essay (v.) Look up essay at Dictionary.com
"to put to proof, test the mettle of," late 15c., from Middle French essaier, from essai (see essay (n.)). This sense has mostly gone with the divergent spelling assay. Meaning "to attempt" is from 1640s. Related: Essayed; essaying.
essayist (n.) Look up essayist at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from essay (n.) + -ist. French essayiste (19c.) is from English.
essence (n.) Look up essence at Dictionary.com
late 14c., essencia (respelled late 15c. on French model), from Latin essentia "being, essence," abstract noun formed (in imitation of Greek ousia "being, essence") from essent-, present participle stem of esse "to be," from PIE *es- (cognates: Sanskrit asmi, Hittite eimi, Old Church Slavonic jesmi, Lithuanian esmi, Gothic imi, Old English eom "I am;" see be). Originally "substance of the Trinity," the general sense of "basic element of anything" is first recorded in English 1650s, though this is the base meaning of the first English use of essential.
Essene (n.) Look up Essene at Dictionary.com
1550s, member of a Jewish sect (first recorded 2c. B.C.E.), from Latin, from Greek Essenoi, of disputed etymology, perhaps from Hebrew tzenum "the modest ones," or Hebrew hashaim "the silent ones." Klein suggests Syriac hasen, plural absolute state of hase "pious."
essential (adj.) Look up essential at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "that is such by its essence," from Late Latin essentialis, from essentia (see essence). Meaning "pertaining to essence" is from late 14c., that of "constituting the essence of something" is from 1540s; that of "necessary" is from 1520s. Essentials "indispensable elements" is from early 16c. Related: Essentially.
essentialism (n.) Look up essentialism at Dictionary.com
1939, from essential + -ism. Related: Essentialist.
Essex Look up Essex at Dictionary.com
Old English East-Seaxe "East Saxons," who had a 7c. kingdom there.
essive (adj.) Look up essive at Dictionary.com
1890, from Finnish essiivi, from Latin esse (see essence).
establish (v.) Look up establish at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French establiss-, present participle stem of establir (12c., Modern French établir) "cause to stand still, establish, stipulate, set up, erect, build," from Latin stabilire "make stable," from stabilis "stable" (see stable (adj.)). For the excrescent e-, see e-. Related: Established; establishing. An established church or religion is one sanctioned by the state.
establishment (n.) Look up establishment at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "settled arrangement," also "income, property," from establish + -ment. Meaning "established church" is from 1731; Sense of "place of business" is from 1832. Meaning "social matrix of ruling people and institutions" is attested occasionally from 1923, current use from 1955.
establishmentarian (n.) Look up establishmentarian at Dictionary.com
"adherent of the principle of an established church," 1846, from establishment.
estaminet (n.) Look up estaminet at Dictionary.com
1814, from French, "a café in which smoking is allowed" (17c.), of unknown origin; some suggest a connection to French estamine, a type of open woolen fabric used for making sieves, etc., from Latin stamineus "made of thread." Or [Watkins] from Walloon stamen "post to which a cow is tied at a feeding trough," from Proto-Germanic *stamniz (see stem (n.)). For the excrescent e-, see e-.
estate (n.) Look up estate at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "rank, standing, condition," from Anglo-French astat, Old French estat "state, position, condition, health, status, legal estate" (Modern French état), from Latin status "state or condition," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).

For the excrescent e-, see e-. Sense of "property" is late 14c., from that of "worldly prosperity;" specific application to "landed property" (usually of large extent) is first recorded in American English 1620s. A native word for this was Middle English ethel (Old English æðel) "ancestral land or estate, patrimony." Meaning "collective assets of a dead person or debtor" is from 1830.

The three estates (in Sweden and Aragon, four) conceived as orders in the body politic date from late 14c. In France, they are the clergy, nobles, and townsmen; in England, originally the clergy, barons, and commons, later Lords Spiritual, Lords Temporal, and commons. For Fourth Estate see four.
esteem (v.) Look up esteem at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle French estimer (14c.), from Latin aestimare "to value, appraise," perhaps ultimately from *ais-temos "one who cuts copper," i.e. mints money (but de Vaan finds this "not very credible"). At first used as we would now use estimate; sense of "value, respect" is 1530s. Related: Esteemed; esteeming.
esteem (n.) Look up esteem at Dictionary.com
(also steem, extyme), mid-14c., "account, worth," from French estime, from estimer (see esteem (v.)). Meaning "high regard" is from 1610s.
Estella Look up Estella at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, Spanish, literally "star," from Latin stella (see star (n.)).
ester (n.) Look up ester at Dictionary.com
compound formed by an acid joined to an alcohol, 1852, coined in German in 1848 by German chemist Leoipold Gmelin (1788-1853), professor at Heidelberg. "[A]pparently a pure invention" [Flood], perhaps a contraction of or abstraction from Essigäther, the German name for ethyl acetate, from Essig "vinegar" + Äther "ether" (see ether).

Essig is from Old High German ezzih, from a metathesis of Latin acetum (see vinegar).
Esther Look up Esther at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, Old Testament wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus, from Greek Esther, from Hebrew Ester, from Persian sitareh "star," related to Avestan star- (see star (n.)).
esthete (n.) Look up esthete at Dictionary.com
alternative form of aesthete (q.v.). Also see æ.
esthetic (adj.) Look up esthetic at Dictionary.com
alternative form of aesthetic (see aesthetic). Also see æ. Related: esthetical; esthetically; esthetician; esthetics.
estimable (adj.) Look up estimable at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Old French estimable and directly from Latin aestimabilis "valuable, estimable," from aestimare (see esteem (v.)).
estimate (n.) Look up estimate at Dictionary.com
1560s, "valuation," from Latin aestimatus, verbal noun from aestimare (see esteem). Earlier in sense "power of the mind" (mid-15c.). Meaning "approximate judgment" is from 1580s. As a builder's statement of projected costs, from 1796.
estimate (v.) Look up estimate at Dictionary.com
1530s, "appraise the worth of," from Latin aestimatus, past participle of aestimare "to value, appraise" (see esteem). Meaning "form an approximate notion" is from 1660s. Related: Estimated; estimates; estimating.
estimation (n.) Look up estimation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "action of appraising; manner of judging; opinion," from Old French estimacion, from Latin aestimationem (nominative aestimatio) "a valuation," from past participle stem of aestimare "to value" (see esteem). Meaning "appreciation" is from 1520s. That of "process of forming an approximate notion" is from c.1400.
estimator (n.) Look up estimator at Dictionary.com
1660s, from Latin aestimator, agent noun from aestimare (see estimate).
estivate (v.) Look up estivate at Dictionary.com
"to spend the summer," mid-17c., from Latin aestivatus, past participle of aestivare "to spend the summer," from aestus "heat," aestas "summer," literally "the hot season," from Proto-Italic *aissat-, from PIE *aidh- "to burn" (see edifice). Related: Estivated; estivating.
Estonia Look up Estonia at Dictionary.com
often said to be from a Germanic source akin to east, but perhaps rather from a native name meaning "waterside dwellers."
estop (v.) Look up estop at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Anglo-French estopper "to stop, bar, hinder" (especially in a legal sense, by one's own prior act or declaration), from Old French estoper "plug, stop up, block; prevent, halt" (also in obscene usage), from estope "tow, oakum," from Latin stuppa "tow" (used as a plug); see stop (v.).
estoppel (n.) Look up estoppel at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Old French estopail, literally "bung, cork," from estoper (see estop).
estrange (v.) Look up estrange at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French estrangier "to alienate," from Vulgar Latin *extraneare "to treat as a stranger," from Latin extraneus "foreign" (see strange). Related: Estranged.
estrangement (n.) Look up estrangement at Dictionary.com
1650s, from estrange + -ment.
estrogen (n.) Look up estrogen at Dictionary.com
coined 1927 from estrus + -gen. So called for the hormone's ability to produce estrus.
estrus (n.) Look up estrus at Dictionary.com
1850, "frenzied passion," from Latin oestrus "frenzy, gadfly," from Greek oistros "gadfly, breeze, sting, mad impulse," perhaps from a PIE *eis, forming words denoting passion (cognates: Avestan aešma- "anger," Lithuanian aistra "violent passion," Latin ira "anger"). First attested 1890 with specific meaning "rut in animals, heat." Earliest use (1690s) was for "a gadfly." Related: Estrous (1900).
estuary (n.) Look up estuary at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Latin aestuarium "a tidal marsh or opening," from aestus "boiling (of the sea), tide, heat," from PIE *aidh- "to burn" (see edifice). Related: Estuaries; estuarine.
esurient (adj.) Look up esurient at Dictionary.com
1670s, from Latin esurientem (nominative esuriens), present participle of esurire "to be hungry," from stem of edere "to eat" (see edible). Related: Esurience; esuriency.
et al. Look up et al. at Dictionary.com
also et al, 1883, abbreviation of Latin et alii (masc.), et aliæ (fem.), or et alia (neuter), in any case meaning "and others."
et cetera Look up et cetera at Dictionary.com
also etcetera, early 15c., from Latin et cetera, literally "and the others," from et "and" + neuter of ceteri "the others." The common abbreviation was &c. before 20c., but etc. now prevails.
etagere (n.) Look up etagere at Dictionary.com
1858, from French étagère (15c.), from étage "shelf, story, abode, stage, floor" (11c., Old French estage), from Vulgar Latin *staticum, from Latin statio "station, post, residence" (see station (n.)).
etaoin shrdlu Look up etaoin shrdlu at Dictionary.com
1931, journalism slang, the sequence of characters you get if you sweep your finger down the two left-hand columns of Linotype keys, which is what typesetters did when they bungled a line and had to start it over. It was a signal to cut out the sentence, but sometimes it slipped past harried compositors and ended up in print.
etc. Look up etc. at Dictionary.com
see et cetera.
etch (v.) Look up etch at Dictionary.com
1630s, "to engrave by eating away the surface of with acids," from Dutch etsen, from German ätzen "to etch," from Old High German azzon "cause to bite, feed," from Proto-Germanic *atjanan, causative of *etanan "eat" (see eat). Related: Etched; etching.
etching (n.) Look up etching at Dictionary.com
1630s, action of the verb etch, also "the art of engraving;" 1760s as "a print, etc., made from an etched plate."
eternal (adj.) Look up eternal at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French eternel or directly from Late Latin aeternalis, from Latin aeternus "of an age, lasting, enduring, permanent, endless," contraction of aeviternus "of great age," from aevum "age" (see eon). Related: Eternally.
eternity (n.) Look up eternity at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French eternité (12c.), from Latin aeternitatem (nominative aeternitas), from aeternus (see eternal). In the Mercian hymns, Latin aeternum is glossed by Old English ecnisse.
Ethan Look up Ethan at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Hebrew ethan "strong, permanent, perennial, ever-flowing" (of rivers).
ethane (n.) Look up ethane at Dictionary.com
1873, from ethyl + -ane, the appropriate suffix under Hofmann's system.
ethanol (n.) Look up ethanol at Dictionary.com
1900, contracted from ethane, to which it is the corresponding alcohol, + -ol, here indicating alcohol.
Ethel Look up Ethel at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, originally a shortening of Old English Etheldred, Ethelinda, etc., in which the first element means "nobility."
Ethelbert Look up Ethelbert at Dictionary.com
Anglo-Saxon masc. proper name, Old English Æðelbryht, literally "nobility-bright;" see atheling + bright (adj.).
Etheldred Look up Etheldred at Dictionary.com
Anglo-Saxon fem. proper name, Old English Æðelðryð, literally "of noble strength" (see Audrey).