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    superlative (adj.) — suppressive (adj.)

    superlative (adj.)

    late 14c., superlatif, "supreme, most excellent, raised or occupying the highest pitch, position, or degree," from Old French superlatif "absolute, highest; powerful; best" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin superlativus "extravagant, exaggerated, hyperbolic," from Latin superlatus "exaggerated" (used as past participle of superferre "carry over or beyond").ETD superlative (adj.).2

    This is from super "beyond" (see super-) + lat- "carry," from *tlat-, past-participle stem of tollere "to take away" (see extol). Related: Superlatively; superlativeness.ETD superlative (adj.).3

    In grammar, in reference to the highest degree of comparison (of adjectives and adverbs, indicated by -est or more), from c. 1400. The noun is attested from mid-15c., originally in the grammatical sense, "a word in the superlative;" hence "exaggerated language" (1590s).ETD superlative (adj.).4

    superman (n.)

    1903, coined by George Bernard Shaw to translate German Übermensch, "highly evolved human being that transcends good and evil," which is from "Also sprach Zarathustra" (1883-91), by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900).ETD superman (n.).2

    The German word was first used in German by Hermann Rab (1520s), and also was used by Herder and Goethe. It was Englished as overman (1895) and beyond-man (1896) before Shaw got to the modern version in his play title "Man and Superman" (1903). The application to the newspaper comic strip hero is from 1938.ETD superman (n.).3

    His ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound dates from 1941; the "Action Comics" introduction is less succinct: "When maturity was reached, he discovered he could easily: Leap 1/8th of a mile; hurdle a twenty story building ..."ETD superman (n.).4

    supermarket (n.)

    "large, self-service store for groceries, household goods, etc.," 1933, American English, from super- + market (n.). The 1933 citation claims the stores themselves began to open around 1931. An early word for a "superstore" was hypermarket (1967).ETD supermarket (n.).2

    supermodel (n.)

    "fashion model who is more widely recognized, and better paid, than ordinary models," by 1978, from super- + model (n.).ETD supermodel (n.).2

    supermundane (adj.)

    "being above the world, superior to earthly things," 1670s, from Medieval Latin supermundanus (Aquinas); see super- + mundane.ETD supermundane (adj.).2

    supernal (adj.)

    mid-15c., "heavenly, divine, celestial," from Old French supernal "supreme" (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin supernalis, from Latin supernus "situated above, that is above; celestial" (from super "above, over;" from PIE root *uper "over").ETD supernal (adj.).2

    Supernalis was used in Church Latin as a contrast to infernalis (see infernal). The secular sense of "high in dignity or rank, exalted" is from 1550s.ETD supernal (adj.).3

    supernatant (adj.)

    "swimming above, floating on the surface," 1660s (Boyle), from Latin supernatantem (nominative supernatans), present participle of supernatare "to swim above," from super "above, over" (see super-) + natare "to swim," frequentative of nare "to swim" (from PIE root *sna- "to swim"). Related: Supernatation "act of floating on the surface of a fluid" (1620s).ETD supernatant (adj.).2

    supernatural (adj.)

    early 15c. "of or given by God, divine; heavenly," from Medieval Latin supernaturalis "above or beyond nature; divine," from Latin super "above" (see super-) + natura "nature" (see nature (n.)).ETD supernatural (adj.).2

    Originally of revelation, etc.; the notion is "being beyond or exceeding the powers or laws of nature." The association with ghosts, etc., has predominated since 19c. The older sense is maintained in supernal.ETD supernatural (adj.).3

    The religious sense has been better preserved in supernal.ETD supernatural (adj.).4

    supernaturally (adv.)

    c. 1500, supernaturali, "from God or Heaven," from supernatural (adj.) + -ly (2). In Modern English also generally, "in a manner exceeding the established course or laws of nature; by supernatural agency or means."ETD supernaturally (adv.).2

    supernaturalism (n.)

    1799, "state or character of being supernatural;" by 1809 as "belief in the supernatural" from supernatural + -ism. Supernaturalness is attested from 1730; supernaturality from 1630s. Related: Superaturalist (1640s); supernaturalistic.ETD supernaturalism (n.).2

    supernatural (n.)

    1729, "a supernatural being," from supernatural (adj.). From 1830 as "that which is above or beyond the established course of nature."ETD supernatural (n.).2

    supernegative (adj.)

    also super-negative, "containing a double negative," by 1889, from super- + negative (adj.).ETD supernegative (adj.).2

    supernormal (adj.)

    also super-normal, "above and beyond what is normal;" especially, in psychology, "extraordinary but not abnormal;" 1868, from super- + normal.ETD supernormal (adj.).2

    supernova (n.)

    also super-nova, 1934, "temporary bright star much brighter than a nova," from super- + nova.ETD supernova (n.).2

    supernumerary (adj.)

    "exceeding a stated or prescribed number," c. 1600, from Late Latin supernumarius "excess, counted in over" (of soldiers added to a full legion), from Latin super numerum "beyond the number," from super "beyond, over" (see super-) + numerum, accusative of numerus "number" (see number (n.)).ETD supernumerary (adj.).2

    As a noun from 1630s, "person or thing beyond the number stated," of military officers or actors in non-speaking parts in stage plays.ETD supernumerary (adj.).3

    superorder (n.)

    also super-order, in reference to a biological classification next above an order but below a class; by 1899, from super- + order (n.). Not clearly distinguished from a subclass. Related: Superordinal "of or pertaining to a superorder."ETD superorder (n.).2

    superordinate (adj.)

    "related as a universal proposition to a particular one," 1610s, on model of subordinate (adj./adv.) with super-.ETD superordinate (adj.).2

    superordination (n.)

    also super-ordination, in Church business, "ordination of an ecclesiastic to an office still occupied, to fill the office when it becomes vacant," 1650s, from Late Latin superordinationem (nominative superordinatio); see super- + ordination (n.). The custom was canonical based on the tradition of St. Peter consecrating Clement as his successor in Rome.ETD superordination (n.).2

    superordinary (adj.)

    also super-ordinary, 1620s, "excellent, better than what is common or usual," from super- + ordinary (adj.).ETD superordinary (adj.).2

    superorganic (adj.)

    also super-organic, 1862, in sociology (Spencer), "being above or not dependent upon organization," from super- + organic (adj).ETD superorganic (adj.).2

    superparasite (n.)

    also super-parasite, 1891, "a parasite of a parasite;" see super- + parasite (n.). Related: Superparasitic (1877); superparasitism.ETD superparasite (n.).2

    superpose (v.)

    "lay or place upon or over," 1823, in geology, from French superposer, from super- "beyond, over" (see super-) + poser (see pose (v.1)). Also in botany. Related: Superposed; superposing; superposable.ETD superpose (v.).2

    superposition (n.)

    "a placing above or upon; the placing of one thing on another," 1650s, from French superposition, from Late Latin superpositionem (nominative superpositio) "a placing over," noun of action from past participle stem of superponere "to place over," from super (see super-) + ponere "to put, place" (past participle positus; see position (n.)). Specifically in geology noting relations of strata to one another as indications of relative time.ETD superposition (n.).2

    superpower (n.)

    1944, in the geopolitical sense of "nation with great interest and ability to exert force in worldwide theaters of conflict," from super- + power (n.).ETD superpower (n.).2

    The word itself is attested in physical senses by 1921 in reference to coordinated generation by multiple power plants; by 1922 in a general sense of "a power of a greater kind or degree than ordinary."ETD superpower (n.).3

    super-rational (adj.)

    also superrational, "that is above or beyond the scope of reason," 1680s, from super- + rational (adj.).ETD super-rational (adj.).2

    supersaturated (adj.)

    "saturated to excess," 1778, past-participle adjective from supersaturate (q.v.).ETD supersaturated (adj.).2

    supersaturate (v.)

    also super-saturate, "saturate to excess," 1756, from super- + saturate (v.).ETD supersaturate (v.).2

    supersaturation (n.)

    also super-saturation, "operation of saturating to excess; state of being supersaturated," 1784, from super- + saturation. or else a noun of action from supersaturate (v.).ETD supersaturation (n.).2

    superscribe (v.)

    late 15c., "address (a letter), write or engrave on the surface, top, or outside" (especially "write the name or address on the outside of an envelope"); from Latin superscribere "write over or above" (see superscript). Related: Superscribed; superscribing.ETD superscribe (v.).2

    superscript (n.)

    1580s, "the address or direction on a letter," from French superscript, from Latin superscriptus "written above," past participle of superscribere "write over or above something (as a correction)," from super "above" (see super-) + scribere "to write" (from PIE root *skribh- "to cut").ETD superscript (n.).2

    The meaning "that which is written or engraved on the top or outside of anything" is attested by 1901. As an adjective, "written over or above the line," 1882, opposite of subscript.ETD superscript (n.).3

    superscription (n.)

    late 14c., superscripcioun, "epitaph (on a tomb), inscription (on a coin, etc.)," from Latin superscriptionem (nominative superscriptio) "a writing above," noun of action from past-participle stem of superscribere "write over or above" (see superscript).ETD superscription (n.).2

    supersede (v.)

    mid-15c., "postpone, defer" (senses now obsolete), from Latin supersedere, etymologically "sit on top of;" also, with ablative, "stay clear of, abstain from, forbear, refrain from," from super "above" (see super-) + sedere "to sit" (from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit").ETD supersede (v.).2

    The modern sense of "make void or useless by superior power; set aside, render unnecessary" is early 17c.; that of "replace, be placed in or take the room of (another)" is by 1650s. Related: Superseded; superseding; supersedure.ETD supersede (v.).3

    supersedeas (n.)

    "writ to stay ordinary legal proceedings on good cause shown," mid-14c., Latin, literally "you shall desist," second person singular present subjunctive of supersedere "desist, refrain from, forebear" (see supersede). So called from the wording in the writ. Sometimes generally, "a stop, a stay."ETD supersedeas (n.).2

    supersensible (adj.)

    also super-sensible, 1798, "beyond the reach of the senses," in reference to what is spiritual or physical but imperceptible to any sense, from super- + sensible.ETD supersensible (adj.).2

    supersensitive (adj.)

    also super-sensitive, "extremely sensitive," 1839, from super- + sensitive.ETD supersensitive (adj.).2

    supersensual (adj.)

    also super-sensual, "above or beyond the senses, imperceptible to human sense," 1680s (Hooker), from super- + sensual (adj.). Coleridge in the same sense has supersensuous (compare sensuous).ETD supersensual (adj.).2

    supersession (n.)

    1650s, "cessation," a sense now obsolete; 1790 as "act of superseding or setting aside;" by 1801 specifically as "removal of a person from an office and substitution of another in that place," from Medieval Latin supersessionem (nominative supersessio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin supersedere "sit on top of" (see supersede). Related: Supersessive.ETD supersession (n.).2

    supersonic (adj.)

    1919, "of or having to do with sound waves beyond the limit of human hearing," from super- + sonic. Attested from 1934 in the sense of "exceeding the speed of sound" (especially as a measure of aircraft speed), leaving the original sense to ultrasonic (1923).ETD supersonic (adj.).2

    super-spiritual (adj.)

    by 1889, "excessively or overly spiritual," from super- + spiritual (adj.).ETD super-spiritual (adj.).2

    superstar (n.)

    also super-star, by 1919 in the entertainment sense in reference to vaudevillian Gertrude Hoffmann (1883-1966), "the world's greatest show-woman;" by 1920 in sports (Babe Ruth), from super- + star (n.). It also was used around the same time by astronomers for exceptionally large stars, but this is rare.ETD superstar (n.).2

    superstition (n.)

    early 13c., supersticioun, "false religious belief or system, worship of pagan gods; ignorant fear of the unknown and mysterious, irrational faith in supernatural powers," from Latin superstitionem (nominative superstitio) "prophecy, soothsaying; dread of the supernatural, excessive fear of the gods, religious belief based on fear or ignorance and considered incompatible with truth or reason." This is, etymologically, "a standing over." It is noun of action from the past-participle stem of superstare "stand on or over; survive," from super "above" (see super-) + stare "to stand" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm").ETD superstition (n.).2

    There are many theories to explain the Latin sense development, but none has yet been generally accepted; de Vaan suggests the sense is "cause to remain in existence." Buck thinks it "perhaps best" interpreted as standing stiff or stunned in awe.ETD superstition (n.).3

    The Greek word (deisidaimonia) means "fear of supernatural power," from an adjective meaning both "pious" and "superstitious" (ancient pagans as well distinguished "religion" from "superstition"). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by æfgælþ, from af- "off" (see off; used here with pejorative or negative force) + a derivative of galan "sing, chant" (see yell (v.) and compare second element in nightingale; also compare Old English afgod, "idol; false god," literally "off-god").ETD superstition (n.).4

    The weakened sense of "tenaciously held unreasonable notion" is by 1794.ETD superstition (n.).5

    superstitious (adj.)

    late 14c., supersticious, "involving faith in supernatural powers or magic; characteristic of pagan religion or false religion," from Anglo-French supersticius, Old French supersticios, and directly from Latin superstitiosus "prophetic; full of dread of the supernatural," from superstitio "prophecy, soothsaying, excessive fear of the gods" (see superstition).ETD superstitious (adj.).2

    By 1520s as "believing or practicing superstition." Related: Superstitiously; superstitiousness.ETD superstitious (adj.).3

    superstore (n.)

    1960, from super- + store (n.).ETD superstore (n.).2

    superstructure (n.)

    1640s, "any structure built on something else," particularly of an edifice on its foundation, from super- + structure (n.). Superstruct (v.) "build or erect upon something" is attested from 1640s. Related: Superstruction (1620s).ETD superstructure (n.).2

    super-subtle (adj.)

    also supersubtle, 1590s, "overly crafty, excessively subtle," from super- + subtle (adj.).ETD super-subtle (adj.).2

    supertanker (n.)

    "very large ship designed for transport of petroleum products," 1921, from super-, here indicating "markedly surpassing previous," + tanker.ETD supertanker (n.).2

    supertemporal (adj.)

    also super-temporal, 1670s, "transcending time, independent of time," from super- + temporal (adj.1). By 1854 in anatomy as "situated above or up in the temporal region of the head," from temporal (adj.2).ETD supertemporal (adj.).2

    super-terrestrial (adj.)

    also super-terrestrial, "situated above the world, not of the earth but superior to it," 1747, from super- + terrestrial (adj.). Also in the same sense were supermundane, super-terrene (1709).ETD super-terrestrial (adj.).2

    supertuberation (n.)

    by 1889, "the production of growing potatoes from old spuds still growing;" see super- + tuber (n.) + -ation.ETD supertuberation (n.).2

    supertunic (n.)

    also super-tunic, "any garment worn over a tunic," 1620s, from super- + tunic.ETD supertunic (n.).2

    supervive (v.)

    "live beyond or after" anyone or anything, 1550s, from Latin supervivere, from super "beyond" (see super-) + vivere "to live" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). Related: Supervived; supervivor; superviving.ETD supervive (v.).2

    supervene (v.)

    1640s, "come as something additional, be added or joined," from Latin supervenire "come on top of, come in addition to, come after, follow upon," from super "over, above, upon" (see super-) + venire "to come" (from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come"). Cognate with French survenir, Spanish sobrevenir, Portuguese sobrevir, Italian sopravvenire. Related: Supervened; supervening.ETD supervene (v.).2

    supervenient (adj.)

    "coming in as an addition to something else, following in close conjunction," 1590s, from Latin supervenientem (nominative superveniens), present participle of supervenire "come in addition to" (see supervene). Related: Supervenience; superveniently.ETD supervenient (adj.).2

    supervention (n.)

    "act, state, or condition of supervening," 1640s, from Late Latin superventionem (nominative superventio), noun of action from past-participle stem of supervenire "come in addition to" (see supervene).ETD supervention (n.).2

    supervise (v.)

    late 15c., "look over" (implied in supervising), from Medieval Latin supervisus, past participle of supervidere "oversee, inspect," from Latin super "over" (see super-) + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). The meaning "oversee and have charge of and superintend the work or performance of others" is attested from 1640s. Middle English also used supervide (late 15c.), directly from the Medieval Latin verb. Related: Supervised.ETD supervise (v.).2

    supervisal (n.)

    "act of overseeing, management and direction," 1650s, from supervise (v.) + -al (2).ETD supervisal (n.).2

    supervision (n.)

    "act of overseeing, management and direction," 1630s, from Medieval Latin supervisionem (nominative supervisio), noun of action from past-participle stem of supervidere "oversee, inspect" (see supervise). The verbal noun supervising in the same sense is from late 15c.ETD supervision (n.).2

    supervisor (n.)

    "one who inspects and directs the work of others," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin supervisor, agent noun from supervidere "oversee, inspect" (see supervise). In certain U.S. states (previously colonies), the title of the members of the elected board of officials of a township or town (1719).ETD supervisor (n.).2

    supervisory (adj.)

    "pertaining to or having supervision," 1828, from supervise + -ory.ETD supervisory (adj.).2

    supervisual (adj.)

    also super-visual, "exceeding ordinary visual powers," 1889, from super- + visual (adj.).ETD supervisual (adj.).2

    superwoman (n.)

    1906, as female equivalent of superman in the Nietzschean sense. From 1976 in the sense of one who successfully combines career and motherhood.ETD superwoman (n.).2

    supination (n.)

    "act of lying or state of being laid on the back," in anatomy, the movement of the forearm and hand which brings the palm of the hand uppermost (opposite of pronation); 1660s, from Late Latin supinationem (nominative supinatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of supinare "bend or lay backward or on the back" (see supinate).ETD supination (n.).2

    supine (adj.)

    c. 1500, "act or state of lying on the back," from Latin supinus "bent or turned backwards, thrown backwards, lying on the back," figuratively "inactive, indolent," from PIE *(s)up- (see sub-). Especially in reference to a movement or position of the forearm.ETD supine (adj.).2

    The grammatical use for Latin verbal noun formed from the past participle stem (mid-15c.) is from Late Latin supinum verbum "supine verb, absolute verb without distinction of person, tense, etc." This name is perhaps via the notion of "inactive," hence "neutral," or so called because, though furnished with a noun case ending, it "falls back" on the verb of motion that precedes it.ETD supine (adj.).3

    The sense of "morally or mentally inert, negligent, listless, heedless" in English is by c. 1600. Related: Supinely; supinity.ETD supine (adj.).4

    supinate (v.)

    1831, "to bring the hand so that the palm is turned upward," from Latin supinatus, past participle of supinare "to bend back," related to supinus "bent backward" (see supine). Related: Supinated; supinating; supinator "muscle which supinates the forearm" (1610s).ETD supinate (v.).2

    supper (n.)

    mid-13c., soper, "evening repast, the last meal of the day," from Old French soper, soupper "evening meal," noun use of infinitive soper "to eat the evening meal," which is of Germanic origin (see sup (v.1)).ETD supper (n.).2

    In Biblical use, the principal meal of the day, corresponding to the Greek deipnon, Roman cena. Applied since c. 1300 to the last meal of Christ with his disciples before his crucifixion, at which he instituted the Eucharist.ETD supper (n.).3

    supperless (adj.)

    also supper-less, "without supper," mid-15c., soperlis, from supper (n.) + less.ETD supperless (adj.).2

    suppertime (n.)

    also supper-time, "evening, time at which supper is eaten," late 14c., from supper + time (n.).ETD suppertime (n.).2

    supple (adj.)

    c. 1300, souple, "flexible, pliant, not rigid, easily bent," from Old French souple, sople "pliant, flexible; humble, submissive" (12c.), from Gallo-Roman *supples, from Latin supplex "submissive, humbly begging, beseeching, kneeling in entreaty, suppliant," also "bending, kneeling down."ETD supple (adj.).2

    This is from sub "under" (see sub-) + a second element probably in the family of Latin plectere "to plait, twine" (from suffixed form of PIE root *plek- "to plait"), but the intermediate forms are variously given. OED print and Century Dictionary have it as via plicare "to fold" (as in supplication). Barnhart on the other hand suggests it is an altered form of *supplacos "humbly pleading, appeasing," with placare "to calm, appease, quiet, soothe, assuage," causative of placere "to please" (see please (v.)).ETD supple (adj.).3

    It is attested from late 14c., in reference to the skin, leather, etc., "soft, tender." Also from late 14c. in English in the figurative sense of "humble, obedient, docile;" the more sinister figurative sense of "artfully obsequious, capable of adapting oneself to the wishes and opinions of others" is by c. 1600.ETD supple (adj.).4

    Marston's "Antonio and Melinda" (1602) has supple-chapped flatterer. Supple also was a verb in Middle English, "soften, mollify," also, by 1520s, "make (skin or leather) supple," and by 1560s as "make (the body or limbs) supple by stretching or exercise." Related: Suppled.ETD supple (adj.).5

    suppleness (n.)

    1590s, "readiness in yielding to the wishes and opinions of others;" 1620s as "flexibility, pliability," from supple + -ness.ETD suppleness (n.).2

    supplant (v.)

    c. 1300, supplaunten, "dispossess, acquire (a position from someone) by strategy or scheming" (implied in agent noun supplanter), from Old French suplanter, sosplanter "to trip up, overthrow, drive out, usurp," or directly from Latin supplantare "trip up, overthrow," from assimilated form of sub "under" (see sub-) + planta "sole of the foot" (see plant (n.)). There is a sense-evolution parallel in Hebrew akabh "he beguiled," from akebh "heel" (compare the biblical story of Jacob).ETD supplant (v.).2

    The English word is attested mid-14c. in a literal sense of "trip up, cause to stumble," but it did not last. In reference to things or ideas, "take the place of another, replace one with another," by 1670s. Related: Supplanted; supplanting; supplantation.ETD supplant (v.).3

    supplemental (adj.)

    "of the nature of or serving as a supplement, additional," c. 1600, from supplement (n.) + -al (1). Related: Supplementally. Generally "added to supply what is wanted," whereas supplementary historically tends toward "added as something secondary or supernumerary."ETD supplemental (adj.).2

    supplement (n.)

    late 14c., "that which is added" to supply a deficiency, from Latin supplementum "that which fills up, that with which anything is made full or whole, something added to supply a deficiency," from supplere "to fill up" (see supply (v.)). By 1560s specifically as "a part added to a literary work or written account by which it is made more complete."ETD supplement (n.).2

    supplement (v.)

    "fill up or supply by additions, add something to," 1829, from supplement (n.). Compare Spanish suplementar. Related: Supplemented; supplementing; supplementation.ETD supplement (v.).2

    supplementary (adj.)

    1660s, "supplemental, added as something extra," from supplement (n.) + -ary. Suppletory in the sense of "supplying deficiencies" is from 1620s, and compare supplemental. Related: Supplementarity.ETD supplementary (adj.).2

    suppletion (n.)

    early 14c., supplecioun, "supplementation," a sense now obsolete, from Old French suppletion, from Late Latin suppletionem (nominative suppletio), noun of action from past-participle stem of supplere "fill up, make full" (see supply (v.)).ETD suppletion (n.).2

    In linguistics, by 1933 as "replacement of a form in a grammatical paradigm by a form from a different root (go/went, good/better, etc.)ETD suppletion (n.).3

    supply (n.)

    early 15c., "assistance, relief" (a sense now obsolete); c. 1500 as "act of supplying what is wanted," from supply (v.). The meaning "that which is supplied, quantity or amount of something provided" is attested from c. 1600. Also "person who temporarily takes the place of another" (especially a minister or preacher), from 1580s.ETD supply (n.).2

    In the political economy sense of "amount or quantity of any commodity on the market and available for purchase" (corollary of demand (n.)) it is by 1776; supply-side (adj.) in reference to economic policy is attested from 1976, from the noun phrase, which is attested by 1922.ETD supply (n.).3

    Supplies "necessary provisions held for distribution and use" is from c. 1650. A supply train (1860) carries provisions and war gear to an army in the field.ETD supply (n.).4

    supply (v.)

    late 14c., supplien, "fill (something) up, complete; make up for, compensate for," from Old French soupplier "fill up, make full" (Modern French suppléer) and directly from Latin supplere "fill up, make full, complete," from assimilated form of sub "up from below" (see sub-) + plere "to fill" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill").ETD supply (v.).2

    The meaning "furnish, provide what is wanted" is recorded by 1520s. With with, before that which is provided, by 1580s. Related: Supplied; supplying.ETD supply (v.).3

    suppliant (n.)

    early 15c., suppliaunt, "one who makes an appeal for something," especially "a petitioner at law," from Old French suppliant, variant of soupleiant, noun use of present participle of supplier "to plead humbly, entreat, beg, pray," (Old French souploier, 12c.), from Latin supplicare "beg, beseech" (see supplication).ETD suppliant (n.).2

    Originally in English especially at law; the general sense of "humble petitioner," as in prayer, is from mid-16c. As an adjective, "supplicating, entreating" from 1580s. Related: Suppliance; suppliantly.ETD suppliant (n.).3

    supplicant (adj.)

    "entreating, imploring," 1590s, from Latin supplicantem (nominative supplicans), present participle of supplicare "plead humbly" (see supplication). As a noun from 1590s, "a humble petitioner" in prayer or at law.ETD supplicant (adj.).2

    supplication (n.)

    late 14c., supplicacioun, "earnest request, entreaty, plea," from Old French suplicacion "humble request" and directly from Latin supplicationem (nominative supplicatio) "a public prayer, thanksgiving day," noun of action from past-participle stem of supplicare "to beg humbly" (in Old Latin as sub vos placo, "I entreat you"), from sub "under" (see sub-) + placare "to calm, appease, quiet, soothe, assuage," causative of placere "to please" (see please). In ancient Rome, a religious solemnity, especially in thanksgiving for a victory or in times of public danger.ETD supplication (n.).2

    supplicate (v.)

    early 15c., "beg for, beseech, address or appeal to in prayer," a back-formation from supplication or else from Latin supplicatus, past participle of supplicare "plead humbly, beseech, kneel down." Related: Supplicated; supplicating.ETD supplicate (v.).2

    supplier (n.)

    late 15c., "one who or that which takes the place of," agent noun from supply (v.). That sense now is obsolete; the meaning "one who or that which furnishes something in need" is by 1620s.ETD supplier (n.).2

    support (n.)

    late 14c., "act of assistance, backing, help, aid," from support (v.). The meaning "that which supports, one who provides assistance, protection, backing, etc." is from early 15c. The sense of "bearing of expense" is by mid-15c.ETD support (n.).2

    As "subsistence, that which maintains life," by 1590s. The physical sense of "that which supports" (of a prop, pillar, foundation, etc.) is from 1560s. The meaning "services which enable something to fulfil its function and remain in operation" (as in tech support) is from 1953.ETD support (n.).3

    Elizabethan poets seem to have wanted a fuller noun; supportance is from late 15c., and Greene, Nashe, Shakespeare, Ford, and Massinger all used it. Milton had supportment, the Elizabethans also had supportal, and the 17c. supporture. Chaucer used supportation, which survived a while in formulas and official language.ETD support (n.).4

    supportive (adj.)

    1590s, "sustaining, supporting," originally figurative, from support (v.) + -ive. Called "rare" c.1900 in OED 1st edition and Century Dictionary, it has grown since. Related: Supportively; supportiveness. The Elizabethans also had supportful. Alternative supportative (1972) is hideous and "unnecessary" [OED] but charms the usual lovers of the long, vague word: scientists, political journalists, and psychologists.ETD supportive (adj.).2

    support (v.)

    late 14c., supporten, "to hold up, prop up, bear the weight of;" also "to aid" someone, "speak in support or advocacy of;" also "put up with, bear without opposition, endure without being overcome, tolerate," from Old French suporter "to bear, endure, sustain, support" (14c.) and directly from Latin supportare "convey, carry, bring up, bring forward." This is from assimilated form of sub "up from under" (see sub-) + portare "to carry" (from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over").ETD support (v.).2

    It is attested by early 15c. as "supply funds or means for," especially "supply with the necessities of life." Of abstract things (a course of action, etc.) by 1630s. In reference to motions, propositions, etc., by 1736. In military use, of troops in battle, by 1848. In theater, originally "act (the part), represent on stage" (1709); by 1889 as "accompany or act second to a leading performer." The sense of "be a fan of" a sports team is by 1952. Related: Supported; supporting.ETD support (v.).3

    supporter (n.)

    early 15c., "adherent, partisan, one who upholds or helps to carry on the interests of another," agent noun from support (v.). Fem. form supportress is by 1620s. The meaning "that which sustains the weight of something else" physically (in ship-building, etc.) is from 1590s. As "jock-strap," by 1895 in catalogue advertisements. As "enthusiast, follower of a game or team," by 1922.ETD supporter (n.).2

    supportless (adj.)

    "unsupported, having no support," 1640s, from support (n.) + -less.ETD supportless (adj.).2

    supposed (adj.)

    "regarded or received as true, believed or thought to exist," c. 1500, past-participle adjective from suppose (v.); often with the -e- pronounced, to distinguish it from the passive past tense supposed, which is now common in the sense of "have a duty or obligation" (1859). Sometimes used incorrectly for supposititious "substituted or inserted fraudulently."ETD supposed (adj.).2

    supposably (adv.)

    "as may be supposed or presumed," 1795, not originally American English; an alteration of supposedly, or else from supposable "involving no absurdity and not meaningless, capable of being supposed" (1680s), which is from suppose (v.) + -able.ETD supposably (adv.).2

    supposal (n.)

    late 14c., "a notion, suggestion, supposition," also "action of supposing;" see suppose (v.) + -al (2).ETD supposal (n.).2

    suppose (v.)

    c. 1300, supposen, "hold as a belief or opinion; make a hypothesis, assume as the basis of argument" without regard to truth or falsehood, from Old French suposer "to assume" (13c.), probably a replacement (influenced by Old French poser "put, place") of *suppondre, from Latin supponere "put or place under; to subordinate, make subject," from assimilated form of sub "under" (see sub-) + ponere "put, place" (past participle positus; see position (n.)).ETD suppose (v.).2

    The meaning "admit as possible, believe to be true without reflection" is from 1520s. The sense of "infer hypothetically" is from c. 1600. Related: Supposing; supposer.ETD suppose (v.).3

    supposedly (adv.)

    "as may be supposed, presumably," 1610s, from supposed (q.v.) + -ly (2).ETD supposedly (adv.).2

    supposite (n.)

    "a being that subsists by itself," 1610s, from Medieval Latin suppositum, noun use of neuter singular of Latin suppositus, past participle of supponere "put or place under" (see suppose). As an adjective, "placed or situated below," 1630s.ETD supposite (n.).2

    supposition (n.)

    early 15c., supposicioun, a term in Scholastic logic, "admission of a likelihood based on the truth of its consequences, assumption for the sake of argument, hypothetical inference, conjecture," from Medieval Latin suppositionem (nominative suppositio) "assumption, hypothesis, a supposition," noun of action from past-participle stem of supponere (see suppose).ETD supposition (n.).2

    In classical Latin, "a putting under, substitution;" it translated Greek hypothesis. (see hypothesis), which influenced the sense. In English as "act of formulating a proposition, without regard to truth or falsehood," by 1590s. Often in general use in English vaguely, "notion, idea, fancy." Earlier in English the logical sense was in supposal (late 14c.). Related: Suppositionally.ETD supposition (n.).3

    suppositional (adj.)

    "involving or based on supposition; supposed, hypothetical," 1660s, from supposition + -al (1). Also in same sense was suppositary (1808). Suppositative "belonging to a supposition" is attested from 1650s.ETD suppositional (adj.).2

    suppositio materialis

    a Latin phrase in logic for a word or phrase used without semantic function, and regarded only as the letters or sounds, from suppositio "assumption, hypothesis" (see supposition) + Late Latin materialis (adj.) "of or belonging to matter," from Latin materia "matter, stuff, wood, timber" (see matter (n.)).ETD suppositio materialis.2

    "There are no verbs in 'the Bible' " is both true and false, but true only as suppositio materialis.ETD suppositio materialis.3

    supposititious (adj.)

    "put by artifice in the place of or assuming the character of another, fraudulently substituted for what is genuine; counterfeit, spurious," 1610s, from Latin suppositicius, supposititius, subpositicius, "put in place of another, substituted," especially by fraud, "spurious," from stem of supponere, subponere (past participle suppositus, subpositus) "put under, subordinate" (see suppose (v.)).ETD supposititious (adj.).2

    In old use often in reference to a child and meaning "illegitimate." Of writing or a passage in a text, "not by the supposed author, added by other or later hands" (1610s). Also sometimes suppositious. Related: Supposititiously; supposititiousness.ETD supposititious (adj.).3

    suppository (n.)

    late 14c., suppositorie, "medicinal plug for anal or vaginal insertion," from Medieval Latin suppositorium "a suppository," noun use of neuter of Late Latin adjective suppositorius "placed underneath or up," from Latin suppositus, past participle of supponere "put or place under" (see suppose, which is from a figurative use of the Latin verb). As an adjective from 1590s. If the noun wants a corresponding verb, obsolete suppone is available.ETD suppository (n.).2

    suppress (v.)

    late 14c. (implied in verbal noun suppressing) "be burdensome," also "quell, cause to cease;" from Latin suppressus, past participle of supprimere "press down, stop, hold back, check, stifle," from assimilated form of sub "below, under" (see sub-) + premere "to press, hold fast, cover, crowd, compress" (from PIE root *per- (4) "to strike").ETD suppress (v.).2

    by 1520s of feelings, desires, etc., "put down, prevent from expression by force." The sense of "prevent or prohibit the circulation of, withhold from disclosure" is from 1550s. The medical sense of "hinder the flow or discharge" is from 1620s. Related: Suppressed; suppressing.ETD suppress (v.).3

    suppressant (n.)

    "that which restrains or suppresses," 1922, from suppress + -ant. Especially in reference to an agent that suppresses appetite.ETD suppressant (n.).2

    suppressive (adj.)

    "tending to suppress," 1778, from suppress + -ive. Related: Suppressively; suppressiveness.ETD suppressive (adj.).2

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