Other forms: etymologies

Since you're reading this, then you probably have some interest in etymology, because it's the study of the history and derivations of words.

What genealogy is to a family, etymology is to words. A genealogist studies the history of a family. A person who studies etymology does the same thing with words. Etymology looks at the roots of words — for example, whether they started out as Latin, Greek, or as some other language — and how they took on their current meaning. When you learn that the -logy part of etymology almost always means "the study of," that is, in itself, etymology.

Definitions of etymology
  1. noun
    a history of a word
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    folk etymology
    a popular but erroneous etymology
    type of:
    account, chronicle, history, story
    a record or narrative description of past events
  2. noun
    the study of the sources and development of words
    see moresee less
    a statistical technique used in glottochronology; used to estimate how long ago different languages evolved from a common source language
    type of:
    the scientific study of language
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘etymology'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Commonly confused words

entomology / etymology

Don’t bug out! Entomology is the study of insects, but etymology is the study of words. They sound similar and both end in -logy, which means “the study of,” but don’t mix them up unless you like completely confusing people.

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