The word tradition was first used in the 1384 John Wycliffe Bible, where it was spelled tradicioun and meant "the action of imparting something". Other forms around that time included tradicyon, tradycion, tradycyon, tradicion, tradicion, and more; the t in the center didn't get added until around the seventeenth century. Tradicioun comes from an Old French word meaning "handing over" and eventually traces to the Latin noun traditionem, which meant "give up" or "surrender", an action that clearly became more figurative as the word developed. That's based on the verb tradere ("to hand over"), which was composed of the prefix trans-, meaning "across", and the root dare, "to give". Finally, those respectively derive from the Proto-Indo-European roots tere ("to cross over") and do ("to give").
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.