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    herse (n.) — hideousness (n.)

    herse (n.)

    see hearse.ETD herse (n.).2

    herself (pron.)

    emphatic or reflexive form of third person feminine pronoun, Old English hire self; see her (objective case) + self. Originally dative, but since 14c. often treated as genitive, hence her own sweet self, etc. Also compare himself.ETD herself (pron.).2


    Old English Heortfordscir, from Herutford (731), literally "ford frequented by harts;" see hart (n.) + ford (n.).ETD Hertfordshire.2


    unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second, 1928, named in reference to German physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894). Related: Hertzian.ETD Hertz.2


    former Austrian duchy in the Balkans, from Old Serbian herceg "duke" (related to Modern German Herzog) + possessive ending -ov + -ina "country." Related: Herzegovinian.ETD Herzegovina.2

    hesitation (n.)

    c. 1400, from Old French hesitacion or directly from Latin haesitationem (nominative haesitatio) "a hesitation, stammering," figuratively "irresolution, uncertainty," noun of action from past participle stem of haesitare "stick fast, remain fixed; stammer in speech," figuratively "hesitate, be irresolute, be at a loss, be undecided," frequentative of haerere (past participle haesus, first person perfect indicative haesi) "to adhere, stick, cling."ETD hesitation (n.).2

    This is said by Watkins to be from PIE root *ghais- "to adhere, hesitate" (source also of Lithuanian gaišti "to delay, tarry, be slow"), but some linguists reject the proposed connection; de Vaan offers no etymology.ETD hesitation (n.).3

    hesitant (adj.)

    1640s, probably a back-formation from hesitancy, or else from Latin haesitantem. Related: Hesitantly.ETD hesitant (adj.).2

    hesitative (adj.)

    "given to hesitation, showing hesitation," 1795, from hesitate + -ive. Related: Hesitatively.ETD hesitative (adj.).2

    hesitancy (n.)

    1610s, from Latin haesitantia "action of stammering," from haesitantem (nominative haesitans) "stammering," present participle of haesitare "to stick fast, stammer" (see hesitation).ETD hesitancy (n.).2

    hesitate (v.)

    1620s, from Latin haesitatus, past participle of haesitare "to stick fast; to hesitate; to stammer" (see hesitation). Related: Hesitated; hesitating; hesitatingly.ETD hesitate (v.).2

    hesitance (n.)

    c. 1600, from Latin haesitantia (see hesitancy).ETD hesitance (n.).2


    1590s, from Greek, "daughters of the Hesperus," name given to the nymphs (variously numbered but originally three) who tended the garden with the golden apples. Their name has been mistakenly transferred to the garden itself.ETD Hesperides.2

    Related: Hesperidean; Hesperidian.ETD Hesperides.3


    late 14c., poetic for "the evening star," from Latin Hesperus, from Greek hesperos (aster) "the evening (star)," from PIE *wes-pero- "evening, night" (see vesper). Related: Hesperian. Hence Latin and Greek Hesperia "the land of the west," "applied by the Greeks to Italy, by the Romans to Spain or regions beyond" [Century Dictionary].ETD Hesperus.2

    Hessian (n.)

    "resident of the former Landgraviate of Hessen-Kassel," western Germany; its soldiers being hired out by the ruler to fight for other countries, especially the British during the American Revolution, the name Hessians by 1835 in U.S. became synonymous (unjustly) with "mercenaries." Hessian fly (Cecidomyia destructor) was a destructive parasite the ravaged U.S. crops late 18c., so named 1787 in erroneous belief that it was carried into America by the Hessians.ETD Hessian (n.).2

    The place name is from Latin Hassi/Hatti/Chatti, the Latinized form of the name of the Germanic people the Romans met in northern Germany (Greek Khattoi). The meaning of the name is unknown. Part of Arminius's coalition at the Battle of Teutoburger Wald (9 C.E.), they later merged with the Franks. They are mentioned in Beowulf as the Hetwaras. The state was annexed to Prussia in 1866 and is not to be confused with the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt.ETD Hessian (n.).3

    hessonite (n.)

    "cinnamon-stone," a variety of garnet, 1820, from French essonit (1817), from Greek heson "less" + -ite (2). So called because it is lighter than other similar minerals.ETD hessonite (n.).2

    hest (n.)

    "bidding, command," Old English hæs "bidding, behest, command," from Proto-Germanic *hait-ti-, from *haitan "to call, name" (see behest). With unetymological -t added in Middle English on model of other pairings (compare wist/wesan, also whilst, amongst, etc.; see amidst).ETD hest (n.).2


    goddess of the hearth, from Greek hestia "hearth, house, home, family" (see vestal).ETD Hestia.2

    het (adj.)

    "heated," archaic, late 14c., from variant past participle of heat (v.). Compare lead (v.)/led, etc.ETD het (adj.).2

    hetaera (n.)

    1820, "mistress," from Medieval Latin hetaera, from Greek hetaira "female companion," fem. of hetairos "comrade, companion, good friend," from PIE *swet-aro-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom). Classical plural would be hetaerae or herairai.ETD hetaera (n.).2

    Typically a slave or foreign woman devoted to private or public entertainment. In Athens, where citizens could legally marry only daughters of full citizens, opposed to "lawful wife," and thus embracing everything from "concubine" to "courtesan."ETD hetaera (n.).3

    hetaerocracy (n.)

    "rule of courtesans," 1859, from hetaera + -cracy "rule or government by."ETD hetaerocracy (n.).2

    hetero (adj.)

    1933, short for heterosexual.ETD hetero (adj.).2


    before vowels heter-, word-forming element meaning "other, different," from Greek heteros "the other (of two), another, different; second; other than usual." It is a compound; the first element means "one, at one, together," from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with;" the second is cognate with the second element in Latin al-ter, Gothic an-þar, Old English o-ðer "other."ETD hetero-.2

    Compounds in classical Greek show the range of the word there: Heterokretes "true Cretan," (that is, of the old stock); heteroglossos "of foreign language;" heterozelos "zealous for one side;" heterotropos "of a different sort or fashion," literally "turning the other way;" heterophron "raving," literally "of other mind."ETD hetero-.3

    heteroclite (adj.)

    in reference to a word (especially a noun) irregularly inflected, 1570s, from French hétéroclite, from Late Latin heteroclitus, from Greek heteroklitos "irregularly inflected," from hetero- "different" (see hetero-) + verbal adjective from klinein "to lean," from PIE root *klei- "to lean." Figuratively, of persons, "deviating from the ordinary," from 1590s.ETD heteroclite (adj.).2

    heterodox (adj.)

    "not in accordance with established doctrines," 1630s, from Greek heterodoxos "of another or different opinion," from heteros "the other" (see hetero-) + doxa "opinion," from dokein "to appear, seem, think," from PIE *dok-eye-, suffixed (causative) form of root *dek- "to take, accept."ETD heterodox (adj.).2

    heterodoxy (n.)

    1650s, from Greek heterodoxia "error of opinion," from heterodoxos (see heterodox).ETD heterodoxy (n.).2

    heterogeneous (adj.)

    "diverse in kind or nature," 1620s, from Medieval Latin heterogeneus, from Greek heterogenes, from heteros "different" (see hetero-) + genos "kind, gender, race stock" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups). Earlier in same sense was heterogeneal (c. 1600). Related: Heterogeneously; heterogeneousness.ETD heterogeneous (adj.).2

    heterogenous (adj.)

    1690s, less-accepted form of heterogeneous. Related: Heterogeneity.ETD heterogenous (adj.).2

    heterogeneity (n.)

    1640s, from heterogeneous + -ity, or else from Medieval Latin heterogeneitas, from heterogeneus.ETD heterogeneity (n.).2

    heterography (n.)

    "incorrect spelling," 1783; see hetero- "other, different" + -graphy. Also "inconsistent but current spellings within a language, the use of the same letter with different value in different words or positions" (as English, in all ages), 1847.ETD heterography (n.).2

    heteromorphic (adj.)

    "having different or dissimilar forms, undergoing complete metamorphosis" (as insects do), 1851; see hetero- "other, different" + morphic.ETD heteromorphic (adj.).2

    heteronomy (n.)

    1798, "subjection to the rule of another power," from hetero- "other, different" + -nomy, from Greek nomos "law" (see -nomy). Related: Heteronomic; heteronomous (1817).ETD heteronomy (n.).2

    heteronym (n.)

    "word having the same spelling as another but with a different sound and meaning," 1889, also "a thing's name in one language that is an exact translation of its name in another" (1885); from hetero- "other, different" + -onym "name" (from PIE root *no-men- "name"). Distinction from a homonym is that a homonym has not the same spelling. Related: Heteronymic; heteronymous.ETD heteronym (n.).2

    heterophemy (n.)

    "the (unintentional) use of some other word or phrase in place of the one that was meant," 1875 (Grant White), from hetero- "other, different" + Greek phēmē "utterance" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say").ETD heterophemy (n.).2

    heterosexism (n.)

    "discrimination or prejudice against homosexuals," by 1975 in feminist and lesbian writing; see heterosexual + sexism. Related: Heterosexist (1977).ETD heterosexism (n.).2

    heterosexuality (n.)

    1894; see heterosexual + -ity.ETD heterosexuality (n.).2

    heterosexual (adj.)

    1892, in C.G. Craddock's translation of Krafft-Ebbing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," a hybrid; see hetero- "other, different" + sexual. The noun is recorded by 1914 but was not in common use until the 1960s. Colloquial shortening hetero is attested from 1933.ETD heterosexual (adj.).2

    heterotroph (n.)

    1900, from German (1892), from hetero- "other" + Greek trophos "feeder" (see -trophy). Related: Heterotrophic (1884); heterotrophism (1885); heterotrophy.ETD heterotroph (n.).2

    heterotrophy (n.)

    1888, from German (1885); see hetero- "other" + -trophy "nourishment." Used especially of plants that depend for food on a fungus.ETD heterotrophy (n.).2

    heterozygous (adj.)

    1889, from hetero- "other, different" + zygote + -ous. Related: Heterozygote (1902).ETD heterozygous (adj.).2

    hetman (n.)

    "Cossack commander," 1710, from Polish hetman, apparently from an early form of German Hauptmann "captain," literally "headman," from Haupt "head" (from PIE root *kaput- "head") + Mann (from PIE root *man- (1) "man").ETD hetman (n.).2

    heuristic (adj.)

    "serving to discover or find out," 1821, irregular formation from Greek heuriskein "to find; find out, discover; devise, invent; get, gain, procure" (from PIE *were- (2) "to find;" cognate with Old Irish fuar "I have found") + -istic. As a noun, from 1860. Greek had heuretikos "inventive," also heurema "an invention, a discovery; that which is found unexpectedly."ETD heuristic (adj.).2

    heuristics (n.)

    "study of heuristic methods," 1897, from heuristic (n.), for which see heuristic (adj.); also see -ics.ETD heuristics (n.).2

    hew (v.)

    Old English heawan "to chop, hack, gash, strike with a cutting weapon or tool" (class VII strong verb; past tense heow, past participle heawen), earlier geheawan, from Proto-Germanic *hawwanan (source also of Old Norse hoggva, Old Frisian hawa, Old Saxon hauwan, Middle Dutch hauwen, Dutch houwen, Old High German houwan, German hauen "to cut, strike, hew"), from PIE *kau- "to hew, strike," a root more widely developed in Slavic (source also of Old Church Slavonic kovo, Lithuanian kauti "to strike, beat, fight;" Polish kuć "to forge," Russian kovat' "to strike, hammer, forge;" Latin cudere "to strike, beat;" Middle Irish cuad "beat, fight").ETD hew (v.).2

    Weak past participle hewede appeared 14c., but hasn't yet entirely displaced hewn. Seemingly contradictory sense of "hold fast, stick to" (in phrase hew to), 1891, developed from earlier figurative phrase hew to the line "stick to a course," literally "cut evenly with an axe or saw." Related: Hewed; hewing.ETD hew (v.).3

    hewer (n.)

    "cutter" (of stone or wood), late 14c. (mid-12c. as a surname), agent noun from hew (v.). Hewers of wood and drawers of water to describe the lowliest sort of physical laborers is from Joshua ix:12. Old English has it as wuduheawerum and þam þe wæter beraþ; the modern form of the phrase is from 1535.ETD hewer (n.).2

    hewn (adj.)

    14c., from strong past participle of hew.ETD hewn (adj.).2

    hex (v.)

    1830, American English, from Pennsylvania German hexe "to practice witchcraft," from German hexen "to hex," related to Hexe "witch," from Middle High German hecse, hexse, from Old High German hagazussa (see hag). Noun meaning "magic spell" is first recorded 1909; earlier it meant "a witch" (1856). Compare Middle English hexte "the devil" (mid-13c.), perhaps originally "sorcerer," probably from Old English haehtis.ETD hex (v.).2


    before vowels and in certain chemical compound words hex-, word-forming element meaning "six," from Greek hexa-, combining form of hex "six," from PIE root *sweks- (see six).ETD hexa-.2

    hexadecimal (adj.)

    1952, in reference to a numeral system based on 16, not 10; from hexa- + decimal. From 1970 as a noun.ETD hexadecimal (adj.).2

    hexagon (n.)

    1560s, from Latin hexagonum, from Greek hexagonon, neuter of hexagonos "six-cornered, hexagonal," from hex "six" (see hexa-) + gōnia "angle, corner" (from PIE root *genu- (1) "knee; angle").ETD hexagon (n.).2

    hexagonal (adj.)

    1570s, from hexagon + -al (1). Related: Hexagonally.ETD hexagonal (adj.).2

    hexagram (n.)

    1826 as a type of geometric figure, from hexa- + -gram. I Ching sense attested from 1804.ETD hexagram (n.).2

    hexameter (adj.)

    1540s, from Latin hexameter, from Greek hexametros "of six measures, composed of six feet; hexameter," from hex "six" (see six) + metron "poetic meter" (from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure"). As a noun, "a verse consisting of six measures," from 1570s. Chaucer has the word as exametron. Related: Hexametric.ETD hexameter (adj.).2

    hexane (n.)

    paraffin hydrocarbon, 1872, from Greek hex "six" (see six) + chemical suffix -ane. So called for its six carbon atoms.ETD hexane (n.).2

    hexapod (n.)

    "six-footed insect," 1660s, from Modern Latin hexapod-, stem of hexapodus, from Greek hex "six" (see six) + Greek pod-, stem of pous "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). Greek hexapous (adj.) was used only with reference to poetic meter. As an adjective from 1856.ETD hexapod (n.).2

    hexiology (n.)

    "history of the development and behavior of living beings as affected by their environment," 1882, coined by English biologist St. George Jackson Mivart (1827-1900) from Greek hexis "a state or habit," from ekhein "to have, hold;" in intransitive use, "be in a given state or condition" (from PIE root *segh- "to hold").ETD hexiology (n.).2

    heyday (n.)

    also hey-day, late 16c. as an exclamation, an alteration of heyda (1520s), an exclamation of playfulness, cheerfulness, or surprise something like Modern English hurrah; apparently it is an extended form of the Middle English interjection hey or hei (see hey). Compare Dutch heidaar, German heida, Danish heida. Modern sense of "stage of greatest vigor" first recorded 1751 (perhaps from a notion that the word was high-day), and it altered the spelling.ETD heyday (n.).2

    Hezbollah (n.)

    extremist Shiite group active in Lebanon, founded c. 1982, from Persian hezbollah, Arabic hizbullah, literally "Party of God," from hezb/hizb "party" + allah "God." An adherent is a Hezbollahi. The name of various Islamic groups in modern times, the name itself is attested in English by 1960 in reference to an Indonesian guerrilla battalion of 1945 that "grew out of a similarly named organization formed by the Japanese to give training in military drill to young Moslems."ETD Hezbollah (n.).2


    masc. proper name, biblical, from Hebrew Hizqiyya, literally "the Lord has strengthened," from hazaq "he was strong, he strengthened" + jah, short for yahweh.ETD Hezekiah.2

    hi (interj.)

    exclamation of greeting, 1862, American English (first recorded reference is to speech of a Kansas Indian), originally to attract attention (15c.), probably a variant of Middle English hy, hey (late 15c.) which also was an exclamation to call attention. The only definition in the "Century Dictionary" [1902] is "An exclamation of surprise, admiration, etc.: often used ironically and in derision," suggesting the development as a greeting-word mostly took place early 20c.ETD hi (interj.).2

    Extended form hiya attested from 1940.ETD hi (interj.).3

    his (pron.)

    Old English his (genitive of he), from Proto-Germanic *hisa (source also of Gothic is, Old Saxon is, German es). Originally also the neuter possessive pronoun, but in English it was replaced in that sense c. 1600 by its. In Middle English, hisis was tried for the absolute pronoun (compare her/hers), but it failed to stick. For dialectal his'n, see her.ETD his (pron.).2

    In 16c.-17c. commonly used in place of a genitive inflection after nouns whose nominative ends in -s (for example, "When this Book became a particular book, that is, when Moses his book was divided into five parts, I cannot trace." [Donne, "Essayes in Divinity," "Exodus," 1651]). Here it is perhaps an expanded vocalized form of 's, originally -es. This tendency began in late Old English and was obsolete from c. 1750.ETD his (pron.).3

    hiatal (adj.)

    1906, from stem of hiatus + -al (1).ETD hiatal (adj.).2

    hiatus (n.)

    1560s, "a break or opening" in a material object, especially in anatomy, from Latin hiatus "opening, aperture, rupture, gap," from past-participle stem of hiare "to gape, stand open" (from PIE root *ghieh- "to yawn, gape, be wide open").ETD hiatus (n.).2

    The sense of "gap or interruption in events, etc.;" "space from which something requisite to completeness is absent" [Century Dictionary] is recorded from 1610s.ETD hiatus (n.).3

    hibachi (n.)

    1863, from Japanese hibachi "firepot," from hi "fire" + bachi, hachi "bowl, pot," which Watkins derives ultimately from Sanskrit patram "cup, bowl," from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink."ETD hibachi (n.).2

    hibernate (v.)

    "pass the winter in torpidity and seclusion," 1802, probably a back-formation from hibernation. Related: Hibernated; hibernating.ETD hibernate (v.).2

    hibernal (adj.)

    1620s (figurative), "pertaining to the later years of life;" literal sense "pertaining to winter" attested from 1640s; from Latin hibernalis "wintry," from hibernus "of winter," from hiems "winter," from PIE root *gheim- "winter."ETD hibernal (adj.).2

    hibernation (n.)

    1660s, "action of passing the winter" (of plants, insect eggs, etc.), from Latin hibernationem (nominative hibernatio) "the action of passing the winter," noun of action from past participle stem of hibernare "to winter, pass the winter, occupy winter quarters;" related to hiems "winter," from PIE root *gheim- "winter." Meaning "dormant condition of animals" is from 1789.ETD hibernation (n.).2

    hibernacle (n.)

    "winter residence, that which serves for shelter in winter," 1708, from Latin hibernacula (plural) "winter quarters, tents for winter," which is related to hibernare "to winter, occupy winter quarters" (see hibernation) with instrumentive suffix -culum. The Latin word was used in English in biology from 1690s. Related: Hibernacular.ETD hibernacle (n.).2


    from Latin Hibernia, the Roman name for Ireland, also in forms Iverna, Juverna, Ierne, etc., all ultimately from Old Celtic *Iveriu "Ireland" (see Irish (n.)). This particular form of the name was altered in Latin as though it meant "land of winter" (see hibernation).ETD Hibernia.2


    1630s (adj.), 1709 (n.), "Irish;" see Hibernia + -ian. Related: Hibernianism.ETD Hibernian.2

    Hibernicism (n.)

    1758, "use of a word or phrase considered peculiar to the Irish," from stem of Hibernia "Ireland" + -ism.ETD Hibernicism (n.).2

    hibiscus (n.)

    1706, from Latin hibiscum, later hibiscus, "marshmallow plant," from Greek hibiskos "mallow," a word of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish.ETD hibiscus (n.).2


    imitation of the sound of hiccuping, attested by 1883 (see hiccup).ETD hic.2


    1620s, a more recent variant of hiccup (q.v.) by mistaken association with cough.ETD hiccough.2

    hiccups (n.)

    a bout of hiccupping, by 1723; see hiccup (n.). This often also was called hiccup or the hiccup. An earlier word for it (noun and verb) was yex, imitative, from Old English gesca, geosca.ETD hiccups (n.).2

    hiccup (n.)

    1570s, hickop, earlier hicket, hyckock, "a word meant to imitate the sound produced by the convulsion of the diaphragm" [Abram Smythe Palmer, "Folk-Etymology," London, 1882]. Compare French hoquet, Danish hikke, Persian hikuk, Hindi hichki, etc. Modern spelling first recorded 1788; An Old English word for it was ælfsogoða, so called because hiccups were thought to be caused by elves.ETD hiccup (n.).2

    hiccup (v.)

    1570s; see hiccup (n.).ETD hiccup (v.).2

    hic et nunc

    Latin, literally "here and now," from demonstrative pronominal adjective of place hic "this, here" + nunc "now" (see now).ETD hic et nunc.2

    hic jacet

    Latin, hic iacet, "here lies," commonly the first words of Latin epitaphs; from demonstrative pronominal adjective of place hic "this, here" + iacet "it lies," third person singular present indicative of iacēre "to lie, rest," related to iacere "to throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel").ETD hic jacet.2

    hick (n.)

    late 14c., Hikke, a popular pet form of the masc. proper name Richard (compare Hod from Robert, Hodge from Roger). Meaning "awkward provincial person" was established by 1700 (see rube); earlier it was the characteristic name of a hosteler, hackneyman, etc. (late 14c.), perhaps via alliteration. The adjective is recorded by 1914.ETD hick (n.).2

    hickey (n.)

    "any small gadget," 1909, American English, of unknown origin. For the "love-bite" sense, see hickie.ETD hickey (n.).2

    hickie (n.)

    "love bite; mark on skin made by biting or sucking during foreplay or sex," 1934; earlier "pimple, skin lesion" (c. 1915); perhaps a sense extension and spelling variation from the earlier word meaning "small gadget, device; any unspecified object" (1909, see hickey and compare doohickey, still used in this sense).ETD hickie (n.).2

    hickory (n.)

    type of North American tree valued for its edible nuts and tough, flexible wood, 1670s, American English, from Algonquian (perhaps Powhatan), shortening of pockerchicory, pocohicora or a similar word, which is sometimes said to be the name for this species of walnut, but Bright calls it "a milky drink made from hickory nuts." Old Hickory as the nickname of U.S. politician Andrew Jackson is recorded from 1815.ETD hickory (n.).2

    hickscorner (n.)

    "libertine scoffer at religion and the religious," c. 1530, from the name of the character in a work of that name printed c. 1512 by Wynkyn de Worde; from Hick, the common masc. nickname, + scorner.ETD hickscorner (n.).2


    1828, noun and adjective, in reference to a seceding group of American Quakers, from the name of their spiritual leader, Elias Hicks. The remainder of the profession (the minority numerically) were known as Orthodox Friends. The schism occurred in 1827 at the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. The surname is from Hick, popular pet form of Richard.ETD Hicksite.2

    hid (adj.)

    early 13c., past tense and alternative past participle of hide (v.1).ETD hid (adj.).2

    hidage (n.)

    "tax paid to the king per hide of land," late 12c., from Anglo-Latin hidagium, from hida, the measure of land (from Old English hid; see hide (n.2)); also see -age.ETD hidage (n.).2

    hidalgo (n.)

    "Spanish nobleman of secondary rank," 1590s, from Spanish hidalgo, from Old Spanish fidalgo, usually explained as a shortened from filho de algo "son" (Latin filius, see filial) "of someone" (Latin aliquis, ultimately from PIE root *al- "beyond" + PIE pronomial root *kwo-); this is perhaps an imitation of Arabic ibn-nas "son of people," a complimentary title. For alteration of f- and h- in Spanish, see hacienda.ETD hidalgo (n.).2

    hidden (adj.)

    past-participle adjective from hide (v.1); a Middle English formation (Old English had gehydd "hidden") on the model of ride/ridden, etc. As "secret, occult" from 1540s. Hidden persuaders (1957) was Vance Packard's term for ad men.ETD hidden (adj.).2

    hiddenness (n.)

    late 14c., from hidden + -ness.ETD hiddenness (n.).2

    hide (v.1)

    Old English hydan (transitive and intransitive) "to hide, conceal; preserve; hide oneself; bury a corpse," from West Germanic *hudjan (source also of Middle Dutch, Middle Low German huden), from suffixed form of PIE *keudh- (source also of Greek keuthein "to hide, conceal"), from root *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal."ETD hide (v.1).2

    hide (n.1)

    "skin of a large animal," Old English hyd "a hide, a skin," from Proto-Germanic *hudiz (source also of Old Norse huð, Old Frisian hed, Middle Dutch huut, Dutch huid, Old High German hut, German Haut "skin"), from PIE root *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal."ETD hide (n.1).2

    Related prehistorically to Old English verb hydan "to hide" (see hide (v.1)), the common notion being of "covering." The alliterative pairing of hide and hair (often negative, hide nor hair) was in Middle English (early 15c.), but earlier and more common was hide ne hewe, literally "skin and complexion ('hue')" (c. 1200).ETD hide (n.1).3

    hide (n.2)

    a measure of land (obsolete), Old English hid "hide of land," earlier higid, from hiw- "family," from or related to hiwan "household," hiwo "a husband, master of a household," from Proto-Germanic *hiwido-, from PIE *keiwo- (source also of Latin civis "citizen"), from PIE root *kei- (1) "to lie," also forming words for "bed, couch," and with a secondary sense of "beloved, dear."ETD hide (n.2).2

    The notion was of "amount of land needed to feed one free family and dependents," usually 100 or 120 acres, but the amount could be as little as 60, depending on the quality of the land. Often also defined as "as much land as could be tilled by one plow in a year." Translated in Latin as familia.ETD hide (n.2).3

    hiding (n.1)

    "concealment," early 13c., verbal noun from hide (v.1). Hiding-place is from mid-15c.; an Old English word for this was hydels.ETD hiding (n.1).2

    hiding (n.2)

    "a flogging," 1809, from hide (n.1), perhaps in reference to a whip or thong made of animal hide, or of "tanning" someone's "hide." Old English had hyde ðolian "to undergo a flogging," and hydgild "fine paid to save one's skin (from a punishment by flogging)." The English expression a hiding to nothing (by 1905) referred to a situation where there was disgrace in defeat and no honor in victory.ETD hiding (n.2).2

    hide-and-seek (n.)

    children's game, by 1670s, replaced earlier all-hid (1580s). See hide (v.1) + seek (v.). Form hide-and-go-seek recorded from 1767, also hide-and-find (1750). Variant hide-and-coop is from 1827. Also I-spy or hy-spy (1777). Another old name for it was king-by-your-leave (1570s).ETD hide-and-seek (n.).2

    hideaway (n.)

    "small, secluded restaurant, etc.," 1929, from hide (v.1) + away. Earlier it meant "a fugitive person" (1871). Compare runaway, stowaway.ETD hideaway (n.).2

    hidebound (adj.)

    1550s, from hide (n.1) + past tense of bind (v.). Original reference is to emaciated cattle with skin sticking closely to backbones and ribs; metaphoric sense of "restricted by narrow attitudes, obstinately set in opinion" is first recorded c. 1600. The rare hide-bind (v.) is a back-formation.ETD hidebound (adj.).2


    call-and-response exclamation in singing, by 1933, associated with U.S. bandleader Cabell "Cab" Calloway (1907-1994) and especially his signature song "Minnie the Moocher," which dates from 1931.ETD hi-de-hi.2

    hideosity (n.)

    "a very ugly thing," 1807, from hideous on model of monstrosity, etc.ETD hideosity (n.).2

    hideous (adj.)

    c. 1300, "terrifying, horrible, dreadful," from Anglo-French hidous, Old French hideus, earlier hisdos "hideous, horrible, awful, frightening" (11c.; Modern French hideux), from hisda "horror, fear," perhaps of Germanic origin. The old guess that it comes from Vulgar Latin *hispidosus, from Latin hispidus "shaggy, bristly," "presents numerous difficulties" [OED] and seems now to be generally discredited. Meaning "repulsive" is late 14c.ETD hideous (adj.).2

    hideousness (n.)

    late 14c., from hideous + -ness.ETD hideousness (n.).2

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