[ Etymonline : ]  [...]  from Late Latin deliciosus "delicious, delicate,"
from Latin delicia (plural deliciae) "a delight, allurement, charm," from delicere "to allure, entice," from de- "away" (see de-) + lacere "lure, deceive" (related to laqueus "noose, snare;" see lace).   [...]

I also read Wiktionary. How does Etymonline's opinion (per the bolded, of 'de-' to mean "away") make sense? If an agent lures or deceives an experiencer, then the agent must cause to agent to approach or near it, and not to become AWAY from it?

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    I don't know if anyone knows the exact answer, and I generally suggest against literal reading of prefixes, especially when a word has been borrowed (many times) between languages. I can offer some ideas, though: If someone is lured to something, then they are lured away from something else. You can also read de- as "down" or "from above", implying that someone is lured to do something below their values or standards.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 1, 2016 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


Well, if, as Lewis & Short suggest, the definition of dēliciō is

dēlicio, ere, v. a. lacio, the root of deliciae and delecto, "to allure one from the right way, to entice, delight": aliquem, Titin. ap. Non. 277, 17.

then would make sense. If liciō is "to allure" and dēliciō is "to allure away from the right way," then meaning "away" means that the word focuses, as @JoonasIlmavirta's comment suggests, on not just the alluring but the alluring away from something.

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