errand (n.)
Old English ærende "message, mission; answer, news, tidings," from Proto-Germanic *ærundjam (cognates: Old Saxon arundi, Old Norse erendi, Danish ærende, Swedish ärende, Old Frisian erende, Old High German arunti "message"). Originally of important missions; meaning "short, simple journey and task" is attested by 1640s. Related: Errands.
errant (adj.)
mid-14c., "travelling, roving," from Anglo-French erraunt, from two Old French words that were confused even before they reached English: 1. Old French errant, present participle of errer "to travel or wander," from Late Latin iterare, from Latin iter "journey, way," from root of ire "to go" (see ion); 2. Old French errant, past participle of errer (see err). The senses fused in English 14c., but much of the sense of the latter since has gone with arrant.
errata (n.)
plural of erratum (q.v.).
erratic (adj.)
late 14c., "wandering, moving," from Old French erratique (13c.) and directly from Latin erraticus "wandering, straying, roving," from erratum "an error, mistake, fault," past participle of errare "to wander, err" (see err). Sense of "irregular, eccentric" is attested by 1841. The noun is from 1620s, of persons; 1849, of boulders. Related: Erratically.
erratum (n.)
"list of corrections attached to a printed book," 1580s, from Latin erratum (plural errata), neuter past participle of errare (see err).
erroneous (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French erroneus and directly from Latin erroneus "vagrant, wandering" (in Late Latin "erroneous"), from erronem (nominative erro) "vagabond," from errare "to wander, err" (see err). Related: Erroneously.
error (n.)
also, through 18c., errour, c.1300, from Old French error "mistake, flaw, defect, heresy," from Latin errorem (nominative error) "a wandering, straying, mistake," from errare "to wander" (see err).

Words for "error" in most Indo-European languages originally meant "wander, go astray" (but Irish has dearmad "error," from dermat "a forgetting").
ersatz (adj.)
1875, from German Ersatz "units of the army reserve," literally "compensation, replacement, substitute," from ersetzen "to replace," from Old High German irsezzen, from ir-, unaccented variant of ur- + setzen "to set" (see set (v.)). As a noun, from 1892.
Erse
late 14c., early Scottish variant of Old English Irisc or Old Norse Irskr "Irish" (see Irish); applied by Lowland Scots to the Gaelic speech of the Highlanders (which originally is from Ireland); sense shifted 19c. from "Highlanders" to "Irish."
erstwhile (adv.)
1560s, from Middle English erest "soonest, earliest," from Old English ærest, superlative of ær (see ere) + while. As an adjective from 1903. Cognate with Old Saxon and Old High German erist, German erst.
eructation (n.)
"belching," 1530s, from Latin eructationem (nominative eructatio) "a belching forth," noun of action from past participle stem of eructare "to belch forth, vomit," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + ructare "to belch," from PIE *reug- "to belch" (cognates: Lithuanian rugiu "to belch," Greek eryge, Armenian orcam), probably of imitative origin. Related: Eruct; eructate.
erudite (adj.)
early 15c., from Latin eruditus, past participle of erudire "to educate, teach, instruct, polish," literally "to bring out of the rough," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + rudis "unskilled, rough, unlearned" (see rude).
erudition (n.)
c.1400, "instruction, education," from Latin eruditionem (nominative eruditio) "an instructing," noun of action from past participle stem of erudire (see erudite). Meaning "learning, scholarship" is from 1520s.
erupt (v.)
1650s, of diseases, etc., from Latin eruptus, past participle of erumpere "to break out, burst" (see eruption). Of volcanoes, from 1770. Related: Erupted; erupting.
eruption (n.)
early 15c., from Middle French éruption (14c.) and directly from Latin eruptionem (nominative eruptio) "a breaking out," noun of action from past participle stem of erumpere "break out, burst forth," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + rumpere "to break, rupture" (see rupture (n.)).
eruptive (adj.)
1640s; see erupt + -ive. Perhaps from French éruptif.
erysipelas (n.)
late 14c., skin disease also known as St. Anthony's Fire, from Greek erysipelas, perhaps from erythros "red" (see red (1)) + pella "skin" (see film (n.)).
erythema (n.)
medical Latin, from Greek erithema, from erythainein "to become red," from erythros "red" (see red (1)). Related: Erythematous.
erythro-
before vowels, erythr-, word-forming element meaning "red," from Greek erythro-, comb. form of erythros "red" (in Homer, also the color of copper and gold); see red (1).
Erzgebirge
German, literally "ore mountains."
Esalen
alternative philosophy and human potential movement, 1966, from Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, U.S., from Esselen, name of an extinct Native American people of the California coast.
escadrille (n.)
from French escadrille, from Spanish escuadrilla, diminutive of escuadra "square, squad, squadron," from Vulgar Latin *exquadrare, from Latin quadrare "to square" (see quadrant).
escalade (n.)
1590s, "action of using ladders to scale the walls of a fortified place," from Middle French escalade (16c.) "an assault with ladders on a fortification," from Italian scalata, fem. past participle of scalare "to climb by means of a ladder," from scala "ladder," related to Latin scandere "to climb" (see scan). For initial e-, see e-.
escalate (v.)
1922, back-formation from escalator, replacing earlier verb escalade (1801), from the noun escalade. Escalate came into general use with a figurative sense of "raise" after 1959 in reference to the possibility of nuclear war. Related: Escalated; escalating.
escalation (n.)
derived noun from escalate; in the figurative sense it is from 1938, in reference to the battleship arms race among global military powers.
escalator (n.)
1900, American English, trade name of an Otis Elevator Co. moving staircase, coined from escalade + -ator in elevator. Figurative use is from 1927.
escallop (n., v.)
late 15c., from Middle French escalope "shell," from a Germanic source (see scallop). For initial e-, see e-.
escapade (n.)
1650s, "an escape from confinement," from French escapade (16c.) "a prank or trick," from Spanish escapada "a prank, flight, an escape," noun use of fem. past participle of escapar "to escape," from Vulgar Latin *excappare (see escape). Or perhaps the French word is via Italian scappata, from scappare, from the same Vulgar Latin source. Figurative sense (1814) is of "breaking loose" from rules or restraints on behavior.
escape (v.)
c.1300, from Old North French escaper, Old French eschaper (12c., Modern French échapper), from Vulgar Latin *excappare, literally "get out of one's cape, leave a pursuer with just one's cape," from Latin ex- "out of" (see ex-) + Late Latin cappa "mantle" (see cap (n.)). Related: Escaped; escaping.
escape (n.)
c.1400, from escape (v.); earlier eschap (c.1300). Mental/emotional sense is from 1853. Escape clause in the legal sense first recorded 1945.
escapee (n.)
1865, American English, from escape (v.) + -ee.
escapism (n.)
1933, American English, from escape (v.) + -ism.
escapist
in the figurative sense, 1930 (adj.); 1933 (n.), from escape + -ist.
escapologist (n.)
performer who specializes in getting out of confinement, 1926; see escape + -ology.
escargot (n.)
"edible snail," 1892, from French escargot, from Old French escargole (14c.), from Provençal escaragol, ultimately from Vulgar Latin *coculium, from classical Latin conchylium "edible shellfish" (see cockle). The form of the word in Provençal and French seems to have been influenced by words related to scarab.
escarole (n.)
1897, from French escarole, from Italian scariola, from Late Latin escariola.
escarp (n.)
"steep slope," 1680s, from French escarpe (16c.), from Italian scarpa (see scarp).
escarpment (n.)
1802, from French escarpment, from escarper "make into a steep slope," from escarpe "slope," from Italian scarpa (see scarp). Earlier in same sense was escarp.
eschatology (n.)
1844, from Greek eskhatos "last, furthest, uttermost, extreme, most remote" (from ex "out of," Boeotian es-; see ex-) + -ology. Originally in theology, the study of the four last things: death, judgment, heaven, hell. Related: Eschatological; eschatologically.
eschaton (n.)
"divinely ordained climax of history," 1935, coined by Protestant theologian Charles Harold Dodd (1884-1973) from Greek eskhaton, neuter of eskhatos (see eschatology).
escheat (n.)
the reverting of land to a king or lord in certain cases, early 14c., from Anglo-French eschete (late 13c.), from Old French eschete "succession, inheritance," originally fem. past participle of escheoir, from Late Latin *excadere "to fall out," from Latin ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). As a verb, from late 14c. Related: Escheated; escheating.
eschew (v.)
mid-14c., from Old French eschiver "shun, eschew, avoid, dispense with," from Frankish *skiuhan "dread, avoid, shun," from Proto-Germanic *skeukhwaz (cognates: Old High German sciuhen "to avoid, escape," German scheuen "to fear, shun, shrink from," scheu "shy, timid"); see shy (v.). Related: Eschewed; eschewing. Italian schivare "to avoid, shun, protect from," schivo "shy, bashful" also are loan words from West Germanic.
esclavage (n.)
chain or bead necklace, 1758, from French esclavage, literally "slavery," from esclave (13c.) "slave" (see slave (n.)). So called from resemblance to a slave's neck chains.
escort (n.)
1570s, in military sense, from Middle French escorte (16c.), from Italian scorta, literally "a guiding," from scorgere "to guide," from Vulgar Latin *excorrigere, from ex- "out" (see ex-) + corrigere "set right" (see correct). The sense of "person accompanying another to a social occasion" is 1936.
escort (v.)
1708, from escort (n.); social sense is from 1890. Related: Escorted; escorting.
escritoire (n.)
1706, from French écritoire (12c.), from Late Latin scriptorium (see scriptorium).
escrow (n.)
1590s, from Anglo-French escrowe, from Old French escroue "scrap, roll of parchment," from a Germanic source akin to Old High German scrot "a scrap, shred, a piece cut off" (see shred (n.)). Originally "a deed delivered to a third person until a future condition is satisfied;" sense of "deposit held in trust or security" is from 1888.
escudo (n.)
Spanish and Portuguese coin, 1821, from Spanish/Portuguese escudo, from Latin scutum "shield" (see hide (n.1)). Also see ecu.
esculent (adj.)
1620s, from Latin esculentus "good to eat, eatable," from esca "food," from PIE *eds-qa- (cognates: Lithuanian eska "appetite"), from root *ed- "to eat" (see edible).
escutcheon (n.)
late 15c., from Old North French escuchon, variant of Old French escusson, from Vulgar Latin *scutionem, from Latin scutum "shield" (see hide (n.1)).