-hood Look up -hood at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "state or condition of being," from Old English -had "condition, position," cognate with German -heit, Dutch -heid, all from Proto-Germanic *haidus "manner, quality," literally "bright appearance," from PIE (s)kai- (1) "bright, shining." Originally a free-standing word (see hade); in Modern English it survives only in this suffix.
H Look up H at Dictionary.com
the pronunciation "aitch" was in Old French (ache "name of the letter H"), and is from a presumed Late Latin *accha (compare Italian effe, elle, emme), with the central sound approximating the value of the letter when it passed from Roman to Germanic, where it at first represented a strong, distinctly aspirated -kh- sound close to that in Scottish loch. In earlier Latin the letter was called ha.

In Romanic languages, the sound became silent in Late Latin and was omitted in Old French and Italian, but it was restored in Middle English spelling in words borrowed from French, and often later in pronunciation, too. Thus Modern English has words ultimately from Latin with missing -h- (as in able, from Latin habile); with a silent -h- (as in heir, hour); with a formerly silent -h- now often vocalized (as in humble, humor, herb); and even a few with an excrescent -h- fitted in confusion to words that never had one (as in hostage, hermit).

Relics of the formerly unvoiced -h- persist in pedantic insistence on an historical (object) and in obsolete mine host. The use in digraphs (as in -sh-, -th-) goes back to the ancient Greek alphabet, which used it in -ph-, -th-, -kh- until -H- took on the value of a long "e" and the digraphs acquired their own characters. The letter passed into Roman use before this evolution, and thus retained there more of its original Semitic value.
ha Look up ha at Dictionary.com
c.1300, natural expression of surprise, distress, etc.; found in most European languages; in Old English, Greek, Latin, Old French as ha ha. A ha-ha (1712), from French, was "an obstacle interrupting one's way sharply and disagreeably;" so called because it "surprizes ... and makes one cry Ah! Ah!" [Alexander Le Blond, "The Theory and Practice of Gardening," 1712].
ha-ha Look up ha-ha at Dictionary.com
also haha, used of laughter since ancient times; compare Old English ha ha, Greek ha ha, Latin hahae. A different attempt at representation is in py-hy (1580s).
Habanera (n.) Look up Habanera at Dictionary.com
type of Cuban dance, 1878, literally "of Havana;" see Havana.
habeas corpus (n.) Look up habeas corpus at Dictionary.com
writ requiring a person to be brought before a court, mid-15c., Latin, literally "(you should) have the person," in phrase habeas corpus ad subjiciendum "produce or have the person to be subjected to (examination)," opening words of writs in 14c. Anglo-French documents to require a person to be brought before a court or judge, especially to determine if that person is being legally detained. From habeas, second person singular present subjunctive of habere "to have, to hold" (see habit) + corpus "person," literally "body" (see corporeal). In reference to more than one person, habeas corpora.
haberdasher (n.) Look up haberdasher at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "seller of various small articles of trade" (late 13c. as a surname), agent noun from Anglo-French hapertas "small wares," also a kind of fabric, of unknown origin. Sense of "dealer in men's wares" is 1887 in American English, via intermediate sense of "seller of caps."
haberdashery (n.) Look up haberdashery at Dictionary.com
early 15c., Anglo-French, "goods sold by a haberdasher," from haberdasher + -y (2). Meaning "a haberdasher's shop" is recorded from 1813, with meaning shading to -ery.
habiliment (n.) Look up habiliment at Dictionary.com
often habiliments, early 15c., "munitions, weapons," from Middle French habillement, from abiller "prepare or fit out," probably from habile "fit, suitable" (see able). Alternative etymology [Barnhart, Klein] makes the French verb originally mean "reduce a tree by stripping off the branches," from a- "to" + bille "stick of wood." Sense of "clothing, dress" developed late 15c., by association with habit (n.).
habit (n.) Look up habit at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "characteristic attire of a religious or clerical order," from Old French habit, abit (12c.) "clothing, (ecclesiastical) habit; conduct," from Latin habitus "condition, demeanor, appearance, dress," originally past participle of habere "to have, to hold, possess," from PIE root *ghabh- "to seize, take, hold, have, give, receive" (cognates: Sanskrit gabhasti- "hand, forearm;" Old Irish gaibim "I take, hold, I have," gabal "act of taking;" Lithuanian gabana "armful," gabenti "to remove;" Gothic gabei "riches;" Old English giefan, Old Norse gefa "to give").

Base sense probably "to hold," which can be either in offering or in taking. Applied in Latin to both inner and outer states of being, and taken over in both sense by English, though meaning of "dress" is now restricted to monks and nuns. Meaning "customary practice" is early 14c. Drug sense is from 1887.
habit (v.) Look up habit at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "to dwell," from Old French habiter "to dwell, inhabit; have dealings with," from Latin habitare "to live, dwell," frequentative of habere "to have, to hold, possess" (see habit (n.)). Meaning "to dress" is from 1580s; "to habituate" from 1610s; "to make a habit of" from 1660s. Related: Habited; habiting.
habitable (adj.) Look up habitable at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French habitable "suitable for human dwelling" (14c.), from Latin habitabilis "that is fit to live in," from habitare (see habitat). Related: Habitably; habitability.
habitant (n.) Look up habitant at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Old French habitant, abitant "inhabitant," from Latin habitantis "inhabitants," genitive plural of habitans, present participle of habitare "to inhabit, dwell" (see habitat). Meaning "a Canadian of French descent" attested by 1789; the usual word for planters in 18c. Quebec.
habitat (n.) Look up habitat at Dictionary.com
1762, as a technical term in Latin texts on English flora and fauna, literally "it inhabits," third person singular present indicative of habitare "to live, dwell," frequentative of habere "to have, to hold, possess" (see habit (n.)). General sense of "dwelling place" is first attested 1854.
habitation (n.) Look up habitation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "act or fact of dwelling;" also "place of lodging, abode," from Old French habitacion, abitacion "act of dwelling" (12c.) or directly from Latin habitationem (nominative habitatio) "act of dwelling," noun of action from past participle stem of habitare (see habitat).
habitual (adj.) Look up habitual at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Medieval Latin habitualis "pertaining to habit or dress," from Latin habitus (see habit (n.)).
habitually (adv.) Look up habitually at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from habitual + -ly (2).
habituate (v.) Look up habituate at Dictionary.com
1520s, from Latin habituatus, past participle of habituare "to bring into a condition or habit of the body," from habitus (see habit (n.)). Related: Habituated; habituating.
habituation (n.) Look up habituation at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Medieval Latin habituationem, noun of action from habituare (see habituate (v.)).
habitude (n.) Look up habitude at Dictionary.com
"custom, habit," c.1400, from Old French habitude (14c.), from Latin habitudinem (nominative habitudo) "condition, appearance, habit," from past participle stem of habere (see habit (n.)). Related: Habitudinal (late 14c.).
habitue (n.) Look up habitue at Dictionary.com
1818, from French habitué, noun use of past participle of habituer "accustom," from Late Latin habituari (see habituate).
hacienda (n.) Look up hacienda at Dictionary.com
1760, from Spanish hacienda "landed estate, plantation," earlier facienda, from Latin facienda "things to be done," from facere "to do" (see factitious). For noun use of a Latin gerundive, see agenda. The owner of one is a hacendado.

The change of Latin f- to Spanish h- is characteristic; compare hablar from fabulari, hacer from facere, hecho from factum, hermoso from formosum. Confusion of initial h- and f- was common in 16c. Spanish; the conquistador is known in contemporary records as both Hernando and Fernando Cortés.
hack (v.1) Look up hack at Dictionary.com
"to cut roughly, cut with chopping blows," c.1200, from verb found in stem of Old English tohaccian "hack to pieces," from West Germanic *hakkon (cognates: Old Frisian hackia "to chop or hack," Dutch hakken, Old High German hacchon, German hacken), from PIE *keg- "hook, tooth." Perhaps influenced by Old Norse höggva "to hack, hew" (cognates: hacksaw). Slang sense of "cope with" (such as in can't hack it) is first recorded in American English 1955, with a sense of "get through by some effort," as a jungle (cognates: phrase hack after "keep working away at" attested from late 14c.). Related: Hacked; hacking.
hack (n.2) Look up hack at Dictionary.com
"person hired to do routine work," c.1700, ultimately short for hackney "an ordinary horse" (c.1300), probably from place name Hackney, Middlesex (q.v.). Apparently nags were raised on the pastureland there in early medieval times. Extended sense of "horse for hire" (late 14c.) led naturally to "broken-down nag," and also "prostitute" (1570s) and "drudge" (1540s). Sense of "carriage for hire" (1704) led to modern slang for "taxicab." As an adjective, 1734, from the noun. Hack writer is first recorded 1826, though hackney writer is at least 50 years earlier. Hack-work is recorded from 1851.
hack (v.2) Look up hack at Dictionary.com
"illegally enter a computer system," by 1984; apparently a back-formation from hacker. Related: Hacked; hacking. Earlier verb senses were "to make commonplace" (1745), "make common by everyday use" (1590s), "use (a horse) for ordinary riding" (1560s), all from hack (n.2).
hack (n.1) Look up hack at Dictionary.com
"tool for chopping," early 14c., from hack (v.1); cognates: Danish hakke "mattock," German Hacke "pickax, hatchet, hoe." Meaning "an act of cutting" is from 1836; figurative sense of "a try, an attempt" is first attested 1898.
hack (v.3) Look up hack at Dictionary.com
"to cough with a short, dry cough," 1802, perhaps from hack (v.1) on the notion of being done with difficulty, or else imitative.
hackamore (n.) Look up hackamore at Dictionary.com
halter for breaking horses, 1850, American English, of uncertain origin. OED and Klein suggests a corruption of Spanish jaquima (earlier xaquima) "halter, headstall of a horse," which Klein suggests is from Arabic shakimah "bit of a bridle, curb, restraint."
hacker (n.) Look up hacker at Dictionary.com
"a chopper, cutter," perhaps also "one who makes hacking tools," early 13c. (as a surname), agent noun from hack (v.1). Meaning "one who gains unauthorized access to computer records" is attested by 1983, agent noun from hack (v.2). Said to be from slightly earlier tech slang sense of "one who works like a hack at writing and experimenting with software, one who enjoys computer programming for its own sake," 1976, reputedly a usage that evolved at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (however an MIT student from the late 1960s recalls hack (n.) being used then and there in the general sense of "creative prank," which clouds its sense connection with the "writing for hire" word, and there may be a source or an influence here in hack (v.1)).
hackle (n.) Look up hackle at Dictionary.com
Old English hacele "cloak, mantle" (cognate with Old High German hachul, Gothic hakuls "cloak;" Old Norse hekla "hooded frock"), of uncertain origin. Sense of "bird plumage" is first recorded early 15c., though this might be from unrelated Middle English hackle "flax comb" (see heckle (n.)) on supposed resemblance of comb to ruffled feathers. Metaphoric extension found in raise one's hackles (as a cock does when angry) is first recorded 1881.
Hackney Look up Hackney at Dictionary.com
late 12c., from Old English Hacan ieg "Haca's Isle" (or possibly "Hook Island"), the "isle" element here meaning dry land in a marsh. Now well within London, it once was pastoral and horses apparently were kept there. Hence hackney "small saddle horse let out for hire" (c.1300), with subsequent deterioration of sense (see hack (n.2)). And compare French haquenée "ambling nag," an English loan-word.
hackneyed (adj.) Look up hackneyed at Dictionary.com
1769, "kept for hire," past participle adjective from hackney. The figurative sense of "trite, so overused as to have become uninteresting" is older, 1749, from hack (n.2) in special sense of "one who writes anything for hire."
hacksaw (n.) Look up hacksaw at Dictionary.com
first element from Old Norse höggva "to cut," from PIE *kau- "to hew, strike" (see hew) + saw (n.).
had (v.) Look up had at Dictionary.com
past tense and past participle of have (q.v.). You never had it so good (1946) was said to be the stock answer to any complaints about U.S. Army life.
haddock (n.) Look up haddock at Dictionary.com
late 13c., of unknown origin. Old French hadot and Gaelic adag, sometimes cited as sources, were apparently borrowed from English. OED regards the suffix as perhaps a diminutive.
hade (n.) Look up hade at Dictionary.com
Old English had "person, individual, character, individuality; condition, state, nature; sex, race, family, tribe;" see -hood. Obsolete after 14c. Cognate with Old Saxon hed "condition, rank, Old Norse heiðr "honor, dignity," Old High German heit, Gothic haidus "way, manner."
Hades Look up Hades at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Greek Haides, in Homer the name of the god of the underworld, of unknown origin. Perhaps literally "the invisible" [Watkins]. The name of the god transferred in later Greek writing to his kingdom. Related: Hadal (adj.), 1964; Hadean.
hadith (n.) Look up hadith at Dictionary.com
"collected Islamic tradition," 1817, from Arabic, literally "tradition," related to hadith "new, young," hadatha "it happened, occurred," and Hebrew hadash "new."
hadn't Look up hadn't at Dictionary.com
by 1705, contraction of had not.
hadron (n.) Look up hadron at Dictionary.com
1962, from Greek hadros "thick, bulky," the primary sense, also "strong, great; large, well-grown, ripe," from PIE root *sa- "to satisfy" (see sad). With elementary particle suffix -on. Coined in Russian as adron.
hadrosaur (n.) Look up hadrosaur at Dictionary.com
1877, from Modern Latin hadrosaurus, from Greek hadros "thick, stout" (see hadron) + -saurus.
hae (v.) Look up hae at Dictionary.com
an attempt to represent the Scottish pronunciation of have.
haematite (n.) Look up haematite at Dictionary.com
see hematite.
haemoglobin (n.) Look up haemoglobin at Dictionary.com
see hemoglobin; also see æ.
haemorrhage Look up haemorrhage at Dictionary.com
see hemorrhage; also see æ.
haff (n.) Look up haff at Dictionary.com
also haaf, Baltic lagoon, separated from open sea by a sandbar, German, from Middle Low German haf "sea," related to Old Norse, Swedish haf "the sea, especially "the high sea," Danish hav, Old Frisian hef, Old English hæf "sea," perhaps literally "the rising one," and related to the root of heave.
hafnium (n.) Look up hafnium at Dictionary.com
rare element, 1923, Modern Latin, from Hafnia, Medieval Latin form of Danish Havn "harbor," the usual pre-1400 name of Copenhagen, Denmark, where it was discovered by physicist Dirk Coster (1889-1950) and chemist George de Hevesy (1885-1966).
haft (n.) Look up haft at Dictionary.com
Old English hæft "handle," related to hæft "fetter," from Proto-Germanic *haftjom (cognates: Old Saxon haft "captured;" Dutch hecht, Old High German hefti, German Heft "handle;" German Haft "arrest"), from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). To haven other haeftes in hand "have other hafts in hand" was a 14c.-15c. way of saying "have other business to attend to."
hag (n.) Look up hag at Dictionary.com
early 13c., "ugly old woman," probably a shortening of Old English hægtesse "witch, fury" (on assumption that -tesse was a suffix), from Proto-Germanic *hagatusjon-, of unknown origin. Similar shortening produced Dutch heks, German Hexe "witch" from cognate Middle Dutch haghetisse, Old High German hagzusa.

First element is probably cognate with Old English haga "enclosure, portion of woodland marked off for cutting" (see hedge). Old Norse had tunriða and Old High German zunritha, both literally "hedge-rider," used of witches and ghosts. Second element may be connected with Norwegian tysja "fairy; crippled woman," Gaulish dusius "demon," Lithuanian dvasia "spirit," from PIE *dhewes- "to fly about, smoke, be scattered, vanish."

One of the magic words for which there is no male form, suggesting its original meaning was close to "diviner, soothsayer," which were always female in northern European paganism, and hægtesse seem at one time to have meant "woman of prophetic and oracular powers" (Ælfric uses it to render the Greek "pythoness," the voice of the Delphic oracle), a figure greatly feared and respected. Later, the word was used of village wise women.

Haga is also the haw- in hawthorn, which is an important tree in northern European pagan religion. There may be several layers of folk etymology here. Confusion or blending with heathenish is suggested by Middle English hæhtis, hægtis "hag, witch, fury, etc.," and haetnesse "goddess," used of Minerva and Diana.

If the hægtesse was once a powerful supernatural woman (in Norse it is an alternative word for Norn, any of the three weird sisters, the equivalent of the Fates), it might originally have carried the hawthorn sense. Later, when the pagan magic was reduced to local scatterings, it might have had the sense of "hedge-rider," or "she who straddles the hedge," because the hedge was the boundary between the "civilized" world of the village and the wild world beyond. The hægtesse would have a foot in each reality. Even later, when it meant the local healer and root collector, living in the open and moving from village to village, it may have had the mildly pejorative sense of hedge- in Middle English (hedge-priest, etc.), suggesting an itinerant sleeping under bushes, perhaps. The same word could have contained all three senses before being reduced to its modern one.
hag-ridden (n.) Look up hag-ridden at Dictionary.com
1680s, "afflicted by nightmares," from hag (n.) + ridden. An old term for sleep paralysis, the sensation of being held immobile in bed, often by a heavy weight, and accompanied by a sense of alien presence. A holed stone hung over the bed was said to prevent it. Hag-ride as a verb is attested from 1660s.