glot·​to·​chro·​nol·​o·​gy ˌglä-tō-krə-ˈnä-lə-jē How to pronounce glottochronology (audio)
: a linguistic method that uses the rate of vocabulary replacement to estimate the date of divergence for distinct but genetically related languages
glottochronological adjective

Word History


glotto- + chronology

First Known Use

1953, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of glottochronology was in 1953

Dictionary Entries Near glottochronology

Cite this Entry

“Glottochronology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on glottochronology

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!