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    vanillin (n.) — vegetal (adj.)

    vanillin (n.)

    substance prepared from fruit of the vanilla plant, 1859, from vanilla + -in (2).ETD vanillin (n.).2

    vaniloquence (n.)

    "idle talk," 1620s, from Latin vaniloquentia, from vanus "idle, empty" (from suffixed form of PIE root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out") + loquens, from loqui "to speak" (from PIE root *tolkw- "to speak").ETD vaniloquence (n.).2


    from Old Norse vanir "the Vanir," one of the families of Scandinavian gods, from Proto-Germanic *wana-, perhaps from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for."ETD Vanir.2

    vanish (v.)

    "disappear quickly," c. 1300, from shortened form of esvaniss-, stem of Old French esvanir "disappear; cause to disappear," from Vulgar Latin *exvanire, from Latin evanescere "disappear, pass away, die out," from ex "out" (see ex-) + vanescere "vanish," inchoative verb from vanus "empty, void," from PIE *wano-, suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Related: Vanished; vanishing; vanishingly. Vanishing point in perspective drawing is recorded from 1797.ETD vanish (v.).2

    vanity (n.)

    c. 1200, "that which is vain, futile, or worthless," from Old French vanite "self-conceit; futility; lack of resolve" (12c.), from Latin vanitatem (nominative vanitas) "emptiness, aimlessness; falsity," figuratively "vainglory, foolish pride," from vanus "empty, void," figuratively "idle, fruitless," from PIE *wano-, suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Meaning "self-conceited" in English is attested from mid-14c. Vanity table is attested from 1936. Vanity Fair is from "Pilgrim's Progress" (1678).ETD vanity (n.).2

    vanquish (v.)

    mid-14c., "to defeat in battle, conquer," from Old French venquis-, extended stem of veintre "to defeat," from Latin vincere "to overcome, conquer" (from nasalized form of PIE root *weik- (3) "to fight, conquer"). Influenced in Middle English by French vainquiss-, present stem of vainquir "conquer," from Old French vainkir, alteration of veintre. Related: Vanquished; vanquishing.ETD vanquish (v.).2

    vantage (n.)

    early 14c., "advantage, profit," from Anglo-French vantage, from Old French avantage "advantage, profit, superiority" (see advantage). Vantage point "favorable position" attested from 1865; a similar notion was in earlier vantage ground (1610s).ETD vantage (n.).2

    vapid (adj.)

    1650s, "flat, insipid" (of drinks), from Latin vapidus "flat, insipid," literally "that has exhaled its vapor," related to vappa "stale wine," and probably to vapor "vapor." Applied from 1758 to talk and writing deemed dull and lifeless. Related: Vapidly; vapidness.ETD vapid (adj.).2

    vapidity (n.)

    1721, from vapid + -ity.ETD vapidity (n.).2

    vaporization (n.)

    also vaporisation, 1788, noun of action from vaporize. In same sense Middle English had vaporacioun (late 14c.).ETD vaporization (n.).2

    vapor (n.)

    late 14c., from Anglo-French vapour, Old French vapor "moisture, vapor" (13c., Modern French vapeur) and directly from Latin vaporem (nominative vapor) "a warm exhalation, steam, heat," which is of unknown origin. Vapors "fit of fainting, hysteria, etc." is 1660s, from medieval notion of "exhalations" from the stomach or other organs affecting the brain.ETD vapor (n.).2

    vaporizer (n.)

    1846, agent noun from vaporize.ETD vaporizer (n.).2

    vaporize (v.)

    1630s, "to smoke" (tobacco), from vapor + -ize. Later "convert into vapor, cause to become vapor" (1803), and "spray with fine mist" (1900). Intransitive sense "become vaporous" is from 1828. Related: Vaporized; vaporizing. An earlier verb was simply vapor (c. 1400, transitive and intransitive), from Latin vaporare.ETD vaporize (v.).2

    vaporous (adj.)

    late 14c., from Late Latin vaporosus "full of steam," from Latin vaporus, from vapor (see vapor).ETD vaporous (adj.).2

    vaporetto (n.)

    Venetian public transit canal-motorboat, 1926, from Italian vaporetto, diminutive of vapore "steam," from Latin vapor (see vapor (n.)).ETD vaporetto (n.).2

    vapour (n.)

    chiefly British English spelling of vapor; see -or.ETD vapour (n.).2

    vappa (n.)

    "wine that has lost its flavor," c. 1600, from Latin vappa "wine without flavor," figuratively "a good-for-nothing" (see vapid).ETD vappa (n.).2

    vaquero (n.)

    1826, from Spanish, literally "cowboy," from vaca "cow," from Latin vacca "cow," a word of uncertain origin.ETD vaquero (n.).2

    Varangian (n.)

    one of the Northmen who ravaged the Baltic coast in 9c. and by tradition overran part of western Russia and founded a dynasty there," 1788, from Medieval Latin Varangus, from Byzantine Greek Barangos, a name ultimately (via Slavic) from Old Norse væringi "a Scandinavian," properly "a confederate," from var- "pledge, faith," related to Old English wær "agreement, treaty, promise," Old High German wara "faithfulness" (from PIE root *were-o- "true, trustworthy"). Attested in Old Russian as variagi; surviving in Russian varyag "a peddler," Ukrainian varjah "a big strong man."ETD Varangian (n.).2

    varied (adj.)

    "changed," early 15c., past-participle adjective from vary (v.). From 1580s as "differing from one another;" as "characterized by variety," from 1732.ETD varied (adj.).2

    vary (v.)

    mid-14c. (transitive); late 14c. (intransitive), from Old French variier "be changed, go astray; change, alter, transform" and directly from Latin variare "change, alter, make different," from varius "varied, different, spotted;" perhaps related to varus "bent, crooked, knock-kneed," and varix "varicose vein," and, more distantly, to Old English wearte "wart," Swedish varbulde "pus swelling," Latin verruca "wart." Related: Varied; varying.ETD vary (v.).2

    variable (n.)

    "quantity that can vary in value," 1816, from variable (adj.) in mathematical sense of "quantitatively indeterminate" (1710). Related: Variably; variability.ETD variable (n.).2

    variable (adj.)

    late 14c., of persons, "apt to change, fickle," from Old French variable "various, changeable, fickle," from Late Latin variabilis "changeable," from variare "to change" (see vary). Of weather, seasons, etc., attested from late 15c.; of stars, from 1788.ETD variable (adj.).2

    variability (n.)

    1771, from variable (Latin variabilis) + -ity.ETD variability (n.).2

    variance (n.)

    late 14c., "fact of undergoing change," from Old French variance "change, alteration; doubt, hesitation" and directly from Latin variantia, from stem of variare "to change" (see vary). Meaning "state of disagreement" is recorded from early 15c. The U.S. zoning sense of "official dispensation from a building regulation" is recorded from 1925.ETD variance (n.).2

    variant (adj.)

    late 14c., "tending to change," from Old French variant and directly from Latin variantem (nominative varians), present participle of variare "to change" (see vary).ETD variant (adj.).2

    variant (n.)

    "something substantially the same, but in different form," 1848, from variant (adj.).ETD variant (n.).2

    variate (n.)

    in statistics, 1899, from adjective variate (mid-15c.), from Latin variatus, past participle of variare (see vary).ETD variate (n.).2

    variation (n.)

    late 14c., "difference, divergence," from Old French variacion "variety, diversity" and directly from Latin variationem (nominative variatio) "a difference, variation, change," from past participle stem of variare "to change" (see vary). The musical sense is attested from 1801. Related: Variational.ETD variation (n.).2

    varices (n.)

    plural of varix "dilated vein" (c. 1400), from Latin varix "a varicose vein," which de Vaan derives from varus "bent outward, bow-legged," which is of uncertain origin (see vary).ETD varices (n.).2

    varicella (n.)

    "chicken-pox," medical Latin, 1764, irregular diminutive of variola (see variola). Related: Varicellous.ETD varicella (n.).2

    varicocele (n.)

    "tumor in the scrotum," 1736, medical Latin, from Latin varico-, combining form of varix "dilated vein," (see varicose) + Latinized form of Greek kele "tumor, rupture, hernia" (see -cele).ETD varicocele (n.).2

    varicolored (adj.)

    "diversified in color, motley," also vari-colored, 1660s, from Latin varius (see vary) + English colored (adj.).ETD varicolored (adj.).2

    varicose (adj.)

    early 15c., from Latin varicosus "with dilated veins," from varix (genitive varicis) "dilated vein," from varus "bent outward, bow-legged," which is of uncertain origin (see vary).ETD varicose (adj.).2

    variegate (v.)

    1650s "give variety to," from Late Latin variegatus "made of various sorts or colors," past participle of variegare "diversify with different colors," from varius "spotted, changing, varying" (see vary) + root of agere "to do, perform" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). The meaning "mark with different colors" is from 1660s (implied in variegated). Related: variegating.ETD variegate (v.).2

    varietal (adj.)

    "having the characteristics of a variety," 1849, a biologists' word, from variety + -al (1). In reference to wines, "made from a single variety of grape," first attested 1941, American English. As a noun, in this sense, attested from 1955. Related: Varietally.ETD varietal (adj.).2

    variety (n.)

    1530s, "change of fortunes," from French variété and directly from Latin varietatem (nominative varietas) "difference, diversity; a kind, variety, species, sort," from varius "various" (see vary). Meaning diversity, absence of monotony" is from 1540s; that of "collection of different things" is from 1550s; sense of "something different from others" is from 1610s. In reference to music hall or theatrical performances of a mixed nature, first recorded 1868, American English. The U.S. theater and entertainment industry magazine was founded in 1905 by Sime Silverman.ETD variety (n.).2

    varify (v.)

    "to make varied," c. 1600, from Latin vari-, stem of varius "different, diverse" (see vary) + -fy. Related: Varified; varifying.ETD varify (v.).2

    variform (adj.)

    1660s, from Latin varius (see vary) + forma "form, shape" (see form (n.)).ETD variform (adj.).2

    variola (n.)

    "smallpox," 1771, medical Latin diminutive of Latin varius "changing, various," in this case "speckled, spotted" (see vary).ETD variola (n.).2

    variorum (adj.)

    "an edition (especially of the complete works of a classical author) with notes of various commentators or editors," 1728, genitive masculine plural of Latin varius "different, diverse" (see vary), in phrase editio cum notis variorum. Its use with reference to an edition of an author's works containing variant readings (1955) is "deplored by some scholars" [OED].ETD variorum (adj.).2

    various (adj.)

    early 15c., "characterized by variety," from Latin varius "changing, different, diverse" (see vary). Meaning "different from one another, having a diversity of features" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Variously.ETD various (adj.).2

    varlet (n.)

    mid-15c., "servant, attendant of a knight," from Old French varlet (14c.), variant of vaslet, originally "squire, young man," from Old French vassal (see vassal). The meaning "rascal, rogue" is 1540s.ETD varlet (n.).2

    varmint (n.)

    1530s, varment; the chiefly American English dialectal form varmint is attested from 1829; colloquial variant of vermin. Meaning "objectionable or troublesome person" is recorded from 1773.ETD varmint (n.).2

    varnish (n.)

    mid-14c., from Old French vernis "varnish" (12c.), from Medieval Latin vernix "odorous resin," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Late Greek verenike, from Greek Berenike, name of an ancient city in Libya (modern Bengasi) credited with the first use of varnishes. The town is named for Berenike II, queen of Egypt (see Berenice). Figurative sense of "specious gloss, pretense," is recorded from 1560s.ETD varnish (n.).2

    varnish (v.)

    late 14c.; see varnish (n.). Related: Varnished; varnishing. Century Dictionary defines varnishing day as "A day before the opening of a picture exhibition on which exhibitors have the privilege of retouching or varnishing their pictures after they have been placed on the walls." The custom is said to date to the early years of 19c.ETD varnish (v.).2

    varsity (adj.)

    1825, "university," variant of earlier versity (1670s), shortened form of university. Compare varsal (1690s), short for universal; varmint from vermin; and Grose's "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" (1788) has vardy as slang for verdict. "Used in English universities, and affected to some extent in American colleges" [Century Dictionary].ETD varsity (adj.).2

    varus (n.)

    foot deformity in which the feet are extroverted, so that the inner ankle rests on the ground, while the sole of the foot is more or less turned outwards, 1800, from Latin varus "bent, bent outwards, turned awry, crooked," specifically "with legs bent inward, knock-kneed," a word of uncertain origin (see vary).ETD varus (n.).2

    The use of classical varus and valgus, which denoted deformities of the legs, in modern medicine to describe deformities of the feet, was criticized by learned writers (see "Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal," July 1838).ETD varus (n.).3

    varve (n.)

    "annual deposit of silt in a lake bed," 1912, from Swedish varv "turn, layer," related to Old Norse hverfa, Old English hwerfan "to turn round" (see wharf).ETD varve (n.).2

    varvel (n.)

    "metal ring attached to the end of a hawk's jess and connecting it to the leash," 1530s, from Old French vervelle "falcon's leg fetter" (14c.), from Vulgar Latin derivation of Latin vertibulum "joint." Related: Varvels.ETD varvel (n.).2

    vasculitis (n.)

    1872, from Latin vasculum, diminutive of vas, + -itis "inflammation."ETD vasculitis (n.).2

    vascular (adj.)

    1670s, in anatomy, "pertaining to conveyance or circulation of fluids," from Modern Latin vascularis "of or pertaining to vessels or tubes," from Latin vasculum "a small vessel," diminutive of vas "vessel."ETD vascular (adj.).2

    vasculature (n.)

    1934, from Latin vascularis (see vascular) on model of musculature.ETD vasculature (n.).2

    vase (n.)

    late 14c., from Old French vas, vase "receptacle, container," from Latin vas (plural vasa) "container, vessel." American English preserves the original English pronunciation (Swift rhymes it with face, Byron with place and grace), while British English shifted mid-19c. to preference for a pronunciation that rhymes with bras.ETD vase (n.).2

    vasectomy (n.)

    1896, from Modern Latin vas (deferens) + -ectomy "a cutting, surgical removal."ETD vasectomy (n.).2

    Vaseline (n.)

    1872, trademark for an ointment made from petroleum and marketed by Chesebrough Manufacturing Co., coined from German Wasser "water" + Greek elaion "oil" + scientific-sounded ending -ine. Robert A. Chesebrough was of the opinion that petroleum was a product of the underground decomposition of water.ETD Vaseline (n.).2

    vasoconstriction (n.)

    1899, from combining form of vas + constriction.ETD vasoconstriction (n.).2

    vasodilation (n.)

    1896, from vasopressor, from vaso-, combining form of Latin vas "container, vessel" (see vas) + dilation. Related: Vasodilator (1881).ETD vasodilation (n.).2

    vasopressin (n.)

    1928, from vasopressor "causing the constriction of (blood) vessels) (from vaso-, combining form of Latin vas "container, vessel;" see vas) + -in (2).ETD vasopressin (n.).2

    vassal (n.)

    early 14c. (c. 1200 as a surname) "tenant who pledges fealty to a lord," from Old French vassal "subject, subordinate, servant" (12c.), from Medieval Latin vassallus "manservant, domestic, retainer," extended from vassus "servant," from Old Celtic *wasso- "young man, squire" (source also of Welsh gwas "youth, servant," Breton goaz "servant, vassal, man," Irish foss "servant"), literally "one who stands under," from PIE root *upo "under." The adjective is recorded from 1580s.ETD vassal (n.).2

    vassalage (n.)

    c. 1300, from Old French vassalage, vasselage "the service of a vassal," from vassal (see vassal).ETD vassalage (n.).2

    vast (adj.)

    1570s, "being of great extent or size," from French vaste, from Latin vastus "immense, extensive, huge," also "desolate, unoccupied, empty." The two meanings probably originally attached to two separate words, one with a long -a- one with a short -a-, that merged in early Latin (see waste (v.)). Meaning "very great in quantity or number" is from 1630s; that of "very great in degree" is from 1670s. Very popular early 18c. as an intensifier. Related: Vastly; vastness; vasty.ETD vast (adj.).2

    vat (n.)

    c. 1200, large tub or cistern, "especially one for holding liquors in an immature state" [Century Dictionary], southern variant (see V) of Old English fæt "container, vat," from Proto-Germanic *fatan (source also of Old Saxon, Old Norse fat, Old Frisian fet, Middle Dutch, Dutch vat, Old High German faz, German faß), from PIE root *ped- (2) "container" (source also of Lithuanian puodas "pot").ETD vat (n.).2

    vates (n.)

    1620s, "poet or bard," specifically "Celtic divinely inspired poet" (1728), from Latin vates "sooth-sayer, prophet, seer," from a Celtic source akin to Old Irish faith "poet," Welsh gwawd "poem," from PIE root *wet- (1) "to blow; inspire, spiritually arouse" (source also of Old English wod "mad, frenzied," god-name Woden; see wood (adj.)). Hence vaticination "oracular prediction" (c. 1600).ETD vates (n.).2

    vaterland (n.)

    1852, from German Vaterland, from Vater (see father (n.)) + Land (see land (n.)).ETD vaterland (n.).2

    vatic (adj.)

    "pertaining to a prophet," c. 1600, from Latin vates (see vates) + -ic.ETD vatic (adj.).2


    1550s, from Latin mons Vaticanus, Roman hill on which Papal palace stands. By Klein's sources said to be an Etruscan loan-word and unrelated to vates "soothsayer, prophet, seer" (see vates), but most others seem to think it is related, on the notion of "hill of prophecy" (compare vaticinatio "a foretelling, soothsaying, prophesying," vaticinari "to foretell").ETD Vatican.2

    vaticinate (v.)

    "to prophecy, foretell," 1620s, from Latin vaticinatus, past participle of vaticinari, from vates (see vates) + formative element -cinus. Related: Vaticinated; vaticinating; Vaticinal.ETD vaticinate (v.).2

    vaticination (n.)

    c. 1600, from Latin vaticinationem (nominative vaticinatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of vaticinari (see vaticinate).ETD vaticination (n.).2

    vaudeville (n.)

    1735, "a country song," especially one for the stage, from French vaudeville (16c.), alteration (by influence of ville "town") of vaudevire, said to be from (chanson du) Vau de Vire "(song of the) valley of Vire," in the Calvados region of Normandy, first applied to the popular satirical songs of Olivier Basselin, a 15c. poet who lived in Vire.ETD vaudeville (n.).2

    The alternative explanation is that vaudevire derives from dialectal vauder "to go" + virer "to turn." From the popularity of the songs in France grew a form of theatrical entertainment based on parodies of popular opera and drama, interspersed with songs.ETD vaudeville (n.).3

    As a sort of popular stage variety entertainment show suitable for families, from c. 1881 in U.S., displaced by movies after c. 1914, considered dead from 1932. Abbreviation Vaude attested by 1922 (Variety).ETD vaudeville (n.).4

    vaudevillian (n.)

    "performer in vaudeville shows," 1900, from vaudeville + -ian.ETD vaudevillian (n.).2


    from Welsh fychan, mutation of bychan "small."ETD Vaughan.2

    vault (v.1)

    "jump or leap over," especially by aid of the hands or a pole, 1530s, transitive (implied in vaulting); 1560s, intransitive, from French volter "to gambol, leap," from Italian voltare "to turn," from Vulgar Latin *volvitare "to turn, leap," frequentative of Latin volvere "to turn, turn around, roll" (from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve"). Related: Vaulted; vaulting.ETD vault (v.1).2

    vault (n.2)

    "a leap," especially using the hands or a pole, 1570s, from vault (v.1).ETD vault (n.2).2

    vault (n.1)

    "arched roof or ceiling," c. 1300, vaute, from Old French voute "arch, vaulting, vaulted roof or chamber," from Vulgar Latin *volta, contraction of *volvita, noun use of fem. of *volvitus, alteration of Latin volutus "bowed, arched," past participle of volvere "to turn, turn around, roll," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve." The -l- appeared in English c. 1400, an etymological insertion in imitation of earlier forms (compare fault (n.), assault (n.)).ETD vault (n.1).2

    vault (v.2)

    "to form with a vault or arched roof," late 14c., from Old French vaulter, volter, from voute "arch, vaulted roof" (see vault (n.1)). Related: Vaulted; vaulting.ETD vault (v.2).2

    vaunt (v.)

    early 15c., "speak vainly or proudly," from Anglo-French vaunter, Old French vanter "to praise, speak highly of," from Medieval Latin vanitare "to boast," frequentative of Latin vanare "to utter empty words," from vanus "empty, void," figuratively "idle, fruitless," from PIE *wano-, suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Also short for avaunten "to boast" (see vaunt (n.)). Related: Vaunted; vaunting.ETD vaunt (v.).2

    vaunt (n.)

    "boasting utterance," c. 1400, short for avaunt "a boast" (late 14c.), from avaunten "to boast" (c. 1300), from Old French avanter "boast about, boast of, glory in."ETD vaunt (n.).2


    popular pleasure garden on south bank of Thames in London, c. 1661-1859; the name is Middle English Faukeshale (late 13c.), "Hall or manor of a man called Falkes," an Old French personal name.ETD Vauxhall.2

    VC (n.)

    also V.C., U.S. military abbreviation of Viet Cong, by 1964; also see Charlie.ETD VC (n.).2

    VCR (n.)

    1971, initialism (acronym) from videocassette recorder (see videocassette).ETD VCR (n.).2

    V.D. (n.)

    short for venereal disease (see venereal), by 1916 in medical publications.ETD V.D. (n.).2

    veal (n.)

    late 14c., "calf meat as food," from Anglo-French vel, Old French veel "a calf" (12c., Modern French veau), earlier vedel, from Latin vitellus "a little calf," diminutive of vitulus "calf," perhaps originally "yearling," if related, as some think, to Sanskrit vatsah "calf," literally "yearling;" Gothic wiþrus, Old English weðer (see wether; also see veteran).ETD veal (n.).2

    vector (n.)

    "quantity having magnitude and direction," 1846; earlier "line joining a fixed point and a variable point," 1704, from Latin vector "one who carries or conveys, carrier" (also "one who rides"), agent noun from past-participle stem of vehere "carry, convey" (from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle"). Related: Vectorial.ETD vector (n.).2

    Veda (n.)

    ancient sacred Hindu book, 1734, from Sanskrit veda, literally "knowledge, understanding," especially "sacred knowledge," from root vid- "to know" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). The books are the Rig-, Yajur-, Sama-, and Atharva-veda.ETD Veda (n.).2

    VE Day (n.)

    initialism (acronym) for Victory in Europe, from September 1944 (see victory).ETD VE Day (n.).2

    vedette (n.)

    "mounted sentinel placed in advance of an outpost," 1680s, from French vedette (16c.), from Italian (Florentine) vedetta "watch tower, peep hole," probably from vedere "to see," from Latin videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"), or else from Latin vigil "watchful, awake," from PIE root *weg- "to be strong, be lively."ETD vedette (n.).2

    Vedic (adj.)

    "pertaining to the Vedas," 1845, from Veda + -ic.ETD Vedic (adj.).2

    vee (n.)

    1869, to denote the shape of the letter V. As a type of engine, by 1915.ETD vee (n.).2

    veejay (n.)

    1982, from pronunciation of V.J., from video, on model of deejay (see disk).ETD veejay (n.).2

    veep (n.)

    1949, American English, apparently coined from V.P., abbreviation of vice president, perhaps modeled on jeep, which was then in vogue. Introduced by Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956), Harry Truman's vice president. According to the "Saturday Evening Post," "his grandchildren, finding Vice-President too long, call him that." The magazines quickly picked it up, especially when the 71-year-old Barkley married a 38-year-old widow (dubbed the Veepess).ETD veep (n.).2

    Time magazine, tongue in cheek, suggested the president should be Peep, the Secretary of State Steep, and the Secretary of Labor Sleep.ETD veep (n.).3

    veer (v.)

    1580s, "to change direction" (originally of the wind; 1610s of a ship), from French virer "to turn" (12c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps (Diez) from the Latin stem vir- in viriae (plural) "bracelets." Gamillscheg finds von Wartburg's derivation of it from a Vulgar Latin contraction of Latin vibrare "to shake" to be nicht möglich. Related: veered, veering.ETD veer (v.).2


    since 1898 as an abbreviation of vegetarian; 1918 of vegetable. As a verb, colloquially short for vegetate, by 1985 (usually with out).ETD veg.2

    Vega (n.)

    1638, bright northern star, the alpha of Lyra, from Arabic (Al Nasr) al Waqi translated variously as "the eagle of the desert" or "the falling vulture" (or bird).ETD Vega (n.).2

    vegan (n.)

    1944, probably based on a modification of vegetarian; coined by English vegetarian Donald Watson (1910-2005) to distinguish those who abstain from all animal products (eggs, cheese, etc.) from those who merely refuse to eat the animals.ETD vegan (n.).2

    vegetable (adj.)

    early 15c., "capable of life or growth; growing, vigorous;" also "neither animal nor mineral, of the plant kingdom, living and growing as a plant," from Old French vegetable "living, fit to live," and directly from Medieval Latin vegetabilis "growing, flourishing," from Late Latin vegetabilis "animating, enlivening," from Latin vegetare "to enliven," from vegetus "vigorous, enlivened, active, sprightly," from vegere "to be alive, active, to quicken," from PIE root *weg- "to be strong, be lively." The meaning "resembling that of a vegetable, dull, uneventful; having life such as a plant has" is attested from 1854 (see vegetable (n.)).ETD vegetable (adj.).2

    vegetation (n.)

    1560s, "act of vegetating," from French végétation and directly from Medieval Latin vegetationem (nominative vegetatio) "a quickening, action of growing," from vegetare "grow, quicken" (see vegetable). Meaning "plant life" first recorded 1727.ETD vegetation (n.).2

    vegetable (n.)

    mid-15c., "non-animal life," originally any plant, from vegetable (adj.); specific sense of "plant cultivated for food, edible herb or root" is first recorded 1767. Meaning "person who leads a monotonous life" is recorded from 1921; sense of "one totally incapacitated mentally and physically" is from 1976.ETD vegetable (n.).2

    The Old English word was wyrt (see wort). The commonest source of words for vegetables in Indo-European languages are derivatives of words for "green" or "growing" (compare Italian, Spanish verdura, Irish glasraidh, Danish grøntsager). For a different association, compare Greek lakhana, related to lakhaino "to dig."ETD vegetable (n.).3

    vegetative (adj.)

    late 14c., "endowed with the power of growth," from Old French vegetatif "(naturally) growing," from Medieval Latin vegetativus, from vegetat-, past participle stem of vegetare (see vegetable (adj.)).ETD vegetative (adj.).2

    The Middle English transferred sense was "characterized by growth." The modern pathological sense of "brain-dead, lacking intellectual activity, mentally inert" is from 1893, via notion of having only such functions which perform involuntarily or unconsciously and thus are likened to the processes of vegetable growth. Cockeram's "English Dictionarie" (1623) has Vegetive "Which liveth as plants do."ETD vegetative (adj.).3

    vegetate (v.)

    c. 1600, "to grow as plants do," perhaps a back-formation from vegetation, or from Latin vegetatus, past participle of vegetare "to enliven, to animate" (see vegetable (adj.)). Sense of "to lead a dull, empty, or stagnant life" is from 1740. Related: Vegetated; vegetating.ETD vegetate (v.).2

    vegetal (adj.)

    c. 1400, from Medieval Latin *vegetalis, from Latin vegetare (see vegetable (adj.)).ETD vegetal (adj.).2

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