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ayoudaoicibaDictYouDict[a 词源字典]
a: [OE] The indefinite article in English is ultimately identical with the word one (as is the case, even more obviously, in other European languages – French un, German ein, and so on). The ancestor of both a(n) and one was ān, with a long vowel, but in the Old English period it was chiefly used for the numeral; where we would use a(n), the Anglo-Saxons tended not to use an article at all. Ān begins to emerge as the indefinite article in the middle of the 12th century, and it was not long before, in that relatively unemphatic linguistic environment, its vowel became weakened and shortened, giving an.

And at about the same time the distinction between an and a began to develop, although this was a slow process; until 1300 an was still often used before consonants, and right up to 1600 and beyond it was common before all words beginning with h, such as house.

=> one[a etymology, a origin, 英语词源]
anyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
an: [OE] The indefinite article in English is ultimately identical with the word one (as is the case, even more obviously, in other European languages – French un, German ein, and so on). The ancestor of both a(n) and one was ān, with a long vowel, but in the Old English period it was chiefly used for the numeral; where we would use a(n), the Anglo-Saxons tended not to use an article at all. Ān begins to emerge as the indefinite article in the middle of the 12th century, and it was not long before, in that relatively unemphatic linguistic environment, its vowel became weakened and shortened, giving an.

And at about the same time the distinction between an and a began to develop, although this was a slow process; until 1300 an was still often used before consonants, and right up to 1600 and beyond it was common before all words beginning with h, such as house.

=> one
aardvarkyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
aardvark: see earth, farrow
abacusyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abacus: [17] Abacus comes originally from a Hebrew word for ‘dust’, ’ābāq. This was borrowed into Greek with the sense of ‘drawing board covered with dust or sand’, on which one could draw for, among other purposes, making mathematical calculations. The Greek word, ábax, subsequently developed various other meanings, including ‘table’, both in the literal sense and as a mathematical table.

But it was as a ‘dust-covered board’ that its Latin descendant, abacus, was first used in English, in the 14th century. It was not until the 17th century that the more general sense of a counting board or frame came into use, and the more specific ‘counting frame with movable balls’ is later still.

abandonyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abandon: [14] The Old French verb abandoner is the source of abandon. It was based on a bandon, meaning literally ‘under control or jurisdiction’, which was used in the phrase mettre a bandon ‘put someone under someone else’s control’ – hence ‘abandon them’. The word bandon came, in altered form, from Latin bannum ‘proclamation’, which is circuitously related to English banns ‘proclamation of marriage’ and is an ancestor of contraband.
=> banns, contraband
abashyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abash: [14] Abash shares a common ancestry with abeyance [16], although the latter underwent an about-turn in meaning in the 17th century which disguises their relationship. They go back to a Latin verb batāre, meaning ‘yawn’ or ‘gape’. This was borrowed into French as baer, later bayer (it was the source of English bay ‘recessed space’).

The addition of the prefix es- (from Latin ex-) produced esbaer, later e(s)bahir ‘gape with astonishment’, whence, via the present stem e(s)bass-, came English abash, which originally meant ‘stand amazed’ as well as ‘embarrass, discomfit’. (Bashful is a 16thcentury derivative, with elision of the a-, which was first used by the dramatist Nicholas Udall.) Addition of the prefix a- to Old French baer, meanwhile, had given abaer ‘aspire after’, and its noun abeance ‘aspiration, desire’.

In legal terminology, this word was used in French for the condition of a person in expectation or hope of receiving property, but in English the focus quickly became reversed to the property, and its condition of being temporarily without an owner.

=> abeyance, bashful
abbotyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abbot: [OE] Abbot comes ultimately from abbā, a Syriac word meaning ‘father’ (which itself achieved some currency in English, particularly in reminiscence of its biblical use: ‘And he said, Abba, father, all things are possible unto thee’, Mark 14:36). This came into Greek as abbás, and thence, via the Latin accusative abbatem, into Old English as abbud or abbod.

The French term abbé (which is much less specific in meaning than English abbot) comes from the same source. In much the same way as father is used in modern English for priests, abba was widely current in the East for referring to monks, and hence its eventual application to the head of a monastery. A derivative of Latin abbatem was abbatia, which has given English both abbacy [15] and (via Old French abbeie) abbey [13]. Abbess is of similar antiquity (Latin had abbatissa).

=> abbess, abbey
abbreviateyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abbreviate: see brief
abdicateyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abdicate: see indicate
abetyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abet: see bait
abhoryoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abhor: [15] Abhor comes from Latin abhorrēre, which literally meant ‘shrink back in terror’ (from the prefix ab- ‘away’ and horrēre ‘tremble’ – which also gave English horror and horrid). The word used to have this intransitive meaning ‘be repelled’ in English too, but the transitive usage ‘loathe’ (which was probably introduced from Old French in the 15th century) has completely taken its place.
=> horrid, horror
abideyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abide: see bide
ableyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
able: [14] Able and ability both come ultimately from the Latin verb habēre ‘have’ or ‘hold’. From this the Latin adjective habilis developed, meaning literally ‘convenient or suitable for holding on to’, and hence in more general terms ‘suitable’ or ‘apt’, and later, more positively, ‘competent’ or ‘expert’. It came into English via Old French, bringing with it the noun ablete ‘ability’. This was later reformed in English, on the model of its Latin source habilitās, to ability.
=> habit
ablutionyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
ablution: see lavatory
abodeyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abode: see bide
abominableyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abominable: [14] The Latin original of this word meant ‘shun as an evil omen’. The prefix ab- ‘away’ was added to ōmen (source of English omen) to produce the verb abōminārī. From this was created the adjective abōminābilis, which reached English via Old French. From the 14th to the 17th century there was a general misapprehension that abominable was derived from Latin ab hominem ‘away from man’, hence ‘beastly, unnatural’.

This piece of fanciful folk etymology not only perpetuated the erroneous spelling abhominable throughout this period, but also seems to have contributed significantly to making the adjective much more strongly condemnatory.

=> omen
abortyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abort: see origin
aboundyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
abound: [14] Abound has no connection with bind or bound. Its Latin source means literally ‘overflow’, and its nearest relative among English words is water. Latin undāre ‘flow’ derived from unda ‘wave’ (as in undulate), which has the same ultimate root as water. The addition of the prefix ab- ‘away’ created abundāre, literally ‘flow away’, hence ‘overflow’, and eventually ‘be plentiful’.

The present participial stem of the Latin verb gave English abundant and abundance. In the 14th and 15th centuries it was erroneously thought that abound had some connection with have, and the spelling habound was consequently common.

=> inundate, surround, undulate, water
aboutyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
about: [OE] About in Old English times meant ‘around the outside of’; it did not develop its commonest present-day meaning, ‘concerning’, until the 13th century. In its earliest incarnation it was onbūtan, a compound made up of on and būtan ‘outside’ (this is the same word as modern English but, which was itself originally a compound, formed from the ancestors of by and out – so broken down into its ultimate constituents, about is on by out).
=> but, by, out
aboveyoudaoicibaDictYouDict
above: [OE] As in the case of about, the a- in above represents on and the -b- element represents by; above (Old English abufan) is a compound based on Old English ufan. This meant both ‘on top’ and ‘down from above’; it is related to over, and is probably descended from a hypothetical West Germanic ancestor *ufana, whose uf- element eventually became modern English up. So in a sense, above means ‘on by up’ or ‘on by over’.
=> by, on, up