Eldred Look up Eldred at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Old English Ealdred, literally "great in counsel," from eald "old, great" (see old) + ræd "advice, counsel" (see read (v.)).
eldritch (adj.) Look up eldritch at Dictionary.com
c.1500, apparently somehow from elf (compare Scottish variant elphrish), an explanation OED finds "suitable;" Watkins connects its elements with Old English el- "else, otherwise" and rice "realm."
Eleanor Look up Eleanor at Dictionary.com
also Elinor, from Provençal Ailenor, a variant of Leonore, introduced in England by Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204), wife of Henry II. The Old French form of the name was Elienor.
elect (v.) Look up elect at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin electus, past participle of eligere "to pick out, choose" (see election). Related: Elected; electing.
elect (adj.) Look up elect at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Latin electus, past participle of eligere (see election).
electable (adj.) Look up electable at Dictionary.com
1758; see elect (v.) + -able. Related: Electability.
election (n.) Look up election at Dictionary.com
late 13c., from Anglo-French eleccioun, Old French elecion "choice, election, selection" (12c.), from Latin electionem (nominative electio), noun of action from past participle stem of eligere "pick out, select," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -ligere, comb. form of legere "to choose, read" (see lecture (n.)). Theological sense is from late 14c.
electioneer (v.) Look up electioneer at Dictionary.com
1760 (implied in electioneering), from election, probably on model of auctioneer (see auction), as the verb engineer was not yet in use.
elective (adj.) Look up elective at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Late Latin electivus, from electus, past participle of eligere (see election). In reference to school subjects studied at the student's choice, first recorded 1847. As a noun, from 1701.
elector (n.) Look up elector at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin elector "chooser, selecter," agent noun from past participle stem of eligere (see election).
electoral (adj.) Look up electoral at Dictionary.com
1670s, in reference to Germany, from elector + -al (1). In general sense from 1790. Related: Electorally.
electorate (n.) Look up electorate at Dictionary.com
1670s, in reference to Germany, from elector + -ate (1). Meaning "whole body of voters" is from 1879.
Electra Look up Electra at Dictionary.com
daughter of Agamemnon and Clytaemnestra, responsible for the murder of her mother, from Greek Elektra, literally "shining, bright," related to elektor "the beaming sun" and perhaps to elektron "amber." Especially in psychological Electra complex (1913) in reference to a daughter who feels attraction toward her father and hostility to her mother.
electric (adj.) Look up electric at Dictionary.com
1640s, first used in English by physician Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), apparently coined as Modern Latin electricus (literally "resembling amber") by English physicist William Gilbert (1540-1603) in treatise "De Magnete" (1600), from Latin electrum "amber," from Greek elektron "amber" (Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus), also "pale gold" (a compound of 1 part silver to 4 of gold); of unknown origin.

Originally the word described substances which, like amber, attract other substances when rubbed. Meaning "charged with electricity" is from 1670s; the physical force so called because it first was generated by rubbing amber. In many modern instances, the word is short for electrical. Figurative sense is attested by 1793. Electric toothbrush first recorded 1936; electric typewriter 1958.
electrical (adj.) Look up electrical at Dictionary.com
"relating to electricity, run by electricity," 1746, from electric + -al (1). Earlier (1630s) synonymous with electric. Related: Electrically.
electrician (n.) Look up electrician at Dictionary.com
1751, "scientist concerned with electricity;" 1869 as "technician concerned with electrical systems;" see electric + -ian.
electricity (n.) Look up electricity at Dictionary.com
1640s (Browne), from electric + -ity. Originally in reference to friction.
electrification (n.) Look up electrification at Dictionary.com
1748; see electrify + -ation.
electrify (v.) Look up electrify at Dictionary.com
1745, "to charge with electricity;" see electric + -fy. Figurative sense recorded by 1752. Related: Electrified; electrifying.
electro- Look up electro- at Dictionary.com
before vowels electr-, word-forming element meaning "electrical, electricity," Latinized form of Greek elektro-, comb. form of elektron "amber" (see electric).
electrocardiogram (n.) Look up electrocardiogram at Dictionary.com
1904, from electro- + cardiogram.
electrocute (v.) Look up electrocute at Dictionary.com
"execute by electricity," 1889, American English, from electro- + back half of execute. The method first was used Aug. 6, 1890, in New York state, on William Kemmler, convicted of the murder of his common-law wife. Sense involving accidental death is first recorded 1909. Electric chair is also first recorded 1889, which is when the first one was introduced in New York state as a humane alternative to hanging. Related: Electrocuted; electrocuting.
electrocution (n.) Look up electrocution at Dictionary.com
1890; see electrocute + -ion. Meaning "any death by electricity" is from 1940.
electrode (n.) Look up electrode at Dictionary.com
1834, coined by English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday (1791-1867) from electro- + Greek hodos "way" (see cede) on same pattern as anode, cathode.
electroencephalogram (n.) Look up electroencephalogram at Dictionary.com
1934, from electro- + encephalo- (see encephalitis) + -gram.
electrolysis (n.) Look up electrolysis at Dictionary.com
1834, introduced by Faraday on the suggestion of the Rev. William Whewell (1794-1866), English polymath, from electro- + Greek lysis "a loosening," from lyein "to loosen, set free" (see lose). Originally of tumors, later (1909) of hair removal.
electrolyte (n.) Look up electrolyte at Dictionary.com
"substance decomposed by electrolysis," 1834, from electro- + Greek lytos "loosed," from lyein "to loose" (see lose).
electromagnet (n.) Look up electromagnet at Dictionary.com
1831; see electro- + magnet.
electromagnetic (adj.) Look up electromagnetic at Dictionary.com
1821; see electro- + magnetic.
electromagnetism (n.) Look up electromagnetism at Dictionary.com
1828; see electro- + magnetism.
electron (n.) Look up electron at Dictionary.com
coined 1891 by Irish physicist George J. Stoney (1826-1911) from electric + -on, as in ion (q.v.). Electron microscope translates German Elektronenmikroskop (1932).
electronic (adj.) Look up electronic at Dictionary.com
1902, "pertaining to electrons;" 1930 as "pertaining to electronics;" see electron + -ic. Related: Electronically.
electronic mail (n.) Look up electronic mail at Dictionary.com
1977; see e-mail.
electronics (n.) Look up electronics at Dictionary.com
1910, from electronic; also see -ics. The science of how electrons behave in vacuums, gas, semi-conductors, etc.
electrum (n.) Look up electrum at Dictionary.com
"alloy of gold and up to 40% silver," late 14c. (in Old English elehtre), from Latin electrum "alloy of gold and silver," also "amber" (see electric). So called probably for its pale yellow color.
eleemosynary (adj.) Look up eleemosynary at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Medieval Latin eleemosynarius "pertaining to alms," from Late Latin eleemosyna "alms," from Greek eleemosyne "pity" (see alms).
elegance (n.) Look up elegance at Dictionary.com
c.1500, "tastefulness, correctness, harmoniousness, refinement," of speech or prose, from Middle French élégance, from Latin elegantia "taste, propriety, refinement," from elegantem (see elegant). Earlier form was elegancy (early 15c.). Meaning "refined luxury" is from 1797.
elegant (adj.) Look up elegant at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French élégant (15c.), from Latin elegantem (nominative elegans) "choice, fine, tasteful," collateral form of present participle of eligere "select with care, choose." Elegans was originally a term of reproach, "dainty, fastidious;" the notion of "tastefully refined" emerged in classical Latin. Related: Elegantly.
elegiac (adj.) Look up elegiac at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Middle French élégiaque, from Latin elegiacus, from Greek elegeiakos, from eleigeia (see elegy). Related: Elegiacally.
elegize (v.) Look up elegize at Dictionary.com
1702; see elegy + -ize. Related: Elegized; elegizing.
elegy (n.) Look up elegy at Dictionary.com
1510s, from Middle French elegie, from Latin elegia, from Greek elegeia ode "an elegaic song," from elegeia, fem. of elegeios "elegaic," from elegos "poem or song of lament," perhaps from a Phrygian word.
element (n.) Look up element at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "earth, air, fire, or water," from Old French element (10c.), from Latin elementem "rudiment, first principle, matter in its most basic form" (translating Greek stoikheion), origin unknown. Meaning "simplest component of a complex substance" is late 14c. Modern sense in chemistry is from 1813. Elements "atmospheric force" is 1550s.
elemental (adj.) Look up elemental at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "pertaining to the four elements," from Medieval Latin elementalis, from Latin elementum (see element). Meaning "simple, uncomplicated" is from 1550s; that of "relating to first principles" is from 1570s. The noun in the occult sense is from 1877.
elementary (adj.) Look up elementary at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "having the nature of one of the four elements," from Middle French elementaire and directly from Latin elementarius, from elementum (see element). Meaning "rudimentary" is from 1540s; meaning "simple" is from 1620s. Elementary school is 1841.
elephant (n.) Look up elephant at Dictionary.com
c.1300, olyfaunt, from Old French oliphant (12c.), from Latin elephantus, from Greek elephas (genitive elephantos) "elephant, ivory," probably from a non-Indo-European language, likely via Phoenician (compare Hamitic elu "elephant," source of the word for it in many Semitic languages, or possibly from Sanskrit ibhah "elephant").

Re-spelled after 1550 on Latin model. As an emblem of the Republican Party in U.S. politics, 1860. To see the elephant "be acquainted with life, gain knowledge by experience" is an American English colloquialism from 1835.
elephantiasis (n.) Look up elephantiasis at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Greek elephantos, genitive of elephas "elephant" (see elephant) + -iasis "pathological or morbid condition." It refers to two diseases, one characterized by thickening of a body part (E. Arabum), the other, older meaning is "disease characterized by skin resembling an elephant's" (E. Græcorum, also called Egyptian leprosy).
elephantine (adj.) Look up elephantine at Dictionary.com
1620s, "huge," from Latin elephantinus "pertaining to the elephant," from elephantus (see elephant). Meaning "pertaining to elephants" is from 1670s.
Eleusinian (adj.) Look up Eleusinian at Dictionary.com
1640s, "pertaining to Eleusis," town outside Athens, site of the mystery associated with the cult of Demeter, goddess of harvests, and her daughter.
eleutherian (adj.) Look up eleutherian at Dictionary.com
1620s, from Greek eleutherios "like a free man, noble-minded, frank, liberal," literally "freeing, delivering, releaser," title of Zeus as protector of political freedom, from eleutheria "freedom," from PIE *leu-dheros.
elevate (v.) Look up elevate at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Latin elevatus, past participle of elevare "lift up, raise," figuratively, "to lighten, alleviate," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + levare "lighten, raise," from levis "light" in weight (see lever). Related: Elevated; elevating.