\ \ [16] Latin excrēmentum meant originally ‘that which is sifted out’ (it was a derivative of the verb excernere, a compound formed from the prefix ex- ‘out’ and cerneresift, decide’, from which English gets certain).
\ \ Hence it was applied metaphorically to any substance that is excreted from or secreted by the body, including sweat, nasal mucus, and milk, as well as faeces. (English acquired excrete [17], incidentally, from the past participle of excernere, excrētus.) This very general sense survived in English into the mid 18th century, when it was finally ousted by the more specific ‘faeces’. (Increment, by the way, is a completely unrelated word, coming ultimately from Latin crēsceregrow’.)

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


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  • excrément — [ ɛkskremɑ̃ ] n. m. • 1534; lat. médiév. excrementum « sécrétion », de excretus, p. p. de excernere « cribler, évacuer » 1 ♦ Vx Matière solide (matières fécales) ou fluide (mucus nasal, sueur, urine) évacuée du corps de l homme ou des animaux par …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • excrement — EXCREMÉNT, excremente, s.n. Materie rezultată din digestie, care se elimină din corpul oamenilor sau al animalelor prin anus; (materii) fecale; murdărie (1). – Din fr. excrément, lat. excrementum. Trimis de ionel bufu, 16.06.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  …   Dicționar Român

  • excrement — EXCREMENT. s.m. Ce qui sort des corps animez. La sueur est un excrement. un excrement superflu, nuisible. l urine & les matieres fecales sont les gros excrements. on tient que l ambre gris est un excrement de la balene, ou un excrement de la mer …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • excrement — [eks′krə mənt] n. [Fr excrément < L excrementum, that which is sifted out, refuse < excretus: see EXCRETE] waste matter from the bowels; feces excremental [eks′krəment′ l] adj. excrementitious [eks′krəmen tish′əs, eks krəməntish′əs] …   English World dictionary

  • Excrement — Ex cre*ment, n. [L. excrementum, fr. excernere, excretum, to skin out, discharge: cf. F. excr[ e]ment. See {Excrete}.] Matter excreted and ejected; that which is excreted or cast out of the animal body by any of the natural emunctories;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Excrement — Ex cre*ment, n. [L. excrementum, fr. excrescere, excretum, to grow out. See {Excrescence}.] An excrescence or appendage; an outgrowth. [Obs.] Ornamental excrements. Fuller. [1913 Webster] Living creatures put forth (after their period of growth)… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Excrement — Excrément Les excréments sont toutes les matières naturellement évacuées par un organisme animal, sous forme solide ou liquide : matières fécales, urine, sueur, etc. Sommaire 1 Un processus biologique essentiel 2 Aspects éthologiques et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • excrement — 1530s, waste discharged from the body, from L. excrementum, from stem of excretus, pp. of excernere to sift out, discharge, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + cernere sift, separate (see CRISIS (Cf. crisis)). Originally any bodily secretion,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • excrement — [n] feces crap, droppings, dung, guano, manure, poop, sewage, stool, waste, waste matter; concept 260 …   New thesaurus

  • excrement — ► NOUN ▪ faeces. DERIVATIVES excremental adjective. ORIGIN Latin excrementum, from excernere sift out …   English terms dictionary

  • excrément — nm., merde, étron, selle, matière fécale, (d être humain) : MÊRDA nf. (Albanais.001b, Arvillard.228, St Jean Mau., Thônes.004), mérda (001a, Annecy.003, Giettaz, Sevrier) ; KAKA <caque> nf. (001, Épagny, Genève, Mègevette, Morzine.081,… …   Dictionnaire Français-Savoyard

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