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[ey-tuh, ee-tuh] /ˈeɪ tə, ˈi tə/
the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet (H, η).
the vowel sound represented by this letter.
Origin of eta
< Greek êta; compare Hebrew ḥeth heth


or ETA

estimated time of arrival. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for eta
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Even as an eta, an outcast, would I have loved and sought her.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • Maybe that was mean, but eta Bita Pie is not to be trifled with when she is aroused.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
  • No samurai in all the thousands of years of our empire has ever married an eta!

    The Way of the Gods John Luther Long
  • For no goddess can be an eta—even if it were possible for a mortal as beautiful as you to be an eta.

    The Way of the Gods John Luther Long
  • "You become an eta if you marry her," Hoshiko's mother was saying.

    The Way of the Gods John Luther Long
  • Perhaps there was but one thing in the old days, worse than the eta—the deserter.

    The Way of the Gods John Luther Long
  • Many more because—because I married an eta—yes, an eta seduced me.

    The Way of the Gods John Luther Long
  • There are now neither samurai nor eta, but only sons of the emperor.

    The Way of the Gods John Luther Long
British Dictionary definitions for eta


the seventh letter in the Greek alphabet (Η, η), a long vowel sound, transliterated as e or ē
Word Origin
Greek, of Phoenician origin; compare Hebrew heth


noun (pl) eta, etas
(in Japan, formerly) a member of a class of outcasts who did menial and dirty tasks
Word Origin
C19: Japanese


estimated time of arrival


noun acronym
Euzkadi ta Askatsuna: an organization of militant Basque nationalists attempting to gain independence for the Basques, esp those ruled by Spain, until a ceasefire in 1998, by means of guerrilla warfare
Word Origin
Basque, literally: Basque Nation and Liberty
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
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Word Origin and History for eta


abbreviation of estimated time (of) arrival, first attested 1939.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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eta in Medicine

eta e·ta (ā'tə, ē'tə)

Symbol η The seventh letter of the Greek alphabet.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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