It's a genere in japanese anime and manga that reffers to erotic but not abruptly sexual content. It can show full to partial nudity, including nipples, cameltoes, panty flashing, grabbing boobs, but never exposed genitals, and is often displayed in a humoresque way. The term comes from the japanese pronunciation of the letter "H" (pronounced "eh-chi") as in Japan erotic content is rated "H" while in the rest of the world its more commonly rated "X".

Outside of Japan it's easier to understand Ecchi as softcore, non-sexual and erotic and Hentai as hardcore pornography.
"Sekirei", "Freezing" and "Highschool DxD" are ecchi; "Bible Black" is hentai.
by iKnowThisShet November 27, 2013
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Softcore hentai. Often includes panty-shots, nudity, or perverted situations. Almost always used for humor. Ecchi does not describe actual sex acts.
Cutey Honey has ecchi scenes.
by Zelphin May 24, 2003
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Ecchi is a word that has two related but VERY different meanings in Japanese and English respectivly.

English: Ecchi in English speaking anime fandom is considered to mean mildly perverted. It is used to describe anime and manga with panty shots, the occasional nipple, sexual humour, and other forms of fanservice but does not actualy conatain sex.

Japanese: In the Japanese usage "ecchi" literaly means "sex". When the Japanese refer to "ecchi anime" they mean what English speakers would call "hentai", which in Japan is used to mean "pervert"
English: Its not hentai! Its just ecchi!
Japanese: Ano hentai wa ecchi anime ga suki desu.
Translation: That pervert(hentai) likes sex(ecchi) anime.
by Mecharonin February 4, 2008
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The sound that japanese make when saying 'H' which is the first letter of of 'Hentai', Pervert.
Through internet research, i have come to the conclusion that ecchi is not softcore hentai
by People Order Out Poop November 10, 2003
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the sound produced when you try to say "H" in japanese
"kitte, kudasai. *says H* ecchi"
"ECCHI!"
by andaru!! February 19, 2003
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