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For etymology on Wiktionary, see Wiktionary:Etymology.



From Middle English ethymologie, from Old French ethimologie, from Latin etymologia, from Ancient Greek ? (etumología), from (étumon, "true sense") and - (-logía, "study of"), from (lógos, "word; explanation").



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etymology (plural etymologies)

  1. (uncountable) The study of the historical development of languages, particularly as manifested in individual words.
  2. (countable) The origin and historical development of a word; the derivation.
    • 2018, James Lambert, "A multitude of 'lishes': The nomenclature of hybridity", in English World-Wide[1], page 13:
      The etymology of the term Japlish is disputed and contentiously so.
  3. (countable) An account of the origin and historical development of a word as presented in a dictionary or the like.

Usage notes

  • Not to be confused with entomology ("the study of insects") or etiology ("the study of causes or origins").


Derived terms

Related terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


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