1590s, "force of expression," from Middle French énergie (16c.), from Late Latin energia, from Greek energeia "activity, operation," from energos "active, working," from en "at" (see en- (2)) + ergon "work, that which is wrought; business; action" (see urge (v.)).
Used by Aristotle with a sense of "force of expression;" broader meaning of "power" is first recorded in English 1660s. Scientific use is from 1807. Energy crisis first attested 1970.
energy en·er·gy (ěn'ər-jē)
The capacity for work or vigorous activity; vigor; power.
The capacity of a physical system to do work.
The capacity or power to do work, such as the capacity to move an object (of a given mass) by the application of force. Energy can exist in a variety of forms, such as electrical, mechanical, chemical, thermal, or nuclear, and can be transformed from one form to another. It is measured by the amount of work done, usually in joules or watts. See also conservation of energy, kinetic energy, potential energy. Compare power, work.
Note: The most important property of energy is that it is conserved — that is, the total energy of an isolated system does not change with time. This is known as the law of conservation of energy. Energy can, however, change form; for example, it can be turned into mass and back again into energy.