- acquit[acquit 词源字典]
- acquit:  Acquit is ultimately related to quiet. The Latin noun quies, from which we get quiet, was the basis of a probable verb *quietare, later *quitare, whose original meaning, ‘put to rest’, developed to ‘settle’, as in ‘settle a debt’. With the addition of the prefix ad- this passed into Old French as a(c)quiter, and thence into English (still with the ‘settling or discharging debts’ meaning). The currently most common sense, ‘declare not guilty’, did not appear until the 14th century, and the most recent meaning, ‘conduct oneself in a particular way’, developed from the notion of discharging one’s duties.
=> quiet[acquit etymology, acquit origin, 英语词源]
- acre: [OE] Acre is a word of ancient ancestry, going back probably to the Indo-European base *ag-, source of words such as agent and act. This base had a range of meanings covering ‘do’ and ‘drive’, and it is possible that the notion of driving contributed to the concept of driving animals on to land for pasture. However that may be, it gave rise to a group of words in Indo- European languages, including Latin ager (whence English agriculture), Greek agros, Sanskrit ájras, and a hypothetical Germanic *akraz.
By this time, people’s agricultural activities had moved on from herding animals in open country to tilling the soil in enclosed areas, and all of this group of words meant specifically ‘field’. From the Germanic form developed Old English æcer, which as early as 1000 AD had come to be used for referring to a particular measured area of agricultural land (as much as a pair of oxen could plough in one day).
=> act, agent, agriculture, eyrie, onager, peregrine, pilgrim
- acrid:  Acrid is related to acid, and probably owes its second syllable entirely to that word. It is based essentially on Latin acer ‘sharp, pungent’, which, like acid, acute, oxygen, and edge, derives ultimately from an Indo-European base *ak- meaning ‘be pointed or sharp’. When this was imported into English in the 18th century, the ending -id was artificially grafted on to it, most likely from the semantically similar acid.
=> acid, acrylic, acute, edge, eglantine, oxygen, paragon
- acrobat:  The Greek adjective ákros meant ‘topmost, at the tip or extremity’ (it derives ultimately from the Indo-European base *akmeaning ‘be pointed or sharp’, which also gave rise to acid, acute, oxygen, and edge). It crops up in acrophobia ‘fear of heights’; in acropolis ‘citadel’, literally ‘upper city’; in acromegaly ‘unnaturally enlarged condition of the hands, feet, and face’, literally ‘large extremities’; and in acronym, literally ‘word formed from the tips of words’. Acrobat itself means literally ‘walking on tiptoe’.
The -bat morpheme comes from Greek baínein ‘walk’, which is closely related to basis and base, and is also connected with come. Akrobátēs existed as a term in Greek, and reached English via French acrobate.
=> acid, acute, edge, oxygen
- across:  English originally borrowed across, or the idea for it, from Old French. French had the phrase à croix or en croix, literally ‘at or in cross’, that is, ‘in the form of a cross’ or ‘transversely’. This was borrowed into Middle English as a creoix or o(n) croice, and it was not until the 15th century that versions based on the native English form of the word cross began to appear: in cross, on cross, and the eventual winner, across.
- acrostic:  An acrostic is a piece of verse in which the first letters of each line when put together spell out a word. The term is of Greek origin (akrostikhis), and was formed from ákros ‘at the extremity’ (see ACROBAT) and stíkhos ‘line of verse’. The second element crops up in several other prosodic terms, such as distich and hemistich, and comes from the Greek verb steíkhein ‘go’, which is related ultimately to English stair, stile, and stirrup.
=> acrobat, distich, hemistich, stair, stile, stirrup
- acrylic:  Acrylic was based ultimately on acrolein , the name of a very pungent poisonous organic compound. This in turn was formed from Latin acer ‘sharp, pungent’ (source of English acrid) and olere ‘smell’.
- act:  Act, action, active, actor all go back to Latin agere ‘do, perform’ (which is the source of a host of other English derivatives, from agent to prodigal). The past participle of this verb was āctus, from which we get act, partly through French acte, but in the main directly from Latin. The Latin agent noun, āctor, came into the language at about the same time, although at first it remained a rather uncommon word in English, with technical legal uses; it was not until the end of the 16th century that it came into its own in the theatre (player had hitherto been the usual term).
Other Latin derivatives of the past participial stem āct- were the noun āctiō, which entered English via Old French action, and the adjective āctīvus, which gave English active. See also ACTUAL.
=> action, active, agent, cogent, examine, prodigal
- actual:  In common with act, action, etc, actual comes ultimately from Latin āctus, the past participle of the verb agere ‘do, perform’. In late Latin an adjective āctuālis was formed from the noun āctus, and this passed into Old French as actuel. English borrowed it in this form, and it was not until the 15th century that the spelling actual, based on the original Latin model, became general. At first its meaning was simply, and literally, ‘relating to acts, active’; the current sense, ‘genuine’, developed in the mid 16th century.
=> act, action
- acumen:  Acumen is a direct borrowing from Latin acūmen, which meant both literally ‘point’ and figuratively ‘sharpness’. It derived from the verb acuere ‘sharpen’, which was also the source of English acute. The original pronunciation of acumen in English was /ə_kjūmen/, with the stress on the second syllable, very much on the pattern of the Latin original; it is only relatively recently that a pronunciation with the stress on the first syllable has become general.
- acute:  Acute derives from Latin acūtus ‘sharp’ (which was also the source of English ague). This was the past participle of the verb acuere ‘sharpen’, which in turn was probably formed from the noun acus ‘needle’. Like the related acid, acetic, and acrid, it can be traced back to an Indo-European base *ak- ‘be pointed’, which was also the ultimate source of oxygen and edge.
=> acetic, acid, acrid, ague, cute, edge, oxygen
- adage:  Adage was borrowed, via French, from Latin adagium ‘maxim, proverb’. This seems to have been formed from a variant of aio ‘I say’ plus the prefīx ad- ‘to’. In the 16th and 17th centuries an alternative version, adagy, existed.
- adamant:  In Greek, adamas meant ‘unbreakable, invincible’. It was formed from the verb daman ‘subdue, break down’ (which came from the same source as English tame) plus the negative prefix a-. It developed a noun usage as a ‘hard substance’, specifically ‘diamond’ or ‘very hard metal’, and this passed into Latin as adamāns, or, in its stem form, adamant-. Hence Old French adamaunt, and eventually English adamant.
=> diamond, tame
- Adam: Adam’s apple  The original apple in question was the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which the serpent in the Garden of Eden tricked Eve into eating, and which she in turn persuaded Adam to eat. It was traditionally believed that a piece of it stuck in Adam’s throat, and so it became an appropriate and convenient metaphor for the thyroid cartilage of the larynx, which protrudes noticeably in men.
- Adam's apple
- Adam's apple:  The original apple in question was the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which the serpent in the Garden of Eden tricked Eve into eating, and which she in turn persuaded Adam to eat. It was traditionally believed that a piece of it stuck in Adam’s throat, and so it became an appropriate and convenient metaphor for the thyroid cartilage of the larynx, which protrudes noticeably in men.
- add:  Etymologically, add means simply ‘put to’. Its source is Latin addere, a compound verb formed from the prefix ad- ‘to’ and the stem -dere ‘put’ (which is related to English do). Its original meaning in English was simply ‘join one thing to another’; its specific mathematical use did not develop until the early 16th century.
- adder: [OE] In Old English, the term for a snake (any snake, not just an adder) was nǣddre; there are or were related forms in many other European languages, such as Latin natrix, Welsh neidr, and German natter (but there does not seem to be any connection with the natterjack toad). Around the 14th century, however, the word began to lose its initial consonant. The noun phrase including the indefinite article, a nadder, became misanalysed as an adder, and by the 17th century nadder had disappeared from the mainstream language (though it survived much longer in northern dialects).
- addict:  Originally, addict was an adjective in English, meaning ‘addicted’. It was borrowed from Latin addictus, the past participle of addicere, which meant ‘give over or award to someone’. This in turn was formed from the prefix ad- ‘to’ and the verb dicere. The standard meaning of dicere was ‘say’ (as in English diction, dictionary, and dictate), but it also had the sense ‘adjudge’ or ‘allot’, and that was its force in addicere.
=> dictate, diction, dictionary
- addled:  Addled may be traceable back ultimately to a confusion between ‘wind’ and ‘urine’ in Latin. In Middle English the term was adel eye ‘addled egg’. of which the first part derived from Old English adela ‘foul-smelling urine or liquid manure’. It seems possible that this may be a loan-translation of the Latin term for ‘addled egg’, ōvum ūrīnae, literally ‘urine egg’. This in turn was an alteration, by folk etymology, of ōvum ūrīnum, a partial loantranslation of Greek oúrion ōón, literally ‘wind egg’ (a wind egg is an imperfect or addled egg).
- address:  Address originally meant ‘straighten’. William Caxton, for example, here uses it for ‘stand up straight’: ‘The first day that he was washed and bathed he addressed him[self] right up in the basin’ Golden Legend 1483. This gives a clue to its ultimate source, Latin dīrectum ‘straight, direct’. The first two syllables of this seem gradually to have merged together to produce *drictum, which with the addition of the prefix ad- was used to produce the verb *addrictiāre.
Of its descendants in modern Romance languages, Italian addirizzare most clearly reveals its source. Old French changed it fairly radically, to adresser, and it was this form which English borrowed. The central current sense of ‘where somebody lives’ developed in the 17th and 18th centuries from the notion of directing something, such as a letter, to somebody.