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

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ettle

Time Traveler for ettle

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for ettle

Cite this Entry

“Ettle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

Comments on ettle

What made you want to look up ettle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things 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!