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    Hungary — hydrometer (n.)


    c. 1300, from Medieval Latin Hungaria (also source of French Hongrie), probably literally meaning "land of the Huns," who ruled a vast territory from there under Attila in 5c. The people's name for themselves we transliterate as Magyar. Middle English uses the same words for both Attila's people and the Magyars, who appeared in Europe in 9c. and established a kingdom in 1000. From the same source as Medieval Greek Oungroi, German Ungarn, Russian Vengriya, Ukrainian Ugorshchina. The Turkish name for the country, Macaristan, reflects the indigenous name. Related: Hungarian (1550s as a noun, c. 1600 as an adjective).ETD Hungary.2

    hunger (v.)

    Old English hyngran "be hungry, feel hunger, hunger for," from the source of hunger (n.). Compare Old Saxon gihungrjan, Old High German hungaran, German hungern, Gothic huggrjan. In late Old English also "desire with longing." In Old English and Middle English also with an impersonal form (it hungers me). By normal development it would be Modern English *hinger, but the form was influenced in Middle English by the noun. Related: Hungered; hungering.ETD hunger (v.).2

    hunger (n.)

    Old English hunger, hungor "unease or pain caused by lack of food, debility from lack of food, craving appetite," also "famine, scarcity of food in a place," from Proto-Germanic *hungraz (source also of Old Frisian hunger, Old Saxon hungar, Old High German hungar, Old Norse hungr, German hunger, Dutch honger, Gothic huhrus), probably from PIE root *kenk- (2) "to suffer hunger or thirst" (source also of Sanskrit kakate "to thirst;" Lithuanian kanka "pain, ache; torment, affliction;" Greek kagkanos "dry," polykagkes "drying"). From c. 1200 as "a strong or eager desire" (originally spiritual). Hunger strike attested from 1885; earliest references are to prisoners in Russia.ETD hunger (n.).2

    hungry (adj.)

    Middle English hungry, hungri, from Old English hungrig "hungry, famished;" see hunger (n.) + -y (2). Common West Germanic; compare Old Frisian hungerig, Dutch hongerig, German hungrig. Figurative use from c. 1200. Related: Hungriness.ETD hungry (adj.).2

    hungrily (adv.)

    late 14c., from hungry (adj.) + -ly (2). Hungerly (adj.) is attested from late 14c. in the sense "hungry-looking."ETD hungrily (adv.).2

    hunk (n.2)

    disparaging U.S. slang term for "immigrant laborer from central or Eastern Europe," 1896, probably ultimately a shortening of Hungarian, though the name was applied as well to Lithuanians, Poles, South Slavs, etc.ETD hunk (n.2).2

    hunk (n.1)

    1813, "large piece cut off," of uncertain origin; according to OED "not frequent in literature before 1850." Possibly from West Flemish hunke (used of bread and meat), which is perhaps related to Dutch homp "lump, hump" (see hump (n.)). Meaning "attractive, sexually appealing man" is first attested 1945 in jive talk (in Australian slang, it is recorded from 1941).ETD hunk (n.1).2

    Hunker (n.)

    "conservative, fogey," 1849, American English, especially and originally "one of the conservative Democrats of New York of the 1840s" (opposed to the Barnburners). Supposedly from New York dialect hunk "post, station, home," hence "those who stay safe on base" (see hunky-dory), but it also has been said to be from a local word for a curmudgeon, and hunks is recorded from c. 1600 as a name for a surly, crusty old person or miser.ETD Hunker (n.).2

    hunker (v.)

    "to squat, crouch," 1720, Scottish, of uncertain origin, possibly a nasalized borrowing of a Scandinavian word such as Old Norse huka "to crouch," hoka, hokra "to crawl." Hunker down, Southern U.S. dialectal phrase, is from 1902, popularized c. 1965; in this use the verb is perhaps from northern British hunker "haunch." Related: Hunkered; hunkering.ETD hunker (v.).2

    hunky-dory (adj.)

    1866, American English (popularized c. 1870 by a Christy Minstrel song), perhaps an elaboration of hunkey "all right, satisfactory" (1861), from hunk "in a safe position" (1847) New York City slang used in street games, from Dutch honk "post, station, home," in children's play, "base, goal," from Middle Dutch honc "place of refuge, hiding place." A theory from 1876, however, traces it to Honcho dori, said to be a street in Yokohama, Japan, where sailors went for diversions of the sort sailors enjoy.ETD hunky-dory (adj.).2

    hunt (n.)

    early 12c., "act of chasing game," from hunt (v.). Old English had huntung, huntoþ. Meaning "body of persons associated for the purpose of hunting with a pack of hounds" is first recorded 1570s. Meaning "act of searching for someone or something" is from c. 1600.ETD hunt (n.).2

    hunt (v.)

    Old English huntian "chase game" (transitive and intransitive), perhaps developed from hunta "hunter," and related to hentan "to seize," from Proto-Germanic *huntojan (source also of Gothic hinþan "to seize, capture," Old High German hunda "booty"), which is of uncertain origin.ETD hunt (v.).2

    Not the usual Germanic word for this, which is represented by Dutch jagen, German jagen (see yacht (n.)). General sense of "search diligently" (for anything) is recorded from c. 1200. Related: Hunted; hunting. To hunt (something) up "search for until found" is from 1791. Parlor game hunt the slipper is attested from 1766.ETD hunt (v.).3

    hunting (n.)

    modification of Old English huntung "a hunt, chase; what is hunted, game," verbal noun from hunt (v.). Bartlett (1848) notes it as the word commonly used by sportsmen in the Southern states of the U.S. where in the North they use gunning. Happy hunting-grounds "Native American afterlife paradise" is from "Last of the Mohicans" (1826); hunting-ground in a Native American context is from 1777.ETD hunting (n.).2

    hunter (n.)

    "one who engages in the chase of game or other wild animals," mid-13c. (attested in place names from late 12c.), from hunt + -er (1). The Old English word was hunta, Middle English hunte. The hunter's moon (1710) is the next full moon after the harvest moon.ETD hunter (n.).2


    Old English Huntandun (973) "Hill of the Huntsman" (or of a man called Hunta).ETD Huntingdon.2

    Huntington's chorea

    also Huntington's disease, 1889, named for U.S. neurologist George Huntington (1851-1916), who described it in 1872.ETD Huntington's chorea.2

    huntress (n.)

    late 14c.; see hunter + -ess. Old English had hunticge.ETD huntress (n.).2

    huntsman (n.)

    1560s, from genitive of hunt (n.) + man (n.).ETD huntsman (n.).2

    hurdle (v.)

    1590s, "to build like a hurdle," from hurdle (n.). Sense of "to jump over" dates from 1880 (implied in hurdling). Related: Hurdled.ETD hurdle (v.).2

    hurdle (n.)

    Old English hyrdel "frame of intertwined twigs used as a temporary barrier," diminutive of hyrd "door," from Proto-Germanic *hurdiz "wickerwork frame, hurdle" (source also of Old Saxon hurth "plaiting, netting," Dutch horde "wickerwork," German Hürde "hurdle, fold, pen;" Old Norse hurð, Gothic haurds "door"), from PIE *krtis (source also of Latin cratis "hurdle, wickerwork," Greek kartalos "a kind of basket," kyrtos "fishing creel"), from root *kert- "to weave, twist together" (source also of Sanskrit krt "to spin").ETD hurdle (n.).2

    Used as temporary fencing in agriculture. Sense of "barrier to jump in a race" is by 1822 (hurdle-race also is from 1822); hurdles as a type of race (originally horse race) with hurdles as obstacles is attested by 1836. Figurative sense of "obstacle" is 1924.ETD hurdle (n.).3

    hurdy-gurdy (n.)

    "droning instrument played with a crank," 1749, perhaps imitative of the sound of the instrument and influenced by c. 1500 hirdy-girdy "uproar, confusion." Originally a type of drone-lute played by turning a wheel.ETD hurdy-gurdy (n.).2

    hurl (v.)

    early 13c., hurlen, "to run against (each other), come into collision," later "throw forcibly" (c. 1300); "rush violently" (late 14c.); perhaps related to Low German hurreln "to throw, to dash," and East Frisian hurreln "to roar, to bluster." OED suggests all are from an imitative Germanic base *hurr expressing rapid motion; see also hurry (v.). For difference between hurl and hurtle (which apparently were confused since early Middle English) see hurtle (v.).ETD hurl (v.).2

    hurling (n.)

    verbal noun of hurl (q.v.); attested 1520s as a form of hockey played in Ireland; c. 1600 as the name of a game like hand-ball that once was popular in Cornwall.ETD hurling (n.).2

    hurl (n.)

    late 14c., "rushing water," from hurl (v.). Mid-15c. as "strife, quarrel;" sense of "act of throwing violently" is from 1520s.ETD hurl (n.).2

    hurler (n.)

    1530s, "one who throws violently," agent noun from hurl (v.). From c. 1600 as "one who plays at hurling;" from 1926 in baseball slang as "pitcher."ETD hurler (n.).2

    hurly-burly (n.)

    also hurlyburly, "commotion, tumult," 1530s, apparently an alteration of phrase hurling and burling, reduplication of 14c. hurling "commotion, tumult," verbal noun of hurl (v.). Shakespeare has hurly "tumult, uproar," and Hurling time (early 15c.) was the name applied by chroniclers to the period of tumult and commotion around Wat Tyler's rebellion. Scott (1814) has hurly-house "large house in a state of advanced disrepair." Comparison also has been made to dialectal Swedish hurra "whirl round" (compare hurry (v.)).ETD hurly-burly (n.).2


    North American lake, named for the native people who lived nearby, whose name is attested in English from 1650s, from French, from obsolete French huron "bristle-haired" (the French word frequently was used in reference to head-dresses, and that might be its original sense here), from Old French huré "bristly, unkempt, shaggy," which is of uncertain origin, but French sources indicate it probably is from Germanic.ETD Huron.2

    hurrah (interj.)

    1680s, apparently an alteration of huzza; it is similar to shouts recorded in German, Danish, and Swedish; perhaps it was picked up by the English soldiery during the Thirty Years' War. Hurra was said to be the battle-cry of Prussian soldiers during the War of Liberation (1812-13), "and has since been a favourite cry of soldiers and sailors, and of exultation" [OED]. Hooray is its popular form and is almost as old. Also hurray (1780); hurroo (1824); hoorah (1798). As a verb from 1798. American English hurra's nest "state of confusion" is from 1829.ETD hurrah (interj.).2

    hurry (v.)

    1590s, transitive and intransitive, first recorded in Shakespeare, who used it often; perhaps a variant of harry (v.), or perhaps a West Midlands sense of Middle English hurren "to vibrate rapidly, buzz" (of insects), from Proto-Germanic *hurza "to move with haste" (source also of Middle High German hurren "to whir, move fast," Old Swedish hurra "to whirl round"), which also perhaps is the root of hurl (v.). To hurry up "make haste" is from 1890. Related: hurried; hurrying.ETD hurry (v.).2

    hurry (n.)

    c. 1600, "commotion, agitation," probably from hurry (v.). Meaning "undue haste" is from 1690s. In a hurry "in haste, under pressure" is from 1700.ETD hurry (n.).2

    hurried (adj.)

    "done in a rush, exhibiting hurry," 1660s, past-participle adjective from hurry (v.). Related: Hurriedly.ETD hurried (adj.).2

    hurricane (n.)

    sea-storm of severest intensity, 1550s, a partially deformed adoption of Spanish huracan (Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdés, "Historia General y Natural de las Indias," 1547-9), furacan (in the works of Pedro Mártir De Anghiera, chaplain to the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and historian of Spanish explorations), from an Arawakan (West Indies) word. In Portuguese, it became furacão. For confusion of initial -f- and -h- in Spanish, see hacienda. The word is first in English in Richard Eden's "Decades of the New World":ETD hurricane (n.).2

    OED records 39 different spellings, mostly from the late 16c., including forcane, herrycano, harrycain, hurlecane. The modern form became frequent from 1650 and was established after 1688. Shakespeare uses hurricano ("King Lear," "Troilus and Cressida"), but in reference to waterspouts.ETD hurricane (n.).3


    1732 (adj.), 1750 (adv.), 1754 (n.); probably a reduplication of hurry formed with awareness of scurry.ETD hurry-scurry.2

    hurst (n.)

    "hillock" (especially a sandy one), also "grove, wooded eminence," from Old English hyrst "hillock, wooded eminence," from Proto-Germanic *hursti- (see horst). Common in place names (such as Amherst).ETD hurst (n.).2

    hurt (n.)

    c. 1200, "a wound, an injury;" also "sorrow, lovesickness," from hurt (v.). Old French had hurte (n.), but the sense "injury" is only in English.ETD hurt (n.).2

    hurting (adj.)

    1680s, "causing hurt," present-participle adjective from hurt (v.). Reflexive sense of "suffering, feeling pain" recorded by 1944.ETD hurting (adj.).2

    hurtful (adj.)

    "harmful, injurious," mid-15c., from hurt (n.) + -ful. Related: Hurtfully; hurtfulness.ETD hurtful (adj.).2

    hurt (v.)

    c. 1200, "to injure, wound" (the body, feelings, reputation, etc.), also "to stumble (into), bump into; charge against, rush, crash into; knock (things) together," from Old French hurter "to ram, strike, collide with" (Modern French heurter), a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Frankish *hurt "ram" (source also of Middle High German hurten "run at, collide," Old Norse hrutr "ram," Middle Dutch horten "to knock, dash against").ETD hurt (v.).2

    Celtic origins also have been proposed. The English usage is as old as the French, and perhaps there was a native Old English *hyrtan, but it has not been recorded.ETD hurt (v.).3

    Passive (intransitive) use "feel or experience pain" has been occasional in modern English; current usage dates from c. 1902. Meaning "to be a source of pain" (of a body part) is from 1850. Sense of "knock" died out 17c., but compare hurtle (v.). To hurt (one's) feelings attested by 1779. Other Germanic languages tend to use their form of English scathe in this sense (Danish skade, Swedish skada, German schaden, Dutch schaden).ETD hurt (v.).4

    hurt (adj.)

    "wounded, injured," c. 1400, past-participle adjective from hurt (v.).ETD hurt (adj.).2

    hurtle (v.)

    early 14c., hurteln, "to crash together; to crash down, knock down," probably frequentative of hurten (see hurt (v.)) in its original sense. Intransitive meaning "to rush, dash, charge" is late 14c. "[T]he essential notion in hurtle is that of forcible collision, in hurl that of forcible projection" [OED]. Related: Hurtled; hurtling.ETD hurtle (v.).2

    husband (n.)

    Old English husbonda "male head of a household, master of a house, householder," probably from Old Norse husbondi "master of the house," literally "house-dweller," from hus "house" (see house (n.)) + bondi "householder, dweller, freeholder, peasant," from buandi, present participle of bua "to dwell" (from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow," and compare bond (adj.)).ETD husband (n.).2

    Slang shortening hubby is attested by 1680s. Beginning late 13c. it replaced Old English wer as "married man (in relation to his wife)" and became the companion word of wife, a sad loss for English poetry. Old English wer, in the broadest sense "man, male person" (from PIE root *wi-ro- "man"), is preserved in werewolf.ETD husband (n.).3

    husband (v.)

    "manage thriftily," early 15c., from husband (n.) in an obsolete sense of "steward" (mid-15c.). Related: Husbanded; husbanding.ETD husband (v.).2

    husbandman (n.)

    c. 1300, "head of a family;" early 14c. as "farmer, tiller of the soil," from husband (n.) + man (n.).ETD husbandman (n.).2

    husbandry (n.)

    c. 1300, "management of a household;" late 14c. as "farm management;" from husband (n.) in a now-obsolete sense of "peasant farmer" (early 13c.) + -ery.ETD husbandry (n.).2

    hush (n.)

    "state of stillness," 1680s, from hush (v.).ETD hush (n.).2

    hush (v.)

    1540s (trans.), 1560s (intrans.), variant of Middle English huisht (late 14c.), probably of imitative origin, with terminal -t lost probably by being mistaken for a past tense suffix. The sounds chosen presumably for "being sibilations requiring the least muscular effort and admitting of the faintest utterance" [Century Dictionary]. Related: Hushed; hushing.ETD hush (v.).2

    Figurative use from 1630s. As an interjection meaning "be quiet," attested by c. 1600. To hush (one's) mouth "be quiet" is attested from 1878. Hush up "suppress talk for secrecy's sake" is from 1630s. Hush-money "bribe paid to ensure silence" is attested from 1709. Hush-puppy "deep-fried ball of cornmeal batter" first attested 1899; as a type of lightweight soft shoe, it is a proprietary name, registered 1961.ETD hush (v.).3

    hushaby (interj.)

    1796, from hush (v.) + ending as in lullaby.ETD hushaby (interj.).2

    hush-hush (adj.)

    1916, reduplication of hush.ETD hush-hush (adj.).2

    husk (n.)

    late 14c., huske "dry, outer skin of certain fruits and seeds," of unknown origin. "A common word since c 1400 of which no earlier trace has been found" [OED]. Perhaps from Middle Dutch huuskyn "little house, core of fruit, case," diminutive of huus "house," or from an equivalent formation in English (see house (n.)).ETD husk (n.).2

    husk (v.)

    "strip off the husks of," 1560s, from husk (n.). Related: Husked; husking.ETD husk (v.).2

    husker (n.)

    "one who husks (corn); one who takes part in a husking-bee," 1780, agent noun from husk (v.). Cornhuskers as a nickname for athletics squads from Nebraska is attested by 1903.ETD husker (n.).2

    husky (adj.)

    "hoarse," c. 1722 in reference to a cattle disease (of persons, 1740), from husk (n.) + -y (2) on the notion of "dry as a husk." Earlier (1550s) "having husks, full of husks." Sense of "tough and strong" (like corn husks) is first found 1869, American English. Related: Huskily; huskiness.ETD husky (adj.).2

    husky (n.)

    "Eskimo dog," 1852, Canadian English, earlier (1830) hoskey "an Eskimo," probably shortened variant of Ehuskemay (1743), itself a variant of Eskimo.ETD husky (n.).2

    hussar (n.)

    "light-cavalryman," 1530s, from German Husar, from Hungarian huszár "light horseman," originally "freebooter," from Old Serbian husar, variant of kursar "pirate," from Italian corsaro (see corsair). The original Hussars were bodies of light horsemen organized in Hungary late 15c., famed for activity and courage and elaborate semi-oriental dress. They were widely imitated elsewhere in Europe, hence the spread of the name.ETD hussar (n.).2

    hussy (n.)

    1520s, "mistress of a household, housewife," deformed contraction of Middle English husewif (see housewife). Evidence of the shortening of the two vowels is throughout Middle English. Traditionally pronounced "huzzy," in 20c. the pronunciation shifted to match the spelling. The sense gradually broadened colloquially to mean "any woman or girl." By 1650 the word was especially applied to "a woman or girl who shows casual or improper behavior" (short for pert hussy, etc.), and it had lost all but its derogatory sense by mid-18c.ETD hussy (n.).2

    Hussite (n.)

    1530s, follower of John Huss, Bohemian religious reformer burnt in 1415. His name is said to be an abbreviation of the name of his native village, Husinec, literally "goose-pen."ETD Hussite (n.).2

    hustings (n.)

    Old English husting "meeting, court, tribunal," from Old Norse husðing "council," from hus "house" (see house (n.)) + ðing "assembly" (see thing); so called because it was a meeting of the men who formed the "household" of a nobleman or king. The native Anglo-Saxon word for this was folc-gemot. The plural became the usual form c. 1500; sense of "temporary platform for political speeches" developed by 1719, apparently from London's Court of Hustings, presided over by the Lord Mayor, which was held on a platform in the Guildhall. This sense then broadened by mid-19c. to "the election process generally."ETD hustings (n.).2

    hustle (v.)

    1680s (trans.), "to shake to and fro" (especially of money in a cap, as part of a game called hustle-cap), metathesized from Dutch hutselen, husseln "to shake, to toss," frequentative of hutsen, variant of hotsen "to shake." "The stems hot-, hut- appear in a number of formations in both High and Low German dialects, all implying a shaking movement" [OED]. Related: Hustled; hustling. Meaning "push roughly, shove" first recorded 1751. Intransitive sense "bustle, work busily, move quickly" is from 1821.ETD hustle (v.).2

    Sense of "to get in a quick, illegal manner" is 1840 in American English; that of "to sell goods aggressively" is 1887.ETD hustle (v.).3

    hustle (n.)

    "pushing activity; activity in the interest of success," 1891, American English, from hustle (v.) in its later colloquial senses; earlier the noun meant "a shaking together" (1715). Sense of "a swindle, illegal business activity" is by 1963, American English. As the name of a popular dance, by 1975.ETD hustle (n.).2

    hustler (n.)

    1825, "thief" (especially one who roughs up his victims), from hustle (v.) + -er (1). Sense of "one who is energetic in work or business" (especially, but not originally, a salesman) is from 1884; sense of "prostitute" dates from 1924.ETD hustler (n.).2

    huswife (n.)

    see housewife.ETD huswife (n.).2

    hut (n.)

    1650s, from French hutte "a cottage" (16c.), from Middle High German hütte "cottage, hut," probably from Proto-Germanic *hudjon-, which is related to the root of Old English hydan "to hide," from PIE *keudh-, from root *(s)keu- "to cover, conceal." Apparently first in English as a military word. Old Saxon hutta, Danish hytte, Swedish hytta, Frisian and Middle Dutch hutte, Dutch hut are said to be from High German.ETD hut (n.).2

    hutch (n.)

    c. 1200, "storage chest" (also applied to the biblical "ark of God"), from Old French huche "chest, trunk, coffer; coffin; kneading trough; shop displaying merchandise," from Medieval Latin hutica "chest," a word of uncertain origin. Sense of "cupboard for food or dishes" first recorded 1670s; that of "box-like pen for an animal" is from c. 1600.ETD hutch (n.).2

    Hutterite (n.)

    1640s in reference to Moravian Anabaptist sect established by Jacob Hutter (d. 1536) + -ite (1).ETD Hutterite (n.).2

    huzza (interj.)

    also huzzah, 1570s, originally a sailor's shout of exaltation, encouragement, or applause. Perhaps originally a hoisting cry. As a verb from 1680s.ETD huzza (interj.).2

    hyacinth (n.)

    1550s, "the plant hyacinth;" re-Greeked from jacinth (late 14c.) "hyacinth; blue cornflower," which earlier was the name of a precious stone blue (rarely red) in color (c. 1200), from Old French jacinte and Medieval Latin jacintus, ultimately from Greek hyakinthos, which is probably ultimately from a non-Indo-European Mediterranean language.ETD hyacinth (n.).2

    Used in ancient Greece of a blue gem, perhaps sapphire, and of a purple or deep red flower, but exactly which one is unknown (gladiolus, iris, and larkspur have been suggested). It is fabled to have sprung from the blood of Hyakinthos, Laconian youth beloved by Apollo and accidentally slain by him. The flower is said to have the letters "AI" or "AIAI" (Greek cry of grief) on its petals. The modern use in reference to a particular flowering plant genus is from 1570s. Related: Hyacinthine.ETD hyacinth (n.).3


    star cluster in constellation Taurus (generally pictured as forming the head of the bull), late 14c., from Greek Hyades, popularly explained by the ancients as "rain-bringers" (from hyein "to rain"), because wet weather supposedly began coincidentally with their heliacal rising; but probably rather from hys "swine" (the popular Latin word for the star-group was Suculae "piglets, little pigs"), from PIE *su- "pig" (see sow (n.)). Grimm ("Teutonic Mythology") lists the Anglo-Saxon glosses of Hyades as Raedgastran, Raedgasnan, Redgaesrum.ETD Hyades.2

    hyaena (n.)

    see hyena.ETD hyaena (n.).2

    hyaline (adj.)

    "glassy; made of glass; transparent," 1660s, from Latin hyalinus, from Greek hyalinos "of glass or crystal," from hyalos "glass" (see hyalo-).ETD hyaline (adj.).2


    word-forming element in scientific compounds meaning "of glass; glass-like, transparent," from Greek hyalos "glass, clear alabaster, crystal lens used as a burning glass," apparently a non-Greek word, said to be of Egyptian origin (glass was first made in Egypt).ETD hyalo-.2

    hybris (n.)

    see hubris. Related: Hybristic.ETD hybris (n.).2

    hybridize (v.)

    1802, intransitive, "cross or inter-breed," from hybrid + -ize. Transitive sense of "cause to interbreed" is by 1823. Related: Hybridized; hybridizing.ETD hybridize (v.).2

    hybridization (n.)

    "cross-fertilization, cross-breeding; act or process of hybridizing; state of being hybridized," 1824, noun of action from hybridize.ETD hybridization (n.).2

    hybrid (n.)

    c. 1600, "offspring of plants or animals of different variety or species," from Latin hybrida, variant of ibrida "mongrel," specifically "offspring of a tame sow and a wild boar," of unknown origin but probably from Greek and somehow related to hubris.ETD hybrid (n.).2

    A rare word before the general sense "anything a product of two heterogeneous things" emerged c. 1850. The adjective is attested from 1716 (Cockeram's "English Dictionarie" (1623) has hybridan, "Whose Parents are of diuers and sundry Nations"). As a noun meaning "automobile powered by an engine that uses both electricity and gasoline," 2002, short for hybrid vehicle, etc.ETD hybrid (n.).3

    hybridity (n.)

    "state or condition of being hybrid," 1823, from hybrid + -ity.ETD hybridity (n.).2

    hydra (n.)

    name of the many-headed Lernaean water serpent slain by Herakles in Greek mythology, late 14c., idre, from Greek Hydra, fem. of hydros "water-snake," from hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet").ETD hydra (n.).2

    The word is etymologically related to Sanskrit udrah "aquatic animal" and Old English ottur (see otter). Used figuratively for "any multiplicity of evils" [Johnson]. The fabulous beast's heads were said to grown back double when cut off. As a constellation (see Hydrus), usually identified as the monster Herakles slew, from mid-15c. As the genus name of a freshwater polyp from 1798; said to have been so called by Linnaeus for its regenerative capabilities.ETD hydra (n.).3

    hydrangea (n.)

    1753, coined in Modern Latin by Linnaeus as a compound of Greek hydr-, stem of hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet") + angeion "vessel, capsule" (see angio-); so called from the shrub's cup-shaped seed pods. Native to China, introduced in England 1790.ETD hydrangea (n.).2

    hydrant (n.)

    "apparatus for drawing water from a street main," 1806, from Greek hydr-, stem of hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet") + -ant. OED double-damns it as "Irregularly formed" and "of U.S. origin."ETD hydrant (n.).2

    hydrargyrum (n.)

    "mercury, quicksilver," 1560s, from Latin hydrargyrus, from Greek hydrargyros "quicksilver" (as prepared artificially from cinnabar ore; native quicksilver was argyros khytos "fused silver"), from hydr-, stem of hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet") + argyros "silver" (from PIE root *arg- "to shine; white," hence "silver" as the shining or white metal). Hence the chemical abbreviation Hg for the element mercury.ETD hydrargyrum (n.).2

    hydration (n.)

    1823, noun of action from hydrate (v.). Perhaps from French hydration.ETD hydration (n.).2

    hydrate (v.)

    1812 (implied in hydrated), "to form a hydrate, combine chemically with water," from hydrate (n.), perhaps modeled on French hydrater. From 1947 as "to restore moisture;" from Greek hydr-, stem of hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet") + -ate (2). Related: Hydrating.ETD hydrate (v.).2

    hydrate (n.)

    "compound of water and another chemical," 1802, from French hydrate, coined c. 1800 by French chemist Joseph-Louis Proust (1754-1826) from Greek hydr-, stem of hydor "water," from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet."). Also formerly applied to compounds formed on the same type as H2O.ETD hydrate (n.).2

    hydraulics (n.)

    "branch of engineering which treats of the conveyance and motion of water," 1670s, from hydraulic; also see -ics.ETD hydraulics (n.).2

    hydraulic (adj.)

    "pertaining to fluids in motion," c. 1600, from French hydraulique, from Latin hydraulicus, from Greek hydraulikos (organon) "water organ," the name of a musical instrument invented by the Egyptian Ctesibius, from hydr-, stem of hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet") + aulos "musical instrument, hollow tube, pipe" (see alveolus). Extended by the Romans to other water engines.ETD hydraulic (adj.).2

    hydric (adj.)

    1796 as a term in chemistry, "of or containing hydrogen." From 1918 in ecology, "having plentiful water;" see hydro- + -ic.ETD hydric (adj.).2


    short for hydro-electric, from 1916.ETD hydro.2


    before vowels hydr-, word-forming element in compounds of Greek origin, meaning "water," from Greek hydro-, combining form of hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet"). Also sometimes a combining form of hydrogen.ETD hydro-.2

    hydrocarbon (n.)

    "compound of hydrogen and carbon," 1800, from hydrogen + carbon. Related: Hydrocarbonaceous; hydrocarbonous (1788).ETD hydrocarbon (n.).2

    hydrocephalus (n.)

    "accumulation of fluid in the cranial cavity, 'water on the brain,'" 1660s, medical Latin, from Greek hydro- "water" (see water (n.1)) + kephalē "head" (see cephalo-). Also the name of a trilobite genus. Related: Hydrocephalic; hydrocephalous.ETD hydrocephalus (n.).2

    hydrochloric (adj.)

    "composed of chlorine and hydrogen," 1815, from hydrochloric acid (proposed 1814 by Gay-Lussac); see hydrogen + chlorine + -ic.ETD hydrochloric (adj.).2

    hydrocortisone (n.)

    also hydro-cortisone, 1951, from hydro- + cortisone.ETD hydrocortisone (n.).2

    hydrodynamic (adj.)

    "derived from the force or motion of fluid," 1815, from hydro- + dynamic (adj.). Related: Hydrodynamics (1764), from Modern Latin hydrodynamica (Huberti, 1758).ETD hydrodynamic (adj.).2

    hydro-electric (adj.)

    also hydroelectric, 1827, "produced by a galvanic cell battery," which uses liquid, from hydro- "water" + electric. Meaning "generating electricity by force of moving water" is from 1884. Related: Hydroelectricity.ETD hydro-electric (adj.).2

    hydrofoil (n.)

    1959, "boat that travels through water on wings," short for hydrofoil boat, hydrofoil being originally the name of the "wings" themselves (1920); formed in English from hydro- + foil (n.).ETD hydrofoil (n.).2

    hydrogenate (v.)

    "cause to combine with hydrogen," 1809, from hydrogen + -ate (2). Related: Hydrogenated; hydrogenation.ETD hydrogenate (v.).2

    hydrogen (n.)

    colorless, gaseous element, 1791, hydrogene, from French hydrogène (Modern Latin hydrogenium), coined 1787 by G. de Morveau, Lavoisier, Berthollet, and Fourcroy from Greek hydr-, stem of hydor "water" (from suffixed form of PIE root *wed- (1) "water; wet") + French -gène "producing" (see -gen).ETD hydrogen (n.).2

    So called because it forms water when exposed to oxygen. Nativized in Russian as vodorod; in German, it is wasserstoff, "water-stuff." An earlier name for it in English was Cavendish's inflammable air (1767). Hydrogen bomb first recorded 1947; shortened form H-bomb is from 1950.ETD hydrogen (n.).3

    hydrogeology (n.)

    also hydro-geology, 1802, from hydro- + geology; modeled on French hydrogéologie.ETD hydrogeology (n.).2

    hydrography (n.)

    "science of the measurement and description of the sea," 1550s, from hydro- + -graphy. Related: Hydrographic.ETD hydrography (n.).2

    hydrology (n.)

    "the science of water," 1762, from hydro- + -logy. Related: Hydrologist; hydrological (1660s).ETD hydrology (n.).2

    hydrolysis (n.)

    "chemical decomposition by water," 1879, formed in English from hydro- + Greek lysis "a loosening, a dissolution," from lyein "to loosen, dissolve" (from PIE root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart"). Related: Hydrolitic (1875).ETD hydrolysis (n.).2

    hydrometer (n.)

    1670s, from hydro- + meter (n.3). Related: Hydrometric; hydrometry.ETD hydrometer (n.).2

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