\ ˈech How to pronounce etch (audio) \
etched; etching; etches

Definition of etch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to produce (something, such as a pattern or design) on a hard material by eating into the material's surface (as by acid or laser beam)
b : to subject to such etching
2 : to delineate or impress clearly scenes etched in our minds pain was etched on his features

intransitive verb

: to practice etching



Definition of etch (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action or effect of etching a surface
2 : a chemical agent used in etching

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from etch


etcher noun

Synonyms for etch

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of etch in a Sentence

Verb etched an identification number on the back of the television glass that has been etched with an identification number
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Vinegar is acidic enough to gradually etch floor finishes, leaving them cloudy. Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2021 Good stories move the people who engage with them and etch out a place for them within the story. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 25 Sep. 2021 Alt says the ideal time to etch your design is when the pumpkin is almost full size, but before the skin hardens. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Sep. 2021 The light pinballs off several mirrors shaped and polished with astonishing precision to etch features just a few dozen atoms in size onto future computer chips. Will Knight, Wired, 30 Aug. 2021 As a boy, while his father labored on a house one day, Floyd picked up a piece of scrap and used it to etch drawings on the home’s exterior. Alex Vadukul, New York Times, 29 July 2021 Despite a slew of injuries and an early Nashville lead, the Lions bounced back in the second half to etch an aggressive performance on the road against a top conference contender. Julia Poe,, 18 Aug. 2021 Tanović and co-writer Nikola Kuprešanin etch the new frostiness in Enes and Izet’s relationship through multiple scenes at the local coffee shop operated by the burly, constantly cleaning Jasa (the excellent Goran Navojec). Alissa Simon, Variety, 14 Aug. 2021 They are used to etch in circuits such as gate, source and rain. Chris Smith, BGR, 10 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There seems to be a limitless number of products available to clean, strip, etch, degrease, and brighten various surfaces around the home, yard, and workshop. Popular Mechanics, 6 Oct. 2020 If your floors have deep scuffs or scratches, start by using etch remover. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, 28 May 2020 From the clearing where we’d laid out our tents and camp pads, the opposite bank of the river was barely perceptible except for a faint Etch-a-Sketch panorama of sandstone buttes and towers. Jim Buchta,, 11 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'etch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of etch


1634, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1896, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for etch


Dutch etsen, from German ätzen to etch, corrode, from Old High German azzen to feed; akin to Old High German ezzan to eat — more at eat

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About etch

Dictionary Entries Near etch

et cetera



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for etch

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Etch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for etch



English Language Learners Definition of etch

: to produce a pattern, design, etc., by using a powerful liquid (called an acid) to cut the surface of metal or glass


\ ˈech How to pronounce etch (audio) \
etched; etching

Kids Definition of etch

: to produce designs or figures on metal or glass by using acid to eat into the surface

More from Merriam-Webster on etch

Nglish: Translation of etch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of etch for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about etch


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!