E pluribus unum Look up E pluribus unum at Dictionary.com
motto of the United States, being one nation formed by uniting several states, 1782, Latin, from e "out of" (see ex-); ablative plural of plus "more" (see plus (n.)); neuter of unus "one" (see one). Not found in classical Latin, though a variant of the phrase appears in Virgil (color est e pluribus unum); the full phrase was the motto of the popular "Gentleman's Magazine" from 1731 into the 1750s.
e'en Look up e'en at Dictionary.com
variant spelling of even, now archaic or poetic. E'enamost "even almost" is recorded from 1735 in Kentish speech.
e'er Look up e'er at Dictionary.com
variant spelling of ever, now archaic or poetic.
e- Look up e- at Dictionary.com
the later Romans evidently found words beginning in sc-, sp-, st- difficult or unpleasant to pronounce; in Late Latin forms begin to emerge in i- (such as ispatium, ispiritu), and from 5c. this shifted to e-. The development was carried into the Romanic languages, especially Old French, and the French words were modified further after 15c. by natural loss of -s- (the suppression being marked by an acute accent on the e-), while in other cases the word was formally corrected back to the Latin spelling (for example spécial). Hence French état for Old French estat for Latin status, etc. It also affected Romanic borrowings from Germanic (such as espy, eschew).
e-commerce (n.) Look up e-commerce at Dictionary.com
by 1998, from electronic (compare e-mail) + commerce.
e-mail Look up e-mail at Dictionary.com
1982, short for electronic mail (1977; see electronic + mail (n.1)); this led to the contemptuous application of snail mail (1983) to the old system.
Even aerial navigation in 1999 was found too slow to convey and deliver the mails. The pneumatic tube system was even swifter, and with such facilities at hand it is not surprising that people in San Francisco received four daily editions of the Manhattan journals, although the distance between Sandy Hook and the Golden Gate is a matter of 3,600 miles. ["Looking Forward," Arthur Bird, 1899]
Associated Press style guide collapsed it to email 2011.
E. coli (n.) Look up E. coli at Dictionary.com
bacteria inhabiting the gut of man and animals, by 1921, short for Escherichia coli (1911), named for German physician Theodor Escherich (1857-1911), + Latin genitive of colon "colon" (see colon (n.2)).
e.g. Look up e.g. at Dictionary.com
1680s, abbreviation of Latin exempli gratia "for the sake of example."
e.r.a. (n.) Look up e.r.a. at Dictionary.com
1949 in baseball as initialism (acronym) for earned run average. From 1971 in U.S. politics for Equal Rights Amendment.
e.s.l. Look up e.s.l. at Dictionary.com
1967, initialism (acronym) for English as a second language.
e.t.a. Look up e.t.a. at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of estimated time (of) arrival, first attested 1939.
ea (n.) Look up ea at Dictionary.com
the usual Old English word for "river, running water" (still in use in Lancashire, according to OED); see aqua-. "The standard word in place-names for river denoting a watercourse of greater size than a broc or a burna" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names].
each Look up each at Dictionary.com
Old English ælc (n., pron., adj.) "any, all, every, each (one)," short for a-gelic "ever alike," from a "ever" (see aye (2)) + gelic "alike" (see like (adj.)). From a common West Germanic expression *aiwo galika (source also of Dutch elk, Old Frisian ellik, Old High German iogilih, German jeglich "each, every"). Originally used as we now use every (which is a compound of each) or all; modern use is by influence of Latin quisque. Modern spelling appeared late 1500s. Also see ilk, such, which.
each other Look up each other at Dictionary.com
reciprocal pronoun, originally in late Old English a phrase, with each as the subject and other inflected (as it were "each to other," "each from other," etc.).
eager (adj.) Look up eager at Dictionary.com
late 13c., "strenuous, ardent, fierce, angry," from Old French aigre "sour, acid; harsh, bitter, rough; eager greedy; lively, active, forceful," from Latin acrem (nominative acer) "keen, sharp, pointed, piercing; acute, ardent, zealous" (see acrid).

Meaning "full of keen desire" (early 14c.) seems to be peculiar to English. The English word kept a secondary meaning of "pungent, sharp-edged" till 19c. (as in Shakespeare's "The bitter clamour of two eager tongues," in "Richard II"). Related: Eagerly; eagerness. Eager beaver "glutton for work" [OED] is from 1943, U.S. armed forces slang.
eagle (n.) Look up eagle at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French egle, from Old Provençal aigla, from Latin aquila "black eagle," fem. of aquilus "eagle," often explained as "the dark colored" (bird); see aquiline. The native term was erne. Golf score sense is by 1908 (according to old golf sources, because it "soars higher" than a birdie). As the name of a U.S. $10 coin minted from 1792 to 1933, established in the 1786 resolution for a new monetary system (but at first only the desperately needed small copper coins were minted). The figurative eagle-eyed is attested from c. 1600.
eaglet (n.) Look up eaglet at Dictionary.com
1570s, from French aiglette, diminutive of aigle (see eagle).
Eames Look up Eames at Dictionary.com
type of modern office chair, 1946, named for U.S. architect and designer Charles Eames (1907-1978). The surname is from Old English eam "uncle," cognate with German Ohm.
ear (n.1) Look up ear at Dictionary.com
"organ of hearing," Old English eare "ear," from Proto-Germanic *auzon (source also of Old Norse eyra, Danish øre, Old Frisian are, Old Saxon ore, Middle Dutch ore, Dutch oor, Old High German ora, German Ohr, Gothic auso), from PIE *ous- "ear" (source also of Greek aus, Latin auris, Lithuanian ausis, Old Church Slavonic ucho, Old Irish au "ear," Avestan usi "the two ears").
þe harde harte of man, þat lat in godis word atte ton ere & vt atte toþir. [sermon, c. 1250]
In music, "capability to learn and reproduce by hearing," 1520s, hence play by ear (1670s). The belief that itching or burning ears means someone is talking about you is mentioned in Pliny's "Natural History" (77 C.E.). Until at least the 1880s, even some medical men still believed piercing the ear lobes improved one's eyesight. Meaning "handle of a pitcher" is mid-15c. (but compare Old English earde "having a handle"). To be wet behind the ears "naive" is from 1902, American English. Phrase walls have ears attested from 1610s. French orielle, Spanish oreja are from Latin auricula (Medieval Latin oricula), diminutive of auris.
ear (n.2) Look up ear at Dictionary.com
"grain part of corn," from Old English ear (West Saxon), æher (Northumbrian) "spike, ear of grain," from Proto-Germanic *akhuz (source also of Dutch aar, Old High German ehir, German Ähre, Old Norse ax, Gothic ahs "ear of corn"), from PIE root *ak- "sharp, pointed" (source of Latin acus "chaff, husk of corn," Greek akoste "barley;" see acrid).
ear-muff (n.) Look up ear-muff at Dictionary.com
also earplug, 1859, from ear (n.1) + muff (n.).
ear-plug (n.) Look up ear-plug at Dictionary.com
also earplug, 1841, from ear (n.1) + plug (n.).
ear-worm (n.) Look up ear-worm at Dictionary.com
1880, "boll-worm, corn parasite" (corn-ear-worm attested from 1855), from ear (n.2) + worm (n.). Also an old alternative name for "earwig" (from ear (n.1)); from 1881 as "secret counselor." From 1989 as "annoyingly unforgettable pop song or part of a song."
earache (n.) Look up earache at Dictionary.com
also ear-ache, 1789, from ear (n.1) + ache (n.).
eardrum (n.) Look up eardrum at Dictionary.com
also ear-drum, 1640s, from ear (n.1) + drum (n.).
earful (n.) Look up earful at Dictionary.com
"a piece of one's mind," 1915, from ear (n.1) + -ful. Ear-bash (v.) is Australian slang (1944) for "talk inordinately" (to someone).
earl (n.) Look up earl at Dictionary.com
Old English eorl "brave man, warrior, leader, chief" (contrasted with ceorl "churl"), from Proto-Germanic *erlaz, which is of uncertain origin. In Anglo-Saxon poetry, "a warrior, a brave man;" in later Old English, "nobleman," especially a Danish under-king (equivalent of cognate Old Norse jarl), then one of the viceroys under the Danish dynasty in England. After 1066 adopted as the equivalent of Latin comes (see count (n.)).
earldom (n.) Look up earldom at Dictionary.com
Old English eorldom; see earl + -dom.
earlobe (n.) Look up earlobe at Dictionary.com
also ear-lobe, by 1786, from ear (n.1) + lobe. Earlier was ear lap (Old English had earlæppa "external ear").
early (adv.) Look up early at Dictionary.com
Old English ærlice "early," from ær "soon, ere" (see ere) + -lice, adverbial suffix (see -ly (2)). Compare Old Norse arliga "early." The adjective is Old English ærlic. The early bird of the proverb is from 1670s. Related: Earlier; earliest.
earmark (n.) Look up earmark at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from ear (n.1) + mark (n.1). Originally a cut or mark in the ear of sheep and cattle, serving as a sign of ownership (also a punishment of certain criminals); first recorded 1570s in figurative sense "stamp of ownership."
earmark (v.) Look up earmark at Dictionary.com
1590s, "to identify by an earmark," from earmark (n.). Meaning "to set aside money for a special purpose" is attested by 1868. Related: Earmarked; earmarking.
earn (v.) Look up earn at Dictionary.com
Old English earnian "deserve, earn, merit, labor for, win, get a reward for labor," from Proto-Germanic *aznon "do harvest work, serve" (source also of Old Frisian esna "reward, pay"), denominative verb from *azno "labor" especially "field labor" (source of Old Norse önn "work in the field," Old High German arnon "to reap"), from PIE root *es-en- "harvest, fall" (source also of Old High German aren "harvest, crop," German Ernte "harvest," Old English ern "harvest," Gothic asans "harvest, summer," Old Church Slavonic jeseni, Russian osen, Old Prussian assanis "autumn"). Also from the same root are Gothic asneis, Old High German esni "hired laborer, day laborer," Old English esne "serf, laborer, man." Related: Earned; earning.
earner (n.) Look up earner at Dictionary.com
1610s, agent noun from earn.
earnest (adj.1) Look up earnest at Dictionary.com
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.
earnest (adj.2) Look up earnest at Dictionary.com
"portion of something given or done in advance as a pledge," early 15c., with excrescent -t- (perhaps from influence of the other earnest), from Middle English ernes (c. 1200), "a pledge or promise;" often "a foretaste of what is to follow;" also (early 13c.) "sum of money as a pledge to secure a purchase or bind a bargain (earnest-money); from Old French erres and directly from Latin arra, probably from Phoenician or another Semitic language (compare Hebrew 'eravon "a pledge"). Sometimes in Middle English as erness, suggesting it was perceived as er "early" + -ness.
earnestly (adv.) Look up earnestly at Dictionary.com
Old English eornostlice; see earnest (adj.) + -ly (2).
earning (n.) Look up earning at Dictionary.com
see earnings.
earnings (n.) Look up earnings at Dictionary.com
amount of money one makes (from labor or investment), 1732, from plural of verbal noun earning, from earn (v.). Old English had earnung in sense "fact of deserving; what one deserves; merit, reward, consideration, pay," but the modern word seems to be a new formation.
earring (n.) Look up earring at Dictionary.com
also ear-ring, Old English earhring, from ear (n.1) + hring (see ring (n.)). Another Old English word was earspinl. Now including any sort of ornament in the ear; the pendant sort originally were ear-drops (1720). Worn by Romanized Britons and Anglo-Saxons alike; their use declined in the Middle Ages and was reintroduced in England 16c., but after 17c. were worn there almost exclusively by women.
The two groups which had formerly a near monopoly on male earrings were Gypsies and sailors. Both has the usual traditions about eyesight, but it was also said that sailors' earrings would save them from drowning, while others argued that should a sailor be drowned and washed up on some foreign shore, his gold earrings would pay for a proper Christian burial. ["Dictionary of English Folklore"]
earshot (n.) Look up earshot at Dictionary.com
also ear-shot, c. 1600, from ear (n.1) + shot (n.) in the sense of "range" (as in bowshot).
earth (n.) Look up earth at Dictionary.com
Old English eorþe "ground, soil, dirt, dry land; country, district," also used (along with middangeard) for "the (material) world, the abode of man" (as opposed to the heavens or the underworld), from Proto-Germanic *ertho (source also of Old Frisian erthe "earth," Old Saxon ertha, Old Norse jörð, Middle Dutch eerde, Dutch aarde, Old High German erda, German Erde, Gothic airþa), from extended form of PIE root *er- (2) "earth, ground" (source also of Middle Irish -ert "earth"). The earth considered as a planet was so called from c. 1400. Use in old chemistry is from 1728. Earth-mover "large digging machine" is from 1940.
earth (v.) Look up earth at Dictionary.com
"to commit (a corpse) to earth," late 14c., from earth (n.). Related: Earthed; earthing.
Earth Day Look up Earth Day at Dictionary.com
as an annual ecological awareness event on April 22, dates to 1970; the idea and the name formed in 1969.
earth-bound (adj.) Look up earth-bound at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from earth (n.) + bound (adj.). Figurative sense is from 1869.
earth-mother (n.) Look up earth-mother at Dictionary.com
1870, folkloric spirit of the earth, conceived as sensual, maternal; often a translation of German erdmutter. Earth-goddess is from 1837.
earthen (adj.) Look up earthen at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "made of earth;" see earth + -en (2). Not attested in Old English (where eorðen meant "of or in the earth"). Cognate of Old High German irdin, Dutch aarden, Gothic airþeins. Meaning "made of clay" is attested from late 14c.
earthenware (n.) Look up earthenware at Dictionary.com
vessels or other objects of baked or dried clay, 1670s, from earthen + ware (n.). Old English eorðwaran meant "earth-dwellers."
earthlight (n.) Look up earthlight at Dictionary.com
1810, from earth (n.) + light (n.). Earthshine in same sense is from 1814.
earthling (n.) Look up earthling at Dictionary.com
Old English yrþling "plowman" (see earth + -ling); the sense of "inhabitant of the earth" is from 1590s and might be a re-formation, as the word seems to be missing in Middle English. Compare earthman. Earlier in this sense was earthite (1825).