- The definition of etymology is the source of a word, or the study of the source of specific words.
An example of etymology is tracing a word back to its Latin roots.
etymology definition by Webster's New World
- the origin and development of a word, affix, phrase, etc.; the tracing of a word or other form back as far as possible in its own language and to its source in contemporary or earlier languages: in this dictionary etymologies are given in doubled brackets preceding the senses to which they apply
- the branch of linguistics dealing with word origin and development
Origin: Middle English and amp; Old French ethimologie ; from Classical Latin etymologia ; from Gr: see etymon and amp; -logy
etymology definition by American Heritage Dictionary
noun pl. et·y·mol·o·gies
- The origin and historical development of a linguistic form as shown by determining its basic elements, earliest known use, and changes in form and meaning, tracing its transmission from one language to another, identifying its cognates in other languages, and reconstructing its ancestral form where possible.
- The branch of linguistics that deals with etymologies.
Origin: Middle English etimologie, from Old French ethimologie, from Medieval Latin ethimologia, from Latin etymologia, from Greek etumologiā : etumon, true sense of a word; see etymon + -logiā, -logy.
etymology - Computer Definition
The study of the origin of words. Etymology is not to be confused with entomology, the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects. See also bug.