1. Characterized by intense activity, confusion, or haste: "There was nothing feverish or hectic about his vigor" (Erik Erikson).
2. Medicine Of, relating to, or being a fever that fluctuates during the day, as in tuberculosis or septicemia.
3. Consumptive; feverish.
[Middle English etik, recurring fever, from Old French etique, from Late Latin hecticus, from Greek hektikos, habitual, consumptive (as a fever), from hexis, habit, from ekhein, to be in a certain condition; see segh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.