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Etymology 1Edit

From Dutch etsen (to etch), from German ätzen (to etch), from Old High German azzon (to cause to bite or feed), from Proto-Germanic *atjaną, causative of *etaną ("to eat") (whence also English eat).


etch (third-person singular simple present etches, present participle etching, simple past and past participle etched)

  1. To cut into a surface with an acid or other corrosive substance in order to make a pattern. Best known as a technique for creating printing plates, but also used for decoration on metal, and, in modern industry, to make circuit boards.
  2. To engrave a surface.
  3. (figuratively) To make a lasting impression.
    The memory of 9/11 is etched into my mind.
  4. To sketch; to delineate.
    • John Locke
      There are many empty terms to be found in some learned writers, to which they had recourse to etch out their system.

Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit



  1. Obsolete form of eddish.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Mortimer to this entry?) Black Oats are commonly sown upon an Etch Crop, or on a Lay which they plow up in January, when the Earth is moist, taking care to turn the Turf well, and to lay it even and flat.