category

\ \ [15] The word category has a rather complicated semantic history. It comes ultimately from Greek katēgoreinaccuse’, a compound formed from the prefix katá- ‘against’ and agorápublic assembly’ (source of English agoraphobia and related to gregarious) – hence ‘speak against publicly’. ‘Accuse’ gradually became weakened in meaning to ‘assert, name’, and the derived noun katēgoríā was applied by Aristotle to the enumeration of all classes of things that can be named – hence ‘category’. The word reached English via late Latin catēgoria or French catégorie.
\ \ Cf.AGORAPHOBIA, GREGARIOUS, PANEGYRIC

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • category — (n.) 1580s, from M.Fr. catégorie, from L.L. categoria, from Gk. kategoria, from kategorein to speak against; to accuse, assert, predicate, from kata down to (or perhaps against; see CATA (Cf. cata )) + agoreuein to declaim (in the assembly), from …   Etymology dictionary

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