howdah Look up howdah at Dictionary.com
1774, from Persian and Urdu haudah, from Arabic haudaj "litter carried by a camel" (or elephant).
howdy Look up howdy at Dictionary.com
1837, earlier how de (1828), first recorded in Southern U.S. dialect, contraction of how do you do (1630s), phrase inquiring after someone's health; earlier how do ye (1560s).
however Look up however at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from how + ever.
howitzer (n.) Look up howitzer at Dictionary.com
1680s, via Dutch houwitser (1660s), German Haubitze from Bohemian houfnice "a catapult," from houf "heap, crowd," a loan-word from Middle High German hufe "heap." Introduced to German during the Hussite wars, 14c.
howl (v.) Look up howl at Dictionary.com
early 13c., houlen, probably ultimately of imitative origin; similar formations are found in other Germanic languages. Related: Howled; howling. As a noun from 1590s.
howler Look up howler at Dictionary.com
1832, "animal that howls," agent noun from howl (v.). Meaning "glaring blunder, ridiculous mistake" is first recorded 1890.
hoyden (n.) Look up hoyden at Dictionary.com
1590s, of unknown origin; perhaps from Dutch heiden "rustic, uncivilized man," from Middle Dutch heiden "heathen" (see heathen). Originally in English "rude, boorish fellow;" sense of "ill-bred, boisterous female" first recorded 1670s.
Hoyle Look up Hoyle at Dictionary.com
cited as a typical authority on card or board games, in reference to Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769), author of several works on card-playing. The surname, according to Bardsley, represents a Northern English dialectal pronunciation of hole. "In Yorks and Lancashire hole is still dialectically hoyle. Any one who lived in a round hollow or pit would be Thomas or Ralph in the Hoyle." ["Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames," London, 1901]
HTML Look up HTML at Dictionary.com
1992, standing for Hypertext Markup Language.
http Look up http at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of hypertext transfer protocol, by 1990.
HUAC (n.) Look up HUAC at Dictionary.com
1950, American English, approximate acronym for House Committee to Investigate un-American Activities (1938-1975).
hub (n.) Look up hub at Dictionary.com
"solid center of a wheel," 1640s, perhaps from hubbe, originally "lump," the source of hob of a fireplace and hobnail, as in boots. A wheelwright's word, not generally known or used until c. 1828; it reached wider currency in connection with bicycles. Meaning "center of interest or activity or importance" first recorded 1858 in writings of Oliver W. Holmes, and originally especially of Boston.
"Boston State-House is the hub of the solar system." [O.W. Holmes, "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table"]



"[E]verybody knows that Boston used to be called the Hub, meaning the hub of the universe. It may still be the hub, because the center of a wheel moves slowly." [J.P. Marquand, "Life," March 24, 1941]
hub-bub (n.) Look up hub-bub at Dictionary.com
see hubbub.
hubba-hubba (interj.) Look up hubba-hubba at Dictionary.com
U.S. slang cry of excitement or enthusiasm, first recorded 1944.
Hubble (n.) Look up Hubble at Dictionary.com
space telescope placed in orbit 1990, named for U.S. astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953).
hubbub (n.) Look up hubbub at Dictionary.com
1550s, whobub "confused noise," generally believed to be of Irish origin, perhaps from Gaelic ub!, expression of aversion or contempt, or Old Irish battle cry abu, from buide "victory."
hubby (n.) Look up hubby at Dictionary.com
colloquial shortening of husband, attested from 1680s, with -y (3).
hubcap (n.) Look up hubcap at Dictionary.com
also hub cap, 1896, from hub + cap (n.).
Hubert Look up Hubert at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from French, from Old High German Hugubert, literally "bright-minded," from hugu "mind" (see Hugh) + beraht "bright" (see Albert).
hubris (n.) Look up hubris at Dictionary.com
also hybris, 1884, a back-formation from hubristic or else from Greek hybris "wanton violence, insolence, outrage," originally "presumption toward the gods;" the first element probably PIE *ud- "up, out," but the meaning of the second is debated.
hubristic (adj.) Look up hubristic at Dictionary.com
also hybristic, 1831, from Greek hybristikos "given to wantonness, insolent," from hybrizein, related to hybris (see hubris).
huckleberry (n.) Look up huckleberry at Dictionary.com
1660s, American English, probably an alteration of Middle English hurtilbery "whortleberry" (15c.), from Old English horte "whortleberry." Technically the fruit and plant of Gaylussacia, but also widely colloquially applied to the closely related blueberry (Vaccinium). Slang meaning "person of little consequence" is attested from 1835.
huckster (n.) Look up huckster at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "petty merchant, peddler" (often contemptuous), from Middle Dutch hokester "peddler," from hoken "to peddle" (see hawk (v.1)) + agent suffix -ster (which was typically feminine in English, but not in Low German). Specific sense of "advertising salesman" is from 1946 novel by Frederick Wakeman. As a verb, from 1590s. Related: Huckstered; huckstering.
hud (n.) Look up hud at Dictionary.com
"husk of a seed," late 14c., of uncertain origin; perhaps related to hood (n.1).
huddle (v.) Look up huddle at Dictionary.com
1570s, "to heap or crowd together," probably from Low German hudern "to cover, to shelter," from Middle Low German huden "to cover up," from Proto-Germanic *hud- (see hide (v.)). Compare also Middle English hoderen "heap together, huddle" (c. 1300). Related: Huddled; huddling. The noun is from 1580s. U.S. football sense is from 1928.
hue (n.1) Look up hue at Dictionary.com
"color," Old English hiw "color, form, appearance, beauty," earlier heow, hiow, from Proto-Germanic *hiwam (cognates: Old Norse hy "bird's down," Swedish hy "skin, complexion," Gothic hiwi "form, appearance"), from PIE *kei-, a color adjective of broad application (cognates: Sanskrit chawi "hide, skin, complexion, color, beauty, splendor," Lithuanian šyvas "white"). A common word in Old English, squeezed into obscurity after c. 1600 by color, but revived 1850s in chemistry and chromatography.
hue (n.2) Look up hue at Dictionary.com
"a shouting," mid-13c., from Old French hue "outcry, noise, war or hunting cry," probably of imitative origin. Hue and cry is late 13c. as an Anglo-French legal term meaning "outcry calling for pursuit of a felon." Extended sense of "cry of alarm" is 1580s.
hueless (adj.) Look up hueless at Dictionary.com
Old English hiwlease "colorless;" see hue (n.1) + -less. In Old English and Middle English it also meant "formless, shapeless."
huff (v.) Look up huff at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., apparently imitative of exhaling. Extended sense of "bluster with indignation" is attested from 1590s. Related: Huffed; huffing. As a slang term for a type of narcotics abuse, by 1996. As a noun from 1590s; to leave in a huff is recorded from 1778. Popular terms for "strong beer or ale" noted from 1577 include huff cap as well as mad dog and dragon's milk.
huffy (adj.) Look up huffy at Dictionary.com
"ready to take offense," 1670s, from huff + -y (2). Related: Huffily; huffiness.
hug (v.) Look up hug at Dictionary.com
1560s, hugge "to embrace," of unknown origin; perhaps from Old Norse hugga "to comfort," from hugr "courage, mood," from Proto-Germanic *hugjan, related to Old English hycgan "to think, consider," Gothic hugs "mind, soul, thought." Other have noted the similarity in some senses to German hegen "to foster, cherish," originally "to enclose with a hedge." Related: Hugged; hugging. The noun was originally (1610s) a hold in wrestling. Meaning "affectionate embrace" is from 1650s.
huge (adj.) Look up huge at Dictionary.com
mid-12c., apparently a shortening of Old French ahuge, ahoge "extremely large, enormous; mighty, powerful," itself of uncertain origin. Expanded form hugeous is attested from early 15c. Related: Hugeness.
hugely (adv.) Look up hugely at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from huge + -ly (2).
huggable (adj.) Look up huggable at Dictionary.com
1863, from hug (v.) + -able.
hugger-mugger Look up hugger-mugger at Dictionary.com
also huggermugger, "secretly," 1520s, one of a number of similar-sounding reduplicated words in use around this time and meaning much the same thing, including hucker-mucker, which may be the original of the bunch if the root is, as some think, Middle English mukre "to hoard up, conceal." Also compare Middle English hukmuck, late 15c., name of some sort of device for cleansing.
Hugh Look up Hugh at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Old North French Hugues, Old French Hue, from a Frankish name meaning "heart, mind," cognate with Old High German Hugi, related to hugu "mind, soul, thought." Very popular after the Conquest (often in Latin form Hugo); the common form was Howe, the nickname form Hudd. Its popularity is attested by the more than 90 surnames formed from it, including Hughes, Howe, Hudson, Hewitt, Hutchins.
Huguenot Look up Huguenot at Dictionary.com
1562, from Middle French Huguenot, according to French sources originally political, not religious. The name was applied in 1520s to Genevan partisans opposed to the Duke of Savoy (who joined Geneva to the Swiss Confederation), and it is probably an alteration of Swiss German Eidgenoss "confederate," from Middle High German eitgenoze, from eit "oath" + genoze "comrade" (related to Old English geneat "comrade, companion"). The form of the French word probably altered by association with Hugues Besançon, leader of the Genevan partisans. In France, applied generally to French Protestants because Geneva was a Calvinist center.
huh Look up huh at Dictionary.com
as a representation of a grunting exclamation, attested from c. 1600.
hula (n.) Look up hula at Dictionary.com
"traditional dance of Hawaii," 1825, from Hawaiian. As a verb from 1952. Hula hoop first recorded in fall of 1958, when it was a craze; so called from resemblance of motions of one using it to the dancers' hip circles.
hulk (n.) Look up hulk at Dictionary.com
Old English hulc "light, fast ship" (but in Middle English a heavy, unwieldy one), probably from Old Dutch hulke and Medieval Latin hulcus, perhaps ultimately from Greek holkas "merchant ship," literally "ship that is towed," from helkein "to pull" (from PIE root *selk- "to pull, draw"). Meaning "body of an old, worn-out ship" is first recorded 1670s. The Hulks ("Great Expectations") were old ships used as prisons. Sense of "big, clumsy person" is first recorded c. 1400 (early 14c. as a surname: Stephen le Hulke).
HULK. In the sixteenth century the large merchantman of the northern nations. As she grew obsolete, her name was applied in derision to all crank vessels, until it came to be degraded to its present use, i.e., any old vessel unfit for further employment. [Geoffrey Callender, "Sea Passages," 1943]
hulk (v.) Look up hulk at Dictionary.com
"to be clumsy, unwieldy, lazy," 1789, from hulk (n.). Related: Hulked; hulking.
hulking (adj.) Look up hulking at Dictionary.com
"big, clumsy," 1690s (through 18c. usually with fellow), from hulk (n.).
hull (n.1) Look up hull at Dictionary.com
"seed covering," from Old English hulu "husk, pod," from Proto-Germanic *hulus "to cover" (cognates: Old High German hulla, hulsa; German Hülle, Hülse, Dutch huls). Figurative use by 1831.
hull (n.2) Look up hull at Dictionary.com
"body of a ship," 1550s, perhaps from hull (n.1) on fancied resemblance of ship keels to open peapods (compare Latin carina "keel of a ship," originally "shell of a nut;" Greek phaselus "light passenger ship, yacht," literally "bean pod;" French coque "hull of a ship; shell of a walnut or egg"). Alternative etymology is from Middle English hoole "ship's keel" (mid-15c.), from the same source as hold (n.).
hull (v.) Look up hull at Dictionary.com
"to remove the husk of," early 15c., from hull (n.1). Related: Hulled, which can mean both "having a particular kind of hull" and "stripped of the hull."
hullabaloo (n.) Look up hullabaloo at Dictionary.com
1762, hollo-ballo "uproar," chiefly in northern England and Scottish, perhaps a rhyming reduplication of hollo (see hello).
hullo Look up hullo at Dictionary.com
call to attract attention, by 1828; see hello.
hum (v.) Look up hum at Dictionary.com
late 14c., hommen "make a murmuring sound to cover embarrassment," later hummen "to buzz, drone" (early 15c.), probably of imitative origin. Sense of "sing with closed lips" is first attested late 15c.; that of "be busy and active" is 1884, perhaps on analogy of a beehive. Related: Hummed; humming. Humming-bird (1630s) so called from sound made by the rapid vibration of its wings.
There is a curious bird to see to, called a humming bird, no bigger then a great Beetle. [Thomas Morton, "New English Canaan," 1637]
hum (n.) Look up hum at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from hum (v.).
hum-drum (adj.) Look up hum-drum at Dictionary.com
also humdrum, "routine, monotonous," 1550s, probably a reduplication of hum.