You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Middle French’ tag.

Moving or going backwards; reverting to a previous state. Middle French “retrograde”=in astronomy, to appear to move east-west in the sky < Latin “retrogradus” < “retro”=backwards + “gradus”=step.


The act of washing oneself; ceremonial washing as part of a religious rite. Middle French “ablucion” < Latin “abluere”=to wash off < “ab-“=away + “lavere”=to wash.

Pay someone for trouble that you have caused them, or reward someone for their help. Anglo-Norman/Middle French “recompenser”=to make up for < Latin “re-“=again” + “compensere”=to weigh one thing against another < “pendere”=to weigh, hang, balance.

To treat someone badly over a period of time, especially because of their religious or political beliefs. Middle French “persecuter” < Latin “persecutare” < to harass, chase < “per”=through + “sequi”=to follow.

Someone excessively focused on minor details or rules, or with displaying academic learning. Middle French “pedante”=teacher < Latin “pedagogus”=teacher < Greek “paidagogus”=slave who took children to school < “pais”=child + “agein”=to lead.

To completely destroy a building, belief, or idea. Middle French “demolir” < Latin “demoliri”=to pull down < “de-“=indicating reversal/opposite + “moliri”=to build.

The official residence of a diplomatic minister in a foreign country or a diplomatic envoy. Middle English “legacyoun” < Middle French “legacion” < Latin “legatio”=the sending of a deputation < “legare”=to bequeth.

The jaw bone of an animal or fish, especially the lower jaw. Middle French “mandibule” < Latin “mandibula” < from “mandere”=to chew.

To win against opposition and be successful, especially after long struggle. Middle French “prĂ©valoir” < Latin “praevalere”= to have superior force, weight, or influence < “prae”=before + “valere”=to have power.

A potion, drug, or charm supposed to be capable of exciting sexual attraction or love towards a particular person. Middle French “philtre” < Latin “philtrum”=love potion < Greek “filtron” < “filein”=to love + “-tron”=noun-forming suffix.

Using the site

Use the Search box below to look for a specific word. Use the A-Z tab to browse pages of words.
Follow Tweetionary: An Etymology Dictionary on