et·​tle | \ ˈetᵊl \

Definition of ettle

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 chiefly Scottish : intend, plan, design
2 chiefly Scottish : attempt, venture
3 chiefly Scottish : guess, suppose

intransitive verb

chiefly Scottish : aim, aspire, plan


noun (1)
\ " \
plural -s

Definition of ettle (Entry 2 of 3)



noun (2)
\ " \
plural -s

Definition of ettle (Entry 3 of 3)

dialectal, England
: nettle

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First Known Use of ettle


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

1790, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1688, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ettle


Middle English ettlen, atlen, from Old Norse ætla; akin to Old English eahtian to consider, estimate, watch over, eaht consideration, estimation, Old High German ahtōn to consider, believe, estimate, ahta consideration, attention, esteem, Gothic ahjan to believe, think, aha understanding, mind, Greek oknos hesitation, fear, and perhaps to Old English ēage eye

Noun (2)

by alteration (resulting from incorrect division of a nettle)

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The first known use of ettle was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Ettle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2021.

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