egret (n.) Look up egret at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from Old French aigrette, from Old Provençal aigreta, diminutive of aigron "heron," perhaps of Germanic origin (compare Old High German heigaro; see heron).
Egypt Look up Egypt at Dictionary.com
Old English Egipte, from French Egypte, from Greek Aigyptos "the river Nile, Egypt," from Amarna Hikuptah, corresponding to Egyptian Ha(t)-ka-ptah "temple of the soul of Ptah," the creative god associated with Memphis, the ancient city of Egypt.

Strictly one of the names of Memphis, it was taken by the Greeks as the name of the whole country. The Egyptian name, Kemet, means "black country," possibly in reference to the rich delta soil. The Arabic is Misr, which is derived from Mizraim, the name of a son of Biblical Ham.
Egyptian Look up Egyptian at Dictionary.com
late 14c., Egypcyan; see Egypt + -ian.
Egyptology (n.) Look up Egyptology at Dictionary.com
1859, from Egypt + -ology. Related: Egyptologist.
eh Look up eh at Dictionary.com
1560s as an exclamation of sorrow; with questions, from 1773.
eider (n.) Look up eider at Dictionary.com
1743, from German Eider or Dutch eider, both from Old Norse æþar, genitive of æþr "duck," from a North Germanic root.
eiderdown (n.) Look up eiderdown at Dictionary.com
1774; see eider + down (n.). Ultimately from Icelandic æðardun, via a Scandinavian source (compare Danish ederdunn) or German Eiderdon.
eidetic (adj.) Look up eidetic at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to the faculty of projecting images," 1924, from German eidetisch, coined by German psychologist Erich Jaensch (1883-1940), from Greek eidetikos "pertaining to images," also "pertaining to knowledge," from eidesis "knowledge," from eidos "form, shape" (see -oid).
eidolon (n.) Look up eidolon at Dictionary.com
1828, from Greek eidolon (see idol).
Eiffel Tower Look up Eiffel Tower at Dictionary.com
erected in the Champ-de-Mars for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889; at 984.25 feet the world's tallest structure at the time. Designed by French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923).
eight (n.) Look up eight at Dictionary.com
late 14c., eighte, earlier ehte (c.1200), from Old English eahta, æhta, from Proto-Germanic *akhto(u) (cognates: Old Saxon ahto, Old Frisian ahta, Old Norse atta, Swedish åtta, Dutch acht, Old High German Ahto, German acht, Gothic ahtau), from PIE *okto(u) "eight" (cognates: Sanskrit astau, Avestan ashta, Greek okto, Latin octo, Old Irish ocht-n, Breton eiz, Old Church Slavonic osmi, Lithuanian aštuoni).

Klein calls it "an old dual form, orig. meaning 'twice four.' " For spelling, see fight (v.). Meaning "eight-man crew of a rowing boat" is from 1847. The Spanish piece of eight (1690s) was so called because it was worth eight reals (see piece (n.)). Figure (of) eight as the shape of a race course, etc., attested from c.1600. To be behind the eight ball "in trouble" (1932) is a metaphor from shooting pool.
eighteen (n.) Look up eighteen at Dictionary.com
late 14c., eightene, earlier ahtene (c.1200), from Old English eahtatene, eahtatyne; see eight + -teen. Cognate with Old Saxon ahtotian, Dutch achttien, Old High German ahtozehan, German achtzehn, Old Norse attjan, Swedish adertån.
eighteenth (adj.) Look up eighteenth at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., egtetenþe, modified, by influence of eighteen, from Old English eahtateoða; from eight + teoða "tenth" (see -ty (1)).
eighth (adj.) Look up eighth at Dictionary.com
late 14c., eighthe, from Old English eahtoða; see eight + -th (1). Cognate with Old High German ahtoda, Old Frisian achta, German achte, Gothic ahtuda.
eighties (n.) Look up eighties at Dictionary.com
1827 as the years of someone's life between ages 80 and 89; from 1833 as the ninth decade of years in a given century; from 1854 with reference to Fahrenheit temperature. See eighty.
eighty (n.) Look up eighty at Dictionary.com
eigteti (late 13c.), from eight + -ty (1). Replacing Old English hundeahtatig, with hund- "ten." Related: Eightieth.
eighty-six (v.) Look up eighty-six at Dictionary.com
slang for "eliminate," 1936, originated at lunch counters, a cook's word for "none" when asked for something not available, probably rhyming slang for nix.
Eileen Look up Eileen at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from Celtic (compare Irish Eibhlin) but influenced in form by Helen.
Einstein (n.) Look up Einstein at Dictionary.com
as a type-name for a genius, 1920, in reference to German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955). According to "German-American Names" (George F. Jones, 3rd ed., 2006) it means literally "place encompassed by a stone wall."
Einsteinium (n.) Look up Einsteinium at Dictionary.com
discovered in the debris of a 1952 U.S. nuclear test in the Pacific, named 1955 for physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955).
Eire Look up Eire at Dictionary.com
see Irish.
eirenic (adj.) Look up eirenic at Dictionary.com
1885, from Greek eirenikos, from eirene "peace, time of peace." Earlier as irenic (1864), irenical (1650s).
eisegesis (n.) Look up eisegesis at Dictionary.com
the reading of one's own ideas into scripture, 1878, from Greek eis "in, into" + ending from exegesis.
Eisenhower Look up Eisenhower at Dictionary.com
surname, from German Eisenhauer, literally "iron-cutter, iron-hewer," "perhaps based on Fr. Taillefer" [George F. Jones, "German-American Names," 3rd ed., 2006].
Eisteddfod (n.) Look up Eisteddfod at Dictionary.com
"annual assembly of Welsh bards," 1822, from Welsh, literally "session," from eistedd "to sit" (from sedd "seat," cognate with Latin sedere; see sedentary) + bod "to be" (cognate with Old English beon; see be).
either (adj.) Look up either at Dictionary.com
Old English ægðer, contraction of æghwæðer "each of two, both," from a "always" (see aye (adv.)) + ge- collective prefix + hwæðer "which of two, whether" (see whether).

Cognate with Dutch ieder, Old High German eogiwedar, German jeder "either, each, every"). Modern sense of "one or the other of two" is late 13c. Use of either-or to suggest an unavoidable choice between alternatives (1931) in some cases reflects Danish enten-eller, title of an 1843 book by Kierkegaard.
ejaculate (v.) Look up ejaculate at Dictionary.com
1570s, "emit semen," from Latin eiaculatus, past participle of eiaculari "to throw out, shoot out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + iaculari "to throw, hurl, cast, dart," from iaculum "javelin, dart," from iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Only other surviving sense is "exclaim suddenly" (1660s). Related: Ejaculated; ejaculating.
ejaculation (n.) Look up ejaculation at Dictionary.com
c.1600, of fluids; 1620s, of utterances, from French éjaculation, from éjaculer, from Latin ejaculari (see ejaculate).
eject (v.) Look up eject at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin eiectus "thrown out," past participle of eicere "throw out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -icere, comb. form of iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Related: Ejected; ejecting.
ejection (n.) Look up ejection at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Middle French ejection and directly from Latin eiectionem, noun of action from past participle stem of eicere (see eject). The jet pilot's ejection seat (also ejector seat) is from 1945.
eke (v.) Look up eke at Dictionary.com
c.1200, eken "to increase, lengthen," north England and E. Midlands variant of echen from Old English ecan, eacan, eacian "to increase," probably from eaca "an increase," from Proto-Germanic *aukan (cognates: Old Norse auka, Old Frisian aka, Old High German ouhhon, Gothic aukan), from PIE *aug- "to increase" (see augment).

Now mainly in phrase to eke out (1590s). It means "to make something go further or last longer;" you can eke out your income by taking a second job, but you can't eke out your existence. Related: Eked; eking.
eke (adv.) Look up eke at Dictionary.com
"also" (obsolete), from Old English eac, cognate with Old Saxon, Old Dutch ok, Old Norse and Gothic auk, Old Frisian ak, Old High German ouh, German auch "also;" probably related to eke (v.).
el (n.) Look up el at Dictionary.com
American English abbreviation of elevated railroad, first recorded 1906 in O. Henry.
elaborate (adj.) Look up elaborate at Dictionary.com
1590s, "produced by labor," from Latin elaboratus, past participle of elaborare "to exert oneself" (see elaboration). Meaning "very detailed" is from 1620s.
elaborate (v.) Look up elaborate at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "to build up from simple elements," from Latin elaboratus, past participle of elaborare (see elaboration). Meaning "to work out in detail" is attested from 1610s. Related: Elaborated; elaborating.
elaborately (adv.) Look up elaborately at Dictionary.com
1630s, see elaborate (adj.) + -ly (2).
elaboration (n.) Look up elaboration at Dictionary.com
1570s, in a physiological sense relating to tissue development, from Late Latin elaborationem (nominative elaboratio), noun of action from past participle stem of elaborare "work out, produce by labor," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + laborare "to labor" (see labor (v.)).
elan (n.) Look up elan at Dictionary.com
1877, from French élan (16c.), "spring, bound, impetus," noun derived from élancer "to rush, dart," from Old French elancer, from e- "out" (see ex-) + lancer "to throw," originally "to throw a lance," from Late Latin lanceare, from Latin lancea (see lance (n.)).
eland (n.) Look up eland at Dictionary.com
"large South African antelope," 1786, from Dutch eland "elk," from a Baltic source akin to Lithuanian elnias "deer," from PIE *el- "red, brown" (see elk), cognate with first element in Greek Elaphebolion, name of the ninth month of the Attic year (corresponding to late March-early April), literally "deer-hunting (month)." Borrowed earlier as ellan (1610s, via French), ellend, from the German form of the word.
elapse (v.) Look up elapse at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Middle French elapser, from Latin elapsus, past participle of elabi "slip or glide away, escape," from ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + labi "to slip, glide" (see lapse (n.)). The noun now corresponding to elapse is lapse. Related: Elapsed; elapsing.
elasmosaurus (n.) Look up elasmosaurus at Dictionary.com
giant sea reptile from the Mezozoic, 1879, from Modern Latin (coined 1868 by E.D. Cope), from Greek elasmos "metal plate" (from elan "to strike;" see elastic) + -saurus.
elastic (adj.) Look up elastic at Dictionary.com
1650s, coined in French (1650s) as a scientific term to describe gases, from Modern Latin elasticus, from Greek elastos "ductile, flexible," related to elaunein "to strike, beat out," of uncertain origin. Applied to solids from 1670s. Figurative use by 1859. The noun, "cord or string woven with rubber," is 1847, American English.
elasticity (n.) Look up elasticity at Dictionary.com
1660s; see elastic + -ity.
elate (v.) Look up elate at Dictionary.com
1570s, literal, "to raise, elevate," probably from Latin elatus "uplifted, exalted," past participle of effere (see elation), or else a back-formation from elation. Figurative use from 1610s. Related: Elated; elating.
elated (adj.) Look up elated at Dictionary.com
1610s, past participle adjective from elate.
elation (n.) Look up elation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French elacion "elation, conceit, arrogance, vanity," from Latin elationem (nominative elatio), noun of action from elatus "elevated," form used as past participle of efferre, from ex- "out" + latus (see oblate (n.)), past participle of ferre "carry" (see infer). Metaphoric sense of "lifting spirits" was in Latin and has always been the principal meaning in English.
elbow (n.) Look up elbow at Dictionary.com
c.1200, elbowe, from Old English elnboga, from ell "length of the forearm" + boga "bow, arch," from West Germanic *alinobogan, from Proto-Germanic *elino-bugon, literally "bend of the forearm" (cognates: Middle Dutch ellenboghe, Dutch elleboog, Old High German elinbogo, German Ellenbogen, Old Norse ölnbogi).

Second element related to Old English bugan "to bend" (see bow (v.)); first element from *alina "arm," from PIE *el- (1) "elbow, forearm" (see ell (n.1)). Phrase elbow grease "hard rubbing" is attested from 1670s, from jocular sense of "the best substance for polishing furniture." Elbow room attested from mid-16c.
elbow (v.) Look up elbow at Dictionary.com
"thrust with the elbow," c.1600, from elbow (n.). Figurative sense is from 1863. Related: Elbowed; elbowing.
eld Look up eld at Dictionary.com
poetic or archaic form of old; in some cases from Old English eald.
elder (adj.) Look up elder at Dictionary.com
"more old," Old English (Mercian) eldra, comparative of eald, ald (see old); only English survival of umlaut in comparison. Superseded by older since 16c. Elder statesman (1921) originally was a translation of Japanese genro (plural).