heavy-duty (adj.) Look up heavy-duty at Dictionary.com
"durable, strong," 1914; see heavy + duty.
heavy-handed (adj.) Look up heavy-handed at Dictionary.com
also heavyhanded, 1630s, originally "weary" or "clumsy;" from heavy (adj.) + handed. Sense of "overbearing" is first recorded 1883.
heavyweight Look up heavyweight at Dictionary.com
noun and adj., 1857 of horses; 1877 of fighters; from heavy + weight. Figuratively, of importance, from 1928.
hebdomadal (adj.) Look up hebdomadal at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin hebdomalis, from hebdomas, from Greek hebdomas "the number seven; a period of seven (days)," from hepta "seven" (from PIE *septm; see seven) + -mos, suffix used to form ordinal numbers, cognate with Latin -mus. In later use as pedantic humor.
hebdomadally (adv.) Look up hebdomadally at Dictionary.com
"weekly," 1816, pedantic humor, from hebdomadal + -ly (2).
Hebe (1) Look up Hebe at Dictionary.com
c.1600, Greek goddess of youth, daughter of Zeus and Hera, wife of Hercules, from Greek hebe "youth, youthful prime, strength of youth" (legally, "the time before manhood," in Athens 16, in Sparta 18), from PIE *yeg-wa- "power, youth, strength."
Hebe (2) Look up Hebe at Dictionary.com
derogatory word for "a Jew," 1932, shortened from Hebrew
hebephrenia (n.) Look up hebephrenia at Dictionary.com
"adolescent insanity," 1886, coined in Modern Latin by German psychiatrist Ewald Escker in 1871, from Greek hebe "youth" (see Hebe (1)) + phrene "mind" (see phreno-).
hebetude (n.) Look up hebetude at Dictionary.com
1620s, from Latin hebetudo, noun of quality from hebes "blunt, dull," of unknown origin. Related: Hebetate (v.); hebetation; hebetudinous.
Hebraic (adj.) Look up Hebraic at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French hebraique and directly from Late Latin Hebraicus, from Greek Hebraikos, from Hebraios (see Hebrew).
Hebraism (n.) Look up Hebraism at Dictionary.com
1560s, "phrase or construction characteristic of the Hebrew language;" see Hebraic + -ism. Meaning "a quality or characteristic of the (biblical) Hebrew people" is from 1847.
Hebrew (adj.) Look up Hebrew at Dictionary.com
late Old English, from Old French Ebreu, from Latin Hebraeus, from Greek Hebraios, from Aramaic 'ebhrai, corresponding to Hebrew 'ibhri "an Israelite," literally "one from the other side," in reference to the River Euphrates, or perhaps simply signifying "immigrant;" from 'ebher "region on the other or opposite side." The noun is c.1200, "the Hebrew language;" late 14c. of persons, originally "a biblical Jew, Israelite."
Hebrides Look up Hebrides at Dictionary.com
originally Ebudae, Haebudes, of uncertain origin. Apparently a scribal error turned -u- into -ri-. The Norse name, Suðregar, "Southern Islands," is relative to the Orkneys. Related: Hebridean.
Hecate Look up Hecate at Dictionary.com
early 15c., Greek deity, daughter of Perseus and Asteria (said to be originally Thracian), later identified as an aspect of Artemis, fem. of hekatos "far-shooting." Associated since Shakespeare ("I Henry VI," III.ii.64) with witches and sorcery.
hecatomb (n.) Look up hecatomb at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Greek hekatombe "offering of 100 oxen," but generally "a great public sacrifice," from hekaton "one hundred" (perhaps from hen, neuter of eis "one" + *katon "hundred") + bous "ox." The first month of the Attic calendar (corresponding to July-August) was Hekatombaion, in which sacrifices were made.
heck (interj.) Look up heck at Dictionary.com
euphemistic alteration of hell, first recorded 1865.
heckle (v.) Look up heckle at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "to comb (flax or hemp) with a heckle;" from heckle (n.) or from related Middle Dutch hekelen. Figurative meaning "to question severely in a bid to uncover weakness" is from late 18c. "Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED]. Related: Heckled; heckling.
heckle (n.) Look up heckle at Dictionary.com
"flax comb," c.1300, hechel, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *hecel or a cognate Germanic word (such as Middle High German hechel, Middle Dutch hekel), from Proto-Germanic *hakila-, from PIE *keg- "hook, tooth" (see hook (n.)).
heckler (n.) Look up heckler at Dictionary.com
agent noun from heckle (v.); mid-15c., from late 13c., as a surname (Will. le Hekelere). Modern sense of "one from the audience who taunts a public speaker" is from 1885. Fem. form hekelstere is attested from c.1500.
hectare (n.) Look up hectare at Dictionary.com
1810, from French hectare "a hundred ares," formed from Greek hekaton "hundred" (see hecatomb) + Latin area "vacant piece of ground" (see area). A superficial measure containing 100 ares, coined by decree of the French National Convention in 1795.
hectic (adj.) Look up hectic at Dictionary.com
late 14c., etik (in fever etik), from Old French etique "consumptive," from Late Latin hecticus, from Greek hektikos "continuous, habitual, consumptive" (of a disease, because of the constant fever), from hexis "a habit (of mind or body)," from ekhein "have, hold, continue" (see scheme).

The Latin -h- was restored in English 16c. Sense of "feverishly exciting, full of disorganized activity" first recorded 1904, but hectic also was used in Middle English as a noun meaning "feverish desire, consuming passion" (early 15c.). Hectic fevers are characterized by rapid pulse, among other symptoms. Related: Hecticness.
hector (n.) Look up hector at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a valiant warrior," 1650s as slang for "a blustering, turbulent, pervicacious, noisy fellow" [Johnson], Heck for short, both in reference to the provocative character of Hektor, Trojan hero, oldest son of Priam and Hecuba, in the "Iliad." It represents Greek hektor, literally "holder, stayer;" an agent noun from ekhein "to have, hold, possess" (see scheme). The word was used mid-1600s in reference to London street gangs. As a proper name it is rare in England but used in Scotland to render Gaelic Eachdonn.
hector (v.) Look up hector at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Hector (n.), in reference to his encouragement of his fellow Trojans to keep up the fight. Related: Hectored; hectoring.
Hecuba Look up Hecuba at Dictionary.com
principal wife of Priam in the "Iliad," from Greek Hekabe, perhaps a variant of Hecate.
hedge (n.) Look up hedge at Dictionary.com
Old English hecg, originally any fence, living or artificial, from West Germanic *khagja (cognates: Middle Dutch hegge, Dutch heg, Old High German hegga, German Hecke "hedge"), from PIE *kagh- "to catch, seize; wickerwork, fence" (cognates: Latin caulae "a sheepfold, enclosure," Gaulish caio "circumvallation," Welsh cae "fence, hedge"). Related to Old English haga "enclosure, hedge" (see haw). Figurative sense of "boundary, barrier" is from mid-14c. Prefixed to any word, it "notes something mean, vile, of the lowest class" [Johnson], from contemptuous attributive sense of "plying one's trade under a hedge" (hedge-priest, hedge-lawyer, hedge-wench, etc.), a usage attested from 1530s.
hedge (v.) Look up hedge at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "make a hedge," also "surround with a barricade or palisade;" from hedge (n.). The sense of "dodge, evade" is first recorded 1590s. That of "insure oneself against loss," as in a bet, by playing something on the other side is from 1670s, originally with in; probably from an earlier use of hedge in meaning "secure (a debt) by including it in a larger one which has better security" (1610s). Related: Hedged; hedging. The noun in the wagering sense is from 1736.
hedgehog (n.) Look up hedgehog at Dictionary.com
mid-15c. (replacing Old English igl), from hedge (n.) + hog (n.); the second element a reference to its pig-like snout.
hedgerow (n.) Look up hedgerow at Dictionary.com
Old English hegeræw; see hedge (n.) + row (n.).
hedonism (n.) Look up hedonism at Dictionary.com
1856, from Greek hedone (see hedonist) + -ism.
hedonist (n.) Look up hedonist at Dictionary.com
1822, in reference to the Cyrenaic school of philosophy that deals with the ethics of pleasure, from Greek hedonikos "pleasurable," from hedone "pleasure," related to hedys "sweet," cognate with Latin suavis (see sweet). A hedonist is properly the follower of any ethical system in which some sort of pleasure ranks as the highest good. The Epicurian identifies this pleasure with the practice of virtue.
hedonistic (adj.) Look up hedonistic at Dictionary.com
1866, from hedonist + -ic. The earlier adjectival form was hedonic (1650s), "of or having to do with the Cyrenaic school of philosophy;" by 1901 in psychology.
Hedwig Look up Hedwig at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, German, from Old High German Haduwig, a compound of two words both of which mean "strife, struggle."
hee-haw Look up hee-haw at Dictionary.com
also heehaw, first recorded 1815 (as Hiu Haw), probably imitative of sound of donkey's bray (compare French hinham). As "a loud laugh" from 1843.
heebie-jeebies (n.) Look up heebie-jeebies at Dictionary.com
1923, said to have been coined by U.S. cartoonist Billy De Beck (1890-1942), creator of "Barney Google."
heed (v.) Look up heed at Dictionary.com
Old English hedan "to heed, observe; to take care, attend," from West Germanic *hodjan (cognates: Old Saxon hodian, Old Frisian hoda, Middle Dutch and Dutch hoeden, Old High German huotan, German hüten "to guard, watch"), from PIE *kadh- "to shelter, cover" (see hat). Related: Heeded; heeding.
heed (n.) Look up heed at Dictionary.com
"attention, notice, regard," early 14c., apparently from heed (v.). Survives only in literal use and as the object of verbs (take heed, etc.).
heedful (adj.) Look up heedful at Dictionary.com
1540s, from heed + -ful.
heedless (adj.) Look up heedless at Dictionary.com
"without regard," 1570s, from heed + -less. Related: Heedlessly; heedlessness.
heel (n.1) Look up heel at Dictionary.com
"back of the foot," Old English hela, from Proto-Germanic *hanhilon (cognates: Old Norse hæll, Old Frisian hel, Dutch hiel), from PIE *kenk- (3) "heel, bend of the knee" (source also of Old English hoh "hock").

Meaning "back of a shoe or boot" is c.1400. Down at heels (1732) refers to heels of boots or shoes worn down and the owner too poor to replace them. For Achilles' heel "only vulnerable spot" see Achilles. To "fight with (one's) heels" (fighten with heles) in Middle English meant "to run away."
heel (v.2) Look up heel at Dictionary.com
"to lean to one side," in reference to a ship, Old English hieldan "incline, lean, slope," from Proto-Germanic *helthijan (cognates: Middle Dutch helden "to lean," Dutch hellen, Old Norse hallr "inclined," Old High German halda, German halde "slope, declivity"). Re-spelled 16c. from Middle English hield, probably by misinterpretation of -d as a past tense suffix.
heel (n.2) Look up heel at Dictionary.com
"contemptible person," 1914 in U.S. underworld slang, originally "incompetent or worthless criminal," perhaps from a sense of "person in the lowest position" and thus from heel (n.1).
heel (v.1) Look up heel at Dictionary.com
of a dog, "to follow or stop at a person's heels," 1810, from heel (n.1). Also see heeled.
heel-tap (n.) Look up heel-tap at Dictionary.com
also heeltap, 1680s, "one of the bits of leather that are stacked up to make a shoe heel" (see heel (n.1)); meaning "bit of liquor left in a glass or bottle" first recorded 1780s; the exact connection is uncertain unless it be "the last or final part."
heeled (adj.) Look up heeled at Dictionary.com
"provided with money," 1880, American English Western slang, from earlier sense "furnished with a gun, armed" (1866), perhaps from still earlier sense "furnish (a gamecock) with a heel-like spur" (1560s), which was still in use 19c.; see heel (n.1).
heeler (n.) Look up heeler at Dictionary.com
1660s, "one who puts heels on shoes and boots," agent noun from heel (n.1). Meaning "unscrupulous political lackey," U.S. slang, 1877, from the notion of one who follows at the heels of a political boss, no doubt coined with the image of a dog in mind. See heel (v.1).
heft (v.) Look up heft at Dictionary.com
"to lift," 1660s, from heft (n.). Related: Hefted; hefting.
heft (n.) Look up heft at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "weight, heaviness, quality of weight," from heave on analogy of thieve/theft, weave/weft, etc.; also influenced by heft, obsolete past participle of heave.
hefty (adj.) Look up hefty at Dictionary.com
1867, from heft + -y (2). Related: Heftiness.
Hegelian (adj.) Look up Hegelian at Dictionary.com
1838, pertaining to German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). As a noun from 1843.
hegemon (n.) Look up hegemon at Dictionary.com
1904, originally with reference to the United States, from Greek hegemon "leader" (see hegemony).