a sequence of social events sponsored by a fraternity or sorority for prospective members prior to bidding and pledging.

1900–05, Americanism; rush1 + -ing1

unrushing, adjective
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Word Origin & History

c.1340 (implied in rushing), "to drive back or down," from Anglo-Fr. russher, from O.Fr. ruser "to dodge, repel" (see ruse). Meaning "to do something quickly" is from 1659; transitive sense of "to hurry up (someone or something)" is from 1850. Football sense originally was
in rugby (1857). Fraternity/sorority sense is from 1896 (originally it was what the fraternity did to the student). The noun is attested from c.1380; sense of "mass migration of people" (especially to a gold field) is from 1848, Amer.Eng. Meaning "surge of pleasure" is from 1960s. Rush hour first recorded 1890.

"plant growing in marshy ground," O.E. resc, earlier risc, from P.Gmc. *rusk- (cf. M.L.G. rusch, M.H.G. rusch, W.Fris. risk). O.Fr. rusche probably is from a Gmc. source. Used for making torches and finger rings, also strewn on floors when visitors arrived; it was attested a type of "something of no
value" from c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Rush (rŭsh), Benjamin. 1745-1813.

American physician, politician, and educator. A signer of the declaration of independence, he promoted the humane treatment of the mentally ill.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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