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    hideously (adv.) — hindsight (n.)

    hideously (adv.)

    mid-14c., hidousli, from hideous + -ly (2).ETD hideously (adv.).2

    hideout (n.)

    also hide-out, "a hiding place," 1885, American English, from hide (v.) + out (adv.). The verbal phrase hide out "conceal (oneself) from the authorities" is attested from 1870, American English (in reference to Northern draft dodgers in the Civil War).ETD hideout (n.).2

    hidy-hole (n.)

    1817, altered from hiding-hole (1610s); from hiding (n.1) + hole (n.).ETD hidy-hole (n.).2

    hie (v.)

    Old English higian "strive, hasten," originally "to be intent on," from Proto-Germanic *hig- (source also of Middle Dutch higen "to pant," Middle Low German hichen, German heichen), from PIE root *kigh- "fast, violent." Related: Hied; hies; hieing.ETD hie (v.).2

    hiemal (adj.)

    "pertaining to winter," 1550s, from Latin hiemalis "of winter, wintry," from hiems "winter," from PIE root *gheim- "winter."ETD hiemal (adj.).2

    hierarch (n.)

    "one who rules in holy things," 1570s, from Medieval Latin hierarcha, from Greek hierarkhia, from hierarkhes "leader of sacred rites, high priest" (see hierarchy).ETD hierarch (n.).2

    hierarchical (adj.)

    1560s, from hierarch + -ical. Related: Hierarchically.ETD hierarchical (adj.).2

    hierarchal (adj.)

    1640s, from hierarch + -al (1).ETD hierarchal (adj.).2

    hierarchic (adj.)

    1680s, from Medieval Latin hierarchicus, from hierarchia (see hierarchy).ETD hierarchic (adj.).2

    hierarchy (n.)

    late 14c., jerarchie, ierarchie, "rank in the sacred order; one of the three divisions of the nine orders of angels;" loosely, "rule, dominion," from Old French ierarchie (14c., Modern French hiérarchie), from Medieval Latin hierarchia "ranked division of angels" (in the system of Dionysius the Areopagite), from Greek hierarkhia "rule of a high priest," from hierarkhes "high priest, leader of sacred rites," from ta hiera "the sacred rites" (neuter plural of hieros "sacred;" see ire) + arkhein "to lead, rule" (see archon). Sense of "ranked organization of persons or things" first recorded 1610s, initially of clergy, sense probably influenced by higher.ETD hierarchy (n.).2

    hieratic (adj.)

    "pertaining to sacred things," 1660s, from Latin hieraticus, from Greek hieratikos "pertaining to a priest or his office, priestly, devoted to sacred purposes," from hierateia "priesthood," from hiereus "priest," from hieros "sacred, holy, hallowed; superhuman, mighty; divine" (see ire). Related: Hieratical (1650s).ETD hieratic (adj.).2

    hierocracy (n.)

    "rule or government by priests," 1794, from hiero-, from Greek hieros "sacred, holy, divine" (see ire) + -cracy "rule or government by." Related: Hierocratic.ETD hierocracy (n.).2

    hieroglyph (n.)

    "a figure of a familiar object representing a word or sound," especially in the system of writing used on monuments, etc., in ancient Egypt, 1590s, a shortening of hieroglyphic (n.) "hieroglyphic character," from hieroglyphic (adj.). Greek hieroglyphos meant "a carver of hieroglyphics."ETD hieroglyph (n.).2

    hieroglyphic (adj.)

    1580s, "of the nature of Egyptian monumental writing," from Late Latin hieroglyphicus, from Greek hieroglyphikos "hieroglyphic; of Egyptian writing," from hieros "sacred" (see ire) + glyphē "carving," from glyphein "to carve" (from PIE root *gleubh- "to tear apart, cleave").ETD hieroglyphic (adj.).2

    Plutarch began the custom of using the adjective (ta hieroglyphika) as a noun in reference to the Egyptian way of writing. The noun use of hieroglyphic in English dates to 1580s (hieroglyphics). Related: Hieroglyphical; hieroglyphically.ETD hieroglyphic (adj.).3

    hieroglyphics (n.)

    1580s, from Greek ta hieroglyphika "ancient Egyptian writing system;" see hieroglyphic + -ics.ETD hieroglyphics (n.).2

    hierophant (n.)

    "expounder of sacred mysteries," 1670s, from Late Latin hierophantes, from Greek hierophantes "one who teaches the rites of sacrifice and worship," literally "one who shows sacred things," from hieros "sacred," from PIE root *eis-, forming words denoting passion (see ire) + phainein "to reveal, bring to light" (from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine"). In modern use, "expounder of esoteric doctrines," from 1822.ETD hierophant (n.).2

    hierophantic (adj.)

    1775, from Latinized form of Greek hierophantikos "pertaining to a hierophant," from hierophantes "expounder of sacred mysteries" (see hierophant).ETD hierophantic (adj.).2

    hierophobia (n.)

    "fear of sacred things or persons," 1816, from hiero- "holy," from Greek hieros (see ire) + -phobia. Related: Hierophobic.ETD hierophobia (n.).2

    hi-fi (adj.)

    1947, abbreviation of high-fidelity (1934), a descriptive term of radio receivers in reference to their quality of sound reproduction. Hi as an advertiser's phonological shortening of high (adj.) is attested by 1914. Fidelity in the sense "faithful reproduction of sound" is from 1878.ETD hi-fi (adj.).2


    "confusedly, hurriedly," 1590s, a "vocal gesture" [OED] probably formed from pig and the animal's suggestions of mess and disorder. Reduplications in the h-/p- pattern are common (as in hanky-panky, hocus-pocus, hinch(y)-pinch(y), an obsolete children's game, attested from c. 1600).ETD higgledy-piggledy.2

    Edward Moor, "Suffolk Words and Phrases" (London, 1823), quotes a list of "conceited rhyming words or reduplications" from the 1768 edition of John Ray's "Collection of English Words Not Generally Used," all said to "signify any confusion or mixture;" the list has higgledy-piggledy, hurly-burly, hodge-podge, mingle-mangle, arsy-versy, kim-kam, hub-bub, crawly-mauly, and hab-nab. "To which he might have added," Moor writes, crincum-crankum, crinkle-crankle, flim-flam, fiddle-faddle, gibble-gabble, harum-scarum, helter-skelter, hiccup-suickup, hocus-pocus, hotch-potch, hugger-mugger, humdrum, hum-strum, hurry-scurry, jibber-jabber, prittle-prattle, shilly-shally, tittle-tattle, and topsy-turvy. Many of these date to the 16th century. Miss Burney (1778) has skimper-scamper "in hurry and confusion."ETD higgledy-piggledy.3

    high (adj.)

    Old English heh (Anglian), heah (West Saxon) "of great height, tall, conspicuously elevated; lofty, exalted, high-class," from Proto-Germanic *hauha- (source also of Old Saxon hoh, Old Norse har, Danish høi, Swedish hög, Old Frisian hach, Dutch hoog, Old High German hoh, German hoch, Gothic hauhs "high;" also German Hügel "hill," Old Norse haugr "mound"). The group is of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Lithuanian kaukara "hill," from PIE *kouko-. Spelling with -gh represents a final guttural sound in the original word, lost since 14c.ETD high (adj.).2

    Of sound pitch, late 14c. Of roads, "most frequented or important," c. 1200 (high road in the figurative sense is from 1793). Meaning "euphoric or exhilarated from alcohol" is first attested 1620s, of drugs, 1932. Sense of "proud, haughty, arrogant, supercilious" (c. 1200) is reflected in high-handed and high horse. Of an evil or a punishment, "grave, serious, severe" (as in high treason), c. 1200 (Old English had heahsynn "deadly sin, crime").ETD high (adj.).3

    High school "school for advanced studies" attested from late 15c. in Scotland; by 1824 in U.S. High time "fully time, the fullness of time," is from late 14c. High noon (when the sun is at the meridian) is from early 14c.; the sense is "full, total, complete." High finance (1884) is that concerned with large sums. High tea (1831) is one at which hot meats are served. High-water mark is what is left by a flood or highest tide (1550s); figurative use by 1814.ETD high (adj.).4

    High and mighty is c. 1200 (heh i mahhte) "exalted and powerful," formerly a compliment to princes, etc. High and dry of beached things (especially ships) is from 1783.ETD high (adj.).5

    high (n.2)

    "thought, understanding," Old English hyge, cognate with Old Saxon hugi, Old High German hugi, Old Norse hygr, Swedish hög, Danish hu. Obsolete from 13c. in English and also lost in Modern German, but formerly an important Germanic word.ETD high (n.2).2

    highness (n.)

    Old English heanes; see high (adj.) + -ness. Meaning "royalty, excellence, nobility" is early 13c.; Your Highness as a form of address to English royalty is attested from c. 1400.ETD highness (n.).2

    high (n.1)

    early 14c., "high point, top," from high (adj.). As "area of high barometric pressure," from 1878. As "highest recorded temperature" from 1926. Meaning "state of euphoria" is from 1953.ETD high (n.1).2

    high (adv.)

    Old English heah; see high (adj.).ETD high (adv.).2

    highball (n.)

    type of alcoholic drink, 1898, probably from ball "drink of whiskey;" high (adj.) because it is served in a tall glass. The word also was in use around the same time as railway jargon for the signal to proceed (originally by lifting a ball).ETD highball (n.).2

    highboy (n.)

    also high-boy, "tall chest of drawers," 1891, American English (see tallboy); a hybrid, the second element is from French bois "wood" (see bush (n.)).ETD highboy (n.).2

    high-born (adj.)

    also highborn, "of noble birth," c. 1300, from high (adv.) + born.ETD high-born (adj.).2

    highbrow (n.)

    "person of superior intellect and taste," 1884, from high (adj.) + brow (n.). Compare lowbrow. The adjective also is attested from 1884.ETD highbrow (n.).2

    high-chair (n.)

    child's seat, 1848, from high (adj.) + chair (n.).ETD high-chair (n.).2

    high-class (adj.)

    1864, from high (adj.) + class (n.).ETD high-class (adj.).2


    comparative of high (adj.), Old English hierra (West Saxon), hera (Anglian). Higher education is attested by 1839.ETD higher.2

    Higher-up (n.) "one in a superior post" is from 1905, American English.ETD higher.3


    superlative of high (adj.), Old English hiehst, heahst, heagost. As a noun, "Supreme Being, God," in Old English. Biblical in the highest translates Latin in excelsis, Greek en hypsostois.ETD highest.2

    highfalutin' (adj.)

    also high-falutin, 1839, U.S. slang, possibly from high-flying or high-flown, or even fluting. As a noun from 1848.ETD highfalutin' (adj.).2

    high-five (n.)

    1980, originally U.S. basketball slang, 1981 as a verb, though the greeting itself seems to be older (Dick Shawn in "The Producers," 1968). From high (adj.) + five, in reference to the five fingers of the hand.ETD high-five (n.).2

    high-flown (adj.)

    "elevated," 1640s, of things; 1660s, of sentiments, etc., from high (adv.) + flown.ETD high-flown (adj.).2

    high-grade (adj.)

    1870, in mining, of ores, from high (adj.) + grade (n.).ETD high-grade (adj.).2

    high-handed (adj.)

    1630s, "overbearing, arbitrary," from high (adj.) + -handed. To have the high hand "have power or might" (over someone) is from c. 1200. Related: High-handedly; high-handedness.ETD high-handed (adj.).2

    high hat (n.)

    1839, "tall hat;" also used synechdochically for men who wear such hats; figurative meaning "swelled head" is from 1923. Drum set sense is from 1934.ETD high hat (n.).2

    high-heeled (adj.)

    1640s, of footwear, from high (adj.) + heel (n.).ETD high-heeled (adj.).2

    high horse (n.)

    originally (late 14c.) "fine, tall horse; war horse, charger" (high steed is from c. 1300), also, like high hall, used in the sense "status symbol;" figurative sense of "airs, easily wounded dignity" in mount (one's) high horse "affect airs of superiority" is from 1782 (Addison has to ride the great horse in the same sense, 1716). Compare French monter sur ses grands chevaux. "The simile is common to most languages" [Farmer].ETD high horse (n.).2

    highland (n.)

    Old English heohlond "mountainous country;" see high (adj.) + land (n.). Highlands "mountainous district of Scotland" first recorded early 15c.ETD highland (n.).2

    Highlander (n.)

    1630s, from Highland + -er (1). Compare Dutch hooglander, German Hochländer.ETD Highlander (n.).2

    highly (adv.)

    Old English healice "nobly, gloriously, honorably;" see high (adj.) + -ly (1). Meaning "very, very much, fully" is mid-14c.ETD highly (adv.).2

    highlight (n.)

    1650s, originally of paintings, "the brightest part of a subject," from high (adj.) + light (n.). High lights came also to mean the lighter and brighter paints and colors used in making pictures (as opposed to middle tints and shade tints), and the terminology carried over into photography and engraving. The figurative sense of "outstanding feature or characteristic" is by 1855 (as highlights give effect to a picture) but was not common before c. 1920. Hairdressing sense is 1941. Related: Highlights.ETD highlight (n.).2

    highlighter (n.)

    "marking pen with transparent ink," 1963, agent noun from highlight (v.).ETD highlighter (n.).2

    highlight (v.)

    1861, "to give high lights to" (a painting, engraving, etc.), from highlight (n.). Figurative sense of "give prominence to, emphasize" is by 1944. Hairdressing sense is 1942. Related: Highlighted; highlighting.ETD highlight (v.).2

    high-minded (adj.)

    c. 1500, "arrogant;" 1550s, "morally lofty, resulting from high principles," from high (adj.) + -minded. Related: High-mindedness.ETD high-minded (adj.).2

    high-pitched (adj.)

    1590s of character, "aspiring, haughty;" 1748 of sound, from high (adv.) + pitch (v.1).ETD high-pitched (adj.).2

    high-powered (adj.)

    1829, originally of magnification, from high (adj.) + power (v.). By 1840s of engines, 1860s of ordnance, 1900 of automobiles.ETD high-powered (adj.).2

    high-pressure (adj.)

    1824, of engines, from high (adj.) + pressure (n.). Of weather systems from 1891; of sales pitches from 1933.ETD high-pressure (adj.).2

    high-rise (adj.)

    1952, of buildings, from high (adv.) + rise (v.). As a noun, "high-rise building," from 1962.ETD high-rise (adj.).2

    high-roller (n.)

    "extravagant spender," by 1873, American English, probably originally a reference to a gambler throwing dice.ETD high-roller (n.).2

    high seas (n.)

    late 14c., from sea (n.) + high (adj.) with sense (also found in the Latin cognate) of "deep" (compare Old English heahflod "deep water," also Old Persian baršan "height; depth"). Originally "open sea or ocean," later "ocean area not within the territorial boundary of any nation."ETD high seas (n.).2

    high-speed (adj.)

    1856, originally of railroad engines, from high (adj.) + speed (n.).ETD high-speed (adj.).2

    high-strung (adj.)

    also high strung, 1848 in the figurative sense, "having a sensitive nervous system," from high (adv.) + strung. In literal use a musical term, in reference to stringed instruments, attested from 1748.ETD high-strung (adj.).2

    hight (v.)

    "named, called" (archaic), from levelled past participle of Middle English highte, from Old English hatte "I am called" (passive of hatan "to call, name, command") merged with heht "called," active past tense of the same verb. Hatte was the only survival in Old English of the old Germanic synthetic passive tense. Proto-Germanic *haitanan "to call, summon," also is the source of Old Norse heita, Dutch heten, German heißen, Gothic haitan "to call, be called, command," and is perhaps from an extended form of PIE root *keie- "to set in motion," but Boutkan finds it to be of uncertain origin.ETD hight (v.).2

    high-tail (v.)

    also hightail "move quickly," 1890, U.S. slang, from cattle ranches (animals fleeing with tails up); from high (adj.) + tail (n.). Related: Hightailed; hightailing.ETD high-tail (v.).2

    high-toned (adj.)

    1779 of musical pitch; 1807 of persons, "having high moral principles; dignified," from high (adv.) + tone (v.).ETD high-toned (adj.).2

    highway (n.)

    Old English heahweg "main road from one town to another;" see high (adj.) in sense of "main" + way (n.).ETD highway (n.).2

    High street (Old English heahstræte) was the word before 17c. applied to highways and main roads, whether in the country or town, especially one of the Roman roads. In more recent usage, it generally is the proper name of the street of a town which is built upon a highway and was the principal street of the place.ETD highway (n.).3

    Highway robbery, robbery committed near a highway, is from 1707, formerly the only sort punishable in common law by death; as a trivial expression for something too costly, by 1886.ETD highway (n.).4

    highwayman (n.)

    "one who travels the highways with intent to rob people" (often on horseback and thus contrasted to a footpad), 1640s, from highway + man (n.).ETD highwayman (n.).2

    high-wire (n.)

    "tightrope," 1895, from high (adj.) + wire (n.).ETD high-wire (n.).2

    hijab (n.)

    veil worn by some Muslim women, by 1906 in this sense in bilingual dictionaries; in classical Arabic it meant "partition, screen, curtain," and also generally "rules of modesty and dress for females;" from root h-j-b. It is defined in an 1800 English lexicon of "the Hindoostanee language" as "modesty, shame," and in other such dictionaries c. 1800 it has connotations of "to cover, hide, conceal." The 1906 dictionary also has hijab as "modesty."ETD hijab (n.).2

    hijack (v.)

    by 1922 (perhaps c. 1918), American English, of unknown origin; perhaps from high(way) + jacker "one who holds up" (agent noun from jack (v.)). In early use "to rob (a bootlegger, smuggler, etc.) in transit;" sense of "seize an aircraft in flight" is 1968 (also in 1961 variant skyjack), extended 1970s to any form of public transportation. Related: Hijacked; hijacking. Related: Hijacker.ETD hijack (v.).2

    hijinks (n.)

    also hi-jinks, high jinks, "boisterous capers, lively or boisterous sport," 1842, from name of games played at drinking parties (1690s). See jink.ETD hijinks (n.).2

    hijra (n.)

    also hijrah, the more correct form of hegira.ETD hijra (n.).2

    hike (n.)

    1865, from hike (v.).ETD hike (n.).2

    hike (v.)

    1809, hyke "to walk vigorously," an English dialectal word of unknown origin. A yike from 1736 answers to the sense. Not in widespread popular use until early 20c.ETD hike (v.).2

    Sense of "pull up" (as pants) first recorded 1873 in American English, and may be a variant of hitch; extended sense of "raise" (as wages) is 1867. Related: Hiked; hiking.ETD hike (v.).3

    hiker (n.)

    1908, agent noun from hike (v.). Earlier as a type of boat:ETD hiker (n.).2

    hilarity (n.)

    mid-15c., from Latin hilaritatem (nominative hilaritas) "cheerfulness, gaiety, merriment," from hilaris "cheerful, merry," from Greek hilaros "cheerful, merry, joyous," related to hilaos "graceful, kindly," hilaskomai "to propitiate, appease, reconcile,"and probably from a suffixed form of a PIE root *selh- "reconcile" (source also of Latin solari "to comfort").ETD hilarity (n.).2

    In ancient Rome, Hilaria (neuter plural of hilaris) were a class of holidays, times of pomp and rejoicing; there were public ones in honor of Cybele at the spring equinoxes as well as private ones on the day of a marriage or a son's birth.ETD hilarity (n.).3

    hilarious (adj.)

    1823, "cheerful," from Latin hilaris "cheerful, lively, merry, joyful, of good cheer" (see hilarity) + -ous. Meaning "boisterously joyful" is from 1835. Related: Hilariously.ETD hilarious (adj.).2


    masc. proper name, from Late Latin Hilarius, literally "cheerful," from Latin hilaris "cheerful" (see hilarity). The name was more popular in France than in England. The woman's name (Middle English Hillaria) seems to be this name merged with Eulalia, name of the patron saint of Barcelona, whose name is a Latinization of Greek eulalos "sweetly speaking." The Hilary sessions of British High Court and universities (1577) are from St. Hilarius, Bishop of Poitiers, obit. C.E. 368, eminent Church father and opponent of the Arians, whose feast day is Jan. 13, the Octave of the Epiphany.ETD Hilary.2


    fem. proper name, German, literally "battle-maid," from fem. of Old High German hild "war, battle, fight, combat," from Proto-Germanic *hildiz "battle" (source also of Old English (poetic) hild "war, battle," Old Saxon hild, Old High German hilt, Old Norse hildr), from PIE *keldh-, from root *kel- "to strike, cut" (see holt). Hild-/-hild was a common Germanic name-forming element; compare Hildebrand, Brunhild, Matilda.ETD Hilda.2

    Old English hild figured widely in kenning compounds: Hildbedd "deathbed;" hildegicel "blood dripping from a sword," literally "battle-icicle;" hildenædre "arrow, lance, spear," literally "war-adder;" hildesæd "weary of fighting, battle-worn," literally "battle-sad."ETD Hilda.3


    Germanic masc. proper name, Old High German Hildibrand, literally "battle-sword;" for first element see Hilda; for second element see brand (n.). The name of Gregory VII before he was pope (1073-85).ETD Hildebrand.2


    Germanic fem. proper name, Old High German Hildegard, literally "protecting battle-maid;" for first element see Hilda; for second element see yard (n.1).ETD Hildegard.2

    hill (n.)

    Old English hyll "hill," from Proto-Germanic *hulni- (source also of Middle Dutch hille, Low German hull "hill," Old Norse hallr "stone," Gothic hallus "rock," Old Norse holmr "islet in a bay," Old English holm "rising land, island"), from PIE root *kel- (2) "to be prominent; hill." Formerly including mountains.ETD hill (n.).2

    Figurative phrase over the hill "past one's prime" is recorded by 1950. Expression old as the hills is recorded by 1819, perhaps echoing Job xv.7. Earlier form old as the hills and the valleys is attested by 1808:ETD hill (n.).3

    Cobbett's also had, on April 11, 1818:ETD hill (n.).4

    hill (v.)

    "cover with soil in the form of a hill, 1570s; "form into a hill," 1580s, from hill (n.). Related: Hilled; hilling.ETD hill (v.).2

    hillbilly (n.)

    "southern Appalachian person," by 1892, from hill (n.) + Billy/Billie, popular or pet form of William. In reference to a type of U.S. folk music, first attested 1924.ETD hillbilly (n.).2

    In Scott's collection of Border ballads, billie is a frequent term of address or intimacy, "comrade, companion, a brother in arms," "a term expressive of affection and familiarity" also "a brother; a wooer of a woman," and generally "a young man" [Jamieson, 2nd edition]. It is said to be a variant of bully (n.) in its old sense of "sweetheart," also "fine fellow."ETD hillbilly (n.).3


    masc. proper name, from Hebrew, literally "he praised."ETD Hillel.2

    hilly (adj.)

    late 14c., from hill (n.) + -y (2).ETD hilly (adj.).2

    hillock (n.)

    late 14c., hilloc "small hill, mound or heap of earth" (c. 1200 as a surname), from hill (n.) + Middle English diminutive suffix -oc.ETD hillock (n.).2

    hillside (n.)

    late 14c., from hill (n.) + side (n.).ETD hillside (n.).2

    hilltop (n.)

    c. 1400, from hill (n.) + top (n.).ETD hilltop (n.).2

    hilt (n.)

    Old English hilt "hilt, handle of a sword or dagger," from Proto-Germanic *helt (source also of Old Norse hjalt, Old High German helza "hilt," Old Saxon helta "oar handle"), of uncertain origin, possibly from PIE root *kel- "to strike, cut" (see holt). Formerly also used in plural in same sense as singular. Up to the hilts "completely" is from 1670s.ETD hilt (n.).2

    hilum (n.)

    1753 in botany, Latin, "little thing, shred, trifle," of unknown origin, said originally to have meant "the eye of a bean." Related: Hilar.ETD hilum (n.).2

    him (pron.)

    Old English him, originally dative masculine and neuter of he, from Proto-Germanic *hi- (see he). Beginning 10c. it replaced hine as masculine accusative, a process completed by 15c. The dative roots of the -m ending are retained in German (ihm) and Dutch (hem). Hine persists, barely, as the southern England dialectal 'un, 'n for "him."ETD him (pron.).2


    from Sanskrit himalayah, literally "abode of snow," from hima "snow" (from PIE *ghi-mo-, from root *gheim- "winter") + alayah "abode," derivative of layate "sticks, stays," from PIE root *(s)lei- "sticky" (see lime (n.1)). Related: Himalayas; Himalayan.ETD Himalaya.2

    himself (pron.)

    Old English him selfum, from dative/accusative personal pronoun him + self, here used as an inflected adjective.ETD himself (pron.).2

    hin (pron.)

    Old English hine, accusative of he; replaced by dative him in early Middle English. Cognate with German ihn. It is said to survive somewhat in southwest English and Kentish dialect.ETD hin (pron.).2

    hincty (adj.)

    "conceited," by 1924 in African-American vernacular. Compare obsolete Scottish hichty (c. 1500), considered an alteration of height-y.ETD hincty (adj.).2

    hind (adj.)

    c. 1300, "pertaining to the rear, back, posterior," perhaps a back-formation from Old English behindan "back, behind," used as adverb and preposition (see behind), or from or influenced by Old English hindan (adv.) "from behind," from Proto-Germanic *hind- "behind" (cognate with Gothic hindan (prep.) "on that side of, beyond, behind;" German hinten "behind"), of unknown origin. Possibly influenced by Middle English hiner (adv.) "back, rear."ETD hind (adj.).2

    hind (n.)

    "female deer," Old English hind, from Proto-Germanic *hinthjo (source also of Old Norse hind, Dutch hinde, Old High German hinta, German Hindin (with added fem. suffix) "hind"). This is perhaps from PIE *kemti-, from root *kem- (1) "hornless" (source also of Greek kemas "young deer, gazelle," Lithuanian šmulas "hornless," Old Norse skammr "short, brief").ETD hind (n.).2

    hinder (adj.)

    "situated in the rear, pertaining to the rear, toward the back," late 14c., probably from an unrecorded Old English adjective from hinder (adv.) "behind, back, afterward," but treated as a comparative of hind (adj.). Related to Old High German hintar, German hinter, Gothic hindar "behind" (prep.).ETD hinder (adj.).2

    Middle English had hinderhede, literally "hinder-hood; posterity in time, inferiority in rank;" and hinderling "person fallen from moral or social respectability, wretch," from an Old English term of contempt for a person devoid of honor. Also compare Scottish hinderlins "the buttocks."ETD hinder (adj.).3

    hinderance (n.)

    early form of hindrance (q.v.).ETD hinderance (n.).2

    hinder (v.)

    Old English hindrian "to harm, injure, impair, check, repress," from Proto-Germanic *hinderojan (source also of Old Norse hindra, Old Frisian hinderia, Dutch hinderen, Old High German hintaron, German hindern "to keep back"), derivative verb from a root meaning "on that side of, behind" (see hind (adj.)); thus the ground sense is "to put or keep back," though this sense in English is recorded only from late 14c. Related: Hindered; hindering.ETD hinder (v.).2

    hindermost (adj.)

    late 14c., hyndermest; see hinder (adj.) + -most. Middle English had also hindermore, which, as a noun, could mean "the hinder parts."ETD hindermost (adj.).2

    Hindi (adj.)

    1825, from Hind "India" (see Hindu) + -i, suffix expressing relationship. As the name of a modern language of India, 1880.ETD Hindi (adj.).2

    hindmost (adj.)

    "furthest at the rear," late 14c., from hind (adj.) + -most.ETD hindmost (adj.).2


    former spelling of Hindu (q.v.).ETD Hindoo.2

    hindrance (n.)

    mid-15c., a hybrid from hindren (see hinder (v.)) on model of French-derived words in -ance.ETD hindrance (n.).2

    hindsight (n.)

    1806, "backsight of a firearm," from hind (adj.) + sight (n.). Meaning "a seeing what has happened, a seeing after the event what ought to have been done" is attested by 1862, American English, (in proverbial "If our foresight was as good as our hindsight, it would be an easy matter to get rich"), probably formed as a humorous opposition to older foresight (q.v.).ETD hindsight (n.).2

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