measure of speed relative to the speed of sound (technically Mach number), 1937, named in honor of Austrian physicist Ernst Mach (1838-1916).
also g-spot, 1981, short for Gräfenberg spot, named for German gynecologist Ernst Gräfenberg (1881-1957), who described it in 1950.
1925, proprietary name of cameras made by firm of Ernst & Leitz Gesellschaft, Wetzlar, Germany. From Leitz + ca(mera).
masc. proper name, from French Ernest, which is of German origin (compare Old High German Ernust, German Ernst), literally "earnestness" (see earnest (adj.)). Among the top 50 names for boys born in U.S. from 1880 through 1933.
"serious or grave in speech or action," early 14c., ernest, from Old English eornoste (adj.) "zealous, serious," or from Old English noun eornost "seriousness, serious intent" (surviving only in the phrase in earnest), from Proto-Germanic *er-n-os-ti- (source also of Old Saxon ernust, Old Frisian ernst, Old High German arnust "seriousness, firmness, struggle," German Ernst "seriousness;" Gothic arniba "safely, securely;" Old Norse ern "able, vigorous," jarna "fight, combat"), perhaps from PIE root *er- (1) "to move, set in motion." The proper name Ernest (literally "resolute") is from the same root. Related: Earnestness.
1856, in geology, "pertaining to the Tertiary period between the Eocene and the Miocene," now defined roughly as 34 million to 23 million years before the present, coined in German (1854) by paleontologist Heinrich Ernst von Beyrich (1815-1896), from oligo- "small, little, few" + -cene. So called because few modern fossils were found in Oligocene rocks, which were especially prominent in northern Germany.
"the branch of biology which attempts to deduce the genesis and evolution of a phylum," 1869, from German Phylogenie, coined 1866 by German biologist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel from Greek phylon "race" (from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow") + -geneia "origin" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"). Related: Phylogenic.
1873, oecology, "branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to their environments," coined in German by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel as Ökologie, from Greek oikos "house, dwelling place, habitation" (from PIE root *weik- (1) "clan") + -logia "study of" (see -logy). In use with reference to anti-pollution activities from 1960s.
phylum of articulated invertebrates, 1849, Modern Latin, literally "those with jointed feet," coined 1845 by German zoologist Karl Theodor Ernst von Siebold (1804-1885) from Greek arthron "a joint" (from PIE root *ar- "to fit together") + podos genitive of pous "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). They comprise the vast majority of animals, including insects, spiders, and crustaceans.