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    stud (v.) — subdominant (n.)

    stud (v.)

    early 15c., "set with or supply (a wall) with upright timbers;" from stud (n.1) in its older sense. From c. 1500 (implied in studded) as "furnish with metal bosses or nail-heads." In general use, as in studded with "as though sprinkled with" small conspicuous or protuberant objects of any kind, by 1790.ETD stud (v.).2

    stud (n.2)

    [horse used for breeding] Middle English stode "a herd of horses; place where horses are kept" for breeding or any purpose, from Old English stod, from Proto-Germanic *stodo (source also of Old Norse stoð, Middle Low German stod, Old High German stuot "herd of horses," German Stute "mare").ETD stud (n.2).2

    This is reconstructed to be from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm," with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing" (source also of Old Church Slavonic stado "herd," Lithuanian stodas "a drove of horses").ETD stud (n.2).3

    The shift of sense to "male horse kept for breeding" is attested by 1803, originally colloquial, perhaps via or encouraged by the use of stud-book "publication giving pedigrees of current racing horses" (by 1793). The further-extended meaning "man who is highly active and proficient sexually" is attested by 1895, also extended to dogs. The meaning "any young man" is from 1929.ETD stud (n.2).4

    Studdery "place for keeping a stud of horses" is from 1580s. Stud-poker (1864) is said to be from stud-horse poker, but that phrase seems to be not found earlier than 1876.ETD stud (n.2).5

    stud (n.1)

    [post; also ornamental knob] Middle English stode, from Old English studu "pillar, prop, post, upright timber used as a support," from Proto-Germanic *stud- (source also of Old Norse stoð "staff, stick," properly "stay," Middle High German stud, Old English stow "place"), from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."ETD stud (n.1).2

    In later use especially "one of the small, single-story beams of a building which form a basis for the walls."ETD stud (n.1).3

    The word in the sense of "nail-head, knob" used as a fastener, button, etc. is attested by late 13c. The common notion is "fixed in and projecting from a surface."ETD stud (n.1).4

    This sense expanded by early 15c. to include ornamental bosses or devices fixed in and projecting from a garment.ETD stud (n.1).5

    student (n.)

    late 14c., studient, "studious person, one who pursues knowledge," from Old French estudiant "student, scholar, one who is studying" (Modern French étudiant), noun use of present participle of estudiier, from Medieval Latin studiare "to study," from Latin studium (see study (v.)).ETD student (n.).2

    Forms without an -i- or -y- in the middle appear by early 15c. In modern use (from c. 1900) it tends to mean "scholar enrolled in an institute of primary or secondary learning." An Old English word for it was leorningcild "student, disciple," in modern form learning-child.ETD student (n.).3

    For "students collectively," studentry has been tried (1830). Student-teacher (n.), in reference to a teacher in training working in a classroom under the supervision of a head teacher, is from 1851, American English (pupil-teacher in the same sense is by 1838).ETD student (n.).4

    studied (adj.)

    1520s, of persons, "learned, informed by study;" c. 1600, "deliberate; studiously elaborate," past-participle adjectives from study (v.). The earlier adjective was studient "devoted to study, habitually learning" (late 14c.), from Latin.ETD studied (adj.).2

    study (n.)

    c. 1300, studie, "pursuit of learning, application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge, intensive reading and protracted contemplation of a book, writings, etc.," from Old French estudie "care, attention, skill, thought; study, school" (Modern French étude), from Latin studium "study, application" (see study (v.)).ETD study (n.).2

    Also from c. 1300 as "a state of deep thought or contemplation; a state of mental perplexity, doubt, anxiety; state of amazement or wonder." It is attested from mid-14c. as "careful examination, scrutiny."ETD study (n.).3

    The meaning "a subject of study" is from late 15c. In Middle English also in now-obsolete sense of "eagerness, earnestness, zeal; diligent effort" of any sort (late 14c.) on the notion of "studied purpose."ETD study (n.).4

    The sense of "room furnished with books, room in a house for private reading and writing" is from late 14c. Study hall is attested from 1891, originally a large common room in a college. Study group is by 1926.ETD study (n.).5

    The meaning "artistic production done as an exercise in learning," especially a careful sketch, is by 1769. In theater, "the action of committing to memory," by 1590s, hence "one who learns lines and directions" in a stated manner (fast, slow).ETD study (n.).6

    study (v.)

    early 12c., studien, "to strive toward, devote oneself to, cultivate" (virtue, vice, wisdom, art, etc., sometimes translating Latin occupare), from Old French estudiier "to study, apply oneself, show zeal for; examine" (13c., Modern French étudier).ETD study (v.).2

    This is from Medieval Latin studiare, from Latin studium "study, application," originally "eagerness," from studere "to be diligent," which is reconstructed to be from PIE *(s)teu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat" (see steep (adj.)). The notion appears to be "pressing forward, thrusting toward," hence "striving after."ETD study (v.).3

    It is attested from c. 1300 specifically as "apply oneself to the acquisition of learning, pursue a formal course of study," also "read (a book or writings) intently or meditatively." It is from mid-14c. as "reflect, muse, think, ponder."ETD study (v.).4

    The broad meaning "seek to learn particulars of by observation" is from c. 1600; that of "regard attentively" is from 1660s. Related: Studied; studying.ETD study (v.).5

    studio (n.)

    1819, "work-room of a sculptor or painter," usually one with windows to admit light from the sky, from Italian studio "room for study," from Latin studium (see study (v.)).ETD studio (n.).2

    Later extended to photographers' rooms. The motion picture sense of "room in which a film is shot" is attested by 1911, and was extended to the offices and outbuildings and eventually to the companies that run them. It was extended to radio broadcasting when that took off in 1922; the television sense is by 1938. Studio apartment attested by 1903, American English.ETD studio (n.).3

    studious (adj.)

    mid-14c., "zealous, diligent, eager;" by late 14c. specifically as "eager to learn, devoted to learning, seeking knowledge from books;" from Latin studiosus "devoted to study, assiduous, zealous," from studium "eagerness, zeal" (see study).ETD studious (adj.).2

    By 1530s as "characterized by careful attention, with studied care."ETD studious (adj.).3

    From late 14c. as a noun, "those who study or read diligently." Related: Studiously; studiousness. Studiosity is attested from mid-15c. as "application, diligence" but seems to be obsolete.ETD studious (adj.).4

    studly (adj.)

    by 1971, American English, from stud (n.2) in the "virile male" sense + -ly (1). Related: Studliness.ETD studly (adj.).2

    stuffed (adj.)

    mid-15c., in reference to garments, "padded with stuffing," past-participle adjective from stuff (v.). Hence stuffed shirt "pompous, ineffectual, conservative person" (1913). Of foods, "filled with stuffing," by 1729; stuffed-pepper is by 1864.ETD stuffed (adj.).2

    stuffing (n.)

    1520s, "material used for filling a cushion;" 1530s, in cookery, "seasoned mixture used to stuff fowls before cooking" to keep the shape and impart flavor, verbal noun from stuff (v.) in the sense "fill the inside of a bird before cooking" (late 14c.). The earlier noun was simply stuff "meat mixture used as a pie filling" (mid-15c.).ETD stuffing (n.).2

    stuff (n.)

    early 14c., stuffe, "quilted material worn under chain mail," from Old French estoffe "quilted material, furniture, provisions" (Modern French étoffe), from estoffer "to equip or stock," which is of obscure origin; according to French sources it is from Old High German stopfon "to plug, stuff," or from a related Frankish word (see stop (v.)), but OED finds this "open to strong objections."ETD stuff (n.).2

    The sense was extended to material for working with in various trades (c. 1400), also "military stores and supplies" (early 15c.), then "goods or possessions generally, movable property" (mid-15c.), also "provisions or articles of food."ETD stuff (n.).3

    As a general designation for "substance or matter of an unspecified kind, physical or abstract" it is attested by mid-15c. It is by 1550s in the figurative sense of "what a person is 'made of;' " the sense of "substance (physical or abstract) of which a thing is made or consists" is by 1580s.ETD stuff (n.).4

    From 1570s as "worthless ideas," often in stuff and nonsense (by 1749, Fielding). The meaning "narcotic, dope, drug" is attested from 1929. To know (one's) stuff "have a grasp on a subject" is recorded from 1927.ETD stuff (n.).5

    stuff (v.)

    mid-14c., "furnish" (a place, with goods, provisions, etc.), also "reinforce" (a castle, etc., with troops), from Old French estofer "pad, upholster, fit out" (Modern French étoffer), from estoffe, and probably also in part from stuff (n.). Related: Stuffed; stuffing.ETD stuff (v.).2

    It is attested from late 14c. as "fill (a mattress, etc.) with padding, line with padding;" also in the cookery sense, in reference to filing the interior of a pastry or the cavity of a fowl or beast with suitable material (in reference specifically to a turkey by 1747).ETD stuff (v.).3

    It is attested by c. 1400 in the broad sense of "fill, cram full with loose material;" especially "fill (the belly) with food or drink, gorge." From early 15c. as "to clog" (the sinuses, etc.). By 1550s as "fill the prepared skin of an animal in taxidermy." The ballot-box sense is attested from 1854, American English. In expressions of contempt and suggestive of bodily orifices, it dates from 1952.ETD stuff (v.).4

    stuffy (adj.)

    1550s, "full of stuff, full of substance" (a sense now obsolete), from stuff (n.) + -y (2).ETD stuffy (adj.).2

    In reference to rooms, buildings, "poorly ventilated, musty from closeness," by 1831. The figurative sense, of persons, is by 1813, originally "dull, lacking in freshness;" the meaning "pompously prim, smug, formal" is by 1895 (Kipling). Of the nose or sinuses, "clogged," by 1871. Related: Stuffily; stuffiness.ETD stuffy (adj.).3

    Stuka (n.)

    German dive-bomber of World War II, 1940, from a German shortening of Sturzkampfflugzeug, from Sturz "a fall" + Kampf "battle" + Flugzeug "aircraft."ETD Stuka (n.).2

    stultification (n.)

    "act or state of being stultified," in any sense, 1803, noun of action from stultify.ETD stultification (n.).2

    stultify (v.)

    1766, as a legal term, "allege to be of unsound mind," from Late Latin stultificare "turn into foolishness," from Latin stultus "foolish; uneducated," literally "unmovable" (from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand, put in order") + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").ETD stultify (v.).2

    The first element is cognate with Latin stolidus "slow, dull, obtuse" (see stolid). The meaning "make or cause to appear foolish or absurd" is from 1809.ETD stultify (v.).3

    Hence stultiloquy "foolish talk, silly babbling" (1650s, Jeremy Taylor), stultiloquence. Related: Stultified; stultifying. Stultitious "ridiculous, foolish" (1540s) is marked obsolete in OED.ETD stultify (v.).4

    stumble (v.)

    c. 1300, stomblen, "to trip or miss one's footing" (physically or morally), probably from Old Norse (compare dialectal Norwegian stumla, Swedish stambla "to stumble"), and probably from a variant of Proto-Germanic *stam-, source of Old English stamerian "to stammer," German stumm, Dutch stom "dumb, silent" (compare stammer (v.)). Middle English Compendium compares Middle Dutch stommelen "to overturn" (transitive).ETD stumble (v.).2

    It might have been influenced in form by stumpen in its original sense of "to stumble" (see stump (v.)), but the unetymological -b- may be purely euphonious.ETD stumble (v.).3

    The sense of "blunder or hesitate in speaking" is from early 15c. The meaning "move in an unsteady or staggering manner" is from mid-15c. The meaning "to come (upon) by chance" is attested from 1550s. Related: Stumbled; stumbling. Wycliffe has transitive stumble down "bring (someone) to ruin, destroy (something)."ETD stumble (v.).4

    Stumbling-block "a cause of stumbling, that which is a difficulty in one's way" is by 1526 (Tyndale), used in Romans xiv.13, where usually it translates Greek skandalon (compare scandal). Originally moral; as "obstacle to belief or understanding," 1590s.ETD stumble (v.).5

    stumble (n.)

    1540s, "that which causes stumbling," from stumble (v.). The figurative meaning "a blunder, a failure, a false step" is by c. 1600. As "act or action of missing the footing, a partial fall," from 1640s.ETD stumble (n.).2

    stumblebum (n.)

    "alcoholic derelict," 1932, American English; see stumble (v.) + bum (n.2).ETD stumblebum (n.).2

    stump (n.)

    "sizeable part of a tree trunk left in the ground after felling," stumpe, implied from late 13c. in surnames; from mid-14c. as "remaining part of a severed arm or leg." It is from or cognate with Middle Low German stump (from an adjective meaning "mutilated, blunt, dull"), Middle Dutch stomp "stump," from Proto-Germanic *stubb- (source also of Old Norse stumpr, Old Frisian steb- "stump" (of a limb), Old High German stumph, German Stumpf "stump" of a limb or tree; also, from a variant *stumb-, Old High German stumbal, German Stummel "piece cut off").ETD stump (n.).2

    This was reconstructed to be from PIE *stebh- "post, stem; to support" (see step (v.)), but Boutkan finds Pokorny's reconstruction "unlikely" and gives it no IE etymology.ETD stump (n.).3

    By early 15c. as "remaining lower part of anything worn down or broken off, truncated part, part that remains after a main part has been removed." Stump-jumper "hick, hillbilly" is by 1936, American English.ETD stump (n.).4

    stump (v.)

    mid-13c., stumpen, "stumble" over or as over a tree-stump or other obstacle (a sense now obsolete), from the source of stump (n.), perhaps via Old Norse or an unrecorded Old English word.ETD stump (v.).2

    The word is attested from 1590s as "reduce to a stump, mutilate." The sense of "walk stiffly and clumsily," as if on wooden legs, is by c. 1600.ETD stump (v.).3

    The sense of "baffle, bring to a halt by obstacles or impediments" is attested by 1807, American English (implied in stumper in "Salmagundi"). Perhaps it refers to the obstacles in plowing newly cleared land [OED], but compare an earlier sense of stump, "to challenge, dare" (1766), and compare stub (v.).ETD stump (v.).4

    For the American English meaning "go on a speaking tour during a political campaign" (1838) see stump speech. Related: Stumped; stumping.ETD stump (v.).5

    stumped (adj.)

    "perplexed," 1833 (Seba Smith), past-participle adjective from stump (v.) in the "baffle" sense.ETD stumped (adj.).2

    stumpy (adj.)

    c. 1600, "like a stump, short and thick," from stump (n.) + -y (2). By 1822 in reference to persons of stump-like figure. The sense of "abounding with stumps of trees" is by 1838.ETD stumpy (adj.).2

    stump speech (n.)

    "public political oratory," 1820, in Kentucky and Tennessee newspapers:ETD stump speech (n.).2

    See stump (n.) + speech (n.). Stump oratory in reference to a style of political address is by 1809; stump-orator by 1805. In new settlements, large tree stumps were natural perches for rural orators, a custom attested in America from at least 1775. When used in the East or England, the term tended to be slighting.ETD stump speech (n.).3

    Hence stump (v.) "electioneer by a political public-speaking tour, harangue from the stump, make stump speeches" (1838; stumping it is by 1836).ETD stump speech (n.).4

    stun (v.)

    early 14c., stonen, "to daze or render unconscious" (from a blow, powerful emotion, etc.), probably a shortening of astonen (past participle astoned) "stun, stupefy, daze, paralyze," of sensation, also "take by surprise, bewilder," from Old French estoner "to stun" (see astonish). Related: Stunned; stunning.ETD stun (v.).2

    stunning (adj.)

    1660s, "dazzling, that stuns or astounds by fine quality or appearance," present-participle adjective from stun (v.). Popularized colloquially for "splendid, excellent" c. 1849. Related: Stunningly.ETD stunning (adj.).2


    past tense and past participle of sting (v.).ETD stung.2


    past tense and past participle of stink (v.).ETD stunk.2

    stunner (n.)

    "one who or that which stuns" in any sense, 1829, originally in pugilism, "blow that dazes," agent noun from stun (v.). The meaning "that which astounds or amazes," especially "beautiful woman," is attested by 1848.ETD stunner (n.).2

    stunt (n.)

    "feat to attract attention or provide entertainment," 1878, American English college sports slang, of uncertain origin. Speculation is that it is a variant of colloquial stump "dare, challenge" (1871; see stump (v.)), or of German Stunde, literally "hour" (see stound).ETD stunt (n.).2

    Popularized from c. 1904, when it was picked up by the aviators and the jargon of the stage; the movie stunt man is attested from 1930.ETD stunt (n.).3

    stunted (adj.)

    "checked in growth, undeveloped, dwarf," 1650s, past-participle adjective from stunt (v.). Related: Stuntedness.ETD stunted (adj.).2

    stunt (v.)

    "to check in growth, to dwarf," 1650s; earlier "bring to an abrupt halt" (c. 1600); "provoke, anger, irritate" (1580s), from obsolete Middle English adjective stunt "foolish, stupid; obstinate," from Old English stunt "stupid, foolish" (as in stuntspræc "foolish talk"), from Proto-Germanic *stuntaz "short, truncated" (source also of Middle High German stunz "short, blunt, stumpy," Old Norse stuttr (*stuntr) "scanty, short"), an adjective which stands in gradational relationship to stint (v.).ETD stunt (v.).2

    The sense-development of the English word is from influence of the Old Norse word. The Middle English adjective is attested from mid-15c. in the sense of "of short duration." Related: Stunted; stunting.ETD stunt (v.).3

    As an adjective, 1788 as "stunted;" earlier "obstinate, stubborn, rudely curt" (1580s). As a noun, 1725 as "animal prevented from attaining proper growth;" by 1795 as "a check in growth."ETD stunt (v.).4

    stupe (n.)

    "stupid person," 1762, a colloquial shortening of stupid used as a noun.ETD stupe (n.).2

    stupefactive (adj.)

    "causing insensibility," early 15c., in a medical sense, from Medieval Latin stupefactivus, from stem of Latin stupefacere (see stupefy). As a noun, "that which causes insensibility" (1560s). Related: Stupefactiveness.ETD stupefactive (adj.).2

    stupefaction (n.)

    early 15c., stupefaccioun, in a medical sense (Chauliac) "act of inducing numbness" (in a part, etc.), from Medieval Latin stupefactionem (nominative stupefactio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin stupefacere (see stupefy). In the sense of "an insensible state" from 1540s. Related: Stupefacient.ETD stupefaction (n.).2

    stupefy (v.)

    early 15c., stupefien (Chauliac), in a medical sense, "anesthetize (a part), deaden (a pain)," from Latin stupefacere "make stupid or senseless; benumb, stun," from stupere "be stunned, be struck senseless" (see stupid) + facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").ETD stupefy (v.).2

    In early Modern English often stupify, the spelling was corrected to classical form 19c. The general sense of "make stupid or torpid, blunt the faculties of" is from c. 1600, also "stun with amazement or fear" (1590s). Related: Stupefied; stupefier; stupefying.ETD stupefy (v.).3

    stupendous (adj.)

    1660s, a correction of earlier stupendious "causing astonishment, astounding" (1540s), from Late Latin stupendus "to be wondered at," gerundive of Latin stupere "be stunned, be struck senseless, be aghast, astounded, or amazed" (see stupid). There was a vulgar tendency to embiggen such words; OED compares tremendious. Related: Stupendously; stupendousness. G.B. Shaw, in letters, back-formed stupend "amaze, dumbfound."ETD stupendous (adj.).2

    stupid (adj.)

    1540s, of persons, "mentally slow, lacking ordinary activity of mind, dull, inane," from French stupide (16c.) and directly from Latin stupidus "amazed, confounded; dull, foolish," etymologically "struck senseless," from stupere "be stunned, amazed, confounded," from PIE *stupe- "hit," from root *(s)teu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat" (see steep (adj.)). Related: Stupidly; stupidness.ETD stupid (adj.).2

    Native terms for this idea include negative compounds with words for "wise" (Old English unwis, unsnotor, ungleaw), also dol (see dull (adj.)), and dysig (see dizzy (adj.)).ETD stupid (adj.).3

    Of things, ideas, etc., "indicating stupidity," 1620s; by 1778 as "dull, pointless."ETD stupid (adj.).4

    Stupid long retained its association with stupor, and its sense of "having the mind or faculties blunted or dulled, struck with stupor, dumbfounded" (often "stunned with surprise, grief, etc.") is attested by 1610s (OED pronounces it "Very common in Dryden") and lasted into mid-18c. It is now archaic. Blount's entire definition of stupid (1656) is "dismaid, abashed, astonied, amazed, senceless."ETD stupid (adj.).5

    As a noun, "a stupid person," by 1712, colloquial. The difference between stupid and the less opprobrious foolish roughly parallels that of German töricht vs. dumm but did not evolve in most European languages.ETD stupid (adj.).6

    stupidity (n.)

    1540s, "want of intelligence, dullness of apprehension," from Latin stupiditatem (nominative stupiditas) "dullness, stupidity, senselessness," from stupidus "confounded, amazed; dull, foolish" (see stupid). It also at various times meant "lack of feeling or emotion, apathy" (1560s); "state of stupor, numbness, incapacity for sensation" (c. 1600).ETD stupidity (n.).2

    stupiditarian (n.)

    "one who thinks or acts stupidly," 1846; from stupidity + -arian.ETD stupiditarian (n.).2

    stupor (n.)

    late 14c., in medicine, "insensibility, numbness;" also "state of amazement," from Latin stupor "insensibility, numbness, dullness," from stupere "be stunned" (see stupid). By 1670s as "intellectual insensibility, apathy or torpor of mind."ETD stupor (n.).2

    stuporous (adj.)

    "characterized by or affected with stupor," 1843, from stupor + -ous. Related: Stuporously; stuporousness.ETD stuporous (adj.).2

    sturdy (adj.)

    c. 1300 (late 12c. as a surname), sturdi, "hard to manage, reckless, violent; fierce, cruel; bold, strong in fighting; stern, severe; ill-humored; disobedient, rebellious," from Old French estordi, estourdi (11c., Modern French étourdi) "violent," originally "dazed," past participle of estordir, estordiir "to daze, stun, stupefy" (Modern French étourdir), from Vulgar Latin *exturdire (source also of Spanish atordir "to stun, daze," earlier estordir), which some presume to be from Latin intensive prefix ex- (see ex-) + turdus "thrush" (see thrush (n.1)).ETD sturdy (adj.).2

    The usual suggestion for that proposed origin is that the image is of thrushes eating grape remnants at wineries and then acting drunk. Klein notes that Italian tordo "thrush" also means "simpleton," and French has the expression soûl comme une grive "drunk as a thrush." OED, however, regards all these as "open to grave objection." Century Dictionary compares Latin torpidus "dull" (Lewis & Short has an *ex-torpesco).ETD sturdy (adj.).3

    In reference to a person, the sense of "solidly built, strong and hardy" is from late 14c. Of objects (trees, walls, etc.), "strong, stout," c. 1400. In Middle English also of rough waves and raging rivers. Related: Sturdily; sturdiness. Sturdy-boots "obstinate person" is from 1762; a sturdy beggar in old language was one who lives by begging but is capable of work (c. 1400).ETD sturdy (adj.).4

    sturgeon (n.)

    type of large fish with an elongated body and bony scales found in rivers and coastal waters and esteemed as food and for isinglass and caviar; c. 1300, sturgeoun, from Anglo-French sturgeon, sturjoun, Old French esturjon, from Frankish *sturjo- or another Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *sturjon- (source also of Old High German sturio "sturgeon," Old English styria).ETD sturgeon (n.).2

    Cognate with Lithuanian erškėtras, Russian osetr "sturgeon;" the whole group is of obscure origin, perhaps from a lost pre-Indo-European tongue of northern Europe, or from the root of stir (v.). Medieval Latin sturio, Italian storione, Spanish esturion are Germanic loan-words.ETD sturgeon (n.).3

    A much-esteemed fish in ancient Greece, a costly luxury in Rome; the Greeks had at least 9 different words for it [Thompson, "Glossary of Greek Fishes"]. It also figures in medieval heraldry. The Middle English Compendium lists 27 different spellings of it over 45 quotations.ETD sturgeon (n.).4

    Sturmabteilung (n.)

    paramilitary force of the Nazi Party, 1923, from German, literally "storm detachment;" founded 1921, repressed 1934, also know by its initials, S.A.; also see Brown Shirt.ETD Sturmabteilung (n.).2

    Sturm und Drang (n.)

    1844, literally "storm and stress," in reference to the late 18c. German romantic movement (associated with Goethe); the name is taken from the title of a 1776 romantic drama by Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger (1752-1831), who gave it this name at the suggestion of Christoph Kauffmann. For the etymologies, see storm (n.) + throng (n.). The alliterative pairing of storm and stress in English is attested by 1630s.ETD Sturm und Drang (n.).2

    stutter (v.)

    "speak with a marked stammer; utter with frequent breaks and repetitions of words or syllables," 1560s, a frequentative form of earlier stutt "to stutter," from Middle English stutten "to stutter, stammer" (late 14c.).ETD stutter (v.).2

    Middle English stutt is attested earlier in a sense of "stop, come to a halt, pause" (c. 1200), and the speaking sense is perhaps an extension of this, but cognate words in continental Germanic also often had both senses and the Middle English word in the "stammer" sense might be directly from Middle Dutch stutselen or Middle Low German stöteren "to stammer."ETD stutter (v.).3

    The group is reconstructed to be from Proto-Germanic *staut- "push, thrust" (source also of Old Saxon stotan, Old High German stozan, Gothic stautan "to push, thrust;" Old Norse stytta "to make short;" German stutzen "to cut short, curtail; to stop short, hesitate," Dutch stuiten "to stop, check, arrest, stem;" Middle Low German stoten "to knock, strike against, collide," stutten "to stop (something), delay"), from PIE *(s)teu- (1) "to hit, beat, knock against" (see steep (adj.)). Also see -er (4).ETD stutter (v.).4

    Middle English had stutty horse, one faltering or inclined to stumble (c. 1400). Simple stutt (v.) was reduced to dialect by c. 1700. The noun is attested from 1854, "marked stammer, broken and repetitive utterance." Related: Stuttered; stuttering; stutterer.ETD stutter (v.).5

    sty (n.1)

    "pen for pigs," Middle English sti, from Old English sti, stig "hall, pen" (as in sti-fearh "sty-pig"), from Proto-Germanic *stijan (source also of Old Norse stia "sty, kennel," svinsti "pig-pen," Danish sti, Swedish stia "pen for swine, sheep, goats, etc.," Old High German stiga "pen for small cattle"). It is probably related to Old English stig "path, narrow way," for which see sty (v.).ETD sty (n.1).2

    The transferred meaning "place of filth or degradation" is by mid-15c. with reference to Hell; as "filthy hovel, human habitation as foul as a pig-pen" by 1590s.ETD sty (n.1).3

    sty (v.)

    Middle English stien, "go up, ascend," also sometimes "go down," from Old English stigan (past tense stah, past participle stigun), from Proto-Germanic *steiganan (source also of Old Norse, Old Frisian stiga, Middle Dutch stighen, Old Saxon, Old High German stigan, German steigen, Gothic steigan), from PIE root *steigh- "go, rise, stride, step, walk" (see stair). Obsolete, but very common in Middle English, with up, on, or down.ETD sty (v.).2

    sty (n.2)

    "inflamed swelling in the eyelid," 1610s, probably a back-formation from styany (as though sty on eye), (mid-15c., stianie), which is from Old English stigend "sty," literally "riser," from present participle of stigan "go up, rise," from Proto-Germanic *stigan, from PIE root *steigh- "to stride, step, rise" (see stair).ETD sty (n.2).2

    Stygian (adj.)

    "pertaining to the river Styx," or, in a broader sense, the nether world; 1560s, from Latin Stygius, from Greek Stygios, from Styx (genitive Stygos); see Styx.ETD Stygian (adj.).2

    style (n.)

    early 14c., stile, "writing instrument, pen, stylus; piece of written discourse, a narrative, treatise;" also "characteristic rhetorical mode of an author, manner or mode of expression," and "way of life, manner, behavior, conduct."ETD style (n.).2

    This is from Old French stile, estile "style, fashion, manner; a stake, pale," from Latin stilus "stake, instrument for writing, manner of writing, mode of expression," which is perhaps from the same source as stick (v.)).ETD style (n.).3

    The spelling of the English word was modified by influence of Greek stylos "pillar," which probably is not directly related to it etymologically.ETD style (n.).4

    The sense evolution seems to be from "writing tool" to "writing," to "manner of writing," to "mode of expression in writing or of a particular writer" (by early 14c. in English), then to modes of expression in other activities, then to "distinctive manner of external presentation," and to any particular mode or form (by late 18c.).ETD style (n.).5

    Paired with (and distinguished from) substance by 1570s. The word alone, meaning "good style," is by 1580s; as "fine appearance, dashing character," by 1807.ETD style (n.).6

    As "an artist's particular mode or form of skilled presentation" from 1706, later extended to athletics, etc. As "kind, sort, type" (as determined by appearance), by 1794. The meaning "distinctive or characteristic mode of dress" is from 1814.ETD style (n.).7

    Affixed to adjectives, "resembling or characteristic of that which is _____" by 1934; with adverbs, "in a way that is," by 1967; with nouns, "characteristic of or befitting" (as in family-style), by 1944, marked in OED as "highly colloq."ETD style (n.).8

    In style "according to current fashionable requirements," is by 1785.ETD style (n.).9

    style (v.)

    c. 1500, "to address with a title;" 1560s, "give a name to," from style (n.).ETD style (v.).2

    The meaning "arrange in (fashionable) style," especially in reference to hair, is by 1934. The slang sense of "act or play in a showy way" is by 1974, African-American vernacular. Related: Styled; styling. Styling (n.) as "results of fashionable arrangement" is by 1959 in advertisements.ETD style (v.).3

    stylet (n.)

    1690s in surgical ("slender, pointed instrument") and biological senses, from French stylet, from Italian, ultimately from Latin stilus "writing instrument, pen" (see style (n.)). Compare stiletto.ETD stylet (n.).2

    stylish (adj.)

    "conformable to approved fashion or taste," 1795, from style (n.) + -ish. Good is understood. Styleless is by 1796. Related: Stylishly; stylishness.ETD stylish (adj.).2

    stylist (n.)

    1795, "writer distinguished for excellence or individuality of style;" by 1937 in reference to hairdressers, from style (n.) + -ist. Related: Stylism.ETD stylist (n.).2

    stylistic (adj.)

    1843, "of or relating to (literary) style;" see style (n.) + -istic.ETD stylistic (adj.).2

    stylite (n.)

    "pillar-saint, ascetic who passes the greater part of life unsheltered on the top of a pillar," 1630s, from Ecclesiastical Greek stylitēs, "of or pertaining to a pillar;" as a noun, "a stylite," from stylos "pillar" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm"). Related: Stylitic.ETD stylite (n.).2

    stylize (v.)

    "conform (something) to rules or conventions of style," 1894 (implied in stylized), from style (n.) + -ize. Perhaps a translation of German stilisieren.ETD stylize (v.).2


    before vowels styl-, word-forming element used from 17c. in anatomy and zoology and indicating a pillar-like structure, from Greek stylos "pillar" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm").ETD stylo-.2

    stylus (n.)

    1728, "stem-like part of a flower pistil," a special use of Latin stilus "stake; stylus, pointed writing instrument" (see style (n.)). The spelling was influenced by Greek stylos "pillar."ETD stylus (n.).2

    The meaning "instrument for writing" in English is from 1807. By 1875 as "tracing-point to produce a written record on a chart" (of a seismograph, etc.). As "phonographic needle," by 1879. Related: Styloid.ETD stylus (n.).3

    stymie (v.)

    1857, in golf, "put a player in the position where an opponent's ball is directly in the line of approach to the hole;" from stymie (n.) "condition in which an opponent's ball blocks the line of approach to the hole" (1834). It is of uncertain origin, perhaps from Scottish stymie "person who sees poorly," from stime "the least bit" (early 14c.), as in unable to see a stime, itself of uncertain origin. The general sense of "block, hinder, thwart" is by 1902. Related: Stymied.ETD stymie (v.).2

    styptic (adj.)

    late 14c., stiptik, in medicine, "astringent, causing bodily tissue to contract," to check bleeding, etc. (also of tastes, "harsh"); from Old French stiptique or directly from Latin stypticus "astringent," from Greek styptikos, from styphein "to constrict, draw together."ETD styptic (adj.).2

    As a noun, c. 1400, "medicine or ingredient which contracts bodily tissue or inhibits bleeding," from Late Latin stypticum. Related: Styptical; stypticness; stypticity.ETD styptic (adj.).3

    styrene (n.)

    colorless hydrocarbon, 1885, with -ene + Styrax, name of a genus of trees (the chemical is found in their resin), 1786, from Latin styrax, from Greek styrax, the tree name, which is of Semitic origin (Herodotus says the Greeks got the stuff from the Phoenicians; compare Hebrew tsori "terebinth resin"). If so, the form probably was influenced in Greek by styrax "shaft of a lance."ETD styrene (n.).2

    Styrofoam (n.)

    1950, trademark name (Dow Chemical Co.), from -styr- (from polystyrene, which by 1938 was called styrene for short) + connective -o- + foam (n.).ETD Styrofoam (n.).2


    river of the Greek Underworld, late 14c., literally "the Hateful," cognate with Greek stygos "hatred," stygnos "gloomy," from stygein "to hate, abominate" (from PIE *stug-, extended form of root *steu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat"). Oaths sworn by it were supremely binding and even the gods feared to break them. The adjective is Stygian.ETD Styx.2


    assimilated form of sub- before -s-.ETD sus-.2

    suasion (n.)

    late 14c., suasioun, "persuasiveness; act or fact of urging;" c. 1400, "argument intended to persuade;" from Old French suasion (14c.) and directly from Latin suasionem (nominative suasio) "a recommending, advocacy, support," noun of action from past-participle stem of suadere "to urge, incite, promote, advise, persuade." This is literally "recommend as good," from PIE root *swād- "sweet, pleasant" (source also of Latin suavis "sweet;" see sweet (adj.)).ETD suasion (n.).2

    The English word survives chiefly in the phrase moral suasion (1640s) "act or effort of persuading the moral nature." Latin Suada was the goddess of persuasion.ETD suasion (n.).3

    suasive (adj.)

    "having or exerting the power of persuasion," c. 1600, from French suasif, or else formed in English from Latin suasus (see suasion) + -ive. Related: Suasively; suasiveness. Suasory "tending to persuade" is from 1570s.ETD suasive (adj.).2

    suave (adj.)

    early 15c., of persons, "gracious, kindly; pleasant, delightful," from Latin suavis "agreeable, sweet, pleasant (to the senses), delightful," from PIE root *swād- "sweet, pleasant" (see sweet (adj.)).ETD suave (adj.).2

    The sense of "smoothly agreeable" is by 1815 (implied in suavity), probably from sense evolutions in the French word. Related: Suavely. Hence also suaviloquy "sweetness of speech" (1640s); suaveolent "sweet-smelling" (1650s), both from Latin words.ETD suave (adj.).3

    suavity (n.)

    c. 1400, suavite, "pleasantness, delightfulness; kindness, gentleness," from Old French soavite, suavite "gentleness, sweetness, softness," and directly from Latin suavitatem (nominative suavitas) "sweetness, agreeableness," from suavis (see suave). The 16c. also used suavitude.ETD suavity (n.).2

    The sense of "bland, outward agreeableness, urbanity" (1815) is probably directly from evolutions in French suavité.ETD suavity (n.).3

    sub (n.)

    shortened form of substitute (n.), 1830; the verb in this sense is from 1853. Related: Subbed; subbing. From 1917 as short for submarine (n.).ETD sub (n.).2


    word-forming element of Latin origin meaning "under, beneath; behind; from under; resulting from further division," from Latin preposition sub "under, below, beneath, at the foot of," also "close to, up to, towards;" of time, "within, during;" figuratively "subject to, in the power of;" also "a little, somewhat" (as in sub-horridus "somewhat rough"), from PIE *(s)up- (perhaps representing *ex-upo-), a variant form of the root *upo "under," also "up from under," which also yielded Greek hypo- and English up.ETD sub-.2

    The Latin word also was used in Latin as a prefix and in various combinations. In Latin it was reduced to su- before -s- and assimilated to following -c-, -f-, -g-, -p-, and often -r- and -m-.ETD sub-.3

    In Old French the prefix appears in the full Latin form only "in learned adoptions of old Latin compounds" [OED], and in popular use it was represented by sous-, sou-; as in French souvenir from Latin subvenire, souscrire (Old French souzescrire) from subscribere, etc.ETD sub-.4

    The original meaning is now obscure in many words from Latin (suggest, suspect, subject, etc.). The prefix is active in Modern English; the indication generally being:ETD sub-.5

    1. "under, beneath, at the bottom of;" in adverbs "down, low, lower;"ETD sub-.6

    2. "inferior part, agent, division, or degree; inferior, having subordinate position" (subcontractor) also forming official titles (subaltern);ETD sub-.7

    It also can indicate "division into parts or sections;" "next below, near, close to" (subantarctic); "smaller" (sub-giant); and it may be used generally as "somewhat, partial, incomplete" (subliterate).ETD sub-.8

    subacute (adj.)

    also sub-acute, 1752, of an angle, noting a condition just below acuteness, from sub- "next below, near, close to" + acute.ETD subacute (adj.).2

    subaltern (n.)

    "junior military officer," 1680s, earlier more generally, "person of inferior rank" (c. 1600), noun use of adjective subaltern "having an inferior position, subordinate" (1580s), from French subalterne, from Late Latin subalternus, from Latin sub "under" (see sub-) + alternus "every other (one), one after the other" (from PIE root *al- "beyond"). Subalternation is attested from early 15c. as "subordination."ETD subaltern (n.).2

    subaqueous (adj.)

    also sub-aqueous, "situated, formed, or living under water," 1670s, from sub- "under" + aqueous.ETD subaqueous (adj.).2

    subaquatic (adj.)

    also sub-aquatic, 1789, "situated in, or below the surface of, the water," from sub- "under" + aquatic.ETD subaquatic (adj.).2

    sub-arctic (adj.)

    also subarctic, "nearly arctic, existing a little below the arctic circle," 1834, from sub- "next below, near, close to" + arctic.ETD sub-arctic (adj.).2

    sub-atomic (adj.)

    also subatomic, 1874, from sub- indicating "division into parts or sections"+ atomic. Sub-atom is attested from 1868.ETD sub-atomic (adj.).2

    subcaliber (adj.)

    also sub-caliber, subcalibre, "of less caliber," in reference to projectiles, with reference to the bore of the gun, from sub- "smaller" + caliber.ETD subcaliber (adj.).2

    subcategory (n.)

    also sub-category, "subsidiary category," 1855, from sub- "having subordinate position" + category (n.).ETD subcategory (n.).2

    subcelestial (adj.)

    also sub-celestial; "under the stars or heavens," 1560s, from sub- "under, beneath" + celestial. Another adjective was subastral.ETD subcelestial (adj.).2

    sub-cellar (n.)

    also sub-cellar, "cellar beneath another cellar," by 1904, from sub- "beneath" + cellar (n.).ETD sub-cellar (n.).2

    subclass (n.)

    also sub-class, "prime subdivision of a class," especially in zoology and botany, 1802, from sub-, indicating a subordinate division, + class (n.).ETD subclass (n.).2

    subcommision (n.)

    also sub-commission, "under-commission, a division of a commission," 1620s, from sub-, indicating subordinate position, + commission.ETD subcommision (n.).2

    subcommittee (n.)

    also sub-committee, "under-committee, part or division of a committee," c. 1600, from sub-, indicating subordinate position, + committee.ETD subcommittee (n.).2

    subconscious (adj.)

    1823, "not wholly conscious, feebly conscious," also "pertaining to the unconscious" (De Quincey, implied in subconsciously), from sub- + conscious.ETD subconscious (adj.).2

    The noun, in the psychological sense ("mental processes taking place without consciousness"), is attested by 1886, from the adjectival sense of "being or occurring in the mind, but not in consciousness." The earlier noun was subconsciousness "partial or imperfect consciousness" (1845).ETD subconscious (adj.).3

    subcontinent (n.)

    also sub-continent, "land mass of great extent but smaller than those generally counted as continents," 1845, from sub- "smaller" + continent (n.). Related: Subcontinental.ETD subcontinent (n.).2

    subcontract (n.)

    also sub-contract, "contract for carrying out all or part of a previous contract," 1817, from sub- + contract (n.).ETD subcontract (n.).2

    As a verb from 1828 in this sense ("make a contract under a previous contract"); in Shakespeare it means "be betrothed again." Related: Subcontracted; subcontracting.ETD subcontract (n.).3

    subcontractor (n.)

    also sub-contractor, "one who makes a contract under a previous contract," 1810, from sub- + contractor, or else an agent noun formation from subcontract.ETD subcontractor (n.).2

    subculture (n.)

    also sub-culture, by 1886, in reference to bacterial cultures derived from previous cultures, from sub- + culture (n.). By 1922 in reference to human societies, "a group or class sharing common beliefs at variance with those of the culture it is a part of." Related: Subcultural.ETD subculture (n.).2

    subcutaneous (adj.)

    also sub-cutaneous, "under the skin," also in reference to operations, 1650s, from sub- "under, beneath" + cutaneous. Related: Subcutaneously.ETD subcutaneous (adj.).2

    subdeacon (n.)

    "one of an order of ministers in a church next below a deacon," c. 1300, from Late Latin subdiaconus; see sub- "next below" + deacon.ETD subdeacon (n.).2

    subdean (n.)

    also sub-dean, "a vice-dean, a dean's substitute," mid-14c., see sub- + dean.ETD subdean (n.).2

    sub-deb (n.)

    "girl who will soon 'come out;'" hence, "girl in her mid-teens," 1917, from sub-, indicating "lower condition or degree," + deb (q.v.).ETD sub-deb (n.).2

    subdenomination (n.)

    also sub-denomination, "subordinate denomination or class," 1620s, from sub- "inferior part, agent, division, or degree" + denomination.ETD subdenomination (n.).2

    subdivide (v.)

    also sub-divide, early 15c., subdividen, transitive, "divide (something) farther into smaller portions, re-divide after a first division," from Late Latin subdividere from sub in the sense of "resulting from further division" (see sub-) + Latin dividere (see division). The intransitive sense, "break up into subdivisions," is from 1590s. Related: Subdivided.ETD subdivide (v.).2

    subdivision (n.)

    also sub-division, early 15c., subdivisioun (Chauliac), "process of dividing into smaller parts;" mid-15c., "portion of land that has been divided," noun of action from subdivide. The specific sense of "plot of land broken into lots for a housing development" is by 1866.ETD subdivision (n.).2

    subdominant (n.)

    also sub-dominant, 1793, in music, "next note below the dominant of a scale" (the 4th ascending, 5th descending), from sub- "next below" + dominant (n.). As an adjective, "less than dominant," 1826.ETD subdominant (n.).2

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