herringbone Look up herringbone at Dictionary.com
also herring-bone, 1650s in literal sense and also as a type of stitch, from herring + bone (n.). From 1903 as a type of cirrocumulus cloud. Earlier as a type of masonry.
hers Look up hers at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, hires, from her; thus a double possessive. Possessive pronouns in Modern English consist of the predicative (mine, thine, his, ours, yours, theirs) that come after the subject, and the attributive (my, thy, his, her, our, your, their) that come before it. In Old English and early Middle English, they were identical. To keep speech fluid, speakers began to affix an -n to the end of predicative my and thy before words that began with vowels. This began late 13c. in the north of England, and by 1500 was standard.

Then the predicative and attributive pronouns split, and the remaining pronouns in that class took up -s, the regular affix of possession. But the non-standard speech of the Midlands and south of England extended -n throughout (hisn, hern, yourn), a habit attested from 14c. and more regular than the standard speech, which mixes -s and -n.
herse (n.) Look up herse at Dictionary.com
see hearse.
herself (pron.) Look up herself at Dictionary.com
emphatic or reflexive form of third person feminine pronoun, Old English hire self; see her (objective case) + self. Originally dative, but since 14c. often treated as genitive, hence her own sweet self, etc. Also compare himself.
Hertfordshire Look up Hertfordshire at Dictionary.com
Old English Heortfordscir, from Herutford (731), literally "ford frequented by harts;" see hart (n.) + ford (n.).
Hertz Look up Hertz at Dictionary.com
unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second, 1928, named in reference to German physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894). Related: Hertzian.
Herzegovina Look up Herzegovina at Dictionary.com
former Austrian duchy in the Balkans, from Old Serbian herceg "duke" (related to Modern German Herzog) + possessive ending -ov + -ina "country." Related: Herzegovinian.
hesitance (n.) Look up hesitance at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from Latin haesitantia (see hesitancy).
hesitancy (n.) Look up hesitancy at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin haesitantia "action of stammering," from haesitantem (nominative haesitans) "stammering," present participle of haesitare "to stick fast, stammer" (see hesitation).
hesitant (adj.) Look up hesitant at Dictionary.com
1640s, probably a back-formation from hesitancy, or else from Latin haesitantem. Related: Hesitantly.
hesitate (v.) Look up hesitate at Dictionary.com
1620s, from Latin haesitatus, past participle of haesitare "to stick fast; to hesitate; to stammer" (see hesitation). Related: Hesitated; hesitating; hesitatingly.
hesitation (n.) Look up hesitation at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Old French hesitacion or directly from Latin haesitationem (nominative haesitatio) "a hesitation, stammering," figuratively "irresolution, uncertainty," noun of action from past participle stem of haesitare "stick fast, remain fixed; stammer in speech," figuratively "hesitate, be irresolute, be at a loss, be undecided," frequentative of haerere "stick, cling," from PIE root *ghais- "to adhere, hesitate" (source also of Lithuanian gaistu "to delay, tarry").
hesitative (adj.) Look up hesitative at Dictionary.com
"given to hesitation, showing hesitation," 1795, from hesitate + -ive. Related: Hesitatively.
Hesperides Look up Hesperides at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Greek, "daughters of the Hesperus," name given to the nymphs (variously numbered but originally three) who tended the garden with the golden apples. Their name has been mistakenly transferred to the garden itself.
The Gardens of the Hesperides with the golden apples were believed to exist in some island in the ocean, or, as it was sometimes thought, in the islands on the north or west coast of Africa. They were far-famed in antiquity; for it was there that springs of nectar flowed by the couch of Zeus, and there that the earth displayed the rarest blessings of the gods; it was another Eden. As knowledge increased with regard to western lands, it became necessary to move this paradise farther and farther out into the Western Ocean. [Alexander Murray, "Manual of Mythology," 1888]
Related: Hesperidean; Hesperidian.
Hesperus Look up Hesperus at Dictionary.com
late 14c., poetic for "the evening star," from Latin Hesperus, from Greek hesperos (aster) "the evening (star)," from PIE *wes-pero- "evening, night" (see vesper). Related: Hesperian. Hence Latin and Greek Hesperia "the land of the west," "applied by the Greeks to Italy, by the Romans to Spain or regions beyond" [Century Dictionary].
Hessian (n.) Look up Hessian at Dictionary.com
"resident of the former Landgraviate of Hessen-Kassel," western Germany; its soldiers being hired out by the ruler to fight for other countries, especially the British during the American Revolution, the name Hessians by 1835 in U.S. became synonymous (unjustly) with "mercenaries." Hessian fly (Cecidomyia destructor) was a destructive parasite the ravaged U.S. crops late 18c., so named 1787 in erroneous belief that it was carried into America by the Hessians. The place name is from Latin Hassi/Hatti/Chatti, the Latinized form of the name of the people the Romans met there (Greek Khattoi). The meaning of the name is unknown. The state was annexed to Prussia in 1866 and is not to be confused with the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt.
hessonite (n.) Look up hessonite at Dictionary.com
"cinnamon-stone," a variety of garnet, 1820, from French essonit (1817), from Greek heson "less" + -ite (2). So called because it is lighter than other similar minerals.
hest (n.) Look up hest at Dictionary.com
"bidding, command," Old English hæs "bidding, behest, command," from Proto-Germanic *hait-ti-, from *haitan "to call, name" (see hight (v.)). With excrescent -t added in Middle English on model of other pairings (compare wist/wesan, also whilst, aghast).
Hestia Look up Hestia at Dictionary.com
goddess of the hearth, from Greek hestia "hearth, house, home, family" (see vestal).
het (adj.) Look up het at Dictionary.com
"heated," archaic, late 14c., from variant past participle of heat (v.). Compare lead (v.)/led, etc.
hetaera (n.) Look up hetaera at Dictionary.com
1820, "mistress," from Medieval Latin hetaera, from Greek hetaira "female companion," fem. of hetairos "comrade, companion, good friend," from PIE *swet-aro-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (see idiom). Classical plural would be hetaerae or herairai.

Typically a slave or foreign woman devoted to private or public entertainment. In Athens, where citizens could legally marry only daughters of full citizens, opposed to "lawful wife," and thus embracing everything from "concubine" to "courtesan."
hetaerocracy (n.) Look up hetaerocracy at Dictionary.com
"rule of courtesans," 1859, from hetaera + -cracy.
hetero (adj.) Look up hetero at Dictionary.com
1933, short for heterosexual.
hetero- Look up hetero- at Dictionary.com
before vowels heter-, word-forming element meaning "other, different," from Greek heteros "the other (of two), another, different; second; other than usual." It is a compound; the first element means "one, at one, together," from PIE *sem- (1) "one" (see same); the second is cognate with the second element in Latin al-ter, Gothic an-þar, Old English o-ðer "other."

Compounds in classical Greek show the range of the word there: Heterokretes "true Cretan," (that is, of the old stock); heteroglossos "of foreign language;" heterozelos "zealous for one side;" heterotropos "of a different sort or fashion," literally "turning the other way;" heterophron "raving," literally "of other mind."
heteroclite (adj.) Look up heteroclite at Dictionary.com
in reference to a word (especially a noun) irregularly inflected, 1570s, from French hétéroclite, from Late Latin heteroclitus, from Greek heteroklitos "irregularly inflected," from hetero- "different" (see hetero-) + verbal adjective from klinein "to lean" (see lean (v.)). Figuratively, of persons, "deviating from the ordinary," from 1590s.
heterodox (adj.) Look up heterodox at Dictionary.com
"not in accordance with established doctrines," 1630s, from Greek heterodoxos "of another or different opinion," from heteros "the other" (see hetero-) + doxa "opinion," from dokein "to appear, seem, think" (see decent).
heterodoxy (n.) Look up heterodoxy at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Greek heterodoxia "error of opinion," from heterodoxos (see heterodox).
heterogeneity (n.) Look up heterogeneity at Dictionary.com
1640s, from heterogeneous + -ity, or else from Medieval Latin heterogeneitas, from heterogeneus.
heterogeneous (adj.) Look up heterogeneous at Dictionary.com
"diverse in kind or nature," 1620s, from Medieval Latin heterogeneus, from Greek heterogenes, from heteros "different" (see hetero-) + genos "kind, gender, race stock" (see genus). Earlier in same sense was heterogeneal (c. 1600). Related: Heterogeneously; heterogeneousness.
heterogenous (adj.) Look up heterogenous at Dictionary.com
1690s, less-accepted form of heterogeneous. Related: Heterogeneity.
heterography (n.) Look up heterography at Dictionary.com
"incorrect spelling," 1783; see hetero- "other, different" + -graphy. Also "inconsistent but current spellings within a language, the use of the same letter with different value in different words or positions" (as English, in all ages), 1847.
heteromorphic (adj.) Look up heteromorphic at Dictionary.com
"having different or dissimilar forms, undergoing complete metamorphosis" (as insects do), 1851; see hetero- "other, different" + morphic.
heteronomy (n.) Look up heteronomy at Dictionary.com
1798, "subjection to the rule of another power," from hetero- "other, different" + -nomy, from Greek nomos "law" (see numismatics). Related: Heteronomic; heteronomous (1817).
heteronym (n.) Look up heteronym at Dictionary.com
"word having the same spelling as another but with a different sound and meaning," 1889, also "a thing's name in one language that is an exact translation of its name in another" (1885); from hetero- "other, different" + -onym "name" (see name (n.)). Distinction from a homonym is that a homonym has not the same spelling. Related: Heteronymic; heteronymous.
heterophemy (n.) Look up heterophemy at Dictionary.com
"the (unintentional) use of some other word or phrase in place of the one that was meant," 1875 (Grant White), from hetero- "other, different" + Greek pheme "utterance," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)).
heterosexism (n.) Look up heterosexism at Dictionary.com
"discrimination or prejudice against homosexuals," by 1975 in feminist and lesbian writing; see heterosexual + sexism. Related: Heterosexist (1977).
heterosexual (adj.) Look up heterosexual at Dictionary.com
1892, in C.G. Craddock's translation of Krafft-Ebbing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," a hybrid; see hetero- "other, different" + sexual. The noun is recorded from 1920, but not in common use until 1960s. Colloquial shortening hetero is attested from 1933.
heterosexuality (n.) Look up heterosexuality at Dictionary.com
1894; see heterosexual + -ity.
heterotroph (n.) Look up heterotroph at Dictionary.com
1900, from German (1892), from hetero- "other" + Greek trophos "feeder" (see -trophy). Related: Heterotrophic (1884); heterotrophism (1885); heterotrophy.
heterotrophy (n.) Look up heterotrophy at Dictionary.com
1888, from German (1885); see hetero- "other" + -trophy "nourishment." Used especially of plants that depend for food on a fungus.
heterozygous (adj.) Look up heterozygous at Dictionary.com
1889, from hetero- "other, different" + zygote + -ous. Related: Heterozygote (1902).
hetman (n.) Look up hetman at Dictionary.com
"Cossack commander," 1710, from Polish hetman, apparently from an early form of German Hauptmann "captain," literally "headman," from Haupt "head" (see head (n.)) + Mann (see man (n.)).
heuristic (adj.) Look up heuristic at Dictionary.com
"serving to discover or find out," 1821, irregular formation from Greek heuriskein "to find; find out, discover; devise, invent; get, gain, procure" (from PIE *were- (2) "to find;" cognate with Old Irish fuar "I have found") + -istic. As a noun, from 1860. Greek had heuretikos "inventive," also heurema "an invention, a discovery; that which is found unexpectedly."
heuristics (n.) Look up heuristics at Dictionary.com
"study of heuristic methods," 1897, from heuristic (n.); also see -ics.
hew (v.) Look up hew at Dictionary.com
Old English heawan "to chop, hack, gash, strike with a cutting weapon or tool" (class VII strong verb; past tense heow, past participle heawen), earlier geheawan, from Proto-Germanic *hawwan (cognates: Old Norse hoggva, Old Frisian hawa, Old Saxon hauwan, Middle Dutch hauwen, Dutch houwen, Old High German houwan, German hauen "to cut, strike, hew"), from PIE *kau- "to hew, strike," a root more widely developed in Slavic (cognates: Old Church Slavonic kovo, Lithuanian kauti "to strike, beat, fight;" Polish kúc "to forge," Russian kovat' "to strike, hammer, forge;" Latin cudere "to strike, beat;" Middle Irish cuad "beat, fight").

Weak past participle hewede appeared 14c., but hasn't yet entirely displaced hewn. Seemingly contradictory sense of "hold fast, stick to" (in phrase hew to), 1891, developed from earlier figurative phrase hew to the line "stick to a course," literally "cut evenly with an axe or saw." Related: Hewed; hewing.
hewer (n.) Look up hewer at Dictionary.com
"cutter" (of stone or wood), late 14c. (mid-12c. as a surname), agent noun from hew (v.). Hewers of wood and drawers of water to describe the lowliest sort of physical laborers is from Joshua ix:12. Old English has it as wuduheawerum and þam þe wæter beraþ; the modern form of the phrase is from 1535.
hewn (adj.) Look up hewn at Dictionary.com
14c., from strong past participle of hew.
hex (v.) Look up hex at Dictionary.com
1830, American English, from Pennsylvania German hexe "to practice witchcraft," from German hexen "to hex," related to Hexe "witch," from Middle High German hecse, hexse, from Old High German hagazussa (see hag). Noun meaning "magic spell" is first recorded 1909; earlier it meant "a witch" (1856).
hexa- Look up hexa- at Dictionary.com
before vowels and in certain chemical compound words hex-, word-forming element meaning "six," from Greek hexa-, comb. form of hex "six," from PIE root *sweks- (see six).
hexadecimal (adj.) Look up hexadecimal at Dictionary.com
1952, in reference to a numeral system based on 16, not 10; from hexa- + decimal. From 1970 as a noun.