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Etymological Dictionary of Arabic

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Click to Expand/Collapse OptionEtymArab
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ʔaṯīr أثير
ID ... • Sw – • BP – • APD ... • Aut SG
ʔṮR
n.
ether – WehrCowan1979.
From Grk aithḗr ‘upper air; bright, purer air; the sky’. – »In ancient cosmology, the element that filled all space beyond the sphere of the moon, constituting the substance of the stars and planets. Conceived of as a purer form of fire or air, or as a fifth element. From 17c.-19c., it was the scientific word for an assumed ‘frame of reference’ for forces in the universe, perhaps without material properties. The concept was shaken by the Michelson-Morley experiment (1887) and discarded after the Theory of Relativity won acceptance, but before it went it gave rise to the colloquial use of ether for ‘the radio’ (1899). – The name also was bestowed c.1730 (Frobenius; in English by 1757) on a volatile chemical compound known since 14c. for its lightness and lack of color (its anesthetic properties weren’t fully established until 1842).« – etymonline, s.v. »ether«.
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From Grk aithḗr ‘upper air; bright, purer air; the sky’., from aíthein ‘to burn, shine’ < PIE √*aidh‑ ‘to burn’ (cf. edifice ).
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