English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English ethymologie, from Old French ethimologie, from Latin etymologia, from Ancient Greek ἐτυμολογία (etumología), from ἔτυμον (étumon, true sense) and -λογία (-logía, study or logic of), from λόγος (lógos, word; explanation).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

 
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etymology (countable and uncountable, plural etymologies)

  1. (uncountable, linguistics) The scientific study of the origin and evolution of a word's semantic meaning across time, including its constituent morphemes and phonemes.
  2. (countable) The entire catalogue of meanings that a word, morpheme, or sign has carried throughout its history; lit. the logic of the etymon.
    Although written the same, the words lead (the metal) and lead (the verb) have totally different etymologies.
    • 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.
    • 2023 July 2, Talia Felix, “Homing in on Harlequin”, in Online Etymology Dictionary[2]:
      Where did this name Harlequin (or Arlechin) come from? Most etymologies for the name give the Hellequin theory.
  4. (countable) The direct origin of a name, as in who someone was named after.
    • 1996, The Rock:
      I'm sure you know the etymology of your name, Goodspeed.

Usage notes edit

  • Not to be confused with entomology (the study of insects) or etiology (the study of causes or origins).
  • Not to be confused with the origin of the object or person the word refers to.

Hyponyms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also edit

Similarly named but unrelated fields

References edit