[et-uh-mol-uh-jee] /ˌɛt əˈmɒl ə dʒi/

noun, plural etymologies.
the derivation of a word.
Synonyms: word origin, word source, derivation, origin.
a chronological account of the birth and development of a particular word or element of a word, often delineating its spread from one language to another and its evolving changes in form and meaning.
Synonyms: word history, word lore, historical development.
the study of historical linguistic change, especially as manifested in individual words.
noun (pl) -gies
the study of the sources and development of words and morphemes
an account of the source and development of a word or morpheme

late 14c., ethimolegia “facts of the origin and development of a word,” from Old French et(h)imologie (14c., Modern French étymologie), from Latin etymologia, from Greek etymologia, properly “study of the true sense (of a word),” from etymon “true sense” (neuter of etymos “true, real, actual,” related to eteos “true”) + -logia “study of, a speaking of” (see -logy).

In classical times, of meanings; later, of histories. Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium. As a branch of linguistic science, from 1640s. Related: Etymological; etymologically.


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