etymology was our Word of the Day on 12/02/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of etymology in a Sentence
- Visible just beneath the entries are tantalizing glimpses of the lexicographer's craft: scouring periodicals for fresh coinages, poring over competing dictionaries in search of elusive etymologies and hounding writers and scholars in the service of … "ear candy" or plain old "duh." —Margalit Fox, New York Times Book Review, 18 June 1995
- Professionals have always tried to seal the borders of their trade and to snipe at any outsider with a pretense to amateur enthusiasm (although amateurs who truly love their subject, as the etymology of their status proclaims, often acquire far more expertise than the average time-clock-punching breadwinner). —Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, February 1991
- True etymology, if there is such a thing, seeks to displace our attention back in time, to roots, whereas the "popular" variety tries to update words, to familiarize them where the so-called science estranges them. —Walter Redfern, Puns, 1984
Several different etymologies have been proposed.
Recent Examples of etymology from the Web
The etymology suggests that disasters are destined, inevitable, like a Greek tragedy.
Its mode of locomotion explains the etymology of kinorhynch, Greek for moveable snout.
The etymology of ghassoul originates from the Arabic verb ‘to wash’, where the accent on cleanliness and purification in this natural beauty product is highlighted.
The visual etymology is obviously and satisfyingly Chinese.
O’Donnell: Is there anything useful to note about the etymology of the word?
The first period North considers, the 1920s and 1930s, witnesses a struggle between traditional scholars, caught up in obscure debates over etymology, and amateur belletristic critics concerned with shaping the sensibility of the general public.
Diving into the etymology of virtual, however, suggests another set of meanings implicit within our use of this peculiar term.
If the name Conshohocken confuses your out-of-town friends, here’s a little contested etymology.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'etymology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Commonly Confused: etymology and entomology
The etymology of etymology itself is relatively straightforward. Etymon means "origin of a word" in Latin, and comes from the Greek word etymon, meaning "literal meaning of a word according to its origin." Greek etymon in turn comes from etymos, which means "true." Be careful not to confuse etymology with the similar-sounding entomology. Entomon means "insect" in Greek, and entomology is the study of bugs.
ETYMOLOGY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of etymology for English Language Learners
: an explanation of where a word came from : the history of a word
: the study of word histories
ETYMOLOGY Defined for Kids
Definition of etymology for Students
Seen and Heard
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