contravene (v.) Look up contravene at
1560s, from Middle French contravenir "to transgress, decline, depart," from Late Latin contravenire "to come against," in Medieval Latin "to transgress," from Latin contra "against" (see contra) + venire "to come" (see venue). Related: Contravened; contravening.
contravening (n.) Look up contravening at
1640s, verbal noun from contravene; from 1802 as a present participle adjective.
contravention (n.) Look up contravention at
1570s, from Middle French contravention, from Vulgar Latin *contraventionem, noun of action from past participle stem of contravenire (see contravene).
contretemps (n.) Look up contretemps at
1680s, "a blunder in fencing," from French contre-temps "motion out of time, unfortunate accident, bad times;" from Latin contra "against" (see contra) + tempus "time" (see temporal). As a ballet term, from 1706; as "an unfortunate accident," 1802; as "a dispute," from 1961.
contribute (v.) Look up contribute at
1520s, from Latin contributus, past participle of contribuere "to bring together, add, unite, collect, contribute" (see contribution). Figurative sense is from 1630s. Related: Contributed; contributing.
contribution (n.) Look up contribution at
late 14c., from Old French contribution and directly from Latin contributionem (nominative contributio), noun of action from past participle stem of contribuere "to bring together, add, contribute," from com- "together" (see com-) + tribuere "to allot, pay" (see tribute).
contributor (n.) Look up contributor at
also contributer, mid-15c., from Anglo-French contributour, from Vulgar Latin *contributorem, agent noun from contribut-, stem of contribuere (see contribution). Related: Contributory (early 15c.).
contrite (adj.) Look up contrite at
c. 1300, from Old French contrit and directly from Latin contritus, literally "worn out, ground to pieces," past participle of conterere "to grind," from com- "together" (see com-) + terere "to rub" (see throw (v.)). Used in English in figurative sense of "crushed in spirit by a sense of sin." Related: Contritely.
contrition (n.) Look up contrition at
c. 1300, contrycyun, from Old French contriciun (Modern French contrition) and directly from Latin contritionem (nominative contritio), noun of action from past participle stem of conterere (see contrite).
contrivance (n.) Look up contrivance at
1620s, from contrive + -ance.
contrive (v.) Look up contrive at
early 14c., from Old French controver (Modern French controuver) "to find out, contrive, imagine," from Late Latin contropare "to compare" (via a figure of speech), from Latin com- "with" (see com-) + tropus "song, musical mode," from Greek tropos "figure of speech" (see trope).

Sense evolution (in French) was from "invent with ingenuity" to "invent falsely." Spelled contreve until unexplained 15c. sound change that also affected briar, friar, choir. Related: Contrived; contriving.
control (v.) Look up control at
early 14c., "to check, verify, regulate," from Anglo-French contreroller "exert authority," from Medieval Latin contrarotulus "a counter, register," from Latin contra- "against" (see contra) + rotulus, diminutive of rota "wheel" (see roll (n.)). From a medieval method of checking accounts by a duplicate register. Sense of "dominate, direct" is mid-15c. Related: Controlled; controlling.

Control group in scientific experiments is attested from 1952 (from a sense of control attested since 1875).
control (n.) Look up control at
1580s, from control (v.). Control freak is late 1960s slang.
controllable (adj.) Look up controllable at
1570s, from control (v.) + -able.
controlled (adj.) Look up controlled at
1580s, past participle adjective from control (v.). Of rent, from c. 1930.
controller (n.) Look up controller at
late 14c., from Anglo-French contrerolleour (late 13c.), Old French contrerelleor (Modern French contrôleur), from Medieval Latin contrarotulator, agent noun from *contra-rotulare (see control (v.)). Mechanical sense is from 1867.
controlling (adj.) Look up controlling at
"overbearing," 1570s, present participle adjective from control (v.).
controversal (adj.) Look up controversal at
1610s, from Latin controversus "turned against" (see controversy) + -al (1).
controversary (adj.) Look up controversary at
c. 1600, from stem of Latin controversus (see controversy) + -ary.
controverse (v.) Look up controverse at
c. 1600, from French controversé, from Latin controversus (see controversy).
controversial (adj.) Look up controversial at
1580s, from Late Latin controversialis "pertaining to controversy," from Latin controversia (see controversy).
controversy (n.) Look up controversy at
late 14c., from Old French controversie or directly from Latin controversia, from controversus "turned in an opposite direction, disputed, turned against," from contra- "against" (see contra) + versus (see verse).
controvert (v.) Look up controvert at
c. 1600, probably a back-formation from controversy. Related: Controverted; controverting; controvertible.
contumacious (adj.) Look up contumacious at
c. 1600, from Latin contumaci-, stem of contumax "haughty, insolent, obstinate" (see contumely) + -ous.
contumacy (n.) Look up contumacy at
late 14c., from Latin contumacia "haughtiness, insolence," noun of quality from contumax (see contumely).
contumelious (adj.) Look up contumelious at
late 15c., from Old French contumelieus, from Latin contumeliosus "reproachful, insolently abusive," from contumelia (see contumely).
contumely (n.) Look up contumely at
late 14c., from Old French contumelie, from Latin contumelia "a reproach, insult," probably related to contumax "haughty, stubborn," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + tumere "to swell up" (see tumid).
The unhappy man left his country forever. The howl of contumely followed him across the sea, up the Rhine, over the Alps; it gradually waxed fainter; it died away; those who had raised it began to ask each other, what, after all, was the matter about which they had been so clamorous, and wished to invite back the criminal whom they had just chased from them. [Thomas Babington Macaulay, "Lord Byron," 1877]
contusion (n.) Look up contusion at
c. 1400, from Middle French contusion, from Latin contusionem (nominative contusio) "crushing, bruising," from contus-, past participle stem of contundere "to beat, break to pieces," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + tundere "to beat" (see obtuse).
contusive (adj.) Look up contusive at
1798, from Latin contus-, past participle stem of contundere (see contusion) + -ive.
conundrum (n.) Look up conundrum at
1590s, Oxford University slang for "pedant," also "whim," etc., later (1790) "riddle, puzzle." Also spelled quonundrum. The sort of ponderous pseudo-Latin word that was once the height of humor in learned circles.
conurbation (n.) Look up conurbation at
1915, from Latin com- "with, together" (see com-) + urbs "city" + -ation. Coined by Scottish biologist and urban planner Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) in "Cities in Evolution."
conus (n.) Look up conus at
1885, from Latin conus "cone" (see cone).
convalesce (v.) Look up convalesce at
late 15c., from Latin convalescere "thrive, regain health," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + valescere "to begin to grow strong," inchoative of valere "to be strong" (see valiant). Only in Caxton and Scottish writers until 19c. Related: Convalesced; convalescing.
convalescence (n.) Look up convalescence at
late 15c., from Middle French convalescence (15c.), from Late Latin convalescentia "regaining of health," from convalescentem (nominative convalescens), present participle of convalescere (see convalesce).
convalescent (adj.) Look up convalescent at
1650s, from French convalescent, from Latin convalescentem (nominative convalescens), present participle of convalescere (see convalesce). As a noun, attested from 1758.
convection (n.) Look up convection at
1620s, from Latin convectionem (nominative convectio) "the act of carrying," noun of action from past participle stem of convehere "to carry together," from com- "together" (see com-) + vehere "to carry" (see vehicle). Related: Convective. Convection current recorded from 1868.
convenance (n.) Look up convenance at
late 15c., from French convenance "convention, agreement, convenience," from convenant, present participle of convenir "to come together" (see convene).
convene (v.) Look up convene at
early 15c., from Middle French convenir "to suit, agree," from Latin convenire "unite, be suitable, agree, assemble," from com- "together" (see com-) + venire "to come" (see venue). Related: Convened; convener; convening.
convenience (n.) Look up convenience at
late 14c., "agreement, conformity," from Latin convenientia "meeting together, agreement, harmony," from conveniens, present participle of convenire (see convene). Meaning "suitable, adapted to existing conditions" is from c. 1600; that of "personally not difficult" is from 1703.
conveniences (n.) Look up conveniences at
"material appliances conducive to personal comfort," 1670s, plural of convenience.
convenient (adj.) Look up convenient at
late 14c., from Latin convenientem (nominative conveniens), present participle of convenire (see convene).
conveniently (adv.) Look up conveniently at
late 14c., "harmoniously," from convenient + -ly (2). Meaning "in a way that avoids difficulty" is from c. 1500.
convenor (n.) Look up convenor at
variant of convener (see convene).
convent (n.) Look up convent at
c. 1200, covent, cuvent, from Anglo-French covent, from Old French convent, from Latin conventus "assembly," used in Medieval Latin for "religious house," originally past participle of convenire "come together" (see convene). Not exclusively feminine until 18c. The form with restored Latin -n- emerged early 15c. The Middle English form remains in London's Covent Garden district (notorious late 18c. for brothels), so called because it had been the garden of a defunct monastery.
COVENT GARDEN AGUE. The venereal diſeaſe.
["Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]
conventicle (n.) Look up conventicle at
from Latin conventiculum "a small assembly," diminutive of conventus (see convent).
convention (n.) Look up convention at
early 15c., convencioun, "a formal agreement, covenant, treaty," also "a formal meeting or convention" (of rulers, etc.), also "a private or secret agreement," from Middle French convention and directly from Latin conventionem (nominative conventio) "meeting, assembly, covenant," noun of action from past participle stem of convenire "unite, be suitable, agree, assemble," from com- "together" (see com-) + venire "to come" (see venue).

Originally of princes, powers, and potentates. In diplomacy, of agreements between states, from mid-15c.; of agreements between opposing military commanders from 1780. Meaning "assembly of persons for a common objective," especially involving legislation or deliberation is from mid-16c. Conventions were important in U.S. history and the word is attested in colonial writings from 1720s; in reference to political party nomination meetings by 1817 (originally at the state level; national conventions began to be held in the 1830s).

In the social sense, "general agreement on customs, etc., as embodied in accepted standards or usages" (sometimes in a bad sense) by 1747. Hence "rule or practice based on general conduct" (1790).
conventional (adj.) Look up conventional at
late 15c., "of the nature of an agreement," from Late Latin conventionalis "pertaining to convention or agreement," from Latin conventionem "a meeting, assembly, covenant" (see convention). Meaning "of the nature of a convention" in the "formal meeting" sense is from 1812, now rare; that of "established by social convention" is from 1761. Sense of "following tradition" is from 1831; that of "non-nuclear" is from 1955. Realted: Conventionality; conventionally.
converge (v.) Look up converge at
1690s, from Late Latin convergere "to incline together" from com- "together" (see com-) + vergere "to bend" (see verge (v.)). Related: Converged; converging.
convergence (n.) Look up convergence at
1713, from converge + -ence. Related: Convergent. Convergent evolution was in use among biologists by 1890.
conversant (adj.) Look up conversant at
late 14c., from Old French conversant, present participle of converser (see converse (v.)).