- macabre[macabre 词源字典]
- macabre:  Macabre is now used generally for ‘ghastly’, but that is a late 19th-century development. It originated in the very specific phrase dance macabre, which denoted a dance in which a figure representing death enticed people to dance with him until they dropped down dead. This was borrowed from French danse macabre, which was probably an alteration of an earlier danse Macabé. This in turn was a translation of medieval Latin chorea Machabaeorum ‘dance of the Maccabees’, which is thought originally to have referred to a stylized representation of the slaughter of the Maccabees (a Jewish dynasty of biblical times) in a medieval miracle play.
[macabre etymology, macabre origin, 英语词源]
- macaroni:  Macaroni was the earliest of the Italian pasta terms to be borrowed into English, and so it now differs more than any other from its original. When English acquired it, the Italian word was maccaroni (it came ultimately from late Greek makaría ‘food made from barley’), but now it has become maccheroni. The colloquial 18th-century application of macaroni to a ‘dandy’ is thought to have been an allusion to such people’s supposed liking for foreign food.
And the derivative macaronic , used for a sort of verse in which Latin words are mixed in with vernacular ones for comic effect, was originally coined in Italian, comparing the verse’s crude mixture of languages with the homely hotchpotch of a macaroni dish. Macaroon  comes from macaron, the French descendant of Italian maccaroni.
- machine:  The ultimate source of both machine and mechanic  was makhos, a Greek word meaning ‘contrivance, means’, and related distantly to English may ‘be able’ and might. From it was derived mēkhané, whose Doric dialect form mākhaná passed into Latin as māchina ‘engine, contrivance’. English acquired the word via Old French machine. Meanwhile mēkhané had spawned an adjectival derivative mēkhanikós, which was in due course to find its way into English through Latin mēchanicus.
- macho: see male
- mackintosh:  The rubberized material from which this waterproof coat was originally made was invented in the early 1820s by the British chemist Charles Macintosh (1766–1843). His name (misspelled with a k) is first recorded as being applied to the coat in 1836. The abbreviated form mac (or occasionally mack) dates from around the turn of the 20th century.
- mad:  The underlying etymological meaning of mad is ‘changed’. It goes back ultimately to Indo-European *moitó-, a past participial form based on *moi-, *mei-, ‘change’ (source also of Latin mūtāre ‘change’, from which English gets mutate). Prehistoric Germanic inherited it, adding the collective prefix *ga- to form *gamaithaz, which passed into Old English as gemād ‘insane’. From this was derived the verb gemǣdan ‘madden’, whose past participle gemǣded eventually became a new adjective gemǣdd. By the Middle English period this had become amadd, and the reduced prefix aeventually disappeared, leaving mad.
- madrigal:  Etymologically, madrigal denotes a ‘simple song, such as might just have sprung from the mother’s womb’. It comes ultimately from medieval Latin mātricālis ‘simple, primitive’, a derivative of Latin mātrix ‘womb’. (And mātrix itself, source of English matrix  and matriculate  – etymologically ‘put on a list’, from a later metaphorical use of the Latin noun for ‘list’ – was a derivative of māter ‘mother’.) Mātricālis passed into Italian as madrigale, where it was used as a noun for a ‘simple unaccompanied song’.
=> matriculate, matrix
- maenad: see mania
- magazine:  The original meaning of magazine, now disused, was ‘storehouse’. The word comes, via French magasin and Italian magazzino, from Arabic makhāzin, the plural of makhzan ‘store-house’ (a derivative of the verb khazana ‘store’). It was soon applied specifically to a ‘store for arms’, and the modern sense ‘journal’, first recorded in the early 18th century, goes back to a 17th-century metaphorical application to a ‘storehouse of information’.
- maggot: see mawkish
- magic:  Greek mágos, a word of Persian origin, meant ‘sorcerer’ (Latin borrowed it as magus, whose plural magi is used in English for the three ‘Wise Men’ who visited the infant Christ). From mágos was derived the adjective magikós. Its use in the phrase magiké tékhnē ‘sorcerer’s art’ led eventually to magiké itself being regarded as a noun, and it passed into English via late Latin magica and Old French magique.
- magistrate:  By far the most widely used contributions of Latin magister ‘master’ to English are the heavily disguised master and mister, but more obvious derivatives have made the trip too. The late Latin adjective magisterius ‘of a master’, modified through medieval Latin magisteriālis, has given us magisterial ; and magistrātus, source of English magistrate, denoted a ‘state official’ in ancient Rome.
=> master, mister
- magma: see make
- magnanimous: see magnitude
- magnate: see magnitude
- magnet:  Greek Mágnēs líthos meant ‘stone from Magnesia’ – Magnesia being a region of Thessaly, Greece where much metal was obtained. It had two specific applications: to ore with magnetic properties, and to stone with a metallic sheen. And it was the first of these that has come down to English via Latin magnēta as magnet. English magnesia  comes from the same source, but it is not clear how it came to be applied (in the 18th century) to ‘magnesium oxide’, for it originally denoted, in the rather vague terminology of the alchemists, a ‘constituent of the philosopher’s stone’.
In the 17th century it was used for ‘manganese’ (and manganese  itself comes via French from Italian manganese, an alteration of medieval Latin magnēsia). And when the term magnesium  was introduced (at the suggestion of the chemist Sir Humphry Davy), it too at first denoted ‘manganese’.
=> magnesium, manganese
- magnitude:  Magnitude is one of a large family of words for which English is indebted to Latin magnus ‘large’. This goes back to an Indo- European *meg- or *megh-, source also of Greek mégas ‘large’ (from which English gets the prefix mega-) and prehistoric Germanic *mikil-, ancestor of English much. Apart from magnitude, English descendants of magnus include magnanimous  (etymologically ‘large-minded’), magnate  (a ‘large’ or ‘important’ person), magnificat  (from the first words of Luke 1:46, Magnificat anima mea dominum ‘My soul doth magnify the lord’, where magnificat is the 3rd person present singular of Latin magnificāre, a derivative of magnus and source of English magnify ), magnificent  (etymologically ‘doing great deeds’), and magnum  (the application to a double-sized wine bottle is a modern one).
In addition maxim and maximum come from the superlative of magnus and major and mayor from its comparative, and master and the monthname May could also be related.
=> magnum, major, maxim, mayor, much
- magpie:  The original name of the magpie was simply pie, which came via Old French from Latin pīca. This is thought to go back ultimately to Indo-European *spi- or *pi-, denoting ‘pointedness’, in reference to its beak (the Latin masculine form, pīcus, was applied to a ‘woodpecker’). Pie arrived in English as long ago as the 13th century, but not until the 16th century do we begin to find pet-forms of the name Margaret applied to it (one of the earliest was maggot-pie).
By the 17th century magpie had become the institutionalized form. Some etymologists consider that the term for the edible pie comes from the bird’s name, based on a comparison of the miscellaneous contents of pies with the board of assorted stolen treasures supposedly accumulated by the magpie.
- maharajah: see raj
- maiden: [OE] Maiden goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *magadiz ‘young (sexually inexperienced) woman’, which is also the source of German mädchen ‘girl’. Its diminutive form, *magadīnam, passed into Old English as mægden, the antecedent of modern English maiden. Maid is a 12th-century abbreviation.