ETD *okw-.2

    It forms all or part of: amblyopia; antique; antler; atrocity; autopsy; binocle; binocular; biopsy; catoptric; Cyclops; daisy; enoptomancy; eye; eyelet; ferocity; hyperopia; inoculate; inveigle; monocle; monocular; myopia; necropsy; ocular; oculist; oculus; oeillade; ogle; ophthalmo-; optic; optician; optics; optometry; panoptic; panopticon; Peloponnesus; pinochle; presbyopia; prosopopeia; stereoptican; synopsis; triceratops; ullage; wall-eyed; window.ETD *okw-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit akshi "the eye; the number two," Greek osse "(two) eyes," opsis "a sight;" Old Church Slavonic oko, Lithuanian akis, Latin oculus, Greek okkos, Tocharian ak, ek, Armenian akn "eye."ETD *okw-.4

    ole (interj.)

    1922, from Spanish olé "bravo!"ETD ole (interj.).2


    word-forming element in chemistry, variously representing alcohol, phenol, or in some cases Latin oleum "oil" (see oil (n.)).ETD -ol.2


    commercial suffix, probably originally in pianola (q.v.).ETD -ola.2


    masc. proper name, from Old Norse An-leifr, literally "ancestor's relic;" first element related to Old High German ano "ancestor;" second element related to Old English læfan "to leave" (from PIE root *leip- "to stick, adhere").ETD Olaf.2

    Olbers' paradox

    "if stars are infinitely and uniformly distributed through the sky, their number should counterbalance their faintness and the night sky should be as bright as the day;" named for German astronomer H.W.M. Olbers (1758-1840), who propounded it in 1826.ETD Olbers' paradox.2


    pseudo-archaic mock-antique variant of old, by 1883.ETD olde.2

    old (adj.)

    Old English ald (Anglian), eald (West Saxon, Kentish) "antique, of ancient origin, belonging to antiquity, primeval; long in existence or use; near the end of the normal span of life; elder, mature, experienced," from Proto-Germanic *althaz "grown up, adult" (source also of Old Frisian ald, Gothic alþeis, Dutch oud, German alt), originally a past-participle stem of a verb meaning "grow, nourish" (compare Gothic alan "to grow up," Old Norse ala "to nourish"), from PIE root *al- (2) "to grow, nourish." The original Old English vowel is preserved in Scots auld, also in alderman. The original comparative and superlative (elder, eldest) are retained in particular uses.ETD old (adj.).2

    The usual PIE root is *sen- (see senior (adj.)). A few Indo-European languages distinguish words for "old" (vs. young) from words for "old" (vs. new), and some have separate words for aged persons as opposed to old things. Latin senex was used of aged living things, mostly persons, while vetus (literally "having many years") was used of inanimate things. Greek geraios was used mostly of humans; palaios was used mostly of things, of persons only in a derogatory sense. Greek also had arkhaios, literally "belonging to the beginning," which parallels French ancien, used mostly with reference to things "of former times."ETD old (adj.).3

    Old English also had fyrn "ancient," which is related to Old English feor "far, distant" (see far, and compare Gothic fairneis, Old Norse forn "old, of old, of former times," Old High German firni "old, experienced").ETD old (adj.).4

    Meaning "of a specified age" (three days old) is from late Old English. Sense of "pertaining to or characteristic of the earlier or earliest of two or more stages of development or periods of time" is from late Old English. As an intensive, "great, high," mid-15c., now only following another adjective (gay old time, good old Charlie Brown). As a noun, "those who are old," 12c. Of old "of old times" is from late 14c.ETD old (adj.).5

    Old age "period of life of advanced years" is from early 14c. Old Testament is attested from mid-14c. (in late Old English it was old law). Old lady "wife, mother" is attested from c. 1775 (but compare Old English seo ealde hlæfdige "the queen dowager"). Old man "man who has lived long" is from late Old English; the sense of "husband, father, boss" is from 1854, earlier (1830) it was military slang for "commanding officer;" old boy as a familiar form of address is by c. 1600. Old days "former times" is from late Old English; good old days, "former times conceived as better than the present," sometimes ironic, is by 1670s. Old Light (adj.), in religion, "favoring the old faith or principles," is by 1819.ETD old (adj.).6

    oldness (n.)

    "old age, decrepitude; great age, antiquity; the state of being old," Old English ealdnysse; see old + -ness.ETD oldness (n.).2

    olden (adj.)

    "former, long ago," c. 1400, from old + -en (2). Old English had on ealdum dagum "in former times, long ago."ETD olden (adj.).2

    Old English (n.)

    1701 as a typeface, from old + English. It was used to meaning "the Anglo-Saxon language before the Conquest, old-fashioned or archaic English" in a c. 1200 account of the native (as opposed to Latin) month names, but the modern linguistic use is from 19c. (see Middle English).ETD Old English (n.).2

    old-fashioned (adj.)

    1650s, "in an outdated style, formed in a fashion that has become obsolete," from old + past participle of fashion (v.). Meaning "partaking of the old ways, suited to the tastes of former times" is from 1680s. Related: Old-fashionedness. New-fashioned is recorded from 1610s.ETD old-fashioned (adj.).2

    As a type of cocktail, Old Fashioned is attested by 1901, American English, short for a fuller name.ETD old-fashioned (adj.).3

    (Old Tom (1821) was a name for a strong variety of English gin.)ETD old-fashioned (adj.).4

    old hat (adj.)

    "out of date," 1911, from old + hat. As a noun phrase, however, it had different sense previously. The "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" (1796) defines it as, "a woman's privities, because frequently felt."ETD old hat (adj.).2

    oldie (n.)

    1874, "an old person;" 1940, "an old tune or film;" from old + -ie. Related: Oldies, which is attested by 1961 as a radio format.ETD oldie (n.).2

    old maid (n.)

    "spinster, woman who remains single well beyond the usual marrying age," 1520s, from old + maid. The card game is attested by that name from 1831.ETD old maid (n.).2

    old-school (adj.)

    in reference to a group of people noted for conservative views or principles on some professional or political matter, 1806, from the noun phrase, "party belonging to a former time or having the characteristics, manner, and opinions of a bygone age" (1749); see old + school (n.).ETD old-school (adj.).2

    oldster (n.)

    "old or oldish person, man past middle life," 1818, colloquial, originally nautical, from old + -ster, on analogy of youngster.ETD oldster (n.).2

    old-time (adj.)

    "of long standing; having the characteristics of former times," 1824, from old + time (n.). Related: Old-timey (1850). Old times "olden days" is from late 14c. Colloquial old-timer "one who has long occupied a given place or condition; one who retains the views and customs of former times" is by 1860.ETD old-time (adj.).2

    old-world (adj.)

    1712, "belonging to a prehistoric age," see old + world. Meaning "of or pertaining to Eurasia and Africa," as opposed to the Americas, is by 1877. The noun phrase Old World in this sense is by 1590s. The division of the earth into Old World and New World among Europeans dates to 1503 and Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci's use of Latin Mundus Novus for the lands of the western hemisphere found by Columbus and others, indicating they were not part of Asia.ETD old-world (adj.).2

    oleaginous (adj.)

    "oily, unctuous, having the qualities of oil," early 15c., oleaginose (modern from by 1630s), from Old French oléagineux (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin oleaginus, literally "of the olive," from olea "olive," alteration of oliva (see olive) by influence of oleum "oil." Related: Oleaginousness.ETD oleaginous (adj.).2

    oleander (n.)

    "rose bay," a poisonous evergreen Mediterranean shrub, late 14c., oleaster, from Medieval Latin oleander, a word of uncertain origin, probably altered (by influence of Latin olea "olive tree") from Late Latin lorandrum, from Latin rhododendron (see rhododendron), which was itself altered by influence of Latin laurea "laurel," on resemblance of leaves. This round-about etymology is supported by the French word for it, laurier rose.ETD oleander (n.).2


    masc. proper name; see Olga.ETD Oleg.2


    word-forming element meaning "oil" or "oleic," from Latin oleum (see oil (n.)).ETD oleo-.2

    oleo (n.)

    1884, commercial shortening of oleomargarine.ETD oleo (n.).2

    oleomargarine (n.)

    1873, "butter substitute made from beef fat," from French oléomargarine (1854), from oléine, a widely distributed natural fat (from Latin oleum "oil" + -ine, after glycerine), + margarine. It was regarded as a chemical compound of olein and margarine.ETD oleomargarine (n.).2

    olfaction (n.)

    "sense of smell, faculty of smelling," 1846, noun of action from Latin olfactus, past participle of olfacere "to smell, get the smell of" (transitive), from olere "to emit a smell" (see odor) + facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").ETD olfaction (n.).2

    olfactory (adj.)

    "making or causing to smell; having the sense of smell," 1650s, from Latin olfactorius, from olfact-, past-participle stem of olfacere "to get the smell of, sniff," from olere "emit a smell, give off a smell of" (see odor) + facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").ETD olfactory (adj.).2


    fem. proper name, Russian, probably from Norse Helga, literally "holy," from Proto-Germanic *hailaga (from PIE *kailo-; see health). The masc. form is Oleg.ETD Olga.2

    oligarchic (adj.)

    "pertaining to or of the nature of government by a few," 1640s, from Greek oligarkhikos "pertaining to oligarchy," from oligarkhos, related to oligarkhia "government by the few" (see oligarchy). Related: Oligarchical.ETD oligarchic (adj.).2

    oligarch (n.)

    "one of a few holding political power, member of an oligarchy," c. 1600, from French olygarche, oligarque, from Latinized form of Greek oligarkhēs, which is related to oligarkhia "government by the few" (see oligarchy).ETD oligarch (n.).2

    oligarchy (n.)

    "form of government in which supreme power is vested in a small exclusive class," 1570s, from French oligarchie (14c.), from Latinized form of Greek oligarkhia "government by the few," from stem of oligos "few, small, little" (a word of uncertain origin) + -arkhia, from arkhein "to rule" (see archon). An earlier form of the word in English was oligracie (c. 1500, from Old French).ETD oligarchy (n.).2


    before vowels olig-, word-forming element meaning "few, the few," from Greek oligos "few, scanty, small, little," in plural, "the few;" a word of uncertain origin.ETD oligo-.2

    Oligocene (adj.)

    1856, in geology, "pertaining to the Tertiary period between the Eocene and the Miocene," now defined roughly as 34 million to 23 million years before the present, coined in German (1854) by paleontologist Heinrich Ernst von Beyrich (1815-1896), from oligo- "small, little, few" + -cene. So called because few modern fossils were found in Oligocene rocks, which were especially prominent in northern Germany.ETD Oligocene (adj.).2

    oligopoly (n.)

    "a state of limited competition in which a market is shared by a few producers or sellers," 1887, from Medieval Latin oligopolium, from Greek oligos "little, small," in plural, "the few" (a word of uncertain origin) + pōlein "to sell" (from PIE root *pel- (4) "to sell."). Related: Oligopolist.ETD oligopoly (n.).2

    oligopolistic (adj.)

    "pertaining to or of the nature of an oligopoly," 1939; see oligopoly + -istic.ETD oligopolistic (adj.).2

    oligotrophy (n.)

    "deficiency of nutrition," by 1895, from oligo- "small, little" + -trophy "food, nourishment." Related: Oligotrophic.ETD oligotrophy (n.).2

    oliguria (n.)

    in pathology, "scantiness of urine," 1843, from oligo- "small, little," + -uria, from Greek ouron "urine" (see urine).ETD oliguria (n.).2

    olio (n.)

    savory medley dish of Iberian origin, 1640s, from Spanish olla, Portuguese olha, both from Vulgar Latin *olla "pot, jar." With the common mistake of -o for -a in English words from Spanish. The sense was transferred from the pot to what went into it. Extended sense of "any mixture or medley, a collection of various pieces" is from 1640s in English.ETD olio (n.).2

    oliphant (n.)

    obsolete form of elephant (q.v.), c. 1200; also used in Middle English with sense "ivory horn." Compare camel.ETD oliphant (n.).2


    masc. personal name, in medieval lore the name of one of Charlemagne's peers, friend of Roland, from French Olivier, from Middle Low German Alfihar, literally "elf-host, elf-army," from alf "elf" (see elf) + hari "host, army" (see harry (v.)). It is cognate with the Anglo-Saxon name Ælfhere. The form in Old French was influenced by olivier "olive tree."ETD Oliver.2

    olive (n.)

    c. 1200, "olive tree," from Old French olive "olive, olive tree" (13c.) or directly from Latin oliva "olive, olive tree," from Greek elaia "olive tree, olive," probably from the same Aegean language (perhaps Cretan) as Armenian ewi "oil."ETD olive (n.).2

    Applied to the fruit or berry of the tree in English from late 14c. As the color of the unripe olive from 17c. Olive branch as a token of peace is from early 13c., an allusion to the olive leaf brought by the dove sent out by Noah from the ark. Olive oil "oil expressed from the pulp of the common olive" is by 1540s (Oliue oyle). In early writings oil of olive(s) was more common.ETD olive (n.).3


    brand of typewriters manufactured by company founded in 1908 near Turin, Italy; named for founder, Camillo Olivetti.ETD Olivetti.2


    fem. proper name, from Italian Olivia, from Latin oliva "olive" (see olive).ETD Olivia.2


    ancient people and civilization of Mexico, 1787, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) Olmecatl (plural Olmeca), literally "inhabitant of the rubber country."ETD Olmec.2


    word-forming element indicating "branch of knowledge, science," now the usual form of -logy. Originally used c. 1800 in nonce formations (commonsensology, etc.), it gained legitimacy by influence of the proper formation in geology, mythology, etc., where the -o- is a stem vowel in the previous element.ETD -ology.2


    word-forming element; see -ology + -ist.ETD -ologist.2

    Olympic (adj.)

    c. 1600, "of or in reference to Mount Olympos," the mountain in Thessaly, believed to be the home of the greater Greek gods. Also in reference to to Olympia (khōra), a town or district in Elis in ancient Greece with a famous temple of Zeus, where athletic contests in honor of Olympian Zeus were held 776 B.C.E. and every four years thereafter. It is from Greek Olympikos, from Olympos, which in both places is of unknown origin (see Olympus). The modern Olympic games are a revival, begun in 1896. Olympics, short for Olympic games, is from 1630s.ETD Olympic (adj.).2

    Olympiad (n.)

    "period of four years" (between Olympic games), late 14c., from Old French olimpiade "period of four years," from Latin Olympiadem, from Greek olympiados, genitive of Olympias "Olympian, of or pertaining to Olympus," an epithet of the muses, as a noun, "the Olympic games; a victor at Olympia; the space of four years between the celebrations of the Olympic games"(see Olympic). Used by ancient Greeks as a unit in computing time. Revived in modern usage with revival of the games, 1896. Related: Olympiadic.ETD Olympiad (n.).2

    Olympian (adj.)

    "of or belonging to Olympus," the mountain in Thessaly fabled to be the seat of the gods, c. 1600; see Olympus + -ian. The noun meaning "one of the twelve greater god of ancient Greece" is attested from 1843, from Late Latin Olympianus, from Greek Olympios "pertaining to Olympus." The sense of "one who competes in the (modern) Olympic Games" is from 1976 (see Olympic).ETD Olympian (adj.).2


    high mountain in Thessaly, in Greek mythology the abode of the twelve greater gods, from Greek Olympos, a name of unknown origin. The name was given to several mountains and mountain ranges in Greece and the Near East. Beekes speculates that it originally meant "mountain" and is "without a doubt Pre-Greek."ETD Olympus.2


    1788, mystical word or combination of letters in Hindu religions and Buddhism; originally an utterance of assent.ETD om.2


    word-forming element, from Greek -oma, with -o-, lengthened stem vowel + -ma, suffix forming neuter nouns and nouns that indicate result of verbal action (equivalent of Latin -men); especially taken in medical use as "morbid growth, tumor," based on sarcoma, carcinoma.ETD -oma.2


    Siouan people of northeastern Nebraska, 1804, Maha, perhaps from Omaha umaha, perhaps literally "upstream (people), against the flow." The Nebraska city was founded in 1854.ETD Omaha.2


    coastal nation in Arabia, supposedly named for its founder. Recorded from Roman times (Omana, in Pliny). Related: Omani.ETD Oman.2

    ombre (n.)

    card game originating in Spain and popular late 17c. and early 18c., 1650s, from French hombre, ombre (17c.), or directly from Spanish hombre, literally "man" (see hombre). So called from an expression (translatable as "I am the man") spoken in the course of the game. Played usually by three persons with a pack of 40 cards (the 8s, 9s, and 10s being discarded), it was supersedes as the fashionable game by quadrille.ETD ombre (n.).2


    word-forming element meaning "rain, rainfall; excessive moisture," from Greek ombros "shower of rain," from PIE *ombh-ro- "rain" (source also of Sanskrit abhra "cloud, thunder-cloud, rainy weather," Latin imber "rain, heavy rain; rainwater"), from root *nebh- "moist; water" (see nebula).ETD ombro-.2

    ombudsman (n.)

    "official appointed to investigate complaints by individuals against institutions or authorities," 1959, from Swedish ombudsman, literally "commission man" (specifically in reference to the office of justitieombudsmannen, which heard and investigated complaints by individuals against abuses of the state); cognate with Old Norse umboðsmaðr, from umboð "commission" (from um- "around," from Proto-Germanic umbi, from PIE root *ambhi- "around," + boð "command," from PIE root *bheudh- "be aware, make aware") + maðr "man" (from PIE root *man- (1) "man").ETD ombudsman (n.).2

    omega (n.)

    final letter of the Greek alphabet, c. 1400, from Medieval Greek omega, from classical Greek o mega "big 'o' " (in contrast to o micron "little 'o' "); so called because the vowel was long in ancient Greek. From o + megas "great, large, vast, big, high, tall; mighty, important" (from PIE root *meg- "great"). Used figuratively for "the last, the final" of anything (as in Revelation i.8) from 1520s.ETD omega (n.).2

    omelet (n.)

    in cookery, "dish based on eggs beaten lightly and browned in a pan," sometimes with additional ingredients, 1610s, from French omelette (16c.), a metathesis of alemette (14c.), an alteration of alemele "omelet," literally "blade (of a knife or sword)," which is probably a misdivision of la lemelle (mistaken as l'alemelle), from Latin lamella "thin, small plate," diminutive of lamina "plate, layer" (see laminate). The food so called from its flat shape.ETD omelet (n.).2

    The proverb you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs (1845) translates French On ne saurait faire une omelette sans casser des oeufs. As a word for a similar thing, Middle English had hanonei "fried onions mixed with scrambled eggs" (mid-15c.).ETD omelet (n.).3

    omen (v.)

    "to give indication of the future," 1775, from omen (n.). Related: Omened. The Latin verb ominari meant "to know or tell from omens, to predict."ETD omen (v.).2

    omen (n.)

    "casual event or occurrence supposed to portend good or evil," 1580s, from Latin omen "foreboding, augury," according to Varro from Old Latin osmen; a word of unknown origin.ETD omen (n.).2

    omer (n.)

    Hebrew measure of capacity (a little over 5 pints), 1610s, from Hebrew 'omer.ETD omer (n.).2

    omerta (n.)

    Mafia code of obedience to the leader and silence about the organization and its business, 1909, from Italian omertà, a dialectal form of umilta "humility," in reference to submission of individuals to the group interest, from Latin humilitas "lowness, small stature; insignificance; baseness, littleness of mind," in Church Latin "meekness," from humilis "lowly, humble," literally "on the ground," from humus "earth," from PIE root *dhghem- "earth."ETD omerta (n.).2

    OMG (interj.)

    also omg, internet chat abbreviation of oh my God, by 1994. (Earlier in computerese it meant Object Management Group, 1989, a consortium which helped pave the way for the modern internet.)ETD OMG (interj.).2

    omicron (n.)

    15th letter of the Greek alphabet, c. 1400, literally "small 'o,' " from o + Greek (s)mikros "small" (see micro-). So called because the vowel was "short" in ancient Greek. Compare omega.ETD omicron (n.).2

    ominously (adv.)

    "in an ominous manner," 1590s, from ominous + -ly (2). In earliest use, "with good omen, auspiciously," but this sense has been obsolete since late 17c.; the main modern meaning "with evil omen" is attested from 1640s (Milton).ETD ominously (adv.).2

    ominous (adj.)

    "conveying an omen, significant," 1580s, from Latin ominosus "full of foreboding," from omen (genitive ominis) "foreboding" (see omen (n.)). Especially (and now exclusively) "of ill omen, giving indication of coming evil." Related: Ominousness.ETD ominous (adj.).2

    omission (n.)

    mid-14c., omissioun, "a neglect or failure to do what one has power to do or ought to do," from Anglo-French omission (early 14c.), Old French omission and directly from Late Latin omissionem (nominative omissio) "an omitting," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin omittere "disregard," literally "let go, let fall" (see omit). Meaning "act of leaving out" is from 1550s. Related: Omissible.ETD omission (n.).2

    omit (v.)

    early 15c., omitten, "fail to use or do, fail or neglect to mention or speak of, to disregard," from Latin omittere "let go, let fall," figuratively "lay aside, disregard," from assimilated form of ob (here perhaps intensive) + mittere "let go, send" (see mission). Related: Omitted; omitting.ETD omit (v.).2

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