\ 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 Don’t use cleaners containing acid, alkali or sodium hypochlorite that will mar, etch, corrode and permanently discolor the laminate surface, says the Formica company. oregonlive, "How to give your kitchen the best spring cleaning," 23 Mar. 2021 With the president’s goal to conserve 30 percent of our nation’s lands, Secretary Haaland would be wise to etch those words on the walls of the Department of the Interior as a daily reminder of the ambitious task ahead. Brian Yablonski, National Review, "President Biden’s Eco-Moonshot Should Use Markets, Not Mandates," 15 Mar. 2021 Her presence is a series of postures and imitative voice techniques that serve only to further etch the image of junkie mess into this portrait of a great artist who changed an art form. Hilton Als, The New Yorker, "Acting Black and White Onscreen," 22 Feb. 2021 To create straight lines, the Nazca people would pull a cord taut between two stakes, then etch the paths by scraping away dark rock to reveal a lighter layer beneath. Popular Science, "The famous Nazca lines aren’t mysterious—but they are ingenious," 3 Jan. 2021 Hearth and Hill has even had fun with the new menu system, hiring an artist in Mexico to etch the QR code into elegant-looking pieces of wood. Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "It’s the end of paper menus, as Utah restaurants turn digital," 26 Nov. 2020 Eddins' speeds were somewhat slower than has become usual in Beethoven, which gave string players in particular the room to properly etch the bustling rhythms of the opening movement, and lent a satisfying architectural profile to the music. Terry Blain Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "A pandemic landmark for Minnesota Orchestra: its first symphony since March," 24 Nov. 2020 During a year that has challenged the Orlando community and the entire world, Leitão said the joy this team has provided will etch a permanent place in the Lions' history books. Julia Poe,, "CEO Alex Leitão: Orlando City realizing long-held goal of playing joyful, winning soccer," 9 Nov. 2020 Senior quarterback Kellen Mond has continued to etch his name at the top of Texas A&M’s record books in his fourth season with the Aggies. Hannah Underwood, Dallas News, "Kellen Mond continuing to seal his place at the top of Texas A&M’s record books," 4 Nov. 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

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Etch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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

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Comments on etch

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