heat (v.)
Old English hætan "to make hot; to become hot," from Proto-Germanic *haita- (see heat (n.)). Related: Heated (with many variants in Middle English); heating. Compare Middle Dutch heeten, Dutch heten, German heizen "to heat."
heated (adj.)
in figurative sense "agitated, inflamed," 1590s, past participle adjective from heat (v.). Related: Heatedly.
heater (n.)
c. 1500, of persons; 1660s of devices; agent noun from heat (v.). Baseball slang meaning "fastball" is attested by 1985.
heath (n.)
Old English hæð "untilled land, tract of wasteland," especially flat, shrubby, desolate land;" earlier "heather, plants and shrubs found on heaths," influenced by cognate Old Norse heiðr "heath, moor," both from Proto-Germanic *haithiz (source also of Old Saxon hetha, Old High German heida "heather," Dutch heide "heath," Gothic haiþi "field"), from PIE *kaito "forest, uncultivated land" (source also of Old Irish ciad, Welsh coed, Breton coet "wood, forest").
heathen
Old English hæðen "not Christian or Jewish," also as a noun, "heathen man, one of a race or nation which does not acknowledge the God of the Bible" (especially of the Danes), merged with Old Norse heiðinn (adj.) "heathen, pagan," of uncertain origin. Cognate with Old Saxon hedhin, Old Frisian hethen, Dutch heiden, Old High German heidan, German Heiden.

Perhaps literally "dweller on the heath, one inhabiting uncultivated land;" see heath + -en (2). Historically assumed to be ultimately from Gothic haiþno "gentile, heathen woman," used by Ulfilas in the first translation of the Bible into a Germanic language (as in Mark vii.26, for "Greek"); like other basic words for exclusively Christian ideas (such as church) it likely would have come first into Gothic and then spread to other Germanic languages. If so it could be a noun use of an unrelated Gothic adjective (compare Gothic haiþi "dwelling on the heath," but a religious sense is not recorded for this). Whether native or Gothic, it may have been chosen on model of Latin paganus, with its root sense of "rural" (see pagan), or for resemblance to Greek ethne (see gentile), or it may be a literal borrowing of that Greek word, perhaps via Armenian hethanos [Sophus Bugge].
heathenish (adj.)
Old English hæðenisc; see heathen + -ish. Related: Heathenishly; heathenishness. Similar formation in Dutch heidensch, Old High German hiedanisc, German heidenisch.
heathenism (n.)
c. 1600, from heathen + -ism. Old English words for it included hæðennes, hæðendom, and a later ones were heathenship (late Old English), heathenhood (late 13c.), heathenry (1560s).
heather (n.)
early 14c., hathir, from Old English *hæddre, Scottish or northern England dialect name for Calluna vulgaris, probably altered by heath, but real connection to that word is unlikely [Liberman, OED]. Perhaps originally Celtic. As a fem. proper name little used in U.S. before 1935, but a top-15 name for girls born there 1971-1989.
heating (n.)
"action of making hot," late 14c., verbal noun from heat (v.).
heave (n.)
1570s, from heave (v.). Meaning "a dismissal" is from 1944.
heave (v.)
Old English hebban "to lift, raise; lift up, exalt" (class VI strong verb; past tense hof, past participle hafen), from Proto-Germanic *hafjan (source also of Old Norse hefja, Dutch heffen, German heben, Gothic hafjan "to lift, raise"), from PIE *kap-yo-, from root *kap- "to grasp." The sense evolution would be "to take, take hold of," thence "lift."

Related to have (Old English habban "to hold, possess"). Meaning "to throw" is from 1590s. Nautical meaning "haul or pull" in any direction is from 1620s. Intransitive use from early 14c. as "be raised or forced up;" 1610s as "rise and fall with alternate motion." Sense of "retch, make an effort to vomit" is first attested c. 1600. Related: Heaved; heaving. Nautical heave-ho was a chant in lifting (c. 1300, hevelow).
heaven (n.)
Old English heofon "home of God," earlier "the visible sky, firmament," probably from Proto-Germanic *hibin-, dissimilated from *himin- (cognates Low German heben, Old Norse himinn, Gothic himins, Old Frisian himul, Dutch hemel, German Himmel "heaven, sky"), which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps literally "a covering," from a PIE root *kem- "to cover" (also proposed as the source of chemise). Watkins derives it elaborately from PIE *ak- "sharp" via *akman- "stone, sharp stone," then "stony vault of heaven."

From late 14c. as "a heavenly place; a state of bliss." Plural use in sense of "sky" probably is from Ptolemaic theory of space as composed of many spheres, but it also formerly was used in the same sense as the singular in Biblical language, as a translation of Hebrew plural shamayim. Heaven-sent (adj.) attested from 1640s.
heavenly (adj.)
Old English heofonlic "celestial; divine;" see heaven + -ly (1). Meaning "beautiful, divinely lovely" is late 14c., often (though not originally) with reference to the celestial "music of the spheres;" weakened sense of "excellent, enjoyable" is first recorded 1874. The heavenly bodies (stars, planets, etc.) attested from late 14c. Related: Heavenliness.
heavens (n.)
"realm of the heavenly bodies," 1670s, from heaven.
heavenward (adv.)
mid-13c., from heaven + -ward. Related: Heavenwards.
heavily (adv.)
Old English hefiglice "violently, intensely; sorrowfully; sluggishly," from hefig (see heavy (adj.)) + -ly (2). Meaning "with much weight" is from early 14c.
heaviness (n.)
Old English hefigness "state of being heavy, weight; burden, affliction; dullness, torpor;" see heavy (adj.) + -ness. Chaucer has heavity for "sadness."
heavy (n.)
mid-13c., "something heavy; heaviness," from heavy (adj.). Theatrical sense of "villain" is 1880, short for heavy villain (1843), heavy leading man (1849) or similar phrases.
A "heavy business man," he who performs such parts as Ferardo in the Wife, the Ghost in Hamlet, and Malec, Edmund, Banquo, Buckingham and the principal villains of the drama, [will command at present] from $15 to $20 [per week]. ["The Amateur, or Guide to the Stage," Philadelphia, 1851]
heavy (adj.)
Old English hefig "heavy, having much weight; important, grave; oppressive; slow, dull," from Proto-Germanic *hafiga "containing something; having weight" (source also of Old Saxon, Old High German hebig, Old Norse hofugr, Middle Dutch hevich, Dutch hevig), from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." Jazz slang sense of "profound, serious" is from 1937 but would have been comprehensible to an Anglo-Saxon. Heavy industry recorded from 1932. Heavy metal attested by 1839 in chemistry; in nautical jargon from at least 1744 in sense "large-caliber guns on a ship."
While we undervalue the nicely-balanced weight of broadsides which have lately been brought forward with all the grave precision of Cocker, we are well aware of the decided advantages of heavy metal. ["United Services Journal," London, 1830]
As a type of rock music, from 1972. Most other Germanic languages use as their primary word for this their equivalent of Middle English swere, Old English swær "heavy, sad; oppressive, grievous; sluggish, inactive, weak" (but never in a physical sense; see serious); for example, Dutch zwaar, Old High German suari, German schwer. The English word died out in the Middle Ages.
heavy-duty (adj.)
"durable, strong," 1903; see heavy (adj.) + duty.
heavy-handed (adj.)
also heavyhanded, 1630s, originally "weary" or "clumsy;" from heavy (adj.) + -handed. Sense of "overbearing" is recorded by 1873.
heavyweight
also heavy-weight, noun and adjective, 1857 of horses; 1877 of fighters; from heavy (adj.) + weight. Figuratively, in reference to importance, from 1928.
hebdomad (n.)
1540s, "the number seven;" c. 1600, "a week;" from Latin hebdomad-, stem of hebdomas "seven, the seventh day; a week," from Greek hebdomas "the number seven; a period of seven (days)," from hepta "seven" (from PIE *septm; see seven) + -mos, suffix used to form ordinal numbers, cognate with Latin -mus.
hebdomadal (adj.)
1610s, from Late Latin hebdomadalis, from Latin hebdomas "seven, the seventh day; a week" (see hebdomad). In later use as pedantic humor.
hebdomadally (adv.)
"weekly," 1798, pedantic humor, from hebdomadal + -ly (2).
Hebe (1)
c. 1600, Greek goddess of youth, daughter of Zeus and Hera, wife of Hercules, from Greek hebe "youth, youthful prime, strength of youth" (legally, "the time before manhood," in Athens 16, in Sparta 18), from PIE *yeg-wa- "power, youth, strength."
Hebe (2)
derogatory word for "a Jew," 1921, shortened from Hebrew (n.).
hebephrenia (n.)
"adolescent insanity," 1886, coined in Modern Latin by German psychiatrist Ewald Escker in 1871, from Greek hebe "youth" (see Hebe (1)) + phrene "mind" (see phreno-) + abstract noun ending -ia. Related: Hebephreniac.
hebetate (v.)
"make dull," 1570s, from Latin hebetatus, past participle of hebetare, from hebes "dull, blunt" (see hebetude). Related: Hebetated; hebetating; hebetation.
hebetude (n.)
1620s, from Latin hebetudo, noun of quality from hebes "blunt, dull," figuratively "sluggish; stupid," a word of unknown origin. Related: Hebetudinous.
Hebraic (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French hebraique and directly from Late Latin Hebraicus, from Greek Hebraikos, from Hebraios (see Hebrew). Related: Hebraical.
Hebraism (n.)
1560s, "phrase or construction characteristic of the Hebrew language;" see Hebraic + -ism. Meaning "a quality or characteristic of the (biblical) Hebrew people" is from 1847.
Hebrew (adj.)
late Old English, from Old French Ebreu, from Latin Hebraeus, from Greek Hebraios, from Aramaic (Semitic) 'ebhrai, corresponding to Hebrew 'ibhri "an Israelite." Traditionally from an ancestral name Eber, but probably literally "one from the other side," perhaps in reference to the River Euphrates, or perhaps simply signifying "immigrant;" from 'ebher "region on the other or opposite side." The initial H- was restored in English from 16c. As a noun from c. 1200, "the Hebrew language;" late 14c. in reference to persons, originally "a biblical Jew, Israelite."
Hebrides
originally Ebudae, Haebudes, of uncertain origin. Apparently a scribal error turned -u- into -ri-. The Norse name, Suðregar, "Southern Islands," is relative to the Orkneys. Related: Hebridean.
Hecate
Greek deity, daughter of Perseus and Asteria (said to be originally Thracian), later identified as an aspect of Artemis, early 15c., from Latinized form of Greek Hekate, fem. of hekatos "far-shooting." In English literature associated since Shakespeare ("I Henry VI," III.ii.64) with witches and sorcery. Related: Hecatean.
hecatomb (n.)
1590s, from Latinized form of Greek hekatombe, properly (and literally) "offering of 100 oxen," but generally "a great public sacrifice." It is a compound of hekaton "one hundred," which perhaps is dissimilated from *hem-katon, with hen, neuter of eis "one" + *katon "hundred." The second element is bous "ox" (from PIE root *gwou- "ox, bull, cow"). The first month of the Attic calendar (corresponding to July-August) was Hekatombaion, in which sacrifices were made.
heck (interj.)
euphemistic alteration of hell, first recorded 1865.
heckle (v.)
early 14c., "to comb (flax or hemp) with a heckle;" from heckle (n.) or from related Middle Dutch hekelen. Figurative meaning "to question severely in a bid to uncover weakness" is from late 18c. "Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED]. Presumably from a metaphor of rough treatment, but also compare hatchel "to harass" (1800), which may be a variant of hazel, the name of the plant that furnished switches for whippings. Related: Heckled; heckling.
heckle (n.)
"flax comb," c. 1300, hechel, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *hecel or a cognate Germanic word, from Proto-Germanic *hakila- (source also of Middle High German hechel, Middle Dutch hekel), from PIE root *keg- "hook, tooth."
heckler (n.)
mid-15c., "one who uses a heckle" (late 13c., as a surname, Will. le Hekelere), agent noun from heckle (v.). Sense of "audience member that taunts a public speaker" is from 1885. Fem. form hekelstere is attested from c. 1500.
hectare (n.)
1817, from French hectare "a hundred ares," formed from Latinized form of Greek hekaton "a hundred" (see hecatomb) + Latin area "vacant piece of ground" (see area). A superficial measure equal to 100 ares, coined by decree of the French National Convention in 1795.
hectic (adj.)
late 14c., etik (in fever etik "hectic fever"), from Old French etique "consumptive," from Late Latin hecticus, from Greek hektikos "continuous, habitual," also used of slow, continued diseases or fevers. The Greek adjective is from hexis "a habit (of mind or body)," from ekhein "have, hold, continue" (from PIE root *segh- "to hold"). The Latin -h- was restored in English 16c.

The use of the word by the Greek physicians apparently was from the notion of a fever rooted in the constitution of the body and symptomatic of one's physical condition, or else from its continuousness (compare ephemera). Hectic fevers are characterized by rapid pulse, flushed cheeks, hot skin, emaciation. In English applied particularly to the wasting fevers, rising and falling with the hours of the day, characteristic of tuberculosis.

Sense of "feverishly exciting, full of disorganized activity" is from 1904 and was a vogue word at first, according to Fowler, but hectic also was used in Middle English as a noun meaning "feverish desire, consuming passion" (early 15c.). Related: Hecticness.
hector (v.)
"to bluster, bully, domineer," 1650s, from slang hector (n.) "a blustering, turbulent, pervicacious, noisy fellow" [Johnson], 1650s, from Hector of the "Iliad," in reference to his encouragement of his fellow Trojans to keep up the fight. Earlier in English the name was used generically for "a valiant warrior" (late 14c.). Related: Hectored; hectoring.
Hector
masc. personal name, from Latinized form of Hektor, name of the Trojan hero, oldest son of Priam and Hecuba, in the "Iliad," from Greek hektor, literally "holder, stayer;" an agent noun from ekhein "to have, hold, possess" (from PIE root *segh- "to hold"). As a proper name it is rare in England but used in Scotland to render Gaelic Eachdonn. Heck for short.
Hecuba
daughter of Dymas and principal wife of Priam in the "Iliad;" from Greek Hekabe, which is perhaps a variant of Hecate.
hedge (n.)
Old English hecg "hedge," originally any fence, living or artificial, from West Germanic *hagjo (source also of Middle Dutch hegge, Dutch heg, Old High German hegga, German Hecke "hedge"), from PIE root *kagh- "to catch, seize; wickerwork, fence" (source also of Latin caulae "a sheepfold, enclosure," Gaulish caio "circumvallation," Welsh cae "fence, hedge"). Related to Old English haga "enclosure, hedge" (see haw (n.)).

Figurative sense of "boundary, barrier" is from mid-14c. As hedges were "often used by vagabonds as places of shelter or resort" [Century Dictionary], the word, compounded, "notes something mean, vile, of the lowest class" [Johnson], from contemptuous attributive sense of "plying one's trade under a hedge" (hedge-priest, hedge-lawyer, hedge-wench, etc.), a usage attested from 1530s. The noun in the betting sense is from 1736 (see hedge (v.)).
hedge (v.)
late 14c., "make a hedge," also "surround with a barricade or palisade;" from hedge (n.). The intransitive sense of "dodge, evade, avoid committing oneself" is first recorded 1590s, on the notion of hiding as if in a hedge. That of "insure oneself against loss," as in a bet, by playing something on the other side is from 1670s, originally with in; probably from an earlier use of hedge in meaning "secure (a debt) by including it in a larger one which has better security" (1610s). Related: Hedged; hedging. The noun in the wagering sense is from 1736.
hedgehog (n.)
mid-15c. (replacing Old English igl), from hedge (n.) + hog (n.). First element from its frequenting hedges; the second element a reference to its pig-like snout.
hedgerow (n.)
also hedge-row, Old English hegeræw; see hedge (n.) + row (n.).
hedonic (adj.)
"of or relating to pleasure," also, "of or having to do with the Cyrenaic school of philosophy," 1650s, from Greek hedonikos "pleasurable," from hedone "pleasure" (see hedonist).