Definitions

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

  • And other unspecified things of the same class; and so forth.
  • n. A number of unspecified persons or things.
  • n. Additional odds and ends; extras.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • And the rest, and the others; to complete a list.
  • And so forth; to indicate missing information, often well known.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Others of the like kind; and the rest; and so on; -- used to point out that other things which could be mentioned are to be understood. Usually abbreviated into etc. or &c. (&c.)

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. And others; and so forth; and so on: generally used when a number of individuals of a class have been specified, to indicate that more of the same sort might have been mentioned, but for shortness are omitted: as, stimulants comprise brandy, rum, whisky, wine, beer, etcetera.

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

  • n. additional unspecified odds and ends; more of the same
  • adv. continuing in the same way

Etymologies

Latin : et, and + cētera, the rest, neuter pl. of cēterus; see ko- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin et cētera ("and the rest" or "and so forth") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Then he whispers a few words of Shi which, though coarser, are oddly reminiscent of those spoken by the little gentleman at the trattoria in Battersea: God give me strength to address this son of an arse hole et cetera and of course I give no indication whatever of understanding this, preferring to make a few innocent doodles on my notepad.

    the mission song

  • Her inspection of me complete, she took my hand and led me on a tour of the room, the apparent purpose of which was to link me to my possessions: Aunt Imelda's locket, my father's missal, et cetera and because a degree nurse doesn't miss a trick where her patient is concerned the vacant nearly-white mark on the third finger of my left hand.

    the mission song

  • Why, as the patriarchs of old, I pass the days in the fields, among horses and oxen, sheep, cows, bulls, and sows, et cetera pecora campi.

    Selected English Letters

  • Qui de astrorum cursibus vitam hominum et gesta perquirunt, qui volatus avium et cetera huiusmodi, quae in saeculo prius observabantur, inquirunt, de Jericho anathema inferunt in ecclesiam, et polluunt castra domini et vinci faciunt populum dei” (“Those who, even though they are

    The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries

  • These boards or departments would have to study all the causes which go to make the community's producing power inconstant — such as failure of crops, drouths, et cetera — and so to direct the energy of the community that equilibrium between its production and consumption might still be maintained.

    What Communities Lose by the Competitive System

  • Qui de astrorum cursibus vitam hominum et gesta perquirunt, qui volatus avium et cetera huiusmodi, quae in saeculo prius observabantur, inquirunt, de Jericho anathema inferunt in ecclesiam, et polluunt castra domini et vinci faciunt populum dei:

    The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Dear qroqqa,

    I adore you, I like all your comments, and I think you're awesome, et cetera.

    Yours truly,
    ruzuzu

    June 6, 2011

  • Well, as 'aut cetera' is neither English nor Latin for the idea conveyed by the English 'et cetera' and the Latin 'et cetera', the claim 'ought' is unjustifiable. You ought to write good English or good Latin.

    'Et cetera' attaches (and 'et cetera' attached) to a list: it conveys that the list is incomplete, and that there are to be understood the remaining items, the rest of that kind, other things of like kind, etc. There are further items on the list. That is an "and", not an "or", regardless of the purpose you intend to put the list to: giving someone a choice from it, for example.

    November 11, 2008

  • Aut cetera really ought to be used for lists of alternatives, not et cetera.

    November 11, 2008

  • See this map for American pronunciation.

    April 11, 2008

  • Latin for "and so on," or "and other things." Used to indicate the continuation of a sequence of related items. Frequently abbreviated as etc.

    May 22, 2007