noun, plural etymologies.
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.
1. word origin, word source, derivation, origin.
2. word history, word lore, historical development.
Can be confused
Origin: 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 -y
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