Hiroshima Look up Hiroshima at Dictionary.com
city in Japan, literally "broad island," from Japanese hiro "broad" + shima "island." So called in reference to its situation on the delta of the Ota River.
hirsute (adj.) Look up hirsute at Dictionary.com
"hairy," 1620s, from Latin hirsutus "rough, shaggy, bristly," figuratively "rude, unpolished," related to hirtus "shaggy," and possibly to horrere "to bristle with fear" (see horror).
hirsutism (n.) Look up hirsutism at Dictionary.com
1905, as a human condition, from hirsute + -ism.
his (pron.) Look up his at Dictionary.com
Old English his (genitive of he), from Proto-Germanic *hisa (cognates: Gothic is, Old Saxon is, German es). Originally also the neuter possessive pronoun, but in English it was replaced in that sense c. 1600 by its. In Middle English, hisis was tried for the absolute pronoun (compare her/hers), but it failed to stick. For dialectal his'n, see her.

In 16c.-17c. commonly used in place of a genitive inflection after nouns whose nominative ends in -s (for example, "When this Book became a particular book, that is, when Moses his book was divided into five parts, I cannot trace." [Donne, "Essayes in Divinity," "Exodus," 1651]). Here it is perhaps an expanded vocalized form of 's, originally -es. This tendency began in late Old English and was obsolete from c. 1750.
Hispania Look up Hispania at Dictionary.com
Latin name for the Iberian peninsula, literally "country of the Spaniards;" see Hispanic.
Hispanic (adj.) Look up Hispanic at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to Spain" (especially ancient Spain) 1580s, from Latin Hispanicus, from Hispania "Iberian Peninsula," from Hispanus "Spaniard" (see Spaniard). Specific application to Spanish-speaking parts of the New World is from 1889, American English; since c. 1972 especially applied to Spanish-speaking persons of Latin American descent living in the U.S. As a noun meaning "Hispanic person" from 1972.
Hispaniola Look up Hispaniola at Dictionary.com
West Indian island, from Spanish la isla española "the Spanish island" (not "little Spain"); the name is said to have been given by Columbus in 1492.
hiss (v.) Look up hiss at Dictionary.com
late 14c., of imitative origin. Compare Danish hysse, German zischen, etc. Johnson wrote, "it is remarkable, that this word cannot be pronounced without making the noise which it signifies." Related: Hissed; hissing.
hiss (n.) Look up hiss at Dictionary.com
"a continued 's' sound, commonly expressing disapproval or contempt," 1510s, from hiss (v.).
hisself (pron.) Look up hisself at Dictionary.com
c. 1400; a shift in felt meaning of the first element of himself (q.v.) from dative to genitive created this new word, but the same process did not change herself.
hissing (n.) Look up hissing at Dictionary.com
"a hiss," late 14c., hissyng, verbal noun from hiss (v.). Originally also "a whistling;" in both senses expressing opprobrium.
hissy (adj.) Look up hissy at Dictionary.com
1905, from hiss (n.) + -y (2). Hissy fit is attested by 1983.
hist (interj.) Look up hist at Dictionary.com
exclamation commanding silence, 1610s. Probably because the sound is both easy to hear and suddenly silent.
histamine (n.) Look up histamine at Dictionary.com
1913, "amine produced by the decomposition of histidine."
histidine (n.) Look up histidine at Dictionary.com
complex amino acid, 1896, from German histidin; see histo- + chemical suffix -idine (see -ide + -ine (2)).
histo- Look up histo- at Dictionary.com
medical word-forming element, from Greek histos "warp, web," literally "anything set upright," from histasthai "to stand," from PIE *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Taken by 19c. medical writers as the best Greek root from which to form terminology for "tissue, structural element of the animal body."
histogram (n.) Look up histogram at Dictionary.com
1891, from histo- "tissue" + -gram.
histology (n.) Look up histology at Dictionary.com
"study of organic tissues," 1847, from histo- "tissue" + -ology. Related: Histological.
histone (n.) Look up histone at Dictionary.com
1885, from German histon (1884); see histo- + -one.
historian (n.) Look up historian at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle French historien (15c.), as if from Medieval Latin *historianus, from Latin historia "narrative of past events; narrative account, report" (see history). As "writer of history in the higher sense" (distinguished from an annalist or chronicler), from 1530s. The Old English word was þeod-wita; the classical Latin word was historicus (adj.) used as a noun. Holinshed has historician.
[T]he historian's fallacy is the error of assuming that a man who has a given historical experience knows it, when he has had it, to be all that a historian would know it to be, with the advantage of historical perspective. [David Hackett Fischer, "Historians' Fallacies," 1970]
historiaster (n.) Look up historiaster at Dictionary.com
"petty or contemptible historian," 1887, from historian with ending altered to -aster. Coined by W.E. Gladstone, in a review of J. Dunbar Ingram's "History of the Legislative Union of Great Britain and Ireland."
historic (adj.) Look up historic at Dictionary.com
1660s, "of or belonging to history," probably a back-formation from historical, perhaps influenced by French historique. Meaning "what is noted or celebrated in history" is from 1794.

Though both historic and historical have been used in both senses by respected authors, now the tendency is to reserve historic for what is noted or celebrated in history; historical for what deals with history. The earliest adjective form of the word in English was historial (late 14c., from Late Latin historialis), which meant "belonging to history; dealing with history; literal, factual, authentic," and also "of historical importance" (early 15c.).
historical (adj.) Look up historical at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "of or pertaining to history, conveying information from the past," with -al (1) + Latin historicus "of history, historical," from Greek historikos "historical; of or for inquiry," from historia (see history). For sense differentiation, see historic. Meaning "narrated or mentioned in history" (as opposed to what is fiction or legend) is from 1843. Related: Historically.
historicism (n.) Look up historicism at Dictionary.com
1856, translating German historismus (by 1835), from historic + -ism. Given various senses 20c. in theology, philosophy, architecture, etc.
historicity (n.) Look up historicity at Dictionary.com
"quality of being true as history," 1877, from Latin historicus "of history, historical" (see historical) + -ity.
historico- Look up historico- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "historical," from Latinized form of Greek historikos "historical" (see historical). Modern combinations sometimes use historio-.
historify (v.) Look up historify at Dictionary.com
1580s, from history + -ify. Related: Historified; historifying. Historicize is rare.
historiography (n.) Look up historiography at Dictionary.com
"the art of writing history," 1560s, from historio- (see historico-) + -graphy. Related: Historiographer (1530s); historiographic.
history (n.) Look up history at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "relation of incidents" (true or false), from Old French estoire, estorie "story; chronicle, history" (12c., Modern French histoire), from Latin historia "narrative of past events, account, tale, story," from Greek historia "a learning or knowing by inquiry; an account of one's inquiries, history, record, narrative," from historein "inquire," from histor "wise man, judge," from PIE *wid-tor-, from root *weid- "to know," literally "to see" (see vision).

Related to Greek idein "to see," and to eidenai "to know." In Middle English, not differentiated from story (n.1); sense of "narrative record of past events" probably first attested late 15c. Meaning "the recorded events of the past" is from late 15c. As a branch of knowledge, from late 15c.
One difference between history and imaginative literature ... is that history neither anticipates nor satisfies our curiosity, whereas literature does. [Guy Davenport, "Wheel Ruts," 1996]
Meaning "a historical play or drama" is from 1590s. Sense of "systematic account (without reference to time) of a set of natural phenomena" (1560s) is now obsolete except in natural history. Meaning "an eventful career, a past worthy of note" (a woman with a history) is from 1852. To make history "be notably engaged in public events" is from 1862.
histrionic (adj.) Look up histrionic at Dictionary.com
"theatrical" (figuratively, "hypocritical"), 1640s, from French histrionique "pertaining to an actor," from stem of Latin histrio (genitive histrionis) "actor," a word said to be of Etruscan origin. The literal sense in English is from 1759. The earlier adjective was histrionical (1550s). Related: Histrionically.
histrionics (n.) Look up histrionics at Dictionary.com
"theatrics, pretense," 1820, from histrionic; also see -ics.
hit (v.) Look up hit at Dictionary.com
late Old English hyttan, hittan "come upon, meet with, fall in with, 'hit' upon," from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse hitta "to light upon, meet with," also "to hit, strike;" Swedish hitta "to find," Danish and Norwegian hitte "to hit, find," from Proto-Germanic *hitjan, which is of uncertain origin. Meaning shifted in late Old English period to "strike, come into forcible contact" via the notion of "to reach with a blow or missile," and the word displaced Old English slean (modern slay) in this sense. Original sense survives in phrases such as hit it off (1780, earlier in same sense hit it, 1630s) and is revived in slang hit on (1970s).

To hit the bottle "drink alcohol" is from 1933 (hit the booze in the same sense is from 1889, and hit the pipe "smoke opium" is also late 19c.). To figuratively hit the nail on the head (1570s) is from archery. To hit the hay "go to bed" is from 1912. Hit the road "leave" is from 1873; hit the bricks is from 1909, originally trade union jargon meaning "go out on strike." To hit (someone) up "request something" is from 1917. To not know what hit (one) is from 1923. Related: Hitting.
hit (n.) Look up hit at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "a rebuke;" 1590s, "a blow, stroke," from hit (v.). Meaning "successful play, song, person," etc., 1811, is from the verbal sense of "to hit the mark, succeed" (c. 1400). Underworld slang meaning "a killing" is from 1970, from the criminal slang verb meaning "to kill by plan" (1955). Meaning "dose of narcotic" is 1951, from phrases such as hit the bottle.
hit-and-run (adj.) Look up hit-and-run at Dictionary.com
1940, in reference to military raids, etc., from hit (v.) + run (v.). As a noun phrase, Hit and run is from 1899 as a baseball play, 1924 as a driver failing to stop at an automobile accident he caused.
hit-or-miss (adv.) Look up hit-or-miss at Dictionary.com
"at random," c.1600, from hit (v.) + miss (v.).
hitch (v.) Look up hitch at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., probably from Middle English icchen "to move as with jerks or pauses; to stir" (c. 1200), a word of unknown origin. The connection with icchen might be in notion of "hitching up" pants or boots with a jerking motion. Sense of "become fastened," especially by a hook, first recorded 1570s, originally nautical. Meaning "to marry" is from 1844 (to hitch horses together "get along well," especially of married couples, is from 1837, American English). Short for hitchhike (v.) by 1931. Related: Hitched; hitching. To (figuratively) hitch (one's) wagon to a star is by 1862.
hitch (n.) Look up hitch at Dictionary.com
1660s, "a limp or hobble;" 1670s, "an abrupt movement," from hitch (v.). Meaning "a means by which a rope is made fast" is from 1769, nautical. The sense of "obstruction" (usually unforeseen and temporary) is first recorded 1748; military sense of "enlistment" is from 1835.
hitcher (n.) Look up hitcher at Dictionary.com
1620s, "a hook, boat-hook," agent noun from hitch (v.). Meaning "hitchhiker" is from 1960.
hitchhike Look up hitchhike at Dictionary.com
1921 (n.), 1923 (v.), from hitch (v.), from the notion of hitching a sled, etc. to a moving vehicle (a sense first recorded 1880) + hike (n.). Related: Hitchhiked; hitchhiking. Hitchhiker attested from 1927.
hithe (n.) Look up hithe at Dictionary.com
"landing place" (archaic, but still found in place names), from Old English hyð "landing place," especially one on a river or creek, cognate with Old Saxon huth.
hither (adv.) Look up hither at Dictionary.com
Old English hider, from Proto-Germanic *hideran (cognates: Old Norse heðra "here," Gothic hidre "hither"), from Germanic demonstrative base *hi- (compare he, here). Spelling change from -d- to -th- is the same evolution seen in father, etc. Relation to here is the same as that of thither to there.
hitherto (adv.) Look up hitherto at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, from hither + to.
Hitler Look up Hitler at Dictionary.com
used figuratively for "a dictator" from 1934.
hitman (n.) Look up hitman at Dictionary.com
"hired assassin," 1970, from hit (n.) in the underworld sense + man (n.).
Hittite (adj.) Look up Hittite at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "of or pertaining to an Indo-European people whose empire (c. 1900-700 B.C.E.) covered much of modern Turkey and Syria," from Hebrew Hitti "Hittite" (plural Hittim), from Hittite Hatti. The biblical use (Gen. xv:20, etc.) refers to Canaanite or Syrian tribes that probably were genuine scions of the Hittites. They were called khita or kheta in Egyptian; in Late Latin Hethaeus.
HIV (n.) Look up HIV at Dictionary.com
1986, initialism (acronym) from human immunodeficiency virus, name for either of the two viruses that cause AIDS.
hive (n.) Look up hive at Dictionary.com
Old English hyf "beehive," from Proto-Germanic *hufiz (cognates: Old Norse hufr "hull of a ship"), from PIE *keup- "round container, bowl" (cognates: Sanskrit kupah "hollow, pit, cave," Greek kypellon "cup," Latin cupa "tub, cask, vat"). Figurative sense of "swarming, busy place" is from 1630s.
hive (v.) Look up hive at Dictionary.com
of bees, etc., "to form (themselves) into a hive," c. 1400, from hive (n.). Transitive sense, "to put (bees) in a hive," is from mid-15c. Related: Hived; hiving.
hives (n.) Look up hives at Dictionary.com
c. 1500 hyvis "itchy condition of the skin," origin unknown. Some writers connect it with heave because hives erupt out from the skin, but the phonetics of that are difficult to explain.
hmm Look up hmm at Dictionary.com
representative of a sound made during contemplation or showing mild disapproval, attested from 1868, but this is probably a variation of the hum attested in similar senses from 1590s.