electrician (n.) Look up electrician at Dictionary.com
1751, "scientist concerned with electricity;" 1869 as "technician concerned with electrical systems;" see electric + -ian.
electricity (n.) Look up electricity at Dictionary.com
1640s (Browne), from electric + -ity. Originally in reference to friction.
electrification (n.) Look up electrification at Dictionary.com
1748; see electrify + -ation.
electrify (v.) Look up electrify at Dictionary.com
1745, "to charge with electricity;" see electric + -fy. Figurative sense recorded by 1752. Related: Electrified; electrifying.
electro- Look up electro- at Dictionary.com
before vowels electr-, word-forming element meaning "electrical, electricity," Latinized form of Greek elektro-, comb. form of elektron "amber" (see electric).
electrocardiogram (n.) Look up electrocardiogram at Dictionary.com
1904, from electro- + cardiogram.
electrocute (v.) Look up electrocute at Dictionary.com
"execute by electricity," 1889, American English, from electro- + back half of execute. The method first was used Aug. 6, 1890, in New York state, on William Kemmler, convicted of the murder of his common-law wife. Sense involving accidental death is first recorded 1909. Electric chair is also first recorded 1889, which is when the first one was introduced in New York state as a humane alternative to hanging. Related: Electrocuted; electrocuting.
electrocution (n.) Look up electrocution at Dictionary.com
1890; see electrocute + -ion. Meaning "any death by electricity" is from 1940.
electrode (n.) Look up electrode at Dictionary.com
1834, coined by English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (1791-1867) from electro- + Greek hodos "way" (see cede) on same pattern as anode, cathode.
electroencephalogram (n.) Look up electroencephalogram at Dictionary.com
1934, from electro- + encephalo- (see encephalitis) + -gram.
electrolysis (n.) Look up electrolysis at Dictionary.com
1834, introduced by Faraday on the suggestion of the Rev. William Whewell (1794-1866), English polymath, from electro- + Greek lysis "a loosening," from lyein "to loosen, set free" (see lose). Originally of tumors, later (1909) of hair removal.
electrolyte (n.) Look up electrolyte at Dictionary.com
"substance decomposed by electrolysis," 1834, from electro- + Greek lytos "loosed," from lyein "to loose" (see lose).
electromagnet (n.) Look up electromagnet at Dictionary.com
1831; see electro- + magnet.
electromagnetic (adj.) Look up electromagnetic at Dictionary.com
1821; see electro- + magnetic.
electromagnetism (n.) Look up electromagnetism at Dictionary.com
1828; see electro- + magnetism.
electron (n.) Look up electron at Dictionary.com
coined 1891 by Irish physicist George J. Stoney (1826-1911) from electric + -on, as in ion (q.v.). Electron microscope translates German Elektronenmikroskop (1932).
electronic (adj.) Look up electronic at Dictionary.com
1902, "pertaining to electrons;" 1930 as "pertaining to electronics;" see electron + -ic. Related: Electronically.
electronic mail (n.) Look up electronic mail at Dictionary.com
1977; see e-mail.
electronics (n.) Look up electronics at Dictionary.com
1910, from electronic; also see -ics. The science of how electrons behave in vacuums, gas, semi-conductors, etc.
electrum (n.) Look up electrum at Dictionary.com
"alloy of gold and up to 40% silver," late 14c. (in Old English elehtre), from Latin electrum "alloy of gold and silver," also "amber" (see electric). So called probably for its pale yellow color.
eleemosynary (adj.) Look up eleemosynary at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Medieval Latin eleemosynarius "pertaining to alms," from Late Latin eleemosyna "alms," from Greek eleemosyne "pity" (see alms).
elegance (n.) Look up elegance at Dictionary.com
c.1500, "tastefulness, correctness, harmoniousness, refinement," of speech or prose, from Middle French élégance, from Latin elegantia "taste, propriety, refinement," from elegantem (see elegant). Earlier form was elegancy (early 15c.). Meaning "refined luxury" is from 1797.
elegant (adj.) Look up elegant at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French élégant (15c.), from Latin elegantem (nominative elegans) "choice, fine, tasteful," collateral form of present participle of eligere "select with care, choose." Elegans was originally a term of reproach, "dainty, fastidious;" the notion of "tastefully refined" emerged in classical Latin. Related: Elegantly.
elegiac (adj.) Look up elegiac at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Middle French élégiaque, from Latin elegiacus, from Greek elegeiakos, from eleigeia (see elegy). Related: Elegiacally.
elegize (v.) Look up elegize at Dictionary.com
1702; see elegy + -ize. Related: Elegized; elegizing.
elegy (n.) Look up elegy at Dictionary.com
1510s, from Middle French elegie, from Latin elegia, from Greek elegeia ode "an elegaic song," from elegeia, fem. of elegeios "elegaic," from elegos "poem or song of lament," perhaps from a Phrygian word.
element (n.) Look up element at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "earth, air, fire, or water," from Old French element (10c.), from Latin elementem "rudiment, first principle, matter in its most basic form" (translating Greek stoikheion), origin unknown. Meaning "simplest component of a complex substance" is late 14c. Modern sense in chemistry is from 1813. Elements "atmospheric force" is 1550s.
elemental (adj.) Look up elemental at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "pertaining to the four elements," from Medieval Latin elementalis, from Latin elementum (see element). Meaning "simple, uncomplicated" is from 1550s; that of "relating to first principles" is from 1570s. The noun in the occult sense is from 1877.
elementary (adj.) Look up elementary at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "having the nature of one of the four elements," from Middle French elementaire and directly from Latin elementarius, from elementum (see element). Meaning "rudimentary" is from 1540s; meaning "simple" is from 1620s. Elementary school is 1841.
elephant (n.) Look up elephant at Dictionary.com
c.1300, olyfaunt, from Old French oliphant (12c.), from Latin elephantus, from Greek elephas (genitive elephantos) "elephant, ivory," probably from a non-Indo-European language, likely via Phoenician (compare Hamitic elu "elephant," source of the word for it in many Semitic languages, or possibly from Sanskrit ibhah "elephant").

Re-spelled after 1550 on Latin model. As an emblem of the Republican Party in U.S. politics, 1860. To see the elephant "be acquainted with life, gain knowledge by experience" is an American English colloquialism from 1835.
elephantiasis (n.) Look up elephantiasis at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Greek elephantos, genitive of elephas "elephant" (see elephant) + -iasis "pathological or morbid condition." It refers to two diseases, one characterized by thickening of a body part (E. Arabum), the other, older meaning is "disease characterized by skin resembling an elephant's" (E. Græcorum, also called Egyptian leprosy).
elephantine (adj.) Look up elephantine at Dictionary.com
1620s, "huge," from Latin elephantinus "pertaining to the elephant," from elephantus (see elephant). Meaning "pertaining to elephants" is from 1670s.
Eleusinian (adj.) Look up Eleusinian at Dictionary.com
1640s, "pertaining to Eleusis," town outside Athens, site of the mystery associated with the cult of Demeter, goddess of harvests, and her daughter.
eleutherian (adj.) Look up eleutherian at Dictionary.com
1620s, from Greek eleutherios "like a free man, noble-minded, frank, liberal," literally "freeing, delivering, releaser," title of Zeus as protector of political freedom, from eleutheria "freedom," from PIE *leu-dheros.
elevate (v.) Look up elevate at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Latin elevatus, past participle of elevare "lift up, raise," figuratively, "to lighten, alleviate," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + levare "lighten, raise," from levis "light" in weight (see lever). Related: Elevated; elevating.
elevation (n.) Look up elevation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a rising, height of something," from Old French elevation and directly from Latin elevationem (nominative elevatio) "a lifting up," noun of action from past participle stem of elevare (see elevate). Meaning "act of elevating" is from 1520s.
elevator (n.) Look up elevator at Dictionary.com
1640s, originally of muscles, from Latin elevator, agent noun from past participle stem of elevare (see elevate). As a name for a mechanical lift (originally for grain) attested from 1787. Elevator music is attested by 1963. Elevator as a lift for shoes is from 1940.
eleven (n.) Look up eleven at Dictionary.com
c.1200, elleovene, from Old English endleofan, literally "one left" (over ten), from Proto-Germanic *ainlif- (compare Old Saxon elleban, Old Frisian andlova, Dutch elf, Old High German einlif, German elf, Old Norse ellifu, Gothic ainlif), a compound of *ain "one" (see one) + PIE *leikw- "leave, remain" (source of Greek leipein "to leave behind;" see relinquish).
FIREFLY: Give me a number from 1 to 10.
CHICOLINI: eleven!
FIREFLY: Right!
Viking survivors who escaped an Anglo-Saxon victory were daroþa laf "the leavings of spears," while hamora laf "the leavings of hammers" was an Old English kenning for "swords" (both from "The Battle of Brunanburgh"). Twelve reflects the same formation. Outside Germanic the only instance of this formation is in Lithuanian, which uses -lika "left over" and continues the series to 19 (vienio-lika "eleven," dvy-lika "twelve," try-lika "thirteen," keturio-lika "fourteen," etc.) Phrase eleventh hour (1829) is from Matthew xx:1-16.
eleventh (adj.) Look up eleventh at Dictionary.com
late 14c., eleventhe, superseding earlier ellefte (c.1300), enlefte (early 13c.), from Old English endleofta; see eleven + -th (1).
elf (n.) Look up elf at Dictionary.com
"one of a race of powerful supernatural beings in Germanic folklore," Old English elf (Mercian, Kentish), ælf (Northumbrian), ylfe (plural, West Saxon), from Proto-Germanic *albiz (cognates: Old Saxon alf, Old Norse alfr, German alp "evil spirit, goblin, incubus"), origin unknown, possibly from PIE *albho- "white." Used figuratively for "mischievous person" from 1550s.

In addition to elf/ælf (masc.), Old English had parallel form *elfen (fem.), the plural of which was *elfenna, -elfen, from Proto-Germanic *albinjo-. Both words survived into Middle English and were active there, the former as elf (with the vowel of the plural), plural elves, the latter as elven, West Midlands dialect alven (plural elvene).

The Germanic elf originally was dwarfish and malicious (compare Old English ælfadl "nightmare," ælfsogoða "hiccup," thought to be caused by elves); in the Middle Ages they were confused to some degree with faeries; the more noble version begins with Spenser. Nonetheless a popular component in Anglo-Saxon names, many of which survive as modern given names and surnames, such as Ælfræd "Elf-counsel" (Alfred), Ælfwine "Elf-friend" (Alvin), Ælfric "Elf-ruler" (Eldridge), also women's names such as Ælfflæd "Elf-beauty." Elf Lock hair tangled, especially by Queen Mab, "which it was not fortunate to disentangle" [according to Robert Nares' glossary of Shakespeare] is from 1592.
elfin (adj.) Look up elfin at Dictionary.com
1590s, from elf; first found in Spenser, who may have been thinking of elven but the word also is a proper name in the Arthurian romances (Elphin).
elfish (adj.) Look up elfish at Dictionary.com
c.1200, alvisc; see elf + -ish. Related: Elfishly; elfishness.
Elgin Marbles (n.) Look up Elgin Marbles at Dictionary.com
1809, sculptures and marbles (especially from the frieze of the Parthenon) brought from Greece to England and sold to the British government by Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin (1766-1841).
Eli Look up Eli at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, in Old Testament, the name of a high priest of Israel, teacher of Samuel, from Hebrew, literally "high."
elicit (v.) Look up elicit at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Latin elicitus, past participle of elicere "draw forth," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -licere, comb. form of lacere "to entice, lure, deceive" (related to laqueus "noose, snare;" see lace (n.)). Related: Elicited; eliciting; elicits; elicitation.
elide (v.) Look up elide at Dictionary.com
1590s, a legal term, "to annul, do away with," from Middle French elider (16c.), from Latin elidere "strike out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -lidere, comb. form of laedere "to strike." Phonological sense is first recorded 1796. Related: Elided; eliding.
eligibility (n.) Look up eligibility at Dictionary.com
1640s, see eligible + -ity.
eligible (adj.) Look up eligible at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "fit or proper to be chosen," from Middle French eligible "fit to be chosen" (14c.), from Late Latin eligibilis "that may be chosen," from Latin eligere "choose" (see election). Related: Eligibly.
Elihu Look up Elihu at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, Hebrew, literally "he is my God."
Elijah Look up Elijah at Dictionary.com
name of the great Old Testament prophet, from Hebrew Elijjah, literally "the Lord is God." The Greek form is Elias.