To separate

Even the word ‘science’ comes from an Indo-European root meaning ‘to cut’ or ‘to separate’. The same root led to the word ‘shit’, which of course means to separate living flesh from nonliving waste. The same root gave us ‘scythe’ and ‘schism’, which have obvious connections to the concept of separation.
Neal Stephenson
Snow Crash

The word science comes through the Old French, and is derived from the Latin word scientia for knowledge, the nominal form of the verb scire, “to know”. The Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root that yields scire is *skei-, meaning to “cut, separate, or discern”. Other words from the same root include Sanskrit chyati, “he cuts off”, Greek schizo, “I split” (hence English schism, schizophrenia), Latin scindo, “I split” (hence English rescind). From the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, science or scientia meant any systematic recorded knowledge. Science therefore had the same sort of very broad meaning that philosophy had at that time. In other languages, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, the word corresponding to science also carries this meaning.
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