- to make (a drawing, design, etc.) on metal, glass, etc. by the action of an acid, esp. by coating the surface with wax and letting acid eat into the lines or areas laid bare with a special needle
- to prepare (a metal plate, glass, etc.) in this way, for use in printing such drawings or designs
- to engrave using a laser
- to depict or impress sharply and distinctly
Origin of etchDutch etsen from German ätzen, to corrode from Middle High German etzen, to cause to eat, causative of ezzen (Ger essen), eat
verbetched, etch·ing, etch·es
- a. To cut into the surface of (glass, for example) by the action of acid, especially by coating the surface with wax or another protective layer and drawing lines with a needle and then using the acid to form the lines on the unprotected parts of the surface.b. To make or create by this method: etch a design on glass.
- a. To draw or write by cutting or scraping: etched his initials in the metal.b. To cut or scrape something in or on: etched the metal with a knife.
- To impress or delineate clearly: a landscape that is forever etched in my memory; trees that are etched against the sky.
Origin of etchDutch etsen from German ätzen from Middle High German etzen from Old High German ezzen to eat ; see ed- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present etches, present participle etching, simple past and past participle etched)
- To cut into a surface with an acid or other corrosive substance in order to make a pattern. Best known as a technique for creating printing plates, but also used for decoration on metal, and, in modern industry, to make circuit boards.
- To engrave a surface.
- (figuratively) To make a lasting impression.
- The memory of 9/11 is etched into my mind.
- To sketch; to delineate.
Germanic, cognate with Dutch ets.
- Obsolete form of eddish.