From Middle High German eher, äher n, from Old High German ehir, ahir, ahar n, from Proto-Germanic *ahaz n. The form with Ä- is Upper German, where -h- led to an open vowel through secondary (rather than primary) umlaut. The feminine form, in turn, is a chiefly Central German backformation from plural use.
Cognate with Dutch aar, West Frisian ier, English ear. Ultimately derived from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eḱ- (“sharp, pointed”), whence also Ecke. Related with Latin aciēs, acus, Ancient Greek ἄκρος (ákros), Russian острый (ostryj).
- IPA(key): /ˈɛːrə/, [ˈʔɛː.ʁə], [ˈʔeː.ʁə]
- Rhymes: -ɛːʀə
- Homophone: Ehre (many speakers, especially northern and eastern regions)
- (botany, countable) the ear (of corn)
- Synonym: Getreideähre
- (botany, countable) the head, ear (of grass seed)
- Synonym: Grasähre
- (botany, countable) the spike (of a flower)
- Synonym: Blütenähre
- Korn n