c.1300, "inscription, heading," from O.Fr. title (12c.), and in part from O.E. titul, both from L. titulus "inscription, heading," of unknown origin. Meaning "name of a book, play, etc." first recorded mid-14c. The sense of "name showing a person's rank" is first attested 1580s. The verb meaning "to furnish with a title" is attested from late 14c.