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etching

[ech-ing]
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noun
  1. the act or process of making designs or pictures on a metal plate, glass, etc., by the corrosive action of an acid instead of by a burin.
  2. an impression, as on paper, taken from an etched plate.
  3. the design so produced.
  4. a metal plate bearing such a design.
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Origin of etching

First recorded in 1625–35; etch + -ing1

etch

[ech]
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

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British Dictionary definitions for etching

etching

noun
  1. the art, act, or process of preparing etched surfaces or of printing designs from them
  2. an etched plate
  3. an impression made from an etched plate
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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 etching

n.

1630s, action of the verb etch, also "the art of engraving;" 1760s as "a print, etc., made from an etched plate."

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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

etching in Culture

etching

An artistic print made from a plate on which the artist has etched a design with acid. (Compare engraving.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.