Try Our Apps


The saddest words

et cetera

[et set-er-uh, se-truh] /ɛt ˈsɛt ər ə, ˈsɛ trə/
and others; and so forth; and so on (used to indicate that more of the same sort or class might have been mentioned, but for brevity have been omitted):
He had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, frogs, et cetera, as pets.
Abbreviation: etc.
Origin of et cetera
late Old English
1100-50; late Old English < Latin
Usage note
Et cetera, a Latin phrase, appears in English writing most frequently in its abbreviated form, etc. This phrase is used frequently in technical and business writing, somewhat less frequently in general informal writing, and sometimes in literary or formal writing. Expressions such as and so forth and and so on are useful substitutes. Because “and” is included in the meaning of et cetera, the expression and et cetera is redundant.
Pronunciation note
Pronunciations with
[k] /k/ (Show IPA)
substituted for the first
[t] /t/
[ek-set-er-uh] /ɛkˈsɛt ər ə/
[ek-se-truh] /ɛkˈsɛ trə/
although occasionally used by educated speakers, are usually considered nonstandard. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for et cetera
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I realize now that I may have been falling into the trap of solipsism, “who watches the quad,” et cetera, type of thing.

    On Handling the Data M. I. Mayfield
  • "A combination of weather, soil, et cetera," the medic said.

    Attrition Jim Wannamaker
  • These noble et cetera; these smilin' et cetera; these beautiful et cetera, fill me with the proudest emotions of et cetera.

    Heart's Desire Emerson Hough
  • You deal for coffee, et cetera, with Vaust in the Weender Strasse?

  • You ought to have a cow—a brindled cow—also a lamb; 'Mary had,' et cetera.

    The Nest Builder Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale
British Dictionary definitions for et cetera

et cetera

/ɪt ˈsɛtrə/
and the rest; and others; and so forth: used at the end of a list to indicate that other items of the same class or type should be considered or included
or the like; or something else similar
See also etceteras
Abbreviation etc., &c
Usage note
It is unnecessary to use and before etc as etc (et cetera) already means and other things. The repetition of etc, as in he brought paper, ink, notebooks, etc, etc, is avoided except in informal contexts
Word Origin
from Latin, from et and + cetera the other (things)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for et cetera

also etcetera, early 15c., from Latin et cetera, literally "and the others," from et "and" + neuter of ceteri "the others." The common abbreviation was &c. before 20c., but etc. now prevails.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for et cetera

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for et

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for et cetera