Claire Vision

VALIS (acronym of Vast Active Living Intelligence System from an American film): A perturbation in the reality field in which a spontaneous self-monitoring negentropic vortex is formed, tending progressively to subsume and incorporate its environment into arrangements of information. Characterized by quasi-consciousness, purpose, intelligence, growth and an armillary coherence.

-Great Soviet Dictionary, Sixth Edition, 1992

-VALIS (1981) by Philip K. Dick

Claire

fem. proper name, from French claire, fem. of clair literally “light, bright,” from Latin clarus “clear, bright, distinct” (see clear (adj.); also compare Clara).

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clairvoyant (adj.)

“having psychic gifts, characterized by powers of clairvoyance,” 1837, earlier “having insight” (1670s), from special use of French clairvoyant “clear-sighted, discerning, judicious” (13c.), from clair (see clear (adj.)) + voyant “seeing,” present participle of voir, from Latin videre “to see” (from PIE root *weid- “to see”). Related: Clairvoyantly.

clear (adj.)

c. 1300, “giving light, shining, luminous;” also “not turbid; transparent, allowing light to pass through; free from impurities; morally pure, guiltless, innocent;” of colors, “bright, pure;” of weather or the sky or sea, “not stormy; mild, fair, not overcast, fully light, free from darkness or clouds;” of the eyes or vision, “clear, keen;” of the voice or sound, “plainly audible, distinct, resonant;” of the mind, “keen-witted, perspicacious;” of words or speech, “readily understood, manifest to the mind, lucid” (an Old English word for this was sweotol “distinct, clear, evident”); of land, “cleared, leveled;” from Old French cler “clear” (of sight and hearing), “light, bright, shining; sparse” (12c., Modern French clair), from Latin clarus “clear, loud,” of sounds; figuratively “manifest, plain, evident,” in transferred use, of sights, “bright, distinct;” also “illustrious, famous, glorious” (source of Italian chiaro, Spanish claro), from PIE *kle-ro-, from root *kele- (2) “to shout.”

The prehistoric sense evolution to light and color involves an identification of the spreading of sound and the spreading of light (compare English loud, used of colors; German hell “clear, bright, shining,” of pitch, “distinct, ringing, high”).

Also in Middle English “beautiful, magnificent, excellent” (c. 1300); of possession or title, “unrestricted, unconditional, absolute,” early 15c. Of complexion, from c. 1300. Sense of “free from encumbrance,” later largely nautical, developed c. 1500. Meaning “obvious to the senses” is from 1835. Clear-sighted is from 1580s (clear-eyed is from 1520s); clear-headed is from 1709. For coast is clear see clear (v.).

Ra

“hawk-headed sovereign sun god of Egyptian mythology,” from Egyptian R’ “sun, day.”

ray (n.1)

“beam of light,” c. 1300, from Old French rai (nominative rais) “ray (of the sun), spoke (of a wheel); gush, spurt,” from Latin radius “ray, spoke, staff, rod” (see radius). Not common before 17c. [OED]; of the sun, usually in reference to heat (beam being preferred for light). Science fiction ray-gun is first recorded 1931 (but the Martians had a heat ray weapon in H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds,” 1898).

radioactive (adj.)

1898, from French radio-actif, coined by Pierre and Marie Curie from radio-, combining form of Latin radius (see radiation) + actif “active” (see active).

Clara

fem. personal name, from Latin Clara, fem. of clarus “bright, shining, clear” (see clear (adj.) and compare Claire). Derivatives include ClarisseClariceClarabelClaribel. The native form Clare was common in medieval England, perhaps owing to the popularity of St. Clare of Assisi.

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Clarisse

fem. proper name, often a diminutive of Clara and its relatives. Also, “a nun of the order of St. Clare” (1790s); the Franciscan order also known as the Poor Clares (c. 1600).

illuminati (n.)

1590s, plural of Latin illuminatus “enlightened” (in figurative sense), past participle of illuminare “light up, make light, illuminate” (see illumination). Originally a name applied to a 16c. Spanish sect (the Alumbrados), then to other sects on the continent; since 1797 used as a translation of German Illuminaten, name of a secret society founded 1776 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, (repressed there 1785) and holding deistic and republican principles; hence used generally of free-thinkers and sarcastically of those professing intellectual enlightenment (1816). Related: Illuminatismilluminatist.

*kele- (2)

*kelə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to shout.” Perhaps imitative.

It forms all or part of: acclaimacclamationAufklarungcalendarchiaroscuroclaimClaireclairvoyanceclairvoyantclamorClaraclaretclarifyclarinetclarionclarityclassclearcledonismconciliateconciliationcouncildeclaimdeclaredisclaimecclesiasticeclairexclaimglairhale (v.); halyardintercalatehaulkeelhaullow (v.); nomenclatureparacleteproclaimreclaimreconcile.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit usakala “cock,” literally “dawn-calling;” Latin calare “to announce solemnly, call out,” clamare “to cry out, shout, proclaim;” Middle Irish cailech “cock;” Greek kalein “to call,” kelados “noise,” kledon “report, fame;” Old High German halan “to call;” Old English hlowan “to low, make a noise like a cow;” Lithuanian kalba “language.”

declare (v.)

mid-14c., declaren, “explain, interpret, make clear;” late 14c., “make known by words, state explicitly, proclaim, announce,” from Old French declarer “explain, elucidate,” or directly from Latin declarare “make clear, reveal, disclose, announce,” from de-, here probably an intensive prefix (see de-) + clarare “to clarify,” from clarus “clear” (see clear (adj.)).

From mid-15c. as “assert, affirm.” Intransitive sense “make known one’s thoughts or intentions” is by 1840. Related: Declareddeclaring.

vision (n.)

c. 1300, “something seen in the imagination or in the supernatural,” from Anglo-French visioun, Old French vision “presence, sight; view, look, appearance; dream, supernatural sight” (12c.), from Latin visionem (nominative visio) “act of seeing, sight, thing seen,” noun of action from past participle stem of videre “to see,” from PIE root *weid- “to see.” The meaning “sense of sight” is first recorded late 15c. Meaning “statesman-like foresight, political sagacity” is attested from 1926.

Aaron

masc. proper name, in the Old Testament the brother of Moses, from Hebrew Aharon, which is said to be probably of Egyptian origin. The Arabic form is Harun. Related: AaronicAaron’s beard as a popular name for various plants (including St. John’s wort and a kind of dwarf evergreen) deemed to look hairy in some way is from 1540s. Aaron’s rod is from 1834 in botany, 1849 in ornamentation; the reference is biblical (Exodus vii.19, etc.).

division (n.)

late 14c., divisioun, “act of separating into parts, portions, or shares; a part separated or distinguished from the rest; state of being at variance in sentiment or interest,” from Old French division and directly from Latin divisionem (nominative divisio), noun of action from past-participle stem of dividere “to divide” (see divide (v.)).

Military sense “portion of an army, fleet, or ship’s company” is from 1590s. Mathematical sense of “operation inverse to multiplication” is from late 14c. The mathematical division sign supposedly was invented by British mathematician John Pell (1611-1685) who taught at Cambridge and Amsterdam.

irony (n.)

“figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the opposite of the literal meaning” (usually covert sarcasm under a serious or friendly pretense), c. 1500, from Latin ironia, from Greek eironeia “dissimulation, assumed ignorance,” from eiron “dissembler,” perhaps related to eirein “to speak,” from PIE *wer-yo-, suffixed form of root *were- (3) “to speak” (see verb). Used in Greek of affected ignorance, especially that of Socrates, as a method of exposing an antagonist’s ignorance by pretending to modestly seek information or instruction from him. Thus sometimes in English in the sense “simulated ignorance.”

For nuances of usage, see humor (n.). In early use often ironia. Figurative use for “condition opposite to what might be expected; contradictory circumstances; apparent mockery of natural or expected consequences” is from 1640s, sometimes distinguished as irony of fate or irony of circumstances. Related: Ironist. A verb ironize “speak ironically” is recorded from c. 1600.

diabolic (adj.)

late 14c., deabolik, “pertaining to the Devil; outrageously wicked, infernal,” from Old French diabolique (13c.), from Late Latin diabolicus, from Ecclesiastical Greek diabolikos “devilish,” from diabolos “the Devil, Satan” (see devil (n.)).

Aryan

c. 1600, as a term in classical history, from Latin ArianusAriana, from Greek AriaAreia, names applied in classical times to the eastern part of ancient Persia and to its inhabitants. Ancient Persians used the name in reference to themselves (Old Persian ariya-), hence Iran. Ultimately from Sanskrit arya- “compatriot;” in later language “noble, of good family.”

Also the name Sanskrit-speaking invaders of India gave themselves in the ancient texts. Thus it was the word early 19c. European philologists (Friedrich Schlegel, 1819, who linked it with German Ehre “honor”) applied to the ancient people we now call Indo-Europeans, suspecting that this is what they called themselves. This use is attested in English from 1851. In German from 1845 it was specifically contrasted to Semitic (Lassen).

German philologist Max Müller (1823-1900) popularized Aryan in his writings on comparative linguistics, recommending it as the name (replacing Indo-EuropeanIndo-GermanicCaucasianJaphetic) for the group of related, inflected languages connected with these peoples, mostly found in Europe but also including Sanskrit and Persian. The spelling Arian was used in this sense from 1839 (and is more philologically correct), but it caused confusion with Arian, the term in ecclesiastical history.

The terms for God, for house, for father, mother, son, daughter, for dog and cow, for heart and tears, for axe and tree, identical in all the Indo-European idioms, are like the watchwords of soldiers. We challenge the seeming stranger; and whether he answer with the lips of a Greek, a German, or an Indian, we recognize him as one of ourselves. [Müller, “History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature,” 1859]

Aryan was gradually replaced in comparative linguistics c. 1900 by Indo-European, except when used to distinguish Indo-European languages of India from non-Indo-European ones. From the 1920s Aryan began to be used in Nazi ideology to mean “member of a Caucasian Gentile race of Nordic type.” As an ethnic designation, however, it is properly limited to Indo-Iranians (most justly to the latter) and has fallen from general academic use since the Nazis adopted it.

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demon (n.)

c. 1200, “an evil spirit, malignant supernatural being, an incubus, a devil,” from Latin daemon “spirit,” from Greek daimōn “deity, divine power; lesser god; guiding spirit, tutelary deity” (sometimes including souls of the dead); “one’s genius, lot, or fortune;” from PIE *dai-mon- “divider, provider” (of fortunes or destinies), from root *da- “to divide.”

The malignant sense is because the Greek word was used (with daimonion) in Christian Greek translations and the Vulgate for “god of the heathen, heathen idol” and also for “unclean spirit.” Jewish authors earlier had employed the Greek word in this sense, using it to render shedim “lords, idols” in the Septuagint, and Matthew viii.31 has daimones, translated as deofol in Old English, feend or deuil in Middle English. Another Old English word for this was hellcniht, literally “hell-knight.”

The usual ancient Greek sense, “supernatural agent or intelligence lower than a god, ministering spirit” is attested in English from 1560s and is sometimes written daemon or daimon for purposes of distinction. Meaning “destructive or hideous person” is from 1610s; as “an evil agency personified” (rum, etc.) from 1712.

The Demon of Socrates (late 14c. in English) was a daimonion, a “divine principle or inward oracle.” His accusers, and later the Church Fathers, however, represented this otherwise. The Demon Star (1895) is Algol (q.v.) .

orient (n.)

late 14c., “the direction east; the part of the horizon where the sun first appears,” also (now with capital O-) “the eastern regions of the world, eastern countries” (originally vaguely meaning the region east and south of Europe, what is now called the Middle East but also sometimes Egypt and India), from Old French orient “east” (11c.), from Latin orientem (nominative oriens) “the rising sun, the east, part of the sky where the sun rises,” originally “rising” (adj.), present participle of oriri “to rise” (see origin).

Meaning “a pearl of the first water” is by 1831, short for pearl of the Orient (late 14c.) originally meaning one from the Indian seas. Hence also the meaning “a delicate iridescence, the peculiar luster of a fine pearl” (1755). The Orient Express was a train that ran from Paris to Istanbul via Vienna 1883-1961, from the start it was associated with espionage and intrigue.

ratio (n.)

1630s, “reason, rationale,” from Latin ratio “reckoning, numbering, calculation; business affair, procedure,” also “reason, reasoning, judgment, understanding,” from rat-, past participle stem of reri “to reckon, calculate,” also “think” (from PIE root *re- “to reason, count”). Mathematical sense “relationship between two numbers” is attested from 1650s.

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Arian (adj.)

late 14c., Arrian, “adhering to the doctrines of Arius,” from Late Latin Arianus, “pertaining to the doctrines of Arius,” priest in Alexandria early 4c., who posed the question of Christ’s nature in terms which appeared to debase the Savior’s relation to God (denial of consubstantiation). Besides taking an abstract view of Christ’s nature, he reaffirmed man’s capacity for perfection. The doctrines were condemned at Nice, 325, but the dissension was widespread and split the Church for about a century during the crucial time of barbarian conversions. The name is Greek, literally “warlike, of Ares.”

luna (n.)

late 14c. “the moon,” especially as personified in a Roman goddess answering to Greek Selene; also an alchemical name for “silver;” from Latin luna “moon, goddess of the moon,” from PIE *leuksna- (source also of Old Church Slavonic luna “moon,” Old Prussian lauxnos “stars,” Middle Irish luan “light, moon”), suffixed form of root *leuk- “light, brightness.” The luna moth (1841, American English) so called for the crescent-shaped eye-spots on its wings.

Diana

c. 1200, ancient Italian goddess of the moon, patroness of virginity and hunting, later identified with Greek Artemis, and through her with eastern goddesses such as Diana of Ephesus. From Late Latin Diana, on Old Latin Jana. The name is explained as *Diwjana, from *diw-yo-, from PIE root *dyeu- “to shine,” in derivatives “sky, heaven, god,” in reference to the shining moon, or from dius “godly.”

clair-de-lune (n.)

“soft white or pale blue-gray color,” 1877, French, literally “moonlight,” also used as “color of moonlight.” See clear (adj.) + luna. Debussy’s famous passage of that name (1890) was inspired by Verlaine’s poem (1869).

density (n.)

c. 1600, “quality of being very close or compact,” from French densité (16c.), from Old French dempsité (13c.), from Latin densitas “thickness,” from densus “thick, dense” (see dense). In physics, “the mass of matter per unit of bulk,” 1660s.

Clarence

surname, from Medieval Latin Clarencia, name of dukedom created 1362 for Lionel, third son of Edward III, so called from the town of Clare, Suffolk, whose heiress Lionel married. Used as a masc. proper name from late 19c. As a type of four-wheeled closed carriage, named for the Duke of Clarence, later William IV.

destiny (n.)

mid-14c., “fate, over-ruling necessity, the irresistible tendency of certain events to come about; inexorable force that shapes and controls lives and events;” also “that which is predetermined and sure to come true,” from Old French destinée “purpose, intent, fate, destiny; that which is destined” (12c.), noun use of fem. past participle of destiner, from Latin destinare “make firm, establish” (see destination).

The sense is of “that which has been firmly established,” as by fate. Especially “what is to befall any person or thing in the future” (mid-15c.). In Greek and Roman mythology, personified as the three Fates or powers supposed to preside over human life.

clay (n.)

Old English clæg “stiff, sticky earth; clay,” from Proto-Germanic *klaijaz (source also of Old High German kliwa “bran,” German Kleie, Old Frisian klai, Old Saxon klei, Middle Dutch clei, Danish klæg “clay;” also Old English clæman, Old Norse kleima, Old High German kleiman “to cover with clay”).

Some sources see these as being from a common PIE root meaning “slime; glue” also forming words for “clay” and verbs for “stick together.” Compared words include Latin gluten “glue, beeswax;” Greek gloios “sticky matter;” Lithuanian glitus “sticky,” glitas “mucus;” Old Church Slavonic glina “clay,” glenu “slime, mucus;” Old Irish glenim “I cleave, adhere;” Old English cliða “plaster.” But Beekes writes that “Not all comparisons are convincing,” and notes that most words cited are from Balto-Slavic or Germanic, “which suggests European substrate origin.”

In Scripture, the stuff from which the body of the first man was formed; hence “human body” (especially when dead). As an adjective, “formed of clay,” 1520s. Clay-pigeon “saucer of baked clay used as a flying target in trap-shooting,” in place of live birds, is from 1881. Feet of clay “fundamental weakness” is from Daniel ii.33.

Dis

Roman underworld god, from Latin Dis, contracted from dives “rich,” which is related to divus “divine, god” (from PIE root *dyeu- “to shine,” in derivatives “sky, heaven, god”), hence “favored by god.” Compare Pluto and Old Church Slavonic bogatu “rich,” from bogu “god.”

dis (v.)

also diss, slang, by 1980, shortening of disrespect or dismiss, originally in African-American vernacular, popularized by hip hop. Related: Disseddissing. Earlier it was short for distribute in late 19c. printers’ slang and for disconnected in the telephone-line sense, and in this sense it was given a slang figurative extension as “weak in the head” (1925).

claim (v.)

c. 1300, “to call, call out; to ask or demand by virtue of right or authority,” from accented stem of Old French clamer “to call, name, describe; claim; complain; declare,” from Latin clamare “to cry out, shout, proclaim,” from PIE root *kele- (2) “to shout.” Related: Claimedclaiming.

Meaning “to maintain as true, assert a belief or opinion” is from 1864 (“A common use, regarded by many as inelegant” – Century Dictionary, 1895); claim properly should not stray too far from its true meaning of “to demand recognition of a right.” Specific sense “to make a claim” (on an insurance company) is from 1897.

tort (n.)

mid-13c., “injury, wrong,” from Old French tort “wrong, injustice, crime” (11c.), from Medieval Latin tortum “injustice,” noun use of neuter of tortus “wrung, twisted,” past participle of Latin torquere “turn, turn awry, twist, wring, distort” (from PIE root *terkw- “to twist”). Legal sense of “breach of a duty, whereby someone acquires a right of action for damages” is first recorded 1580s.

clam (n.)

bivalve mollusk, c. 1500 (in clam-shell), originally Scottish, apparently a particular use of Middle English clam “pincers, vice, clamp” (late 14c.), from Old English clamm “bond, fetter, grip, grasp,” from Proto-Germanic *klam- “to press or squeeze together” (source also of Old High German klamma “cramp, fetter, constriction,” German Klamm “a constriction”), possibly from a PIE *glem- or *glom- “contain, embrace” (see glebe).

If this is right then the original reference is to the shell. Clam-chowder attested from 1822. To be happy as a clam is from 1833, but the earliest uses do not elaborate on the notion behind it, unless it be self-containment.

torque (n.)

“rotating force,” 1882, from Latin torquere “to twist, turn, turn about, twist awry, distort, torture,” from PIE *torkw-eyo-, causative of root *terkw- “to twist.” The word also is used (since 1834) by antiquarians and others as a term for the twisted metal necklace worn anciently by Gauls, Britons, Germans, etc., from Latin torques “collar of twisted metal,” from torquere. Earlier it had been called in English torques (1690s). Torque-wrench is from 1941.

clamp (n.)

device for fastening or holding, c. 1300, probably from Middle Dutch clampe (Dutch klamp), from Proto-Germanic *klam-b- “clamp, cleat;” cognate with Middle Low German klampe “clasp, hook,” Old High German klampfer “clip, clamp;” also probably related to Middle Dutch klamme “a clamp, hook, grapple,” Danish klamme “a clamp, cramp,” Old English clamm “a tie, fetter,” perhaps from the same root as Latin glomus “ball-shaped mass” (see glebe).

It took the place of earlier clam “clamp, brace,” from Old English clamm “bond, fetter, grip, grasp” (see clam (n.)).

person (n.)

c. 1200, persoun, “an individual, a human being,” from Old French persone “human being, anyone, person” (12c., Modern French personne) and directly from Latin persona “human being, person, personage; a part in a drama, assumed character,” originally “a mask, a false face,” such as those of wood or clay, covering the whole head, worn by the actors in later Roman theater. OED offers the general 19c. explanation of persona as “related to” Latin personare “to sound through” (i.e. the mask as something spoken through and perhaps amplifying the voice), “but the long o makes a difficulty ….” Klein and Barnhart say it is possibly borrowed from Etruscan phersu “mask.” De Vaan has no entry for it.

From mid-13c. as “one of the persons of the Trinity,” a theological use in Church Latin of the classical word. Meanings “one’s physical being, the living body; external appearance” are from late 14c. In grammar, “one of the relations which a subject may have to a verb,” from 1510s. In legal use, “corporate body or corporation other than the state and having rights and duties before the law,” 15c., short for person aggregate (c. 1400), person corporate (mid-15c.).

The use of -person to replace -man in compounds for the sake of gender neutrality or to avoid allegations of sexism is recorded by 1971 (in chairperson). In person “by bodily presence” is from 1560s. Person-to-person is attested by 1919, originally of telephone calls.

Persephone

wife of Hades, queen of the netherworld, identified with Kore, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, from Greek Persephone. De Vaan writes that “The name was always considered obscure” until a thorough investigation published in 2006 reported that the original form was persophatta, “as found in eight attestations, seven of which are on 5th c. BC Attic vases (by seven different painters).” He analyzes it as *perso-, cognate with Sanskrit parsa- “sheaf of corn,” + a second element from the PIE root *gwhen- “to hit, strike” (see bane) thus “a female thresher of corn.”

bane (n.)

Old English bana “killer, slayer, murderer, a worker of death” (human, animal, or object), also “the devil,” from Proto-Germanic *banon, cognate with *banja- “wound” (source also of Old Frisian bona “murderer,” Old Norse bani “death; that which causes death,” Old High German bana “death, destruction,” Old English benn “wound,” Gothic banja “stroke, wound”), a word of no certain IE etymology. Sense of “that which causes ruin or woe” is from 1570s. Related: Baneful.