hilarity (n.) Look up hilarity at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin hilaritatem (nominative hilaritas) "cheerfulness, gaiety, merriment," from hilaris "cheerful, gay," from Greek hilaros "cheerful, gay, merry, joyous," related to hilaos "graceful, kindly." In ancient Rome, Hilaria (neuter plural of hilaris) were a class of holidays, times of pomp and rejoicing; there were public ones in honor of Cybele at the spring equinoxes as well as private ones on the day of a marriage or a son's birth.
Hilary Look up Hilary at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Late Latin Hilarius, literally "cheerful," from Latin hilaris (see hilarity). The name was more popular in France than in England. The woman's name (Middle English Hillaria) seems to be merged with this from Eulalia, name of the patron saint of Barcelona, a Latinization of Greek eulalos "sweetly speaking." The Hilary sessions of British High Court and universities (1577) are from St. Hilarius, Bishop of Poitiers, obit. C.E. 368, whose feast day is Jan. 13.
Hilda Look up Hilda at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, German, literally "battle-maid," from fem. of Old High German hild "war, battle," from Proto-Germanic *hildiz "battle," from PIE *keldh-, from root *kel- (1) "to strike, cut" (see holt).
Hildebrand Look up Hildebrand at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, Old High German Hildibrand, literally "battle-sword;" for first element see Hilda; for second element see brand.
Hildegard Look up Hildegard at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, Old High German Hildegard, literally "protecting battle-maid;" for first element see Hilda; for second element see yard (n.1).
hill (n.) Look up hill at Dictionary.com
Old English hyll "hill," from Proto-Germanic *hulni- (cognates: Middle Dutch hille, Low German hull "hill," Old Norse hallr "stone," Gothic hallus "rock," Old Norse holmr "islet in a bay," Old English holm "rising land, island"), from PIE root *kel- (4) "to rise, be elevated, be prominent; hill" (cognates: Sanskrit kutam "top, skull;" Latin collis "hill," columna "projecting object," culmen "top, summit," cellere "raise," celsus "high;" Greek kolonos "hill," kolophon "summit;" Lithuanian kalnas "mountain," kalnelis "hill," kelti "raise"). Formerly including mountains, now usually confined to heights under 2,000 feet.
In Great Britain heights under 2,000 feet are generally called hills; 'mountain' being confined to the greater elevations of the Lake District, of North Wales, and of the Scottish Highlands; but, in India, ranges of 5,000 and even 10,000 feet are commonly called 'hills,' in contrast with the Himalaya Mountains, many peaks of which rise beyond 20,000 feet. [OED]



The term mountain is very loosely used. It commonly means any unusual elevation. In New England and central New York, elevations of from one to two thousand feet are called hills, but on the plains of Texas, a hill of a few hundred feet is called a mountain. [Ralph S. Tarr, "Elementary Geology," Macmillan, 1903]



Despite the differences in defining mountain systems, Penck (1896), Supan (1911) and Obst (1914) agreed that the distinction between hills, mountains, and mountain systems according to areal extent or height is not a suitable classification. ["Geographic Information Science and Mountain Geomorphology," 2004]
Phrase over the hill "past one's prime" is first recorded 1950.
hillbilly (n.) Look up hillbilly at Dictionary.com
"southern Appalachian U.S. resident," by 1892, from hill + masc. proper name Billy/Billie.
Then again, I do not think It will do so well. I would hate to see some old railroad man come here and take my job, and then, I don t think It is right to hire some Hill Billy and give him the same right as I just because he was hired the same time I was. ["The Railroad Trainmen's Journal," vol. IX, July 1892]



In short, a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammelled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires of his revolver as the fancy takes him. ["New York Journal," April 23, 1900]
In reference to a type of folk music, first attested 1924.
Hillel Look up Hillel at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Hebrew, literally "he praised."
hillock (n.) Look up hillock at Dictionary.com
late 14c., hilloc "small hill" (c.1200 as a surname), from hill + Middle English diminutive suffix -oc.
hillside (n.) Look up hillside at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from hill + side (n.).
hilltop (n.) Look up hilltop at Dictionary.com
c.1400, from hill + top (n.).
hilly (adj.) Look up hilly at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from hill + -y (2).
hilt (n.) Look up hilt at Dictionary.com
Old English hilt "hilt, handle of a sword or dagger," from Proto-Germanic *helt (cognates: Old Norse hjalt, Old High German helza "hilt," Old Saxon helta "oar handle"), perhaps from PIE *kel- (1) "to strike." Formerly also used in plural in same sense as singular.
hilum (n.) Look up hilum at Dictionary.com
Latin, literally "little thing, shred, trifle." Related: Hilar.
him (pron.) Look up him at Dictionary.com
Old English him, originally dative masculine and neuter of he; beginning 10c. it replaced hine as masculine accusative, a regional process completed by 15c. The dative roots of the -m ending are retained in German (ihm) and Dutch (hem). Hine persists, barely, as the southern England dialectal 'un, 'n for "him."
Himalaya Look up Himalaya at Dictionary.com
from Sanskrit himalayah, literally "abode of snow," from hima "snow" (see hibernation) + alaya "abode." Related: Himalayas; Himalayan.
himself (pron.) Look up himself at Dictionary.com
Old English him selfum, from him, dative/accusative personal pronoun, + self, here used as an inflected adjective.
hin (pron.) Look up hin at Dictionary.com
Old English hine, accusative of he; replaced by dative him in early Middle English; cognate with German ihn. Surviving somewhat in s.w. English and Kentish dialect.
hincty (adj.) Look up hincty at Dictionary.com
"conceited," by 1924 in U.S. black slang. Compare obsolete Scottish hichty (c.1500), considered an alteration of height-y.
hind (adj.) Look up hind at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "rear, back," perhaps a back-formation from Old English behindan "back, behind," used as adverb and preposition, or from or influenced by Old English hindan (adv.) "from behind," from Proto-Germanic *hind- "behind" (cognate with Gothic hindan (prep.) "on that side of, beyond, behind;" German hinten "behind"), of unknown origin. Possibly influenced by Middle English hiner (adv.) "back, rear."
hind (n.) Look up hind at Dictionary.com
"female deer," Old English hind, from Proto-Germanic *hinthjo- (cognates: Old Norse hind, Dutch hinde, Old High German hinta, German Hinde "hind") perhaps from PIE *kemti-, from root *kem- "hornless" (cognates: Greek kemas, Lithuanian smulas "young deer, gazelle").
hinder (v.) Look up hinder at Dictionary.com
Old English hindrian "to harm, injure, impair, check, repress," from Proto-Germanic *hinderojan (cognates: Old Norse hindra, Dutch hinderen, Old High German hintaron, German hindern "to keep back"), from a root meaning "on that side of, behind" (see hind (adj.)); thus the ground sense is "to put or keep back," though this sense in English is recorded only from late 14c. Related: Hindered; hindering.
hinder (adj,) Look up hinder at Dictionary.com
"situated in the rear, toward the back," late 14c., probably from Old English hinder (adv.) "behind, back, afterward," but treated as a comparative of hind (adj.). Related to Old High German hintar, German hinter, Gothic hindar "behind." Middle English had hinderhede, literally "hinder-hood; posterity in time, inferiority in rank;" and hinderling "person fallen from moral or social respectability, wretch."
hinderance (n.) Look up hinderance at Dictionary.com
early form of hindrance.
hindermost Look up hindermost at Dictionary.com
late 14c., hyndermest; see hinder (adj.) + -most.
Hindi Look up Hindi at Dictionary.com
1825 as an adjective; 1880 as a language name, from Hind "India" (see Hindu) + -i, suffix expressing relationship.
hindmost (adj.) Look up hindmost at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from hind (adj.) + -most.
Thra. What, if a toy take 'em i' the heels now, and they run all away, and cry, 'The devil take the hindmost'?
Dion. Then the same devil take the foremost too, and souse him for his breakfast! [Beaumont & Fletcher, "Philaster," Act V, Sc. 2, 1611]
Hindoo Look up Hindoo at Dictionary.com
old anglicized form of Hindu (q.v.).
hindrance (n.) Look up hindrance at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., a hybrid from hindren, from same root as hinder (v.), on model of French-derived words in -ance.
hindsight (n.) Look up hindsight at Dictionary.com
by 1841, "backsight of a firearm," from hind (adj.) + sight. Meaning "seeing what has happened" is attested by 1862, American English, (in proverbial "If our foresight was as good as our hindsight, it would be an easy matter to get rich"), probably a formation on the model of foresight.
Hindu Look up Hindu at Dictionary.com
1660s, from Persian Hindu (adjective and noun) "Indian," from Hind "India," from Sanskrit sindhu "river," specifically the Indus; hence "region of the Indus," gradually extended across northern India. The Hindu Kush mountain range is said to mean literally "Indian killer," and was said to have been the name given by the Persians to a pass where their Indian slaves had perished in winter, but this is likely folk etymology.
Hinduism (n.) Look up Hinduism at Dictionary.com
blanket term for "polytheism of India," 1829, from Hindu + -ism.
Hindustan Look up Hindustan at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Persian, literally "country of the Hindus;" see Hindu + -stan.
hine Look up hine at Dictionary.com
see hin.
hinge (n.) Look up hinge at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "the axis of the earth;" late 14c. as "movable joint of a gate or door," not found in Old English, cognate with Middle Dutch henghe "hook, handle," Middle Low German henge "hinge," from Proto-Germanic *hanhan (transitive), *hangen (intransitive), from PIE *konk- "to hang" (see hang (v.)). The notion is the thing from which a door hangs.
hinge (v.) Look up hinge at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "to bend," from hinge (n.). Meaning "turn on, depend" is from 1719. Related: Hinged; hinging.
hinny (n.) Look up hinny at Dictionary.com
"offspring of a stallion and a she-ass," 1680s, from Latin hinnus, from Greek innos, ginnos, of unknown origin.
hinny (v.) Look up hinny at Dictionary.com
"to neigh," c.1400, of imitative origin.
hint (n.) Look up hint at Dictionary.com
c.1600, apparently from obsolete hent, from Middle English hinten "to tell, inform" (c.1400), from Old English hentan "to seize," from Proto-Germanic *hantijan (cognates: Gothic hinþan "to seize"), related to hunt (v.). Modern sense and spelling first attested in Shakespeare.
hint (v.) Look up hint at Dictionary.com
1640s, from hint (n.). Related: Hinted; hinting.
hinterland (n.) Look up hinterland at Dictionary.com
1890, from German Hinterland, from hinter "behind" (see hinder (adj.)) + Land "land" (see land (n.)).
hip (n.1) Look up hip at Dictionary.com
"part of the body where pelvis and thigh join," Old English hype "hip," from Proto-Germanic *hupiz (cognates: Dutch heup, German Hüfte, Gothic hups "hip"), from PIE *qeub- "to bend." Hip of a roof is from late 17c.
hip (n.2) Look up hip at Dictionary.com
"seed pod" (especially of wild rose), Old English heope, hiope "seed vessel of the wild rose," from Proto-Germanic *hiup- (cognates: dialectal Norwegian hjupa, Old Saxon hiopo, Dutch joop, Old High German hiafo, dialectal German Hiefe, Old English hiopa "briar, bramble").
hip (adj.) Look up hip at Dictionary.com
"informed," 1904, apparently originally in black slang, probably a variant of hep (1), with which it is identical in sense, though it is recorded four years earlier.
hip (interj.) Look up hip at Dictionary.com
exclamation used to introduce a united cheer (compare hip-hip-hurrah), 1827, earlier hep; compare German hepp, to animals a cry to attack game, to mobs a cry to attack Jews (see hep (2)); perhaps a natural sound (such as Latin eho, heus).
hip hop Look up hip hop at Dictionary.com
also hip-hop, music style, first recorded 1982. Reduplication with vowel variation (as in tip-top, sing-song); OED reports use of hip hop with a sense of "successive hopping motion" dating back to 1670s. The term in its modern sense comes from its use in the early rap lyrics of the genre, notably Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and The Sugarhill Gang in "Rapper's Delight."
hiphuggers (n.) Look up hiphuggers at Dictionary.com
also hip-huggers, "low-rise pants or skirt," 1966, from hip + agent noun from hug. So called because they are slung from the hips, not the waist. Earlier as the name of a cut of women's swimsuit (1963).
hipped (adj.) Look up hipped at Dictionary.com
"having hips," c.1500, past participle adjective; see hip (n.1)). In architecture from 1823.
hippie (n.) Look up hippie at Dictionary.com
c.1965, American English (Haight-Ashbury slang); earlier hippie, 1953, was a usually disparaging variant of hipster (1941) "person who is keenly aware of the new and stylish," from hip "up-to-date" (see hip (adj.)).
hippish (adj.) Look up hippish at Dictionary.com
"somewhat depressed," 1706, from hip (n.) "melancholy," variant of hyp, short for hypochondria.