Definition of abseil
Origin and Etymology of abseil
borrowed from German abseilen “to lower by a rope,” (as a reflexive verb, “to descend by a rope”), verbal derivative from ab- “down, from” (going back to Old High German ab, aba, preposition) + Seil “rope,” going back to Old High German seil, going back to Germanic *saila-, neuter noun, akin to Old Saxon sēl “rope,” and with gender/stem variation, to Old English sāl, “rope,” Old Norse seil, Gothic insailjan “to lower by rope”; Germanic *saila-, etc., a nominal derivative from Indo-European *seh2(i̯)- — more at 1of, 1sinew
First Known Use: 1941
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