From Middle English ethymologie, from Old French ethimologie, from Latin etymologia, from Ancient Greek ἐτυμολογία or etumología, from ἔτυμον or étumon (true sense) and -λογία or -logía (study of), from λόγος or lógos (word; explanation).
etymology (countable and uncountable, plural etymologies)
- (uncountable, linguistics) The study of the historical development of languages, particularly as manifested in individual words.
- (countable) The entire catalogue of meanings that a word, morpheme, or sign has carried throughout its history; the derivation.
- Although written the same, the words lead (the metal) and lead (the verb) have totally different etymologies.
- (countable) An account of the origin and historical development of a word as presented in a dictionary or the like.
- (countable) The direct origin of a name, as in who someone was named after.
- folk etymology
- popular etymology
- surface etymology
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