ethic (n.) Look up ethic at
late 14c., ethik "study of morals," from Old French etique "ethics, moral philosophy" (13c.), from Late Latin ethica, from Greek ethike philosophia "moral philosophy," fem. of ethikos "ethical," from ethos "moral character," related to ethos "custom" (see ethos). Meaning "moral principles of a person or group" is attested from 1650s.
ethical (adj.) Look up ethical at
c. 1600, "pertaining to morality," from ethic + -al (1). Related: Ethicality; ethically.
ethics (n.) Look up ethics at
"the science of morals," c. 1600, plural of Middle English ethik "study of morals" (see ethic). The word also traces to Ta Ethika, title of Aristotle's work. Related: Ethicist.
Ethiop (n.) Look up Ethiop at
late 14c., from Latin Æthiops "Ethiopian, negro," from Greek Aithiops, long supposed in popular etymology to be from aithein "to burn" + ops "face" (compare aithops "fiery-looking," later "sunburned").
Who the Homeric Æthiopians were is a matter of doubt. The poet elsewhere speaks of two divisions of them, one dwelling near the rising, the other near the setting of the sun, both having imbrowned visages from their proximity to that luminary, and both leading a blissful existence, because living amid a flood of light; and, as a natural concomitant of a blissful existence, blameless, and pure, and free from every kind of moral defilement. [Charles Anthon, note to "The First Six Books of Homer's Iliad," 1878]
Ethiopia Look up Ethiopia at
Latin Aethiopia, from Greek Aithiopia, from Aithiops (see Ethiop). The native name is represented by Abyssinia.
Ethiopian (n.) Look up Ethiopian at
1550s; see Ethiop + -ian. As an adjective from 1680s; earlier adjective was Ethiopic (1650s).
ethnarch (n.) Look up ethnarch at
1640s, from Latinized form of Greek ethnarkhes, from ethnos "nation, a people" (see ethnic) + arkh- "chief, first" (see archon).
ethnic (adj.) Look up ethnic at
late 15c. (earlier ethnical, early 15c.) "pagan, heathen," from Late Latin ethnicus, from Greek ethnikos "of or for a nation, national," by some writers (Polybius, etc.) "adopted to the genius or customs of a people, peculiar to a people," and among the grammarians "suited to the manners or language of foreigners," from ethnos "band of people living together, nation, people, tribe, caste," also used of swarms or flocks of animals, properly "people of one's own kind," from PIE *swedh-no-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, third person pronoun and reflexive, also forming words referring to the social group (see idiom). Earlier in English as a noun, "a heathen, pagan, one who is not a Christian or Jew" (c. 1400). In modern noun use, "member of an ethnic group," from 1945.

In Septuagint, Greek ta ethne translates Hebrew goyim, plural of goy "nation," especially of non-Israelites, hence especially "gentile nation, foreign nation not worshipping the true God" (see goy), and ethnikos is used by ecclesiastical writers in a sense of "savoring of the nature of pagans, alien to the worship of the true God," and as a noun "the pagan, the gentile." The classical sense of "peculiar to a race or nation" in English is attested from 1851, a return to the word's original meaning; that of "different cultural groups" is 1935; and that of "racial, cultural or national minority group" is American English 1945. Ethnic cleansing is attested from 1991.
Although the term 'ethnic cleansing' has come into English usage only recently, its verbal correlates in Czech, French, German, and Polish go back much further. [Jerry Z. Muller, "Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism," Foreign Affairs, March/April 2008]
ethnicity (n.) Look up ethnicity at
"ethnic character," 1953, from ethnic + -ity. Earlier it meant "paganism" (1772).
ethno- Look up ethno- at
word-forming element meaning "race, culture," from Greek ethnos "people, nation, class, caste, tribe; a number of people accustomed to live together" (see ethnic). Used to form modern compounds in the social sciences.
ethnocentric (adj.) Look up ethnocentric at
"believing that one's own nation is the center of civilization," 1891, from ethno- + -centric; a technical term in social sciences until it began to be more widely used in the second half of the 20th century. Related: Ethnocentricity; ethnocentrism (1902).
Dr. Gumplowicz, professor of sociology at the University of Gratz, says that there are illusions which have been most baneful in the wider life of the world. He mentions two of them which, with real German facility for coining new names, he calls "acrochronism" and "ethnocentrism." ["Address of Professor J.C. Bracq," in "The Eighth Lake Mohonk Arbitration Conference," May 28, 1902; he adds, "Acrochronism is the illusion which leads us to think that what we are doing is the culminating point of some great process."]
ethnogenesis (n.) Look up ethnogenesis at
1957 in modern usage, from ethno- + -genesis "birth, origin, creation." It was the title of an 1861 poem celebrating the birth of the Confederacy by U.S. Southern poet Henry Timrod (1828-1867).
ethnography (n.) Look up ethnography at
"science of the description and classification of the races of mankind," 1812, perhaps from German Ethnographie; see ethno- "race, culture" + -graphy "study." Related: Ethnographer; ethnographic.
ethnology (n.) Look up ethnology at
"science of the characteristics, history, and customs of the races of mankind," 1832, from ethno- + -logy, perhaps modeled on French or German. Related: Ethnologist; ethnological.
Ethnology is a very modern science, even later than Geology, and as yet hardly known in America, although much cultivated latterly in Germany and France, being considered an indispensable auxiliary to history and geography. ["Atlantic Journal and Friend of Knowledge," Philadelphia, summer 1832]
ethology (n.) Look up ethology at
late 17c., "mimicry, art of depicting characters by mimic gestures," from Latin ethologia, from Greek ethologia, from ethos "character" (see ethos). Taken by Mill as "science of character formation" (1843); as a branch of zoology, "study of instincts," from 1897. Related: Ethological.
ethos (n.) Look up ethos at
"the 'genius' of a people, characteristic spirit of a time and place," 1851 (Palgrave) from Greek ethos "habitual character and disposition; moral character; habit, custom; an accustomed place," in plural, "manners," from suffixed form of PIE root *s(w)e- third person pronoun and reflexive (see idiom). An important concept in Aristotle (as in "Rhetoric" II xii-xiv).
ethyl (n.) Look up ethyl at
1838, from German ethyl (Liebig, 1834), from ether + -yl. Ethyl alcohol, under other names, was widely used in medicine by 13c.
ethylene (n.) Look up ethylene at
poisonous, flammable gas, 1852, from ethyl + -ene, probably suggested by methylene.
etic (adj.) Look up etic at
1954, coined by U.S. linguist K.L. Pike (1912-2000) from ending of phonetic.
etiolate (v.) Look up etiolate at
"turn (a plant) white by growing it in darkness," 1791, from French étiolé, past participle of étioler "to blanch" (17c.), perhaps literally "to become like straw," from Norman dialect étule "a stalk," Old French esteule "straw, field of stubble," from Latin stipula "straw" (see stipule). Related: Etiolated.
etiology (n.) Look up etiology at
also aetiology, "science of causes or causation," 1550s, from Late Latin aetiologia, from Greek aitiologia "statement of cause," from aitia "cause, responsibility" (from PIE *ai-t-ya-, from root *ai- (1) "to give, allot;" see diet (n.1)) + -logia "a speaking" (see -logy). Related: Etiologic; etiological.
etiquette (n.) Look up etiquette at
1750, from French étiquette "prescribed behavior," from Old French estiquette "label, ticket" (see ticket (n.)).

The sense development in French perhaps is from small cards written or printed with instructions for how to behave properly at court (compare Italian etichetta, Spanish etiqueta), and/or from behavior instructions written on a soldier's billet for lodgings (the main sense of the Old French word).
Etna Look up Etna at
volcano in Sicily, from Latin Aetna, from an indigenous Sicilian language, *aith-na "the fiery one," from PIE *ai-dh-, from root *ai- (2) "to burn" (see edifice). Related: Etnean.
Eton Look up Eton at
collar (1882), jacket (1873, formerly worn by the younger boys there), etc., from Eton College, public school for boys on the Thames opposite Windsor, founded by Henry VI. The place name is Old English ea "river" (see ea) + tun "farm, settlement" (see town (n.)). Related: Etonian.
Etruscan (n.) Look up Etruscan at
1706, from Latin Etruscus "an Etruscan," from Etruria, ancient name of Tuscany, of uncertain origin but containing an element that might mean "water" (see Basque) and which could be a reference to the rivers in the region.
Etta Look up Etta at
fem. proper name, originally a shortening of Henrietta.
ettin (n.) Look up ettin at
an old word for "a giant," extinct since 16c., from Old English eoten "giant, monster," from Proto-Germanic *itunoz "giant" (cognates: Old Norse iotunn, Danish jætte).
etude (n.) Look up etude at
a composition having musical value but primarily intended to exercise the pupil in technical difficulties, 1837, from French étude, literally "study" (12c., Old French estudie), from Latin studium (see study (n.)). Popularized in English by the etudes of Chopin (1810-1849).
etui (n.) Look up etui at
1610s, also ettuy, etwee from French étui, Old French estui (12c.) "case, box, container," back-formation from estuier "put in put aside, spare; to keep, shut up, imprison," which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Latin studere "to be diligent."
etymological (adj.) Look up etymological at
1590s; see etymology + -ical. Related: Etymologically.
etymologicon (n.) Look up etymologicon at
"a work in which etymologies are traced," 1640s, from Latin etymologicon, from Greek etymologikon, neuter of etymologikos (see etymology). Plural is etymologica.
etymologist (n.) Look up etymologist at
1630s; see etymology + -ist. Also etymologer (1640s).
etymologize (v.) Look up etymologize at
1530s (transitive); see etymology + -ize. Compare French étymologiser, from Medieval Latin etymologisare. Intransitive sense from 1650s. Related: Etymologized; etymologizing.
etymology (n.) Look up etymology at
late 14c., ethimolegia "facts of the origin and development of a word," from Old French etimologie, ethimologie (14c., Modern French étymologie), from Latin etymologia, from Greek etymologia "analysis of a word to find its true origin," properly "study of the true sense (of a word)," with -logia "study of, a speaking of" (see -logy) + etymon "true sense," neuter of etymos "true, real, actual," related to eteos "true," which perhaps is cognate with Sanskrit satyah, Gothic sunjis, Old English soð "true."

Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium. In classical times, with reference to meanings; later, to histories. Classical etymologists, Christian and pagan, based their explanations on allegory and guesswork, lacking historical records as well as the scientific method to analyze them, and the discipline fell into disrepute that lasted a millennium. Flaubert ["Dictionary of Received Ideas"] wrote that the general view was that etymology was "the easiest thing in the world with the help of Latin and a little ingenuity."

As a modern branch of linguistic science treating of the origin and evolution of words, from 1640s. As "account of the particular history of a word" from mid-15c. Related: Etymological; etymologically.
etymon (n.) Look up etymon at
"primitive word," 1570s, from Greek etymon, neuter of etymos "true, real, actual" (see etymology). Classical Greek used etymon as an adverb, "truly, really." Related: Etymic.
eu- Look up eu- at
word-forming element, in modern use meaning "good, well," from comb. form of Greek eus "good," eu "well" (adv.), also "luckily, happily" (opposed to kakos), as a noun, "the right, the good cause," from PIE *(e)su- "good" (cognates: Sanskrit su- "good," Avestan hu- "good"). In compounds the Greek word had more a sense of "greatness, abundance, prosperity," and was opposed to dys-.
eubacteria (n.) Look up eubacteria at
singular eubacterium, 1939, coined in German 1930; see eu-, here meaning "good," + bacteria. Classically, as an adverb, eu should form compounds only with verbs.
Euboea Look up Euboea at
large island of Greece north of Attica and Boeotia, literally "rich in cattle," from eu- "good, well" (see eu-) + bous "ox, cow" (see cow (n.)). Related: Euboean.
eucalyptus (n.) Look up eucalyptus at
evergreen genus of Australia, 1789, from Modern Latin, coined 1788 by French botanist Charles Louis L'héritier de Brutelle (1746-1800) from Greek eu "well" (see eu-) + kalyptos "covered" (see Calypso); so called for the covering on the bud.
Eucharist (n.) Look up Eucharist at
"sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the Communion," mid-14c., from Old French eucariste, from Late Latin eucharistia, from Greek eukharistia "thanksgiving, gratitude," later "the Lord's Supper," from eukharistos "grateful," from eu "well" (see eu-) + stem of kharizesthai "show favor," from kharis "favor, grace," from PIE root *gher- (5) "to like, want" (see hortatory). Eukharisteo is the usual verb for "to thank, to be thankful" in the Septuagint and Greek New Testament. Related: Eucharistic.
euchre (n.) Look up euchre at
type of card game played with a partial deck, 1846, American English, of unknown origin. Elements of the game indicate it might be from GermanIn early use also uker, yucker.
Euclidean (adj.) Look up Euclidean at
1650s, "of or pertaining to Euclid" (Greek Eukleides), c. 300 B.C.E. geometer of Alexandria. Now often used in contrast to alternative models based on rejection of some of his axioms. His name in Greek means "renowned, glorious," from eu "well" (see eu-) + kleos "fame" (see Clio).
eudaemonic (adj.) Look up eudaemonic at
also eudemonic, "producing happiness," 1856, from Greek eudaimonikos "conducive to happiness," from eudaimonia "happiness," from eu "good" (see eu-) + daimon "guardian, genius" (see daimon). Related: Eudaimonia; eudemonia; eudaemonical.
Eudora Look up Eudora at
fem. proper name, Greek, literally "generous," fem. of eudoros, from eu "well, good" (see eu-) + doron "gift" (see date (n.1)).
Eugene Look up Eugene at
masc. proper name, from French Eugène, from Latin Eugenius, from Greek Eugenios, literally "nobility of birth," from eugenes "well-born" (see eugenics).
Eugenia Look up Eugenia at
fem. proper name, from Latin, from Greek Eugenia, literally "nobility of birth," fem. of Eugenius (see Eugene).
eugenics (n.) Look up eugenics at
"doctrine of progress in evolution of the human race, race-culture," 1883, coined (along with adjective eugenic) by English scientist Francis Galton (1822-1911) on analogy of ethics, physics, etc. from Greek eugenes "well-born, of good stock, of noble race," from eu- "good" (see eu-) + genos "birth" (see genus).
The investigation of human eugenics, that is, of the conditions under which men of a high type are produced. [Galton, "Human Faculty," 1883]
euhemerism (n.) Look up euhemerism at
1846, "the method of regarding myths as glorified accounts of actual events or persons," with -ism + name of Euhemerus, Greek philosopher of Sicily (4c. B.C.E.), who wrote "Iera Anagraphe," in which he maintained the Greek deities actually were historical mortals. His name is literally "good day," from eu "well, good" (see eu-) + hemera "day" (see ephemera). Related: Euhemerist; euhemeristic.
eukaryotic (adj.) Look up eukaryotic at
also eucaryotic, "characterized by well-defined cells (with nuclei and cell walls)," 1957, from French eucaryote (1925), from Greek eu "well, good" (see eu-) + karyon "nut, kernel" (see karyo-). Related: Eukaryote; eucaryote.
eulogist (n.) Look up eulogist at
1758; see eulogy + -ist. Related: Eulogistic.