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    • 1. the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history: "the decline of etymology as a linguistic discipline"
  2. The online etymology dictionary (etymonline) is the internet's go-to source for quick and reliable accounts of the origin and history of English words, phrases, and idioms. It is professional enough to satisfy academic standards, but accessible enough to be used by anyone.

  3. etymology: [noun] the history of a linguistic form (such as a word) shown by tracing its development since its earliest recorded occurrence in the language where it is found, by tracing its transmission from one language to another, by analyzing it into its component parts, by identifying its cognates in other languages, or by tracing it and ...

  4. etymology definition: 1. the study of the origin and history of words, or a study of this type relating to one particular…. Learn more.

  5. Etymology definition, the derivation of a word. See more.

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  7. etymology, the history of a word or word element, including its origins and derivation. Although the etymologizing of proper names appears in the Old Testament and Plato dealt with etymology in his dialogue Cratylus, lack of knowledge of other languages and of the historical developments that languages undergo prevented ancient writers from arriving at the proper etymologies of words.

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