The Meaning of Etc: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know what the abbreviation etc. is short for? This article will list the meaning of etc., translations of etc., etc.!

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You may have seen the word etc. in lists, at the end of sentences, and so on. What does this abbreviation mean? Keep reading to learn more about etc.

What Does Etc. Stand For?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the term etc. is an abbreviation for et cetera. You can use it at the end of a list to mean “and so on” or “and so forth” to indicate that similar things should be included in the list. You can use etc. in lists of people, places, things, adjectives, or any other topic. You place “etc.” at the end of a sentence following a comma.

What Are Translations of the Word Et Cetera?

The word et cetera stems from Latin, which is a root language that has spawned many languages around the world. By referencing this list of translations of et cetera from Nice Translator, you can see which of these translations might have Latin influence.

  • Cantonese – 諸如此類
  • Chinese | T – 諸如此類
  • Turkish – Etcetera
  • Vietnamese – vân vân
  • Maltese – etcetera
  • Greek – και τα λοιπά
  • Icelandic – etcetera
  • Arabic – اخره
  • Ukrainian – etcetera
  • Russian – и так далее
  • Slovenian – etcetera
  • Polish – Etcetera
  • Catalan – Etcétera
  • Welsh – etcetera
  • Swedish – Etc
  • Bulgarian – etcetera
  • Serbian – Itd
  • Italian – eccetera
  • Portuguese – Etc
  • Afrikaans – etcetera
  • Romanian – etcetera
  • Lithuanian – Etcetera
  • Korean – 등등
  • Chinese | S – 诸如此类
  • French – etcetera
  • Dutch – enzovoorts
  • Norwegian – Etcetera
  • Czech – atd
  • Danish – Osv
  • Thai – etcetera
  • Croatian – Etcetera
  • Persian – غیره
  • German – und so weiter
  • Hindi – वगैरह
  • Swahili – etcetera
  • Malay – etcetera
  • Japanese – エトセトラ
  • Spanish – etcétera
  • Estonian – etcetera
  • Latvian – Etcetera
  • Slovak – etcetera
  • Hebrew – וכו’.
  • Hungarian – Satöbbi
  • Finnish – ja niin edelleen

What Are Example Sentences Containing the Word Etc?

Etc. can be used in a number of sentences and frequently comes at the end of a list. Sometimes this list is at the end of a sentence, but sometimes it is in the middle. See if you can spot when etc. is used in either way:

In order to study for her vocabulary quiz, she rewrote her definitions and pronunciation, wrote down example sentences, listed synonyms, listed antonyms, etc.

She was on multiple social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

The list of human beings present at the fair included everyone: investors, adults, kids, etc.

She had a long list of allergies, including wheat, strawberries, apples, etc., and had to be careful when looking at a menu. 

What Is the Origin of the Word Et Cetera?

The word et cetera has been used since the early 15th century in the English language. This is taken directly from the Latin phrase et cetera, which means “and the others.”

The Latin word “et” translates to “and.” Cetera is the neuter plural version of the Latin ceterus, meaning “other.” This word comes from the Proto-Italic ke-etero and the Proto-Indo-European root ko, meaning this. Etero also has Proto-Indo European roots. Specifically, it means comparison or “the other of two.”

What Are Other Meanings of ETC? 

Per The Free Dictionary, etc. doesn’t just have to be an abbreviation for et cetera. This term can also be used as an acronym. In these situations, you will see ETC written in all capital letters because each of those letters stands for a word, unlike etc., which is an abbreviation.

Meanings of ETC in Science

If you’re working in STEM, you may see ETC stand for one of the following phrases:

  • Esophageal Tracheal Combitube
  • Electronic Throttle Control
  • Emergency Trauma Center
  • Engineering Technology Company
  • Evaporator Thermostat Circuit
  • Electron Transport Chain (cellular respiration)
  • Engineered Tissue Construct
  • Engineering Technology Centre (UK)
  • Electro-Thermal Chemical
  • Extra-Tropical Cyclone (meteorology)
  • Elapsed Time Counter
  • Environmental Toxicology Center (University of Wisconsin)
  • Erosion, Technology, and Concentration
  • Electro-Thermal Chemical
  • European Transportation Carrier (European Space Agency)
  • Earth Terrain Camera (astrophysics)
  • ECHO Technical Committee
  • Environmental Tectonics Corporation
  • Earth Terminal Complex
  • Environmental Technology Council
  • Environmental Technology Center (Canadian government agency)

Meanings of ETC in Business

As for businesspeople, see if you can spot ETC in any of these contexts:

  • European Technology Consultants (contact center, website, mobile and DTV design and implementation)
  • Equipment Trust Certificate (Aero financing)
  • Electronic Trade Confirmation
  • Ethiopian Tourism Commission
  • Early Termination Charges
  • Environmental Tree Consultancy (Ireland)
  • Echostar Technologies Corporation
  • Enrichment Technology Company (Netherlands)
  • Everything to Connect
  • Electricity Transmission Company
  • Ear Technology Corporation (Johnson City, TN)
  • Enhanced Telecommunications Corporation (Indiana)
  • Electronic Toll Collection
  • Equity Trust Company (Elyria, OH)
  • Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation
  • Expanding the Circle (various organizations)
  • Entertainment Technology Center
  • Electronic Theatre Controls (theatre equipment company)
  • E-Training Center (various organizations)
  • Education and Training Consultancy (various organizations)
  • ET Company
  • Electronic Traction Control (automobiles)
  • European Transportation Consultancy (Czech Republic)
  • Entertainment Central (Philippines TV channel)
  • Electronic Ticket Capture
  • Energy Technology Company
  • European Territorial Cooperation (EU)
  • Efficient Transport Chains (shipping)
  • Employee Transportation Coordinator
  • English Tourism Council
  • European Transport Conference (Association for European Transport)

Meanings of ETC in Government

Government workers may be familiar with these meanings of ETC:

  • Estimated Time of Completion
  • Education and Training Committee (various organizations)
  • Estimated Total Cost
  • Estimate To Complete (Cost)
  • Equal Treatment Commission (various locations)
  • Eastern Transportation Corridor (California)
  • Chief Electronics Technician (Naval Rating)
  • Exportable Training Capability (US DoD)
  • Embedded Training Capability
  • Estimated Time of Commencement
  • Echo Tracker Classifier
  • Energy Training Complex
  • Efficient Transportation for the Community (Florida)
  • Engineering Technical Code
  • Enhanced Terminal Capability
  • Engineering Topographic Command
  • Exportable Training Center

Meanings of ETC in Technology

For any tech bros and gals reading, you may be looking for these definitions of ETC:

  • Eldorado Touring Coupe
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Enable Threshold Comparison
  • Environmental Training Center
  • Exchange Terminal Circuit (Sprint)
  • Ethernet Tributary Card
  • Enterprise Technology Centre
  • Eligible Telecom Carrier (Western Digital)
  • Enhanced Throughput Cellular protocol (Paradyne)
  • Election Technology Council
  • Event Tag Collection
  • Execution Trace Cache
  • Educational Technologies Center
  • Extended Tree Collapsing
  • Endogenous Technological Change
  • Emerging Technologies Conference

Meanings of ETC as Slang Terms

Finally, we all can see ETC used in everyday slang:

  • End of Thinking Capacity
  • Espio the Chameleon (fictional character)
  • Entertainment That Counts (TV show)
  • Everyday Thoughts Collected (blog)


The term etc. is short for et cetera, a Latin phrase that approximately translates to “and so on.” This word is frequently used at the end of lists to show that similar items can be included but are not listed.  


  1. ETC – What does ETC stand for? | The Free Dictionary 
  2. Etc definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  3. ETC. | Cambridge English Dictionary