etch / ech/ • v. [tr.] 1. engrave (metal, glass, or stone) by coating it with a protective layer, drawing on it with a needle, and then covering it with acid to attack the parts the needle has exposed, esp. in order to produce prints from it. ∎ use such a process to produce (a print or design). ∎ (of an acid or other solvent) corrode or eat away the surface of (something). ∎ selectively dissolve the surface of (a semiconductor or printed circuit) with a solvent, laser, or stream of electrons.2. (usu. be etched) cut or carve (a text or design) on a surface: her initials were etched on the table fig. his name is etched in baseball history. ∎ cause to stand out or be clearly defined or visible: Jo watched the outline of the town etched against the sky fig. the incident was etched indelibly in her mind. DERIVATIVES: etch·er n.