hep (1) Look up hep at Dictionary.com
"aware, up-to-date," first recorded 1908 in "Saturday Evening Post," but said to be underworld slang, of unknown origin. Variously said to have been the name of "a fabulous detective who operated in Cincinnati" [Louis E. Jackson and C.R. Hellyer, "A Vocabulary of Criminal Slang," 1914] or a saloonkeeper in Chicago who "never quite understood what was going on ... (but) thought he did" ["American Speech," XVI, 154/1]. Taken up by jazz musicians by 1915. With the rise of hip (adj.) by the 1950s, the use of hep ironically became a clue that the speaker was unaware and not up-to-date.
hep (2) Look up hep at Dictionary.com
cry to instigate attacks on Jews in Europe, 1819 in reference to Jewish expulsions by mobs in various German cities in that year (later called the hep-hep riots); perhaps originally the cry of a goatherd, or of a hunter urging on dogs, but popularly said at the time to be acronym of Latin Hierosolyma Est Perdita "Jerusalem is destroyed," which, as H.E.P., supposedly was emblazoned on the banners of medieval recruiters for the Crusades who drew mobs that subsequently turned on local Jewish populations. That such things happened is true enough, but in the absence of evidence the story about the supposed acronym looks like folk etymology.
hepar (n.) Look up hepar at Dictionary.com
metallic sulfide, 1796, shortened from hepar sulphuris (1690s), from Medieval Latin, from Greek hepar "liver" (see hepatitis); so called for its color.
heparin (n.) Look up heparin at Dictionary.com
substance found in the liver, lungs and other tissues, 1918, from Greek hepar "liver" (see hepatitis) + -in (2).
hepatic (adj.) Look up hepatic at Dictionary.com
late 14c., epatike, from Old French hepatique or directly from Latin hepaticus "pertaining to the liver," from Greek hepatikos, from hepar (genitive hepatos) "liver" (see hepatitis). As a noun, "medicine for the liver," from late 15c.
hepatitis (n.) Look up hepatitis at Dictionary.com
1727, from Greek hepatos, genitive of hepar "liver," from PIE root *yekwr- (source also of Sanskrit yakrt, Avestan yakar, Persian jigar, Latin jecur, Old Lithuanian jeknos "liver") + -itis "inflammation."
hepcat (n.) Look up hepcat at Dictionary.com
also hep-cat, "addict of swing music," more generally, "one who is in the know and knows it," 1937, from hep (1) "aware, up-to-date" in jazz slang + cat (n.) "jazz enthusiast."
Hephaestus Look up Hephaestus at Dictionary.com
Greek god of fire and metal-working, from Latinized form of Greek Hephaistos, a pre-Hellenic word of unknown origin.
Hephzibah Look up Hephzibah at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, biblical, from Hebrew Hephtzibah, literally "my delight is in her," from hephtzi "my delight" (from haphetz "to delight, to desire") + bah "in her."
Hepplewhite Look up Hepplewhite at Dictionary.com
as a modifier, by 1878, in reference to style of furniture introduced in England by cabinetmaker George Hepplewhite (died 1786). The proper name is from Heblethwaite, near Sedbergh in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
hepta- Look up hepta- at Dictionary.com
before vowels hept-, word-forming element meaning "seven," from Greek hepta "seven," cognate with Latin septem, Gothic sibun, Old English seofon, from PIE root *septm (see seven).
heptagon (n.) Look up heptagon at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Middle French heptagon, from Greek heptagonon, from hepta "seven" (see septi-) + gonia "angle" (see -gon). Related: Heptagonal.
heptane (n.) Look up heptane at Dictionary.com
1872; see hepta- "seven" + chemical ending -ane. So called for its 7 carbon molecules.
heptarchy (n.) Look up heptarchy at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Modern Latin heptarchia; see hepta- "seven" + -archy "rule." A group of seven kingdoms; especially in English history in reference to Anglo-Saxon times (Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Essex, Northumberland, East Anglia, Mercia). "The correctness and propriety of the designation have been often called in question, but its practical convenience has preserved it in use" [OED].
her (objective case) Look up her at Dictionary.com
Old English hire "her," third person singular feminine dative pronoun, which replaced accusative hie beginning in 10c. See he. Cognate with Old Frisian hiri, Middle Dutch hore, Dutch haar, Old High German iru, German ihr.
her (possessive case) Look up her at Dictionary.com
Old English hire, third person singular feminine genitive form of heo "she" (see she). With absolute form hers.
Hera Look up Hera at Dictionary.com
sister and wife of Zeus, the type of virtuous womanhood, from Greek Hera, literally "protectress," related to heros "hero," originally "defender, protector" (see hero (n.1)).
Heracles Look up Heracles at Dictionary.com
also Herakles, alternative (more classically correct) forms of Hercules. Related: Heraclean (1813); Heracleian.
herald (n.) Look up herald at Dictionary.com
"messenger, envoy," late 13c. (in Anglo-Latin); c. 1200 as a surname, from Anglo-French heraud, Old French heraut, hiraut (12c.), from Frankish *hariwald "commander of an army" or a similar Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *harja "army" (from PIE root *koro- "war;" see harry) + *waldaz "to command, rule" (see wield). The form fits, but the sense evolution is difficult to explain, unless it is in reference to the chief officer of a tournament, who introduced knights and made decisions on rules (which was one of the early senses, often as heraud of armes, though not the earliest in English).
herald (v.) Look up herald at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to sound the praises of," from herald (n.). Related: Heralded; heralding.
heraldic (adj.) Look up heraldic at Dictionary.com
1772, on model of French héraldique (15c.), from Medieval Latin heraldus (see herald).
heraldry (n.) Look up heraldry at Dictionary.com
"art of arms and armorial bearings," late 14c., heraldy, from Old French hiraudie "heralds collectively," from hiraut "herald" (see herald (n.)). The spelling with -r- is attested from 1570s (compare poetry, pedantry).
herb (n.) Look up herb at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, erbe "non-woody plant," especially a leafy vegetable used for human food, from Old French erbe "grass, herb, plant fed to animals" (12c., Modern French herbe), from Latin herba "grass, an herb; herbage, turf, weeds" (source also of Spanish yerba, Portuguese herva, Italian erba). The form of the English word was refashioned after Latin since 15c., but the h- was mute until 19c. Slang meaning "marijuana" is attested from 1960s. The native word is wort.
herbaceous (adj.) Look up herbaceous at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Latin herbaceus "grassy," from herba "grass, herbage" (see herb).
herbage (n.) Look up herbage at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "pasture-plants, non-woody plants collectively," from Old French erbage "grass; pasture" (Modern French herbage), or directly from Medieval Latin herbagium; see herb + -age. In law, the natural pasture as distinct from the land itself.
herbal (adj.) Look up herbal at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin herbalis, from herba "grass, herb" (see herb). Earlier as a noun, "book that names and classifies plants" (1510s).
herbalist (n.) Look up herbalist at Dictionary.com
"student of, or dealer in, herbs," 1590s, from herbal + -ist. Earlier such a person might have been called herber (early 13c. as a surname), herbarian (1570s), herbarist, herb-man, herbary (1540s). Fem. formation herb-wife is attested from 1580s.
Herbert Look up Herbert at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, introduced in England by the Normans, from Old French Herbert, Latinized from Frankish *Hari-berct, *Her(e)-bert, literally "army-bright;" see harry (v.) + bright (adj.).
herbicide (n.) Look up herbicide at Dictionary.com
"chemical that kills plants," used to destroy unwanted weeds, etc., 1888, originally a trademark name, from herb + -cide.
herbivore (n.) Look up herbivore at Dictionary.com
"plant-eating animal," 1851, from Modern Latin Herbivora (1830) or French herbivore (1748), from neuter plural of Latin herbivorus, from herba "a plant" (see herb) + vorare "devour, swallow" (see voracity).
herbivorous (adj.) Look up herbivorous at Dictionary.com
"plant-eating," 1660s, from Modern Latin herbivorus, from Latin herba "a plant" (see herb) + vorare "devour, swallow" (see voracity).
Herculean (adj.) Look up Herculean at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Hercules + -an. "Of enormous size or strength or great courage," also sometimes "very difficult or dangerous," in allusion to the hero's labors.
Hercules Look up Hercules at Dictionary.com
Greek hero, son of Zeus and Alcmene, worshipped by the Romans as a god of strength, c. 1200 (originally in reference to the Pillars of Hercules), also Ercules, from Latin Hercles (Etruscan Hercle), from Greek Herakles, literally "Glory of Hera;" from Hera (q.v.) + kleos "glory, renown" (see Clio). Used figuratively in reference to strength since late 14c. Vocative form Hercule was a common Roman interjection (especially me Hercule!) "assuredly, certainly." The constellation so called in English by 1670s.
Hercynian (adj.) Look up Hercynian at Dictionary.com
1580s, a classical term of vague application designating the forest-covered mountains of ancient Germany (especially das Harzgebirge), from Latin hercynia (silva) "Hercynian (forest)," related to Greek herkynios (drymos), probably from Old Celtic *perkunya, from PIE *perq(o)- "oak, oak forest, wooded mountain" (see fir). As a term in geology from 1880.
herd (n.1) Look up herd at Dictionary.com
Old English heord "herd, flock, company of domestic animals," also, rarely, "a keeping, care, custody," from Proto-Germanic *herdo (source also of Old Norse hjorð, Old High German herta, German Herde, Gothic hairda "herd"), from PIE *kerdh- "a row, group, herd" (source also of Sanskrit śárdhah "herd, troop," Old Church Slavonic čreda "herd," Greek korthys "heap," Lithuanian kerdžius "shepherd"). Of any animals, wild or domestic, from c. 1200; of people, often in a disparaging sense, from c. 1400. Herd instinct in psychology is first recorded 1886.
herd (v.) Look up herd at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "to watch over or herd (livestock);" of animals, "gather in a herd, go in a herd, form a flock," late 14c. From herd (n.1). Transitive sense of "to form (animals, people, etc.) into a herd" is from 1590s. Related: Herded; herding.
herd (n.2) Look up herd at Dictionary.com
"keeper of a flock of domestic animals," Old English hierde, from the source of herd (v.). Now obsolete except in compounds. Compare Old Saxon hirdi, Middle Dutch hirde, German Hirte, Old Norse hirðir.
herdsman (n.) Look up herdsman at Dictionary.com
"one employed in tending a herd of cattle," an alteration of Middle English herdman, from Old English heordman; see herd (n.1) + man (n.). The word was not common until the noun herd (n.2) in sense "keeper of domestic animals which go in herds" fell from use (compare shepherd). Intrusive -s- appeared early 15c., on model of craftsman, etc.
here (adv.) Look up here at Dictionary.com
Old English her "in this place, where one puts himself; at this time, toward this place," from Proto-Germanic pronominal stem *hi- (from PIE *ki- "this;" see he) + adverbial suffix -r. Cognate with Old Saxon her, Old Norse, Gothic her, Swedish här, Middle Dutch, Dutch hier, Old High German hiar, German hier.

As the answer to a call, in Old English. Right here "on the spot" is from c. 1200. Here and there "in various places" is from c. 1300. Phrase here today and gone tomorrow first recorded 1680s in writings of Aphra Behn. Here's to _____ as a toast is from 1590s, probably short for here's health to _____. Emphatic this here (adv.) is attested from mid-15c.; colloquially, this here as an adjective is attested from 1762. To be neither here nor there "of no consequence" is attested from 1580s. Here we go again as a sort of verbal rolling of the eyes is attested from 1950.

As a noun, "this place, the present" from c. 1600. Noun phrase here-and-now "this present life" is from 1829.
hereabout (adv.) Look up hereabout at Dictionary.com
"about this, with regard to this matter," c. 1200, from here + about. Meaning "in the vicinity, near here" is from early 13c. Hereabouts, with adverbial genitive -s-, is from 1580s.
hereafter (adv.) Look up hereafter at Dictionary.com
Old English heræfter "in the future; later on;" see here + after. Meaning "after death" is mid-14c. As a noun, "time in the future," from 1540s; meaning "a future world, the world to come" is from 1702.
hereby (adv.) Look up hereby at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "near here, nearby," from here + by (prep.). Meaning "by means of this" is from early 14c. Compare Dutch hierbij, German hierbei.
hereditable (adj.) Look up hereditable at Dictionary.com
mid-15c.; see heredity + -able. Perhaps from obsolete French héréditable or Medieval Latin hereditabilis. Related: Hereditably; hereditability (1829).
hereditament (n.) Look up hereditament at Dictionary.com
"inherited property, anything that can be inherited" (as distinguished from property the ownership of which terminates with the death of the owner), mid-15c., from Medieval Latin hereditamentum, from Latin hereditatem (see heredity).
hereditary (adj.) Look up hereditary at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "transmitted in a line of progeny," hereditarie, from Latin hereditarius "inherited; of or relating to an inheritance," from hereditas "heirship, inheritance" (see heredity). Oldest English sense of diseases; meaning "transmitted or held by inheritance" is from mid-15c.
hereditism (n.) Look up hereditism at Dictionary.com
"scientific doctrine of hereditary transmission of characteristics," 1874; see heredity + -ism.
heredity (n.) Look up heredity at Dictionary.com
1530s, "inheritance, succession," from Middle French hérédité, from Old French eredite "inheritance, legacy" (12c.), from Latin hereditatem (nominative hereditas) "heirship, inheritance, an inheritance, condition of being an heir," from heres (genitive heredis) "heir, heiress," from PIE root *ghe- "to be empty, left behind" (source also of Greek khera "widow"). Legal sense of "inheritable quality or character" first recorded 1784; the modern biological sense "transmission of qualities from parents to offspring" seems to be found first in 1863, introduced by Herbert Spencer.
Herefordshire Look up Herefordshire at Dictionary.com
Old English Herefordscir, from Hereford (958), literally "ford suitable for the passage of an army" (see harry (v.) + ford (n.). Probably so-called in reference to the Roman road passing over the Wye River. Herford in Germany has the same etymology. As the name for a type of cattle, first bred there, it is attested from 1789.
herein (adv.) Look up herein at Dictionary.com
late Old English herinne "in this;" see here + in. Related: Hereinafter.
hereof (adv.) Look up hereof at Dictionary.com
"of this, concerning this," late Old English; see here + of (prep.). Compare Danish hereaf, Swedish häraf.