earmark (n.) Look up earmark at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from ear (n.1) + mark (n.1). Originally a cut or mark in the ear of sheep and cattle, serving as a sign of ownership (also a punishment of certain criminals); first recorded 1570s in figurative sense "stamp of ownership."
earmark (v.) Look up earmark at Dictionary.com
1590s, "to identify by an earmark," from earmark (n.). Meaning "to set aside money for a special purpose" is attested by 1868. Related: Earmarked; earmarking.
earn (v.) Look up earn at Dictionary.com
Old English earnian "deserve, earn, merit, win, get a reward for labor," from Proto-Germanic *aznojan (source also of Old Frisian esna "reward, pay"), from *azna "labor" especially "field labor" (source of Old Norse önn "work in the field"), from PIE *aznon "to do harvest work, serve" (source of Old High German arnon "to reap"), denominative verb from *es-en- "harvest, fall" (cognates: Old High German aren "harvest, crop," German Ernte "harvest," Old English ern "harvest," Gothic asans "harvest, summer," Old Church Slavonic jeseni, Russian osen, Old Prussian assanis "autumn"). Also from the same root are Gothic asneis, Old High German esni "hired laborer, day laborer," Old English esne "serf, laborer, man." Related: Earned; earning.
earner (n.) Look up earner at Dictionary.com
1610s, agent noun from earn.
earnest (adj.) Look up earnest at Dictionary.com
from Old English eornoste (adj.) "zealous," or from Old English noun eornost "seriousness, serious intent" (surviving only in the phrase in earnest), from Proto-Germanic *ern "vigor, briskness" (cognates: Old Saxon ernust, Old High German arnust "seriousness, firmness, struggle," German Ernst "seriousness;" Gothic arniba "safely, securely;" Old Norse ern "able, vigorous," jarna "fight, combat"). The proper name Ernest (literally "resolute") is from the same root. Related: Earnestly; earnestness.
earnings (n.) Look up earnings at Dictionary.com
amount of money one makes (from labor or investment), 1732, from plural of verbal noun earning (Old English earnung "fact of deserving; what one deserves"); see earn.
earring (n.) Look up earring at Dictionary.com
Old English earhring, from ear (n.1) + hring (see ring (n.)). Also earspinl. Now including any sort of ornament in the ear; the pendants were originally ear-drops (1720).
The two groups which had formerly a near monopoly on male earrings were Gypsies and sailors. Both has the usual traditions about eyesight, but it was also said that sailors' earrings would save them from drowning, while others argued that should a sailor be drowned and washed up on some foreign shore, his gold earrings would pay for a proper Christian burial. ["Dictionary of English Folklore"]
earshot (n.) Look up earshot at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from ear (n.1) + shot (n.) in the sense of "range" (as in bowshot).
earth (n.) Look up earth at Dictionary.com
Old English eorþe "ground, soil, dry land," also used (along with middangeard) for "the (material) world" (as opposed to the heavens or the underworld), from Proto-Germanic *ertho (cognates: Old Frisian erthe "earth," Old Saxon ertha, Old Norse jörð, Middle Dutch eerde, Dutch aarde, Old High German erda, German Erde, Gothic airþa), from PIE root *er- (2) "earth, ground" (cognates: Middle Irish -ert "earth"). The earth considered as a planet was so called from c.1400.
Earth Day Look up Earth Day at Dictionary.com
as an annual ecological awareness event on April 22, dates to 1970; the idea and the name formed in 1969.
earth-mother (n.) Look up earth-mother at Dictionary.com
1904, folkloric spirit of the earth, conceived as sensual, maternal; a translation of German erdmutter.
earthen (adj.) Look up earthen at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "made of earth;" see earth + -en (2). Not attested in Old English (where eorðen meant "of or in the earth"). Cognate of Old High German irdin, Gothic airþeins. Meaning "made of clay" is attested from late 14c.
earthenware (n.) Look up earthenware at Dictionary.com
1670s, from earthen + ware.
earthlight (n.) Look up earthlight at Dictionary.com
1833, from earth + light (n.). Apparently coined by British astronomer John Herschel.
earthling (n.) Look up earthling at Dictionary.com
Old English yrþling "plowman" (see earth + -ling); the sense of "inhabitant of the earth" is from 1590s. Earthman was originally (1860) "a demon who lives in the earth;" science fiction sense of "inhabitant of the planet Earth" first attested 1949 in writing of Robert Heinlein. Earlier in this sense was earthite (1825).
earthly (adj.) Look up earthly at Dictionary.com
Old English eorþlic "earthly, worldly;" see earth + -ly (1).
earthquake (n.) Look up earthquake at Dictionary.com
late 13c., eorthequakynge, from earth + quake (n.). In this sense Old English had eorðdyn, eorðhrernes, eorðbeofung, eorðstyren.
earthwork (n.) Look up earthwork at Dictionary.com
1630s, from earth + work (n.). In this sense Old English had eorðbyrig; Old English eorðweorc meant "work on the land."
earthworm (n.) Look up earthworm at Dictionary.com
1590s, 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.) Look up earthy at Dictionary.com
1550s, from earth + -y (2). Figurative sense of "coarse, unrefined" is from 1590s. Related: Earthiness.
earwax (n.) Look up earwax at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from ear (n.1) + wax (n.).
earwig (n.) Look up earwig at Dictionary.com
(Forficula auricularia), Old English earwicga, from eare (see ear (n.1)) + wicga "beetle, worm," probably related to wiggle. 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 (n.) Look up ease at Dictionary.com
early 13c., from Old French aise "comfort, pleasure, well-being; opportunity," of unknown origin, despite attempts to link it to various Latin verbs.

The earliest senses in French appear to be 1. "elbow-room" (from an 11th century Hebrew-French glossary) and 2. "opportunity." This led Sophus Bugge to suggest an origin in Vulgar Latin asa, a shortened form of Latin ansa "handle," which could be used in the figurative sense of "opportunity, occasion," as well as being a possible synonym for "elbow," because Latin ansatus "furnished with handles" also was used to mean "having the arms akimbo." OED editors report this theory, and write, "This is not very satisfactory, but it does not appear that any equally plausible alternative has yet been proposed."
ease (v.) Look up ease at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "to help, assist," see ease (n.). Meaning "to give ease" is from mid-14c.; the sense of "to relax one's efforts" is from 1863. Farmer reports ease in a slang sense of “to content a woman” sexually, with an 1861 date. Related: Eased; easing.
easel (n.) Look up easel at Dictionary.com
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).
easement (n.) Look up easement at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "compensation, redress," from Old French aisement "comfort, convenience; use, enjoyment," from aisier "to ease," from aise (see ease). The meaning "legal right or privilege of using something not one's own" is from early 15c.
easily (adv.) Look up easily at Dictionary.com
late 13c., aisieliche, from easy + -ly (2).
east (n.) Look up east at Dictionary.com
Old English east "east, easterly, eastward," from Proto-Germanic *aus-to-, *austra- "east, toward the sunrise" (cognates: 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 *aus- (1) "to shine," especially "dawn" (cognates: Sanskrit ushas "dawn;" Greek aurion "morning;" Old Irish usah, Lithuanian auszra "dawn;" Latin aurora "dawn," auster "south"), literally "to shine" (see aurora). The east is the direction in which dawn breaks. For theory of shift in sense in Latin, see Australia.

Meaning "the eastern part of the world" (from Europe) is from c.1300. French est, Spanish este are borrowings from Middle English, originally nautical. The east wind in Biblical Palestine was scorching and destructive (as in Ezek. xvii:10); in New England it is bleak, wet, unhealthful.

Cold War use of East for "communist states" first recorded 1951. Natives of eastern Germany and the Baltics were known as easterlings 16c.-18c. East End of London so called by 1846; East Side of Manhattan so called from 1882; East Indies (India and Southeast Asia) so called 1590s to distinguish them from the West Indies.
Easter Look up Easter at Dictionary.com
Old English Easterdæg, from Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from Proto-Germanic *Austron, a goddess of fertility and spring, probably originally of sunrise whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *austra-, from PIE *aus- "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. Ultimately related to east. 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 Look up Easter Island at Dictionary.com
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."
easterly (adv.) Look up easterly at Dictionary.com
1540s, from easter (late 14c.), variant of eastern + -ly (2). As a noun meaning "easterly wind," by 1901. Old English easterlic meant "pertaining to Easter."
eastern (adj.) Look up eastern at Dictionary.com
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.
Eastlake Look up Eastlake at Dictionary.com
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.) Look up eastward at Dictionary.com
Old English eastwærde; see east + -ward.
easy (adj.) Look up easy at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "at ease," 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).

Sense of "not difficult to deal with" is mid-14c.; of conditions, "comfortable," late 14c. The concept of "not difficult" was expressed in Old English and early Middle English by eaþe (adv.), ieþe (adj.), apparently common West Germanic, but of disputed origin. Easy Street first printed 1901 in "Peck's Red-Headed Boy." Easy money attested by 1896; to take it easy "relax" is from 1867; easy does it recorded by 1891. Easy rider (1912) was U.S. black slang for "sexually satisfying lover." The easy listening radio format is from 1965, 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.) Look up easy chair at Dictionary.com
1707, from easy + chair (n.).
easy-going (adj.) Look up easy-going at Dictionary.com
also easygoing, 1640s, originally of horses, from easy + going.
eat (v.) Look up eat at Dictionary.com
Old English etan (class V strong verb; past tense æt, past participle eten) "to eat, devour, consume," from Proto-Germanic *etanan (cognates: 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 "slow, gradual corrosion or destruction" 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. Eat out "dine away from home" is from 1933. The slang phrase to eat one's words is from 1570s; to eat one's heart out is from 1590s; for eat one's hat, see hat.
eatable (adj.) Look up eatable at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from eat + -able.
eaten Look up eaten at Dictionary.com
Old English eten, past participle of eat.
eatery (n.) Look up eatery at Dictionary.com
"restaurant," 1901; see eat + -ery.
eats (n.) Look up eats at Dictionary.com
"food," in use mid-19c. in U.S., considered colloquial, but the same construction with the same meaning was present in Old English.
eau (n.) Look up eau at Dictionary.com
French for "water," from Old French eue (12c.), from Latin aqua (see aqua-). In various combinations such as eau de vie "brandy" (1748), literally "water of life;" eau de toilette (1907). For eau de Cologne see cologne.
eave (n.) Look up eave at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Southwest Midlands dialectal eovese (singular), from Old English efes "edge of a roof," also "edge of a forest," from Proto-Germanic *ubaswa-/*ubiswa (cognates: Old Frisian ose "eaves," Old High German obasa "porch, hall, roof," German Obsen, Old Norse ups, Gothic ubizwa "porch;" German oben "above"), from the root of over. Treated as plural and a new singular form eave emerged 16c.
eaves (n.) Look up eaves at Dictionary.com
see eave.
eavesdrop (v.) Look up eavesdrop at Dictionary.com
c.1600, probably a back-formation from eavesdropper. Related: Eavesdropping.
eavesdropper (n.) Look up eavesdropper at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from 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 (n.) Look up ebb at Dictionary.com
Old English ebba "ebb, low tide," perhaps from Proto-Germanic *abjon (cognates: Old Frisian ebba, Old Saxon ebbiunga, Middle Dutch ebbe, Dutch eb, German Ebbe), from *ab-, from PIE root *apo- "off, away" (see apo-). Figurative sense of "decline, decay" is c.1400.
ebb (v.) Look up ebb at Dictionary.com
Old English ebbian, from the root of ebb (n.). Related: Ebbed; ebbing.
Ebenezer Look up Ebenezer at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, sometimes also the name of a Protestant chapel or meeting house, from name of a stone raised by Samuel to commemorate a victory over the Philistines at Mizpeh (I Sam. vii:12), from Hebrew ebhen ezar "stone of help," from ebhen "stone" + ezer "help."