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late 13c., from Anglo-French cornere (Old French corniere), from Old French corne "horn, corner," from Vulgar Latin *corna, from Latin cornua, plural of cornu "projecting point, end, horn" (see horn (n.)). Replaced Old English hyrne. As an adjective, from 1530s.
late 14c., "to furnish with corners," from corner (n.). Meaning "to turn a corner," as in a race, is 1860s; meaning "drive (someone) into a corner" is American English from 1824. Commercial sense is from 1836. Related: Cornered; cornering.
The angle of a house (Job 1:19) or a street (Prov. 7:8). "Corners" in Neh. 9:22 denotes the various districts of the promised land allotted to the Israelites. In Num. 24:17, the "corners of Moab" denotes the whole land of Moab. The "corner of a field" (Lev. 19:9; 23:22) is its extreme part, which was not to be reaped. The Jews were prohibited from cutting the "corners," i.e., the extremities, of the hair and whiskers running round the ears (Lev. 19:27; 21:5). The "four corners of the earth" in Isa. 11:12 and Ezek. 7:2 denotes the whole land. The "corners of the streets" mentioned in Matt. 6:5 means the angles where streets meet so as to form a square or place of public resort. The corner gate of Jerusalem (2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chr. 26:9) was on the north-west side of the city. Corner-stone (Job 38:6; Isa. 28:16), a block of great importance in binding together the sides of a building. The "head of the corner" (Ps. 118:22, 23) denotes the coping, the "coign of vantage", i.e., the topstone of a building. But the word "corner stone" is sometimes used to denote some person of rank and importance (Isa. 28:16). It is applied to our Lord, who was set in highest honour (Matt. 21:42). He is also styled "the chief corner stone" (Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6-8). When Zechariah (10:4), speaking of Judah, says, "Out of him came forth the corner," he is probably to be understood as ultimately referring to the Messiah as the "corner stone." (See TEMPLE, SOLOMON'S ØT0003612.)