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    vortex (n.) — VW (n.)

    vortex (n.)

    1650s, "whirlpool, eddying mass," from Latin vortex, variant of vertex "an eddy of water, wind, or flame; whirlpool; whirlwind," from stem of vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Plural form is vortices. Became prominent in 17c. theories of astrophysics (by Descartes, etc.). In reference to human affairs, it is attested from 1761. Vorticism as a movement in British arts and literature is attested from 1914, coined by Ezra Pound. Related: Vortical; vorticist.ETD vortex (n.).2

    votary (n.)

    1540s, "one consecrated by a vow," from Latin votum "a promise to a god; that which is promised" (see vow (n.)) + -ary. Originally "a monk or nun," general sense of "ardent devotee of some aim or pursuit" is from 1591 (in Shakespeare, originally in reference to love). Related: Votaress.ETD votary (n.).2

    vote (v.)

    1550s, "give a vote to;" 1560s, "enact or establish by vote;" see vote (n.). Earlier it meant "to vow" to do something (mid-15c.). Related: Voted; voting.ETD vote (v.).2

    vote (n.)

    mid-15c., "formal expression of one's wish or choice with regard to a proposal, candidate, etc.," from Latin votum "a vow, wish, promise to a god, solemn pledge, dedication," noun use of neuter of votus, past participle of vovere "to promise, dedicate" (see vow (n.)). The meaning "totality of voters of a certain class or type" is from 1888.ETD vote (n.).2

    voter (n.)

    1570s, agent noun from vote (v.).ETD voter (n.).2

    votive (adj.)

    1590s, "dedicated or given in fulfillment of a vow," from French votif, from Latin votivus "of or pertaining to a vow, promised by a vow, conforming to one's wishes," from votum (see vow (n.)).ETD votive (adj.).2

    vouch (v.)

    early 14c., "summon into court to prove a title," from Anglo-French voucher, Old French vocher "to call, summon, invoke, claim," probably from Gallo-Roman *voticare, metathesis of Latin vocitare "to call to, summon insistently," frequentative of Latin vocare "to call, call upon, summon," which is related to vox (genitive vocis) "voice" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak"). Meaning "guarantee to be true or accurate" is first attested 1590s. Related: Vouched; vouching.ETD vouch (v.).2

    voucher (n.)

    1520s, originally "summoning of a person into court to warrant the title to a property, a calling to vouch;" see vouch. Meaning "receipt from a business transaction" is first attested 1690s; sense of "document which can be exchanged for goods or services" is attested from 1947.ETD voucher (n.).2

    vouchsafe (v.)

    c. 1300, vouchen safe "to vouch as safe, guarantee" (see vouch and safe (adj.)).ETD vouchsafe (v.).2

    vow (n.)

    "solemn promise," c. 1300, from Anglo-French and Old French voe (Modern French vœu), from Latin votum "a promise to a god, solemn pledge, dedication; that which is promised; a wish, desire, longing, prayer," noun use of neuter of votus, past participle of vovere "to promise solemnly, pledge, dedicate, vow," from PIE root *wegwh- "to speak solemnly, vow, preach" (source also of Sanskrit vaghat- "one who offers a sacrifice;" Greek eukhe "vow, wish," eukhomai "I pray"). The meaning "solemn engagement to devote oneself to a religious order or life" is from c. 1400; earlier "to bind oneself" to chastity (early 14c.).ETD vow (n.).2

    vow (v.)

    "promise solemnly," c. 1300, from Old French voer, from voe (see vow (n.)). Related: Vowed; vowing.ETD vow (v.).2

    vowel (n.)

    c. 1300, from Old French voieul (Modern French voyelle), from Latin vocalis, in littera vocalis, literally "vocal letter," from vox (genitive vocis) "voice," from PIE root *wekw- "to speak." Vowel shift in reference to the pronunciation change between Middle and Modern English is attested from 1909. The English record-holder for most consecutive vowels in a word is queueing.ETD vowel (n.).2


    Latin, literally "voice," which is the source of vocare "to call" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak").ETD vox.2

    vox populi (n.)

    1540s, Latin, literally "voice of the people." The full maxim (first attested in Medieval Latin) is vox populi, vox Dei "the voice of the people is the voice of God." Short form vox pop attested by 1964.ETD vox populi (n.).2

    voyage (v.)

    late 15c., from Old French voyager, from voiage (see voyage (n.)). Related: Voyaged; voyaging.ETD voyage (v.).2

    voyager (n.)

    late 15c., from Old French voyagier, from voiage (see voyage (n.)).ETD voyager (n.).2

    voyage (n.)

    c. 1300, from Old French voiage "travel, journey, movement, course, errand, mission, crusade" (12c., Modern French voyage), from Late Latin viaticum "a journey" (in classical Latin "provisions for a journey"), noun use of neuter of viaticus "of or for a journey," from via "road, journey, travel" (see via).ETD voyage (n.).2

    voyeur (n.)

    a scopophiliac, 1889 as a French word in English, from French voyeur, literally "one who views or inspects," from voir "to view," from Latin videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see").ETD voyeur (n.).2

    voyeurism (n.)

    "scopophilia," 1913, from voyeur + -ism.ETD voyeurism (n.).2

    voyeuristic (adj.)

    1919, from voyeur + -istic. Related: Voyeuristically.ETD voyeuristic (adj.).2


    1967, echoic of the sound of a motor engine revving.ETD vroom.2


    abbreviation in law of Latin versus "turned toward or against," past participle of vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Also sometimes vs.; ver.ETD vs.2


    French, literally "view, sight; aspect, appearance; vision" (see view (n.)).ETD vue.2

    vug (n.)

    1818, from Cornish vooga "a cavity in rock; cave, hollow."ETD vug (n.).2

    vulcanize (v.)

    1827, "to put into flames," from Vulcan (q.v.), name of the Roman god of fire, + -ize. As a treatment for rubber, attested by 1846. Related: Vulcanized; vulcanizing.ETD vulcanize (v.).2

    Vulcan (n.)

    god of fire and metal-work in Roman mythology, 1510s, from Latin Vulcanus, Volcanus, according to Klein a word of Etruscan origin. Often with allusions to his lameness and the unfaithfulness of his wife, Venus. As the name of a hypothetical planet between Mercury and the Sun, it is attested from 1860 in English (see intramercurial). The Roman feast of Vulcanalia was on Aug. 23.ETD Vulcan (n.).2

    vulgarize (v.)

    "to make vulgar" (transitive), 1709, from vulgar + -ize. Related: Vulgarized; vulgarizing.ETD vulgarize (v.).2

    vulgar (adj.)

    late 14c., "common, ordinary," from Latin vulgaris, volgaris "of or pertaining to the common people, common, vulgar, low, mean," from vulgus, volgus "the common people, multitude, crowd, throng," for which de Vaan offers no further etymology.ETD vulgar (adj.).2

    The meaning "coarse, low, ill-bred" is recorded by 1640s, probably from earlier use (with reference to people) in the meaning "belonging to the ordinary class" (1520s). Chaucer uses peplish for "vulgar, common, plebeian" (late 14c.). Related: Vulgarly.ETD vulgar (adj.).3

    Vulgar Latin was the everyday speech of the Roman people, as opposed to literary Latin; modern Romanic languages are largely descended from Vulgar Latin. For more on it, see here.ETD vulgar (adj.).4

    vulgarity (n.)

    1570s, "the common people," from French vulgarité and directly from Late Latin vulgaritas "the multitude," from vulgaris (see vulgar). Meaning "coarseness, crudeness" is recorded from 1774.ETD vulgarity (n.).2

    vulgarian (n.)

    "rich person of vulgar manners," 1804, from vulgar (adj.) + -ian.ETD vulgarian (n.).2

    vulgarisateur (n.)

    1940, a French word brought into English by John Buchan (Baron Tweedsmuir) and picked up by philosopher C.E.M. Joad because they found no adequate word in English for one "who spreads with clarity, vividness, force and accuracy, the knowledge obtained by and the wisdom derived from others" [Joad, 1948], vulgarize already being in use in the pejorative sense; see vulgar.ETD vulgarisateur (n.).2

    Vulgate (n.)

    Latin translation of the Bible, especially that completed in 405 by St. Jerome (c.340-420), c. 1600, from Medieval Latin Vulgata, from Late Latin vulgata "common, general, ordinary, popular" (in vulgata editio "popular edition"), from Latin vulgata, fem. past participle of vulgare "make common or public, spread among the multitude," from vulgus "the common people" (see vulgar). So called because the translations made the book accessible to the common people of ancient Rome.ETD Vulgate (n.).2

    vulnerable (adj.)

    c. 1600, from Late Latin vulnerabilis "wounding," from Latin vulnerare "to wound, hurt, injure, maim," from vulnus (genitive vulneris) "wound," perhaps related to vellere "pluck, to tear" (see svelte), or from PIE *wele-nes-, from *wele- (2) "to strike, wound" (see Valhalla).ETD vulnerable (adj.).2

    vulnerability (n.)

    1767, noun from vulnerable (q.v.).ETD vulnerability (n.).2


    constellation added to the celestial map in 1687 by Johannes Hevelius, from Latin vulpecula, volpecula "little fox," diminutive of vulpes, volpes "fox" (see vulpine).ETD Vulpecula.2

    vulpine (adj.)

    "pertaining to a fox, fox-like," 1620s, from Latin vulpinus "of or pertaining to a fox," from vulpes, earlier volpes (genitive vulpis, volpis) "fox," from PIE *wlpe- "fox" (source also of Greek alopex "fox").ETD vulpine (adj.).2

    vulture (n.)

    late 14c., from Anglo-French vultur, Old French voutoir, voutre (Modern French vautour), from Latin vultur, earlier voltur, perhaps related to vellere "to pluck, to tear" (see svelte). Figurative sense is recorded from 1580s. Related: Vulturine; vulturous.ETD vulture (n.).2

    vulva (n.)

    late 14c., from Latin vulva, earlier volva "womb, female sexual organ," perhaps literally "wrapper," from volvere "to turn, twist, roll, revolve," also "turn over in the mind," from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve," with derivatives referring to curved, enclosing objects.ETD vulva (n.).2

    VW (n.)

    1958, short for Volkswagen, which is German for "people's car" (see folk (n.) + wagon).ETD VW (n.).2

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