earthly (adj.)
Old English eorþlic "worldly, pertaining to this world" (as opposed to spiritual or heavenly"); see earth (n.) + -ly (1). The sense "belonging to or originating in the earth" is from mid-15c.
earthman (n.)
also earth-man, 1860, "a spirit of nature; a demon who lives below the ground," from earth (n.) + man (n.). Science fiction sense of "inhabitant of the planet Earth" first attested 1949 in writing of Robert Heinlein.
earthquake (n.)
late 13c., eorthequakynge, from earth + quake (n.). In this sense Old English had eorðdyn, eorðhrernes, eorðbeofung, eorðstyrung.
earthwork (n.)
"mounds of earth thrown up for some purpose, especially as a military fortification," 1630s, from earth + work (n.). In this sense Old English had eorðbyrig "mound, embankment;" Old English eorðweorc meant "work on the land."
earthworm (n.)
c. 1400, erþe-worme, from earth + worm (n.). In this sense Old English had eorðmata, also regnwyrm, literally "rain-worm." Old English also had angel-twæcce "earthworm used as bait" (with second element from root of twitch), sometimes used in medieval times as a medicament:
For the blake Jawndes take angylltwacches, er þei go in to the erth in the mornynge and fry hem. Take ix or x small angyltwacches, and bray hem, and giff the syke to drynke fastynge, with stale ale, but loke þat thei bene grounden so small that þe syke may nat se, ne witt what it is, for lothynge. [Book of Medical Recipes in Medical Society of London Library, c. 1450]
earthy (adj.)
late 14c., "containing or resembling the substance earth," from earth (n.) + -y (2). Of tastes, smells, etc., from 1550s. Figurative sense of "coarse, unrefined" is from 1590s. Related: Earthiness.
earwax (n.)
also ear-wax, early 14c., from ear (n.1) + wax (n.).
Earwicker
English surname, pronounced "Erricker," from Old English eoforwacer "boar-watchman" (1061).
earwig (n.)
type of insect (Forficula auricularia), Old English earwicga "earwig," from eare (see ear (n.1)) + wicga "beetle, worm, insect," probably from the same Germanic source as wiggle, on the notion of "quick movement," and ultimately from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move." So called from the ancient and widespread (but false) belief that the garden pest went into people's ears. Compare French perce-oreille, German ohr-wurm. A Northern England name for it reported from 1650s is twitch-ballock.
ease (v.)
c. 1300, "to help, assist," from Old French aiser, from aise (see ease (n.)). Meaning "to give ease, mitigate, alleviate, relieve from pain or care" is from mid-14c. Meaning "render less difficult" is from 1630s; the sense of "to relax one's efforts" is from 1863 (with up by 1907, earlier with a more specific sense in sailing). Farmer reports ease in a slang sense of "to content a woman" sexually, with an 1861 date. Related: Eased; easing.
ease (n.)
c. 1200, "physical comfort, undisturbed state of the body; tranquility, peace of mind," from Old French aise "comfort, pleasure, well-being; opportunity," which according to Watkins is ultimately from Latin adiacens "lying at," present participle of adiacere "lie at, border upon, lie near," from ad "to" (see ad-) + iacere "to lie, rest," literally "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). Compare adagio.

At ease "at rest, at peace, in comfort" is from late 14c.; as a military order (1802) the word denotes "freedom from stiffness or formality."
easeful (adj.)
late 14c., from ease (n.) + -ful.
easel (n.)
1590s, from Dutch ezel "easel," originally "ass," from Middle Dutch esel, from Latin asinus "ass" (see ass (n.1)); the comparison being of loading a burden on a donkey and propping up a painting or canvas on a wooden stand (compare sawhorse, French chevalet, Italian cavalletto).
easement (n.)
late 14c., "compensation, redress," from Old French aisement "comfort, convenience; use, enjoyment," from aisier "to ease," from aise (see ease (n.)). The meaning "legal right or privilege of using something not one's own" is from early 15c.
easily (adv.)
c. 1300, aisieliche, "in comfortable circumstances; with little effort," from easy + -ly (2). From late 14c. as "gently."
east
Old English east, eastan (adj., adv.) "east, easterly, eastward;" easte (n.), from Proto-Germanic *aust- "east," literally "toward the sunrise" (source also of Old Frisian ast "east," aster "eastward," Dutch oost Old Saxon ost, Old High German ostan, German Ost, Old Norse austr "from the east"), from PIE root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn. The east is the direction in which dawn breaks. For theory of shift in the geographical sense in Latin, see austral.

As one of the four cardinal points of the compass, from c. 1200. Meaning "the eastern part of the world" (from Europe) is from c. 1300. Cold War use of East for "communist states" first recorded 1951. French est, Spanish este are borrowings from Middle English, originally nautical. The east wind in Biblical Palestine was scorching and destructive (as in Ezekiel xvii.10); in New England it is bleak, wet, unhealthful. East End of London so called by 1846; East Side of Manhattan so called from 1871; East Indies (India and Southeast Asia) so called 1590s to distinguish them from the West Indies.
Easter (n.)
Old English Easterdæg, from Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from Proto-Germanic *austron-, "dawn," also the name of a goddess of fertility and spring, perhaps originally of sunrise, whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *aust- "east, toward the sunrise" (compare east), from PIE root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn.

Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for their Mass of Christ's resurrection. Almost all neighboring languages use a variant of Latin Pascha to name this holiday (see paschal). Easter egg attested by 1825, earlier pace egg (1610s). Easter bunny attested by 1904 in children's lessons; Easter rabbit is by 1888; the paganish customs of Easter seem to have grown popular c. 1900; before that they were limited to German immigrants.
If the children have no garden, they make nests in the wood-shed, barn, or house. They gather colored flowers for the rabbit to eat, that it may lay colored eggs. If there be a garden, the eggs are hidden singly in the green grass, box-wood, or elsewhere. On Easter Sunday morning they whistle for the rabbit, and the children imagine that they see him jump the fence. After church, on Easter Sunday morning, they hunt the eggs, and in the afternoon the boys go out in the meadows and crack eggs or play with them like marbles. Or sometimes children are invited to a neighbor's to hunt eggs. [Phebe Earle Gibbons, "Pennsylvania Dutch," Philadelphia 1882]
Easter Island
so called because it was discovered by Dutch navigator Jakob Roggeveen on April 2, 1722, which was Easter Monday. It earlier had been visited by English pirate Edward Davis (1695), but he neglected to name it. The native Polynesian name is Mata-kite-ran "Eyes that Watch the Stars."
easterling (n.)
"resident of an eastern land," in England, especially Hanse merchants and others from the North Sea Coast of Germany and the southern and eastern coast of the Baltic, early 15c., from easter, obsolete variant of eastern + -ling.
easterly
1540s (adj.), 1630s (adv.), from easter (late 14c.), variant of eastern + -ly (1) and (2). As a noun meaning "easterly wind," by 1901. Old English easterlic meant "pertaining to Easter."
eastern (adj.)
Old English easterne "of the east, from the east; oriental; of the Eastern Orthodox Church; of the eastern part of the globe," from east + -erne, suffix denoting direction. Cognate with Old Saxon ostroni, Old High German ostroni, Old Norse austroenn. Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia so called from 1620s.
easterner (n.)
1839, American English, from eastern + -er (1). Earlier word was easterling.
easternmost (adj.)
1640s, from eastern + -most. Eastermost attested from 1610s; comparative eastermore from late 15c.
Eastlake
style of furniture, 1878, often a mere debased Gothic, but at its best inspired by English designer Charles Locke Eastlake (1836-1906) and his book "Hints on Household Taste."
I find American tradesmen continually advertising what they are pleased to call 'Eastlake' furniture, with the production of which I have had nothing whatever to do, and for the taste of which I should be very sorry to be considered responsible [C.L. Eastlake, 1878]
eastward (adv.)
also eastwards, Old English eastwearde; see east + -ward. As an adjective mid-15c., from the adverb.
easy (adj.)
c. 1200, "at ease, having ease, free from bodily discomfort and anxiety," from Old French aisie "comfortable, at ease, rich, well-off" (Modern French aisé), past participle of aisier "to put at ease," from aise (see ease (n.)). Sense of "not difficult, requiring no great labor or effort" is from late 13c.; of conditions, "offering comfort, pleasant," early 14c. Of persons, "lenient, kind, calm, gentle," late 14c. Meaning "readily yielding, not difficult of persuasion" is from 1610s. The concept of "not difficult" was expressed in Old English and early Middle English by eaþe (adv.), ieþe (adj.), apparently common West Germanic (compare German öde "empty, desolate," but of disputed origin.

Easy Street is from 1890. Easy money attested by 1889; to take it easy "relax" is from 1804 (be easy in same sense recorded from 1746); easy does it recorded by 1835. Easy rider (1912) was African-American vernacular for "sexually satisfying lover." The easy listening radio format is from 1961, defined by William Safire (in 1986) as, "the music of the 60's played in the 80's with the style of the 40's." Related: Easier; easiest.
easy chair (n.)
also easy-chair, one designed especially for comfort, 1707, from easy + chair (n.).
easy-going (adj.)
also easygoing, "good-natured," 1640s, from easy + going.
eat (v.)
Old English etan (class V strong verb; past tense æt, past participle eten) "to consume food, devour, consume," from Proto-Germanic *etan (source also of Old Frisian ita, Old Saxon etan, Middle Dutch eten, Dutch eten, Old High German ezzan, German essen, Old Norse eta, Gothic itan), from PIE root *ed- "to eat" (see edible).

Transferred sense of "corrode, wear away, consume, waste" is from 1550s. Meaning "to preoccupy, engross" (as in what's eating you?) first recorded 1893. Slang sexual sense of "do cunnilingus on" is first recorded 1927. The slang phrase eat one's words "retract, take back what one has uttered" is from 1570s; to eat one's heart out is from 1590s; for eat one's hat, see hat. Eat-in (adj.) in reference to kitchens is from 1955. To eat out "dine away from home" is from 1930.
eatable (adj.)
late 15c., from eat + -able. Compare sdible.
eaten
Old English eten, past participle of eat.
eater (n.)
Old English etere "one who eats," especially a servant or retainer, agent noun from eat (v.)). From 17c. in compounds with various objects or substances eaten.
eatery (n.)
"restaurant," 1901; see eat + -ery.
eats (n.)
"food," in use by 1889 in U.S., considered colloquial, but the same construction with the same meaning was present in Old English.
eau (n.)
French for "water," from Old French eue (12c.), from Latin aqua "water, rainwater" (from PIE root *akwa- "water"). Brought into English in combinations such as eau de vie "brandy" (1748), literally "water of life;" eau de toilette (1907). For eau de Cologne see cologne.
eave (n.)
"lower part of a roof," especially that which projects beyond the wall, 1570s, alteration of southwest Midlands dialectal eovese (singular), from Old English efes "edge of a roof," also "edge of a forest," from Proto-Germanic *ubaswo-/*ubiswo "vestibule, porch, eaves" (source also of Old Frisian ose "eaves," Old High German obasa "porch, hall, roof," German Obsen, Old Norse ups, Gothic ubizwa "porch;" German oben "above"), from extended form of PIE root *upo "under," also "up from under," hence also "over." Regarded as plural and a new singular form eave emerged 16c.
eaves (n.)
see eave.
eavesdrop (v.)
"lurk near a place to hear what is said inside," c. 1600, probably a back-formation from eavesdropper. The original notion is listening from under the eaves of a house. Related: Eavesdropping.
eavesdropper (n.)
mid-15c., with agent-noun ending + Middle English eavesdrop, from Old English yfesdrype "place around a house where the rainwater drips off the roof," from eave (q.v.) + drip (v.). Technically, "one who stands at walls or windows to overhear what's going on inside."
ebb (v.)
Old English ebbian "flow back, subside," from the root of ebb (n.). Figurative use in late Old English. Related: Ebbed; ebbing.
ebb (n.)
Old English ebba "falling of the tide, low tide," perhaps from Proto-Germanic *af- (source also of Old Frisian ebba, Old Saxon ebbiunga, Middle Dutch ebbe, Dutch eb, German Ebbe), from PIE root *apo- "off, away." Figurative sense of "decline, decay, gradual diminution" is from late 14c. Ebb-tide is from 1776.
Ebenezer
masc. proper name, from Hebrew ebhen ezar "stone of help," from ebhen "stone" + ezer "help." Sometimes also the name of a Protestant chapel or meeting house, from name of a stone raised by Samuel to commemorate a divinely aided victory over the Philistines at Mizpeh (I Samuel vii.12).
Ebionite
mid-15c., sect (1c.-2c.) that held Jesus was a mere man and Christians continued bound by Mosaic Law, from Latin ebonita, from Hebrew ebyon "the poor." The reason it was so called is uncertain. Related: Ebionism; Ebionitic.
Eblis
prince of the fallen angels in Arabic mythology and religion, from Arabic Iblis. Klein thinks this may be Greek diablos, passed through Syriac where the first syllable was mistaken for the Syriac genitive particle di and dropped. "Before his fall he was called Azazel or Hharis" [Century Dictionary].
ebola (n.)
virus, 1976, named for Ebola River valley in Congo, where it first was studied.
ebon (n.)
early 15c., "ebony wood, ebony tree," from Old French ebene or directly from Latin ebenus (see ebony). As an adjective, "made of ebony," from 1590s. Figurative sense of "dark, black" is from 1590s; in some cases a poetic shortening of ebony.
Ebonics (n.)
"African-American vernacular English," 1975, as title of a book by U.S. professor R.L. Williams (b.1930); a blend of ebony and phonics.
ebonite (n.)
1860, from ebon + -ite (1).
ebony (n.)
dark, hard wood favored for carving, musical instruments, etc., 1590s, perhaps an extended form of Middle English ebon, or from hebenyf (late 14c.), perhaps a Middle English misreading of Latin hebeninus "of ebony," from Greek ebeninos, from ebenos "ebony," probably from Egyptian hbnj or another Semitic source. Figurative use to suggest intense blackness is from 1620s. As an adjective, "of ebony, made of ebony," from 1590s; in reference to skin color of Africans, by 1813. French ébène, Old High German ebenus (German Ebenholz) are from Latin ebenus.
ebriety (n.)
"state or habit of being intoxicated," early 15c., from Latin ebrietatem (nominative ebrietas) "drunkenness, intoxication," from ebrius "drunk, full, sated with drink," which is of uncertain origin; according to de Vaan, from PIE *hiegwh-ro-, from a root *hegwh- "to drink." The opposite of sobriety. Related: Ebrious; ebriosity.