[13] Like art, arm, and arthritis, article goes back to an Indo-European root *ar-, which meant ‘put things together, join, fit’. Amongst its derivatives was Latin artus ‘joint’ (a form parallel to Greek árthron, source of arthritis), of which the diminutive was articulus ‘small joint’. This was extended metaphorically to mean ‘division, part’, and when the word first entered English, via Old French article, it was used for a particular clause of a treaty, of a contract, or specifically of the Creed. Its application to an ‘item, thing’ is a comparatively late development, from the start of the 19th century. A Latin derivative of articulus, the verb articulāre ‘divide into joints’, hence ‘speak distinctly’, gave rise to English articulate [16]. => ARM, ART, ARTHRITIS

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

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