hemistich (n.) Look up hemistich at Dictionary.com
"half a poetic line," 1570s, from Middle French hémistiche, from Latin hemistichium, from Greek hemistikhion "half-line, half-verse," from hemi- "half" (see hemi-) + stikhos "row, line of verse" (see stair).
hemline (n.) Look up hemline at Dictionary.com
1899, from hem (n.) + line (n.).
hemlock (n.) Look up hemlock at Dictionary.com
a poisonous plant, Old English (Kentish) hemlic, earlier hymlice, hymblice; of unknown origin. Liberman suggests from root hem- "poison," perhaps with the plant name suffix -ling or -ig. As the name of the poison derived from the plant, c. 1600. The North American tree so called from 1776, from resemblance of its leaves to those of the plant.
hemo- Look up hemo- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "blood," perhaps via Old French hemo-, Latin haemo-, from Greek haimo-, from haima "blood" (see -emia).
hemoglobin (n.) Look up hemoglobin at Dictionary.com
coloring matter in red blood stones, 1862, shortening of hæmatoglobin (1845), from Greek haimato-, comb. form of haima (genitive haimatos) "blood" (see -emia) + globulin, a type of simple protein, from globule, formerly a word for "corpuscle of blood."
hemophilia (n.) Look up hemophilia at Dictionary.com
1854 (in anglicized form hæmophily), from German hämophile, coined 1828 by German physician Johann Lucas Schönlein (1793-1864), from Greek haima "blood" (see -emia) + philia "to love" (see -philia), here with a sense of "tendency to."
hemophiliac Look up hemophiliac at Dictionary.com
1896 (adj.); 1897 (n.)., from hemophilia. Perhaps modeled on French hémophilique (1880).
hemophobia (n.) Look up hemophobia at Dictionary.com
1886, from hemo- "blood" + -phobia "fear."
hemorrhage (n.) Look up hemorrhage at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, emorosogie (modern form by 17c.), from Latin haemorrhagia, from Greek haimorrhagia, from haimorrhages "bleeding violently," from haima "blood" (see -emia) + rhage "a breaking," from rhegnynai "to break, burst." Related: Hemorrhagic.
hemorrhage (v.) Look up hemorrhage at Dictionary.com
by 1882, from hemorrhage (n.). Related: Hemorrhaged; hemorrhaging.
Slang in Reports: B.I.D. for "Brought in Dead" and "Dotty" are, [Mr. Sidney Holland of London Hospital] considers, permissible expressions, but he draws the line at "fitting" and "hæmorrhaging." Only such terms, he says, should be used as outside doctors will understand. We would say that on a point of such odiously bad taste he might have been much more severe. [Lavinia L. Dock, "The American Journal of Nursing," 1906]
hemorrhoids (n.) Look up hemorrhoids at Dictionary.com
plural of hemorrhoid; late 14c., emeroudis, from Old French emorroides (13c.), from Latin hæmorrhoidae, from Greek haimorrhoides (phlebes) "(veins) liable to discharge blood," plural of haimorrhois, from haima "blood" (see -emia) + rhoos "a stream, a flowing," from rhein "to flow" (see rheum). Related: Hemmorhoidal.
hemp (n.) Look up hemp at Dictionary.com
Old English hænep "hemp, cannabis sativa," from Proto-Germanic *hanapiz (cognates: Old Saxon hanap, Old Norse hampr, Old High German hanaf, German Hanf), probably a very early Germanic borrowing of the same Scythian word that became Greek kannabis (see cannabis). As the name of the fiber made from the plant, by c. 1300. Slang sense of "marijuana" dates from 1940s; though scientific use for the narcotic derived from hemp dates to 1870.
hempen (adj.) Look up hempen at Dictionary.com
"made of hemp," late 14c., from hemp + -en (2). In many figurative expressions 15c.-19c. it is in reference to the hangman's noose.
hemstitch (n.) Look up hemstitch at Dictionary.com
also hem-stitch, 1821, from hem + stitch. As a verb by 1839. Related: Hemstitched; hemstitching.
hen (n.) Look up hen at Dictionary.com
Old English henn, from West Germanic *hannjo (cognates: Old Frisian henn, Middle Dutch henne, Old High German henna), fem. of *han(e)ni "male fowl, cock" (source of Old English hana "cock"), literally "bird who sings (for sunrise)," from PIE root *kan- "to sing" (see chant).

The original masculine word survives in German (Hahn "cock"), Swedish, Danish, etc. German also has a generic form, Huhn, for either gender of the bird. Extension to "female of any bird species" is early 14c. in English. Hen as slang for "woman" dates from 1620s; hence hen party "gathering of women," first recorded 1887. To be mad as a wet hen is from 1823, but the figure was used to indicate other states:
Some, on the contrary, are viciously opposite to these, who act so tamely and so coldly, that when they ought to be angry, to thunder and lighten, as one may say, they are no fuller of Heat, than a wet Hen, as the Saying is; .... ["Life of Mr. Thomas Betterton," London, 1710]



Orth. Out upon you for a dastardly Fellow; you han't the Courage of a wet Hen. ["A Sermon Preached at St. Mary-le-Bow, March 27, 1704"]
As wanton as a wet hen is in "Scots Proverbs" (1813). Among Middle English proverbial expressions was nice as a nonne hen "over-refined, fastidiously wanton" (c. 1500); to singen so hen in snowe "sing miserably," literally "sing like a hen in snow" (c. 1200). Hen's teeth as a figure of scarceness is attested by 1838.
hen-house (n.) Look up hen-house at Dictionary.com
1510s, from hen + house (n.). As a place cheifly inhabited by or ruled by women, from 1785.
hence (adv.) Look up hence at Dictionary.com
late 13c., hennes, from Old English heonan "away, hence," from West Germanic *hin- (see Old Saxon hinan, Old High German hinnan, German hinnen); related to Old English her "here" (see here). With adverbial genitive -s. The modern spelling (mid-15c.) is phonetic, to retain the breathy -s- (see twice, pence). Original sense is "away from here;" of time, from late 14c.; meaning "from this (fact or circumstance)" first recorded 1580s. Wyclif (1382) uses hennys & þennys for "from here and there, on both sides."
henceforth (adv.) Look up henceforth at Dictionary.com
late 14c., earlier henne forth (late Old English); see hence + forth.
henceforward (adv.) Look up henceforward at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from hence + forward (adv.).
henchman (n.) Look up henchman at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., hengestman, later henshman (mid-15c.) "high-ranking servant (usually of gentle birth), attendant upon a king, nobleman, etc.," originally "groom," probably from man (n.) + Old English hengest "horse, stallion, gelding," from Proto-Germanic *hangistas (cognates: Old Frisian hengst, Dutch hengest, German Hengst "stallion"), perhaps literally "best at springing," from PIE *kenku- (cognates: Greek kekiein "to gush forth;" Lithuanian sokti "to jump, dance;" Breton kazek "a mare," literally "that which belongs to a stallion").

Perhaps modeled on Old Norse compound hesta-maðr "horse-boy, groom." The word became obsolete in England but was retained in Scottish as "personal attendant of a Highland chief," in which sense Scott revived it in literary English from 1810. Sense of "obedient or unscrupulous follower" is first recorded 1839, probably based on a misunderstanding of the word as used by Scott.
hendeca- Look up hendeca- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "eleven," from Latinized form of Greek hendeka "eleven," from hen, neuter of eis "one" + deka "ten" (see ten).
hendiadys (n.) Look up hendiadys at Dictionary.com
1580s, figure of speech in which two nouns joined by and are used in place of a noun and an adjective; from Medieval Latin alteration of Greek hen dia duoin "one (thing) by means of two." If this term was used by Greek grammarians it is no longer found in their writings, but it is frequent among Latin writers.
henge (n.) Look up henge at Dictionary.com
1740, noted as a Yorkshire word for structures such as Stonehenge.
Henley Look up Henley at Dictionary.com
town on the Thames in Oxfordshire, site of annual regatta since 1839. The name is Old English hean-leage "(settlement) at or by the high wood."
henna (n.) Look up henna at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "dye or cosmetic from the henna plant," from Arabic hinna, name for the small thorny tree (Egyptian Privet, Lawsonia inermis), the leaves of which are used to make the reddish dye; said to be of Persian origin. Related: Hennaed (1860).
Hennessey Look up Hennessey at Dictionary.com
Irish surname, from O'(h)Aonghusa "descendant of Aonghus" ("one-choice").
henotheism (n.) Look up henotheism at Dictionary.com
1860, from Greek henos, neuter of eis "one" (from PIE *sem- "one, as one") + theism. Devotion to a single god without asserting that he is the only god. Coined by (Friedrich) Max Müller (1823-1900), professor of comparative philology at Oxford. Related: Henotheist.
henpecked (adj.) Look up henpecked at Dictionary.com
1670s, an image from hen + peck (v.).
The henpect Man rides behind his Wife, and lets her wear the Spurs and govern the Reins. [Samuel Butler]
The verb henpeck (1680s) apparently is a back-formation.
Henrietta Look up Henrietta at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, from French Henriette, fem. diminutive of Henri (see Henry). In late 19c. a type of light dress fabric.
Henry Look up Henry at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from French Henri, from Late Latin Henricus, from German Heinrich, from Old High German Heimerich, literally "the ruler of the house," from heim "home" + rihhi "ruler." One of the most popular Norman names after the Conquest.
heortology (n.) Look up heortology at Dictionary.com
"study of religious feasts and calendars," 1900, from Greek heorte "feast" + -ology. The immediate source of the English word is in French or German.
hep (1) Look up hep at Dictionary.com
"aware, up-to-date," first recorded 1908 in "Saturday Evening Post," but said to be underworld slang, of unknown origin. Variously said to have been the name of "a fabulous detective who operated in Cincinnati" [Louis E. Jackson and C.R. Hellyer, "A Vocabulary of Criminal Slang," 1914] or a saloonkeeper in Chicago who "never quite understood what was going on ... (but) thought he did" ["American Speech," XVI, 154/1]. Taken up by jazz musicians by 1915; hepcat "addict of swing music" is from 1938. With the rise of hip (adj.) by the 1950s, the use of hep ironically became a clue that the speaker was unaware and not up-to-date.
hep (2) Look up hep at Dictionary.com
cry of those leading pogroms or attacks on Jews in Europe, 1819 in reference to Jewish explusions by mobs in various German cities in that year (later called the hep-hep riots); perhaps originally the cry of a goatherd, or of a hunter urging on dogs, but popularly said at the time to be acronym of Latin Hierosolyma Est Perdita "Jerusalem is destroyed," which, as H.E.P., supposedly was emblazoned on the banners of medieval recruiters for the Crusades who drew mobs that subsequently turned on local Jewish populations. That such things happened is true enough, but in the absence of evidence the story about the supposed acronym looks like folk etymology.
hepar (n.) Look up hepar at Dictionary.com
metallic sulfide, 1690s, from Medieval Latin, from Greek hepar "liver" (see hepatitis); so called for its color.
heparin (n.) Look up heparin at Dictionary.com
substance found in the liver, lungs and other tissues, 1918, from Greek hepar "liver" (see hepatitis) + -in (2).
hepatic (adj.) Look up hepatic at Dictionary.com
late 14c., epatike, from Old French hepatique or directly from Latin hepaticus "pertaining to the liver," from Greek hepatikos, from hepar (genitive hepatos) "liver" (see hepatitis). As a noun, "medicine for the liver," from late 15c.
hepatitis (n.) Look up hepatitis at Dictionary.com
1727, coined from Greek hepatos, genitive of hepar "liver," from PIE root *yekwr- (cognates: Sanskrit yakrt, Avestan yakar, Persian jigar, Latin jecur, Old Lithuanian jeknos "liver") + -itis "inflammation."
Hephaestus Look up Hephaestus at Dictionary.com
Greek god of fire and metal-working, Roman spelling of Greek Hephaistos, a pre-Hellenic word of unknown origin.
Hephzibah Look up Hephzibah at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, biblical, from Hebrew Hephtzibah, literally "my delight is in her," from hephtzi "my delight" (from haphetz "to delight, to desire") + bah "in her."
Hepplewhite Look up Hepplewhite at Dictionary.com
as a modifier, by 1878, in reference to style of furniture introduced in England by cabinetmaker George Hepplewhite (d.1786). The proper name is from Heblethwaite, near Sedbergh in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
hepta- Look up hepta- at Dictionary.com
before vowels hept-, word-forming element meaning "seven," from Greek hepta "seven" (see seven).
heptagon (n.) Look up heptagon at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Middle French heptagon, from Greek heptagonon, from hepta "seven" (cognate with Latin septem, Gothic sibun, Old English seofon; see seven) + gonia "angle" (see -gon). Related: Heptagonal.
her (objective case) Look up her at Dictionary.com
Old English hire, third person singular feminine dative pronoun, which beginning in 10c. replaced accusative hie (see he). Cognate with Old Frisian hiri, Middle Dutch hore, Dutch haar, Old High German iru, German ihr.
her (possessive case) Look up her at Dictionary.com
Old English hire, third person singular feminine genitive form of heo "she" (see she).
Hera Look up Hera at Dictionary.com
sister and wife of Zeus, from Greek Hera, literally "protectress," related to heros "hero," originally "defender, protector."
Heracles Look up Heracles at Dictionary.com
also Herakles, alternate (more classically correct) forms of Hercules.
herald (n.) Look up herald at Dictionary.com
late 13c. (in Anglo-Latin); c. 1200 as a surname, "messenger, envoy," from Anglo-French heraud, Old French heraut, hiraut (12c.), perhaps from Frankish *hariwald "commander of an army," from Proto-Germanic *harja "army" (from PIE root *koro- "war;" see harry) + *waldaz "to command, rule" (see wield). The form fits, but the sense evolution is difficult to explain, unless in reference to the chief officer of a tournament, who introduced knights and made decisions on rules (which was one of the early senses, often as heraud of armes, though not the earliest in English).
herald (v.) Look up herald at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to sound the praises of," from herald (n.). Related: Heralded; heralding.
heraldic (adj.) Look up heraldic at Dictionary.com
1772, on model of French héraldique (15c.), from Medieval Latin heraldus (see herald).
heraldry (n.) Look up heraldry at Dictionary.com
"art of arms and armorial bearings," late 14c., heraldy, from Old French hiraudie "heralds collectively," from hiraut (see herald (n.)). The spelling with -r- is attested from 1570s (see poetry, pedantry).