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etymology

[et-uh-mol-uh-jee]
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noun, plural et·y·mol·o·gies.
  1. the derivation of a word.
  2. 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.
  3. the study of historical linguistic change, especially as manifested in individual words.

Origin of etymology

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin etymologia < Greek etymología, equivalent to etymológ(os) studying the true meanings and values of words (étymo(s) true (see etymon) + lógos word, reason) + -ia -y3
Related formset·y·mo·log·i·cal [et-uh-muh-loj-i-kuh l] /ˌɛt ə məˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl/, et·y·mo·log·ic, adjectiveet·y·mo·log·i·cal·ly, adverbet·y·mol·o·gist, nounpseu·do·et·y·mo·log·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·et·y·mo·log·i·cal·ly, adverbsub·et·y·mol·o·gy, noun, plural sub·et·y·mol·o·gies.un·et·y·mo·log·ic, adjectiveun·et·y·mo·log·i·cal, adjectiveun·et·y·mo·log·i·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedentomology etymology
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for etymologically

etymology

noun plural -gies
  1. the study of the sources and development of words and morphemes
  2. an account of the source and development of a word or morpheme
Derived Formsetymological (ˌɛtɪməˈlɒdʒɪkəl), adjectiveetymologically, adverbetymologist, noun

Word Origin

C14: via Latin from Greek etumologia; see etymon, -logy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for etymologically

etymology

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper