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    parsley (n.) — Passover

    parsley (n.)

    biennial garden-herb, originally from the eastern Mediterranean; its aromatic leaves are used for flavoring and as a garnish; late 14c., a merger of Old English petersilie and Old French peresil (13c., Modern French persil), both from Medieval Latin petrosilium, an unexplained alteration of Latin petroselinum, from Greek petroselinon "rock-parsley," from petros "rock, stone" (see petrous) + selinon "celery" (see celery).ETD parsley (n.).2

    parsnip (n.)

    biennial plant of Eurasia; its pale yellow root has been used as a food from ancient times; c. 1500, parsnepe, a corruption (by influence of Middle English nepe "turnip;" see neep) of Middle English passenep (late 14c.), from Old French pasnaise "parsnip," also "male member" (Modern French panais) and directly from Latin pastinaca "parsnip, carrot," from pastinum "two-pronged fork" (related to pastinare "to dig up the ground"). The plant was so called from the shape of the root. The parsnip was considered a kind of turnip. The unetymological -r- in the English word is unexplained; cognate Old High German, German, and Dutch pastinak are closer to the Latin original.ETD parsnip (n.).2

    parson (n.)

    late 13c., person (late 12c. as a surname), "parish priest" (later often applied to a clergyman in general), from Anglo-French and Old French persone "curate, parson, holder of Church office" (12c.), from Medieval Latin persona "parson" (see person). The reason for the ecclesiastical use is obscure; it might refer to the "person" legally holding church property, or it may be an abbreviation of persona ecclesiae "person of the church." The shift to a spelling with -a- begins late 13c. in surnames. Related: Parsonic. Parson's nose "the rump of a fowl" is attested by 1834.ETD parson (n.).2

    parsonage (n.)

    "house for a parson," late 15c.,from Old French personage and directly from Medieval Latin personagium; see parson + -age. Earlier it meant "benefice of a parson" (late 14c.).ETD parsonage (n.).2

    parts (n.)

    "personal qualities, gifts of ability, share of mental endowments or acquirements," 1560s, from part (n.).ETD parts (n.).2

    parting (n.)

    mid-13c., "the act of going away, departure;" c. 1300, "separation of persons, leave-taking," also "the act of dividing or putting asunder; distribution, apportionment;" verbal noun from part (v.). From late 14c. as "the act or process of dividing; a division or separation; a dividing line, a point or place of separation or division."ETD parting (n.).2

    part (n.)

    mid-13c., "division, portion of a whole, element or constituent (of something)," from Old French part "share, portion; character; power, dominion; side, way, path," from Latin partem (nominative pars) "a part, piece, a share, a division; a party or faction; a part of the body; a fraction; a function, office," related to portio "share, portion," from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot."ETD part (n.).2

    It has replaced native deal (n.) in most senses. Meaning "an allotted portion, a share" is from c. 1300; that of "a share of action or influence in activity or affairs, role, duty" is by late 14c. The theatrical sense (late 15c.) is from an actor's "share" in a performance (The Latin plural partis was used in the same sense). In music, "one of the voices or instruments in a concerted piece" (1520s). Sense of "separate piece of a machine" is by 1813.ETD part (n.).3

    Meaning "the division of the hair on the head when dressing it; the separation of the hair on the top of the head, from which it spread down on either side" is by 1890, American English; the earlier word for this was parting (1690s). The common Middle English word for it was shede, schede, from Old English scead, scad.ETD part (n.).4

    As an adjective from 1590s. Late Old English part "part of speech" did not survive and the modern word is considered a separate borrowing. Phrase for the most part "most, the greatest part" is from late 14c. To take part "participate" is from late 14c.ETD part (n.).5

    part (v.)

    c. 1200, parten "to depart, leave;" late 13c., "cause (things, persons) to separate;" from Old French partir "to divide, separate" (10c.), from Latin partire/partiri "to share, part, distribute, divide," from pars "a part, piece, a share" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").ETD part (v.).2

    Meaning "divide" (something), especially "divide by cutting or cleaving" is from c. 1300; that of "to share something" (with others) is from early 14c. Of persons, "to separate from one another," early 14c., also intransitive, "draw or hold (persons) apart, separate by intervening." Intransitive sense of "become disunited" is from early 14c.; that of "be divided or severed" is from 1570s. Meaning "to separate the hair, comb the hair away from a dividing line" is attested from 1610s. Related: Parted; parting. To part with "surrender" is from 1580s; earlier it meant "to share with" (mid-13c.).ETD part (v.).3

    partaker (n.)

    "one who takes or has a part or share in common with others," c. 1400, part-taker, "a sharer, a participant," from part (n.) + agent noun from take (v.); see partake.ETD partaker (n.).2

    partake (v.)

    1560s, "to take or have a part, portion, or share in common with others," back-formation from Middle English part-taking "a sharing" (late 14c.), or part-taker "a sharer" (c. 1400), both translations of Latin particeps "participant" (n.), also "sharing, partaking" (see participation). Meaning "to share in some degree the nature, character, or peculiarities of" is from 1610s. Related: Partook; partaking.ETD partake (v.).2

    parterre (n.)

    1630s, "a system of beds of different shapes and sizes in which flowers are cultivated," from French parterre (1540s), from adverbial phrase par terre "over the ground;" see par + terrain. Meaning "the part of the floor of a theater beneath the galleries" is by 1711.ETD parterre (n.).2

    parthenic (adj.)

    "of or of the nature of a virgin," 1834, from Greek parthenikos, from parthenos "virgin," a word of unknown origin.ETD parthenic (adj.).2

    parthenogenesis (n.)

    "reproduction without fertilization or sexual union," 1849, from Greek parthenos "a virgin," a word of unknown origin, + -genesis "birth, origin, creation." Related: Parthenogenetic.ETD parthenogenesis (n.).2

    Parthenon (n.)

    name of the temple of Athena Parthenos on the Acropolis in Athens, from Greek Parthenōn, literally "temple of the virgin goddess" (Athene), also, in a general sense, "the young women's apartments in a house," from parthenos "virgin, maiden, girl," a word of unknown origin. Beekes finds "acceptable" its derivation from IE *psteno- "breast" on the notion of "having protruding breasts." The temple was completed about 438 B.C.E., later served as a church and then a mosque under the Turks, and was shattered by an explosion of gunpowder stored there in 1687 during the Venetian siege.ETD Parthenon (n.).2

    Parthian (n.)

    1520s, native or inhabitant of Parthia (ancient kingdom northeast of Persia in western Asia), from Old Persian Parthava- "Parthian," dialectal variant of the stem Parsa-, source of Persia. Partienes (plural) "Parthians" is attested from c. 1300.ETD Parthian (n.).2

    As an adjective, "of or pertaining to the Parthians," by 1580s. The phrase Parthian shot is a figurative reference to their horsemen, who were expert at racing forward, turning, and shooting arrows backward at the moment of retreat. The exact phrase is attested by 1832; the image itself was in use long before (for example Parthian fight, 1630s).ETD Parthian (n.).3

    party (v.)

    "have a good time," 1922, from party (n.). Earlier as "to take the side of" (1630s). Related: Partied; partying.ETD party (v.).2

    party (n.)

    c. 1300, partie, "a part, division, section, portion," a sense now obsolete; also "physical piece, fragment; section of a book or treatise," from Old French partie "side, part; portion, share; separation, division" (12c.), literally "that which is divided," noun use of fem. past participle of partir "to divide, separate" (10c.), from Latin partire/partiri "to share, part, distribute, divide," from pars "a part, piece, a share" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").ETD party (n.).2

    In early use the word often appears where we would have its relative part (n.). Also from c. 1300 in the legal sense "person or group of persons involved in a lawsuit, agreement, etc.," and in the political sense of "a number of persons united in supporting a person, policy, or cause." From early 14c. as any "group of people," also "a social class." Meaning "a person, a paritcular person" is from mid-15c.ETD party (n.).3

    The military sense of "a detached part of a larger body or company" is by 1640s. The sense of "a gathering for social pleasure" is found by 1716, from general sense of persons gathered (originally for some specific, temporary purpose, such as dinner party, hunting party).ETD party (n.).4

    Phrase the party is over "enjoyment or pleasant times have come to an end" is from 1937; party line is recorded by 1834 in the sense of "policy adopted by a political party," and by 1893 in the sense of "telephone line shared by two or more subscribers." Party pooper "one who casts gloom over a convivial event" is from 1951, American English.ETD party (n.).5


    "in two ways," a modern word-forming element extracted late 16c. from parti-colored (q.v.). In that word it represents Middle English partie "of two different colors; different," from Old French partie.ETD parti-.2

    partiality (n.)

    "one-sidedness, unjust or unreasonable preference for one party in a dispute or transaction," early 15c., parcialte, from Old French parcialite and directly from Medieval Latin partialitatem (nominative partialitas), from partialis "divisible; partial" (see partial).ETD partiality (n.).2

    partialness (n.)

    "incompleteness," 1701, from partial + -ness.ETD partialness (n.).2

    partial (adj.)

    late 14c., "not whole or total, incomplete;" early 15c., "one-sided, biased, inclined to favor one party in a cause or one side of a question more than the other," also "pertaining to a selfish interest rather than to a common or larger good," from Old French parcial (14c., Modern French partial) and directly from Medieval Latin partialis "divisible, solitary, partial," from Latin pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, a share, a division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").ETD partial (adj.).2

    Weakened sense of "favorably disposed" is from 1580s. Meaning "affecting a part only, not universal or general" is by 1640s.ETD partial (adj.).3

    partially (adv.)

    late 15c., "incompletely," also "in a one-sided or biased manner," from partial + -ly (2).ETD partially (adv.).2

    participant (n.)

    "one who participates, a partaker," 1560s, from French participant, from Latin participantem (nominative participans), present participle of participare "to share in, partake of" from particeps "sharing, partaking" (see participation).ETD participant (n.).2

    participative (adj.)

    "capable of participating; having the quality of participating," 1650s, from participate + -ive. Earlier adjectives were participate (from Latin participatus), participant, both late 15c.ETD participative (adj.).2

    participation (n.)

    "act or fact of sharing or partaking in common with another or others; act or state of receiving or having a part of something," late 14c., participacioun, from Old French participacion (13c.) and directly from Late Latin participationem (nominative participatio) "partaking," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin participare "participate in, share in, partake of; to make partaker, to share, impart," from particeps (genitive participis) "partaker, comrade, fellow soldier," also, as an adjective, "sharing, partaking," from pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, a division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot") + -cip-, weak form of stem of capere "to take," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." Related: Participational "involving or requiring participation" (1952).ETD participation (n.).2

    participant (adj.)

    "sharing, having a share or part," late 15c., from Old French participant and directly from Latin participantem (nominative participans), present participle of participare "to share in, partake of," from particeps "sharing, partaking" (see participation).ETD participant (adj.).2

    participate (v.)

    1530s, "to partake, to share or share in," a back-formation from participation, or else from Latin participatus, past participle of participare "to share, share in, participate in; to impart," from particeps "partaking, sharing," from parti, past participle of partir "to divide" (from Latin partire, from pars "a part, piece," from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot") + Latin -cip-, weak form of stem of capere "to take" (from PIE root *kap- "to grasp"). Meaning "have features or characteristics in common with another or others" is by 1570s. Related: Participated; participating.ETD participate (v.).2

    participatory (adj.)

    "sharing, having a share or part in common with others," 1833, from participate + -ory. Participatory democracy is attested by 1965, a term from student protests and mass demonstrations, contrasted with representative democracy. The formulation of the idea, if not the phrase, seems to trace to U.S. progressive political writer Walter Lippmann (1889-1974).ETD participatory (adj.).2

    participial (adj.)

    "having the nature and use of a participle," 1590s, from French participial and directly from Latin participialis, from participium (see participle). As a noun from 1560s.ETD participial (adj.).2

    participle (n.)

    late 14c., in grammar, "a noun-adjective, a word having the value of an adjective as a part of speech but so regularly made from a verb and associated with it in meaning and construction as to seem to belong to the verb," from Old French participle in the grammatical sense (13c.), a variant of participe, and directly from Latin participium, literally "a sharing, partaking," also used in the grammatical sense, from particeps "sharing, partaking" (see participation). In grammatical sense, the Latin translates Greek metokhē "sharer, partaker," and the notion is of a word "partaking" of the nature of both a noun and an adjective.ETD participle (n.).2

    particle (n.)

    late 14c., "a bit or fragment, small part or division of a whole, minute portion of matter," from Latin particula "little bit or part, grain, jot," diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). In grammar, "a part of speech considered of minor consequence or playing a subordinate part in the construction of a sentence" (1530s). Particle physics, which is concerned with sub-atomic particles, is attested from 1969. In construction, particle board (1957) is so called because it is made from chips and shavings of wood.ETD particle (n.).2

    parti-colored (adj.)

    1530s, party-colored, "colored differently in different parts," from party "divided," from Middle English partie "of different colors; different" (late 14c.), from French parti, past participle of partir "to divide," from Latin partiri "to share, part, distribute, divide," from pars "a part, piece, a share" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). The noun parti itself occurs in the sense "parti-colored" from late 14c. Also parti-coloured.ETD parti-colored (adj.).2

    particulate (adj.)

    "having the form of a small particle, taking the form of particles," 1871, from Modern Latin particulatus, from particula "little bit or part, grain, jot," diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). As a noun, "a particulate substance," from 1960. Related: Particulates.ETD particulate (adj.).2

    particular (adj.)

    late 14c., "pertaining to or affecting a single thing or person; pertaining to some and not to all," from Old French particuler (14c., Modern French particulier) and directly from Late Latin particularis "of a part, concerning a small part," from Latin particula "little bit or part, grain, jot," diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). Meaning "peculiar, singular, standing out from what is usual or ordinary" is by late 15c. Sense of "precise, fastidious, exacting, attentive to details" is by 1814.ETD particular (adj.).2

    particular (n.)

    late 14c., particuler, "a part or section of a whole, an individual circumstance, feature, or factor; an organ or part of the body," from particular (adj.). Meaning "a single instance or matter" is from 1530s; particulars "small details of statement" is from c. 1600.ETD particular (n.).2

    particularize (v.)

    specify or mention with details, give the particulars of," 1580s, from particular (adj.) + -ize. Related: Particularized; particularizing; particularization.ETD particularize (v.).2

    particularity (n.)

    "state or character of being particular; that which is particular," 1520s, from French particularité, from Late Latin particularitatem (nominative particularitas), from Latin particularis "of a part, concerning a small part" (see particular (adj.)).ETD particularity (n.).2

    particularly (adv.)

    late 14c., particulerli, "separately, individually, specifically;" 1670s, "in a special degree, more than others;" from particular (adj.) + -ly (2).ETD particularly (adv.).2

    partisan (n.)

    also partizan, 1550s, "one who takes part with another, zealous supporter," especially one whose judgment is clouded by prejudiced adherence to a party, from French partisan (15c.), from dialectal upper Italian partezan (Tuscan partigiano) "member of a faction, partner," from parte "part, party," from Latin partem (nominative pars) "a part, piece, a share, a division; a party or faction; a part of the body; a fraction; a function, office" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").ETD partisan (n.).2

    In military use, "member of a detachment of troops sent on a special mission," from 1690s. As these commonly were irregular troops, it took on the sense of "guerrilla fighter" in the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic wars and again in reference to resistance to Nazi occupation in the Balkans and Eastern Europe in World War II.ETD partisan (n.).3

    partisan (adj.)

    1708 in a military sense, "engaged on a special enterprise;" 1842 in politics, "of or pertaining to a party or faction;" from partisan (n.).ETD partisan (adj.).2

    partisanship (n.)

    "earnest or passionate adherence to a party or faction," 1831, from partisan + -ship.ETD partisanship (n.).2

    partitive (adj.)

    late 14c., partitif, in grammar, "having the quality of dividing into parts," from Late Latin partitivus, from Latin partitus, past participle of partire "to divide," from pars "a part, piece, a share" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").ETD partitive (adj.).2

    partition (n.)

    c. 1400, particioun, "division into shares, distinction," from Old French particion (12c.), from Latin partitionem (nominative partitio) "a sharing, division, partition, distribution; method of dividing," from past participle stem of partire "to part, divide," from pars "a part, piece, a share" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). Sense of "that which separates" is recorded from late 15c. Meaning "act of parting or dividing, state of being divided" is from c. 1500.ETD partition (n.).2

    partition (v.)

    1741, "divide into shares," from partition (n.). Meaning "divide by walls or partitions" is from 1832. Related: Partitioned; partitioning.ETD partition (v.).2

    partizan (n.)

    also partisan, "long-handled cutting weapon used in England 14c.-16c.," 1550s, from Italian partesana, partigiana, a word of uncertain origin. The Old French form of the word, pertuisane, as if from pertuiser "make full of holes," suggests an ultimate source in Latin pertusus "bored through," past participle of pertundere, but this might be French folk-etymology.ETD partizan (n.).2

    The word was revived somewhat in 19c. by Scott and other antiquarian writers.ETD partizan (n.).3

    partly (adv.)

    "in part, in some measure or degree, not wholly," 1520s, from part (n.) + -ly (2).ETD partly (adv.).2

    partner (n.)

    c. 1300, partiner, "a sharer or partaker in anything," altered from parcener (late 13c.), from Old French parçonier "partner, associate; joint owner, joint heir," from parçon "partition, division. portion, share, lot," from Latin partitionem (nominative partitio) "a sharing, partition, division, distribution" from past participle stem of partire "to part, divide" (from pars "a part, piece, a share," from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").ETD partner (n.).2

    The form in English has been influenced by part (n.). The word also may represent Old French part tenour "part holder." From late 14c. as "one who shares power or authority with another;" the commercial sense is by 1520s. Meaning "a husband or wife, one associated in marriage with another" is from 1749.ETD partner (n.).3

    partner (v.)

    1610s, transitive, "to make a partner," from partner (n.). Intransitive sense, "join one another in partnership," is by 1961. Related: Partnered; partnering.ETD partner (v.).2

    partnership (n.)

    1570s, "state or condition of being a partner," from partner (n.) + -ship. In the commercial sense, "association of two or more persons for carrying on a business," from c. 1700.ETD partnership (n.).2

    part of speech (n.)

    "a word viewed as a constituent member of a sentence," c. 1500, translating Latin pars orationis (see parse). The parts of speech are: Noun, adjective, pronoun, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. Sometimes article and participle are counted among them.ETD part of speech (n.).2

    partridge (n.)

    "type of four-toed Eurasian bird," c. 1300, partrich (late 12c. as a surname, Ailwardus Pertiz), from Old French pertis, alteration of perdis (perhaps influenced by fem. suffix -tris), from Latin perdicem (nominative perdix) "plover, lapwing," from Greek perdix, the Greek partridge, a name probably related to perdesthai "to break wind," in reference to the whirring noise of the bird's wings, from PIE imitative base *perd- "to break wind" (source also of Sanskrit pardate "breaks wind," Lithuanian perdžiu, persti, Russian perdet, Old High German ferzan, Old Norse freta, Middle English farten).ETD partridge (n.).2

    At first the word had many variant spellings; the forms in -g- emerge by mid-15c. The name was applied to similar but unrelated species in the Americas from 1630s.ETD partridge (n.).3

    part-song (n.)

    "vocal composition for two or more independent voices," usually sung without accompaniment, by 1824, from part (n.) in the musical sense + song (n.).ETD part-song (n.).2

    part-time (adj.)

    also parttime, "employed, occurring, or lasting for less than the usual time," 1891, from part (n.) + time (n.). Related: Part-timer.ETD part-time (adj.).2

    parturient (adj.)

    "about to give birth," literally or figuratively, 1590s, from Latin parturientem (nominative parturiens), present participle of parturire "be in labor," literally "desire to bring forth," desiderative of parire "to bring forth, bear, produce, create; bring about, accomplish" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, bring forth"). Related: Parturiency.ETD parturient (adj.).2

    parturition (n.)

    "act of bringing forth or being delivered of young," 1640s, from Latin parturitionem (nominative parturitio), noun of action from past-participle stem of parturire "be in labor" (see parturient). Middle English had parturite (early 15c.) "a birth, the process of giving birth."ETD parturition (n.).2

    parvanimity (n.)

    "state of having a little or ignoble mind," 1690s, from Latin parvus "small" (see parvi-) + ending from magnanimity.ETD parvanimity (n.).2


    Hindu divinity, from Sanskrit, literally "(daughter) of the mountain," from parvata "mountain."ETD Parvati.2

    parvenu (n.)

    "upstart," 1802, from French parvenu, "said of an obscure person who has made a great fortune" (Littré); noun use of past participle of parvenir "to arrive" (12c.), from Latin pervenire "to come up, arrive, attain," from per- "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + venire "to come" (from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come"). One newly arisen to notice, especially by an accident of fortune and beyond his birth or apparent deserts, but who is intent to persuade other people that he is entitled to it. As an adjective from 1828.ETD parvenu (n.).2


    word-forming element used in science and meaning "small, little," from combining form of Latin parvus "small," which is from a metathesized form of PIE *pau-ro-, suffixed form of root *pau- (1) "few, little."ETD parvi-.2

    parvovirus (n.)

    type of very small virus, 1965, from parvi- "small, little" + connecting element -o- + virus.ETD parvovirus (n.).2


    also Parsifal, hero of medieval legends, from Old French Perceval, literally "he who breaks through the valley," from percer "to pierce, break through" (see pierce) + val "valley" (see vale).ETD Parzival.2


    high-level computer programming language, 1971, named for French scholar Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), who invented a calculating machine c. 1642.ETD PASCAL.2


    "Easter," also "Passover," early 12c., Pasche, Paske; see paschal. Now archaic. Pasch-egg "Easter egg" is from 1570s.ETD Pasch.2

    paschal (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to Passover or Easter," early 15c., from Old French paschal (12c.) and directly from Late Latin paschalis, from pascha "Passover, Easter," from Greek pascha "Passover," from Aramaic (Semitic) pasha "pass over," corresponding to Hebrew pesah, from pasah "he passed over" (see Passover). Pasche was an early Middle English term for "Easter" (see Easter), and the older Dutch form of the word, Paas, was retained in New York.ETD paschal (adj.).2

    pas devant les enfants

    French: "Not in front of the children."ETD pas devant les enfants.2

    pash (n.)

    "the head; the face; the brains," 1610s, now obsolete or dialectal, of uncertain origin. In 20c. a similar word was used as a colloquial shortening of passion.ETD pash (n.).2


    Turkish honorary title formerly given to officers of high rank, 1640s, from Turkish pasha, also basha, from bash "head, chief" (no clear distinction between -b- and -p- in Turkish), from Old Persian pati- "master" (from PIE root *poti- "powerful; lord") + root of shah. Earlier in English as bashaw (1530s).ETD pasha.2

    pashmina (adj.)

    1885, from Persian pashmin "woolen," from pashm "wool, down," from PIE *pek- "to pluck out" (see fight (v.)).ETD pashmina (adj.).2

    Pashto (n.)

    the principal Afghan language, 1784, from Persian pashto (Afghan pakhto). Related: Pashtun.ETD Pashto (n.).2


    wife of Minos, mother of Phaedra and Ariadne, from Greek Pasiphae, from pasiphaes "shining for all," from pasi "for all," dative plural of pas, pan "all" (see pan-) + phaos "light" (from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine").ETD Pasiphae.2

    pasquinade (n.)

    also Pasquin, "a libelous public lampoon," 1650s, from French, from Italian pasquinata (c. 1500), from Pasquino, name given to a mutilated ancient statue (now known to represent Menelaus dragging the dead Patroclus) set up by Cardinal Caraffa in his palace in Rome in 1501; the locals named it after a schoolmaster (or tailor, or barber) named Pasquino who lived nearby. A custom developed of posting satirical verses and lampoons on the statue.ETD pasquinade (n.).2

    passing (adv.)

    "in a (sur)passing degree, surpassingly," late 14c.; from passing (adj); see pass (v.).ETD passing (adv.).2

    pass (n.2)

    "written permission to pass into, or through, a place," 1590s, from pass (v.). Sense of "ticket for a free ride or admission" is by 1838. In cards, "the act of declining to make a bid," by 1923 in bridge. Colloquial make a pass "offer an amorous advance" is recorded by 1928, perhaps from a sporting sense (football, fencing). Phrase come to pass "be carried out or accomplished" (late 15c.) uses the word with a sense of "completion, accomplishment."ETD pass (n.2).2

    passing (n.)

    "death," 1869, a euphemistic verbal noun from pass (v.) in such Middle English phrases as passing of death, passing of the soul (c. 1300). A passing-bell (1520s) was a church bell tolled at the time of a person's death.ETD passing (n.).2

    pass (n.1)

    "mountain defile," c. 1300, from Old French pas "step, track, passage," from Latin passus "step, pace" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread").ETD pass (n.1).2

    passing (adj.)

    mid-14c., "transitory;" late 14c., "going by," present-participle adjective from pass (v.). Also from late 14c. as "surpassing, excellent," and "casual, superficial, cursory, as though done in passing." Related: Passingly.ETD passing (adj.).2

    pass (v.)

    late 13c., passen (transitive), "to go by (something)," also "to cross over," from Old French passer "to pass" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *passare "to step, walk, pass" (source also of Spanish pasar, Italian passare), from Latin passus "step, pace" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread").ETD pass (v.).2

    Intransitive sense of "to go on, to move forward, make one's way" is attested from c. 1300. The figurative sense of "to experience, undergo" (as in pass the time) is recorded from late 14c. Sense of "to go through an examination successfully" is from early 15c. Meaning "decline to do something" is attested from 1869, originally in cards (euchre). In football, hockey, soccer, etc., the meaning "to transfer the ball or puck to another player" is from c. 1865. Related: Passed; passing.ETD pass (v.).3

    The meaning "to be thought to be something one is not" (especially in a racial sense) is from 1935, from pass oneself off (as), which is attested by 1809. The general verb sense of "to be accepted as equivalent" is from 1590s. Pass up "decline, refuse" is attested from 1896. Pass the buck is from 1865, said to be poker slang reference to the buck horn-handled knife that was passed around to signify whose turn it was to deal. Pass the hat "seek contributions" is from 1762. Pass-fail as a grading method is attested from 1955, American English.ETD pass (v.).4

    passe (adj.)

    "out of use, faded, past the heyday of life," 1775, from French passé (fem. passée) "past, faded," past participle of passer "to pass," from Vulgar Latin *passare "to step, walk, pass," from Latin passus "step, pace" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread"). Originally of a woman past the period of greatest beauty.ETD passe (adj.).2

    passable (adj.)

    early 15c., "that may be crossed, traversable," from pass (v.) + -able, or from Old French passable "fordable, affording passage" (14c.). Sense of "tolerable, such as may be allowed to pass" is attested from late 15c. Related: Passably.ETD passable (adj.).2

    passacaglia (n.)

    dance tune of Spanish origin, 1650s, from Italian, from Spanish pasacalle, from pasar "to pass" (from Latin passus "step, pace," from PIE root *pete- "to spread") + calle "street," from Latin callis "path, rough track" (which is perhaps related to callum "hard skin;" see callus). So called because the songs often were played in the streets.ETD passacaglia (n.).2

    passage (n.)

    early 13c., "a road, a pathway;" c. 1300, "action of crossing from one place to another; a going over or through something; means of crossing," from Old French passage "mountain pass, passage" (11c.), from passer "to go by," from Vulgar Latin *passare "to step, walk, pass," from Latin passus "step, pace" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread"). Meaning "corridor in a building" is recorded from 1610s. Meaning "a portion of writing," originally one concerning a particular occurrence or matter, is from 1610s; of music, from 1670s.ETD passage (n.).2

    passageway (n.)

    1640s, "a road, avenue, or path affording means of communication," American English, from passage + way (n.). As "a hall in a building," by 1846, American English.ETD passageway (n.).2


    Native American tribe of southeast Maine, from Micmac (Algonquian), literally "place where pollack are plentiful," or else, if it originally is a tribal name and not a place-name, "those of the place of many pollack."ETD Passamaquoddy.2

    passant (adj.)

    c. 1300, passaunt, "transitory" (of things); transient, traveling" (of persons), from Old French passant, present-participle adjective from passer (see pass (v.)).ETD passant (adj.).2

    passbook (n.)

    also pass-book, "a bank-book," 1828, from pass (v.) + book (n.); apparently the notion is of the document "passing" between the bank and the customer.ETD passbook (n.).2

    passel (n.)

    a variant of parcel (n.) attested since late 14c.; its use in colloquial American English to mean "a large group or number" of persons or things is attested from 1835.ETD passel (n.).2

    passenger (n.)

    mid-14c., passager "a passer-by; a traveler," from Old French passagier, passageor "traveler, passer-by" (Modern French passager), noun use of passagier (adj.) "passing, fleeting, traveling," from passage "mountain pass, passage" (11c.), from passer "to go by," from Vulgar Latin *passare "to step, walk, pass," from Latin passus "step, pace" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread").ETD passenger (n.).2

    The -n- was added early 15c. (compare messenger, harbinger, scavenger, porringer). The oldest sense now is obsolete; meaning "one traveling in a public vehicle or vessel," especially in exchange for a fare, is attested from 1510s; hence, in modern use, "one riding in a private vehicle driven by another." The railroad passenger-car is attested from 1832. The North American passenger-pigeon was so called from 1802 for its extensive wanderings in search of food; they have been extinct since 1914.ETD passenger (n.).3

    passe-partout (n.)

    "master-key," 1670s, French, literally "pass everywhere," from passer "to pass" (see pass (v.)) + partout "everywhere," from par "through" (see per) + tout "all," from Latin totus (see total (adj.)). Figuratively, "that by means of which one can pass anywhere."ETD passe-partout (n.).2

    passer (n.)

    c. 1300, "ferryman;" late 14c., "traveler, voyager;" c. 1200 as a surname, from Old French passeor, agent noun from passer (see pass (v.)).ETD passer (n.).2

    passer-by (n.)

    also passerby, 1560s, from agent noun of pass (v.) + by; earlier, this sense was in passager (see passenger).ETD passer-by (n.).2

    passerine (adj.)

    "resembling or relating to a sparrow; of about the size of a sparrow," 1776, from Latin passerinus "of a sparrow," from passer "sparrow," which is of uncertain origin. The noun, "a passerine bird," is 1842, from the adjective.ETD passerine (adj.).2

    passible (adj.)

    late 14c., "capable of feeling or suffering; susceptible of impressions from external agents, capable of being changed," from Old French passible and directly from Late Latin passibilis "capable of feeling or suffering" (see passion). Related: Passibility (mid-14c., passabilite, "capacity for being acted upon or suffering").ETD passible (adj.).2

    passim (adv.)

    "occurring in various places," Latin, literally "scatteredly, in every direction," adverb from passus, past participle of pandere "to stretch" (from nasalized form of PIE root *pete- "to spread").ETD passim (adv.).2

    passion (n.)

    c. 1200, "the sufferings of Christ on the Cross; the death of Christ," from Old French passion "Christ's passion, physical suffering" (10c.), from Late Latin passionem (nominative passio) "suffering, enduring," from past-participle stem of Latin pati "to endure, undergo, experience," a word of uncertain origin. The notion is "that which must be endured."ETD passion (n.).2

    The sense was extended to the sufferings of martyrs, and suffering and pain generally, by early 13c. It replaced Old English þolung (used in glosses to render Latin passio), literally "suffering," from þolian (v.) "to endure." In Middle English also sometimes "the state of being affected or acted upon by something external" (late 14c., compare passive).ETD passion (n.).3

    In Middle English also "an ailment, disease, affliction;" also "an emotion, desire, inclination, feeling; desire to sin considered as an affliction" (mid-13c.). The specific meaning "intense or vehement emotion or desire" is attested from late 14c., from Late Latin use of passio to render Greek pathos "suffering," also "feeling, emotion." The specific sense of "sexual love" is attested by 1580s, but the word has been used of any lasting, controlling emotion (zeal; grief, sorrow; rage, anger; hope, joy). The meaning "strong liking, enthusiasm, predilection" is from 1630s; that of "object of great admiration or desire" is by 1732.ETD passion (n.).4

    A passion-play (1843, in a German context) represents the scenes in the Passion of Christ. The passion-flower was so called from the 1630s.ETD passion (n.).5

    passionate (adj.)

    early 15c., "angry; emotional, subject to emotions, exhibiting or expressing passion in any sense," from Medieval Latin passionatus "affected with passion," from Latin passio (genitive passionis) "suffering, enduring" (see passion). Specific sense of "amorous" is attested from 1580s. Related: Passionately; passionateness. Middle English had also passional "pertaining to the feelings" (mid-15c., from Medieval Latin passionalis).ETD passionate (adj.).2

    passive (adj.)

    late 14c., passif, of matter, "capable of being acted upon;" of persons, "receptive;" also in the grammatical sense "expressive of being affected by some action" (opposed to active), from Old French passif "suffering, undergoing hardship" (14c.) and directly from Latin passivus "capable of feeling or suffering," from pass-, past-participle stem of pati "to suffer" (see passion).ETD passive (adj.).2

    The meaning "not active or acting" is recorded from late 15c.; the sense of "unresisting, not opposing, enduring suffering without resistance" is from 1620s. Related: Passively. As a noun, late 14c. as "a capacity in matter for being acted upon;" also in grammar, "a passive verb."ETD passive (adj.).3

    Passive resistance is attested in 1819 in Scott's "Ivanhoe" and was used throughout 19c.; it was re-coined by Gandhi c. 1906 in South Africa. Passive-aggressive with reference to behavior or personality characterized by indirect resistance but avoidance of direct confrontation is attested by 1971.ETD passive (adj.).4

    passiveness (n.)

    "state or quality of being passive," 1650s, from passive + -ness.ETD passiveness (n.).2

    passivity (n.)

    "passiveness," 1650s, from passive + -ity. Middle English had passion in a sense of "fact or condition of being acted upon" (c. 1400), also passabilite "capacity for being acted upon or suffering" (mid-14c.; see passible).ETD passivity (n.).2

    passivist (n.)

    1895, originally in reference to sex roles, from passive + -ist.ETD passivist (n.).2

    pass out (v.)

    "lose consciousness," 1915, from pass (v.) + out. Probably a weakened sense from earlier meaning "to die" (1899). Meaning "to distribute" is attested from 1926. Related: Passed out.ETD pass out (v.).2


    annual Jewish feast instituted to commemorate the escape from Egypt, 1530, coined by Tyndale from verbal phrase pass over, to translate Hebrew ha-pesah "Passover," from pesah (see paschal), in reference to the Lord "passing over" the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when he killed the first-born of the Egyptians (Exodus xii). By extension including the following seven days during which the Israelites were permitted to eat only unleavened bread.ETD Passover.2

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