Etymology
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heath (n.)

Old English hæð "untilled land, tract of wasteland," especially flat, shrubby, desolate land;" earlier "heather, plants and shrubs found on heaths," influenced by cognate Old Norse heiðr "heath, moor," both from Proto-Germanic *haithiz (source also of Old Saxon hetha, Old High German heida "heather," Dutch heide "heath," Gothic haiþi "field"), from PIE *kaito "forest, uncultivated land" (source also of Old Irish ciad, Welsh coed, Breton coet "wood, forest").

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whiten (v.)

c. 1300, "to make white," from white (adj.) + -en (1). Intransitive sense "become white" is from 1630s. Earlier verb was simply white (late Old English). Related: Whitened; whitening; whitener.

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wheatear (n.)

type of bird, 1590s, back-formation from white-ears, literally "white-arse" (see white + arse). So called for its color markings; compare French name for the bird, cul-blanc, literally "white rump."

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beluga (n.)

1590s, from Russian beluga, literally "great white," from belo- "white" (from PIE *bhel-o-, suffixed form of root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn," also "shining white") + augmentative suffix -uga. Originally the great white sturgeon, found in the Caspian and Black seas; later (1817) the popular name for the small white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) found in northern seas.

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brush (n.2)

"shrubbery, small trees and shrubs of a wood; branches of trees lopped off," mid-14c., from Anglo-French bruce "brushwood," Old North French broche, Old French broce "bush, thicket, undergrowth" (12c., Modern French brosse), from Gallo-Roman *brocia, perhaps from *brucus "heather," or possibly from the same source as brush (n.1).

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albescent (adj.)

"becoming white," 1825, from Latin albescentem (nominative albescens), present participle of albescere "become white," inceptive of albere "be white" (from Latin albus "white;" see alb), with inchoative suffix -escere. Related: Albescence.

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Whitsunday 

"Pentecost," late Old English Hwita Sunnandæg "white Sunday" (see white (adj.)); possibly so called from the white baptismal robes worn by newly baptized Christians on this day. Related: Whitsuntide.

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edelweiss (n.)

1862, from German Edelweiß, literally "noble white," from Old High German edili "noble" (see atheling) + German weiss "white" (see white).

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alb (n.)

late Old English albe "white linen robe" worn by priests, converts, etc., from Late Latin alba (in tunica alba or vestis alba "white vestment"), fem. of albus "white," from PIE root *albho- "white" (source also of Greek alphos "white leprosy," alphiton "barley meal;" Old High German albiz, Old English elfet "swan," literally "the white bird;" Old Church Slavonic and Russian lebedi, Polish łabędź "swan;" Hittite alpash "cloud").

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leukocyte (n.)

also leucocyte, "white blood cell, white or colorless corpuscle of the blood or lymph," 1860, via French leucocyte, from leuco-, a Latinized combining form of Greek leukos "white, clear," from PIE root *leuk- "light, brightness" + -cyte "cell."

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