Online Etymology Dictionary
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Online Etymology Dictionary
Online Etymology Dictionary
Online Etymology Dictionary.jpg
Screenshot of
Type of businessPrivate
Type of site
Etymological dictionary
Available inEnglish
FoundedOnline (c. 2000)
Key people
  • Douglas Harper, Founder
  • Dan McCormack, web design and coding
Alexa rankPositive decrease 19,319 (September 2016)[1]
Current statusactive

The Online Etymology Dictionary is a free online dictionary written and compiled by Douglas Harper that describes the origins of English-language words.[2]


Douglas Harper compiled the etymology dictionary to record the history and evolution of more than 30,000 words, including slang and technical terms.[3] The core body of its etymology information stems from Ernest Weekley's An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English (1921). Other sources include the Middle English Dictionary and the Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology (by Robert Barnhart and others), although the sources for each entry are not stated. In producing his large dictionary, Harper says that he is essentially and for the most part a compiler, an evaluator of etymology reports others have made.[4] Harper works as a copy editor and page designer for LNP Media Group.[5][6]

As of June 2015, there were nearly 50,000 entries in the dictionary.[5]

Reviews and reputation

The Online Etymology Dictionary has been referenced by Oxford University's "Arts and Humanities Community Resource" catalog as "an excellent tool for those seeking the origins of words"[7] and cited in the Chicago Tribune as one of the "best resources for finding just the right word".[8] It is cited in academic work as a useful, though not definitive, reference for etymology.[9][10][11] In addition, it has been used as a data source for quantitative scholarly research.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Alexa Ranking". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Ohio University. 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-02-11. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Home Page". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved .
  4. ^ The dictionary's principal sources appear at Sources @ Online Etymology Dictionary.
  5. ^ a b "Q&A With Douglas Harper: Creator of the Online Etymology Dictionary - IMSE - Journal". 18 June 2015. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "Contact Us". LancasterOnline. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Online etymology dictionary". Arts and Humanities Community Resource. Oxford University. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Bierma, Nathan (2007-01-03). "Internet has best resources for finding just the right word". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Paluzzi, Alessandro; Fernandez-Miranda, Juan; Torrenti, Matthew; Gardner, Paul (2012). "Retracing the etymology of terms in neuroanatomy". Clinical Anatomy. 25 (8): 1005-1014. doi:10.1002/ca.22053. PMID 23112209.
  10. ^ Hultgren, Anna Kristina (2013). "Lexical borrowing from English into Danish in the Sciences: An empirical investigation of 'domain loss'". International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 23 (2): 166-182. doi:10.1111/j.1473-4192.2012.00324.x.
  11. ^ Mair, Victor (2015-04-10). "Farsi shekar ast". Language Log. Retrieved .
    Mair, Victor (2016-01-28). "'Butterfly' words as a source of etymological confusion". Language Log. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Lieberman, Erez; Michel, Jean-Baptiste; Jackson, Joe; Tang, Tina; Nowak, Martin A. (2007). "Quantifying the evolutionary dynamics of language". Nature. 449 (7163): 713-716. Bibcode:2007Natur.449..713L. doi:10.1038/nature06137. PMC 2460562. PMID 17928859.
  13. ^ Jatowt, Adam; Duh, Kevin (2014). "A framework for analyzing semantic change of words across time" (PDF). IEEE/ACM Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. pp. 229-238. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/JCDL.2014.6970173. ISBN 978-1-4799-5569-5.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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