Definition of etch verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    etch

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//etʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//etʃ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they etch
    BrE BrE//etʃ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//etʃ//
     
    he / she / it etches
    BrE BrE//ˈetʃɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈetʃɪz//
     
    past simple etched
    BrE BrE//etʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//etʃt//
     
    past participle etched
    BrE BrE//etʃt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//etʃt//
     
    -ing form etching
    BrE BrE//ˈetʃɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈetʃɪŋ//
     
    Artwork and techniques, Art equipment
     
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to cut lines into a piece of glass, metal, etc. in order to make words or a picture etch (A) (in/into/on B) a glass tankard with his initials etched on it A security number had been etched on the car window as a protection against theft. etch B (with A) a glass tankard etched with his initials See related entries: Artwork and techniques, Art equipment
  2. 2[transitive, usually passive] (literary) if a feeling is etched on somebody’s face, or somebody’s face is etched with a feeling, that feeling can be seen very clearly etch A in/into/on B Tiredness was etched on his face. etch B with A His face was etched with tiredness.
  3. 3[transitive, usually passive] etch something (+ adv./prep.) to make a strong clear mark or pattern on something a mountain etched (= having a clear outline) against the sky
  4. Word Origin mid 17th cent.: from Dutch etsen, from German ätzen, from a base meaning ‘cause to eat’; related to eat.Idioms
    be etched on your heart/memory/mind
     
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    if something is etched on your memory, you remember it because it has made a strong impression on you
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: etch