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    reformer (n.) — regulate (v.)

    reformer (n.)

    mid-15c., "corrector, improver; mediator, negotiator," agent noun from reform (v.). From 1540s as "one who leads or assists the religious movements of the 16c. aimed at reformation of Christianity;" also "one who promotes or favors reform in certain practices of things."ETD reformer (n.).2

    reformation (n.)

    late 14c., reformacioun, "restoration, re-establishment;" early 15c., "improvement, alteration for the better," from Old French reformacion and directly from Latin reformationem (nominative reformatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of reformare "to form again, change, transform, alter," from re- "again" (see re-) + formare "to form" (see form (n.)).ETD reformation (n.).2

    With capital R-, in reference to the great 16c. European religious revolution, it is attested by 1540s, borrowed from Luther. The movement began as a bid to "reform" doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome.ETD reformation (n.).3

    re-form (v.)

    "form again, remake, reconstruct, re-create or re-establish," mid-14c., from re- "back, again" + form (v.). Intransitive sense of "form again, get into order or line again" also is from mid-14c. Spelled with a hyphen from 17c. to distinguish it from the specific sense in reform; this is the original meaning of that word, still in use but now with full pronunciation of the prefix. Related: Re-formed; re-forming; re-formation.ETD re-form (v.).2

    reformable (adj.)

    mid-15c., "capable of being restored or amended," from reform (v.) + -able. Late 15c. (of persons) as "inclined to reform." Related: Reformability.ETD reformable (adj.).2

    reformatory (adj.)

    "having a tendency to reform," 1704, from past-participle stem of Latin reformare "to transform, change" (see reform (v.)) + -ory. As a noun, "house of correction for juveniles who have already begun a career of vice or crime," from 1758.ETD reformatory (adj.).2

    reformist (n.)

    1580s, originally religious, "a Protestant;" from reform + -ist. Political sense of "one who proposes or favors reform to the order of society," with varying specifics, is from 1640s. Related: Reformism (1904), which was specifically the theory that socialism might be established gradually via a nation's own institutions rather than only by revolution.ETD reformist (n.).2

    reformulate (v.)

    also re-formulate, "formulate anew," 1882, from re- + formulate. Related: Reformulated; reformulating; reformulation.ETD reformulate (v.).2

    refract (v.)

    "to bend or break the natural course of" (light, sound, heat, etc.), 1610s, back-formation from refraction, and in part from Latin refractus, past participle of refringere "to break up," from re- "back" (see re-) + combining form of frangere "to break" (from PIE root *bhreg- "to break"). Related: Refracted; refracting.ETD refract (v.).2

    refraction (n.)

    "act of refracting; state of being refracted," 1570s, from Late Latin refractionem (nominative refractio) "a breaking up," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin refringere "to break up," from re- "back" (see re-) + combining form of frangere "to break" (from PIE root *bhreg- "to break"). According to Century Dictionary, "Almost exclusively restricted to physics" [1895].ETD refraction (n.).2

    refractive (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to refraction; serving or having the power to refract," 1670s, from Late Latin refractivus, or from refract + -ive.ETD refractive (adj.).2

    refractor (n.)

    "refracting telescope," 1769, agent noun from refract.ETD refractor (n.).2

    refractory (adj.)

    "stubborn, obstinate, perverse, resisting, unyielding," 1610s (earlier refractorious, 1550s, refractary, c. 1600), from Latin refractarius "obstinate, stubborn," from past participle stem of refringere "to break up" (see refraction). The notion is said to be "breaking back" all attempts to enforce obedience. The English spelling was corrupted on analogy of adjectives in -ory. Related: Refractorily; refractoriness.ETD refractory (adj.).2

    refrain (v.)

    mid-14c., refreinen, transitive, "exercise control over, restrain; hold (someone or something) back from action," senses now obsolete, also "exercise control over" (thoughts, desires, feelings, vices, etc.); from Old French refraigner, refrener, refreiner "restrain, repress, keep in check" (12c., Modern French réfréner).ETD refrain (v.).2

    This is from Latin refrenare "to bridle, hold in with a bit, check, curb, keep down, control," from re- "back" (see re-) + frenare "restrain, furnish with a bridle," from frenum "a bridle," a word of uncertain etymology (de Vaan supports a theory that it is connected to fretus "relying on").ETD refrain (v.).3

    The classical spelling was restored in French but not in English. In Middle English chiefly transitive. Intransitive sense of "forbear, keep oneself (from)" is from mid-15c. Reflexive sense of "control oneself, put restraint upon oneself" is from late 14c. Related: Refrained; refraining.ETD refrain (v.).4

    refrain (n.)

    "regularly recurring phrase in a poem, chorus, or song," late 14c., refreine, from Old French refrain "chorus" (13c.), an alteration of refrait, a noun use of the past participle of refraindre "to repeat," also "to break off," from Vulgar Latin *refrangere "break off," alteration of Latin refringere "break up, break open" (see refraction) by influence of frangere "to break."ETD refrain (n.).2

    The word was further influenced in French by cognate Provençal refranhar "singing of birds, refrain." The notion is of something that causes a song to "break off" then resume. OED says not common before 19c. For "act of refraining," refraining (mid-14c.) and refrainment (1711) have been used.ETD refrain (n.).3

    reframe (v.)

    also re-frame, "frame or put together again, fashion anew," 1580s, from re- "again" + frame (v.). Related: Reframed; reframing.ETD reframe (v.).2

    refrangible (adj.)

    "capable of being refracted when passing from one medium to another," 1670s, from stem of Vulgar Latin *refrangere, from re- "back" (see re-) + Latin frangere "to break" (from PIE root *bhreg- "to break"). Related: Refrangibility.ETD refrangible (adj.).2

    refreeze (v.)

    also re-freeze, "to freeze again or anew," 1764, from re- "back, again" + freeze (v.).ETD refreeze (v.).2

    There is an isolated 1685 use translating French refroidir ("to cool, or to take away the heat of; to slacken; to calme" according to Cotgrave.) Related: Refrozen; refreezing.ETD refreeze (v.).3

    refreshment (n.)

    late 14c., "provision, provisioning; aid, encouragement; act or fact of refreshing; that which refreshes," originally mental and spiritual, from Old French refreschement (Modern French rafraîchissement), from refreschier "refresh, renew" (see refresh (v.)). Sense of "state of being refreshed" is by late 15c. Refreshments, of food and drink only, is by 1660s.ETD refreshment (n.).2

    refreshing (adj.)

    "tending or serving to refresh, invigorating," 1570s, present-participle adjective from refresh (v.). Mental or spiritual sense is attested from 1690s. Related: Refreshingly.ETD refreshing (adj.).2

    refresher (n.)

    "one who or that which refreshes," early 15c., agent noun from refresh (v.). Specifically as "that which refreshes the memory, a reminder" by 1837; as an adjective, in reference to training or instruction, by 1907.ETD refresher (n.).2

    refresh (v.)

    late 14c., refreshen, "comfort, strengthen, restore; make as if new again (physically or spiritually)," also "provide shelter and refreshment" (to a guest, etc.); from Old French refreschier "refresh, renew" (12c.; Modern French rafraîchir), from re- "again" (see re-) + fresche "fresh" (Modern French frais), from a Germanic source (such as Old High German frisc "fresh," see fresh (adj.)).ETD refresh (v.).2

    Also from late 14c. as "restore (the body) to a good condition, reinvigorate" and in extended senses, of preparations, the memory, etc. Related: Refreshed; refreshing.ETD refresh (v.).3

    refresh (n.)

    1590s, "act of resupplying, refreshment," from refresh (v.). Modern computer sense of "an act or the process of renewing data or display" is by 1967.ETD refresh (n.).2

    refry (v.)

    "fry again, fry a second time," 193, in refried beans, which translates Spanish frijoles refritos. From re- "again" + fry (v.).ETD refry (v.).2

    refrigerator (n.)

    1610s, "something that cools, that which keeps cool," agent noun from refrigerate. As "cabinet or chamber for keeping food or other contents cooled to a little above freezing," 1824, originally in the brewery trade, in place of earlier refrigeratory (c. 1600). Electric-powered household refrigerating and ice machines were widely available from c. 1918.ETD refrigerator (n.).2

    refrigerate (v.)

    1530s, "to cool, make cool," a back-formation from refrigeration, or else from Latin refrigeratus, past participle of refrigerare "make cool or cold." Related: Refrigerated; refrigerating. Earlier words in the sense of "to make cold, to cool" were infrigiden, infrigidate (both early 15c.). Middle English had refroiden "to cool" (anger), mid-15c., from Old French refroider.ETD refrigerate (v.).2

    refrigeration (n.)

    late 15c., refrigeracion, "act of cooling or freezing," originally in alchemy, from Latin refrigerationem (nominative refrigeratio) "a cooling, mitigation of heat," especially in sickness, noun of action from past participle stem of refrigerare "to cool down," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + frigerare "make cool," from frigus (genitive frigoris) "cold" (see frigid). Specifically "freezing provisions as a means of preserving them" by 1881.ETD refrigeration (n.).2

    refrigerant (adj.)

    1590s, originally of medicinal plasters, etc., "abating heat, cooling;" from Latin refrigerans, present participle of refrigerare "make cool or cold, to cool down," from re- "again" (see re-) + frigerare "make cool," from frigus (genitive frigoris) "cold" (see frigid). As a noun from 1670s, originally of medicinal agents; sense of "anything which abates heat, a freezing agent" is by 1885.ETD refrigerant (adj.).2


    past participle of reave.ETD reft.2

    refuel (v.)

    also re-fuel, "supply again with fuel, refill with fuel," 1811, from re- "again" + fuel (v.). Originally in a spiritual sense; later of gas tanks, motor vehicles, etc. Related: Refueled; refuelling.ETD refuel (v.).2

    refuge (n.)

    "shelter or protection from danger, assistance in distress," late 14c., from Old French refuge "hiding place" (12c.), from Latin refugium "a taking refuge; a place of refuge, place to flee back to," from re- "back" (see re-) + fugere "to flee" (see fugitive (adj.)) + -ium neuter suffix in a sense of "place for."ETD refuge (n.).2

    By late 19c. especially "temporary shelter for the destitute or homeless." To take refuge "seek safety or shelter (in)," literally or figuratively, is by 1690s.ETD refuge (n.).3

    refuge (v.)

    1590s, transitive, "afford refuge;" 1630s, intransitive, "take refuge, seek shelter or protection," from refuge (n.) or (adj.). Marked "now rare" in OED; take refuge being the more usual verb form. Related: Refuged; refuging.ETD refuge (v.).2

    refugee (n.)

    1680s, "one who flees to a refuge or shelter or place of safety; one who in times of persecution or political disorder flees to a foreign country for safety," from French refugié, a noun use of the past participle of refugier "to take shelter, protect," from Old French refuge "hiding place," from Latin refugium "a taking refuge; place to flee back to," from re- "back" (see re-) + fugere "to flee" (see fugitive (adj.)) + -ium , neuter ending in a sense of "place for."ETD refugee (n.).2

    In English, the word was first applied to French Huguenots who fled persecution in their native country after the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes. The word meant "one seeking asylum" until 1914, when it evolved to mean "one fleeing home" (first applied in this sense to civilians in Flanders heading west to escape fighting in World War I). In Australian slang from World War II, reffo.ETD refugee (n.).3

    refulgent (adj.)

    "brilliant, emitting bright light," c. 1500, from Old French refulgent and directly from Latin refulgentem (nominative refulgens), present participle of refulgere "flash back, shine brilliantly," from re- "back" (see re-) + fulgere "to shine" (from PIE *bhleg- "to shine, flash," from root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn"). Related: Refulgently.ETD refulgent (adj.).2

    refulgence (n.)

    "state or character of shining brightly; a flood of light," 1630s, from Latin refulgentia "reflected luster, splendor," from refulgens, present participle of refulgere "flash back, shine brilliantly," from re- "back" (see re-) + fulgere "to shine" (from PIE *bhleg- "to shine, flash," from root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn"). Related: Refulgency (1610s).ETD refulgence (n.).2

    refund (n.)

    "a repayment, return of money paid," 1782, from refund (v.).ETD refund (n.).2

    refund (v.)

    early 15c., refounden, refunden, "to pass on, transmit;" also "to return" (earlier "to pour back," late 14c.); from Old French refunder, refounder, refondre "restore" and directly from Latin refundere "give back, restore, return," literally "pour back, flow back," from re- "back" (see re-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour").ETD refund (v.).2

    Century Dictionary speculates that Old French refounder in the sense "restore" was confused with refonder, refunder, "re-establish, rebuild, restore ("refound"). In some senses also influenced by fund (n.). Specifically as "to resupply with money" from 1550s. Related: Refunded; refunding.ETD refund (v.).3

    re-fund (v.)

    "to fund again or anew, replenish a (public) fund or debt," 1860, from re- + fund (v.). With hyphenated spelling and full pronunciation of the prefix to distinguish it from refund. Related: Re-funded; re-funding.ETD re-fund (v.).2

    refurbish (v.)

    "to polish (something) up," 1610s, from re- "again" + furbish "rub or scour to brightness; renew the glory or brightness of," on model of French refourbir. Related: Refurbished; refurbishing; refurbishment.ETD refurbish (v.).2

    refurnish (v.)

    also re-furnish, 1530s, "furnish or supply anew," from re- "back, again" + furnish (v.). By 1829 as "refit with furniture." Related: Refurnished; refurnishing.ETD refurnish (v.).2

    refuse (n.)

    mid-14c., "an outcast;" mid-14c., "a rejected thing, waste material, trash," from Old French refus "waste product, rubbish; refusal, denial, rejection," a back-formation from the past participle of refuser "reject, disregard, avoid" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *refusare, frequentative form from past participle stem of Latin refundere "give back, restore, return," literally "pour back, flow back," from re- "back" (see re-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour"). As an adjective in English from late 14c., "despised, rejected;" early 15c., "of low quality."ETD refuse (n.).2

    re-fuse (v.)

    "to melt again," 1875, from re- "again" + fuse (v.). Related: Re-fused; re-fusing; re-fusion (1811).ETD re-fuse (v.).2

    refuse (v.)

    c. 1300, "reject, spurn, decline" a request, demand, invitation, etc.; also intransitive, "to make refusal;" from Old French refuser "reject, disregard, avoid" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *refusare, a frequentative verb from the past-participle stem of Latin refundere "give back, restore, return," literally "pour back, flow back," from re- "back" (see re-) + fundere "to pour" (from nasalized form of PIE root *gheu- "to pour").ETD refuse (v.).2

    The intransitive meaning "refuse to do something" is from late 14c.; that of "fail to comply" is from 1520s (originally of horses); that of "repudiate, disown, disavow" is attested from early 15c. but now is obsolete. Nares reports that God refuse me! was "formerly a fashionable imprecation." Related: Refused; refusing.ETD refuse (v.).3

    refusal (n.)

    late 15c., refusel, "act of refusing to do something, rejection of anything demanded," from refuse (v.) + -al (2). The sense of "choice of refusing or taking," as in right of first refusal, is by 1570s. The earlier noun was simply refuse (late 14c., from Old French refus), which was common through 16c.ETD refusal (n.).2

    refusenik (n.)

    "Soviet Jew who has been refused permission to emigrate to Israel," 1975, a partial translation (with English refuse (v.)) of Russian otkaznik, from otkazat "to refuse." Also see -nik. English agent noun refuser is attested from late 15c.ETD refusenik (n.).2

    refute (v.)

    1510s, "refuse, reject" someone or something, a sense now obsolete, from French réfuter (16c.) and directly from Latin refutare "to drive back; rebut, disprove; to repress, repel, resist, oppose," from re- "back" (see re-) + *futare "to beat" (from PIE root *bhau- "to strike").ETD refute (v.).2

    The meaning "prove (someone) wrong, prove (someone) to be in error, disprove and overthrow by argument or countervailing proof" is from 1540s; of statements, opinions, etc., by 1590s. Many have frowned on the subtle shift in meaning towards "to deny," which occurred as the word came to be used in connection with allegation. Related: Refuted; refuting.ETD refute (v.).3

    refutation (n.)

    1540s, refutacion, "act of disproving; overthrowing of an argument" (by countervailing argument or proof), from French réfutation (16c.) and directly from Latin refutationem (nominative refutatio) "disproof of a claim or argument," noun of action from past-participle stem of refutare "drive back; rebut, disprove" (see refute).ETD refutation (n.).2


    Proto-Indo-European root meaning "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule."ETD *reg-.2

    It forms all or part of: abrogate; address; adroit; Alaric; alert; anorectic; anorexia; arrogant; arrogate; bishopric; correct; corvee; derecho; derogate; derogatory; Dietrich; direct; dress; eldritch; erect; ergo; Eric; Frederick; Henry; incorrigible; interregnum; interrogate; maharajah; Maratha; prerogative; prorogue; rack (n.1) "frame with bars;" rail (n.1) "horizontal bar passing from one post or support to another;" Raj; rajah; rake (n.1) "toothed tool for drawing or scraping things together;" rake (n.2) "debauchee; idle, dissolute person;" rakish; rank (adj.) "corrupt, loathsome, foul;" real (n.) "small Spanish silver coin;" realm; reck; reckless; reckon; rectangle; rectify; rectilinear; rectitude; recto; recto-; rector; rectum; regal; regent; regicide; regime; regimen; regiment; region; regular; regulate; Regulus; Reich; reign; resurgent; rex; rich; right; Risorgimento; rogation; royal; rule; sord; source; subrogate; subrogation; surge; surrogate; viceroy.ETD *reg-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by:ETD *reg-.4

    Sanskrit raj- "a king, a leader," rjyati "he stretches himself," riag "torture" (by racking); Avestan razeyeiti "directs," raštva- "directed, arranged, straight;" Persian rahst "right, correct;" Latin regere "to rule, direct, lead, govern," rex (genitive regis) "king," rectus "right, correct;" Greek oregein "to reach, extend;" Old Irish ri, Gaelic righ "a king," Gaulish -rix "a king" (in personal names, such as Vircingetorix), Old Irish rigim "to stretch out;" Gothic reiks "a leader," raihts "straight, right;" Lithuanian raižytis "to stretch oneself;" Old English rice "kingdom," -ric "king," rice "rich, powerful," riht "correct;" Gothic raihts, Old High German recht, Old Swedish reht, Old Norse rettr "correct."ETD *reg-.5

    reg (n.)

    by 1952 as a shortening of regulation (n.). Related: Regs.ETD reg (n.).2

    regain (v.)

    1540s, "gain again, recover," as what has escaped or been lost, from French regaigner (Modern French regagner), from re- "again" (see re-) + gaginer, from Old French gaaignier "to earn, gain; trade; capture, win" (see gain (v.)). Meaning "arrive at again, return to" is from 1630s. Related: Regained; regaining.ETD regain (v.).2

    regal (adj.)

    "kingly, pertaining to a king," late 14c., from Old French regal "royal" (12c., Modern French réal) and directly from Latin regalis "royal, kingly; of or belonging to a king, worthy of a king," from rex (genitive regis) "king," from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule." Related: Regally.ETD regal (adj.).2

    regale (v.)

    "entertain (someone) splendidly," 1650s, from French régaler "to entertain or feast," from Old French regale, rigale, from gale "merriment," from galer "make merry" (see gallant (adj.)). Influenced in Old French by se rigoler "amuse oneself, rejoice," a word of unknown origin. Italian regalo is from French. Originally of food and drink; by 1670s in reference to what pleases or delights the mind. Related: Regaled; regaling.ETD regale (v.).2

    regalia (n.)

    1530s, "rights and powers of a king, royal privilege," from Latin regalia "royal things," noun use of neuter plural of regalis from rex (genitive regis) "king" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").ETD regalia (n.).2

    The meaning "decorations or insignia of an order" is recorded from 1670s, probably via the sense of "the emblems or insignia of royalty," e.g. the crown, scepter, etc. (1620s).ETD regalia (n.).3

    regards (n.)

    as a closing in letters, "respects, good wishes," by 1775, from regard (n.) in the sense of "esteem, affection" (late 14c.).ETD regards (n.).2

    regard (n.)

    mid-14c., "a consideration; a judgment," from Old French regard, regart, from regarder "take notice of," from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix, + garder "look, heed," from a Germanic language (see guard (n.)).ETD regard (n.).2

    Meanings "a look, appearance; respect, esteem, favor, kindly feeling which springs from a consideration of estimable qualities" all are recorded late 14c. Phrase in regard to is from mid-15c. (Chaucer uses at regard of).ETD regard (n.).3

    regard (v.)

    mid-14c., regarden, "consider" (that something is so or a certain way), from Old French regarder "to look at, take notice of," from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix, + garder "look, heed," from a Germanic language (see guard (n.)).ETD regard (v.).2

    Sense of "consider of importance or interest" is from 1510s. Meaning "look upon, observe" is from 1520s, as is that of "observe a certain respect toward." From 1610s as "look upon" (with a certain feeling), "have or show a certain feeling for." Related: Regarded; regarding.ETD regard (v.).3

    regardless (adj.)

    1590s, "indifferent, not heeding or looking," from regard (n.) + -less. As elliptical for "regardless of consequences, expenses, etc.," from 1872. Regardful is attested from 1580s. Related: Regardlessly; regardlessness.ETD regardless (adj.).2

    regatta (n.)

    "regular race between two or more boats for prizes," 1650s, originally the name of a boat race among gondoliers held on the Grand Canal in Venice, from Italian (Venetian dialect) regatta, literally "contention for mastery," from rigattare "to compete, haggle, sell at retail," a word of uncertain origin. [Klein's sources, however, suggest a source in Italian riga "row, rank," from a Germanic source and related to English row (v.).]ETD regatta (n.).2

    The general meaning of "boat race, yacht race" is usually considered to have begun with a race on the Thames by that name June 23, 1775 (see OED), but there is evidence that the word was used in English as early as 1768.ETD regatta (n.).3

    regenerative (adj.)

    late 14c., regeneratif, of a medicine "having the power to cause flesh to grow again," from Old French regeneratif or directly from Medieval Latin regenerativus "producing regeneration," from regeneratus, past participle of Latin regenerare "bring forth again" (see regeneration). In a spiritual sense from early 15c.ETD regenerative (adj.).2

    regency (n.)

    early 15c., regencie, "government by regents, existence of a regent's rule;" also "sovereignty, royal quality," from Medieval Latin regentia "rule," from Latin regens (see regent).ETD regency (n.).2

    Notable instances were: France 1715-1723 (under Philip, Duke of Orleans), Britain 1811-1820 (under George, Prince of Wales, Prince Regent), "in each case with suggestion of debauchery" [Weekley]. In reference to the style of that time, attested from 1880 (there is an unexplained use in Jane Austen from 1793; OED says it "may possibly reflect the public controversy surrounding the Regency Bill of 1788"). Compare French equivalent Régence, attested in English from 1919.ETD regency (n.).3

    In U.S. history, Albany Regency (by 1830) refers to dominant political faction (Van Buren, Marcy, Wright, Dix, etc.) in New York state c. 1820-1850 that used patronage to control the state Democratic party.ETD regency (n.).4

    regender (v.)

    also re-gender, c. 1400, "beget again, make or create afresh," a sense identified in OED as obsolete, from re- "back, again" + gender (v.) "bring forth, give birth." Related: Regendered; regendering.ETD regender (v.).2

    regenerate (v.)

    "generate or produce anew," 1550s, a back-formation from regeneration or else from Latin regeneratus, past participle of regenerare "bring forth again" (see regeneration). Originally theological, "cause to be born again, cause to become a Christian;" of body parts from 1590s. Related: Regenerated; regenerating; regenerable. Replaced earlier regeneren (c. 1400), from Old French regenerer.ETD regenerate (v.).2

    regeneration (n.)

    mid-14c., regeneracioun, "act of regenerating or producing anew," originally spiritual, also of the Resurrection, from Old French regeneracion (Modern French regénération) and directly from Late Latin regenerationem (nominative regeneratio) "a being born again," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin regenerare "make over, generate again," from re- "again" (see re-) + generare "bring forth, beget, produce," from genus "race, kind" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups).ETD regeneration (n.).2

    Originally theological, "radical spiritual change in an individual accomplished by the action of God;" of animal tissue, "power or process of growing again," early 15c.; of forests, 1888.ETD regeneration (n.).3

    regenerate (adj.)

    "reborn, reproduced, restored," mid-15c., from Latin regeneratus, past participle of regenerare "bring forth again" (see regeneration). Especially in theology, "changed from a natural to a spiritual state."ETD regenerate (adj.).2

    regeneracy (n.)

    "state of being regenerate or regenerated," 1620s; see regenerate + abstract noun suffix -cy.ETD regeneracy (n.).2

    regent (n.)

    c. 1400, "a ruler," from the adjective regent "ruling, governing" (late 14c., now archaic), later "exercising vicarious authority," from Old French regent and directly from Medieval Latin regentem (nominative regens), from Latin regens "ruler, governor," noun use of present participle of regere "to rule, direct" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").ETD regent (n.).2

    Meaning "one who rules during the minority or absence of a sovereign" is from early 15c., used in place of king as not implying legitimacy or permanence of rule. The Latin word for this was interrex (plural interreges). Sense of "university faculty member" (especially, in old universities, a master or doctor who takes part in the regular duties of instruction or government) is attested from late 14c. and preserves the older meaning.ETD regent (n.).3

    reggae (n.)

    1968, Jamaican English (first in song title "Do the Reggay" by Toots & the Maytals), perhaps [OED, Barnhart] related to rege-rege "a quarrel, protest," literally "ragged clothes," variant of raga-raga, alteration and reduplication of English rag (n.).ETD reggae (n.).2

    regicide (n.)

    1540s, "a king-killer, man who kills a king," formed from Latin rex (genitive regis) "king" (see regal) + -cide. Meaning "the killing of a king, crime of killing a king" is from c. 1600.ETD regicide (n.).2

    regime (n.)

    "system of government or rule, mode of management," 1792, from French régime, from Old French regimen (14c.), from Latin regimen "rule, guidance, government, means of guidance, rudder," from regere "to direct, to guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").ETD regime (n.).2

    Earlier "course of diet, exercise" (late 15c.), a sense now pertaining to regimen (q.v.). In French, l'ancien régime refers to the system of government which prevailed before the revolution of 1789.ETD regime (n.).3

    regimen (n.)

    c. 1400, medical, "course of diet, exercise, etc. for sake of health; regulation of such matters as influence health," mid-15c., "act of governing," from Old French regimen (14c.) and directly from Latin regimen "rule, guidance, government, means of guidance, rudder," from regere "to rule, to direct, keep straight, guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").ETD regimen (n.).2

    By 1751 in the transferred sense of "any regulation or remedy intended to produce gradual, beneficial effects." Regimen, regime, and, later, regiment (n.), all from the same Latin verb, were not always clearly distinguished in English, and as recently as late 19c. each of the first two was used even by careful writers in senses now restricted to the other.ETD regimen (n.).3

    regimental (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to a regiment," 1650s, from regiment (n.) + -al (1). Regimentals (n.), "dress proper to a particular regiment, military uniform," is attested from 1742.ETD regimental (adj.).2

    regiment (n.)

    late 14c., "government, rule, authority, control," a sense now obsolete, from Old French regiment "government, rule" (14c.), from Late Latin regimentum "rule, direction," from Latin regere "to rule, to direct, keep straight, guide" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").ETD regiment (n.).2

    The military meaning "unit of an army" is recorded by 1570s, from a sense in French; the reference in the word originally was to permanent organization and discipline. The exact number of soldiers in a regiment has varied widely over time and place.ETD regiment (n.).3

    regiment (v.)

    "to form into a regiment" with proper officers, hence "to organize, bring under a definite system of authority," 1610s, from regiment (n.). General sense of "organize systematically" is from 1690s. Related: Regimented; regimenting.ETD regiment (v.).2

    regimentation (n.)

    "act of forming into regiments; state of being formed into classified systems," 1856, noun of action from regiment (v.).ETD regimentation (n.).2

    reginal (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to a queen," 1560s, from Medieval Latin reginalis, from Latin regina "queen" (see Regina).ETD reginal (adj.).2


    fem. proper name, from Latin, literally "queen;" related to rex (genitive regis) "king" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). Cognate with Sanskrit rajni "queen," Welsh rhyain "maiden, virgin." The capital city of Saskatchewan was named 1882 by the then-governor general of Canada, Marquess of Lorne, in honor of Queen Victoria.ETD Regina.2


    masc. proper name, from Old High German Reginald, literally "ruling with power" (see Reynard).ETD Reginald.2

    regional (adj.)

    "of or peculiar to a (particular) place or country," early 15c., regionale, from Late Latin regionalis "of or belonging to a region or province," from stem of regio (see region). Related: Regionally.ETD regional (adj.).2

    regionalism (n.)

    1878, originally of Italy, "tendency toward regional loyalties" (as opposed to nationalism), from regional + -ism. As "a word or phrase of local use," from 1953.ETD regionalism (n.).2

    region (n.)

    c. 1300, regioun, "tract of land of a considerable but indefinite extent," also "a kingdom, country, nation; the people of a country," from Anglo-French regioun, Old French region "land, region, province" (12c.) and directly from Latin regionem (nominative regio) "a district, portion of a country, territory, district; a direction, line; boundary line, limit," noun of state from past-participle stem of regere "to direct, rule" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").ETD region (n.).2

    From late 14c. as "a part of the world," also "rural area around a city." Phrase in the region of "about" (of numbers, etc.) is attested from 1961.ETD region (n.).3

    register (n.1)

    late 14c., registre, "public record book, private account book, an official written account regularly kept," from Old French registre (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin registrum, regestrum, properly regestum, from Late Latin regesta "list, matters recorded," noun use of Latin regesta, neuter plural of regestus, past participle of regerere "to record; retort," literally "to carry back, bring back" from re- "back" (see re-) + gerere "carry, bear" (see gest).ETD register (n.1).2

    With unetymological second -r- in Medieval Latin and Old French by influence of other Latin nouns in -istrum (French -istre). The word was also borrowed in Dutch, German, Swedish, Danish.ETD register (n.1).3

    Some later senses seem to be influenced by association with unrelated Latin regere "to rule, to guide, to keep straight." Meaning in printing, "exact alignment of presswork" is from 1680s. Musical sense is from 1811, "compass or range of a voice or instrument," hence "series of tones of the same quality" (produced by a voice or instrument).ETD register (n.1).4

    From mid-15c. as "a record-keeper, recorder;" sense of "device by which data is automatically recorded" is by 1830, from the verb.ETD register (n.1).5

    register (v.)

    late 14c., registren (transitive), "to record, enter in a listing," from Old French registrer "note down, include" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin registrare, from registrum (see register (n.1)). From c. 1400 as "to enroll (someone) in a listing."ETD register (v.).2

    Intransitive sense, of instruments, is from 1797; of persons and feelings, "make an impression," by 1901. Meaning "to enter one's name in a list" for some purpose (as a voter, as a guest at a hotel, etc.) is by 1848. Related: Registered; registering. Registered nurse attested from 1879.ETD register (v.).3

    register (n.2)

    "assistant court officer in administrative or routine function," 1530s, now chiefly U.S., alteration of registrar (q.v) due to influence of register.ETD register (n.2).2

    registration (n.)

    1560s, "act of inserting or recording in a register," from French registration and directly from Medieval Latin registrationem (nominative registratio) "a registering," noun of action from past-participle stem of registrare, from registrum (see register (n.1)). In 16c.-17c. it birthed a back-formed verb registrate.ETD registration (n.).2

    registrant (n.)

    "one who registers; one who enters his or her name in a list for some purpose," 1879; see register (v.) + -ant. An earlier word was registerer (1560s).ETD registrant (n.).2

    registrar (n.)

    "one whose business is to write or keep a register," especially "official who acts as a secretary to a university;" 1670s, shortening of registrary (1540s, long obsolete except at Cambridge), from Medieval Latin registrarius "one who keeps a record" (related to register (n.1)). Earlier were registerer "recorder, historian" (late 15c.), registrer (late 14c.), from the verb.ETD registrar (n.).2

    registry (n.)

    late 15c., "act of registering;" see register (n.1) + -y (4). Meaning "book of record" is from 1620s; that of "place where a register or registers are kept" is from c. 1600.ETD registry (n.).2

    regnant (adj.)

    "reigning, exercising authority" by hereditary right, c. 1600, from Latin regnantem (nominative regnans) "reigning," present participle of regnare "to reign" (see reign).ETD regnant (adj.).2

    The alternative adjective regnal (1610s) means "pertaining to a reign," especially in reference to the year or day a sovereign's reign began. Related: Regnancy.ETD regnant (adj.).3

    regolith (n.)

    in geology, "unconsolidated rocky material covering bedrock," 1897, from Latinized form of Greek rhēgos "rug, blanket" (from PIE *reg- (3) "to dye;" see raga) + lithos "stone" (see litho-).ETD regolith (n.).2

    regressive (adj.)

    1630s, "passing back, returning, acting in a backward direction;" see regress + -ive. Opposed to progressive. In reference to taxation that weighs proportionately heavier on those with lower incomes, it is attested by 1888. Related: Regressively; regressiveness; regressivity.ETD regressive (adj.).2

    regression (n.)

    early 15c., "act of passing back or returning," from Latin regressionem (nominative regressio) "a going back, a return," noun of action from past-participle stem of regredi "to go back" (see regress (n.)).ETD regression (n.).2

    From 1590s as "act of returning toward a point of departure" (of fluids, spirits, actions, etc.); from 1640s as "return (to or into) a certain state or condition, relapse." Genetics sense is by 1885.ETD regression (n.).3

    regress (v.)

    1550s, "to return to a former state or place, go back," from Latin regressus "a return, retreat, a going back," noun use of past participle of regredi "to go back," from re- "back" (see re-) + gradi "to step, walk" (from PIE root *ghredh- "to walk, go").ETD regress (v.).2

    In astronomy, "appear to move in a backward direction," by 1823. The psychological sense of "to return to an earlier stage of life" is attested from 1926. Related: Regressed; regressing.ETD regress (v.).3

    regress (n.)

    late 14c., regresse, "a return, passage back, act of going back," from Latin regressus "a return, retreat, a going back," noun use of past participle of regredi "to go back," from re- "back" (see re-) + gradi "to step, walk" (from PIE root *ghredh- "to walk, go"). More common in legal language. Mental sense of "act of working back from an effect to a cause" is from 1610s.ETD regress (n.).2

    regret (v.)

    late 14c., regreten, "to look back with distress or sorrowful longing; to grieve for on remembering," from Old French regreter "long after, bewail, lament someone's death; ask the help of" (Modern French regretter), from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + -greter, which is possibly from Frankish or some other Germanic source (compare Old English grætan "to weep;" Old Norse grata "to weep, groan"), from Proto-Germanic *gretan "weep." "Not found in other Romance languages, and variously explained" [Century Dictionary].ETD regret (v.).2

    From 1550s as "to grieve at (an event, action, revelation of facts, etc.)." Related: Regretted; regretting. Replaced Old English ofþyncan, from of- "off, away," here denoting opposition, + þyncan "seem, seem fit" (as in methinks).ETD regret (v.).3

    regretful (adj.)

    1640s, "full of regret," from regret (n.) + -ful. Regretfully (1680s), properly "with regret," often has been incorrectly used in place of regrettably "it is to be regretted that; calling for regret" at least since 1965. "A regrettable use, prob. after HOPEFULLY adv.2" [OED, with a nip of salt]. Or, in a different statement:ETD regretful (adj.).2

    regret (n.)

    1530s, "complaint, lament," a sense now obsolete, from the verb, or from French regret, back-formation from regreter "long after, bewail" (see regret (v.)).ETD regret (n.).2

    From 1590s as "pain or distress in the mind due to some external circumstances" (as in to look on (something) with regret); 1640s as "pain or distress in the mind at something done or left undone." In correspondence, in declining an invitation, etc., regrets "expressions of regret, intimation of regret for inability to do something" is attested by 1851.ETD regret (n.).3

    regrettable (adj.)

    c. 1600, "deserving of regret, calling for regret," from regret + -able. "Common in recent use" [OED]. Related: Regrettably.ETD regrettable (adj.).2

    regroup (v.)

    also re-group, "to group again, form anew into a group," 1838, from re- "again" + group (v.). Related: Regrouped; regrouping; regroupment.ETD regroup (v.).2

    regrow (v.)

    also re-grow, "to grow anew or again, grow back," by 1872, from re- "back, again" + grow (v.). Related: Regrown; regrowing.ETD regrow (v.).2

    regrowth (n.)

    "a growing again, a new or second growth," 1741, from re- "back, again" + growth.ETD regrowth (n.).2

    regulation (n.)

    1670s, "act of regulating; state of being reduced to order," noun of action from regulate. Meaning "a rule for management prescribed by a superior or competent authority" is from 1715. As an adjective, "having a fixed pattern; in accord with a rule or standard," by 1836. Related: Regulations.ETD regulation (n.).2

    regulate (v.)

    early 15c., regulaten, "adjust by rule, method, or control," from Late Latin regulatus, past participle of regulare "to control by rule, direct," from Latin regula "rule, straight piece of wood" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule").ETD regulate (v.).2

    Meaning "to govern by restriction" is from 1620s. Sense of "adjust (a clock, etc.) with reference to a standard of accuracy" is by 1660s. Related: Regulated; regulating.ETD regulate (v.).3

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