Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • And other unspecified things of the same class; and so forth.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun additional unspecified odds and ends; more of the same
  • adverb continuing in the same way

Etymologies

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

[Latin : et, and + cētera, the rest, neuter pl. of cēterus; see ko- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin et cētera ("and the rest" or "and so forth")

Examples

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Comments

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  • 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

  • See this map for American pronunciation.

    April 11, 2008

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

    November 11, 2008

  • 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

  • Dear qroqqa,

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

    Yours truly,

    ruzuzu

    June 6, 2011