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  • IPA(key): /ɛt͡ʃ/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛtʃ

Etymology 1[edit]

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.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. Obsolete form of eddish.
    • 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock [], and J[onathan] Robinson [], published 1708, →OCLC:
      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.