\ 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

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Other Words from etch


etcher noun

Synonyms for etch

Synonyms: Verb

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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 But the signal seemed to etch itself into the data there, too. Sarah Scoles, Wired, "‘Dr. Phosphine’ and the Possibility of Life on Venus," 14 Sep. 2020 And while granite is ideal for rolling out pastry or kneading bread dough, avoid exposing it to any acidic foods like lemon or tomato, which can etch and damage the stone itself. Elizabeth Sheldon, Good Housekeeping, "Cleaning Tips for the Trickiest Kitchen Surfaces," 4 Aug. 2020 What is most urgent to the actress is her impact and imprint, and that fierce determination to traverse this space on her own terms is exactly what will guide her path moving forward — and etch her distinct mark on the culture for years to come. Ineye Komonibo,, "Maybe You’ve Heard A Rumour About Umbrella Academy’s Emmy Raver-Lampman. Maybe It’s True.," 29 July 2020 The scribe would etch letters that would gradually darken as oxygen works on the iron. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Science of Saving the Declaration of Independence," 3 July 2020 Around 29,000 years ago, people began coming to the cave to etch pictures into the rock walls and to bury their dead. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Paleolithic French didn’t let their dead rest peacefully," 15 June 2020 Don’t just use the blur tool; etch them out with black. Jess Grey, Wired, "How to Take Photos at Protests Safely—and Responsibly," 3 June 2020 The Chronicle’s 10 from 2010 Q&A series would not be complete without Cody Ross, who played a mere 154 regular-season games for the Giants but etched his stamp prominently on San Francisco’s first World Series trophy. Henry Schulman,, "10 from 2010: Cody Ross’ journey from wannabe rodeo clown to postseason hero," 3 June 2020 Inspired by real events, get drawn into the world of Charlie, a factory owner working tirelessly to save his family business, and Lola, an entertainer who will long etch herself into your memory. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "6 Feel-Good Broadway Musicals to Stream Right Now," 13 May 2020 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, "How to Safely Use Muriatic Acid," 6 Oct. 2020 If your floors have deep scuffs or scratches, start by using etch remover. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "The Best Way to Clean Marble Floors," 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,, "Call of the Colorado River leads to a family pilgrimage," 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.

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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

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Statistics for etch

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Etch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for etch


How to pronounce etch (audio)

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

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Comments on etch

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