View synonyms for 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.

verb (used without object)

  1. to practice the art of etching.


  1. Printing. an acid used for etching.


/ ɛtʃ /


  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 implement

    he etched his name on the table

  4. tr; usually passive to imprint vividly

    the event was etched on her memory

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Derived Forms

  • ˈetcher, noun
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Other Words From

  • etcher noun
  • un·etched adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of etch1

1625–35; < Dutch etsen < German ätzen to etch, originally cause to eat; cognate with Old English ettan to graze; akin to eat
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Word History and Origins

Origin of etch1

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

“I wrote them a letter that I wanted a camera and an Etch a Sketch, but it didn’t go so well,” Kamryn said.

I wish I could rub out my life,” she laments in the opening chapter, “twiddling knobs as on an Etch A Sketch, and start again.

On cable, you shake an Etch a Sketch every time you go on air.

But like his other etch-a-sketch moderation efforts, it might be too little, too late.

After the primaries, most pundits expected Romney to Etch-a-Sketch his way to the center.

I'll be posting followups to Etch-A-Mitt, the Terrible Generals post, and on why the foreign policy questions are terrible.

For the last time I referred to the map, pulpy and blurred with the day's exposure, and tried to etch it into my brain.

The light tints come out very soft and smooth, but the black tones etch "flat" and lose all detail.

Then, I love to etch, particularly on noses, and that was a good big one.

I do not know at what date my mother began to etch on copper.

She ate daintily, and as we talked, I studied her face as if I would etch it on my memory forever.