employ (v.) Look up employ at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "apply or devote (something to some purpose); expend or spend," from Old French emploiier (12c.) "make use of, apply; increase; entangle; devote," from Latin implicare "enfold, involve, be connected with, unite, associate," from assimilated form of in- (see in- (2)) + plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)). Imply, which is the same word, retains more of the original sense. Sense of "hire, engage" first recorded in English 1580s, from meaning "involve in a particular purpose," which arose in Late Latin. Related: Employed; employing; employable.
employ (n.) Look up employ at Dictionary.com
1660s, "action of employing," from French emploi, from Middle French verb employer (see employ (v.)). From 1709 as "state of being employed."
employe (n.) Look up employe at Dictionary.com
"person employed," 1834, from French employé (fem. employée), noun use of past participle of employer (see employ).
employee (n.) Look up employee at Dictionary.com
"person employed," 1850, mainly in U.S. use, from employ + -ee. Formed on model of French employé.
employer (n.) Look up employer at Dictionary.com
1590s, agent noun from employ.
employment (n.) Look up employment at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "the spending of money," from Middle English emploien (see employ) + -ment.
emporium (n.) Look up emporium at Dictionary.com
1580s, "place of trade, mart," from Latin emporium, from Greek emporion "trading place, market," from emporos "merchant," originally "traveler," from assimilated form of en "in" (see en- (2)) + poros "passage, voyage," related to peirein "to pass through" (see port (n.1)). Greek emporos in the "merchant" sense meant especially "one who trades on a large scale, usually but not necessarily by sea" [Buck], as opposed to kapelos "local retail dealer, shopkeeper." Properly, a town which serves as the commercial hub of a region, but by 1830s American English "Grandiloquently applied to a shop or store" [Craigie].
empower (v.) Look up empower at Dictionary.com
1650s, also impower, from assimilated form of en- (1) + power (n.). Used by Milton, Beaumont, Pope, Jefferson, Macaulay, but the modern popularity dates from 1986. Related: Empowered; empowering.
empowerment (n.) Look up empowerment at Dictionary.com
1814, from empower + -ment.
empress (n.) Look up empress at Dictionary.com
mid-12c., emperice, from Old French emperesse, fem. of emperere (see emperor). Queen Victoria in 1876 became one as "Empress of India."
emprise (n.) Look up emprise at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "chivalrous endeavor," from Old French emprise (12c.) "enterprise, venture, adventure, undertaking," from Vulgar Latin *imprensa (source of Provençal empreza, Spanish empresa, Italian impresa), from *imprendere "to undertake," from in- (see in- (2)) + prehendere "to take" (see prehensile). Archaic in English; in French now with a literal sense "a hold, a grip."
emptiness (n.) Look up emptiness at Dictionary.com
1530s, from empty + -ness.
emption (n.) Look up emption at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "purchase," from Latin emptionem (nominative emptio) "a buying, purchasing; thing bought," noun of action from past participle stem of emere "to buy" (see exempt (adj.)).
empty (adj.) Look up empty at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, from Old English æmettig "at leisure, not occupied; unmarried," also "containing nothing, unoccupied," from æmetta "leisure," from æ "not" + -metta, from motan "to have" (see might (n.)). The -p- is a euphonic insertion.

Sense evolution from "at leisure" to "containing nothing, unoccupied" is paralleled in several languages, such as Modern Greek adeios "empty," originally "freedom from fear," from deios "fear." "The adj. adeios must have been applied first to persons who enjoyed freedom from duties, leisure, and so were unoccupied, whence it was extended to objects that were unoccupied" [Buck]. Related: Emptier. Figurative sense of empty-nester attested by 1960.
empty (n.) Look up empty at Dictionary.com
"an empty thing" that was or is expected to be full, 1865, from empty (adj.). At first of barges, freight cars, mail pouches.
empty (v.) Look up empty at Dictionary.com
1520s, from empty (adj.); replacing Middle English empten, from Old English geæmtigian. Related: Emptied; emptying.
empty-handed (adj.) Look up empty-handed at Dictionary.com
"bringing nothing," 1610, from empty (adj.) + -handed.
empyreal (adj.) Look up empyreal at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "pertaining to the highest heaven," from Medieval Latin empyreus (see empyrean) + -al (1). Confused by early writers with imperial.
empyrean (n.) Look up empyrean at Dictionary.com
mid-14c. (as empyre), probably via Medieval Latin empyreus, from Greek empyros "fiery," from assimilated form of en (see en- (2)) + pyr "fire," from PIE root *paəwr- "fire" (see fire (n.)). As an adjective in English from early 15c. The etymological sense is "formed of pure fire or light." In ancient Greek cosmology, the highest heaven, the sphere of pure fire; later baptized with a Christian sense of "abode of God and the angels."
emu (n.) Look up emu at Dictionary.com
large Australian three-toed bird, 1610s, probably from Portuguese ema "crane, ostrich" (which is of unknown origin), perhaps based on a folk-etymology of a native name.
emulate (v.) Look up emulate at Dictionary.com
1580s, back-formation from emulation, or else from Latin aemulatus, past participle of aemulari "to rival." Related: Emulated; emulating; emulable; emulative.
emulation (n.) Look up emulation at Dictionary.com
1550s, from Middle French émulation (13c.) and directly from Latin aemulationem (nominative aemulatio) "rivalry, emulation, competition," noun of action from past participle stem of aemulari "to rival, strive to excel," from aemulus "striving, rivaling" (also as a noun, "a rival," fem. aemula), from Proto-Italic *aimo-, from PIE *aim-olo, suffixed form of root *aim- "copy" (see imitation).
emulator (n.) Look up emulator at Dictionary.com
1580s, "rival, competitor," from Latin aemulator "a zealous imitator, imitative rival," agent noun from aemulari "to rival" (see emulation). The meaning "imitative rival" in English is from 1650s.
emulgent Look up emulgent at Dictionary.com
1570s (adj.), 1610s (n.), from Latin emulgentem (nominative emulgens), present participle of emulgere "to milk out, drain out, exhaust" (see emulsion). Related: Emulgence.
emulous (adj.) Look up emulous at Dictionary.com
"desirous of equaling or excelling," late 14c., from Latin aemulus "striving, rivaling," in a bad sense "envious, jealous," from aemulari "to rival" (see emulation). Related: Emulously.
emulsification (n.) Look up emulsification at Dictionary.com
1858, noun of action from emulsify.
emulsifier (n.) Look up emulsifier at Dictionary.com
1872, agent noun from emulsify.
emulsify (v.) Look up emulsify at Dictionary.com
1853, from Latin emuls-, past participle stem of emulgere "to milk out" (see emulsion) + -fy. Related: emulsified.
emulsion (n.) Look up emulsion at Dictionary.com
1610s, from French émulsion (16c.), from Modern Latin emulsionem (nominative emulsio), noun of action from past participle stem of emulgere "to milk out," from assimilated form of ex- "out" (see ex-) + mulgere "to milk" (see milk (n.)). Milk is a classic instance of an emulsion, drops of one liquid dispersed throughout another.
en (n.) Look up en at Dictionary.com
name of the letter "N;" in printing (1793), a space half as wide as an em.
en (prep.) Look up en at Dictionary.com
French, "in; as," from Latin in (see in).
en bloc Look up en bloc at Dictionary.com
French, literally "in a block" (see block (n.)).
en masse Look up en masse at Dictionary.com
French, literally "in mass" (see mass (n.1)).
en passant Look up en passant at Dictionary.com
French, literally "in passing," from present participle of passer "to pass" (see pass (v.)). In reference to chess, first attested 1818.
en route Look up en route at Dictionary.com
1779, French, literally "on the way" (see route (n.)).
en suite Look up en suite at Dictionary.com
French, literally "as part of a series or set" (see suite (n.)).
en- (2) Look up en- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "near, at, in, on, within," from Greek en "in," cognate with Latin in (see in), and thus with en- (1). Typically assimilated to em- before -p-, -b-, -m-, -l-, and -r-.
en- (1) Look up en- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "in; into," from French and Old French en-, from Latin in- "in, into" (see in- (2)). Typically assimilated before -p-, -b-, -m-, -l-, and -r-. Latin in- became en- in French, Spanish, Portuguese, but remained in- in Italian.

Also used with native and imported elements to form verbs from nouns and adjectives, with a sense "put in or on" (encircle), also "cause to be, make into" (endear), and used as an intensive (enclose). Spelling variants in French that were brought over into Middle English account for parallels such as ensure/insure, and most en- words in English had at one time or another a variant in in-, and vice versa.
enable (v.) Look up enable at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to make fit;" mid-15c., "to make able to," from en- (1) "make, put in" + able. Related: Enabled; enabling. An enabling act (1684) is so called because it empowers a body or person to take certain action.
enabler (n.) Look up enabler at Dictionary.com
1610s, agent noun from enable.
enact (v.) Look up enact at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "act the part of, represent in performance," from en- (1) "make, put in" + act (v.). Meaning "decree, establish, sanction into law" is from mid-15c. Related: Enacted; enacting.
enactment (n.) Look up enactment at Dictionary.com
1766, "passing of a bill into law," from enact + -ment. Meaning "a law, statute" is by 1783. Earlier was enaction 1620s.
enamel (v.) Look up enamel at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Anglo-French enamailler (early 14c.), from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + amailler "to enamel," variant of Old French esmailler, from esmal "enamel," from Frankish *smalt, from Proto-Germanic *smaltjan "to smelt" (see smelt (v.)). Related: Enameled; enameler; enameling.
enamel (n.) Look up enamel at Dictionary.com
early 15c., in ceramics, from enamel (v.). As "hardest part of a tooth," 1718, from a use in French émail.
enamor (v.) Look up enamor at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French enamorer "to fall in love with; to inspire love" (12c., Modern French enamourer), from en- "in, into" (see en- (1)) + amor "love," from amare "to love" (see Amy). Since earliest appearance in English, it has been used chiefly in the past participle (enamored) and with of or with. An equivalent formation to Provençal, Spanish, Portuguese enamorar, Italian innamorare.
enamored (adj.) Look up enamored at Dictionary.com
1630s, past participle adjective from enamor.
enamour (v.) Look up enamour at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English form of enamor, but also common in America and given preference of spelling in some American dictionaries; for spelling, see -or. Related: Enamoured.
encamp (v.) Look up encamp at Dictionary.com
1560s, "go into camp, settle in temporary quarters," from en- (1) "make, put in" + camp (n.). Related: Encamped; encamping.
encampment (n.) Look up encampment at Dictionary.com
1590s, "place where a camp is formed," from encamp + -ment. From 1680s as "act of forming a camp."
encapsulate (v.) Look up encapsulate at Dictionary.com
1842 (implied in encapsulated), "enclose in a capsule," from en- (1) "make, put in" + capsule + -ate (2). Figurative use by 1939. Related: Encapsulating.