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late 14c., from Old French mitaine "mitten, half-glove" (12c.), from Old French mite "mitten," and from Medieval Latin mitta, which are perhaps from Middle High German mittemo, Old High German mittamo "middle, midmost" (reflecting notion of "half-glove"), or from Vulgar Latin *medietana "divided in the middle," from Latin medius (see medial (adj.)).