Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DESIGN

Date: 1600-1700
Language: Dutch
Origin: etsen, from German ├Ątzen 'to feed'; because originally the lines were 'eaten' into the metal with acid

etch

verb
     
etch
1 [intransitive and transitive]AVD to cut lines on a metal plate, piece of glass, stone etc to form a picture or words
etch on
a gravestone with three names etched on it
A laser is used to etch a pattern in the smooth surface of the disc.
2

be etched on/in your memory/mind

literary if an experience, name etc is etched on your memory or mind, you cannot forget it and you think of it often:
The island remained etched in my memory.
3 [transitive usually passive] if someone's face is etched with pain, sadness etc, you can see these feelings from their expression
etch with
Her face was etched with tiredness.
Craig saw lines of pain etched around her mouth.
4 [transitive] to make lines or patterns appear on something very clearly:
etched glass
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