Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To write one's signature on the back of (a check, for example) as evidence of the legal transfer of its ownership, especially in return for the cash or credit indicated on its face.
  • transitive v. To place (one's signature), as on a contract, to indicate approval of its contents or terms.
  • transitive v. To acknowledge (receipt of payment) by signing a bill, draft, or other instrument.
  • transitive v. To give approval of or support to, especially by public statement; sanction: endorse a political candidate. See Synonyms at approve.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To support, to back, to give one's approval to, especially officially or by signature.
  • v. To write one's signature on the back of a cheque, or other negotiable instrument, when transferring it to a third party, or cashing it.
  • v. To give an endorsement.
  • n. A diminutive of the pale, usually appearing in pairs on either side of a pale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A subordinary, resembling the pale, but of one fourth its width (according to some writers, one eighth).
  • transitive v. Same as indorse.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. give support or one's approval to
  • v. guarantee as meeting a certain standard
  • v. sign as evidence of legal transfer
  • v. be behind; approve of

Etymologies

Middle English endosen, from Anglo-Norman endosser, from Medieval Latin indorsāre : Latin in-, upon, in; see en-1 + Latin dorsum, back.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration influenced by Medieval Latin indorsare of Middle English endosse, from Old French endosser ("to put on back"), from Latin dossum, alternative form of dorsum ("back"), from which also dorsal ("of the back"). That is, the ‘r’ was dropped in Latin dossum, which developed into Old French and then Middle English endosse, and then the ‘r’ was re-introduced into English via the Medieval Latin indorsare, which had retained the ‘r’. Note that the alternative spelling indorse also uses the initial ‘i’ from Latin (in-, rather than en-), but this form is now rare. (Wiktionary)

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