1791, "to publish," perhaps a back-formation from editor, or from French éditer (itself a back-formation from édition) or from Latin editus, past participle of edere "give out, put out, publish" (see edition). Meaning "to supervise for publication" is from 1793. Meaning "make revisions to a manuscript, etc.," is from 1885. Related: Edited; editing. As a noun, by 1960, "an act of editing."
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