ex-, ec-, e-

(Greek: out of, out, outside; away from; used as a prefix)

This is a prefix that is supposed to be used with words or roots of Greek origin. The ex- form is used before vowels or h; ec- goes before consonants.

ecclesiasticize (verb), ecclesiasticizes; ecclesiasticized; ecclesiasticizing
Christianize or to convert to Christianity.
ecclesiography (s) (noun); ecclesiographies (pl)
1. A descriptive treatise about churches.
2. The history of churches, their localities, doctrines, and other information.
ecclesiolatry (s) (noun), ecclesiolatries (pl)
1. Worship of a church group or excessive reverence for church forms, practices, and traditions.
2. Excessive devotion to a church or a religious denomination.
ecclesiological (adjective)
A reference to or pertaining to a branch of religion concerned with the doctrines, roles, etc. of a church.
ecclesiologically (adverb)
1. Descriptive of the study of church doctrine.
2. The study of church architecture and decoration.
ecclesiologist (s) (noun), ecclesiologists (pl)
Someone who specializes in theological doctrines relating to churches: "Abraham was an ecclesiologist who studied theology as it was applied to the nature and structure of Christian Churches."
ecclesiology (s) (noun), ecclesiologies (pl)
1. The branch of theology that is concerned with the nature, constitution, and doctrines of churches.
2. The study of ecclesiastical architecture and ornamentation.
ecclesiophobia (s) (noun) (no plural)
An irrational aversion to churches or of organized religion: Ecclesiophobia may also include an abnormal disgust regarding priests, ministers, religious leaders, or clergy in general.
eclectic (adjective)
1. Choosing what is best or preferred from a variety of sources, ideas, or styles.
2. Made up of elements from various sources.
3. Not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc.; but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.
4. Noting or pertaining to works of architecture, decoration, landscaping, etc., produced by a certain person or during a certain period, that derive from a wide range of historic styles.

The style in each instance often being chosen for its fancied appropriateness to local tradition, local geography, the purpose to be served, or the cultural background of the client.

5. Etymology: from French eclectique, from Greek eklektikos, "selective"; literally, "picking out", from eklektos, "selected"; from eklegein, "to pick out, to select"; from ek, "out" + legein, "to gather, to choose". Originally a group of ancient philosophers who selected doctrines from every system available to them.
eclipse (s) (noun), eclipses (pl)
1. The partial or total obscuring, relative to a designated observer, of one celestial body by another.
2. A temporary or permanent dimming or cutting off of light.
3. A fall into obscurity or disuse; a decline: "A composer often goes into an eclipse after his death and he may never regain popularity."
. 4. A disgraceful or humiliating end; a downfall: "Revelations of wrongdoing helped bring about the eclipse of the senator's political career."
5. Etymology: from Old French eclipse, "eclipse, darkness", from Latin eclipsis, which came from Geek ekleipsis, "an abandonment", from ekleipein, "to forsake a usual place, to fail to appear", from ek, "out" + leipein, "to leave".
eclipse (verb), eclipses; eclipsed; eclipsing
1. In astronomy, the partial or complete hiding from view of a celestial body; that is, the Sun or Moon, when another celestial body comes between it and the observer.
2. A loss or blocking of light.
3. A loss of status, power, or favor.
4. Etymology: from Old French eclipse, from Latom eclipsis; from Greek ekleipsis, "a leaving out, forsaking, an eclipse", from ekleipein, "to forsake a usual place, fail to appear, be eclipsed"; from ek, "out" + leipein, "to leave".
ecliptic (s) (noun), ecliptics (pl)
eclogue (s) (noun), eclogues (pl)
1. A short poem descriptive of rural or pastoral life, a pastoral poem, usually in the form of a dialogue between shepherds.
2. Etymology: "short poem", from Latin ecloga. "selection, short poem", from Greek ekloge, "selection", from eklegein, "to select".
ecstasy (s) (noun), ecstasies (pl)
1. Intense joy or delight: After finally reaching the peak of the mountain, Robert went into ecstasies when viewing the horizon and the sky.
2. A state of emotion intense and exalting: When Bob finally met his long-lost love at the airport, he fell into total ecstasy with overwhelming emotions and was in a state of total bliss!
3. The trance or rapture of a mystic or prophetic exaltation: In some denominations, the congregation might be carried away by overwhelming emotions and ecstasy.
4.A medical state in which the body displays an interruption of voluntary motion, mental power, and sensibility: While in a condition of ecstasy, the person is in an erect and inflexible position, while breathing and pulsation are not affected at all.
5. Etymology: from Old French extasie and Late Latin extasis, from Greek ekstasis, a derivative of the verb existanai, "to displace, to drive out of one's mind".

In its original sense, ecstasy referred to a trancelike condition marked by a loss of rational experience and by concentration on a single emotion and now it usually means intense delight.

ecstatic (adjective); more ecstatic, most ecstatic
1. Pertaining to a person's condition of overwhelming and positive emotion: exalted: After his wife gave birth to their first baby, Jack was totally ecstatic and called up the new grandparents immediately and told them of the good news!

Jim saw his father's ecstatic gaze directed toward his mother while she was giving a piano recital.
2. Referring to a person's reaction of being enraptured; delighted beyond measure: She was in a state of ecstatic joy when the publisher decided to publish her short storeies.
3. Etymology: A compound formed from the prefix ek-, "out" and histanae, "place" (a distant relative of English word stand). In other words, anyone who is ecstatic can be described as being "out of his/her mind."

The underlying notion of being "beside oneself, in the grip of extreme passion" has survived in modern English as it relates to mystic experiences or trances, and also, in such phrases as "an ecstasy of rage", and the specific sense of "delight" developed more recently, as historical times are concerned, perhaps in the 17th century.

—Based on information from
Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto;
Arcade Publishing; New York; 1990.