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Online Etymology Dictionary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Online Etymology Dictionary
Screenshot of the homepage in 2007
Type of businessPrivate
Type of site
Etymological dictionary
Available inEnglish
Foundedc. 2000
United States
Key people
  • Douglas Harper
  • Dan McCormack
    (web design and coding)
Current statusactive

The Online Etymology Dictionary (Etymonline) is a free online dictionary, written and compiled by Douglas R. Harper, that describes the origins of English-language words.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Searching for a Word in an Online Etymology Dictionary
  • Online Etymology Dictionary
  • Etymology and surprising origins of English words



Douglas R. Harper, an American Civil War historian and copy editor for LNP Media Group,[2][3] compiled the etymology dictionary to record the history and evolution of more than 50,000 words, including slang and technical terms.[4] The core body of its etymology information stems from The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology by Robert Barnhart, Ernest Klein's Comprehensive Etymology Dictionary of the English Language, The Middle English Compendium, The Oxford English Dictionary, and the 1889–1902 Century Dictionary.[5] Harper also researches on digital archives. On the Etymonline homepage, Harper says that he considers himself "essentially and for the most part" a compiler and evaluator of etymology research made by others.

Reviews and reputation

The Online Etymology Dictionary has been referenced by Oxford University's "Arts and Humanities Community Resource" catalog as "an excellent tool for those seeking the origins of words"[6] and cited in the Chicago Tribune as one of the "best resources for finding just the right word".[7] It is cited in academic work as a useful, though not definitive, reference for etymology.[8][9][10] In addition, it has been used as a data source for quantitative scholarly research.[11][12]


  1. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Ohio University. 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2007-01-05.
  2. ^ "Q&A With Douglas Harper: Creator of the Online Etymology Dictionary – IMSE – Journal". 18 June 2015. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  3. ^ "Contact Us". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  4. ^ "Home Page". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  5. ^ The dictionary's principal sources appear at Sources @ Online Etymology Dictionary
  6. ^ "Online etymology dictionary". Arts and Humanities Community Resource. Oxford University. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  7. ^ Bierma, Nathan (2007-01-03). "Internet has best resources for finding just the right word". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  8. ^ Paluzzi, Alessandro; Fernandez-Miranda, Juan; Torrenti, Matthew; Gardner, Paul (2012). "Retracing the etymology of terms in neuroanatomy". Clinical Anatomy. 25 (8): 1005–1014. doi:10.1002/ca.22053. PMID 23112209. S2CID 19961679.
  9. ^ Hultgren, Anna Kristina (2013). "Lexical borrowing from English into Danish in the Sciences: An empirical investigation of 'domain loss'". International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 23 (2): 166–182. doi:10.1111/j.1473-4192.2012.00324.x.
  10. ^ Mair, Victor (2015-04-10). "Farsi shekar ast". Language Log. Retrieved 2018-03-23.
    Mair, Victor (2016-01-28). "'Butterfly' words as a source of etymological confusion". Language Log. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  11. ^ Lieberman, Erez; Michel, Jean-Baptiste; Jackson, Joe; Tang, Tina; Nowak, Martin A. (2007). "Quantifying the evolutionary dynamics of language". Nature. 449 (7163): 713–716. Bibcode:2007Natur.449..713L. doi:10.1038/nature06137. PMC 2460562. PMID 17928859.
  12. ^ Jatowt, Adam; Duh, Kevin (2014). "A framework for analyzing semantic change of words across time" (PDF). IEEE/ACM Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. pp. 229–238. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/JCDL.2014.6970173. ISBN 978-1-4799-5569-5. S2CID 12357037.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 November 2023, at 22:45
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