epidemic (n.) Look up epidemic at Dictionary.com
1757, "an epidemic disease, a temporary prevalence of a disease throughout a community," from epidemic (adj.); earlier epideme (see epidemy). An Old English noun for this (persisting in Middle English) was man-cwealm.
epidemiology (n.) Look up epidemiology at Dictionary.com
"study of epidemics, science of epidemic diseases," 1850, from Greek epidemios, literally "among the people, of one's countrymen at home" (see epidemic) + -logy. Related: Epidemiological; epidemiologist.
epidemy (n.) Look up epidemy at Dictionary.com
"an epidemic disease," especially the plague, late 15c., ipedemye, impedyme, from Old French ypidime (12c., Modern French épidémie), from Late Latin epidemia (see epidemic (adj.)).
epidermis (n.) Look up epidermis at Dictionary.com
1620s, from Late Latin epidermis, from Greek epidermis "the outer skin," from epi "on" (see epi-) + derma "skin" (see derma). Related: Epidermal; epidermic.
epididymis (n.) Look up epididymis at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "fleshy mass at the back of the testicles," Modern Latin, literally "that which is on the testicles," from Greek epididymis, a word probably coined by Greek anatomist Herophilus (c.300 B.C.E.) from epi "on" (see epi-) + didymos "testicle," literally "double, twofold" (adj.). An acceptable Englishing of it is in Richard Brome's "The Court Beggar" (1652):
Strangelove. I doe not slight your act in the discovery,
But your imposture, sir, and beastly practise
Was before whisper'd to me by your Doctor
To save his Epididamies
Related: Epididymal.
epidural (adj.) Look up epidural at Dictionary.com
1873, "situated on or affecting the dura mater," from epi- "on" + dura mater + -al (1). The noun meaning "injection into the epidural region" (usually given during childbirth) is attested by 1966.
epigastrium (n.) Look up epigastrium at Dictionary.com
1680s, Modern Latin, from Greek epigastrion "region of the abdomen from the breasts to the navel," neuter of epigastrios "over the belly," from epi "on, above" (see epi-) + gaster "stomach" (see gastric). The region below the navel is the hypogastrium.
epiglottis (n.) Look up epiglottis at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Late Latin epiglottis, from Greek epiglottis, literally "(that which is) upon the tongue," from epi "on" (see epi-) + glottis, from glotta, variant of glossa "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)). An earlier form was epiglote (early 15c.), from Old French epiglotte. Related: Epiglottic.
epigone (n.) Look up epigone at Dictionary.com
also epigon, "undistinguished scion of mighty ancestors," (sometimes in Latin plural form epigoni), 1865, from Greek epigonoi, in classical use with reference to the sons of the Seven who warred against Thebes; plural of epigonos "offspring, successor, posterity," noun use of adjective meaning "born afterward," from epi "close upon" (in time), see epi-, + -gonos "birth, offspring," from root of gignesthai "to be born" related to genos "race, birth, descent" (see genus).
epigram (n.) Look up epigram at Dictionary.com
also epigramme, mid-15c., from Middle French épigramme, from Latin epigramma "an inscription," from Greek epigramma "inscription (especially in verse) on a tomb, public monument, etc.; a written estimate," from epigraphein "to write on, inscribe" (see epigraph). "The term was afterward extended to any little piece of verse expressing with precision a delicate or ingenious thought" [Century Dictionary]. Related: Epigrammatist.
epigrammatic (adj.) Look up epigrammatic at Dictionary.com
1704, shortened from epigrammatical (c.1600); see epigram.
epigraph (n.) Look up epigraph at Dictionary.com
1620s, "inscription on a building, statue, etc.," from Greek epigraphe "an inscription," from epigraphein "to mark the surface, just pierce; write on, inscribe; to register; inscribe one's name, endorse," from epi "on" (see epi-) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Sense of "motto; short, pithy sentence at the head of a book or chapter" first recorded in English 1844. Related: Epigraphic; epigraphical.
epilepsy (n.) Look up epilepsy at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Middle French epilepsie (16c.), from Late Latin epilepsia, from Greek epilepsis "epilepsy," literally "a seizure," from epilambanein "to lay hold of, seize upon, attack," especially of diseases, but also of events, armies, etc., from epi "upon" (see epi-) + lepsis "seizure," from leps-, future stem of lambanein "take hold of, grasp" (see analemma). Earlier was epilencie (late 14c.), from Middle French epilence, a variant form influenced by pestilence. The native name in English was falling sickness.
epileptic (adj.) Look up epileptic at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from French épileptique, from Late Latin epilepticus, from Greek epileptikos, from stem of epilambanein "to seize" (see epilepsy). Earlier adjective was epilentic (late 14c.), from a Greek variant. As a noun from 1650s.
epilogue (n.) Look up epilogue at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French epilogue (13c.), from Latin epilogus, from Greek epilogos "a conclusion, conclusion of a speech, inference," from epi "upon, in addition" (see epi-) + logos "a speaking" (see lecture (n.)). Earliest English sense was theatrical.
epinephrine (n.) Look up epinephrine at Dictionary.com
"adrenaline," 1883, from epi- "upon" + Greek nephros "kidney" (see nephron) + chemical suffix -ine (2). So called because the adrenal glands are on the kidneys.
epiphany (n.) Look up epiphany at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "festival of the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles" (celebrated Jan. 6; usually with a capital -E-), from Old French epiphanie, from Late Latin epiphania, neuter plural (taken as feminine singular), from late Greek epiphaneia "manifestation, striking appearance, festival held in commemoration of the appearance of a god at some particular place" (in New Testament, "advent or manifestation of Christ"), from epiphanes "manifest, conspicuous," from epiphainein "to manifest, display, show off; come suddenly into view," from epi "on, to" (see epi-) + phainein "to show" (see phantasm). Of divine beings other than Christ, first recorded 1660s; general literary sense of "any manifestation or revelation" appeared 1840, first in De Quincey.
epiphenomenon (n.) Look up epiphenomenon at Dictionary.com
"secondary symptom," 1706, from epi- + phenomenon. Plural is epiphenomena. Related: Epiphenomenal.
epiphyte (n.) Look up epiphyte at Dictionary.com
"plant which grows upon another plant," 1827, from epi- "upon" + -phyte "plant." Related: Epiphytal; epiphytous (1816).
episcopacy (n.) Look up episcopacy at Dictionary.com
1640s, "government of the church by bishops;" 1650s, "a bishop's period in office;" see episcopal + -cy.
episcopal (adj.) Look up episcopal at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "belonging to or characteristic of bishops," from Middle French épiscopal (14c.), from Late Latin episcopalis, from Latin episcopus "an overseer" (see bishop). Reference to a church governed by bishops is 1752. With a capital E-, the ordinary designation of the Anglican church in the U.S. and Scotland, so called because its bishops are superior to other clergy. Chambers' "Cyclopaedia" (1751) has episcopicide "the murdering of a bishop."
Episcopalian Look up Episcopalian at Dictionary.com
1738 (n.), 1768 (adj.), from episcopal + -ian. Related: Episcopalianism (by 1821).
The awkward derivative episcopalianism, seems to be used for episcopacy, a good English word, which was quite sufficient for the purposes of our honest forefathers, who were strangers to this ridiculous innovation. The word complained of is also reprehensible on the ground of its sectarian termination. ["On the Terms Episcopalian and Episcopalianism," "The Gospel Advocate," October 1821]
episiotomy (n.) Look up episiotomy at Dictionary.com
1869, from comb. form of Greek epision "the pubic region" + -tomy "a cutting."
episode (n.) Look up episode at Dictionary.com
1670s, "commentary between two choric songs in a Greek tragedy," also "an incidental narrative or digression within a story, poem, etc.," from French épisode or directly from Greek epeisodion "an episode," literally "an addition," noun use of neuter of epeisodios "coming in besides," from epi "in addition" (see epi-) + eisodos "a coming in, entrance" (from eis "into" + hodos "way"). Transferred sense of "outstanding incident, experience" first recorded in English 1773. Transferred by 1930s to individual broadcasts of serial radio programs.
episodic (adj.) Look up episodic at Dictionary.com
1711, from episode + -ic. Episodical is from 1660s.
epistasis (n.) Look up epistasis at Dictionary.com
"the checking of a discharge," medical Latin, from Greek epistasis "a stopping, stoppage, a halting," from epi "upon" (see epi-) + stasis "a stopping or standing" (see stasis).
epistaxis (n.) Look up epistaxis at Dictionary.com
"nosebleed," 1793, medical Latin, as if from Greek *epistaxis, a false reading for epistagmos, from epi "upon" (see epi-) + stazein "to let fall in drops" (see stalactite).
epistemic (adj.) Look up epistemic at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to knowledge," 1886, from Greek episteme "knowledge," especially scientific knowledge (see epistemology) + -ic.
epistemology (n.) Look up epistemology at Dictionary.com
"theory of knowledge," 1856, coined by Scottish philosopher James F. Ferrier (1808-1864) from Greek episteme "knowledge, acquaintance with (something), skill, experience," from Ionic Greek epistasthai "know how to do, understand," literally "overstand," from epi "over, near" (see epi-) + histasthai "to stand," from PIE *sta- "to stand" (see stet). The scientific (as opposed to philosophical) study of the roots and paths of knowledge is epistemics (1969). Related: Epistemological; epistemologically.
epistle (n.) Look up epistle at Dictionary.com
partly from Old English epistol and in part directly from Old French epistle, epistre (Modern French épitre), from Latin epistola "a letter," from Greek epistole "message, letter, command, commission," whether verbal or in writing, from epistellein "send to, send as a message or letter," from epi "to" (see epi-) + stellein in its secondary sense of "to dispatch, send" from PIE *stel-yo-, suffixed form of root *stel- "to put, stand," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place (see stall (n.1)). Also acquired in Old English directly from Latin as pistol. Specific sense of "letter from an apostle forming part of canonical scripture" is c.1200.
epistolary (adj.) Look up epistolary at Dictionary.com
1650s, from French épistolaire, from Late Latin epistolarius "of or belonging to letters," from Latin epistola "a letter, a message" (see epistle). In Middle English as a noun (early 15c.), "book containing epistles read in the Mass," from Medieval Latin epistolarium.
epistrophe (n.) Look up epistrophe at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Late Latin epistrophe, from Greek epistrophe "a turning about, twisting, a turning (of affairs), a moving up and down," from epi "upon" (see epi-) + strophe "a turning" (see strophe). In rhetoric, a figure in which successive phrases are followed by the same word of affirmation; also used in music. Related: Epistrophic.
epitaph (n.) Look up epitaph at Dictionary.com
"inscription on a tomb or monument," mid-14c., from Old French epitaphe (12c.) and directly from Medieval Latin epitaphium "funeral oration, eulogy," from Greek epitaphion "a funeral oration," noun use of neuter of epitaphios (logos) "(words) spoken on the occasion of a funeral," from epi "at, over" (see epi-) + taphos "tomb, funeral rites," from PIE root *dhembh- "to bury." Related: Epitaphial. Among the Old English equivalents was byrgelsleoð.
epithalamium (n.) Look up epithalamium at Dictionary.com
"bridal song," 1590s (earlier in nativized form epithalamy, 1580s), from Latin epithalamium, from Greek epithalamion "a bridal song," noun use of adjective meaning "of or for a bridal, nuptial," from epi "at, upon" (see epi-) + thalamos "bridal chamber, inner chamber" (see thalamus). Related: Epithalamic.
epithelium (n.) Look up epithelium at Dictionary.com
1748, Modern Latin (Frederick Ruysch), from Greek epi "upon" (see epi-) + thele "teat, nipple" (see fecund). Related: Epithelial.
epithet (n.) Look up epithet at Dictionary.com
"descriptive name for a person or thing," 1570s, from Middle French épithète or directly from Latin epitheton (source also of Spanish epíteto, Portuguese epitheto, Italian epiteto), from Greek epitheton "an epithet; something added," noun use of adjective (neuter of epithetos) "attributed, added, assumed," from epitithenai "to add on," from epi "in addition" (see epi-) + tithenai "to put" (see theme). Related: Epithetic; epithetical.
epitome (n.) Look up epitome at Dictionary.com
1520s, "an abstract; brief statement of the chief points of some writing," from Middle French épitomé (16c.), from Latin epitome "an abridgment," from Greek epitome "an abridgment, a cutting on the surface; brief summary," from epitemnein "cut short, abridge," from epi "into" (see epi-) + temnein "to cut" (see tome). Sense of "person or thing that typifies something" is first recorded c.1600. Related: Epitomical.
epitomise (v.) Look up epitomise at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of epitomize. For spelling, see -ize. Related: Epitomised; epitomises; epitomising.
epitomize (v.) Look up epitomize at Dictionary.com
1590s, "shorten, condense, abridge," from epitome + -ize. Meaning "typify, embody" is from 1620s. Related: Epitomized; epitomizing; epitomizes.
epizoic (adj.) Look up epizoic at Dictionary.com
"living on the surface or in the skin of animals," 1832, from epizoon + -ic.
epizoon (n.) Look up epizoon at Dictionary.com
"parasitic animal on the surface or in the skin of another," 1836, from epi- "on" + Greek zoon "animal" (see zoo-).
epizootic (n.) Look up epizootic at Dictionary.com
animal equivalent of epidemic, 1748, from French épizootique, from épizootie, irregularly formed from Greek epi "on, upon" (see epi-) + zoon "animal" (see zoo-). As an adjective from 1790.
epoch (n.) Look up epoch at Dictionary.com
1610s, epocha, "point marking the start of a new period in time" (such as the founding of Rome, the birth of Christ, the Hegira), from Medieval Latin epocha, from Greek epokhe "stoppage, fixed point of time," from epekhein "to pause, take up a position," from epi "on" (see epi-) + ekhein "to hold" (see scheme (n.)). Transferred sense of "a period of time" is 1620s; geological usage (not a precise measurement) is from 1802.
epochal (adj.) Look up epochal at Dictionary.com
1680s, from epoch + -al (1).
epode (n.) Look up epode at Dictionary.com
1590s, a kind of lyric poem in which a short line follows a longer one (invented by Archilochus, also used by Horace), from Latin epodos, from Greek epodus "after-song, incantation," from epi "after" (see epi-) + odein "to sing" (see ode). Related: Epodic.
eponym (n.) Look up eponym at Dictionary.com
one whose name becomes that of a place, a people, an era, an institution, etc., 1833, from Greek eponymos "given as a name, giving one's name to something," as a plural noun (short for eponymoi heroes) denoting founders (legendary or real) of tribes, cities, etc.; from comb. form of epi "upon, (called) after," (see epi-) + onyma, Aeolic dialectal variant of onoma "name" (see name (n.)).
eponymous (adj.) Look up eponymous at Dictionary.com
"giving one's name to," 1833; see eponym + -ous. Related: Eponymously. Alternative form eponymal is used in reference to the other classical eponymos, a title of certain magistrates in ancient Greece who gave their names to the years when they held office. Eponymic has been used in the sense "name-giving; pertaining to eponymic myths" as well as "of or pertaining to a classical eponymos."
epoxy (n.) Look up epoxy at Dictionary.com
1916, in reference to certain chemical compounds, from epi- + first element of oxygen. Epoxy- is used as a prefix in chemistry to indicate an oxygen atom that is linked to two carbon atoms of a chain, thus forming a "bridge" ("intramolecular connection" is one of the chemical uses of epi-). Resins from epoxides are used as powerful glues. Hence the verb meaning "to bond with epoxy" (1965). Related: Epoxied.
epsilon (n.) Look up epsilon at Dictionary.com
from Greek, literally e psilon "bare -e-, -e- and nothing else," so called by late grammarians in contradistinction to the diphthong -ai-, which had come to have the same sound. Greek psilon "smooth, simple" is of uncertain origin (Watkins suggests PIE root *bhes- (1) "to rub").
Epsom salts Look up Epsom salts at Dictionary.com
magnesium sulphate, 1770, obtained from Epsom water, the water of a mineral spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, the medicinal properties of which were discovered in Elizabethan times. The place name is recorded c.973 as Ebbesham, literally "Ebbi's homestead," from the name of some forgotten Anglo-Saxon. The mineral supply there was exhausted 19c.