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    sarsenet (n.) — saved (adj.)

    sarsenet (n.)

    also sarcenet, type of fine silk fabric valued for its softness, late 14c., sarsinet, from Anglo-French sarzinett (Old French sarrasinet), probably a diminutive (with -et) of Sarasin, Sarazin "Saracen," meaning Turkish or Arab (see Saracen). Compare Old French drap sarrasinois, Medieval Latin pannus saracenius.ETD sarsenet (n.).2

    sartorial (adj.)

    "pertaining to a tailor," 1807, from Modern Latin sartorius, from Late Latin sartor "tailor" (source also of French sartre "tailor"), literally "patcher, mender," from Latin sart-, past participle stem of sarcire "to patch, mend" (from PIE root *srko- "to make whole, make good"). The classical Latin word was sarcinator (fem. sarcinatrix).ETD sartorial (adj.).2

    Earlier in English in same sense was sartorian (1660s). Sartorius as the name of the long leg muscle (1704) is because it is used in crossing the legs to bring them into the position needed to sit like a tailor. Related: Sartorially.ETD sartorial (adj.).3

    sash (n.2)

    framed part of a window, into which the panes are fitted, 1680s, sashes, a mangled Englishing of French châssis "frame" of a window or door (see chassis).ETD sash (n.2).2

    The word was mistaken as a plural and further mangled by loss of the -s by 1704. Sash-door, one having panes of glass to admit light, is by 1726; sash-weight, attached by cords to either side of a sash to balance it and make it easier to raise and lower, is attested by 1737.ETD sash (n.2).3

    sash (n.1)

    [strip of cloth] 1590s, originally in reference to Oriental dress, "strip of silk, fine linen, or gauze wound round the head as a turban," from Arabic shash "muslin cloth." The general meaning "scarf or strip of cloth worn by men about the waist or over the shoulder" for ornament is recorded by 1680s.ETD sash (n.1).2

    sashay (v.)

    1836, "perform a gliding step in dancing," a mangled Englishing of French chassé "gliding step" (in ballet), literally "chased," past participle of chasser "to chase," from Old French chacier "to hunt" (see chase (v.)). Also compare catch, and for spelling see sash (n.2). Hence "to perform a casual walk or glide; move diagonally or irregularly," and "walk ostentatiously or provocatively." Related: Sashayed; sashaying. As a noun, "a venture, excursion," by 1900; as the name of a square-dancing step by 1940.ETD sashay (v.).2

    sashimi (n.)

    thin slices of raw fish served with ginger, soy sauce, etc., 1880, from Japanese, from sashi "to pierce" + mi "flesh."ETD sashimi (n.).2


    Canadian province, named for the river running through it, which is from Cree (Algonquian) kis-si-ska-tches-wani-sipi "rapid flowing river."ETD Saskatchewan.2

    sasquatch (n.)

    one of a race of huge, hairy man-monsters supposed to inhabit the Pacific northwest woods in Native American lore and also known as bigfoot, 1929, from Halkomelem (Salishan), a native language of the Pacific Northwest, sæsq'ec [Bright].ETD sasquatch (n.).2

    sass (n.)

    "impudence, insolence," by 1835, a back-formation from sassy, and ultimately a colloquial pronunciation of sauce. Sass (n.) as a colloquial variant of sauce (n.) is attested by 1775. The verb sass, "to talk or reply saucily, speak impertinently to" is by 1856. Related: Sassed; sassing.ETD sass (n.).2

    sassafras (n.)

    small flowering tree of eastern North America, 1570s, from Spanish sasafras, which is perhaps an adaptation of saxifraga "saxifrage," from Late Latin saxifragia, variant of saxifraga (see saxifrage). But the dissimilarity of the tree and the rock-garden plant makes the connection difficult, and according to OED the word perhaps represents a name, now lost, in a native language of the Americas that sounded like Spanish saxifraga and was altered to conform to it. The tree supposedly was discovered by the Spanish in Florida in 1528.ETD sassafras (n.).2


    dynasty ruling the Persian Empire roughly 211-651 C.E., 1776, from Medieval Latin Sassanidæ (plural), from Sasan, name of the grandfather of Ardashir I, who founded it. Also Sassanian.ETD Sassanid.2

    Sassenach (n.)

    a general Gaelic word, especially among the Scottish Highlanders, for "an English person," 1771, Sassenaugh, literally "Saxon," from Gaelic Sasunnach, from Latin Saxones, from a Germanic source (such as Old English Seaxe "the Saxons;" see Saxon). The modern form of the word was established c. 1814 by Sir Walter Scott, from Scottish Sasunnoch, Irish Sasanach. The Welsh form is Seisnig.ETD Sassenach (n.).2

    sassy (adj.)

    "outspoken, impudent, cheeky," 1833, American English, alteration of saucy. Related: Sassily; sassiness.ETD sassy (adj.).2

    SAT (n.)

    1961, initialism (acronym) for Scholastic Aptitude Test.ETD SAT (n.).2

    satay (n.)

    Indonesian dish consisting of spicy bits or balls of meat grilled or barbecued on skewers, a popular street food, 1934, from Malay or Javanese (Austronesian) satai.ETD satay (n.).2

    Satan (n.)

    proper name of the supreme evil spirit and great adversary of humanity in Christianity, Old English Satan, from Late Latin Satan (in Vulgate in the Old Testament only), from Greek Satanas, from Hebrew satan "adversary, one who plots against another," from satan "to show enmity to, oppose, plot against," from root s-t-n "one who opposes, obstructs, or acts as an adversary."ETD Satan (n.).2

    In the Septuagint usually translated into Greek as diabolos "slanderer," literally "one who throws (something) across" the path of another (see devil (n.)), though epiboulos "plotter" is once used.ETD Satan (n.).3

    In Middle English also Satanas, Sathanas.ETD Satan (n.).4

    satanic (adj.)

    1667 (in "Paradise Lost"), Satanic, "pertaining to Satan," from Satan + -ic. The meaning "diabolical, characteristic of Satan, extremely wicked" is from 1793, usually without capital. Related: Satanical (1540s); satanically.ETD satanic (adj.).2

    Satanism (n.)

    1560s, "satanic disposition, the evil spirit characteristic of Satan," from Satan + -ism. Applied 1820s-30s to the poetry of Byron, etc. The older senses now are rare; the meaning "worship of Satan" dates from 1895, with reference to France, where it was said to be active at that time.ETD Satanism (n.).2

    Satanist (n.)

    1550s, "one regarded as a disciple or adherent of Satan," from Satan + -ist. Applied by their enemies to Protestant sects. The modern sense of "Satan-worshipper" is by 1896, in a French context. Related: Satanistic.ETD Satanist (n.).2

    Satanophobia (n.)

    "excessive fear of the Devil, morbid dread of Satan," 1860 ("The Cloister and the Hearth"), from Satan + -phobia, with connective -o-.ETD Satanophobia (n.).2

    satchel (n.)

    "small sack or bag," mid-14c., sachel, from Old French sacel, sachel and directly from Late Latin saccellus, saccellum "money bag, purse," diminutive of Latin sacculus, itself a diminutive of saccus "bag" (see sack (n.1)).ETD satchel (n.).2

    sate (v.)

    "to satisfy, fill full, surfeit," c. 1600, probably an alteration (by influence of Latin satiare "satiate") of Middle English saden "become weary or indifferent; satiate," from Old English sadian "to satiate, fill; be sated, get wearied" (see sad (adj.)), ultimately from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy." Related: Sated; sating.ETD sate (v.).2

    sated (adj.)

    "glutted, satiated," 1690s, past-participle adjective from sate (v.).ETD sated (adj.).2

    sateen (n.)

    "fabric having a glossy surface resembling satin," 1835, a variant of satin (q.v.), perhaps influenced by velveteen, where the ending is a variant of -ine (1).ETD sateen (n.).2

    satellite (n.)

    1540s, "follower or attendant of a superior person" (but rare in this sense before late 18c.), from French satellite (14c.), from Latin satellitem (nominative satelles) "an attendant" upon a distinguished person; "a body-guard, a courtier; an assistant," in Cicero often in a bad sense, "an accomplice, accessory" in a crime, etc. A word of unknown origin.ETD satellite (n.).2

    Perhaps it is from Etruscan satnal (Klein), or a compound of roots *satro- "full, enough" + *leit- "to go" (Tucker); for the latter, compare English follow, which is constructed of similar roots. De Vaan has nothing on it.ETD satellite (n.).3

    Meaning "planet that revolves about a larger one" is attested 1660s, on the notion of "an attendant," in reference to the moons of Jupiter, from Latin satellites, which was used in this sense 1610s by German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). Galileo, who had discovered them, called them Sidera Medicæa in honor of the Medici family.ETD satellite (n.).4

    Meaning "man-made machinery orbiting the Earth" is recorded by 1936 as theory, by 1957 as fact. Meaning "country dependent and subservient to another" is recorded by 1800 (John Adams, in reference to America). Related: Satellitic; satellitious.ETD satellite (n.).5

    satiable (adj.)

    "that can be satisfied," 1560s; see satiate + -able. Related: Satiability.ETD satiable (adj.).2

    satiation (n.)

    "act of satiating, a being or becoming satiated," 1630s, noun of action from satiate (v.).ETD satiation (n.).2

    satiate (v.)

    mid-15c., saciaten, "fill to repletion, satisfy, feed or nourish to the full," from Latin satiatus, past participle of satiare "fill full, satisfy," from satis "enough" (from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy"). By 1620s in a bad sense, "to fill beyond or over natural desire, weary by repletion." Related: Satiated; satiating.ETD satiate (v.).2

    satiety (n.)

    "state of being glutted, feeling of disgust caused by eating too much," 1530s, from French satiété, from Latin satietatem (nominative satietas) "abundance, sufficiency, fullness," from satis "enough" (from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy"). The English word is seldom used in a good sense.ETD satiety (n.).2

    satin (n.)

    "smooth, lustrous silken cloth; silk fabric with a very glossy surface and the back less so," mid-14c., from Old French satin (14c.), perhaps from Arabic (atlas) zaytuni, literally "(satin) from Zaitun," name of a place in China, perhaps modern Quanzhou in Fukien province, a major port in the Middle Ages with a resident community of European traders.ETD satin (n.).2

    On this theory the form of the word was influenced in French by Latin seta "silk." OED finds the Arabic connection etymologically untenable and takes the French word as being from Latin seta via a Late Latin or Vulgar Latin *pannus setinus "silken cloth."ETD satin (n.).3

    As an adjective from mid-15c., "made of silk." By c. 1600 as "clothed in satin;" by 1826 as "resembling satin."ETD satin (n.).4

    satinette (n.)

    also satinet, "imitation satin," used of various materials with a satin-like surface, 1703, from French satinet, diminutive of satin (see satin).ETD satinette (n.).2

    satirical (adj.)

    "of, pertaining to, or containing satire," 1520s, from satiric or from Late Latin satiricus, from Latin satira "satire, poetic medley" (see satire (n.)). With -al (1). Related: Satirically.ETD satirical (adj.).2

    satire (v.)

    "satirize," 1905, from satire (n.). The older word is satirize. Related: Satired; satiring.ETD satire (v.).2

    satire (n.)

    c. 1500, "a literary work (originally in verse) intended to ridicule prevailing vice or folly by scornful or contemptuous expression," from French satire (14c.) and directly from Latin satira "satire; poetic medley," earlier satura, in lanx satura "mixed dish, dish filled with various kinds of fruit," literally "full dish," from fem. of satur "sated" (from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy").ETD satire (n.).2

    The word acquired its literary sense, in Latin, in reference to a collection of poems in various meters on a variety of subjects by the late republican poet Ennius. The little that survives of his verse does not now seem particularly satiric, but in classical Latin the word was used especially of a poem which assailed various vices one after another.ETD satire (n.).3

    The form was altered in Latin by influence of Greek satyr, on the mistaken notion that the literary form is related to the Greek satyr drama (see satyr). Also see humor (n.).ETD satire (n.).4

    In modern general use, "a denouncing or deriding speech or writing full of sarcasm, ridicule, irony, etc." (all of which can express satire). The broader meaning "fact or circumstance that makes someone or something look ridiculous" is by 1690s.ETD satire (n.).5

    satirize (v.)

    c. 1600, "to write satires," an intransitive sense, now obsolete, from French satiriser, from the noun in French (see satire (n.)). The transitive sense of "assail with satire, expose (someone or something) to censure or ridicule with satiric wit" is by 1630s. As Related: Satirized; satirizing.ETD satirize (v.).2

    satiric (adj.)

    "of, pertaining to, or of the nature of satire; containing or marked by satire," c. 1500, from French satirique, from Late Latin satiricus, from satira (see satire (n.)). Earlier (late 14c.) as a noun meaning "a writer of satires," translating Latin satiricus.ETD satiric (adj.).2

    satirist (n.)

    "writer of satires or satirical compositions," 1580s; see satire (n.) + -ist. The earlier noun was satiric (late 14c.), from Latin satiricus.ETD satirist (n.).2

    satisfaction (n.)

    early 14c., satisfaccioun, "performance by a penitent of an act set forth by a priest or other Church authority to atone for sin," from Old French satisfaction (12c.), from Latin satisfactionem (nominative satisfactio) "a satisfying of a creditor," noun of action from past-participle stem of satisfacere "discharge fully, comply with, make amends," literally "to do enough" (see satisfy).ETD satisfaction (n.).2

    Originally religious and involving such acts as expiatory prayer, self-denial, charity. The sense of "contentment, appeasement" is from late 14c. but was not common before 16c. The sense of "action of gratifying" (an appetite or desire) also is from late 14c.; that of "gratified or contented feeling or state of mind" is from late 15c. (Caxton).ETD satisfaction (n.).3

    From 1580s as "information that answers a person's demands or removes doubt." Hence the specific sense "opportunity of satisfying one's honor by accepting a duel, etc., with the aggrieved person" (c. 1600).ETD satisfaction (n.).4

    satisfactory (adj.)

    mid-15c., satisfactorie, "expiatory, capable of atoning for sin," from Old French satisfactoire (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin satisfactorius, from Latin satisfactus, past participle of satisfacere "discharge fully, comply with, make amends," literally "do enough" (see satisfy).ETD satisfactory (adj.).2

    The meaning "adequate, fulfilling the demands or requirements of the case" is from 1630s; that of "that fully gratifies or contents, that justifies a feeling of satisfaction" is from 1660s. Related: Satisfactorily; satisfactoriness. Bentham used satisfactive for "having to do with reparation" (1829).ETD satisfactory (adj.).3

    satisfy (v.)

    early 15c., satisfien, "do penance," also "appease, assuage;" also "fulfill (a desire), comply with (a command), satiate (a hunger or thirst)," from Old French satisfiier "pay, repay, make reparation" (14c., Modern French satisfaire), from Latin satisfacere "discharge fully, comply with, make amends," literally "do enough."ETD satisfy (v.).2

    This is from satis "enough" (from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy") + facere "to make, do, perform" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").ETD satisfy (v.).3

    From mid-15c. as "make amends, pay damages." The meaning "cause to have enough, supply the needs of" is by c. 1500. Of feelings, "meet or fulfill the wish, desire, or expectation of," late 15c. (Caxton). From 1510s as "assure or free from doubt or uncertainty, furnish with sufficient proof." The intransitive sense of "give satisfaction or contentment" is from c. 1600.ETD satisfy (v.).4

    satisfied (adj.)

    1816, of persons, "gratified, contented," past-participle adjective from satisfy. Earlier was self-satisfied (1734).ETD satisfied (adj.).2

    satisfying (adj.)

    c. 1600, present-participle adjective from satisfy. Related: Satisfyingly.ETD satisfying (adj.).2

    satisfice (v.)

    1560s, transitive, "to satisfy" (implied in satisficed), altered from satisfy by influence of its Latin root satisfacere. A Northern English colloquial word; the modern use in the sense of "do just enough to meet" (requirements, etc.) is by c. 1956 and might be an independent formation. Related: Satisficing.ETD satisfice (v.).2

    satispassion (n.)

    also satis-passion, 1610s, used by Lancelot Andrewes for "atonement by adequate suffering," from Latin satis pati "to suffer enough," from satis "enough" (from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy") + pati "to endure, undergo, experience," which is of uncertain origin.ETD satispassion (n.).2


    in scientific plant name classifications from late 18c., indicating a cultivated form, is from Latin sativus "cultivated, that is sown or planted," from satus, past participle of serere "to sow, plant seed" (from PIE root *sē-ETD sativa.2

    "to sow"). Sative (adj.) formerly was used in English for "sown, as in a garden (1590s). E.g. Cannabis sativa, originally the plant cultivated in the West, distinguished from indica, a wild species growing in and around India.ETD sativa.3

    satori (n.)

    in Zen Buddhism, "enlightenment," 1727, from Japanese, said to mean literally "spiritual awakening."ETD satori (n.).2

    satrap (n.)

    late 14c., in translations of the Old Testament, "the governor of a province of ancient Persia," from Latin satrapes, from Greek satrapēs, exatrapēs, from Old Persian xšathrapavan-, literally "guardian of the realm," from xšathra- "realm, province" (related to xšayathiya "king," cognate with Sanskrit kshatra; see shah) + pavan- "guardian" (from PIE root *pa- "to feed; to guard, protect").ETD satrap (n.).2

    Extended by late 14c. to any autocratic superior, and figuratively to a despotic official under a tyrant, a sense, according to OED, also found in Medieval Latin and all the Romanic languages. Related: Satrapy (n.); satrapess (n.); satrapal; satrapial; satrapian.ETD satrap (n.).3

    sattva (n.)

    "truth" (in Hindu philosophy), from Sanskrit sattvah "truth," literally "being," cognate with Gothic sunjis, Old English soð "true" (see sooth).ETD sattva (n.).2

    saturate (v.)

    1530s, "to satisfy, satiate, fill full" (senses now obsolete), from Latin saturatus, past participle of saturare "to fill full, sate, drench," from satur "sated, full" (from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy").ETD saturate (v.).2

    In chemistry, the meaning "to impregnate or unite with until no more can be received" is from 1680s; the general sense of "soak thoroughly, imbue (with)" is by 1756. The commercial sense of "oversupply" (a market, with a product) is by 1958. As a noun, "a saturated fat," by 1959. Related: Saturated; saturating.ETD saturate (v.).3

    saturation (n.)

    1550s, "act of supplying to fullness, complete satisfaction of an appetite" (Coverdale, a sense now obsolete), formed in English from saturate (q.v.), or else from Late Latin saturationem (nominative saturatio) "a filling, saturating," noun of action from past-participle stem of saturare "to fill full."ETD saturation (n.).2

    The sense in chemistry is by 1670s, "impregnation until no more can be received;" the general sense of "action of thoroughly soaking with fluid, condition of being soaked" is by 1846. By 1964 in reference to a type of color adjustment on a television screen; earlier it had been used in chromatics for "degree of intensity" (1878). Saturation bombing is from 1942 in reference to mass Allied air raids on Cologne and other German cities; the idea is credited to Arthur Harris.ETD saturation (n.).3

    saturable (adj.)

    "that may be saturated, capable of being soaked full," 1560s; see saturate (v.) + -able.ETD saturable (adj.).2

    Saturday (n.)

    seventh or last day of the week, Old English sæterdæg, sæternesdæg, literally "day of the planet Saturn," from Sæternes (genitive of Sætern; see Saturn) + Old English dæg (see day). Partial loan-translation of Latin Saturni dies "Saturn's day" (compare Dutch Zaterdag, Old Frisian Saterdi, Middle Low German Satersdach; Irish dia Sathuirn, Welsh dydd Sadwrn). The Latin word itself is a loan-translation of Greek kronou hēmera, literally "the day of Cronus."ETD Saturday (n.).2

    German Samstag (Old High German sambaztag) appears to be from a Greek *sambaton, a nasalized colloquial form of sabbaton "sabbath" (see Sabbath), which also yielded Old Church Slavonic sabota, Polish sobota, Russian subbota, Hungarian szombat, French samedi.ETD Saturday (n.).3

    Unlike other English day names there was no Germanic substitution, perhaps because the northern European pantheon lacks a match to Roman Saturn. A homely ancient Nordic custom seems to be preserved in Old Norse day names laugardagr, Danish lørdag, Swedish lördag "Saturday," literally "bath day" (Old Norse laug "bath").ETD Saturday (n.).4

    Saturday night has been figurative of revelry and especially "drunkenness and looseness in relations between the young men and young women" ["Clara Hopwood"] at least since 1847. Saturday-night special "cheap, low-caliber handgun" is American English, attested from 1976 (earlier Saturday-night pistol, 1929).ETD Saturday (n.).5


    Old English Sætern, name of the Roman god, also, in astronomy, the name of the most remote planet (then known); from Latin Saturnus, originally a name of an Italic god of agriculture, possibly from Etruscan. Derivation from Latin serere (past participle satus) "to sow" is said to be folk-etymology.ETD Saturn.2

    Identified with Greek Kronos, father of Zeus. Also the alchemical name for lead (late 14c.). In Akkadian, the planet was kaiamanu, literally "constant, enduring," hence Hebrew kiyyun, Arabic and Persian kaiwan "Saturn."ETD Saturn.3

    saturnalia (n.)

    1590s, "time of merrymaking," from Latin Saturnalia, the ancient Roman festivals of Saturn (held in December), a time of feasting and mirthful license for all classes, even slaves; neuter plural of the adjective Saturnalis "pertaining to Saturn," from Saturnus (see Saturn). They correspond to the Greek Kronia.ETD saturnalia (n.).2

    The extended sense of "period of wild or noisy revelry" is attested by 1782. Related: Saturnalian.ETD saturnalia (n.).3

    saturnian (adj.)

    1550s, "pertaining to the planet Saturn;" 1610s, "pertaining to the god Saturn or his reign," from French saturnien, from Latin saturnius, from Saturn (see Saturn).ETD saturnian (adj.).2

    As a noun, 1590s as "one born under the influence of Saturn;" by 1738 as "a native or inhabitant of Saturn."ETD saturnian (adj.).3

    saturnine (adj.)

    "gloomy, morose, sluggish, grave, not readily made excited or cheerful," mid-15c., literally "born under the influence of the planet Saturn," from Middle English Saturne (see Saturn) + -ine (1). Old medicine believed these characteristics to be caused or influenced by the astrological influence of the planet Saturn, which was the most remote from the Sun (in the knowledge of the times) and thus coldest and slowest in its revolution. Saturn also was associated alchemically with lead.ETD saturnine (adj.).2

    satyagraha (n.)

    Indian form of passive resistance, 1920, in writings of Gandhi, from Sanskrit satyagraha "insistence on truth," from satya "truth, truthfulness" (from sat- "existing, true, virtuous," from PIE root *es- "to be") + agraha "pertinacity," from gṛbhṇāti, gṛhṇāti "he seizes" (from PIE root *ghrebh- (1) "to seize, reach;" see grab (v.)). Related: Satyagrahi.ETD satyagraha (n.).2

    satyr (n.)

    late 14c., satire, "one of a type of woodland deities part human or animal; demigod or spirit of the air or woods, companion of Bacchus," from Old French satire and directly from Latin satyrus, from Greek satyros, a word of unknown origin. "The etymology of [satyros] is unknown. A number of hypotheses have been proposed, but none of them makes sense ..." [Beekes].ETD satyr (n.).2

    In pre-Roman Greek art, a man-like being with the tail and ears of a horse; the conception of a being part man part goat is due to Roman sculptors, who seem to have assimilated them to the fauns of native mythology. In some English bibles the word is used curiously to translate Hebrew se'irim, a type of hairy monster superstitiously believed to inhabit deserts.ETD satyr (n.).3

    In Middle English the word could mean also a kind of ape supposed to live in Africa or Arabia (late 14c.), after a use of Greek satyros, and the name was later applied by zoologists to the orangutan (1690s). From 1781 as "very lecherous or lascivious person." Related: Satyress.ETD satyr (n.).4

    satyric (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to a satyr or satyrs," c. 1600, from Latin satyricus, from Greek satyrikos "pertaining to a satyr or satyrs," especially as represented in Greek drama, from satyros (see satyr). Related: Satyrical (1580s).ETD satyric (adj.).2

    satyriasis (n.)

    "excessive and unrestrainable venereal desire in the male," 1650s, medical Latin, from Greek satyriasis, from satyros (see satyr). Also in the same sense was satyromania (1889 as a dictionary word; 1759 in Modern Latin), and compare priapism.ETD satyriasis (n.).2

    sauce (n.)

    mid-14c., "condiment for meat, fish, etc.; pickling liquid, brine," from Old French sauce, sausse, from Latin salsa "things salted, salt food," noun use of fem. singular or neuter plural of adjective salsus "salted," from past participle of Old Latin sallere "to salt," from sal (genitive salis) "salt" (from PIE root *sal- "salt").ETD sauce (n.).2

    From late 14c. as "a curative preparation, medicinal salt." Often in 15c.-17. sawce, salse; constant reimportation of the word in French cookery terms might have helped keep the older spelling. Also formerly applied broadly in provincial English and U.S. to condiments of any kind, especially garden vegetables or roots eaten with meat (1620s), also known as garden-sauce.ETD sauce (n.).3

    Figurative meaning "something which adds piquancy to words or actions" is recorded from c. 1500; the sense of "impertinence" is by 1835, but the connection of ideas in it is much older (see saucy, and compare sass). Slang meaning "liquor" is attested by 1940. Figurative phrases suggesting "subject to the same kind of usage" is by 1520s (serued with the same sauce).ETD sauce (n.).4

    sauce (v.)

    mid-15c., "to season (food), add a sauce or relish to," from sauce (n.). By 1510s in the figurative sense of "intermix or accompany with what gives piquancy or relish." From 1862 as "to speak to impertinently, treat with impertinence." Related: Sauced; saucing.ETD sauce (v.).2

    saucebox (n.)

    "one addicted to making saucy remarks," 1580s, sawcebox; see saucy + box (n.1). There never seems to have been a literal sense in reference to the "condiment" meaning of sauce; a sauce-boat (1733) was a small, lipped vessel for sauces, and compare saucer. A saucery (mid-15c.) was "a place where sauces are made."ETD saucebox (n.).2

    saucepan (n.)

    also sauce-pan, 1680s, "small metallic cooking vessel with a long handle," from sauce (n.) + pan (n.). Originally a pan for cooking sauces, now in more general use.ETD saucepan (n.).2

    saucer (n.)

    mid-14c., "small, shallow dish," from Anglo-Latin saucerium and Old French saussier (Modern French saucière) "sauce dish," from Late Latin salsarium, neuter of salsarius "of or for salted things," from Latin salsus (see sauce (n.)).ETD saucer (n.).2

    Originally a small dish or pan in which sauce is set on a table. Meaning "small, round, shallow vessel for supporting a cup and retaining any liquid which might spill" is attested from c. 1700.ETD saucer (n.).3

    Figurative of large, round eyes (as of a ghost or a person frightened by one) from 14c. (13c. in Anglo-French) and thus originally a reference to the condiment dish. Short for flying saucer by 1947; hence saucerman, saucerian, etc.ETD saucer (n.).4

    saucy (adj.)

    c. 1500, "resembling sauce" (a sense now obsolete), later, of persons, words, etc., "impertinent in speech or conduct, flippantly bold, cheeky" (1520s), from sauce (n.) + -y (2). The connecting notion is sauce in the figurative sense of "that which adds intensity, piquancy in words or actions."ETD saucy (adj.).2

    Compare Skelton's have eaten sauce for "be abusive." Also compare sauce malapert "impertinence" (1520s), and sauce (n.) in its obsolete use as a vocative for "impudent person" (1530s). In Shakespeare, with overtones of "wanton, lascivious," it was "a term of serious condemnation" [OED]. Also compare salty in similar senses.ETD saucy (adj.).3

    sauciness (n.)

    "the character of being saucy; saucy language or conduct," 1540s, from saucy + -ness. Once (1550s) as sauceliness.ETD sauciness (n.).2

    saucily (adv.)

    "impudently, with impertinent boldness," 1540s; see saucy + -ly (2).ETD saucily (adv.).2

    Saudi (adj.)

    1933 (Sa'udis), from Sa'ud, family name of the rulers of Nejd from 18c. and of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 1932. The name is from Arabic sa'd "good fortune, happiness." With common Semitic national designation suffix -i. Related: Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabian.ETD Saudi (adj.).2

    sauerkraut (n.)

    "a favorite German dish consisting of cabbage cut fine, pressed, salted, and fermented until sour," 1630s, from German Sauerkraut, literally "sour cabbage," from sauer "sour" (from Proto-Germanic *sura-; see sour (adj.)) + Kraut "vegetable, cabbage," from Old High German krut, from Proto-Germanic *kruthan.ETD sauerkraut (n.).2

    In U.S. slang, figurative use for "a German" dates from 1858 (compare kraut). "The effort to substitute liberty-cabbage for sauerkraut, made by professional patriots in 1918, was a complete failure." [Mencken]. French choucroute (19c.) is the German word, but via Alsatian German surkrut but with folk etymology alteration in French based on chou "cabbage" + croûte "crust" (n.).ETD sauerkraut (n.).3

    Sauk (1)

    a native people of what is now the U.S. Midwest, 1722, an alternative writing of Sac (q.v.).ETD Sauk (1).2

    Sauk (2)

    southern Coastal Salishan group of Native Americans, from a native Lushootseed name, probably folk-etymologized by influence of Sauk (1).ETD Sauk (2).2


    masc. proper name, Biblical first king of Israel, from Latin Saul, from Hebrew Shaul, literally "asked for," passive participle of sha'al "he asked for."ETD Saul.2

    sault (n.)

    "waterfall or rapid," c. 1600 (Hakluyt, in an account from Canada), from colonial French sault, 17c. alternative spelling of saut "to leap," from Latin saltus, from salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). Middle English sault, borrowed from Old French, was "a leap; an assault."ETD sault (n.).2

    sauna (n.)

    "Finnish steam bath," also the house or room where it is taken, 1881, from Finnish sauna. Originally in a Finnish context; by 1959 in reference to installation in homes and gyms outside Finland.ETD sauna (n.).2

    saunter (v.)

    c. 1500, santren "to muse, be in reverie," a word of uncertain origin. The meaning "walk with a leisurely gait" is from 1660s, and may be a different word which, despite many absurd speculations, also is of unknown origin. Klein prints the theory (held by Skeat and Murray) that this sense of the word derives via Anglo-French sauntrer (mid-14c.) from French s'aventurer "to take risks." Century Dictionary finds the theory involves difficulties but "it is the only one that has any plausibility," but OED finds it "unlikely." Also see here. Related: Sauntered; saunterer; sauntering.ETD saunter (v.).2

    saunter (n.)

    "a leisurely stroll, a ramble," 1828, from saunter (v.). Earlier it meant "idle occupation, diversion" (1728); "leisurely, careless way of walking" (1712).ETD saunter (n.).2

    saurian (n.)

    "reptile of the order Sauria," 1817, from Modern Latin Sauria "the order of reptiles" (Brongniart, 1799), from Greek sauros "lizard" (see -saurus). As an adjective, "belonging to the Sauria," by 1814.ETD saurian (n.).2

    Sauropod for the suborder of the big plant-eating dinosaurs is by 1891, from Modern Latin sauropoda (Marsh, 1884), second element from Greek pous "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). Sauroid (n.) "a saurian animal" is by 1834, also as an adjective.ETD saurian (n.).3


    element used in forming dinosaur names, from Latinized form of Greek sauros "lizard," a word of unknown origin; possibly related to saulos "twisting, wavering."ETD -saurus.2

    sausage (n.)

    article of food consisting of chopped or minced meat, seasoned and stuffed into the cleaned gut of an ox, sheep, or pig, and tied at regular intervals, mid-15c., sawsyge, sausige, from Old North French saussiche (Old French saussice, Modern French saucisse), from Vulgar Latin *salsica "sausage," from salsicus "seasoned with salt," from Latin salsus "salted," from past participle of Old Latin sallere "to salt," from sal (genitive salis) "salt" (from PIE root *sal- "salt").ETD sausage (n.).2

    In 16c.-17c. also sawsage, sassage; Dickens has the latter as a colloquial pronunciation in 1837. Sausage factory in the literal sense is attested by 1831; as figurative of something the less known about the better, by 1975. Sausage fest/party, "event with an overabundance of males" is by 2001.ETD sausage (n.).3

    saute (n.)

    "a dish cooked by being fried in a pan over high heat," 1813, from French sauté, literally "jumped, bounced" (in reference to tossing continually while cooking), past participle of sauter "to jump," from Latin saltare "to hop, dance," frequentative of salire "to leap" (see salient (adj.)). As an adjective, "fried quickly," from 1869. As a verb from 1859. Related: Sauteed. French saut also was borrowed 19c. as a ballet term.ETD saute (n.).2

    Sauterne (n.)

    also Sauternes, name for certain white wines from the Gironde, by 1711, from Sauterne, district near Bordeaux where they are made.ETD Sauterne (n.).2

    savable (adj.)

    also saveable, early 15c. in medicine (Chauliac), "able to be healed;" mid-15c., in theology, "capable of being saved" (from sin or spiritual death); late 15c., in a general sense, "saving, protecting;" see save (v.) + -able.ETD savable (adj.).2

    savage (v.)

    "to tear with the teeth, maul," 1838, originally of animals (a bull, here "to gore with the horns"), from savage (adj.) or savage (n.). In late 19c. especially of horses, in reference to attacks on a person or other horse or animal.ETD savage (v.).2

    Earlier in a now-obsolete sense of "to act the savage, indulge in barbarism or cruelty" (1560s), also "to make savage" (1610s). Related: Savaged; savaging.ETD savage (v.).3

    savage (n.)

    c. 1400, "wild person," from savage (adj.). Later also "human being from an uncivilized region or a tribe or race of the lowest state of development." From c. 1600 as "unfeeling, brutal, or cruel person," whether civilized or not.ETD savage (n.).2

    savagely (adv.)

    "recklessly, in the manner of a savage," c. 1400, savageli; see savage (adj.) + -ly (2).ETD savagely (adv.).2

    savageness (n.)

    c. 1400, savagenes, "state of being uncivilized," in Modern English also "uncivilized character or condition;" see savage (adj.) + -ness.ETD savageness (n.).2

    savage (adj.)

    mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), of animals, "ferocious;" c. 1300, "wild, undomesticated, untamed," also "wild, uncultivated" (of land or places), from Old French sauvage, salvage "wild, savage, untamed, strange, pagan," from Late Latin salvaticus, alteration (vowel assimilation) of silvaticus "wild, woodland," literally "of the woods," from silva "forest, grove" (see sylvan).ETD savage (adj.).2

    Of persons, "indomitable, valiant," also "fierce, bold, cruel" (c. 1300); from late 14c., of persons or behavior, "wild, barbarous, uncivilized;" c. 1400 as "reckless, ungovernable," and by 1610s as "pertaining to or characteristic of savage peoples, living in the lowest condition of development." In heraldry, "naked or clothed in foliage" (1570s). The -l- often was restored in 16c.-17c. English spelling.ETD savage (adj.).3

    savagery (n.)

    1590s, "barbarous disposition, quality of being fierce or cruel;" see savage (adj.) + -ry. By 1825 as "uncivilized state or condition."ETD savagery (n.).2

    savannah (n.)

    also savanna, "treeless plain," 1550s, from Spanish sabana, earlier zavana "treeless plain," (Oviedo, 1535) from Taino (Arawakan) zabana. In U.S. use, especially in Florida, "a tract of low-lying marshy ground" (1670s). Savannah-grass is by 1756.ETD savannah (n.).2


    port city in U.S. state of Georgia, from savana, the name applied to the Native Americans in that part of the coast by early European explorers, perhaps from a self-designation of the Shawnee Indians, or from the topographical term (see savannah).ETD Savannah.2

    savant (n.)

    "one eminent for learning," especially one engaged in scientific or learned research, 1719, from French savant "a learned man," noun use of adjective savant "learned, knowing," the former present participle of savoir "to know" (modern French sachant), from Vulgar Latin *sapere, from Latin sapere "be wise" (see sapient).ETD savant (n.).2

    savate (n.)

    French method of fighting with the feet, 1862, from French savate, literally "a kind of shoe" (see sabotage).ETD savate (n.).2

    save (n.)

    in the sports sense of "act of preventing opponent from scoring," 1890, from save (v.). The verb save in a sporting sense of "prevent the opposing side from gaining (a run, goal, etc.)" is by 1816.ETD save (n.).2

    save (prep., conj.)

    c. 1300, sauf, "except for" (with noun as object), "with the exception of, not including," from safe (adj.), which had save (adj.) as a variant form. The evolution parallels that of Old French sauf "safe," prepositional use of the adjective, in phrases such as saulve l'honneur "save (our) honor;" also a use in Latin (salva lege, etc.).ETD save (prep., conj.).2

    saving (adj.)

    c. 1300, "delivering from sin or death;" 1530s, "delivering or preserving from peril;" present-participle adjective from save (v.). The notion in saving grace is "spiritual gifts necessary to salvation;" the non-Christian sense (by 1903) is moral or mental, indicating something that redeems or exempts from censure.ETD saving (adj.).2

    savings (n.)

    "money saved," 1737, plural of saving (n.), which see.ETD savings (n.).2

    saving (prep., conj.)

    "except for; but for; minus," also "with due respect or consideration for" (one's honor, etc.), late 14c.; see save (prep.).ETD saving (prep., conj.).2

    saving (n.)

    early 14c., "salvation;" late 14c., "act of protecting (someone) from danger or death," verbal noun from save (v.).ETD saving (n.).2

    By 1550s as "economy in expenditure or outlay; a reduction or lessening in expenditure." Savings "sums saved over time by the exercise of care and economy" is by 1727. Savings bank , for encouraging thrift "among people of slender means" [Century Dictionary] is by 1817; savings account is attested by 1882. S & L for savings and loan is attested from 1951.ETD saving (n.).3

    save (v.)

    c. 1200, saven, "to deliver from some danger; rescue from peril, bring to safety," also "prevent the death of;" also "to deliver from sin or its consequences; admit to eternal life; gain salvation," from Old French sauver "keep (safe), protect, redeem," from Late Latin salvare "make safe, secure," from Latin salvus "safe" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept").ETD save (v.).2

    From c. 1300 as "reserve for future use, hold back, store up instead of spending;" hence "keep possession of" (late 14c.). As a quasi-preposition from c. 1300, "without prejudice or harm to," on model of French and Latin cognates.ETD save (v.).3

    To save face (1898) first was used among the British community in China and is said to be from Chinese; it has not been found in Chinese, but tiu lien "to lose face" does occur. To save appearances "do something to prevent exposure, embarrassment, etc." is by 1711; earlier save (the) appearances, a term in philosophy that goes back to ancient Greek in reference to a theory which explains the observed facts.ETD save (v.).4

    To not (do something) to save one's life is recorded from 1848. To save (one's) breath "cease talking or arguing in a lost cause" is from 1926.ETD save (v.).5

    saved (adj.)

    late 14c., "delivered from damnation, destined for Heaven," past-participle adjective from save (v.). Saved by the bell is by 1902 (American English) in reference to prize fighting; 1912 in reference to the classroom; figurative use from 1915, probably at first from the fighting sense.ETD saved (adj.).2

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