Online Etymology Dictionary

Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2008

If you want to know the origin and history of a particular English word, it is advisable to visit Douglas Harper's Online Etymology Dictionary, which is probably the best and most comprehensive etymological dictionary of English currently available for free use online.


  • Compiled from a variety of sources, including Ayto's Dictionary of Word Origins, Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology, Klein's A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, Shipley's The Origins of English Words, Tucker's Etymological Dictionary of Latin, and Weekley's An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English
  • Provides etymologies of thousands of English words and phrases, with concise information on how their meanings and uses evolved over time
  • Offers powerful search functions that allow users to look up an exact phrase or any term contained in that phrase
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