etymologist

noun

et·​y·​mol·​o·​gist ˌe-tə-ˈmä-lə-jist How to pronounce etymologist (audio)
: a specialist in etymology

Examples of etymologist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Interestingly, etymologists disagree about whether gumbo gets its name from kombo (the Choctaw word for filé) or gombo (the word for okra in several West African languages). Leslie Brenner, Dallas News, 30 Mar. 2023 In a series of essays written for The New England Journal of Medicine between 1971 and 1973, Thomas, a physician, an immunology researcher, and an etymologist, takes a wide-ranging, poetic look at biology. The Editors, Outside Online, 22 Apr. 2020 The job entailed his becoming an etymologist, lexicographer and field worker generally among the native speakers in his own country. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, 10 Aug. 2018 Though Porter frequently gets the credit, etymologist Barry Popik has also claimed that the phrase was used to refer to the state high school basketball tournament in Indiana even earlier, at least as early as 1931. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, 12 Mar. 2018 Members in the 129-year-old organization include linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, editors, students, and independent scholars, according to the ADS release. Lisa Marie Segarra, Time, 6 Jan. 2018 The phrase casting couch became linked to the Shuberts, at least in retrospect, as the etymologist Peter Tamony discovered. Ben Zimmer, The Atlantic, 16 Oct. 2017 Etymologists differ on the origin of the lyrics, but Yankee typically referred to New Englanders, doodle was a term of derision and dandy was someone who affected sophistication (fashionable macaroni wigs also became a metaphor for foppishness). Sam Roberts, New York Times, 3 July 2017 Some etymologists think the phrase refers to dead animals washed into the streets after a downpour. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 10 Mar. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'etymologist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1604, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of etymologist was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near etymologist

Cite this Entry

“Etymologist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/etymologist. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

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