late 14c. as singular noun, replaced by early 17c. by mathematics, from Latin mathematica (plural), from Greek mathematike tekhne "mathematical science," feminine singular of mathematikos (adj.) "relating to mathematics, scientific, astronomical; disposed to learn," from mathema (genitive mathematos) "science, knowledge, mathematical knowledge; a lesson," literally "that which is learnt;" related to manthanein "to learn," from PIE root *mendh- "to learn" (cognates: Greek menthere "to care," Lithuanian mandras "wide-awake," Old Church Slavonic madru "wise, sage," Gothic mundonsis "to look at," German munter "awake, lively"). As an adjective, 1540s, from French mathématique or directly from Latin mathematicus.