beverage (n.) Look up beverage at
mid-13c., from Anglo-French beverage, Old French bevrage, from Old French boivre "to drink" (Modern French boire; from Latin bibere "to imbibe;" see imbibe) + -age, suffix forming mass or abstract nouns (see -age).
Beverly Hills Look up Beverly Hills at
city in southern California, U.S., named 1911, earlier Beverly (1907), named for Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, summer home of U.S. President Taft, which ultimately is named for the Yorkshire town Beverly, which means, in Old English, "beaver lodge."
bevy (n.) Look up bevy at
early 15c., collective noun of quails and ladies, from Anglo-French bevée, which is of unknown origin. One supposed definition of the word is "a drinking bout;" this perhaps is a misprint of bever (see beverage), but if not perhaps the original sense is birds gathered at a puddle or pool for drinking or bathing.
bewail (v.) Look up bewail at
c. 1300, from be- + wail (v.). Related: Bewailed; bewailing.
beware (v.) Look up beware at
c. 1200, probably a contraction of be ware "be wary," from Middle English ware (adj.), from Old English wær "prudent, aware, alert, wary" (see wary). Old English had the compound bewarian "to defend," which perhaps contributed to the word.
beweep (v.) Look up beweep at
Old English bewepan, cognate with Old Frisian biwepa, Old Saxon biwopian; see be- + weep. Related: Bewept.
bewig (v.) Look up bewig at
1714, from be- + wig (n.). Related: Bewigged; bewigging.
bewilder (v.) Look up bewilder at
1680s, from be- "thoroughly" + archaic wilder "lead astray, lure into the wilds," probably a back-formation from wilderness. An earlier word with the same sense was bewhape (early 14c.). Related: Bewildered; bewildering; bewilderingly.
bewildered (adj.) Look up bewildered at
1680s, past participle adjective from bewilder (q.v.).
bewilderment (n.) Look up bewilderment at
1789, "condition of being bewildered," from bewilder + -ment; meaning "thing or situation which bewilders" is from 1840.
bewitch (v.) Look up bewitch at
c. 1200, biwicchen, "cast a spell on; enchant, bewitch," from be- + Old English wiccian "to enchant, to practice witchcraft" (see witch). Literal at first, figurative sense of "to fascinate" is from 1520s. *Bewiccian may well have existed in Old English, but it is not attested. Related: Bewitched; bewitching; bewitchingly.
bewitched (adj.) Look up bewitched at
late 14c. in the literal sense, past participle adjective from bewitch; figurative use from 1570s.
bewray (v.) Look up bewray at
early 13c., "to inform against;" mid-13c., "to speak ill of," biwreien from be- + Middle English wreien. "betray," from Old English wregan. Sense of "to reveal, expose" is from late 14c. "Probably more or less of a conscious archaism since the 17th c." [OED] Related: Bewrayed; bewraying.
bey (n.) Look up bey at
"governor of a Turkish district," 1590s, from Turkish bey, a title of honor, the Osmanli equivalent of Turkish beg.
beyond (prep.) Look up beyond at
Old English begeondan "beyond, from the farther side," from be- "by," here probably indicating position, + geond "yonder" (prep.); see yond. A compound not found elsewhere in Germanic.
bezant (n.) Look up bezant at
gold coin, c. 1200, from Old French besant (12c.), from Latin byzantius, short for Byzantius nummus "coin of Byzantium."
bezel (n.) Look up bezel at
1610s, "sloping edge," also "groove in which a stone is set," from Old French *besel (13c.; Modern French biseau), cognate with Spanish bisel; of uncertain origin, perhaps literally "a stone with two angles," from Vulgar Latin *bis-alus, from bis- "twice" (see bis-) + ala "wing, side" (see alar). Meaning "oblique face of a gem" is from c. 1840. The verb meaning "grind (a tool) down to an edge" is from 1670s.
bezique (n.) Look up bezique at
card game, 1861, from French bézigue (19c.), which is of unknown origin.
bezoar (n.) Look up bezoar at
late 15c., ultimately from Arabic bazahr, from Persian pad-zahr "counter-poison," from pad "protecting, guardian, master" (from Iranian *patar-, source also of Avestan patar-, from PIE *pa-tor-, from root *pa- "to protect, feed;" see food) + zahr "poison" (from Old Iranian *jathra, from PIE *gwhn-tro-, from root *gwhen- "to strike, kill;" see bane). Originally "antidote," later specifically in reference to a concoction from solid matter found in the stomachs and intestines of ruminants, which was held to have antidotal qualities (1570s).
Bhagavad-Gita (n.) Look up Bhagavad-Gita at
dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna inserted in Mahabharata, from Sanskrit, "Song of the Sublime One," from Bhaga, a god of wealth, from Sanskrit bhagah, literally "allotter, distributor, master, lord," from bhajati "assigns, allots, apportions, enjoys, loves" (related to Avestan baga, Old Persian baga "master, lord, god") + gita "song," fem. past participle of gayate "sings, calls," from PIE root *gei- "to sing" (source also of Avestan gatha "song," Lithuanian giedoti "to sing").
bhang (n.) Look up bhang at
1590s, from Hindi bhang "narcotic from hemp," from Sanskrit bhangah "hemp." Perhaps cognate with Russian penika "hemp." The word first appears in Western Europe in Portuguese (1560s).
bi (adj.) Look up bi at
1956 as a colloquial abbreviation of bisexual.
bi- Look up bi- at
word-forming element meaning "two, twice, double, doubly, once every two," etc., from Latin bi- "twice, double," from Old Latin dvi- (cognate with Sanskrit dvi-, Greek di-, Old English twi- "twice, double"), from PIE root *dwo- "two." Nativized from 16c. Occasionally bin- before vowels; this form originated in French, not Latin, and might be partly based on or influenced by Latin bini "twofold" (see binary).
bialy (n.) Look up bialy at
bagel with onion flakes sprinkled on it, by 1936, ultimately short for Białystok, city in modern Poland. The city name is literally "white river," from Polish biały "white" + stok "river" (the Bialy River flows through the region).
Bianca Look up Bianca at
fem. proper name, from Italian, literally fem. of bianco "white" (see blank (adj.)). A doublet of French Blanche.
biangular (adj.) Look up biangular at
also bi-angular, by 1770; see bi- + angular.
biannual (adj.) Look up biannual at
also bi-annual; "occurring every six months, twice a year," 1837, from bi- + annual. Related: Biannually; bi-annually.
bias (n.) Look up bias at
1520s, from French biais "slant, slope, oblique," also figuratively, "expedient, means" (13c., originally in Old French a past participle adjective, "sideways, askance, against the grain"), which is of unknown origin, probably from Old Provençal biais, with cognates in Old Catalan and Sardinian; possibly from Vulgar Latin *(e)bigassius, from Greek epikarsios "athwart, crosswise, at an angle," from epi- "upon" + karsios "oblique," from PIE *krs-yo-, from root *(s)ker- (1) "to cut" (see shear (v.)). It became a noun in Old French. "[A] technical term in the game of bowls, whence come all the later uses of the word" [OED]. Transferred sense of "predisposition, prejudice" is from 1570s in English.
For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections colour and infect the understanding. [Francis Bacon, "Novum Organum," 1620]
bias (v.) Look up bias at
1620s, literal and figurative, from bias (n.). Related: Biased; biasing.
biased (adj.) Look up biased at
1610s in reference to bowling, 1660s in reference to persons; past participle adjective from bias (v.).
biathlon (n.) Look up biathlon at
1956, from bi- + Greek athlon, literally "contest," but in this case abstracted from pentathlon.
biaxial (adj.) Look up biaxial at
also bi-axial, 1833; see bi- + axial.
bib (n.) Look up bib at
linen worn over the breast while eating, 1570s, from verb bibben "to drink" (late 14c.), imitative of lip sounds, or else from Latin bibere (see imbibe), but difficult now to say whether this is because it was worn while drinking or because it "soaked up" spills.
bibber (n.) Look up bibber at
"drinker, tippler," 1530s, from Middle English bib (v.) "to drink heartily" (see bib (n.)).
bibelot (n.) Look up bibelot at
"small curio," 1873, from French bibelot "knick-knack," from Old French beubelet "trinket, jewel" (12c.), from belbel "plaything," a reduplication of bel "pretty."
bibitory (adj.) Look up bibitory at
"pertaining to drinking," 1690s, from Modern Latin bibitorius, from Late Latin bibitor "drinker, toper," from bibere "to drink" (see imbibe).
Bible (n.) Look up Bible at
early 14c., from Anglo-Latin biblia, Old French bible (13c.) "the Bible," also any large book generally, from Medieval and Late Latin biblia "the Bible" (neuter plural interpreted as feminine singular), from phrase biblia sacra "holy books," a translation of Greek ta biblia to hagia "the holy books." The Latin word is from Greek biblion "paper, scroll," the ordinary word for "book," originally a diminutive of byblos "Egyptian papyrus."

The Greek word perhaps is from Byblos, the name of the Phoenician port from which Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece (modern Jebeil, in Lebanon; compare parchment). Or the place name might be from the Greek word, which then would be probably of Egyptian origin. The Christian scripture was referred to in Greek as Ta Biblia as early as c. 223. Bible replaced Old English biblioðece (see bibliothek) as the ordinary word for "the Scriptures." Figurative sense of "any authoritative book" is from 1804. Bible-thumper "strict Christian" is from 1870. Bible belt in reference to the swath of the U.S. South then dominated by fundamentalist Christians is from 1926; likely coined by H.L. Mencken in the "American Mercury."
Walter Scott and Pope's Homer were reading of my own election, but my mother forced me, by steady daily toil, to learn long chapters of the Bible by heart; as well as to read it every syllable through, aloud, hard names and all, from Genesis to the Apocalypse, about once a year; and to that discipline -- patient, accurate, and resolute -- I owe, not only a knowledge of the book, which I find occasionally serviceable, but much of my general power of taking pains, and the best part of my taste in literature. ... [O]nce knowing the 32nd of Deuteronomy, the 119th Psalm, the 15th of 1st Corinthians, the Sermon on the Mount, and most of the Apocalypse, every syllable by heart, and having always a way of thinking with myself what words meant, it was not possible for me, even in the foolishest times of youth, to write entirely superficial or formal English .... [John Ruskin, "Fors Clavigera," 1871]
biblical (adj.) Look up biblical at
1790, from Bible + -ical. Related: Biblically. Earlier adjective was Biblic (1680s).
biblico- Look up biblico- at
word-forming element meaning "biblical," from comb. form of Medieval Latin biblicus, from biblia (see bible).
biblio- Look up biblio- at
word-forming element meaning "book" or sometimes "Bible," from Greek biblio-, from biblion "book" (see Bible).
bibliographer (n.) Look up bibliographer at
1650s, from Greek bibliographos "writer of books, transcriber, copyist," related to bibliographia (see bibliography).
bibliographical (adj.) Look up bibliographical at
1670s; see bibliography + -ical.
bibliography (n.) Look up bibliography at
1670s, "the writing of books," from Greek bibliographia "the writing of books," from biblio- + graphos "(something) drawn or written" (see -graphy). Sense of "a list of books that form the literature of a subject" is first attested 1869. Related: Bibliographic.
biblioklept (n.) Look up biblioklept at
1881, from biblio- + Greek kleptes "thief" (see kleptomania). Walsh calls it "a modern euphemism which softens the ugly word book-thief by shrouding it in the mystery of the Greek language."
bibliolator (n.) Look up bibliolator at
1820, perhaps first in Coleridge, from bibliolatry (q.v.).
bibliolatry (n.) Look up bibliolatry at
1763, "worship of books," from biblio- + -latry. Meaning "worship of the Bible" is from 1847.
bibliomancy (n.) Look up bibliomancy at
1753, "divination by opening a book (especially the Bible) at random," the first verse presenting itself being taken as a prognostication of future events, from biblio- + -mancy. In pagan times, Homer (sortes Homericae) and Virgil (sortes Virgilianae) were used.
bibliomania (n.) Look up bibliomania at
1734, after French bibliomanie, from biblio- + mania.
bibliomaniac (n.) Look up bibliomaniac at
1816; see bibliomania.
A bibliomaniac must be carefully distinguished from a bibliophile. The latter has not yet freed himself from the idea that books are meant to be read. [Walsh]
bibliophile (n.) Look up bibliophile at
also bibliophil, 1824, from French bibliophile, from biblio- + -phile.