hallelujah Look up hallelujah at Dictionary.com
also halleluiah, 1530s, from Late Latin hallelujah, alleluia, from Greek allelouia, from Hebrew hallalu-yah "praise ye Jehovah," from hallalu, plural imperative of hallel "to praise" also "song of praise," from hillel "he praised," of imitative origin, with primary sense being "to trill." Second element is yah, shortened form of Yahweh, name of God. Earlier English form alleluia (12c.) is from Old French alleluie.
hallmark (n.) Look up hallmark at Dictionary.com
1721, official stamp of purity in gold and silver articles, from Goldsmiths' Hall in London, site of the assay office; see hall + mark (n.1). General sense of "mark of quality" first recorded 1864. As a verb from 1773.
hallo (interj.) Look up hallo at Dictionary.com
shout to call attention, 1781, earlier hollo, holla (see hello). "Such forms, being mere syllables to call attention, are freely varied for sonorous effect" [Century Dictionary]. Old English had ea la. Halow as a shipman's cry to incite effort is from mid-15c.; Halloo as a verb, "to pursue with shouts, to shout in the chase," is from late 14c. Compare also harou, cry of distress, late 13c., from French.
halloo (v.) Look up halloo at Dictionary.com
see hallo.
hallow (v.) Look up hallow at Dictionary.com
Old English halgian "to make holy, sanctify; to honor as holy, consecrate, ordain," related to halig "holy," from Proto-Germanic *hailagon (cognates: Old Saxon helagon, Middle Dutch heligen, Old Norse helga), from PIE root *kailo- "whole, uninjured, of good omen" (see health). Used in Christian translations to render Latin sanctificare. Related: Hallowed; hallowing.
hallow (n.) Look up hallow at Dictionary.com
"holy person, saint," Old English haliga, halga, from hallow (v.). Obsolete except in Halloween.
Halloween (n.) Look up Halloween at Dictionary.com
also Hallow-e'en, Hallow e'en, 1781, in a Scottish context, the word and the magical lore about the date were popularized by Burns' poem (1785, and he attached a footnote explaining it), but it probably dates to 17c. in Scotland and is attested as the name of a tune in 1724. The tune is mentioned again in an English-Scots songbook ("The Chearful Companion") in 1783, and Burns was not the first to describe the customs in print.
Hallow-E'en, оr Нolу Eve, is the evening previous to the celebration of All Saints. That it is propitious to the rites of divination, is an opinion still common in many parts of Scotland. [John Main, footnote to his poem "Hallow-E'en," Glasgow, 1783]
It is a Scottish shortening of Allhallow-even "Eve of All Saints, last night of October" (1550s), the last night of the year in the old Celtic calendar, where it was Old Year's Night, a night for witches. A pagan holiday given a cursory baptism. See hallow (n.) + even (n.); also see hallows. Hallow-day for "All-Saints Day" is from 1590s; earlier was halwemesse day (late 13c.).
hallows (n.) Look up hallows at Dictionary.com
in All-Hallows, a survival of hallow in the noun sense of "holy personage, saint," attested from Old English haligra but little used after c. 1500. Hallowmas "All-saints" is first attested late 14c.
Hallstatt Look up Hallstatt at Dictionary.com
1866 in reference to an Iron Age civilization of Europe, from the name of a village in Upper Austria, where implements from this period were found. The Germanic name is literally "place of salt," in reference to ancient salt mines there, which preserved the bodies of the original miners.
hallucinate (v.) Look up hallucinate at Dictionary.com
"to have illusions," 1650s, from Latin alucinatus (later hallucinatus), past participle of alucinari "wander (in the mind), dream; talk unreasonably, ramble in thought," probably from Greek alyein, Attic halyein "wander in mind, be at a loss, be beside oneself (with grief, joy, perplexity), be distraught," also "wander about," which probably is related to alaomai "wander about" [Barnhart, Klein]. The Latin ending probably was influenced by vaticinari "to prophecy," also "to rave." Older in English in a rare and now obsolete transitive sense "deceive" (c. 1600); occasionally used 19c. in transitive sense "to cause hallucination." Related: Hallucinated; hallucinating.
hallucination (n.) Look up hallucination at Dictionary.com
"a seeing or hearing something which is not there," 1640s, from Latin hallucinationem (nominative hallucinatio), earlier alucinatio, noun of action from past participle stem of alucinari (see hallucinate). Related: Hallucinations.
hallucinatory (adj.) Look up hallucinatory at Dictionary.com
1823; see hallucinate + -ory.
hallucinogen (n.) Look up hallucinogen at Dictionary.com
"drug which induces hallucinations," 1954, from stem of hallucination + -gen.
hallucinogenic (adj.) Look up hallucinogenic at Dictionary.com
1952, from hallucinogen + -ic.
hallux (n.) Look up hallux at Dictionary.com
1831, from Modern Latin hallux, corruption of Late Latin allex "great toe," which is of unknown origin. Related: Hallucal.
hallway (n.) Look up hallway at Dictionary.com
1839, from hall + way (n.).
halo (n.) Look up halo at Dictionary.com
1560s, "ring of light around the sun or moon," from Latin halo (nominative halos), from Greek halos "disk of the sun or moon; ring of light around the sun or moon" (also "disk of a shield"); ""threshing floor; garden," of unknown origin. The sense "threshing floor" (on which oxen trod out a circular path) probably is the original in Greek. The development to "disk" and then to "halo" would be via roundness. Sense of "light around the head of a holy person or deity" first recorded 1640s. As a verb from 1791 (implied in Haloed).
halo- Look up halo- at Dictionary.com
before vowels hal-, word-forming element meaning "salt, sea," from Greek hals (genitive halos) "a lump of salt, salt generally," in Homer, "the sea," from PIE *sal- (1) "salt" (see salt (n.)).
halogen (n.) Look up halogen at Dictionary.com
general name for elements of the chlorine family, 1842, from Swedish, coined by Swedish chemist Baron Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848), literally "salt-producer," from Greek hals "salt" (see halo-) + -gen "giving birth to" (see -gen); so called because a salt is formed in reactions involving these four elements. Related: Halogenous.
halt (n.) Look up halt at Dictionary.com
"a stop, a halting," 1590s, from French halte (16c.) or Italian alto, ultimately from German Halt, imperative from Old High German halten "to hold" (see hold (v.)). A German military command borrowed into the Romanic languages 16c.
halt (adj.) Look up halt at Dictionary.com
"lame," in Old English lemphalt "limping," from Proto-Germanic *haltaz (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian halt, Old Norse haltr, Old High German halz, Gothic halts "lame"), from PIE *keld-, from root *kel- "to strike, cut," with derivatives meaning "something broken or cut off" (cognates: Russian koldyka "lame," Greek kolobos "broken, curtailed"). The noun meaning "one who limps; the lame collectively" is from c. 1200.
halt (v.2) Look up halt at Dictionary.com
"to walk unsteadily, move with a limping gait," early 14c., from Old English haltian (Anglian), healtian (West Saxon), "to limp, be lame; to hesitate," from Proto-Germanic *halton (cognates: Old Saxon halton, Middle Dutch halten, Old High German halzen), derivative verb from the source of halt (adj.). Figurative use from early 15c. Related: Halted; halting.
halt (v.1) Look up halt at Dictionary.com
"make a halt," 1650s, from halt (n.). As a command word, attested from 1796. Related: Halted; halting.
halter (n.) Look up halter at Dictionary.com
Old English hælfter "rope for leading a horse," from Proto-Germanic *halftra- "that by which something is held" (cognates: Old Saxon haliftra "halter," Old High German halftra, Middle Dutch halfter), from suffixed form of PIE *kelp- "to hold, grasp" (see helve). Also "hangman's noose" (mid-15c.). In women's clothing sense, originally "strap attached to the top of a backless bodice and looped around the neck," 1935, later extended to the tops themselves.
halting (n.) Look up halting at Dictionary.com
"act of limping or walking lamely," late 14c., earlier haltinde (early 14c.), verbal noun from halt (v.2). Related: Haltingly.
halve (v.) Look up halve at Dictionary.com
Middle English halven, halfen "to divide in halves" (c. 1200), from half (n.). Meaning "to reduce by half" is from c. 1400. Related: Halved; halving.
halyard (n.) Look up halyard at Dictionary.com
"rope for hoisting or lowering sails," 1620s, earlier halier (late 14c.), also in Middle English "a carrier, porter" (late 13c. in surnames), from halen "to haul" (see hale (v.)). Spelling influenced 17c. by yard (n.2) "long beam that supports a sail."
ham (n.1) Look up ham at Dictionary.com
"thigh of a hog used for food" (especially salted and cured or smoke-dried), 1630s, extended from earlier sense " part of the human leg behind the knee; hock of a quadruped," from Old English hamm "hollow or bend of the knee," from Proto-Germanic *hamma- (cognates: Old Norse höm, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch hamme, Old High German hamma), from PIE *kone-mo- "shin bone" (cognates: Greek kneme "calf of the leg," Old Irish cnaim "bone"). Ham-fisted (adj.) in reference to hard-hitting characters is from 1905; ham-handed "coarse, clumsy" is by 1896. With hammen ifalden "with folded hams" was a Middle English way of saying "kneeling."
ham (n.2) Look up ham at Dictionary.com
"overacting inferior performer," 1882, American English, apparently a shortening of hamfatter (1880) "actor of low grade," which is said (since at least 1889) to be from the old minstrel show song, "The Ham-fat Man" (attested by 1856). The song, a comical black-face number, has nothing to do with acting, but the connection might be with the quality of acting in minstrel shows, where the song was popular (compare the definition of hambone in the 1942 "American Thesaurus of Slang," "unconvincing blackface dialectician"). Its most popular aspect was the chorus and the performance of the line "Hoochee, kouchee, kouchee, says the ham fat man."

Ham also had a sports slang sense of "incompetent pugilist" (1888), perhaps from the notion in ham-fisted. The notion of "amateurish" led to the sense of "amateur radio operator" (1919).
ham (v.) Look up ham at Dictionary.com
"over-act in performance," 1933, from ham (n.2). Related: Hammed; hamming. As an adjective in this sense by 1935.
hamadryad (n.) Look up hamadryad at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Greek hamadryas (plural hamadryades) "wood-nymph," fabled to die with her tree, from hama "together with" (see same) + dryas (plural dryades) "wood nymph," from drus (genitive dryos) "tree," especially "oak," from PIE *deru- "tree, wood, oak" (see tree (n.)). Use in 19c. biology for a type of butterfly, a type of venomous Indian serpent, and a type of large hairy baboon.
hamartia (n.) Look up hamartia at Dictionary.com
"tragic flaw," Greek, literally "fault, failure, guilt, sin" from hamartanein "to fail of one's purpose; to err, sin," originally "to miss the mark," from PIE *hemert- "to miss, fail." "The aspiration must be analogical. The word has no known cognates, but the reconstructed root looks perfectly IE" [Robert Beekes, "Etymological Dictionary of Greek"].
hamartiology (n.) Look up hamartiology at Dictionary.com
"that part of theology which deals with sin and its effects," 1875, from Greek hamartia "sin" (see hamartia) + -ology.
hambone (n.) Look up hambone at Dictionary.com
also ham-bone, 1771, "bone of a ham," from ham (n.1) + bone (n.). Meaning "inferior actor or performer" is from 1893, an elaboration of ham (n.2).
Hamburg Look up Hamburg at Dictionary.com
German city, the -burg is German Burg "fort," in reference to the moated castle built there c. 825; the first element is perhaps Old High German hamma "ham, back of the knee" in a transferred sense of "bend, angle," with reference to its position on a river bend promontory; or Middle High German hamme "enclosed area of pastureland."
hamburger (n.) Look up hamburger at Dictionary.com
1610s, Hamburger "native of Hamburg." Also used of ships from Hamburg. From 1838 as a type of excellent black grape indigenous to Tyrolia; 1857 as a variety of hen; the meat product so called from 1880 (as hamburg steak), named for the German city, though no certain connection has ever been put forth, and there may not be one unless it be that Hamburg was a major port of departure for German immigrants to United States. Meaning "a sandwich consisting of a bun and a patty of grilled hamburger meat" attested by 1909, short for hamburger sandwich (1902). Shortened form burger attested from 1939; beefburger was attempted 1940, in an attempt to make the main ingredient more explicit, after the -burger had taken on a life of its own as a suffix (compare cheeseburger, first attested 1938).
Hamiltonian Look up Hamiltonian at Dictionary.com
1797, follower of (n.), or characteristic of (adj.), U.S. politician and statesman Alexander Hamilton (d. 1804).
Hamite (n.) Look up Hamite at Dictionary.com
1854, "a descendant of Biblical Ham" (see Hamitic), with -ite (1). Used in reference to Egyptian and other peoples of north and northeast Africa; but popularly, "a black African, a negro."
Hamitic (adj.) Look up Hamitic at Dictionary.com
of or pertaining to the language group that includes ancient Egyptian, Berber, Galla, etc.; 1842, from Ham, Cham, second son of Noah (Gen. ix:18-19), whose four sons were popularly believed to have populated Egypt and adjacent regions of Africa.
hamlet (n.) Look up hamlet at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French hamelet "small village," diminutive of hamel "village," itself a diminutive of ham "village," from Frankish *haim or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *haimaz "home" (see home (n.)); for ending, see -let. Especially a village without a church.
hammer (n.) Look up hammer at Dictionary.com
Old English hamor "hammer," from Proto-Germanic *hamaraz (cognates: Old Saxon hamur, Middle Dutch, Dutch hamer, Old High German hamar, German Hammer). The Old Norse cognate hamarr meant "stone, crag" (it's common in English place names), and suggests an original sense of the Germanic words as "tool with a stone head," which would describe the first hammers. The Germanic words thus could be from a PIE *ka-mer-, with reversal of initial sounds, from PIE *akmen "stone, sharp stone used as a tool" (cognates: Old Church Slavonic kamy, Russian kameni "stone"), from root *ak- "sharp" (see acme).

As a part of a firearm, 1580s; as a part of a piano, 1774; as a small bone of the ear, 1610s. Figurative use of "aggressive and destructive foe" is late 14c., from similar use of French martel, Latin malleus. To go at it hammer and tongs "with great violence and vigor" (1708) is an image from blacksmithing (the tongs hold the metal and the hammer beats it). Hammer and sickle as an emblem of Soviet communism attested from 1921, symbolizing industrial and agricultural labor.
hammer (v.) Look up hammer at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "deal blows with a hammer or axe;" mid-15c., "to produce (something) by blows with a hammer," from hammer (n.). Also sometimes in Middle English the verb to describe how Christ was crucified. Figurative meaning "work (something) out laboriously" recorded from 1580s. Meaning "beat or drive with or as if with a hammer" is from 1640s; that of "to defeat heavily" is from 1948. Old English had hamorian "to beat out, forge." Related: Hammered; hammering.
Crist, as he was ruthfully hamerd apon the croce, Songe to his fadire of heven.
["The Mirror of Man's Salvation," 15c.]
hammered (adj.) Look up hammered at Dictionary.com
1530s, past participle adjective from hammer (v.). As a slang synonym for "drunk," attested by 1986.
hammerhead (adj.) Look up hammerhead at Dictionary.com
also hammer-head, 1560s, "head of a hammer," from hammer (n.) + head (n.). From 1796 (American English) in reference to a kind of shark, so called for its broad, transverse head. The animal is referred to as hammer-headed shark from 1752 and hammer-fish from 1745. The older name for it was balance-fish; there was a full specimen and a head of another under that name in the Royal Society Museum by 1681:
He hath his Name not unaptly from the ſhape of his Head, very different from that of all other Fiſhes, being ſpread out horizontally, like the Beam of a Balance; his eyes ſtanding at the two extremes, as the iron Hooks do at the end of the Beam. He grows sometimes to the length of four or five yards: but this is a young one. [Nehemiah Grew, M.D., "Catalogue & Deſcription Of the Natural and Artificial Rarities Belonging to the Royal Society And preſerved at Greſham Colledge. Whereunto is Subjoyned the Comparative Anatomy of Stomachs and Guts. By the ſame author" London, 1681 ]
hammock (n.) Look up hammock at Dictionary.com
type of hanging bed, 1650s, alteration of hamack, hamaca (1550s), from Spanish hamaca, from Arawakan (Haiti) word apparently meaning "fish nets" (compare Yukuna hamaca, Taino amaca). The forms of the word in Dutch (hangmat) and German (Hangmatte) were altered by folk-etymology as if it meant "hang-mat."
Hammond Look up Hammond at Dictionary.com
type of electric organ favored by 1960s rock bands, trademark name (1935), invented 1929 by U.S. inventor and clockmaker Laurens Hammond (1895-1973).
hamper (v.) Look up hamper at Dictionary.com
late 14c., hampren "to surround, imprison, confine," also "to pack in a container;" of uncertain origin; probably from hamper (n.1), unless it is somehow connected to Middle English hamelian "to maim." Meaning "impede in motion or progress" is from late 14c. Related: Hampered; hampering.
hamper (n.1) Look up hamper at Dictionary.com
"large basket," early 14c., hampyre, probably a contraction of Anglo-French hanaper (Anglo-Latin hanepario), from Old French hanepier "case for holding a large goblet or cup;" in medical use "skull," also "helmet; armored leather cap," from hanap "goblet, chalice," from Frankish or some other Germanic source (cognates: Old Saxon hnapp "cup, bowl;" Old High German hnapf, German Napf, Old English hnæpp). The first -a- may be a French attempt to render Germanic hn- into an acceptable Romanic form. The English word also meant "the department of Chancery into which fees were paid for sealing and enrolling charters, etc." (15c.).
hamper (n.2) Look up hamper at Dictionary.com
"things important for a ship but in the way at certain times" (Klein's definition), 1835, from hamper (n.) "a fetter, shackles," from French hamper "to impede." Hence top hamper, originally "upper masts, spars, rigging, etc. of a sailing ship."
Hampshire Look up Hampshire at Dictionary.com
reduced from Old English Hamtunscir; named for the city of Southampton, which originally was simply Hamtun. Norman scribes mangled the county name to Hauntunescire, later Hantescire, hence the abbrev. Hants.