ecru (adj.) Look up ecru at
1869, "having the color of raw silk or unbleached linen," from French écru "raw, unbleached," from Old French escru "raw, crude, rough" (13c.), from es- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + Latin crudus "raw" (see crude).
ecstasy (n.) Look up ecstasy at
late 14c., extasie "elation," from Old French estaise "ecstasy, rapture," from Late Latin extasis, from Greek ekstasis "entrancement, astonishment, insanity; any displacement or removal from the proper place," in New Testament "a trance," from existanai "displace, put out of place," also "drive out of one's mind" (existanai phrenon), from ek "out" (see ex-) + histanai "to place, cause to stand," from PIE root *stā- "to stand" (see stet).

Used by 17c. mystical writers for "a state of rapture that stupefied the body while the soul contemplated divine things," which probably helped the meaning shift to "exalted state of good feeling" (1610s). Slang use for the drug 3,4-methylendioxymethamphetamine dates from 1985. Formerly also spelled ecstasie, extacy, extasy, etc. Attempts to coin a verb to go with it include ecstasy (1620s), ecstatize (1650s), ecstasiate (1823), ecstasize (1830).
ecstatic (adj.) Look up ecstatic at
1590s, "mystically absorbed," from Greek ekstatikos "unstable, inclined to depart from," from ekstasis (see ecstasy). Meaning "characterized by or subject to intense emotions" is from 1660s, now usually pleasurable ones, but not originally always so. Related: Ecstatical; ecstatically.
ecto- Look up ecto- at
word-forming element generally meaning "outside, external," before vowels ect-, from Latinized form of Greek adverb ektos "outside, out of; free from; exempt" (opposed to entos), used to form compounds in Greek (such as ektome "a cutting out"); related to Greek ek, ex "out," from PIE *eghs "out" (see ex-).
ectoderm (n.) Look up ectoderm at
1853, from ecto- + -derm. Coined by Prussian embryologist Robert Remak (1815-1865). Related: Ectodermal.
ectomorph (n.) Look up ectomorph at
1940, coined by W.H. Sheldon from ecto- + -morph, from Greek morphe "form, shape; beauty, outward appearance" (see Morpheus). Related: Ectomorphic.
ectopic (adj.) Look up ectopic at
1864 in reference to pregnancy, from ectopia "morbid displacement of parts" (1847), coined in Modern Latin from Greek ektopos "away from a place, distant; foreign, strange," from ek- "out" (see ex-) + topos "place" (see topos).
ectoplasm (n.) Look up ectoplasm at
1883, of amoebas, "exterior protoplasm of a cell;" 1901 of spirits, from ecto- + -plasm. Related: Ectoplasmic.
ecu (n.) Look up ecu at
old French silver coin, 1704, from French écu, "a shield," also the name of a coin, from Old French escu (12c.) "shield, coat of arms," also the name of a coin with three fleur-de-lys stamped on it as on the shield, formerly escut, from Latin scutum "shield" (see hide (n.1)). First issued by Louis IX (1226-1270); so called because the shield of France was imprinted on them.
Ecuador Look up Ecuador at
from the Spanish form of equator (which runs through it). Before 1830 the region bore the name of its chief city, Quito, which is from the name of a now-extinct native people, of unknown meaning. Related: Ecuadorian; Ecuadorean.
ecumenical (adj.) Look up ecumenical at
late 16c., "representing the entire (Christian) world," formed in English as an ecclesiastical word, from Late Latin oecumenicus "general, universal," from Greek oikoumenikos "from the whole world," from he oikoumene ge "the inhabited world (as known to the ancient Greeks); the Greeks and their neighbors considered as developed human society (as opposed to barbarian lands)," in later use "the Roman world" and in the Christian sense in ecclesiastical Greek, from oikoumenos, present passive participle of oikein "inhabit," from oikos "house, habitation" (see villa). Related: Ecumenic.
ecumenism (n.) Look up ecumenism at
1937, from ecumen- (see ecumenical) + -ism. The older word is ecumenicalism (1870).
eczema (n.) Look up eczema at
1753, from Greek ekzema, literally "something thrown out by heat," from ekzein "to boil over, break out," from ek "out" (see ex-) + zein "to boil," from PIE root *yes- "to boil, foam, bubble" (see yeast). Said to have been the name given by ancient physicians to "any fiery pustule on the skin" [Chambers' "Cyclopaedia"].
edacious (adj.) Look up edacious at
1736, from Latin edaci-, stem of edax "voracious, gluttonous," from edere "to eat" (see edible) + -ous. Related: Edacity (1620s); edaciously; edaciousness.
Edam (adj.) Look up Edam at
1836, type of cheese named for Edam, village in Holland where it was originally made. The place name is literally "the dam on the River Ye," which flows into the Ijsselmeer there, and the river name is literally "river" (see ea).
Edda (n.) Look up Edda at
1771, by some identified with the name of the old woman (literally "grandmother") in the Old Norse poem "Rigsþul," by others derived from Old Norse oðr "spirit, mind, passion, song, poetry" (cognate with Old Irish faith "poet," Welsh gwawd "poem," Old English woþ "sound, melody, song," Latin vates "seer, soothsayer;" see wood (adj.)).

It is the name given in Icelandic c. 1300, by whom it is not known, to two Icelandic books, the first a miscellany of poetry, mythology, and grammar by Snorri Sturluson (d.1241), since 1642 called the Younger or Prose Edda; and a c. 1200 collection of ancient Germanic poetry and religious tales, called the Elder or Poetic Edda. Related: Eddaic; Eddic.
eddy (n.) Look up eddy at
mid-15c., Scottish ydy, possibly related to Old Norse iða "whirlpool," from Proto-Germanic *ith- "a second time, again," which is related to the common Old English prefix ed- "again, backwards; repetition, turning" (forming such words as edðingung "reconciliation," edgift "restitution," edniwian "to renew, restore," edhwierfan "to retrace one's steps," edgeong "to become young again"). Compare Old English edwielle "eddy, vortex, whirlpool." The prefix is from PIE root *eti "above, beyond" (Cognates: Latin et, Old High German et-, Gothic "and, but, however"). Related: Eddies.
eddy (v.) Look up eddy at
1730 (transitive); 1810 (intrans.), from eddy (n.). Related: Eddied; eddying.
edelweiss (n.) Look up edelweiss at
1862, from German Edelweiß, literally "noble white," from Old High German edili "noble" (see atheling) + German weiss "white" (see white).
edema (n.) Look up edema at
c. 1400, from medical Latin, from Greek oidema (genitive oidematos) "a swelling tumor," from oidein "to swell," from oidos "tumor, swelling," from PIE *oid- "to swell" (source also of Latin aemidus "swelling," Armenian aitumn "a swelling," Old Norse eista "testicle," Old English attor "poison" (that which makes the body swell), and the first element in Oedipus).
Eden (n.) Look up Eden at
early 13c., "delightful place," figurative use of the place described in Genesis, usually referred to Hebrew edhen "pleasure, delight," but perhaps from Ugaritic base 'dn and meaning "a place that is well-watered throughout" (see also Aden). Related: Edenic.
Edgar Look up Edgar at
masc. proper name, from Old English Ead-gar, literally "prosperity-spear," from ead "prosperity" (see Edith) + gar "spear" (see gar).
edge (n.) Look up edge at
Old English ecg "corner, edge, point," also "sword" (also found in ecgplega, literally "edge play," ecghete, literally "edge hate," both used poetically for "battle"), from Proto-Germanic *agjo (source also of Old Frisian egg "edge;" Old Saxon eggia "point, edge;" Middle Dutch egghe, Dutch eg; Old Norse egg, see egg (v.); Old High German ecka, German Eck "corner"), from PIE root *ak- "sharp, pointed" (source also of Sanskrit asrih "edge," Latin acies, Greek akis "point;" see acrid).

Spelling development of Old English -cg to Middle English -gg to Modern English -dge represents a widespread shift in pronunciation. To get the edge on (someone) is U.S. colloquial, first recorded 1911. Edge city is from Joel Garreau's 1992 book of that name. Razor's edge as a perilous narrow path translates Greek epi xyrou akmes. To be on edge "excited or irritable" is from 1872; to have (one's) teeth on edge is from late 14c., though "It is not quite clear what is the precise notion originally expressed in this phrase" [OED].
edge (v.) Look up edge at
late 13c., "to give an edge to" (implied in past participle egged), from edge (n.). Intransitive meaning "to move edgeways (with the edge toward the spectator), advance slowly" is from 1620s, originally nautical. Meaning "to defeat by a narrow margin" is from 1953. The meaning "urge on, incite" (16c.) often must be a mistake for egg (v.). Related: Edger.
edged (adj.) Look up edged at
1590s, "having a sharp edge;" 1690s, "having a hem or border," past participle adjective from edge (v.).
edgeways (adv.) Look up edgeways at
also edge-ways, "with the edge turned forward or toward a particular point," 1560s, from edge (n.) + way (n.). First attested form of the word is edgewaie; the adverbial genitive -s appears by 1640s. Edgewise (1715) appears to be a variant, based on otherwise, etc. See edge (v.).
As if it were possible for any of us to slide in a word edgewise! [Mary Mitford, "Our Village," 1824].
To edge in a word in this sense is from 1680s.
edgewise Look up edgewise at
see edgeways.
edging (n.) Look up edging at
1570s, "the putting of a border," verbal noun from edge (v.). Meaning "a border, that which is added to form an edge" is from 1660s; that of "the trimming of lawn edges" is from 1858.
edgy (adj.) Look up edgy at
"having sharp edges," 1755, from edge (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "tense and irritable" is attested by 1837, perhaps from notion of being on the edge, at the point of doing something irrational (a figurative use attested from c. 1600). Related: Edgily; edginess.
edibility (n.) Look up edibility at
1823, from edible + -ity.
edible (adj.) Look up edible at
1590s, from Late Latin edibilis "eatable," from Latin edere "to eat," from PIE root *ed- "to eat" (source also of Sanskrit admi "I eat;" Greek edo "I eat;" Lithuanian edu "I eat;" Hittite edmi "I eat," adanna "food;" Old Irish ithim "I eat;" Gothic itan, Old Swedish and Old English etan, Old High German essan "to eat;" Avestan ad- "to eat;" Armenian utem "I eat;" Old Church Slavonic jasti "to eat," Russian jest "to eat").
edict (n.) Look up edict at
late 15c., edycte; earlier edit (late 13c.), "proclamation having the force of law," from Old French edit, from Latin edictum "proclamation, ordinance, edict," neuter past participle of edicere "publish, proclaim," from e- "out" (see ex-) + dicere "to say" (see diction). Related: Edictal.
edification (n.) Look up edification at
mid-14c., in religious use, "a building up of the soul," from Old French edificacion "a building, construction; edification, good example," and directly from Latin aedificationem (nominative aedificatio) "construction, the process of building; a building, an edifice," in Late Latin "spiritual improvement," from past participle stem of aedificare "to build" (see edifice). Religious use is as translation of Greek oikodome in I Cor. xiv. Meaning "mental improvement" is 1650s. Literal sense of "building" is rare in English.
edifice (n.) Look up edifice at
late 14c., from Old French edifice "building" (12c.), from Latin aedificium "building," from aedificare "to erect a building," from aedis, variant of aedes "temple, sanctuary," usually a single edifice without partitions, also, in the plural, "dwelling house, building," originally "a place with a hearth" + the root of facere "to make" (see factitious).

Aedis is from PIE *aidh- "to burn" (source also of Greek aithein "to burn," Sanskrit inddhe "burst into flames," Old Irish aed "fire," Welsh aidd "heat, zeal," Old High German eit "funeral pile"), from root *ai- (2) "to burn" (see ash (n.1)).
edify (v.) Look up edify at
mid-14c., "to build, construct," also, in figurative use, "to build up morally or in faith," from Old French edefiier (12c., Modern French édifier) "build; install; teach, instruct (morally)," from Latin aedificare "to build, construct," in Late Latin "improve spiritually, instruct" (see edifice). Related: Edified; edifying.
Edinburgh Look up Edinburgh at
older than King Edwin of Northumbria (who often is credited as the source of the name); originally Din Eidyn, Celtic, perhaps literally "fort on a slope." Later the first element was trimmed off and Old English burh "fort" added in its place." Dunedin in New Zealand represents an attempt at the original form.
edit (v.) Look up edit at
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."
Edith Look up Edith at
fem. proper name, Old English Eadgyð, from ead "riches, prosperity, good fortune, happiness" + guð "war." A fairly common name; it survived through the Middle Ages, probably on the popularity of St. Eadgyð of Wilton (962-84, abbess, daughter of King Edgar of England), fell from favor 16c., was revived in fashion late 19c. Old English ead (also in eadig "wealthy, prosperous, fortunate, happy, blessed; perfect;" eadnes "inner peace, ease, joy, prosperity") became Middle English edy, eadi "rich, wealthy; costly, expensive; happy, blessed," but was ousted by happy. Late Old English, in its grab-bag of alliterative pairings, had edye men and arme "rich men and poor."
edition (n.) Look up edition at
early 15c., "version, translation, a form of a literary work;" 1550s, "act of publishing," from French édition or directly from Latin editionem (nominative editio) "a bringing forth, producing," also "a statement, account," from past participle stem of edere "bring forth, produce," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -dere, comb. form of dare "to give" (see date (n.1)). "It is awkward to speak of, e.g. 'The second edition of Campbell's edition of Plato's "Theætetus"'; but existing usage affords no satisfactory substitute for this inconvenient mode of expression" [OED].
editor (n.) Look up editor at
1640s, "publisher," from Latin editor "one who puts forth," agent noun from editus, past participle of edere "to bring forth, produce" (see edition). By 1712 in sense of "person who prepares written matter for publication;" specific sense in newspapers is from 1803.
editorial (adj.) Look up editorial at
1741, "pertaining to an editor;" see editor + -al (2). Noun meaning "newspaper article by an editor," is from 1830, American English, from the adjective in reference to such writings (1802). Related: Editorially.
editorialize (v.) Look up editorialize at
"introduce opinions into factual accounts," 1856, from editorial + -ize. Related: Editorialized; editorializing; editorialization.
editorship (n.) Look up editorship at
1769, from editor + -ship.
Edmund Look up Edmund at
masc. proper name, Old English Eadmund, literally "prosperity-protector," from ead "wealth, prosperity, happiness" (see Edith). The second element is mund "hand, protection, guardian," from PIE *man- (2) "hand" (see manual (adj.)).
Edna Look up Edna at
fem. proper name, from Greek, from Hebrew ednah "delight" (see Eden). Related to Arabic ghadan "luxury." Among the top 20 names for girls born in the U.S. every year from 1889 to 1917.
Edsel Look up Edsel at
notoriously unsuccessful make of car, introduced 1956 and named for Henry and Clara Ford's only child; figurative sense of "something useless and unwanted" is almost as old. Edsel is a family name, attested since 14c. (William de Egeshawe), from High Edser in Ewhurst, Surrey.
educability (n.) Look up educability at
1821, in phrenology; see educable + -ity.
educable (adj.) Look up educable at
1836, "fit to be educated," 1836, from French éducable; see educate + -able.
educate (v.) Look up educate at
mid-15c., "bring up (children), to train," from Latin educatus, past participle of educare "bring up, rear, educate" (source also of Italian educare, Spanish educar, French éduquer), which is a frequentative of or otherwise related to educere "bring out, lead forth," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + ducere "to lead" (see duke (n.)). Meaning "provide schooling" is first attested 1580s. Related: Educated; educating.

According to "Century Dictionary," educere, of a child, is "usually with reference to bodily nurture or support, while educare refers more frequently to the mind," and, "There is no authority for the common statement that the primary sense of education is to 'draw out or unfold the powers of the mind.'"
educated (adj.) Look up educated at
1660s, past participle adjective from educate (v.). As an abbreviated way to say well-educated, attested from 1855. Educated guess first attested 1954.