word-forming element used in chemistry and indicating "a fundamental degradation product of a complex organic compound" [Flood], from Latinized comb. form of Greek aitia "a cause, an origin" (see etiology).

Nearby words

  1. aethelstan,
  2. aether,
  3. aethereal,
  4. aetheric,
  5. aethon,
  6. aetiological,
  7. aetiology,
  8. aetna,
  9. aetolia,
  10. aetolus

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper