affix (v.) Look up affix at
1530s, from Medieval Latin affixare, frequentative of Latin affigere (past participle affixus) "fasten to, attach," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + figere "fasten" (see fix (v.)).

First used by Scottish writers and perhaps from Middle French affixer, a temporarily re-Latinized spelling of Old French afichier (Modern French afficher). Related: Affixed; affixing.
affix (n.) Look up affix at
1610s, from affix (v.).
afflatus (n.) Look up afflatus at
"miraculous communication of supernatural knowledge," 1660s, from Latin afflatus "a breathing upon, blast," from past participle of afflare "to blow upon," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + flare "to blow" (see blow (v.1)).
afflict (v.) Look up afflict at
late 14c., "to cast down," from Old French aflicter, from Latin afflictare "to damage, harass, torment," frequentative of affligere (past participle afflictus) "to dash down, overthrow," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + fligere (past participle flictus) "to strike," from PIE root *bhlig- "to strike" (source also of Greek phlibein "to press, crush," Czech blizna "scar," Welsh blif "catapult"). Transferred meaning of "trouble, distress," is first recorded 1530s. Related: Afflicted; afflicting.
afflicted (n.) Look up afflicted at
"person or persons in constant suffering of body or mind," 1650s, noun use of past participle adjective from afflict.
affliction (n.) Look up affliction at
c. 1300, from Old French afliction (11c.), from Latin afflictionem (nominative afflictio), noun of action from past participle stem of affligere (see afflict).
affluence (n.) Look up affluence at
mid-14c., "a plentiful flowing, an abundance," from Old French affluence, from Latin affluentia "a flowing to," figuratively "affluence, abundance," noun of state from affluentem (nominative affluens) "flowing toward, abounding, rich, copious" (see affluent). Sense of "wealth" attested from c. 1600, from notion of "a plentiful flow" (of the gifts of fortune).
affluent (adj.) Look up affluent at
mid-15c., "flowing," from Middle French affluent (14c.) or directly from Latin affluentem (nominative affluens) "flowing toward, abounding, rich, copious," present participle of affluere "flow toward," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + fluere "to flow" (see fluent).
afford (v.) Look up afford at
Middle English aforthen, from Old English geforðian "to put forth, contribute; further, advance; carry out, accomplish," from ge- completive prefix (see a- (1)) + forðian "to further," from forð "forward, onward" (see forth).

Change of -th- to -d- took place late 16c. (and also transformed burthen and murther into their modern forms). Prefix shift to af- took place 16c. under mistaken belief that it was a Latin word in ad-. Notion of "accomplish" (late Old English) gradually became "be able to bear the expense of, have enough money" to do something (late 14c.). Older sense is preserved in afford (one) an opportunity. Related: Afforded; affording.
affordable (adj.) Look up affordable at
1866, from afford + -able. Related: Affordably; affordability.
affray (n.) Look up affray at
c. 1300, "state of alarm produced by a sudden disturbance," from Old French effrei, esfrei "disturbance, fright," from esfreer (v.) "to worry, concern, trouble, disturb," from Vulgar Latin *exfridare, a hybrid word meaning literally "to take out of peace," from Latin ex- "out of" (see ex-) + Frankish *frithu "peace," from Proto-Germanic *frithuz "peace, consideration, forbearance" (source also of Old Saxon frithu, Old English friðu, Old High German fridu "peace, truce"), from suffixed form of PIE root *pri- "to be friendly, love" (see free (adj.)). Meaning "breach of the peace, riotous fight in public" is from late 15c. Related verb afrey (early 14c.) survives almost exclusively in its past participle, afraid (q.v.).
affricative (n.) Look up affricative at
1879, perhaps via German, with -ive + Latin affricat-, past participle stem of affricare "rub against," from ad- (see ad-) + fricare "to rub" (see friction).
affright (v.) Look up affright at
1580s, a late construction from a- (1) + fright (v.), probably on model of earlier past participle adjective affright "struck with sudden fear" (metathesized from Old English afyrht). Related: Affrighted; affrighting.
affront (v.) Look up affront at
early 14c., from Old French afronter "to face, confront, to slap in the face" (13c.), from Late Latin affrontare "to strike against," from Latin ad frontem "to the face," from ad (see ad-) + frons (genitive frontis) "forehead, front" (see front (n.)). Related: Affronted; affronting.
affront (n.) Look up affront at
1590s, from affront (v.).
Afghan Look up Afghan at
name of the people of Afghanistan, technically only correctly applied to the Durani Afghans; Old Afghan chronicles trace the name to an Afghana, son of Jeremiah, son of Israelite King Saul, from whom they claimed descent, but this is a legend. The name is first attested in Arabic in al-'Utbi's "History of Sultan Mahmud" written c.1030 C.E. and was in use in India from 13c. Attested from 1833 as a type of blanket or wrap (in full, Afghan shawl); 1973 as a style of sheepskin coat; 1877 as a type of carpet; 1895 as a breed of hunting dog.
aficionado (n.) Look up aficionado at
1845, from Spanish aficionado "amateur," specifically "devotee of bullfighting," literally "fond of," from afición "affection," from Latin affectionem (see affection). "Most sources derive this word from the Spanish verb aficionar but the verb does not appear in Spanish before 1555, and the word aficionado is recorded in the 1400's" [Barnhart]. In English, originally of devotees of bullfighting; in general use by 1882.
afield (adv.) Look up afield at
1590s, contraction of Middle English in felde, from Old English on felda "in the field" (especially of battle), from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + field (n.). Meaning "away from home" is attested by early 15c.
afire (adj.) Look up afire at
c. 1200, afure, from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + fire (n.). Figurative use by late 14c.
aflame (adj.) Look up aflame at
1550s, from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + flame (n.). Figurative use by 1856.
afloat (adj.) Look up afloat at
Old English aflote, on flot, from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + flot "body of water" (see float (n.)).
aflush (adj.) Look up aflush at
"blushing," 1880, from a- (1) + flush (n.) "redness in the face."
aflutter (adj.) Look up aflutter at
1830, from a- (1) + flutter (n.).
afoot (adj.) Look up afoot at
c. 1200, afote, from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + foot (n.). Figurative sense of "in active operation" is from 1601 ("Julius Caesar").
afore (adv.) Look up afore at
Old English onforan "before, at the beginning of, in front of," from phrase on foran, from on (prep.) + foran (adv.) "in front," dative of for.

In some cases probably it represents Old English ætforan "at-fore." Once the literary equivalent of before, it now has been replaced by that word except in nautical use and in combinations such as aforesaid, aforethought.
aforementioned (adj.) Look up aforementioned at
1580s, from afore + past participle of mention (v.). Afore-written is from mid-15c.
aforesaid (adj.) Look up aforesaid at
late 14c., from afore + said.
aforethought (adj.) Look up aforethought at
1580s, from afore + past tense of think. Apparently an English loan-translation of Old French legalese word prepense (see prepense) in malice prepense "malice aforethought" (Coke).
aforetime (adv.) Look up aforetime at
early 15c., "before the present, in the past," from afore + time (n.).
afoul (adv.) Look up afoul at
1809, originally nautical, "in collision or entanglement," from a- (1) + foul (adj.). From 1833 in general sense of "in violent or hostile conflict," mainly in phrases such as run afoul of.
afraid (adj.) Look up afraid at
early 14c., originally past participle of verb afray "frighten," from Anglo-French afrayer, Old French esfreer "to worry, concern, trouble, disturb" (see affray (n.)). A rare case of an English adjective that never stands before a noun. Because it was used in A.V. Bible, it acquired independent standing and thrived while affray faded, and it chased off the once more common afeared. Sense in I'm afraid "I regret to say, I suspect" (without implication of fear) is first recorded 1590s.
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone [Keats, "The Eve of St. Agnes," 1820]
afresh (adv.) Look up afresh at
c. 1500, perhaps on analogy of anew [see note in OED], from a- (1) + fresh (adj.).
Afric (adj.) Look up Afric at
1580s, from Latin Africus (see Africa).
Africa (n.) Look up Africa at
Latin Africa (terra) "African land, Libya, the Carthaginian territory," fem. of adjective Africus, from Afer "an African," a word of uncertain origin. The Latin word originally was used only in reference to the region around modern Tunisia; it gradually was extended to the whole continent. Derivation from Arabic afar "dust, earth" is tempting, but the early date seems to argue against it. The Middle English word was Affrike.
African (n.) Look up African at
Old English Africanas (plural), from Latin Africanus (adj.), from Africa (see Africa). Used of white residents of Africa from 1815. Used of black residents of the U.S. from late 18c., when it especially meant "one brought from Africa" and sometimes was contrasted to native-born Negro. As an adjective by 1560s, "pertaining to Africa or Africans" (Old English had Africanisc); from 1789 as "of or pertaining to black Americans."
African-American (adj.) Look up African-American at
there are isolated instances from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but the modern use is a re-invention first attested 1969 (in reference to the African-American Teachers Association) which became the preferred term in some circles for "U.S. black" (noun or adjective) by the late 1980s. Mencken, 1921, reports Aframerican "is now very commonly used in the Negro press." Afro-American is attested in 1853, in freemen's publications in Canada. Africo-American (1817 as a noun, 1826 as an adjective) was common in abolitionist and colonization society writings.
Afrikaans (n.) Look up Afrikaans at
Germanic language of South Africa, the Dutch language as spoken in South Africa, 1892, from Dutch Afrikaansch "Africanish" (see Afrikander). Also known as South African Dutch.
Afrikander (n.) Look up Afrikander at
1822, "South African native of Dutch descent," from Dutch Afrikaner "African," with intrusive -d- on analogy of Hollander, Englander, etc. (Afrikaner is attested from 1824).
Afro (n.) Look up Afro at
"full, bushy hairstyle as worn by some blacks," 1938, from Afro-. As a general adjective for black styles of clothing, music, etc., it is attested from 1966.
Afro- Look up Afro- at
word-forming element meaning "African," from Latin Afr-, stem of Afer, Afri "African" (see Africa), or directly from African.
aft (adv.) Look up aft at
Old English æftan "from behind, behind, farthest back," from superlative of Old English æf, af, of "away, away from, off" (see of). The Germanic superlative suffix *-ta corresponds to PIE *-to (compare Greek protos "first," superlative of pro "before"). Now purely nautical.
after (prep.) Look up after at
Old English æfter "after, next, throughout, following in time, later," from Old English of "off" (see of) + -ter, a comparative suffix; thus the original meaning was "more away, farther off." Compare Old Norse eptir "after," Old High German aftar, Gothic aftra "behind." Cognate with Greek apotero "farther off."

After hours "after regular working hours" is from 1861. Afterwit "wisdom that comes too late" is attested from c. 1500 but seems to have fallen from use, despite being more needed now than ever. After you as an expression in yielding precedence is recorded by 1650.
after-dinner (adj.) Look up after-dinner at
1730, from after + dinner.
afterbirth (n.) Look up afterbirth at
also after-birth, 1580s, from after + birth.
afterglow (n.) Look up afterglow at
also after-glow, 1829, from after + glow (n.).
afterlife (n.) Look up afterlife at
1590s, "a future life" (especially after resurrection), from after + life.
aftermarket (adj.) Look up aftermarket at
1940, American English, of automobile parts, from after + market.
aftermath (n.) Look up aftermath at
1520s, originally a second crop of grass grown after the first had been harvested, from after + -math, a dialectal word, from Old English mæð "a mowing, cutting of grass" (see math (n.2)). Figurative sense by 1650s. Compare French regain "aftermath," from re- + Old French gain, gaain "grass which grows in meadows that have been mown," from Frankish or some other Germanic source similar to Old High German weida "grass, pasture"
afternoon (n.) Look up afternoon at
c. 1300, from after + noon. In 15c.-16c., the form was at afternoon; from c. 1600 it has been in the afternoon. Middle English also had aftermete "afternoon, part of the day following the noon meal," mid-14c.
aftershock (n.) Look up aftershock at
also after-shock, 1894, from after + shock (n.1).