lunes, 1 de noviembre de 2010

virgin global SCIENCE

science fiction Look up science fiction at
1929 (first attested in "Science Wonder Stories" magazine), though there is an isolated use from 1851; abbreviated form sci-fi is from 1955.
science Look up science at
c.1300, "knowledge (of something) acquired by study," also "a particular branch of knowledge," from O.Fr. science, from L. scientia "knowledge," from sciens (gen. scientis), prp. of scire "to know," probably originally "to separate one thing from another, to distinguish," related to scindere "to cut, divide," from PIE base *skei- (cf. Gk. skhizein "to split, rend, cleave," Goth. skaidan, O.E. sceadan "to divide, separate;" see shed (v.)). Modern sense of "non-arts studies" is attested from 1678. The distinction is commonly understood as between theoretical truth (Gk. episteme) and methods for effecting practical results (tekhne), but science sometimes is used for practical applications and art for applications of skill. Main modern (restricted) sense of "body of regular or methodical observations or propositions ... concerning any subject or speculation" is attested from 1725; in 17c.-18c. this concept commonly was called philosophy. To blind (someone) with science "confuse by the use of big words or complex explanations" is attested from 1937, originally noted as a phrase from Australia and New Zealand.
physics Look up physics at
1580s, "natural science," from physic in sense of "natural science." Also see -ics. Specific sense of "science treating of properties of matter and energy" is from 1715. Physicist coined 1840 by the Rev. William Whewell (1794–1866), Eng. polymath, to denote a "cultivator of physics" as opposed to a physician.
pseudo-science Look up pseudo-science at
also pseudoscience, "a pretended or mistaken science," 1844, from pseudo- + science.
physiology Look up physiology at
1560s, "study and description of natural objects," from L. physiologia "natural science, study of nature," from Gk. physiologia "natural science," from physio-, comb. form of physis "nature" (see physic) + logia "study." Meaning "science of the normal function of living things" is attested from 1610s. Related: Physiologic; physiologist.
politics (n.) Look up politics at
1520s, "science of government," from politic (adj.), modeled on Aristotle's ta politika "affairs of state," the name of his book on governing and governments, which was in English mid-15c. as "Polettiques." Also see -ics.
Politicks is the science of good sense, applied to public affairs, and, as those are forever changing, what is wisdom to-day would be folly and perhaps, ruin to-morrow. Politicks is not a science so properly as a business. It cannot have fixed principles, from which a wise man would never swerve, unless the inconstancy of men's view of interest and the capriciousness of the tempers could be fixed. [Fisher Ames (1758–1808)]
Meaning "a person's political allegiances or opinions" is from 1769.
ayurvedic Look up ayurvedic at
1917, "pertaining to traditional Hindu science of medicine," from ayurveda "science of life," from ayur "life" + veda "knowledge."
physic Look up physic at
c.1300, "art of healing, medical science," also "natural science" (c.1300), from O.Fr. fisike "natural science, art of healing" (12c.), from L. physica (fem. sing.) "study of nature," from Gk. physike episteme "knowledge of nature," from fem. of physikos "pertaining to nature," from physis "nature," from phyein "to bring forth, produce, make to grow" (cf. phyton "growth, plant," phyle "tribe, race," phyma "a growth, tumor") from PIE base *bheu- "to be exist, grow" (cf. O.E. beon "to be," see be). Especially in Gk. ta physika, lit. "the natural things," name of Aristotle's treatise on nature. The verb meaning "to dose with medicine" is attested from late 14c.
hermetic Look up hermetic at
c.1600 (implied in hermetically), "completely sealed," also (1630s) "dealing with occult science or alchemy," from L. hermeticus, from Gk. Hermes, god of science and art, among other things, identified by Neoplatonists, mystics, and alchemists with the Egyptian god Thoth as Hermes Trismegistos "Thrice-Great Hermes," who supposedly invented the process of making a glass tube airtight (a process in alchemy) using a secret seal.
perspective Look up perspective at
late 14c., "science of optics," from O.Fr. perspective, from M.L. perspectiva ars "science of optics," from fem. of perspectivus "of sight, optical" from L. perspectus, pp. of perspicere "inspect, look through," from per- "through" + specere "look at" (see scope (1)). Sense of "art of drawing objects so as to give appearance of distance or depth" is first found 1590s, influenced by It. prospettiva, an artists' term. The figurative meaning "mental outlook over time" is first recorded 1762.
ideology Look up ideology at
1796, "science of ideas," originally "philosophy of the mind which derives knowledge from the senses" (as opposed to metaphysics), from Fr. idéologie "study or science of ideas," coined by Fr. philosopher Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836) from idéo- "of ideas," from Gk. idea (see idea) + -logy. Meaning "systematic set of ideas, doctrines" first recorded 1909.
Ideology ... is usually taken to mean, a prescriptive doctrine that is not supported by rational argument. [D.D. Raphael, "Problems of Political Philosophy," 1970]
scientific Look up scientific at
1580s, from M.Fr. scientifique, from M.L. scientificus "pertaining to science," from L. scientia "knowledge" (see science) + -ficus "making" + facere "to make" (see factitious). Originally used to translate Gk. epistemonikos "making knowledge" in Aristotle's "Ethics." First record of scientific revolution is from 1803; scientific method is from 1854; scientific notation is from 1961. Related: Scientifical.
mathematic Look up mathematic at
late 14c. as singular, replaced by early 17c. by mathematics, from L. mathematica (pl.), from Gk. mathematike tekhne "mathematical science," fem. sing. of mathematikos (adj.) "relating to mathematics, scientific," from mathema (gen. mathematos) "science, knowledge, mathematical knowledge," related to manthanein "to learn," from PIE base *mn-/*men-/*mon- "to think, have one's mind aroused" (cf. Gk. menthere "to care," Lith. mandras "wide-awake," O.C.S. madru "wise, sage," Goth. mundonsis "to look at," Ger. munter "awake, lively").
Star Wars Look up Star Wars at
name of a popular science fiction film released in 1977; also the informal name for a space-based missile defense system proposed in 1983 by U.S. president Ronald Reagan.
grok Look up grok at
"to understand empathically," 1961, arbitrary formation by U.S. science fiction writer Robert Heinlein, in his book "Stranger in a Strange Land." In use 1960s, perhaps obsolete now except in internet technology circles.
teleportation Look up teleportation at
1931, as a term in psychics and science fiction, from tele- + (trans)portation.
erg (1) Look up erg at
unit of energy in the C.G.S. system, coined 1873 by the British Association for the Advancement of Science from Gk. ergon "work" (see urge (v.)).
speciesism Look up speciesism at
"discrimination against certain animals based on assumption of human superiority," first attested 1975 in Richard D. Ryder's "Victims of Science," from species + -ism.
demographics Look up demographics at
1967, the science of divining from demographic statistics; see demography + -ics. Originally in reference to TV audiences and advertisers.
electronics Look up electronics at
1910, from electronic; cf. also -ics. The science of how electrons behave in vacuums, gas, semi-conductors, etc.
robotics Look up robotics at
1941, from robot + -ics. Coined in a science fiction context by Russian-born U.S. author Isaac Asimov (1920–1992), who proposed the "Three Laws of Robotics" in 1968.
bioethics Look up bioethics at
coined 1970 by U.S. biochemist Van Rensselaer Potter II (1911–2001), who defined it as "Biology combined with diverse humanistic knowledge forging a science that sets a system of medical and environmental priorities for acceptable survival." From bio- + ethics.
-ology Look up -ology at
suffix indicating "branch of knowledge, science," the usual form of -logy, with the -o- belonging to the preceding element. Related: -ologist.
scientist Look up scientist at
1834, coined from L. scientia (see science) by the Rev. William Whewell (1794–1866), Eng. polymath, by analogy with artist.
Scientology Look up Scientology at
1951, system of beliefs founded by L. Ron Hubbard, perhaps directly from L. scientia (see science), or perhaps via Ger. scientologie (A. Nordenholz, 1937).
acoustics Look up acoustics at
1680s, "science of sound," from acoustic (also see -ics). Meaning "acoustic properties" of a building, etc., attested from 1885.
audiology Look up audiology at
science of hearing and treatment of deafness, 1946, from audio- + -ology. Related: Audiologist.
economics Look up economics at
1580s, "art of managing a household," perhaps from Fr. économique (see economic); also see -ics. Meaning "science of wealth" is from 1792.
linguistics Look up linguistics at
"the science of languages," 1847; see linguistic; also see -ics.
phonics Look up phonics at
1680s, "science of sound," from Gk. phone "sound" (see fame) + -ics. The meaning "method of teaching reading" is first attested 1908, though the system dates from 1844.
cyberspace Look up cyberspace at
1982, often as two words at first, coined by science fiction writer William Gibson (best known for "Neuromancer") and used by him in a short story published in 1982, from cyber- (see cybernetics) + space.
ethics Look up ethics at
"the science of morals," c.1600, pl. of M.E. ethik "study of morals" (see ethic). The word also traces to Ta Ethika, title of Aristotle's work.
neuroscience Look up neuroscience at
1963, from neuro- + science.
kinematics Look up kinematics at
"science of motion," 1840, from Fr. cinématique (Ampère, 1834), from Gk. kinesis "movement, motion" (see cite).
android Look up android at
"automaton resembling a human being," 1727, from Mod.L. androides, from Gk. andro- "human" + eides "form, shape." Listed as "rare" in OED (1879), popularized from c.1951 by science fiction writers.
musicology Look up musicology at
"the study of the science of music," 1909, from music + -ology.
forestry Look up forestry at
1690s, from O.Fr. foresterie, from forest (see forest). Originally “the privilege of a royal forest;” meaning “science of managing forests” is from 1859.
phrenology Look up phrenology at
1815, from Gk., lit. "mental science," from phren (gen. phrenos) "mind" + -logy "study of." Applied to the theory of mental faculties originated by Gall and Spurzheim that led to the 1840s mania for reading personality clues in the shape of one's skull and the "bumps" of the head.
magnetism Look up magnetism at
1610s, from Mod.L. magnetismus (see magnet + -ism). Figurative sense of "personal charm" is from 1650s; in the hypnotic sense it is from Mesmer (see mesmerize). Meaning "science of magnetics" is recorded from early 19c.
anthropology Look up anthropology at
"science of the natural history of man," 1590s, coined from Gk. anthropo- + -logia "study of." In Aristotle, anthropologos is used literally, as "speaking of man." Related: Anthropological (1825); anthropologist (1798).
mutant (n.) Look up mutant at
1901, in the biological sense, from L. mutantem (nom. mutans) "changing," prp. of mutare "to change" (see mutable). In the science fiction sense, it is attested from 1954.
physiological Look up physiological at
c.1600, "pertaining to natural science," from physiology + -ical. 1814 as "pertaining to physiology." Related: Physiologically.
professor Look up professor at
late 14c., from L. professor "person who professes to be an expert in some art or science, teacher of highest rank," agent noun from profitieri "lay claim to, declare openly" (see profess). As a title prefixed to a name, it dates from 1706. Short form prof is recorded from 1838.
armory Look up armory at
"place where arms are manufactured," 1841, Amer.Eng., from arm (2) + -ory. Earlier, "arsenal" (1530s) and "the science of heraldry" (late 15c.), from O.Fr. armoierie, from armoier "to blazon," from L. arma "weapons."
hakeem Look up hakeem at
1580s, physician in Arab countries, from Arabic hakim "wise," from stem of hakuma "he was wise;" whence also hakam "judge," hikmah "wisdom, science."
astronaut Look up astronaut at
coined 1929 (but popularized 1961) from astro- + nautes "sailor" (see naval). Fr. astronautique (adj.) had been coined 1927 by "J.H. Rosny," pen name of Belgian-born science fiction writer Joseph Henri Honoré Boex (1856–1940).
Terran Look up Terran at
"of or pertaining to the planet Earth," 1881, in science fiction writing, from L. terra (see terrain). Also used as a noun meaning "inhabitant of the Earth" (1953). An earlier form, terrene was used in M.E. in sense of "belonging to this world, earthly, secular, temporal" (c.1300), later, "of the Earth as a planet" (1630s).
oncology Look up oncology at
1857, coined in Eng. from Mod.L. onco- "tumor," from Gk. onkos "mass, bulk" + Eng. -logy "science or study of," from Gk. logia, from logos "word."
toolbar Look up toolbar at
1960 as a frame fitted to a tractor to hold tools; from tool (n.) + bar (1). Computer sense is attested from 1991.
Among 100-odd new features in Excel 3.0 is a row of "buttons" on the screen called the Toolbar. Located under the pull-down menus, the Toolbar provides rapid access to frequently used commands. ["Popular Science," April 1991.]
meteorology Look up meteorology at
1560s, "science of the atmosphere, weather forecasting," from Gk. meteorologia "treatise on celestial phenomena," from meteoron (see meteor) + -logia "treatment of." Related: Meteorological; meteorologist

scienter Look up scienter at
Latin, lit. "knowingly," from sciens, prp. of scire "to know" (see science) + adv. suffix -ter.
-logy Look up -logy at
"a speaking, discourse, treatise, doctrine, theory, science," from Gk. -logia (often via Fr. -logie or M.L. -logia), from root of legein "to speak;" thus, "the character or department of one who speaks or treats of (a certain subject);" see lecture.
cyto- Look up cyto- at
before a vowel, cyt-, Mod.L. comb. form from Gk. kytos "a hollow, receptacle, basket" (from PIE *ku-ti-, from base *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal;" see hide (n.1)); used in modern science since c.1859 for "cell," perhaps especially from the sense (in Aristophanes) of "a cell of a hive of wasps or bees."
enucleation Look up enucleation at
1640s, from verb enucleate (1540s), from L. enucleatus "pure, clean," pp. of enucleare "to lay open, explain in detail," lit. “to remove the kernel of” (see ex- + nucleus). Mostly figurative in Latin (the notion is of getting at the "core" of some matter); until mid-19c. advances in science and medicine, usually figurative in English.
ecology Look up ecology at
1873, "branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to their environments, coined by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) as Okologie, from Gk. oikos "house, dwelling place, habitation" (see villa) + -logia "study of" (see -logy). In use with reference to anti-pollution activities from 1960s.
etiology Look up etiology at
"science of causes or causation," 1550s, from L.L. aetiologia, from Gk. aitiologia "statement of cause," from aitia "cause" + -logia "speaking." Related: Etiologic; etiological.
sciolist Look up sciolist at
1610s, "smatterer, pretender to knowledge," from L.L. sciolus "one who knows a little," dim. of scius "knowing," from scire "to know" (see science) + -ist.
jujitsu Look up jujitsu at
1875, from Japanese jujutsu, from ju "softness, gentleness" (from Chinese jou "soft, gentle") + jutsu "art, science," from Chinese shu, shut.
deontology Look up deontology at
science of moral duty, 1826, from Gk. deont-, comb. form of deon "that which is binding, duty," neut. prp. of dei "is binding;" + -logia "discourse" (see -logy). Said to have been coined by Bentham. Related: Deontological.
semantics Look up semantics at
"science of meaning in language," 1893, from Fr. sémantique (1883); see semantic (also see -ics). Replaced semasiology (1847), from Ger. Semasiologie (1829), from Gk. semasia "signification, meaning."
Christian Look up Christian at
O.E. cristen, from Church L. christianus, from Eccles. Gk. christianos, from Christos (see Christ). First used in Antioch, according to Acts xi.25-26. Christian Science is from 1863.
pathology Look up pathology at
"science of diseases," 1610s, from Fr. pathologie, from Mod.L. pathologia, from Gk. pathologikos "treating of disease," from pathos "suffering" (see pathos) + -logia "study," from logos "word."
jurisprudence Look up jurisprudence at
1620s, "knowledge of law," from L. jurisprudentia "the science of law," from juris "of right, of law" (gen. of jus; see jurist) + prudentia "knowledge, a foreseeing" (see prudence). Meaning "the philosophy of law" is first attested 1756.
theory Look up theory at
1590s, "conception, mental scheme," from L.L. theoria (Jerome), from Gk. theoria "contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at," from theorein "to consider, speculate, look at," from theoros "spectator," from thea "a view" + horan "to see" (see warrant). Sense of "principles or methods of a science or art (rather than its practice)" is first recorded 1610s. That of "an explanation based on observation and reasoning" is from 1630s.
divinity Look up divinity at
c.1300, "science of divine things;" late 14c., "quality of being divine," also "a divine being," from O.Fr. devinité (12c.), from L. divinitatem (nom. divinitas), from divinus (see divine).
agronomy Look up agronomy at
"science of land management for crop production," 1814, from Fr. agronomie, from Gk. agronomos "rural," from agros "field" (see acre) + -nomos "law or custom, administering," related to nemein "manage" (see numismatics). Related: Agronomist.
ontology Look up ontology at
"metaphysical science or study of being," 1660s (Gideon Harvey), from Mod.L. ontologia (1606), from Gk. on (gen. ontos) "being" (prp. of einai "to be;" see essence) + -logia "writing about, study of" (see -ology).
prescience Look up prescience at
late 14c., from L.L. praescientia "fore-knowledge," from *praescientem, prp. of *praescire "to know in advance," from L. prae "before" (see pre-) + scire "to know" (see science).
lyceum Look up lyceum at
c.1580, L. version of Gk. lykeion, grove or garden with covered walks near Athens where Aristotle taught, from neut. of Lykeios "wolf-slayer," an epithet of Apollo, whose temple was nearby, from lykos "wolf." Hence, Fr. lycée, name given in France to state-run secondary schools. In England, early 19c., lyceum was the name taken by a number of literary societies; in U.S., after c.1820, it was the name of institutes that sponsored popular lectures in science and literature.
alien (adj.) Look up alien at
mid-14c., "strange, foreign," from O.Fr. alien, from L. alienus "of or belonging to another," adj. form of alius "(an)other" (see alias). Meaning "of another planet" first recorded 1944 in science fiction writing; the noun in this sense is from 1953. The noun sense of "foreigner" is first attested early 14c. An alien priory (c.1500) is one owing obedience to a mother abbey in a foreign country.
physician Look up physician at
early 13c., fisicien, from O.Fr. fisicien "physician" (12c., Mod.Fr. physicien means "physicist"), from fisique "art of healing," from L. physica "natural science" (see physic).
garbage Look up garbage at
early 15c., originally "giblets of a fowl, waste parts of an animal," later confused with garble in its sense of "siftings, refuse." Many Middle English cookery terms came from Anglo-French, so perhaps it is related to O.Fr. jarbage "a bundle of sheaves, entrails," from P.Gmc. *garba-, from PIE *ghrebh- "a handful, a grasp." Sense of "refuse" is first attested 1580s. Garbology "study of waste as a social science" is from 1976.
nescient Look up nescient at
1620s, from L. nescientem (nom. nesciens), prp. of nescire, from ne "not" + scire "to know" (see science).
scent (v.) Look up scent at
c.1400, from O.Fr. sentir "to feel, perceive, smell," from L. sentire " to feel, perceive, sense" (see sense). Originally a hunting term. The -c- appeared 17c., perhaps by influence of ascent, descent, etc., or by influence of science. The noun is first recorded late 14c. Almost always applied to agreeable odors.
pluralism Look up pluralism at
1818, as a term in church administration, from plural + -ism. Attested from 1882 as a term in philosophy for a theory which recognizes more than one ultimate principle. In political science, attested from 1919 (in Harold J. Laski) in sense "theory which opposes monolithic state power." General sense of "toleration of diversity within a society or state" is from 1933. Related: Pluralist; pluralistic.
earthling Look up earthling at
O.E. yrþling "plowman" (see earth + -ling); the sense of "inhabitant of the earth" is from 1590s. Earthman was originally (1860) "a demon who lives in the earth;" science fiction sense of "inhabitant of the planet Earth" first attested 1949 in writing of Robert Heinlein. Earlier in this sense was earthite (1825).
omniscience Look up omniscience at
1610s, from M.L. omniscientia "all-knowledge," from L. omnis "all" (see omni-) + scientia "knowledge" (see science).
optic Look up optic at
1540s, from M.Fr. optique, obtique (c.1300), from M.L. opticus "of sight or seeing," from Gk. optikos "of or having to do with sight," from optos "seen, visible," from op-, root of opsesthai "be going to see," related to ops "eye," from PIE *oqw- "eye/see" (see eye). Optics "science of sight and light" is from 1570s.
Arabic (adj.) Look up Arabic at
c.1500, from O.Fr. Arabic (13c.), from L. Arabicus "Arabic" (see Arab). Originally in ref. to gum arabic. Arabic numerals (actually Indian) first attested 1727; they were introduced in Europe by Gerbert of Aurillac (later Pope Sylvester II) after a visit to Islamic Spain in 967-970. A prominent man of science, he taught in the diocesan school at Reims, but the numbers made little headway against conservative opposition in the Church until after the Crusades. The earliest depiction of them in Eng., in "The Crafte of Nombrynge" (c.1350) correctly identifies them as "teen figurys of Inde."
artificial Look up artificial at
late 14c., "made by man" (opposite of natural), from O.Fr. artificial, from L. artificialis "of or belonging to art," from artificium (see artifice). Another early use was in the phrase artificial day "part of the day from sunrise to sunset" (late 14c.). Artificial insemination dates from 1897. Artificial intelligence "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines" was coined in 1956.
technology Look up technology at
1610s, "discourse or treatise on an art or the arts," from Gk. tekhnologia "systematic treatment of an art, craft, or technique," originally referring to grammar, from tekhno- (see techno-) + -logia (see -logy). The meaning "science of the mechanical and industrial arts" is first recorded 1859. High technology attested from 1964; short form high-tech is from 1972.
dissent (v.) Look up dissent at
early 15c., from L. dissentire "differ in sentiments, disagree, be at odds, contradict, quarrel," from dis- "differently" (see dis-) + sentire "to feel, think" (see sense). Related: Dissented; dissenting. The noun is 1580s, from the verb.
Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime. [Jacob Bronowski "Science and Human Values," 1956]
philology Look up philology at
late 14c., "love of learning," from O.Fr. philologie, from L. philologia "love of learning, love of letters," from Gk. philologia "love of discussion, learning, and literature," from philo- "loving" + logos "word, speech." Meaning "science of language" is first attested 1716; this confusing secondary sense has never been popular in the U.S., where linguistics (q.v.) is preferred.
political Look up political at
1550s, "pertaining to a polity, civil affairs, or government;" from L. politicus (see politic (adj.)). Meaning "taking sides in party politics" (usually pejorative) is from 1749. Political prisoner first recorded 1860; political science is from 1779 (first attested in Hume). Political animal translates Gk. politikon zoon (Aristotle, "Politics," I.ii.9) "an animal intended to live in a city; a social animal."
statistics Look up statistics at
1770, "science dealing with data about the condition of a state or community," from Ger. Statistik, popularized and perhaps coined by German political scientist Gottfried Aschenwall (1719-1772) in his "Vorbereitung zur Staatswissenschaft" (1748), from Mod.L. statisticum (collegium) "(lecture course on) state affairs," from It. statista "one skilled in statecraft," from L. status (see state (n.1)). Meaning "numerical data collected and classified" is from 1829. Abbreviated form stats first recorded 1961.
economic Look up economic at
1590s, "pertaining to management of a household," perhaps shortened from economical or from Fr. économique or directly from L. oeconomicus "of domestic economy," from Gk. oikonomikos "practiced in the management of a household or family," hence, "frugal, thrifty," from oikonomia (see economy (n.)). Meaning "relating to the science of economics" is from 1835 and now is the main sense, economical retaining the older one of "characterized by thrift."
anatomy Look up anatomy at
late 14c., "study of the structure of living beings," from O.Fr. anatomie, from Gk. anatomia, from anatome "dissection," from ana- "up" + temnein "to cut" (see tome). "Dissection" (1540s), "mummy" (1580s), and even "skeleton" (1590s) were primary senses of this word in Shakespeare's day; meaning "the science of the structure of organized bodies" predominated from 17c. Often mistakenly divided as an atomy or a natomy.
The scyence of the Nathomy is nedefull and necessarye to the Cyrurgyen [1541]
ray (1) Look up ray at
"beam of light," c.1300, from O.Fr. rai (nom. rais) "ray, spoke," from L. radius "ray, spoke, staff, rod" (see radius). Not common before 17c.; of the sun, usually in reference to heat (beam being preferred for light). Science fiction ray-gun is first recorded 1931 (but cf. Martian heat ray weapon in H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," 1898).
critical Look up critical at
1580s, "censorious," from critic + -al (1). Meaning "pertaining to criticism" is from 1741; medical sense is from c.1600; meaning "of the nature of a crisis" is from 1640s; that of "crucial" is from 1841, from the "decisive" sense in L. criticus. Related: Criticality (1756; in the nuclear sense, 1950); critically (1650s, "accurately;" 1815, "in a critical situation"). In nuclear science, critical mass is attested from 1940.
nomenclature Look up nomenclature at
c.1600, "a name," from Fr. nomenclature, from L. nomenclatura "calling of names," from nomenclator "namer," from nomen "name" + calator "caller, crier," from calare "call out" (see claim). Nomenclator in Rome was the title of a steward whose job was to announce visitors, and also of a prompter who helped a stumping politician recall names and pet causes of his constituents. Meaning "list or catalogue of names" first attested 1630s; that of "system of naming" is from 1660s; sense of "terminology of a science" is from 1789.
static (adj.) Look up static at
1640s (earlier statical, 1560s), "pertaining to the science of weight and its mechanical effects," from Mod.L. statica, from Gk. statikos "causing to stand, skilled in weighing," from stem of histanai "to cause to stand, weigh," from PIE base *sta- "stand" (see stet). The sense of "having to do with bodies at rest or with forces that balance each other" is first recorded 1802. Applied to frictional electricity from 1839. The noun meaning "radio noise" is first recorded 1913; figurative sense of "aggravation, criticism" is attested from 1926.
plebiscite Look up plebiscite at
"direct vote of the people," 1860 (originally in reference to Italian unification), from Fr. plébiscite (1776 in modern sense), from L. plebiscitum "a decree or resolution of the people," from plebs (gen. plebis) "the common people" + scitum "decree," properly neuter pp. of sciscere "to assent, vote for, approve," inchoative of scire "to know" (see science). Used earlier (1530s) in a purely Roman historical context. Related: Plebiscitary.
creation Look up creation at
late 14c., "action of creating, a created thing," from O.Fr. creacion (14c., Mod.Fr. création) "creation, coming into being," from L. creationem (nom. creatio) "a creating, a producing," in classical use "an electing, appointment, choice," noun of action from pp. stem of creare (see create). Meaning "that which God has created, the world and all in it" is from 1610s. The native word in the Biblical sense was O.E. frum-sceaft. Of fashion costumes, desserts, etc., from 1870s, from French. Creation science is attested by 1970.
operation Look up operation at
late 14c., "action, performance, work," also "the performance of some science or art," from O.Fr. operacion, from L. operationem (nom. operatio) "a working, operation," from operari "to work, labor" (in L.L. "to have effect, be active, cause"), from opera "work, effort," related to opus (gen. operis) "a work" (see opus). The surgical sense is first attested 1597. Military sense of "series of movements and acts" is from 1749.
cucumber Look up cucumber at
late 14c., from O.Fr. cocombre (13c., Mod.Fr. concombre), from L. cucumerem (nom. cucumis), perhaps from a pre-Italic Mediterranean language. The Latin word also is the source of It. cocomero, Sp. cohombro, Port. cogombro. Replaced O.E. eorþæppla (pl.), lit. "earth-apples." Cowcumber was common form 17c.-18c., and that pronunciation lingered into 19c. Planted as a garden vegetable by 1609 by Jamestown colonists. Phrase cool as a cucumber (c.1732) embodies ancient folk knowledge confirmed by science in 1970: inside of a field cucumber on a warm day is 20 degrees cooler than the air temperature.
induction Look up induction at
late 14c., from Fr. induction (14c.), from L. inductionem (nom. inductio), noun of action from inducere "to lead" (see induce). As a term in logic ( 1550s) is from Cicero's use of inductio to translate Gk. epagoge "leading to" in Aristotle; as a term of science, c.1800; military service sense is from 1934, Amer.Eng. Induction starts with known instances and arrives at generalizations; deduction starts from the general principle and arrives at some individual fact.
metaphysics Look up metaphysics at
late 14c., "branch of speculation which deals with the first causes of things," from M.L. metaphysica, neut. pl. of Medieval Gk. (ta) metaphysika, from Gk. ta meta ta physika "the (works) after the Physics," title of the 13 treatises which traditionally were arranged after those on physics and natural sciences in Aristotle's writings. The name was given c.70 B.C.E. by Andronicus of Rhodes, and was a ref. to the customary ordering of the books, but it was misinterpreted by Latin writers as meaning "the science of what is beyond the physical." Hence, metaphysical came to be used in the sense of "abstract, speculative" (e.g. by Johnson, who applied it to certain 17c. poets, notably Donne and Cowley, who used "witty conceits" and abstruse imagery). The word originally was used in English in the singular; plural form predominated after 17c., but singular made a comeback late 19c. in certain usages under German influence.
rocket (2) Look up rocket at
"projectile," 1610s, from It. rocchetto "a rocket," lit. "a bobbin," dim. of rocca "a distaff," so called because of cylindrical shape. The Italian word probably is from a Germanic source (cf. O.H.G. rocko "distaff," O.N. rokkr), from P.Gmc. *rukka-, from PIE base *rug- "to spin." Originally "fireworks rocket," meaning "device propelled by a rocket engine" first recorded 1919; rocket-ship first attested 1927. The verb meaning "to spring like a rocket" is from 1883. Rocket science in the figurative sense of “difficult, complex process or topic” is attested by 1985. Rocket scientist is from 1952.
etymology Look up etymology at
late 14c., ethimolegia "facts of the origin and development of a word," from O.Fr. et(h)imologie (14c., Mod.Fr. étymologie), from L. etymologia, from Gk. etymologia, properly "study of the true sense of a word," from etymon "true sense" (neut. of etymos "true," related to eteos "true") + logos "word." In classical times, of meanings; later, of histories. Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium. As a branch of linguistic science, from 1640s. Related: Etymological; etymologically.
age Look up age at
c.1300, "long but indefinite period in human history," from O.Fr. aage, from V.L. *aetaticum (cf. Sp. edad, It. eta, Port. idade "age"), from L. aetatem (nom. aetas), "period of life," from aevum "lifetime, eternity, age," from PIE base *aiw- "vital force, life, long life, eternity" (see eon). Meaning "time something has lived, particular length or stage of life" is from early 14c. Used especially for "old age" since mid-14c. Expelled native eld. The verb meaning "to grow old" is from late 14c. Age-group attested from 1904, originally a term in the science of demographics

trachea Look up trachea at
c.1400, from M.L. trachea (mid-13c.), as in trachea arteria, from L.L. trachia (c.400), from Gk. trakheia, in trakheia arteria "windpipe," lit. "rough artery" (so called from the rings of cartilage that form the trachea), from fem. of trakhys "rough." See artery for connection with windpipe in Greek science.
billion Look up billion at
1680s, from Fr. billion (originally byllion in Chuquet's unpublished "Le Triparty en la Science des Nombres", 1484; copied by De la Roche, 1520), from bi- "two" + (m)illion. A million million in Britain and Germany (numeration by groups of sixes), which was the original sense; subsequently altered in French to "a thousand million" (numeration by groups of threes) and picked up in that form in U.S., "due in part to French influence after the Revolutionary War" [David E. Smith, "History of Mathematics," 1925]. France then reverted to the original meaning in 1948. British usage is truer to the etymology, but U.S. sense is said to be increasingly common there in technical writing.
aphorism Look up aphorism at
1520s (especially in ref. to the "Aphorisms of Hippocrates"), from M.Fr. aphorisme, from L.L. aphorismus, from Gk. aphorismos "definition, pithy sentence," from aphorizein "to mark off, divide," from apo- "from" (see apo-) + horizein "to bound." An aphorism is a short, pithy statement containing a truth of general import; an axiom is a statement of self-evident truth; a theorem is a demonstrable proposition in science or mathematics; an epigram is like an aphorism, but lacking in general import. Maxim and saying can be used as synonyms for aphorism.
conscience Look up conscience at
early 13c., from O.Fr. conscience "conscience, innermost thoughts, desires, intentions; feelings" (12c.), from L. conscientia "knowledge within oneself, sense of right, a moral sense," from conscientem (nom. consciens), prp. of conscire "be (mutually) aware," from com- "with," or "thoroughly" (see com-) + scire "to know" (see science). Probably a loan-translation of Gk. syneidesis, lit. "with-knowledge." Sometimes nativized in O.E./M.E. as inwit. Russian also uses a loan-translation, so-vest, "conscience," lit. "with-knowledge."
discipline (n.) Look up discipline at
early 13c., from O.Fr. descepline (11c.) "discipline, physical punishment; teaching; suffering; martyrdom," and directly from L. disciplina "instruction given, teaching, learning, knowledge," also "object of instruction, knowledge, science, military discipline," from discipulus (see disciple). Sense of "treatment that corrects or punishes" is from notion of "order necessary for instruction." The Latin word is glossed in O.E. by þeodscipe. Meaning "branch of instruction or education" is first recorded late 14c. Meaning "military training" is from late 15c.; that of "orderly conduct as a result of training" is from c.1500. The verb is attested from c.1300. Related: Disciplined; disciplines.
meta- Look up meta- at
prefix meaning 1. "after, behind," 2. "changed, altered," 3. "higher, beyond," from Gk. meta (prep.) "in the midst of, in common with, by means of, in pursuit or quest of," from PIE *me- "in the middle" (cf. Goth. miþ, O.E. mið "with, together with, among;" see mid). Notion of "changing places with" probably led to senses "change of place, order, or nature," which was a principal meaning of the Gk. word when used as a prefix (but also denoting "community, participation; in common with; pursuing"). Third sense, "higher than, transcending, overarching, dealing with the most fundamental matters of," is due to misinterpretation of metaphysics as "science of that which transcends the physical." This has led to a prodigious erroneous extension in modern usage, with meta- affixed to the names of other sciences and disciplines, especially in the academic jargon of literary criticism, which affixes it to just about anything that moves and much that doesn't.
aesthetic Look up aesthetic at
1798, from Ger. Ästhetisch or Fr. esthétique, both from Gk. aisthetikos "sensitive," from aisthanesthai "to perceive, to feel," from PIE *awis-dh-yo-, from base *au- "to perceive" (see audience). Popularized in English by translation of Immanuel Kant, and used originally in the classically correct sense "the science which treats of the conditions of sensuous perception." Kant had tried to correct the term after Baumgarten had taken it in German to mean "criticism of taste" (1750s), but Baumgarten's sense attained popularity in English c.1830s (despite scholarly resistance) and removed the word from any philosophical base. Walter Pater used it (1868) to describe the late 19c. movement that advocated "art for art's sake," which further blurred the sense. Related: Aesthetically.
exploitation Look up exploitation at
1803, "productive working" of something, a positive word among those who used it first, though regarded as a Gallicism, from Fr. exploitation, noun of action from exploiter (see exploit (v.)). Bad sense developed 1830s-50s, in part from influence of French socialist writings (especially Saint Simon), also perhaps influenced by U.S. anti-slavery writing; and the insulting word was hurled at activities it once had crowned as praise.
It follows from this science [conceived by Saint Simon] that the tendency of the human race is from a state of antagonism to that of an universal peaceful association -- from the dominating influence of the military spirit to that of the industriel one; from what they call l'exploitation de l'homme par l'homme to the exploitation of the globe by industry. ["Quarterly Review," April & July 1831]
agnostic Look up agnostic at
1870, "one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known." Coined by T.H. Huxley (1825-1895) from Gk. agnostos "unknown, unknowable," from a- "not" + gnostos "(to be) known" (see gnostic). Sometimes said to be a reference to Paul's mention of the altar to "the Unknown God," but according to Huxley it was coined with reference to the early Church movement known as Gnosticism (see Gnostic).
I ... invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of 'agnostic,' ... antithetic to the 'Gnostic' of Church history who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. [T.H. Huxley, "Science and Christian Tradition," 1889]
The adj. is first recorded 1873. Agnosticism also is recorded from 1870.
dysphemism Look up dysphemism at
1884, "substitution of a vulgar or derogatory word or expression for a dignified or normal one," from Gk. dys- "bad, abnormal, difficult" (see dys-) + pheme "speaking," from phanai "speak" (see fame; Gk. dysphemia meant "ill language, words of ill omen"). The opposite of euphemism. Rediscovered 1933 from French formation dysphémisme (1927, Carnoy).
The French psychologist Albert J. Carnoy gave an extensive definition in his study Le Science du Mot, which in translation runs: "Dysphemism is unpitying, brutal, mocking. It is also a reaction against pedantry, rigidity and pretentiousness, but also against nobility and dignity in language" (1927, xxii, 351). [Geoffrey L. Hughes, "An Encyclopedia of Swearing," 2006]
bio- Look up bio- at
from Gk. bio-, comb. form of bios "one's life, course or way of living, lifetime" (as opposed to zoe "animal life, organic life"), from PIE base *gweie- "to live" (cf. Skt. jivah "alive, living;" O.E. cwic "alive;" L. vivus "living, alive," vita "life;" M.Pers. zhiwak "alive;" O.C.S. zivo "to live;" Lith. gyvas "living, alive;" O.Ir. bethu "life," bith "age;" Welsh byd "world"). Equivalent of L. vita. The correct usage is that in biography, but in modern science it has been extended to mean "organic life."
craft (n.) Look up craft at
O.E. cræft, originally "power, physical strength, might," from P.Gmc. *krab-/*kraf- (cf. O.Fris. kreft, O.H.G. chraft, Ger. Kraft "strength, skill;" O.N. kraptr "strength, virtue"). Sense expanded in O.E. to include "skill, art, science, talent" (via a notion of "mental power"), which led to the meaning "trade, handicraft, calling." The word still was used for "might, power" in M.E. Use for "small boat" is first recorded 1670s, probably from a phrase resembling vessels of small craft and referring either to the trade they did or the seamanship they required, or perhaps it preserves the word in its original sense of "power." The verb is O.E. cræftan "to exercise a craft, build;" meaning "to make skilfully" is from early 15c., obsolete from 16c., but revived c.1950s, largely in U.S. advertising and commercial senses.
subject (n.) Look up subject at
early 14c., "person under control or dominion of another," from O.Fr. suget, subget "a subject person or thing" (12c.), from L. subjectus, noun use of pp. of subicere "to place under," from sub "under" + combining form of jacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). In 14c., sugges, sogetis, subgit, sugette; form re-Latinized in English 16c. Meaning "person or thing that may be acted upon" is recorded from 1590s. Meaning "subject matter of an art or science" is attested from 1540s, probably short for subject matter (late 14c.), which is from M.L. subjecta materia, a loan translation of Gk. hypokeimene hyle (Aristotle), lit. "that which lies beneath." Likewise some specific uses in logic and philosophy are borrowed directly from L. subjectum "foundation or subject of a proposition," a loan-translation of Aristotle's to hypokeimenon. Grammatical sense is recorded from 1630s. The adj. is attested from early 14c.
space (n.) Look up space at
c.1300, "an area, extent, expanse, lapse of time," aphetic of O.Fr. espace, from L. spatium "room, area, distance, stretch of time," of unknown origin. Astronomical sense of "stellar depths" is first recorded 1667 in "Paradise Lost."
Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards. [Sir Fred Hoyle, "London Observer," 1979]
Typographical sense is attested from 1670s (typewriter space bar is from 1888). Space age is attested from 1946; spacewalk is from 1965. Many compounds first appeared in science fiction and speculative writing, e.g. spaceship (1894, "Journey in Other Worlds"); spacesuit (1920); spacecraft (1930, "Scientific American"); space travel (1931); space station (1936, "Rockets Through Space"); spaceman (1942, "Thrilling Wonder Stories;" earlier it meant "journalist paid by the length of his copy," 1892). Space race attested from 1959. Space shuttle attested by 1970.
doctor (n.) Look up doctor at
c.1300, "Church father," from O.Fr. doctour, from M.L. doctor "religious teacher, adviser, scholar," in classical L. "teacher," agent noun from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting" (see decent). Meaning "holder of highest degree in university" is first found late 14c.; as is that of "medical professional" (replacing native leech (2)), though this was not common till late 16c. The transitional stage is exemplified in Chaucer’s Doctor of phesike (Latin physica came to be used extensively in M.L. for medicina). Similar usage of the equivalent of doctor is colloquial in most European languages: cf. It. dottore, Fr. docteur, Ger. doktor, Lith. daktaras, though these are typically not the main word in those languages for a medical healer. For similar evolution, cf. Skt. vaidya- “medical doctor,” lit. “one versed in science.” Ger. Arzt, Du. arts are from L.L. archiater, from Gk. arkhiatros “chief healer,” hence “court physician.” Fr. médecien is a back formation from médicine, replacing O.Fr. miege, from L. medicus.
social (adj.) Look up social at
c.1500 (implied in socially), "characterized by friendliness or geniality," also "allied, associated," from M.Fr. social (14c.), from L. socialis "united, living with others," from socius "companion," probably originally "follower," and related to sequi "to follow" (cf. O.E. secg, O.N. seggr "companion," which seem to have been formed on the same notion; see sequel). Meaning "living or liking to live with others, disposed to friendly intercourse" is attested from 1729. Meaning "pertaining to society as a natural condition of human life" first attested 1695, in Locke.

Social climber is from 1926; social work is 1890; social worker 1904. Social drink(ing) first attested 1976. Social studies as an inclusive term for history, geography, economics, etc., is attested from 1938. Social security "system of state support for needy citizens" is attested from 1908. Social butterfly is from 1910, in figurative reference to “flitting.” Social contract is from Rousseau. Social Darwinism attested from 1887. Social engineering attested from 1899. Social science is from 1811. In late 19c. newspapers, social evil is “prostitution.” Social justice is attested by 1718; social network by 1971; social networking by 1984.
time (n.) Look up time at
O.E. tima "limited space of time," from P.Gmc. *timon "time" (cf. O.N. timi "time, proper time," Swed. timme "an hour"), from PIE *di-mon-, from base *da- "cut up, divide" (see tide). Abstract sense of "time as an indefinite continuous duration" is recorded from late 14c. Personified since at least 1509 as an aged bald man (but with a forelock) carrying a scythe and an hour-glass. In English, a single word encompasses time as "extent" and "point" (Fr. temps/fois, Ger. zeit/mal) as well as "hour" (e.g. "what time is it?" cf. Fr. heure, Ger. Uhr). Extended senses such as "occasion," "the right time," "leisure," or times (v.) "multiplied by" developed in O.E. and M.E., probably as a natural outgrowth of phrases like, "He commends her a hundred times to God" (O.Fr. La comande a Deu cent foiz).
to have a good time ( = a time of enjoyment) was common in Eng. from c 1520 to c 1688; it was app. retained in America, whence readopted in Britain in 19th c. [OED]
Time of day (now mainly preserved in negation, i.e. what someone won't give you if he doesn't like you) was a popular 17c. salutation (e.g. "Good time of day vnto your Royall Grace," "Richard III," I.iii.18). Times as the name of a newspaper dates from 1788. Time warp first attested 1954; time capsule first recorded 1938, in reference to New York World's Fair; time-traveling in the science fiction sense first recorded 1895 in H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine." To do time "serve a prison sentence" is from 1865. Time frame is attested by 1964; time line (also timeline) by 1890; time-limit is from 1880. About time, ironically for "long past due time," is recorded from 1920. Behind the times "old-fashioned" is recorded from 1846, first attested in Dickens.
shit (v.) Look up shit at
O.E. scitan, from P.Gmc. *skit-, from PIE *skheid- "split, divide, separate." Related to shed (v.) on the notion of "separation" from the body (cf. L. excrementum, from excernere "to separate"). It is thus a cousin to science and conscience. The noun is O.E. scitte "purging;" sense of "excrement" dates from 1580s, from the verb. Despite what you read in an e-mail, "shit" is not an acronym. The notion that it is a recent word may be because the word was taboo from c.1600 and rarely appeared in print (neither Shakespeare nor the KJV has it), and even in "vulgar" publications of the late 18c. it is disguised by dashes. It drew the wrath of censors as late as 1922 ("Ulysses" and "The Enormous Room"), scandalized magazine subscribers in 1957 (a Hemingway story in "Atlantic Monthly") and was omitted from some dictionaries as recently as 1970 ("Webster's New World"). Extensive slang usage; verb meaning "to lie, to tease" is from 1934; that of "to disrespect" is from 1903. Noun use for "obnoxious person" is since at least 1508; meaning "misfortune, trouble" is attested from 1937. Shat is a humorous past tense form, not etymological, first recorded 18c. Shite, now a jocular or slightly euphemistic variant, formerly a dialectal variant, reflects the vowel in the O.E. verb (cf. Ger. scheissen). Shit-faced "drunk" is 1960s student slang; shit list is from 1942. To not give a shit "not care" is from 1922; up shit creek "in trouble" is from 1937. To shit bricks “be very frightened” attested by 1961. The connection between fear and involuntary defecation has generated expressions since 14c., and probably also is behind scared shitless (1936).
The expression [the shit hits the fan] is related to, and may well derive from, an old joke. A man in a crowded bar needed to defecate but couldn't find a bathroom, so he went upstairs and used a hole in the floor. Returning, he found everyone had gone except the bartender, who was cowering behind the bar. When the man asked what had happened, the bartender replied, 'Where were you when the shit hit the fan?' [Hugh Rawson, "Wicked Words," 1989]

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