navy

navy
\ \ [14] Latin nāvisship’ is the ultimate source of navy. In post-classical times it spawned an offspring nāviafleet’, which passed into English via Old French navie. Other Latin derivatives of nāvis were nāvālis, source of English naval [16], and the verb nāvigāremanage a ship’, from which English gets navigate [16] (navvy [19] originated as a colloquial abbreviation for navigator, a term applied to someone who dug ‘navigation canals’). In medieval Latin nāvis was applied to the central part of a church, from the passing resemblance in shape to a ship, and the word was anglicized as nave [17]. Nāvis was related to Greek nausship’, whose contributions to English include nautical [16], nautilus [17], nausea [16] (etymologically ‘seasickness’), and, somewhat surprisingly, noise.
\ \ Cf.NAUSEA, NAUTICAL, NAVIGATE, NOISE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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