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etch

[ech]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cut, bite, or corrode with an acid or the like; engrave with an acid or the like, as to form a design in furrows that when charged with ink will give an impression on paper.
  2. to produce (a design, image, etc.) by this method, as on copper or glass.
  3. to outline clearly or sharply; delineate, as a person's features or character.
  4. to fix permanently in or implant firmly on the mind; root in the memory: Our last conversation is etched in my memory.
  5. Geology. to cut (a feature) into the surface of the earth by means of erosion: A deep canyon was etched into the land by the river's rushing waters.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to practice the art of etching.
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noun
  1. Printing. an acid used for etching.
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Origin of etch

1625–35; < Dutch etsen < German ätzen to etch, orig. cause to eat; cognate with Old English ettan to graze; akin to eat
Related formsetch·er, nounun·etched, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for etched

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • All this flashed into his sight, etched against the sable night as if in flame.

    Raiders Invisible

    Desmond Winter Hall

  • But up here we were above it, etched by the starlight and Earthglow.

  • I had etched a very little myself and was free of the fraternity.

    Memoirs

    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • He drew designs for engravers, and etched a Judgment of Midas.

    Art in England

    Dutton Cook

  • And the picture of it was etched on his mind as clearly as memory could paint it.

    Storm Over Warlock

    Andre Norton


British Dictionary definitions for etched

etch

verb
  1. (tr) to wear away the surface of (a metal, glass, etc) by chemical action, esp the action of an acid
  2. to cut or corrode (a design, decoration, etc) on (a metal or other plate to be used for printing) by using the action of acid on parts not covered by wax or other acid-resistant coating
  3. (tr) to cut with or as if with a sharp implementhe etched his name on the table
  4. (tr; usually passive) to imprint vividlythe event was etched on her memory
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Derived Formsetcher, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Dutch etsen, from Old High German azzen to feed, bite
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

Word Origin and History for etched

etch

v.

1630s, "to engrave by eating away the surface of with acids," from Dutch etsen, from German ätzen "to etch," from Old High German azzon "cause to bite, feed," from Proto-Germanic *atjanan, causative of *etanan "eat" (see eat). Related: Etched; etching.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper