echoic (adj.) Look up echoic at
1880; see echo (n.) + -ic. A word from the OED.
Onomatopoeia, in addition to its awkwardness, has neither associative nor etymological application to words imitating sounds. It means word-making or word-coining and is strictly as applicable to Comte's altruisme as to cuckoo. Echoism suggests the echoing of a sound heard, and has the useful derivatives echoist, echoize, and echoic instead of onomatopoetic, which is not only unmanageable, but when applied to words like cuckoo, crack, erroneous; it is the voice of the cuckoo, the sharp sound of breaking, which are onomatopoetic or word-creating, not the echoic words which they create. [James A.H. Murray, Philological Society president's annual address, 1880]
echolalia (n.) Look up echolalia at
"meaningless repetition of words and phrases," 1876, from German (von Romberg, 1865), from Greek ekho (see echo (n.)) + lalia "talk, prattle, a speaking," from lalein "to speak, prattle," of echoic origin.
echolocation (n.) Look up echolocation at
1944, from echo (n.) + location.
echopraxia (n.) Look up echopraxia at
"meaningless imitation of the movements of others," 1902, from Greek ekho (see echo (n.)) + praxis "action" (see praxis).
echovirus (n.) Look up echovirus at
also ECHO virus, 1955, acronym for enteric cytopathogenic human orphan; "orphan" because when discovered they were not known to cause any disease.
eclair (n.) Look up eclair at
"small, oblong cake filled with cream or custard and glazed or iced," 1861, from French éclair, literally "lightning," from Old French esclair "light, daylight, flash of light," verbal noun from esclairare "to light up, illuminate, make shine" (12c.), formerly esclairer, ultimately from Latin exclarare "light up, illumine," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + clarus "clear" (see clear (adj.)).
eclampsia (n.) Look up eclampsia at
1866, from Modern Latin, from Greek eklampsis "a shining forth, exceeding brightness," from ek- "out" (see ex-) + stem of lampein "to shine" (see lamp) + abstract noun ending -ia.
eclat (n.) Look up eclat at
1670s, "showy brilliance," from French éclat "splinter, fragment" (12c.), also "flash of brilliance," from eclater "burst out; shine brilliantly; splinter, fly to fragments," from Old French esclater "smash, shatter into pieces," which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Germanic word related to slit (v.) and to Old High German skleizen "tear to pieces; to split, cleave." Extended sense of "conspicuous success" is first recorded in English in 1741.
eclectic (adj.) Look up eclectic at
1680s, "not confined to or following any one model or system," originally in reference to ancient philosophers who selected doctrines from every system; from French eclectique (1650s), from Greek eklektikos "selective," literally "picking out," from eklektos "selected," from eklegein "pick out, select," from ek "out" (see ex-) + legein "gather, choose" (see lecture (n.)). Broader sense of "borrowed from diverse sources" is first recorded 1847. As a noun from 1817.
eclecticism (n.) Look up eclecticism at
1798, from eclectic + -ism.
eclipse (n.) Look up eclipse at
c. 1300, from Old French eclipse "eclipse, darkness" (12c.), from Latin eclipsis, from Greek ekleipsis "an eclipse; an abandonment," literally "a failing, forsaking," from ekleipein "to forsake a usual place, fail to appear, be eclipsed," from ek "out" (see ex-) + leipein "to leave" (cognate with Latin linquere; see relinquish).
eclipse (v.) Look up eclipse at
late 13c., "to cause an eclipse of," from Old French eclipser, from eclipse (see eclipse (n.)).Figurative use from 1570s. Also in Middle English in an intransitive sense "to suffer an eclipse," now obsolete. Related: Eclipsed; eclipsing.
ecliptic (n.) Look up ecliptic at
"the circle in the sky followed by the Sun," late 14c., from Medieval Latin ecliptica, from Late Latin (linea) ecliptica, from Greek ekliptikos "of an eclipse" (see eclipse (n.)). So called because eclipses happen only when the Moon is near the line. Related: Ecliptical.
eclogue (n.) Look up eclogue at
"short poem," especially a pastoral dialogue, mid-15c., from Latin ecloga "selection, short poem, eclogue," from Greek ekloge "a selection," especially of poems, from eklegein "to select" (see eclectic).
eco- Look up eco- at
word-forming element referring to the environment and man's relation to it, abstracted from ecology, ecological; attested from 1969.
ecocentric (adj.) Look up ecocentric at
also eco-centric, by 1975, from eco- + -centric.
ecofriendly (adj.) Look up ecofriendly at
also eco-friendly, by 1993, from eco- + friendly.
ecological (adj.) Look up ecological at
1899, see ecology + -ical. Related: Ecologically.
ecologist (n.) Look up ecologist at
1893, see ecology + -ist.
ecology (n.) Look up ecology at
1873, oecology, "branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to their environments," coined in German by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) as Ökologie, from Greek oikos "house, dwelling place, habitation" (see villa) + -logia "study of" (see -logy). In use with reference to anti-pollution activities from 1960s.
econometric (adj.) Look up econometric at
1933, from comb. form of economy + -metric. Related: Econometrics.
economic (adj.) Look up economic at
1590s, "pertaining to management of a household," perhaps shortened from economical, or else from French économique or directly from Latin oeconomicus "of domestic economy," from Greek oikonomikos "practiced in the management of a household or family" (also the name of a treatise by Xenophon on the duties of domestic life), hence, "frugal, thrifty," from oikonomia "household management" (see economy (n.)). Meaning "relating to the science of economics" is from 1835 and now is the main sense, economical retaining the older one of "characterized by thrift."
economical (adj.) Look up economical at
1570s, "pertaining to household management;" from economic + -al (1). Sense of "pertaining to political economy" is from 1781, but that sense more commonly goes with economic, and the main modern sense of this spelling is "thrifty" (1780). Related: Economically.
economics (n.) Look up economics at
1580s, "art of managing a household," perhaps from French économique (see economic); also see -ics. Meaning "science of wealth" is from 1792.
economise (v.) Look up economise at
chiefly British English spelling of economize. For suffix, see -ize. Related: Economised; economising.
economist (n.) Look up economist at
1580s, "household manager," from Middle French économiste; see economy + -ist. Meaning "student of political economy" is from 1804.
economize (v.) Look up economize at
1640s, "to govern a household," from economy + -ize. Meaning "to spend less, be sparing in outlay" is from 1790. Related: Economized; economizing; economization; economizer.
economy (n.) Look up economy at
1530s, "household management," from Latin oeconomia (source of French économie, Spanish economia, German Ökonomie, etc.), from Greek oikonomia "household management, thrift," from oikonomos "manager, steward," from oikos "house, abode, dwelling" (cognate with Latin vicus "district," vicinus "near;" Old English wic "dwelling, village;" see villa) + nomos "managing," from nemein "manage" (see numismatic). Meaning "frugality, judicious use of resources" is from 1660s. The sense of "wealth and resources of a country" (short for political economy) is from 1650s.
economy (adj.) Look up economy at
1821 as a term in advertising, at first meant simply "cheaper," then "bigger and thus cheaper per unit or amount" (1950). See economy (n.).
ecosphere (n.) Look up ecosphere at
region around a star where conditions allow life-bearing planets to exist, 1953; see eco- + sphere. Apparently coined by German-born U.S. physician and space medicine pioneer Hubertus Strughold (1898-1986).
ecosystem (n.) Look up ecosystem at
1935; see eco- + system. Perhaps coined by English ecologist Sir Arthur George Tansley (1871-1955).
ecotourism (n.) Look up ecotourism at
by 1984, from eco- + tourism. Related: Ecotourist.
ecru (adj.) Look up ecru at
1869, "having the color of raw silk or unbleached linen," from French écru "raw, unbleached," from Old French escru "raw, crude, rough" (13c.), from es- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + Latin crudus "raw" (see crude).
ecstasy (n.) Look up ecstasy at
late 14c., extasie "elation," from Old French estaise "ecstasy, rapture," from Late Latin extasis, from Greek ekstasis "entrancement, astonishment, insanity; any displacement or removal from the proper place," in New Testament "a trance," from existanai "displace, put out of place," also "drive out of one's mind" (existanai phrenon), from ek "out" (see ex-) + histanai "to place, cause to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).

Used by 17c. mystical writers for "a state of rapture that stupefied the body while the soul contemplated divine things," which probably helped the meaning shift to "exalted state of good feeling" (1610s). Slang use for the drug 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine dates from 1985. Formerly also spelled ecstasie, extacy, extasy, etc. Attempts to coin a verb to go with it include ecstasy (1620s), ecstatize (1650s), ecstasiate (1823), ecstasize (1830).
ecstatic (adj.) Look up ecstatic at
1590s, "mystically absorbed," from Greek ekstatikos "unstable, inclined to depart from," from ekstasis (see ecstasy). Meaning "characterized by or subject to intense emotions" is from 1660s, now usually pleasurable ones, but not originally always so. Related: Ecstatical; ecstatically.
ecto- Look up ecto- at
word-forming element generally meaning "outside, external," before vowels ect-, from Latinized form of Greek adverb ektos "outside, out of; free from; exempt" (opposed to entos), used to form compounds in Greek (such as ektome "a cutting out"); related to Greek ek, ex "out," from PIE *eghs "out" (see ex-).
ectoderm (n.) Look up ectoderm at
1853, from ecto- + -derm. Coined by Prussian embryologist Robert Remak (1815-1865). Related: Ectodermal.
ectomorph (n.) Look up ectomorph at
1940, coined by W.H. Sheldon from ecto- + -morph, from Greek morphe (see morphine). Related: Ectomorphic.
ectopic (adj.) Look up ectopic at
1864 in reference to pregnancy, from ectopia "morbid displacement of parts" (1847), coined in Modern Latin from Greek ektopos "away from a place, distant; foreign, strange," from ek- "out" (see ex-) + topos "place" (see topos).
ectoplasm (n.) Look up ectoplasm at
1883, of amoebas, "exterior protoplasm of a cell;" 1901 of spirits, from ecto- + -plasm. Related: Ectoplasmic.
ecu (n.) Look up ecu at
old French silver coin, 1704, from French écu, "a shield," also the name of a coin, from Old French escu (12c.) "shield, coat of arms," also the name of a coin with three fleur-de-lys stamped on it as on the shield, formerly escut, from Latin scutum "shield" (see hide (n.1)). First issued by Louis IX (1226-1270); so called because the shield of France was imprinted on them.
Ecuador Look up Ecuador at
from the Spanish form of equator (which runs through it). Before 1830 the region bore the name of its chief city, Quito, which is from the name of a now-extinct native people, of unknown meaning. Related: Ecuadorian; Ecuadorean.
ecumenical (adj.) Look up ecumenical at
late 16c., "representing the entire (Christian) world," formed in English as an ecclesiastical word, from Late Latin oecumenicus "general, universal," from Greek oikoumenikos "from the whole world," from he oikoumene ge "the inhabited world (as known to the ancient Greeks); the Greeks and their neighbors considered as developed human society (as opposed to barbarian lands)," in later use "the Roman world" and in the Christian sense in ecclesiastical Greek, from oikoumenos, present passive participle of oikein "inhabit," from oikos "house, habitation" (see villa). Related: Ecumenic.
ecumenism (n.) Look up ecumenism at
1937, from ecumen- (see ecumenical) + -ism. The older word is ecumenicalism (1870).
eczema (n.) Look up eczema at
1753, from Greek ekzema, literally "something thrown out by heat," from ekzein "to boil over, break out," from ek "out" (see ex-) + zein "to boil," from PIE root *yes- "to boil, foam, bubble" (see yeast). Said to have been the name given by ancient physicians to "any fiery pustule on the skin" [Chambers' "Cyclopaedia"].
edacious (adj.) Look up edacious at
1736, from Latin edaci-, stem of edax "voracious, gluttonous," from edere "to eat" (see edible) + -ous. Related: Edacity (1620s); edaciously; edaciousness.
Edam (adj.) Look up Edam at
1836, type of cheese named for Edam, village in Holland where it was originally made. The place name is literally "the dam on the River Ye," which flows into the Ijsselmeer there, and the river name is literally "river" (see ea).
Edda (n.) Look up Edda at
1771, by some identified with the name of the old woman (literally "grandmother") in the Old Norse poem "Rigsþul," by others derived from Old Norse oðr "spirit, mind, passion, song, poetry" (cognate with Old Irish faith "poet," Welsh gwawd "poem," Old English woþ "sound, melody, song," Latin vates "seer, soothsayer;" see wood (adj.)).

It is the name given in Icelandic c. 1300, by whom it is not known, to two Icelandic books, the first a miscellany of poetry, mythology, and grammar by Snorri Sturluson (d.1241), since 1642 called the Younger or Prose Edda; and a c. 1200 collection of ancient Germanic poetry and religious tales, called the Elder or Poetic Edda. Related: Eddaic; Eddic.
eddy (n.) Look up eddy at
mid-15c., Scottish ydy, possibly related to Old Norse iða "whirlpool," from Proto-Germanic *ith- "a second time, again," which is related to the common Old English prefix ed- "again, backwards; repetition, turning" (forming such words as edðingung "reconciliation," edgift "restitution," edniwian "to renew, restore," edhwierfan "to retrace one's steps," edgeong "to become young again"). Compare Old English edwielle "eddy, vortex, whirlpool." The prefix is from PIE root *eti "above, beyond" (Cognates: Latin et, Old High German et-, Gothic "and, but, however"). Related: Eddies.
eddy (v.) Look up eddy at
1730 (transitive); 1810 (intrans.), from eddy (n.). Related: Eddied; eddying.