adjective Linguistics.

pertaining to or being the raw data of a language or other area of behavior, without considering the data as significant units functioning within a system.

Compare emic.

Origin of etic

1950–55; extracted from phonetic; see emic


a suffix used in the formation of adjectives: eidetic.

Origin of -etic

< Latin -eticus, Greek -etikos, equivalent to -et-, a formative occurring in some nouns + -ikos -ic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for etic

1954, coined by U.S. linguist K.L. Pike (1912-2000) from ending of phonetic.


word-forming element meaning "pertaining to," from Greek -etikos, adjectival suffix for nouns ending in -esis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper