erosive (adj.) Look up erosive at
1725, of tumors, etc.; 1827 in geology, from eros-, past participle stem of Latin erodere "gnaw away" (see erode) + -ive.
erotic (adj.) Look up erotic at
1650s, from French érotique (16c.), from Greek erotikos "caused by passionate love, referring to love," from eros (genitive erotos) "sexual love" (see Eros). Earlier form was erotical (1620s).
erotica (n.) Look up erotica at
1820, noun use of neuter plural of Greek erotikos "amatory" (see erotic); originally a booksellers' catalogue heading.
Force Flame
And with a Blonde push
Over your impotence
Flits Steam
[Emily Dickinson, #854, c. 1864]
eroticism (n.) Look up eroticism at
1853, from erotic + -ism.
eroticize (v.) Look up eroticize at
1914, from erotic + -ize. Related: Eroticized; eroticizing.
erotomania (n.) Look up erotomania at
1813, defined then as "Desperate love; sentimentalism producing morbid feelings," from comb. form of erotic + mania.
erotomaniac (n.) Look up erotomaniac at
"one driven mad by passionate love" (sometimes also used in the sense of "nymphomaniac"), 1858, from erotomania.
err (v.) Look up err at
c. 1300, from Old French errer "go astray, lose one's way; make a mistake; transgress," from Latin errare "wander, go astray," figuratively "be in error," from PIE root *ers- (1) "be in motion, wander around" (cognates: Sanskrit arsati "flows;" Old English ierre "angry; straying;" Old Frisian ire "angry;" Old High German irri "angry," irron "astray;" Gothic airziþa "error; deception;" the Germanic words reflecting the notion of anger as a "straying" from normal composure). Related: Erred; erring.
errancy (n.) Look up errancy at
1620s, from errant + -ancy.
errand (n.) Look up errand at
Old English ærende "message, mission; answer, news, tidings," a common Germanic word (cognates: Old Saxon arundi, Old Norse erendi, Danish ærende, Swedish ärende, Old Frisian erende, Old High German arunti "message"), which is of uncertain origin. Compare Old English ar "messenger, servant, herald." Originally of important missions; meaning "short, simple journey and task" is attested by 1640s. Related: Errands. In Old English, ærendgast was "angel," ærendraca was "ambassador."
errant (adj.) Look up errant at
mid-14c., "travelling, roving," from Anglo-French erraunt, from two Old French words that were confused even before they reached English: 1. Old French errant, present participle of errer "to travel or wander," from Late Latin iterare, from Latin iter "journey, way," from root of ire "to go" (see ion); 2. Old French errant, past participle of errer (see err). The senses fused in English 14c., but much of the sense of the latter since has gone with arrant.
errata (n.) Look up errata at
"list of corrections attached to a printed book," 1580s, plural of erratum (q.v.).
erratic (adj.) Look up erratic at
late 14c., "wandering, moving," from Old French erratique "wandering, vagrant" (13c.) and directly from Latin erraticus "wandering, straying, roving," from erratum "an error, mistake, fault," past participle of errare "to wander; to err" (see err). Sense of "irregular, eccentric" is attested by 1841. The noun is from 1620s, of persons; 1849, of boulders. Related: Erratically.
erratum (n.) Look up erratum at
"an error in writing or printing," 1580s, from Latin erratum (plural errata), neuter past participle of errare "to wander; to err" (see err).
erroneous (adj.) Look up erroneous at
late 14c., from Old French erroneus and directly from Latin erroneus "vagrant, wandering" (in Late Latin "erroneous"), from erronem (nominative erro) "a wanderer, vagabond," from past participle stem of errare "to wander; to err" (see err). Related: Erroneously.
error (n.) Look up error at
also, through 18c., errour; c. 1300, "a deviation from truth made through ignorance or inadvertence, a mistake," also "offense against morality or justice; transgression, wrong-doing, sin;" from Old French error "mistake, flaw, defect, heresy," from Latin errorem (nominative error) "a wandering, straying, a going astray; meandering; doubt, uncertainty;" also "a figurative going astray, mistake," from errare "to wander; to err" (see err). From early 14c. as "state of believing or practicing what is false or heretical; false opinion or belief, heresy." From late 14c. as "deviation from what is normal; abnormality, aberration." From 1726 as "difference between observed value and true value."

Words for "error" in most Indo-European languages originally meant "wander, go astray" (for example Greek plane in the New Testament, Old Norse villa, Lithuanian klaida, Sanskrit bhrama-), but Irish has dearmad "error," from dermat "a forgetting."
errorless (adj.) Look up errorless at
1823, from error + -less.
ersatz (adj.) Look up ersatz at
1875, from German Ersatz "units of the army reserve," literally "compensation, replacement, substitute," from ersetzen "to replace," from Old High German irsezzen, from ir-, unaccented variant of ur- (see ur-) + setzen "to set" (see set (v.)). As a noun, from 1892.
Erse Look up Erse at
"of or pertaining to the Celts of Ireland and Scotland," late 14c., early Scottish variant of Old English Irisc or Old Norse Irskr "Irish" (see Irish); applied by Lowland Scots to the Gaelic speech of the Highlanders (which originally is from Ireland); sense shifted 19c. from "Highlanders" to "Irish."
erstwhile (adv.) Look up erstwhile at
1560s, "formerly," from erst "first, at first; once, long ago; till now" (13c.), earlier erest from Old English ærest "soonest, earliest," superlative of ær (see ere) + while (adv.). As an adjective, "former," from 1903. Cognate with Old Saxon and Old High German erist, German erst.
eructate (v.) Look up eructate at
1630s, from Latin eructatus, past participle of eructare "to belch forth" (see eructation). Related: Eructated; eructating.
eructation (n.) Look up eructation at
"belching," 1530s, from Latin eructationem (nominative eructatio) "a belching forth," noun of action from past participle stem of eructare "to belch forth, vomit," from assimilated form of ex- "out" (see ex-) + ructare "to belch," from PIE *reug- "to belch" (cognates: Lithuanian rugiu "to belch," Greek eryge, Armenian orcam), which is probably imitative. Related: Eruct.
erudite (adj.) Look up erudite at
early 15c., "learned, well-instructed," from Latin eruditus "learned, accomplished, well-informed," past participle of erudire "to educate, teach, instruct, polish," literally "to bring out of the rough," from assimilated form of ex- "out" (see ex-) + rudis "unskilled, rough, unlearned" (see rude). Related: Eruditely.
erudition (n.) Look up erudition at
c. 1400, "instruction, education," from Latin eruditionem (nominative eruditio) "an instructing, instruction, learning," noun of action from past participle stem of erudire "to educate, instruct, polish" (see erudite). Meaning "learning, scholarship" is from 1520s.
erupt (v.) Look up erupt at
1650s, of diseases, etc., from Latin eruptus, past participle of erumpere "to break out, burst," from assimilated form of ex- "out" (see ex-) + rumpere "to break, rupture" (see rupture (n.)). Of volcanoes, from 1770 (the Latin word was used in reference to Mount Etna). Related: Erupted; erupting.
eruption (n.) Look up eruption at
early 15c., from Middle French éruption (14c.) and directly from Latin eruptionem (nominative eruptio) "a breaking out," noun of action from past participle stem of erumpere "break out, burst forth" (see eruption).
eruptive (adj.) Look up eruptive at
1640s; see erupt + -ive. Perhaps from French éruptif.
erysipelas (n.) Look up erysipelas at
late 14c., skin disease also known as St. Anthony's Fire or ignis sacer, from Greek erysipelas, perhaps from erythros "red" (see red (1)) + pella "skin" (see film (n.)). Related: Erysipelatous.
erythema (n.) Look up erythema at
medical Latin, from Greek erythema "a redness on the skin; a blush; redness," from erythainein "to become red," from erythros "red" (see red (1)). Related: Erythematous.
erythro- Look up erythro- at
before vowels, erythr-, word-forming element meaning "red," from Greek erythro-, comb. form of erythros "red" (in Homer, also the color of copper and gold); see red (1).
erythro- Look up erythro- at
before vowels erythr-, word-forming element meaning "red," from comb. form of Greek erythros "red" (see red (1)).
Erzgebirge Look up Erzgebirge at
German, literally "ore mountains."
Esalen Look up Esalen at
1966 in reference to an alternative philosophy and human potential movement, from Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, U.S., from Esselen, name of an extinct Native American people of the California coast, for which Bright gives no etymology.
Esau Look up Esau at
biblical son of Isaac and Rebecca, elder twin who sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for "a mess of pottage" (Gen. xxv), hence "used symbolically for: one who prefers present advantage to permanent rights or interests" [OED].
escadrille (n.) Look up escadrille at
1893, from French escadrille, from Spanish escuadrilla, diminutive of escuadra "square, squad, squadron," from Vulgar Latin *exquadrare, from Latin quadrare "to square" (see quadrant).
escalade (n.) Look up escalade at
1590s, "action of using ladders to scale the walls of a fortified place," from Middle French escalade (16c.) "an assault with ladders on a fortification," from Italian scalata, fem. past participle of scalare "to climb by means of a ladder," from scala "ladder," related to Latin scandere "to climb" (see scan). For initial e-, see e-. Also in early use in English in Spanish form escalada, later corrupted to escalado. As the name of a brand of luxury SUV by Cadillac, from 1999.
escalate (v.) Look up escalate at
1922, "to use an escalator," back-formation from escalator, replacing earlier verb escalade (1801), from the noun escalade. Escalate came into general use with a figurative sense of "raise" from 1959 (intrans.), originally in reference to scenarios for possible nuclear war. Related: Escalated; escalating. Transitive figurative sense is by 1962.
escalation (n.) Look up escalation at
1938, derived noun from escalate; the figurative sense is earliest, originally in reference to the battleship arms race among global military powers.
escalator (n.) Look up escalator at
1900, American English, trade name of an Otis Elevator Co. moving staircase, coined from escalade + -ator in elevator. Figurative use is from 1927.
escalatory (adj.) Look up escalatory at
1965, from escalate + -ory.
escallop (n.) Look up escallop at
"scallop shell," also "edge or border cut in the shape of scallops," late 15c., from Middle French escalope "shell," Old French eschalope "shell (of a nut), carapace," from a Germanic source (see scallop). For initial e-, see e-. As a verb from c. 1600 in escalloped "having the border or edge cut out in scallops."
escapable (adj.) Look up escapable at
1864, from escape (v.) + -able.
escapade (n.) Look up escapade at
1650s, "an escape from confinement," from French escapade (16c.) "a prank or trick," from Spanish escapada "a prank, flight, an escape," noun use of fem. past participle of escapar "to escape," from Vulgar Latin *excappare (see escape (v.)). Or perhaps the French word is via Italian scappata, from scappare, from the same Vulgar Latin source. Figurative sense (1814) implies a "breaking loose" from rules or restraints on behavior.
escape (v.) Look up escape at
c. 1300, transitive and intransitive, "free oneself from confinement; extricate oneself from trouble; get away safely by flight (from battle, an enemy, etc.)," from Old North French escaper, Old French eschaper (12c., Modern French échapper), from Vulgar Latin *excappare, literally "get out of one's cape, leave a pursuer with just one's cape," from Latin ex- "out of" (see ex-) + Late Latin cappa "mantle" (see cap (n.)). Mid-14c., of things, "get or keep out of a person's grasp, elude (notice, perception, attention, etc.);" late 14c. as "avoid experiencing or suffering (something), avoid physical contact with; avoid (a consequence)." Related: Escaped; escaping.
escape (n.) Look up escape at
c. 1400, "an act of escaping, action of escaping," also "a possibility of escape," from escape (v.) or from Old French eschap; earlier eschap (c. 1300). Mental/emotional sense is from 1853. From 1810 as "a means of escape." The contractual escape clause recorded by 1939.
escapee (n.) Look up escapee at
"escaped prisoner or convict," 1865, American English, from escape (v.) + -ee.
escapement (n.) Look up escapement at
in watch- and clock-making, 1779 (from 1755 as scapement), based on French échappement (1716 in this sense); see escape (v.) + -ment.
escapism (n.) Look up escapism at
1933, American English, from escape (n.) in the mental/emotional sense + -ism.
escapist Look up escapist at
in the figurative sense, 1930 (adj.); 1933 (n.), from escape + -ist.
escapologist (n.) Look up escapologist at
performer who specializes in getting out of confinement, 1926; see escape + -ologist. Related: Escapology.