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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English ethe ‎(not difficult, easy), from Old English ēaþe, īeþe ‎(easy, smooth, not difficult), from Proto-Germanic *auþaz, *auþijaz ‎(easy, pleasing), from *auþiz ‎(deserted, empty), from Proto-Indo-European *aut- ‎(empty, lonely). Cognate with Scots eith ‎(easy), Old Saxon ōþi ‎(deserted, empty), Old High German ōdi ‎(empty, abandoned, easy, effortless), Middle High German öde ‎(blank, vacant, easy) (German öde), Old Norse auðr ‎(deserted, empty), Icelandic auð ‎(easy), Gothic 𐌰𐌿𐌸𐌴𐌹𐍃 ‎(auþeis, desolate, deserted). Non-Germanic cognates include Albanian vetëm ‎(alone) from vet ‎(his/her/their own, self). More at easy.


eath ‎(comparative eather, superlative eathest)

  1. (Now chiefly dialectal) Easy; not hard or difficult.
    • 1600, Edward Fairfax, The Jerusalem Delivered of Tasso, XIX, lxi:
      There, as he look'd, he saw the canvas rent, / Through which the voice found eath and open way.
    • 1609, Thomas Heywood, Troia Britanica, or Great Britain's Troy:
      At these advantages he knowes 'tis eath to cope with her quite severed from her maids.
    • 1847, Hugh Miller, First Impressions of England and its people:
      There has been much written on the learning of Shakespeare but not much to the purpose: one of our old Scotch proverbs is worth all the dissertations on the subject I have yet seen. "God's bairns", it says, "are eath to lear", [].


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  1. (Now chiefly dialectal) Easily.
    • 1823, J. Kennedy, Poems:
      Their food and their raiment he eith can supply.