embattled (adj.) Look up embattled at Dictionary.com
"under attack," by 1882; earlier it meant "prepared to fight," and (of structures) "fitted with battlements;" past participle adjective from embattle (v.).
embed (v.) Look up embed at Dictionary.com
1778, from em- + bed (n.). Originally a geological term, in reference to fossils in rock; figurative sense is from 1835; meaning "place a journalist within a military unit at war" is 2003. Related: Embedded; embedding.
embellish (v.) Look up embellish at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "to render beautiful," from Old French embelliss-, stem of embellir "make beautiful, ornament," from em- (see en- (1)) + bel "beautiful," from Latin bellus "handsome, pretty, fine" (see bene-). Meaning "dress up (a narration) with fictitious matter" is from mid-15c. Related: Embellished; embellishing.
embellishment (n.) Look up embellishment at Dictionary.com
1590s, from embellish + -ment.
ember (n.) Look up ember at Dictionary.com
Old English æmerge "ember," merged with or influenced by Old Norse eimyrja, both from Proto-Germanic *aim-uzjon- "ashes" (cognates: Middle Low German emere, Old High German eimuria, German Ammern); a compound from *aima- "ashes" (from PIE root *ai- "to burn;" see edifice) + *uzjo- "to burn" (from PIE root *eus- "to burn;" source also of Latin urere "to burn, singe"). The -b- is intrusive.
ember days (n.) Look up ember days at Dictionary.com
Old English Ymbrendaeg, Ymbren, 12 days of the year (divided into four seasonal periods, hence Latin name quatuor tempora) set aside by the Church for fasting and prayers, from Old English ymbren "recurring," corruption of ymbryne "a circuit, revolution, course, anniversary," literally "a running around," from ymb "round" (cognate with Greek amphi, Latin ambo; see ambi-) + ryne "course, running" (see run (n.)). Perhaps influenced by a corruption of the Latin name (compare German quatember).
embergoose (n.) Look up embergoose at Dictionary.com
"loon," 1744, from Norwegian emmer-gaas, perhaps so called from its appearing on the coast in the ember days before Christmas.
embezzle (v.) Look up embezzle at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Anglo-French embesiler "to steal, cause to disappear" (c.1300), from Old French em- (see en- (1)) + besillier "torment, destroy, gouge," of unknown origin. Sense of "to dispose of fraudulently" is first recorded 1580s. Related: Embezzled; embezzling.
embezzlement (n.) Look up embezzlement at Dictionary.com
1540s, from embezzle + -ment.
embezzler (n.) Look up embezzler at Dictionary.com
1660s, agent noun from embezzle.
embitter (v.) Look up embitter at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from em- + bitter. Now rare in its literal sense; figurative meaning first attested 1630s. Related: Embittered.
emblazon (v.) Look up emblazon at Dictionary.com
"inscribe conspicuously," also "extol," 1590s, from en- (1) + blazon. Related: Emblazoned; emblazoning.
emblem (n.) Look up emblem at Dictionary.com
1580s, from French emblème "symbol" (16c.), from Latin emblema "inlaid ornamental work," from Greek emblema (genitive emblematos) "embossed ornament," literally "insertion," from emballein "to insert," literally "to throw in," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).
emblematic (adj.) Look up emblematic at Dictionary.com
1640s, perhaps via French emblématique, from Greek emblematikos, from emblema (see emblem).
embodiment (n.) Look up embodiment at Dictionary.com
1828; see embody + -ment.
embody (v.) Look up embody at Dictionary.com
1540s, in reference to a soul or spirit invested with a physical form; of principles, ideas, etc., from 1660s; from en- (1) "in" + body. Related: Embodied; embodying.
embolden (v.) Look up embolden at Dictionary.com
1570s, from en- (1) + bold + -en (1). Related: Emboldened.
embolism (n.) Look up embolism at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "intercalation of days into a calendar," from Old French embolisme, from Late Latin embolismus "insertion of days in a calendar to correct errors," from Greek embolimos, embolme "insertion," or embolos "a plug, wedge" (see embolus). Medical sense of "obstruction of a blood vessel" is first recorded in English 1855.
embolus (n.) Look up embolus at Dictionary.com
1660s, "stopper, wedge," from Latin embolus "piston of a pump," from Greek embolos "peg, stopper; anything pointed so as to be easily thrust in," also "a tongue (of land), beak (of a ship)," from emballein (see emblem). Medical sense is from 1866. Related: Embolic.
embonpoint (n.) Look up embonpoint at Dictionary.com
"plumpness," 1751, from French embonpoint (16c.), from Old French en bon point, literally "in good condition."
emboss (v.) Look up emboss at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French *embocer (compare embocieure "boss, stud, buckle"), from em- (see en- (1)) + boce "knoblike mass" (see boss (n.2)). Related: Embossed; embossing.
embouchure (n.) Look up embouchure at Dictionary.com
1760, in musical sense, from French embouchure "river mouth, mouth of a wind instrument," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + bouche "mouth" (see bouche).
embrace (v.) Look up embrace at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French embracer (12c., Modern French embrasser) "clasp in the arms, enclose; covet, handle, cope with," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + brace, braz "the arms," from Latin bracchium (neuter plural brachia); see brace (n.). Related: Embraced; embracing; embraceable. Replaced Old English clyppan, also fæðm.
embrace (n.) Look up embrace at Dictionary.com
1590s, from embrace (v.).
embrasure (n.) Look up embrasure at Dictionary.com
1702, from French embrasure (16c.), from Old French embraser "to cut at a slant, make a groove or furrow in a door or window," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + braser "to cut at a slant."
embrocate (v.) Look up embrocate at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Medieval Latin embrocatus, past participle of embrocare, from Greek embrokhe "lotion, fomentation," from embrekhein, from en (see en- (2)) + brekhein "to water, wet, rain, send rain," related to brokhe "rain," from PIE root *mergh- "to wet, sprinkle, rain." Related: Embrocated; embrocating.
embroider (v.) Look up embroider at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Anglo-French enbrouder, from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + broisder "embroider," from Frankish *brozdon, from Proto-Germanic *bruzdajan. Spelling with -oi- is from c.1600, perhaps by influence of broiden, irregular alternative Middle English past participle of braid (v.). Related: Embroidered; embroidering.
embroidery (n.) Look up embroidery at Dictionary.com
late 14c., embrouderie "art of embroidering;" see embroider + -y (4).
embroil (v.) Look up embroil at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "throw into disorder," from French embrouillier (cognate of Italian imbrogliare), from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + brouiller "confuse," from Old French brooillier (see broil (v.2)). Sense of "involve in a quarrel" is first attested c.1610. Related: Embroiled; embroiling.
embryo (n.) Look up embryo at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Medieval Latin embryo, from Greek embryon "a young one," in Homer, "young animal," later, "fruit of the womb," literally "that which grows," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + bryein "to swell, be full."
embryology (n.) Look up embryology at Dictionary.com
1859, from embryon (see embryo) + -logy. Related: Embryologist (c.1850).
embryonic (adj.) Look up embryonic at Dictionary.com
1849, from medical Latin embryonem (see embryo) + -ic. Figurative use is from 1856.
emcee (n.) Look up emcee at Dictionary.com
1933, abbreviation of M.C., for master of ceremonies, a phrase attested from the 1660s.
emend (v.) Look up emend at Dictionary.com
c.1400, from Latin emendare "to free from fault," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + mendum (nominative menda) "fault, blemish" (see amend). Related: Emended; emending.
emendation (n.) Look up emendation at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., of ways of life; 17c., of texts; from Latin emendationem (nominative emendatio), noun of action from past participle stem of emendare (see emend).
emerald (n.) Look up emerald at Dictionary.com
"bright green precious stone," c.1300, emeraude, from Old French esmeraude (12c.), from Medieval Latin esmaraldus, from Latin smaragdus, from Greek smaragdos "green gem" (emerald or malachite), from Semitic baraq "shine" (compare Hebrew bareqeth "emerald," Arabic barq "lightning").

Sanskrit maragdam "emerald" is from the same source, as is Persian zumurrud, whence Turkish zümrüd, source of Russian izumrud "emerald." For the excrescent e-, see e-.
In early examples the word, like most other names of precious stones, is of vague meaning; the mediæval references to the stone are often based upon the descriptions given by classical writers of the smaragdus, the identity of which with our emerald is doubtful. [OED]
Emerald Isle for "Ireland" is from 1795.
emerge (v.) Look up emerge at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Middle French émerger, from Latin emergere "rise out or up, bring forth, bring to light," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + mergere "to dip, sink" (see merge). The notion is of rising from a liquid by virtue of buoyancy. Related: Emerged; emerging.
emergence (n.) Look up emergence at Dictionary.com
1640s, "unforeseen occurrence," from French émergence, from emerger, from Latin emergere (see emerge). Meaning "an emerging" is from 1704.
emergency (n.) Look up emergency at Dictionary.com
"unforeseen occurrence requiring immediate attention," 1630s, from Latin emergens, present participle of emergere (see emerge). Or from emerge + -ency.
emergent (adj.) Look up emergent at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin emergentem (nominative emergens), present participle of emergere (see emerge).
emeritus (adj.) Look up emeritus at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Latin emeritus "veteran soldier who has served his time," literally "that has finished work, past service," past participle of emerere "serve out, complete one's service," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + merere "to serve, earn," from PIE *(s)mer- "to get a share of something" (see merit (n.)). First used of retired professors 1794 in American English.
emersed (adj.) Look up emersed at Dictionary.com
1680s, past participle adjective from Latin emersus, past participle of emergere (see emerge).
emersion (n.) Look up emersion at Dictionary.com
1630s, noun of action from past participle stem of Latin emergere (see emerge). Originally of eclipses and occultations.
emery (n.) Look up emery at Dictionary.com
"granular mixture used as an abrasive," late 15c., from Middle French émeri, from Old French esmeril, from Italian smeriglo, from Vulgar Latin *smyrilium, from Greek smyris "abrasive powder" used for rubbing and polishing, probably a non-Greek word, perhaps from a Semitic source.
emesis (n.) Look up emesis at Dictionary.com
"action of vomiting," 1875, medical Latin, from Greek emesis, from emein "to vomit" (see emetic).
emetic Look up emetic at Dictionary.com
1650s (n.), 1660s (adj.), from French émétique (16c.), from Latin emeticus, from Greek emetikos "causing vomiting," from emesis "vomiting," from emein "to vomit," from PIE *weme- "to spit, vomit" (see vomit (v.)).
emic Look up emic at Dictionary.com
1954, from phonemic.
emigrant (n.) Look up emigrant at Dictionary.com
1754, from Latin emigrantem (nominative emigrans), present participle of emigrare (see emigration).
emigrate (v.) Look up emigrate at Dictionary.com
1778, a back-formation from emigration, or else from Latin emigratus, past participle of emigrare (see emigration). Related: Emigrated; emigrating.
emigration (n.) Look up emigration at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Late Latin emigrationem (nominative emigratio) "removal from a place," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin emigrare "move away, depart from a place," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + migrare "to move" (see migration).