[hek-tik] /ˈhɛk tɪk/

characterized by intense agitation, excitement, confused and rapid movement, etc.:
The week before the trip was hectic and exhausting.
characterized by extreme activity or excitement
associated with, peculiar to, or symptomatic of tuberculosis (esp in the phrases hectic fever, hectic flush)
a hectic fever or flush
(rare) a person who is consumptive or who experiences a hectic fever or flush

late 14c., etik (in fever etik), from Old French etique “consumptive,” from Late Latin hecticus, from Greek hektikos “continuous, habitual, consumptive” (of a disease, because of the constant fever), from hexis “a habit (of mind or body),” from ekhein “have, hold, continue” (see scheme).

The Latin -h- was restored in English 16c. Sense of “feverishly exciting, full of disorganized activity” first recorded 1904, but hectic also was used in Middle English as a noun meaning “feverish desire, consuming passion” (early 15c.). Hectic fevers are characterized by rapid pulse, among other symptoms. Related: Hecticness.


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    1. a combining form meaning “hundred,” used in the formation of compound words: hectograph; hectogram. prefix 1. denoting 100: hectogram, h hecto- or hect- pref. One hundred (102): hectogram.

  • Hectocotylus

    [hek-tuh-kot-l-uh s] /ˌhɛk təˈkɒt l əs/ noun, plural hectocotyli [hek-tuh-kot-l-ahy] /ˌhɛk təˈkɒt lˌaɪ/ (Show IPA). Zoology. 1. a modified arm of the male of certain cephalopods that is used to transfer sperm to the female. /ˌhɛktəʊˈkɒtɪləs/ noun (pl) -li (-ˌlaɪ) 1. a tentacle in certain male cephalopod molluscs, such as the octopus, that is specialized […]

  • Hectograph

    [hek-tuh-graf, -grahf] /ˈhɛk təˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf/ noun 1. a process for making copies of a letter, memorandum, etc., from a prepared gelatin surface to which the original writing has been transferred. 2. a machine for making such copies. verb (used with object) 3. to copy with the hectograph. /ˈhɛktəʊˌɡrɑːf; -ˌɡræf/ noun 1. Also called copygraph. a […]

  • Hectogram

    [hek-tuh-gram] /ˈhɛk təˌgræm/ noun 1. a unit of mass or weight equal to 100 grams, equivalent to 3.527 ounces avoirdupois. Abbreviation: hg. /ˈhɛktəʊˌɡræm/ noun 1. one hundred grams. 1 hectogram is equivalent to 3.527 ounces hg

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