detoxification (n.) Look up detoxification at
1905, of substances, 1971 of persons who drink to excess; see detoxify + -ation.
detoxify (v.) Look up detoxify at
1905; see de- + toxic + -fy. Earlier in the same sense was detoxicate (1867).
detract (v.) Look up detract at
early 15c., from Middle French détracter, from Latin detractus, past participle of detrahere "to take down, pull down, disparage" (see detraction). Related: Detracted; detracting.
detraction (n.) Look up detraction at
mid-14c., from Old French detraccion "detraction, disparagement, denigration," from Latin detractionem (nominative detractio) "a drawing off," from past participle stem of detrahere "take down, pull down, disparage," from de- "down" (see de-) + trahere "to pull" (see tract (n.1)). The fem. form detractress is attested from 1716.
detractor (n.) Look up detractor at
late 14c., from Anglo-French detractour, Old French detractor "detractor, backbiter," from Latin detractor, agent noun from detrahere (see detraction).
detriment (n.) Look up detriment at
early 15c., from Middle French détriment or directly from Latin detrimentum "a rubbing off; a loss, damage, defeat," from past participle stem of detere "to wear away," figuratively "to weaken, impair," from de- "away" (see de-) + terere "to rub, wear" (see throw (v.)).
detrimental (adj.) Look up detrimental at
1650s; see detriment + -al (1). Related: Detrimentally.
detritus (n.) Look up detritus at
1795, "process of erosion," from Latin detritus "a wearing away," from detri-, stem of detere "wear away" (see detriment). Geological sense of "matter produced by erosion" is 1802, probably from French detritus; incorrect, in any case.
Detroit Look up Detroit at
city in Michigan, U.S., from French détroit, literally "straits," from Old French destreit (12c.), from Latin districtum, neuter of districtus. French fort built there 1701. By 1918 the city name was synonymous with "U.S. automobile manufacturing."
deuce (n.) Look up deuce at
late 15c., "the 2 in dice or cards," also "a roll of 2 in dice" (1510s), from Middle French deus (Modern French deux), from Latin duos (nominative duo) "two" (see two).

Became a mild oath by 1710, about 50 years after it was first attested in the sense of "bad luck, the devil, etc.," perhaps because two was the lowest score, and probably by similarity to Latin deus and related words meaning "god." Low German had der daus! in same sense 16c., which perhaps influenced the English form. Deuce coupe is 1940s hot-rodder slang for "souped up two-door car," especially a 1932 Ford. Related: Deuced; deucedly.
deus (n.) Look up deus at
"God, a god," see Zeus; c. 1300 as a French interjection; never nativized, but appearing in adopted Latin expressions such as deus absconditus "hidden god."
deus ex machina (n.) Look up deus ex machina at
1690s, from Modern Latin translation of Greek a?p?o? mekhanes theos, literally "the god from the machina," the device by which "gods" were suspended over the stage in Greek theater (see machine). The fem. is dea ex machina.
deuterium (n.) Look up deuterium at
1933, coined by U.S. chemist Harold C. Urey, with Modern Latin ending + Greek deuterion, neuter of deuterios "having second place," from deuteros "next, second," according to some sources from duo (see two), but according to Watkins the ground sense is "missing" and the Greek word is from PIE from *deu-tero-, suffixed form of root *deu- "to lack, be wanting." So called because it is twice the mass of hydrogen.
Deuteronomy (n.) Look up Deuteronomy at
5th book of the Pentateuch, late 14c., from Late Latin Deuteronomium, from Greek Deuteronomion, literally "second law," from deuteros "second" (see deuterium) + nomos "law" (see numismatics). A mistranslation of Hebrew mishneh hattorah hazzoth "a copy of this law" [Deut. xvii:18]. The book is a repetition, with comments, of the Decalogue and most of the laws of Exodus. The title was translated literally into Old English as æfteræ, literally "after-law."
Deutsch Look up Deutsch at
the German word for "German;" see Dutch.
deva (n.) Look up deva at
"god, good spirit" in Hindu religion, from Sanskrit deva "a god," originally "a shining one," from *div- "to shine," thus cognate with Greek dios "divine" and Zeus, and Latin deus "god" (Old Latin deivos); see Zeus.

Fem. form devi is used for "goddess," also (with capital D-) for the mother goddess in Hinduism. Hence, also, devadasi "temple dancing girl," literally "female servant of a god," from dasi "slave girl." Also Devanagari, the formal alphabet of Sanskrit writings, perhaps originally "divine city script," from nagara "city."
devaluation (n.) Look up devaluation at
1898; see de- + valuation. Specific application to currency is from 1914.
devalue (v.) Look up devalue at
1918, a back-formation from devaluation. Related: Devalued; devaluing.
devastate (v.) Look up devastate at
1630s, perhaps a back-formation from devastation. Apparently not common until 19c.; earlier verb form devast is attested from 1530s, from Middle French devaster. Related: devastated; devastating.
devastating (adj.) Look up devastating at
1630s, present participle adjective from devastate. Trivial use by 1889.
devastation (n.) Look up devastation at
mid-15c., from Middle French dévastation, from Late Latin devastationem (nominative devastatio), from past participle stem of Latin devastare "lay waste completely," from de- "completely" (see de-) + vastare "lay waste," from vastus "empty, desolate" (see waste (v.)).
develop (v.) Look up develop at
1650s, "unroll, unfold," from French développer, replacing English disvelop (1590s, from Middle French desveloper), both from Old French desveloper "unwrap, unfurl, unveil; reveal the meaning of, explain," from des- "undo" + veloper "wrap up," which is of uncertain origin, possibly Celtic or Germanic. Modern figurative use is 18c. The photographic sense is from 1845; the real estate sense is from 1890.
developer (n.) Look up developer at
1833, "one who develops," agent noun from develop. Photography use attested from 1869; meaning "speculative builder" is from 1938.
development (n.) Look up development at
1756, "an unfolding;" see develop + -ment. Of property, with the sense "bringing out the latent possibilities," from 1885 (Pickering's glossary of Americanisms, 1816, has betterments "The improvements made on new lands, by cultivation, and the erection of buildings, &c."). Meaning "state of economic advancement" is from 1902. Meaning "advancement through progressive stages" is 1836.
developmental (adj.) Look up developmental at
1830, from development + -al (1). Developmentalist (1862) was a word for "follower of the theory of evolution."
deviance (n.) Look up deviance at
1944; see deviant + -ance. A sociologists' word, perhaps coined because statisticians and astronomers already had claimed deviation.
deviant (adj.) Look up deviant at
c. 1400, from Late Latin deviantem (nominative devians), present participle of deviare "turn aside," from Latin phrase de via, from de "off" (see de-) + via "way" (see via). The noun meaning "one that deviates" is from late 15c.; in the sexual sense, from 1952; also deviate (n.), recorded since 1912.
deviate (v.) Look up deviate at
1630s, from Late Latin deviatus, past participle of deviare "to turn out of the way" (see deviant). Related: Deviated; deviating. The noun meaning "sexual pervert" is attested from 1912.
deviation (n.) Look up deviation at
1640s, noun of action from deviate (v.). Statistical sense is from 1858. Related: Deviational.
device (n.) Look up device at
late 13c., from Old French devis "division, separation, disposition, wish, desire; coat of arms, emblem; last will," from deviser "to divide, distribute" (see devise). Sense of "method by which something is divided" arose in French and led to modern meaning.
devil (n.) Look up devil at
Old English deofol "evil spirit, a devil, the devil, false god, diabolical person," from Late Latin diabolus (also the source of Italian diavolo, French diable, Spanish diablo; German Teufel is Old High German tiufal, from Latin via Gothic diabaulus).

The Late Latin word is from Ecclesiastical Greek diabolos, in Jewish and Christian use, "Devil, Satan" (scriptural loan-translation of Hebrew satan), in general use "accuser, slanderer," from diaballein "to slander, attack," literally "throw across," from dia- "across, through" + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics). Jerome re-introduced Satan in Latin bibles, and English translators have used both in different measures.

In Vulgate, as in Greek, diabolus and dæmon (see demon) were distinct, but they have merged in English and other Germanic languages.

Playful use for "clever rogue" is from c. 1600. Meaning "sand spout, dust storm" is from 1835. In U.S. place names, the word often represents a native word such as Algonquian manito, more properly "spirit, god." Phrase a devil way (c. 1300) was originally "Hell-ward, to Hell," but by late 14c. as an expression of irritation.

Devil's books "playing cards" is from 1729, but the cited quote says they've been called that "time out of mind" (the four of clubs is the devil's bedposts); devil's coach-horse is from 1840, the large rove-beetle, which is defiant when disturbed. "Talk of the Devil, and he's presently at your elbow" [1660s].
devil's advocate (n.) Look up devil's advocate at
1760, translating Latin advocatus diaboli, one whose job it is to urge against the canonization of a candidate for sainthood. "[F]ar from being the whitewasher of the wicked, the [devil's advocate] is the blackener of the good." [Fowler]
devil-may-care (adj.) Look up devil-may-care at
1837 (but suggested in other forms by 1793). As an oath or expression by 1823.
devilish (adj.) Look up devilish at
mid-15c.; see devil + -ish. Related: Devilishly; devilishness.
devilled (adj.) Look up devilled at
"grilled with hot condiments," 1800; see devil.
devilment (n.) Look up devilment at
1771; see devil (v.) + -ment.
devilry (n.) Look up devilry at
late 14c., from devil + -ry; deviltry (1788) is a corrupt formation from it.
devious (adj.) Look up devious at
1590s, "out of the way," from Latin devius "out of the way, remote, off the main road," from de via (see deviate). Originally in the Latin literal sense; figurative sense of "deceitful" is first recorded 1630s. Related: Deviously; deviousness. Figurative senses of the Latin word were "retired, sequestered, wandering in the byways, foolish, inconsistent."
devirginate (v.) Look up devirginate at
late 15c.; see de- + virgin + -ate (2). Related: Devirginated.
devise (v.) Look up devise at
early 13c., "to form, fashion;" c. 1300, "to plan, contrive," from Old French deviser "dispose in portions, arrange, plan, contrive" (in modern French, "to chat, gossip"), from Vulgar Latin *divisare, frequentative of Latin dividere "to divide" (see divide). Modern sense is from "to arrange a division" (especially via a will), a meaning present in the Old French word. Related: Devised; devising.
devoid (adj.) Look up devoid at
c. 1400, shortening of devoided, past participle of obsolete verb devoiden "to remove, void, vacate" (c. 1300), from Old French desvuidier (12c., Modern French dévider) "to empty out, flush game from, unwind, let loose (an arrow)," from des- "out, away" + voider "to empty," from voide "empty" (see void (adj.)).
devolution (n.) Look up devolution at
1540s; see de- + evolution. Used in various legal and figurative senses; in biology, as the opposite of evolution, it is attested from 1882.
devolve (v.) Look up devolve at
early 15c., "to roll down," from Latin devolvere "to roll down," from de- (see de-) + volvere "to roll" (see volvox). Figurative sense of "to cause to pass down" is from 1520s. Related: Devolved; devolving. Also in same sense was devolute (1530s), from Latin devolutus, past participle of devolvere.
Devon Look up Devon at
county name, Old English Defena(scir), late 9c., "(territory of the) Dumnonii," a Celtic name. As a type of cattle, from 1834.
Devonian (adj.) Look up Devonian at
1837, as a geological era, from the English county of Devon, where the Old Red Sandstone formations of that age are prominent, + -ian.
devote (v.) Look up devote at
1580s, from Latin devotus, past participle of devovere (see devotion). Second and third meanings in Johnson's Dictionary (1755) are "to addict, to give up to ill" and "to curse, to execrate; to doom to destruction." Related: Devoted; devoting.
devoted (adj.) Look up devoted at
1590s, "set apart by a vow," past participle adjective from devote (v.). Meaning "characterized by devotion" is from c. 1600. Related: Devotedly.
devotee (n.) Look up devotee at
1640s, from devote, with a French suffix, perhaps on model of assignee. Earlier in this sense was devote (1620s).
devotion (n.) Look up devotion at
early 13c., from Old French devocion "devotion, piety," from Latin devotionem (nominative devotio), noun of action from past participle stem of devovere "dedicate by a vow, sacrifice oneself, promise solemnly," from de- "down, away" (see de-) + vovere "to vow," from votum "vow" (see vow (n.)).

In ancient Latin, "act of consecrating by a vow," also "loyalty, fealty, allegiance;" in Church Latin, "devotion to God, piety." This was the original sense in English; the etymological sense, including secular situations, returned 16c. via Italian and French.
devotional (adj.) Look up devotional at
1640s; see devotion + -al (1). The noun meaning "devotional composition" is recorded from 1650s.