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    ramification (n.) — Raskolnik

    ramification (n.)

    1670s, "a branching out, a structure like or analogous to the branches of a tree," from French ramification, from ramifier (see ramify). Transferred sense of "outgrowth, consequence," in reference to immaterial things, is attested by 1755. Related: Ramifications.ETD ramification (n.).2

    ramify (v.)

    early 15c., ramifien, "to branch out, form branches," from Old French ramifier (early 14c.), from Medieval Latin ramificari, ramificare "to form branches," from Latin ramus "branch" (from PIE root *wrād- "branch, root") + combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Related: Ramified; ramifying.ETD ramify (v.).2

    ramjet (n.)

    type of jet engine, 1942, from ram (v.) + jet (n.). So called because it uses the engine's forward motion as the sole means to compress air.ETD ramjet (n.).2

    rammer (n.)

    "instrument for driving by impact," mid-15c., agent noun from ram (v.).ETD rammer (n.).2

    rammy (adj.)

    "like a ram," in any sense, c. 1600, from ram (n.) + -y (2). Related: Ramminess. Compare Middle English rammish (late 14c.), of smells, "rank, offensive."ETD rammy (adj.).2

    ramp (v.)

    c. 1300, raumpen, "to climb; to stand on the hind legs" (of animals), from Old French ramper "to climb, scale, mount" (12c., in Modern French "to creep, crawl"), a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from Frankish *rampon "to contract oneself" (compare Old High German rimpfan "to wrinkle," Old English hrimpan "to fold, wrinkle"), via notion of the bodily contraction involved in climbing [Klein], from Proto-Germanic *hrimp- "to contract oneself."ETD ramp (v.).2

    Hence, of a person or a devil," "attack, behave menacingly, as a lion or wolf would" (late 14c.). Related: Ramped; ramping.ETD ramp (v.).3

    ramp (n.2)

    "coarse, frolicsome girl or woman," mid-15c., rampe, "a virago, shrew," perhaps from early senses of ramp (v.) via the notion of "rear up on the hind legs to attack," hence, of persons, "to attack like a rampant animal." Also compare ramp (n.1). Johnson's Dictionary (1755) has romp: "a rude, awkward, boisterous, untaught girl."ETD ramp (n.2).2

    ramp (n.1)

    1778, "slope," from French rampe, a back-formation from Old French verb ramper "to climb, scale, mount;" see ramp (v.). Meaning "road on or off a major highway" is from 1952, American English. Older sense (now obsolete or archaic) was "a leap, spring, bound" (1670s); earlier still, "a climbing plant" (late 15c.).ETD ramp (n.1).2

    rampage (v.)

    "rage or storm about," 1715, in Scottish, probably from Middle English verb ramp "rave, rush wildly about" (c. 1300), especially of beasts rearing on their hind legs, as if climbing, from Old French ramper (see ramp (v.), also see rampant). Related: Rampaged; rampaging.ETD rampage (v.).2

    rampage (n.)

    "animated fit of anger or excitement," hence "excited action of any kind," 1861, from rampage (v.).ETD rampage (n.).2

    rampancy (n.)

    "state or quality of being rampant, exuberance, extravagance," 1660s, from rampant + abstract noun suffix -cy.ETD rampancy (n.).2

    rampant (adj.)

    c. 1300, raumpaunt, "standing on the hind legs" (as a heraldic lion often does), thus, also, "fierce, ravenous" (late 14c.), from Old French rampant, rampans, present participle of ramper "to climb, scale, mount" (see ramp (v.)). Sense of "growing without check" (in running rampant), is recorded by 1610s, probably is via the notion of "fierce disposition" or else preserves the older French sense. Related: Rampantly.ETD rampant (adj.).2

    rampart (n.)

    "earthen elevation around a place for fortification," capable of resisting cannon shot and sometimes also including parapets, 1580s, from French rempart, rampart, from remparer "to fortify," from re- "again" (see re-) + emparer "fortify, take possession of," from Old Provençal amparer, from Vulgar Latin *anteparare "prepare," properly "to make preparations beforehand," from Latin ante "before" (from PIE root *ant- "front, forehead," with derivatives meaning "in front of, before") + parare "to get, prepare" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). With unetymological -t in French, perhaps by influence of boulevart (see boulevard).ETD rampart (n.).2

    ramp up (v.)

    "to increase or boost," 1968, originally in technical jargon; from ramp (n.) in the sense of "a slope or incline."ETD ramp up (v.).2

    The opposite ramp down is attested by 1984.ETD ramp up (v.).3

    ramrod (n.)

    1757, "a rod used in ramming" (the charge of a gun or other firearm), from ram (v.) + rod (n.). Used figuratively for straightness or stiffness by 1939; also figurative of formality or primness (ramroddy, 1886). The verb in the figurative meaning "to force or drive as with a ramrod" is by 1948. Related: Ramrodded; ramrodding.ETD ramrod (n.).2

    ramshackle (adj.)

    "loosely joined, ill-made or out of good condition; chaotic or likely to collapse," 1809, an alternative form of ramshackled, earlier ranshackled (1670s), an alteration of ransackled, past participle of ransackle (from the same source as ransack). "Said chiefly of carriages and houses" [OED]. This form of the word seems to have been originally Scottish.ETD ramshackle (adj.).2

    Jamieson's "Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language" (1825) has it as a noun meaning "thoughtless, ignorant fellow."ETD ramshackle (adj.).3

    ramus (n.)

    in anatomy, "a branch or branching part," 1803, from Latin ramus "a branch, bough, twig," from earlier *radmo- and cognate with radix "root," from PIE root *wrād- "branch, root." This is the old reconstruction, which de Vaan, after some hesitation, finds justified. Related: Ramulous; ramulose.ETD ramus (n.).2


    past tense of run (v.), Old English ran.ETD ran.2


    frog genus, Modern Latin, from Latin rana "frog," which probably is imitative of croaking (compare frog (n.1)).ETD Rana.2

    ranch (v.)

    "to work on or conduct a ranch, herd cattle," 1866, from ranch (n.). Related: Ranched; ranching.ETD ranch (v.).2

    ranch (n.)

    1808, "country house," from American Spanish rancho "small farm, group of farm huts," from Spanish rancho "small farm, hamlet," earlier "mess-room," originally, "group of people who eat together," from ranchear "to lodge or station," from Old French ranger "install in position," from rang "row, line," from Frankish *hring or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hringaz "circle, ring, something curved" (from nasalized form of PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend"). The evolution would seem to be from "group of people who eat together" to "group of people who work and live together." The earlier form of the word in English was rancheria (c. 1600).ETD ranch (n.).2

    The sense of "large stock-farm and herding establishment" is by 1847. In Spanish America, the rancho was a herding operation, distinguished from the hacienda, a cultivated farm or plantation. Meanwhile, back at the ranch as a cliche narration for scene shifts in old Western serials and movies is by 1957.ETD ranch (n.).3

    Ranch-house "principle dwelling house on a ranch" is attested from 1862. By 1947 it was the name given to the modernistic type of low, long homes popular among U.S. suburban builders and buyers after World War II, hence ranch, of houses, "single-story, split-level" (adj.); as a noun, "a modern ranch-style house," by 1952, also rancher (1955); diminutive ranchette is attested by 1948.ETD ranch (n.).4

    Ranch dressing is from 1970, originally in reference to popular Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix, sold by mail order.ETD ranch (n.).5

    rancher (n.)

    1836, "owner of a ranch, person engaged in ranching;" see ranch (n.). Meaning "modern single-story house" is attested by 1955.ETD rancher (n.).2

    ranchero (n.)

    "one employed on a ranch, steward of a small herding farm," 1826, from American Spanish ranchero, from rancho (see ranch (n.)).ETD ranchero (n.).2

    rancid (adj.)

    "offensive to the senses, fetid or soured by chemical change, having a tainted smell or taste," 1640s, from Latin rancidus "rank, stinking, offensive" (also source of Italian rancido, Spanish rancio), from rancere "be spoiled or rotten," a word of unknown origin. Compare rancor. German ranzig is from French rancide. Related: Rancidness; rancidity.ETD rancid (adj.).2

    rancorous (adj.)

    "full of rancor, implacably spiteful," 1580s, from rancor + -ous. Related: Rancorously; rancorousness.ETD rancorous (adj.).2

    rancor (n.)

    c. 1200, rancour, "a nourished envy; bitterness, hatred, malice," from Old French rancor "bitterness, resentment; grief, affliction," from Late Latin rancorem (nominative rancor) "rancidness, a stinking smell" (Palladius); "grudge, bitterness" (Hieronymus and in Late Latin), from Latin rancere "to stink," a word of unknown etymology (compare rancid). Sometimes in 15c. medical works the word is used in English in its literal Latin sense.ETD rancor (n.).2

    rancour (n.)

    chiefly British English spelling of rancor; for ending see -or. Related: Rancourous; rancourously.ETD rancour (n.).2

    rand (n.)

    1839 in South African English, rant, "rocky ridge overlooking a river valley," from Afrikaans, from Dutch rand "edge, margin, rim," from Proto-Germanic *randaz "edge, rim, crust" (source also of Old English rand "brink, bank," Old High German rant "border or rim of a shield," German Rand "edge, border, margin," Old Norse rönd "shield-rim, shield," Swedish rand "stripe, edge, verge").ETD rand (n.).2

    As a unit of currency, adopted by the Republic of South Africa in 1961 (see Krugerrand). Johnson's dictionary has rand "Border; seam: as the rand of a woman's shoe." The Old English cognate survived into Middle English as rand "strip or border of land."ETD rand (n.).3


    masc. proper name, also Randall, shortened from Old English Randwulf, from rand "shield" (see rand) + wulf "wolf" (see wolf (n.)). Compare Randolph.ETD Randal.2

    randy (adj.)

    1690s, "aggressive, boisterous," a Scottish word of uncertain origin, probably from rand "to rave," an obsolete variant of rant (v.). "In early use always of beggars, and probably implying vagrant habits as well as rude behavior. Now applied only to women" [OED]. The sense of "lewd, lustful, noisily wanton" is attested by 1847. Compare Scottish and northern English randy (n.) "a sturdy beggar or vagrant" (of males); "a noisy hoyden, a rude, romping girl." Related: Randiness.ETD randy (adj.).2


    masc. proper name, from Old Norse Rannulfr "shield-wolf" and Frankish *Rannulf "raven-wolf," both brought to England by the Normans.ETD Randolph.2

    randomize (v.)

    "make unsystematic and unpredictable," 1926, from random (adj.) + -ize. Related: Randomized; randomizing; randomization.ETD randomize (v.).2

    random (adj.)

    1650s, "having no definite aim or purpose, haphazard, not sent in a special direction," from phrase at random (1560s), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"), from an alteration of the Middle English noun randon, randoun "impetuosity; speed" (c. 1300). This is from Old French randon "rush, disorder, force, impetuosity," from randir "to run fast," from Frankish *rant "a running" or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *randa (source also of Old High German rennen "to run," Old English rinnan "to flow, to run;" see run (v.)). For spelling shift of -n to -m, compare seldom, ransom.ETD random (adj.).2

    In 1980s U.S. college student slang it began to acquire a sense of "inferior, undesirable." (A 1980 William Safire column describes it as a college slang noun meaning "person who does not belong on our dormitory floor.") Random access in reference to computer memory that need not be read sequentially is recorded from 1953. Related: Randomly; randomness.ETD random (adj.).3

    rang (v.)

    past tense of ring (v.1). Middle English, by analogy of sang/sing, etc.ETD rang (v.).2

    range (v.)

    c. 1200, rengen, "to move over or through (a large area), roam with the purpose of searching or hunting," from Old French ranger, rangier, earlier rengier "to place in a row, arrange; get into line," from reng "row, line," from Frankish *hring or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hringaz "circle, ring, something curved" (from nasalized form of PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend"). Compare arrange. Sense of "to arrange in rows, make a row or rows of" is recorded from c. 1300; intransitive sense of "exist in a row or rows" is from c. 1600. Related: Ranged; ranging.ETD range (v.).2

    range (n.)

    c. 1200, renge, "row or line of persons" (especially hunters or soldiers), from Old French reng, renge "a row, line, rank," from Frankish *hring or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hringaz "circle, ring, something curved" (from nasalized form of PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend"). In some cases the Middle English word is from Old French range "range, rank," a variant of reng.ETD range (n.).2

    The general sense of "line, row" is attested from early 14c.; the meaning "row of mountains" is by 1705. The meaning "scope, extent" is by late 15c.; that of "area over which animals seek food" is from 1620s, from the verb. Specific U.S. sense of "series of townships six miles in width" is from 1785. Sense of "distance a gun can send a bullet" is recorded from 1590s; meaning "place used for shooting practice" is from 1862. The cooking appliance has been so called since mid-15c., for reasons unknown. Originally it was a stove built into a fireplace with openings on top for multiple operations. Range-finder "instrument for measuring the distance of an object" is attested from 1872.ETD range (n.).3

    ranger (n.)

    late 14c. (early 14c. in surnames), "gamekeeper, sworn officer of a forest whose work is to walk through it and protect it," agent noun from range (v.). Attested from 1590s in the general sense of "a rover, a wanderer;" from 1660s in the sense of "man (often mounted) who polices an area." The elite U.S. combat unit is so called from 1942 (organized 1941).ETD ranger (n.).2

    rangy (adj.)

    "having a long, slender form, quick or easy in movement" (as an animal suited to ranging), 1845, from range (v.) + -y (2). Also "adapted for ranging" (1868). Of landscapes, "hilly," 1862, Australian English (probably from range (n.)). Of persons of a long, slender form by 1899. Related: Ranginess.ETD rangy (adj.).2

    rank (v.)

    1570s, "arrange in lines;" 1590s, "put in order, classify; assign a rank to," also "have a certain place in a hierarchy," from rank (n.). The meaning "outrank, take precedence over" is by 1841. Related: Ranked; ranking. An earlier verb ranken (mid-13c.) "to fester, suppurate" is from rank (adj.).ETD rank (v.).2

    rank (n.)

    early 14c., "row, line, or series;" c. 1400, a row of an army, from Old French renc, ranc "row, line" (Modern French rang), from Frankish *hring or some other Germanic source (compare Old High German hring "circle, ring"), from Proto-Germanic *hringaz "circle, ring, something curved" (from nasalized form of PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend").ETD rank (n.).2

    Meaning "a social division, class of persons" is from early 15c. Meaning "high status or position in society" is from early 15c. Meaning "a relative position" is from c. 1600. Sense of "one of the rows of squares across a chess board" is by 1570s. Military ranks "the body of private soldiers" is attested by 1809.ETD rank (n.).3

    rank (adj.)

    Old English ranc "proud, overbearing, haughty, showy," senses now obsolete, from Proto-Germanic *rankaz (source also of Danish rank "right, upright," German rank "slender," Old Norse rakkr "straight, erect"), which is of uncertain origin, possibly related to Old Norse and Old English rinc "man, warrior." Related: Rankly; rankness.ETD rank (adj.).2

    In reference to plant growth, "vigorous, luxuriant, abundant, copious" (also figurative) it is recorded from c. 1300. The sense also evolved in Middle English to "large and coarse" (c. 1300), then to "corrupt, loathsome, foul" (mid-14c.), perhaps via the notion of "excessive and unpleasant," perhaps also influenced in this by French rance "rancid." Specifically as "having an offensive, strong smell" by 1520s. In Middle English also "brave, stout-hearted; splendid, admirable." In 17c. it also could mean "lewd, lustful."ETD rank (adj.).3

    Much used 16c. as a pejorative intensive (as in rank folly). This is possibly the source of the verb meanings "to reveal another's guilt" (1929, underworld slang) and that of "to harass, insult, abuse," 1934, African-American vernacular, though this also may be so called from the role of the activity in establishing social hierarchy (and thus from rank (n.)).ETD rank (adj.).4

    rank and file (n.)

    1590s, in reference to the horizontal and vertical lines of soldiers marching in formation, from rank (n.) in the military sense of "number of soldiers drawn up in a line abreast" (1570s) + file (n.1). Thence generalized to "common soldiers" (1796) and "common people, general body" of any group (1860).ETD rank and file (n.).2

    rankle (v.)

    c. 1300, ranclen, of a sore, wound, etc., "to fester," from Old French rancler, earlier raoncler, draoncler "to suppurate, run," from draoncle "abscess, festering sore," from Medieval Latin dracunculus, literally "little dragon," diminutive of Latin draco "serpent, dragon" (see dragon). According to OED (citing Skeat and also Godefroy's "Dictionnaire De L'ancienne Langue Française"), the notion is of an ulcer caused by a snake's bite. Transitive meaning "cause to fester" is from c. 1400. Figurative use, of feelings, etc., is from 16c. Related: Rankled; rankling.ETD rankle (v.).2

    ransack (v.)

    mid-13c., ransaken, "to plunder; to make a search, search thoroughly," from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse rannsaka "to pillage," literally "search the house" (especially legally, for stolen goods), from rann "house," from Proto-Germanic *raznan (c.f. Gothic razn, Old English ærn "house;" Old English rægn "a plank, ceiling;" see barn) + saka "to search," related to Old Norse soekja "seek" (see seek). Properly it would have evolved as *ransake; the present form perhaps was influenced by sack (v.1). Related: Ransacked; ransacking.ETD ransack (v.).2

    ransom (n.)

    13c., raunsoun, "sum paid for the release of a prisoner or captured man," also "redemption from damnation," from Old French ranson (Modern French rançon), earlier raenson "ransom, redemption," from Latin redemptionem (nominative redemptio) "a redeeming," from redimere "to redeem, buy back," from red- "back" (see re-) + emere "to take, buy, gain, procure" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute"). A doublet of redemption. A faded word somewhat revived by Scott early 19c. Spelling with -m appears by late 14c., but the reason for it is unclear (compare seldom, random).ETD ransom (n.).2

    ransom (v.)

    "buy back, redeem by paying or giving in return that which is demanded," early 14c., raunsounen, from ransom (n.). Related: Ransomed; ransoming.ETD ransom (v.).2

    rant (v.)

    c. 1600, "to be jovial and boisterous," also "to talk bombastically," from Dutch randten (earlier ranten) "talk foolishly, rave," of unknown origin (compare German rantzen "to frolic, spring about," dialectal rant "noise, uproar"). Related: Ranted; ranting. Ranters as the name of an antinomian sect which arose in England c. 1645 is attested from 1651; applied 1823 to Primitive Methodists. A 1700 slang dictionary has rantipole "a rude wild Boy or Girl" (also as a verb and adjective); to ride rantipole meant "The woman uppermost in the amorous congress" [Grose].ETD rant (v.).2

    rant (n.)

    "bombastic speech; boisterous, empty declamation; fierce or high-sounding language without much meaning or dignity of thought," 1640s, from rant (v.). In Scottish and northern England dialect it could mean "a boisterous, noisy frolic" (1670s).ETD rant (n.).2

    rantallion (n.)

    "One whose scrotum is so relaxed as to be longer than his penis, i. e. whose shot pouch is longer than the barrel of his piece." ["Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," Grose, 1785]ETD rantallion (n.).2

    rap (v.2)

    intransitive, "talk informally, chat in an easy way," 1929, according to OED, popularized c. 1965 in African-American vernacular, possibly first in Caribbean English and from British slang rap (v.) "to say, utter" (by 1879), originally "to utter sharply, speak out" (1540s), ultimately a sense-branch of rap (v.1).ETD rap (v.2).2

    As a noun in this sense from 1898. Meaning "to perform rap music" is recorded by 1979. Related: Rapped; rapping.ETD rap (v.2).3

    rap (v.1)

    mid-14c., rappen, "to strike, smite, knock," from rap (n.). Related: Rapped; rapping. To rap (someone's) knuckles "give sharp punishment" is from 1749 (to rap (someone's) fingers in the same sense is by 1670s.). Related: Rapped; rapping.ETD rap (v.1).2

    rap (n.)

    early 14c., rappe, "a quick, light blow; a resounding stroke," also "a fart" (late 15c.), native or borrowed from a Scandinavian source (compare Danish rap, Swedish rapp "light blow"); either way probably of imitative origin (compare slap, clap).ETD rap (n.).2

    Slang meaning "a rebuke, the blame, responsibility" is from 1777; specific meaning "criminal indictment" (as in rap sheet, 1960) is from 1903; to beat the rap is from 1927. Meaning "music with improvised words" was in New York City slang by 1979 (see rap (v.2)).ETD rap (n.).3

    rapping (n.)

    early 15c., "a knocking, colliding; production of sound by a rap," verbal noun from rap (v.1). Meaning "talking, chatting, conversation" is from 1969; meaning "rap music performance" is from 1979, both from rap (v.2).ETD rapping (n.).2

    rapable (adj.)

    also rapeable, "Of a person: regarded as a suitable object for sexual pursuit or assault" [OED], 1972, from rape (v.) + -able.ETD rapable (adj.).2

    rapacity (n.)

    "predaceous disposition; act or practice of seizing by force," 1540s, from French rapacité (16c.), from Latin rapacitatem (nominative rapacitas) "greediness," from rapax (genitive rapacis) "grasping, plundering," from rapere "seize" (see rapid).ETD rapacity (n.).2

    rapacious (adj.)

    "of a grasping habit or disposition," 1650s, from Latin rapaci-, stem of rapax "grasping," itself from stem of rapere "to seize" (see rapid) + -ous. Related: Rapaciously; rapaciousness.ETD rapacious (adj.).2

    rape (n.2)

    kind of cruciferous plant (Brassica napus), late 14c., from Old French rape and directly from Latin rapa, rapum "turnip," which is cognate with Greek hrapys "rape," Old Church Slavonic repa, Lithuanian ropė, Middle Dutch roeve, Old High German ruoba, German Rübe "rape, turnip," perhaps a common borrowing from a non-IE word (de Vaan).ETD rape (n.2).2

    Widely grown as fodder for cattle and sheep, an oil made from it is used in cooking (see canola). Rape-oil is attested by 1540s; rapeseed by 1570s.ETD rape (n.2).3

    rape (v.)

    late 14c., rapen, "seize prey; abduct, take and carry off by force," from rape (n.) and from Anglo-French raper (Old French rapir) "to seize, abduct," a legal term, probably from Latin rapere "seize, carry off by force, abduct" (see rapid). Also figuring in alliterative or rhyming phrases, such as rape and renne (late 14c.) "seize and plunder."ETD rape (v.).2

    The older senses of the English word became obsolete. The surviving meaning "to abduct (a woman), ravish;" also "seduce (a man)" is clearly by early 15c. in English, but it might have been at least part of the sense in earlier uses.ETD rape (v.).3

    Meaning "to rob, strip, plunder" (a place) is from 1721, a partial revival of the old sense. Uncertain connection to Low German and Dutch rapen in the same sense. In Middle English, and occasionally after, the verb was used in figurative senses of Latin rapere, such as "transport in ecstasy, carry off to heaven," usually in past-participle rapte, which tends to blend with rapt. Related: Raped; raping.ETD rape (v.).4

    Classical Latin rapere was used for "sexually violate," but only rarely; the usual Latin word being stuprare "to defile, ravish, violate," which is related to stuprum (n.) "illicit sexual intercourse," literally "disgrace," stupere "to be stunned, stupefied" (see stupid). Latin raptus, past participle of rapere, used as a noun meant "a seizure, plundering, abduction," but in Medieval Latin also "forcible violation."ETD rape (v.).5

    rape (n.1)

    early 14c., "booty, prey;" mid-14c., "forceful seizure, act of snatching by force; plundering, robbery, extortion," from Anglo-French rap, rape, and directly from Latin rapere "seize" (see rape (v.)). Meaning "act of abducting a woman or sexually violating her or both" is from early 15c. Late 13c. in Anglo-Latin (rapum).ETD rape (n.1).2

    raphe (n.)

    in anatomy, "seam-like suture of two lateral halves," 1753, medical Latin, from Greek rhaphē "seam, suture (of a skull)," from rhaptein "to sew together, stitch" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend").ETD raphe (n.).2


    masc. proper name, name of a Biblical archangel (Apocrypha), from Late Latin, from Greek Rhaphael, from Hebrew Repha'el, literally "God has healed," from rapha "he healed" + el "God." Raphaelesque (1832) is in reference to the great Renaissance painter Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520). Also see Pre-Raphaelite.ETD Raphael.2

    rapidity (n.)

    "celerity of motion or action," 1650s, from French rapidité and directly from Latin rapiditatem (nominative rapiditas) "swiftness, rapidity, velocity," from rapidus "hasty, swift, rapid" (see rapid).ETD rapidity (n.).2

    rapid (adj.)

    1630s, "moving or doing quickly, capable of great speed," from French rapide (17c.) and directly from Latin rapidus "hasty, swift; snatching; fierce, impetuous," from rapere "hurry away, carry off, seize, plunder," from PIE root *rep- "to snatch" (source also of Greek ereptomai "devour," harpazein "snatch away," Lithuanian raplės "tongs").ETD rapid (adj.).2

    Meaning "happening in a short time, coming quickly into existence" is from 1780. Related: Rapidly; rapidness. Rapid-fire (adj.) 1890 in reference to guns, figurative or transferred use by 1900; the noun phrase is by 1836. Rapid-transit first attested 1852, in reference to street railways; rapid eye movement, associated with a certain phase of sleep, is from 1906.ETD rapid (adj.).3

    rapids (n.)

    "swift current in a river where the channel is descending," 1765, from French rapides (see rapid); applied by French voyagers to rough, swift-flowing reaches in North American rivers.ETD rapids (n.).2

    rapier (n.)

    type of pointed sword, 1550s, from French rapière, from espee rapiere "long, pointed two-edged sword" (late 15c.), in which the adjective is of uncertain origin; perhaps it is from a derisive use of raspiere "poker, scraper." Dutch, Danish rapier, German Rappier are from French.ETD rapier (n.).2

    Originally a long, pointed, two-edged sword with a guard for the hand, used, especially in 16c.-17c., for either cutting or thrusting; later, in fencing, a light, sharp-pointed sword for thrusting.ETD rapier (n.).3

    rapine (n.)

    "plunder; the violent seizure and carrying off of property," early 15c., from Old French rapine (12c.) and directly from Latin rapina "act of robbery, plundering, pillage," from rapere "seize, carry off, rob" (see rapid).ETD rapine (n.).2

    rapist (n.)

    "one guilty of sexual assault," 1883, agent noun from rape (v.).ETD rapist (n.).2

    rapparee (n.)

    "Irish freebooter," 1690, originally "pikeman," a kind of soldier prominent in the war of 1688-92, from Irish rapairidhe, plural of rapaire "half-pike."ETD rapparee (n.).2

    rappel (n.)

    mountaineering technique for descending steep faces, 1931, from French rappel, literally "recall" (Old French rapel), from rapeler "to recall, summon" (see repeal (v.), which is a doublet). The same word had been borrowed into English earlier to mean "a drum roll to summon soldiers" (1848). For spelling, see rally (v.1).ETD rappel (n.).2

    rappel (v.)

    1957 in the mountaineering sense; see rappel (n.). Related: Rappelled; rappelling.ETD rappel (v.).2

    rapper (n.)

    "one who or that which raps" in any sense, 1610s; see rap (v.)). It could mean "door-knocker" (1630s), "spirit-rapper" (1755), "professional perjurer" (1840), prison slang for "prosecutor" in prison slang (1904), "itinerant antiques buyer," with a tinge of shadiness (1914). The hip-hop performance sense emerged c. 1979. Rapster is from 1772.ETD rapper (n.).2

    rapport (n.)

    1660s, "reference, relation, relationship," from French rapport "bearing, yield, produce; harmony, agreement, intercourse," back-formation from rapporter "bring back; refer to," from re- "again" (see re-) + apporter "to bring," from Latin apportare "to bring," from ad "to" (see ad-) + portare "to carry" (from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over"). The Old French noun was report "pronouncement, judgment," from reporter "to tell, relate" (see report (v.)).ETD rapport (n.).2

    Especially "harmonious relation; accord or agreement; analogy." The psychological meaning "intense harmonious accord," as between therapist and patient, is attested by 1894, though the word had been used in a similar sense with reference to mesmerism from 1845 (in Poe). Also see report (n.).ETD rapport (n.).3

    Formerly often used as a French word, and in en rapport. Johnson [1755] frowns on the word and credits its use in English to Sir William Temple, notorious naturalizer of French terms, who did use it but was not the first. Fowler writes that it was "formerly common enough to be regarded and pronounced as English," but in his time [1926] the word seemed to have reacquired its Frenchness and was thus dispensable.ETD rapport (n.).4

    rapportage (n.)

    "the describing of events in writing," 1898, a French word in English, from French rapportage, literally "tale-telling," from rapporter "to bring back; refer to" (see rapport).ETD rapportage (n.).2

    rapporteur (n.)

    "person who prepares an account of the proceedings of a committee, etc., for a higher body," 1791, from French rapporteur "tell-tale, gossip; reporter," from rapporter "bring back; refer to," Old French reporter (see report (v.)). The word was earlier in English in the now-obsolete sense of "a reporter" (c. 1500).ETD rapporteur (n.).2

    rapprochement (n.)

    "establishment of cordial relations," 1809, from French rapprochement "reunion, reconciliation," literally "a bringing near," from rapprocher "bring near," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + aprocher (see approach (v.)). Generally in italics until 1880s.ETD rapprochement (n.).2

    rapscallion (n.)

    "A rascally, disorderly, or despicable person" [Century Dictionary], 1690s, alteration of rascallion (1640s), a fanciful elaboration of rascal (q.v.). It had a parallel in now-extinct rampallion (1590s), from Middle English ramp (n.2) "ill-behaved woman." Also compare rascabilian (1620s). Rapscallionry "rascals collectively" is marked "[Rare.]" in Century Dictionary (1897); Galsworthy used rapscallionism.ETD rapscallion (n.).2

    rapt (adj.)

    late 14c., "carried away in an ecstatic trance," from Latin raptus, past participle of rapere "seize, carry off" (see rape (v.)). A figurative sense, the notion is of being "carried up into Heaven" (bodily or in a dream), as in a saint's vision.ETD rapt (adj.).2

    The Latin literal sense of "carried away" also was in English from 1550s. Essentially an alternative past participle of rape, in 15c.-17c. the word also sometimes could mean "raped." The sense of "engrossed" is recorded from c. 1500.ETD rapt (adj.).3

    As a Latin past-participle adjective, in English it spawned unthinking the back-formed verb rap "to affect with rapture," which was common c. 1600-1750. Before that, there was a verb rapt "seize or grasp, seize and carry off; ravish" (1570s), also "enrapture, transport as with ecstasy" (1590s). There also was a noun rapt in 15c. meaning both "rapture" and "rape."ETD rapt (adj.).4

    raptor (n.)

    late 14c., raptour, "a plundering bird of prey;" c. 1600, "ravisher, abductor," from Latin raptor "a robber, plunderer, abductor, ravisher," agent noun from past-participle stem of rapere "to seize" (see rapid). Modern ornithological use is by 1873, from Raptores, the order name of the birds of prey (1823, a Latin plural).ETD raptor (n.).2

    raptorial (adj.)

    "predatory, preying upon animals," 1825, from raptor + -ial. Alternative raptatorial "predacious" (1840) is from Latin raptatus, past participle of raptare. OED [2nd. ed. print, 1989] says raptatory is "recent" and Century Dictionary marks raptorious (1819, of insects) as "rare."ETD raptorial (adj.).2

    rapture (n.)

    c. 1600, "act of carrying off" as prey or plunder, from rapt + -ure, or else from French rapture, from Medieval Latin raptura "seizure, rape, kidnapping," from Latin raptus "a carrying off, abduction, snatching away; rape" (see rapt). The earliest attested use in English is with women as objects and in 17c. it sometimes meant rape (v.), which word is a cognate of this one.ETD rapture (n.).2

    The sense of "spiritual ecstasy, state of mental transport or exaltation" is recorded by c. 1600 (raptures). The connecting notion is a sudden or violent taking and carrying away. The meaning "expression of exalted or passionate feeling" in words or music is from 1610s.ETD rapture (n.).3

    rapturous (adj.)

    "ecstatically joyous or exalted," 1670s, from rapture + -ous. Related: Rapturously (1660s).ETD rapturous (adj.).2

    rapture (v.)

    "to enrapture, put in a state of rapture," 1630s (implied in raptured), from rapture (n.). Related: Rapturing.ETD rapture (v.).2

    rara avis (n.)

    c. 1600, "peculiar person, person of a type seldom encountered," from Latin rara avis, literally "strange bird," from rara, fem. of rarus "rare" (see rare (adj.1)) + avis "bird" (see aviary). Latin plural is raræ aves. A phrase used of Horace's peacock (a Roman delicacy), Juvenal's black swan ("Rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cygno"). A figure perhaps natural to the superstitious Romans, who divined by bird-watching.ETD rara avis (n.).2

    rare (adj.1)

    [thin, few, unusual] late 14c., "thin, airy, porous" (opposed to dense); mid-15c., "few in number and widely separated, sparsely distributed, seldom found, very infrequent;" from Old French rer, rere "sparse" (14c.) and directly from Latin rarus "thinly sown, having a loose texture; not thick; having intervals between, full of empty spaces" (antonym of densus). Sometimes reconstructed to be from a PIE root *ere- "to separate; adjoin."ETD rare (adj.1).2

    "Having the particles not close together," hence "few in number," hence, "unusual." Sense of "remarkable from uncommonness," especially "uncommonly good" is from late 15c. (Caxton). Related: Rareness. In chemistry, rare earth is from 1818.ETD rare (adj.1).3

    rarely (adv.)

    1520s, "thinly, scantily," from rare (adj.1) + -ly (2). From 1550s as "seldom, not often;" the sense of "finely, excellently" is by 1580s.ETD rarely (adv.).2

    rare (v.)

    "rise up on the hind legs," as a horse, lion, etc., 1833, dialectal variant of rear (v.1). Sense of "eager" (in raring to go) is recorded by 1909. Related: Rared; raring.ETD rare (v.).2

    rare (adj.2)

    [undercooked] 1650s, a variant of Middle English rere, from Old English hrere "lightly cooked," probably related to hreran "to stir, move, shake, agitate," from Proto-Germanic *hrorjan (source also of Old Frisian hrera "to stir, move," Old Saxon hrorian, Dutch roeren, German rühren, Old Norse hroera), from PIE root *kere- "to mix, confuse; cook" (source also of Greek kera- "to mix," krasis "mixture").ETD rare (adj.2).2

    Originally of eggs, not recorded in reference to meat until 1784, and according to OED, in this sense "formerly often regarded as an Americanism, although it was current in many English dialects ... and used by English writers in the first half of the 19th c."ETD rare (adj.2).3

    rarebit (n.)

    1785, an absurd perversion of (Welsh) rabbit, as if from rare (adj.) + bit (n.). See Welsh.ETD rarebit (n.).2

    raree show

    "peep show contained in a box," 1680s, so called "in imitation of the foreign way of pronouncing rare show" [Johnson]. "Johnson's statement is prob. correct; the early exhibitors of peep-shows appear to have been usually Savoyards, from whom the form was no doubt adopted" [OED]. Compare German raritäten-kabinet "cabinet of curiosities or rarities." Early peep shows were more innocent than what usually was meant later by that term.ETD raree show.2

    rarefaction (n.)

    "act or process of making rare or expanding a body of matter (originally chiefly gases) so that a smaller number of particles occupy the same space," c. 1600, from French raréfaction or directly from Medieval Latin rarefactionem (nominative rarefactio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin rarefacere "make rare or thin" (see rarefy). Rarefication (1610s) also is used. Rarefactive is attested from early 15c.ETD rarefaction (n.).2

    rarefy (v.)

    late 14c., rarefien, "make thin, reduce the density of," from Old French rarefier (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin rarificare, from Latin rarefacere "make thin, make rare," from rarus "rare, thin" (see rare (adj.1)) + facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Intransitive sense of "become less dense" is from 1650s. Related: Rarefied; rarefiable.ETD rarefy (v.).2

    rarify (v.)

    common but incorrect spelling of rarefy (q.v.). Related: Rarified; rarifying.ETD rarify (v.).2

    rarity (n.)

    early 15c., rarite, "thinness, porosity, condition of being not dence;" 1550s, "fewness, state of being uncommon," from French rarité and directly from Latin raritas "thinness, looseness of texture; fewness," from rarus (see rare (adj.1)). Sense of "a rare thing or event, thing valued for its scarcity or unusual excellence" is from 1590s.ETD rarity (n.).2

    rascal (n.)

    mid-14c., rascaile "people of the lowest class, the general mass; rabble or foot-soldiers of an army" (senses now obsolete), also singular, "low, tricky, dishonest person," from Old French rascaille "rabble, mob" (12c., Modern French racaille), as Cotgrave's French-English Dictionary (1611) defines it: "the rascality or base and rascall sort, the scumme, dregs, offals, outcasts, of any company."ETD rascal (n.).2

    This is of uncertain origin, perhaps a diminutive from Old French rascler, from Vulgar Latin *rasicare "to scrape" (see rash (n.)) on the notion of "the scrapings." "[U]sed in objurgation with much latitude, and often, like rogue, with slight meaning" [Century Dictionary]. Used also in Middle English of animals unfit to chase as game on account of some quality, especially a lean deer. Also formerly an adjective.ETD rascal (n.).3

    rascally (adj.)

    "low, mean, unprincipled, characteristic of a rascal," 1590s, from rascal + -ly (1). The earlier adjective was simply rascal (early 15c.).ETD rascally (adj.).2

    rascality (n.)

    1570s, "low and vulgar people collectively;" 1590s, "character or actions of a rascal;" see rascal + -ity. Middle English had rascaldry "common soldiers" (mid-15c.); Carlyle (1837) used rascaldom "the sphere or domain of rascals."ETD rascality (n.).2

    rase (v.)

    late 14c., "remove by scraping, rub, erase," especially "to remove writing by scruaping it out," from Old French raser "to scrape, shave," from Medieval Latin rasare, frequentative of Latin radere (past participle rasus) "to scrape, shave" (see raze (v.)). Meaning "level to the ground or the supporting surface" is from 1530s (compare raze). Related: Rased; rasing.ETD rase (v.).2

    rash (adj.)

    late 14c., "nimble, quick, vigorous" (early 14c. as a surname), a Scottish and northern word, perhaps from a survival of Old English -ræsc (as in ligræsc "flash of lightning") or one of its Germanic cognates, from Proto-Germanic *raskuz (source also of Middle Low German rasch, Middle Dutch rasc "quick, swift," German rasch "quick, fast," Danish rask "brisk, quick"). Related to Old English horsc "quick-witted."ETD rash (adj.).2

    The original senses in English now are obsolete. Sense of "reckless, impetuous, heedless of consequences, hasty in council or action" is attested from c. 1500. Related: Rashly; rashness.ETD rash (adj.).3

    rash (n.)

    "eruption of small red spots on skin," 1709, perhaps from French rache "a sore" (Old French rasche "rash, scurf"), from Vulgar Latin *rasicare "to scrape" (also source of Old Provençal rascar, Spanish rascar "to scrape, scratch," Italian raschina "itch"), a variant of classical Latin rasitare, from Latin rasus "scraped," past participle of radere "to scrape" (see raze (v.)). The connecting notion would be of itching. The figurative sense of "any sudden outbreak or proliferation" is recorded by 1820.ETD rash (n.).2

    rasher (n.)

    in cookery, "thin slice of bacon or ham," 1590s, a word of unknown origin. Perhaps from Middle English rash "to cut," variant of rase "to rub, scrape out, erase." However, early lexicographer John Minsheu explained it in 1627 as a piece "rashly or hastily roasted."ETD rasher (n.).2


    "dissenter from the Russian Church, an Old Believer," 1723, from Russian Raskolnik "separatist," from raskol "schism, separation." The schism was a result of reforms by Patriarch Nikon in 1667.ETD Raskolnik.2

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