One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Roman History. A battle line in a military formation. rare.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Robert Burton (1577–1640), writer. From classical Latin aciēs sharp edge, eyesight, vision, beam of sunlight or starlight, look, glance, direction of one's sight, pupil of the eye, eye, mental perception, discernment, army engaged in battle, battle formation, ranks, battle, fighting from the same Indo-European base as edge.
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