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1610s, "a medium through which a drug or medicine is administered," also "any means of conveying or transmitting," from Fr. véhicule, from L. vehiculum "means of transport, a vehicle," from vehere "to carry," from PIE *wegh- "to go, transport in a vehicle" (cf. O.E. wegan "to carry;" O.N. vegr, O.H.G. weg "way;" M.Du. wagen "wagon;" see wagon). Sense of "cart or other conveyance" first recorded 1650s.
1530s, "vacant piece of ground," from L. area "level ground, open space," used of building sites, playgrounds, threshing floors, etc.; of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to arere "to become dry," on notion of a burned clearing or dry, bare space. The generic sense of "amount of surface (whether open or not) contained within any set of limits" is from 1845. Area code in North American telephone systems is attested from 1959.
O.E. rad "riding, hostile incursion," from P.Gmc. *ridanan, source of O.E. ridan (see ride). Also related to raid. In Middle English, "a riding, a journey;" sense of "open way for traveling between two places" is first recorded 1590s. Modern spelling established 18c.
Road test is from 1906. Road hog is attested from 1886; road rage is from 1988. Road map is from 1786; road trip is by 1950, originally of baseball teams.
1887, shortened form of jinrikisha, popularized by Kipling, from Japanese jin "a man" + riki "power" + sha "carriage."
late 13c., "humans, persons in general," from Anglo-Fr. people, O.Fr. peupel, from L. populus "people," of unknown origin, possibly from Etruscan. Replaced native folk. Meaning "body of persons comprising a community" first recorded late 13c. in Anglo-French; meaning "common people, masses" (as distinguished from the nobility) first recorded c.1300 in Anglo-French. The verb is late 15c. (intrans.), c.1500 (trans.). The word was adopted after c.1920 by Communist totalitarian states to give a spurious sense of populism to their governments. Legal phrase The People vs., in U.S. cases of prosecution under certain laws, dates from 1801. People of the Book "those whose religion entails adherence to a book of divine revelation (1834) translates Arabic Ahl al-Kitab.