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Online Etymology Dictionary
Online Etymology Dictionary.jpg
Screenshot of etymonline.com
Type Private
Founded Online (c.2000)
Headquarters Lancaster, PA, US
Key people
Employees 1
Website www.etymonline.com
Alexa rank positive decrease 21,451 (May 2015)[1]
Type of site Etymological dictionary
Registration no
Available in English
Current status active

The Online Etymology Dictionary is a free online dictionary that describes the origins of English-language words.[2]


Douglas Harper (aka "The Sciolist") compiled the etymology dictionary to record the history and evolution of more than 30,000 words, including slang and technical terms.[3] The core body of its etymology information stems from Weekley's "An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English". Other sources include the Middle English Dictionary and the Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology (by Robert Barnhart and others). In producing his large dictionary, Douglas Harper says that he is essentially and for the most part a compiler, an evaluator of etymology reports which others have made.[4]

Reviews and reputation[edit]

The Online Etymology Dictionary has been referenced by Ohio University's Library as a relevant etymological resource[2] and cited in the Chicago Tribune as one of the "best resources for finding just the right word".[5] It is cited in numerous articles as a source for explaining the history and evolution of words.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ "Alexa Ranking". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Online Etymology Dictionary". Ohio University. 2003. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  3. ^ "Home Page". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  4. ^ The dictionary's principal sources appear at Sources @ Online Etymology Dictionary.
  5. ^ Bierma, Nathan (3 January 2007). "Internet has best resources for finding just the right word". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-01-05. [dead link]
  6. ^ Rudeen, Mike. Any questions?; Ask! away on the News' new blog. Rocky Mountain News, 18 December 2006, republished by www.factiva.com, accessed 2007-01-05
  7. ^ Murali, D. Big results require big ambitions. Business Line (The Hindu), 21 July 2006, Section:Opinion, republished by Factiva.com, accessed 2007-01-05
  8. ^ Whyte, Ellen. Online resources to help improve your vocabulary. New Straits Times, 27 October 2005, republished by www.factiva.com, accessed 2007-01-05

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Etymology_Dictionary — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

298 news items

Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor
Thu, 27 Aug 2015 02:56:15 -0700

Euterpe was the muse of music. And yes, music means, etymologically, “of or pertaining to the Muses.” The Online Etymology Dictionary notes that in classical Greece, music referred to “any art in which the Muses presided, but especially music and lyric ...
The Guardian (blog)
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 09:07:26 -0700

Was Sylvia Plath an early adopter of the adjective “basic” as an insult? It's a theory which is put to us by the Telegraph, courtesy of the writer Alana Massey's discovery earlier this month that “holy shit you guys, Sylvia Plath has been calling ...

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Thu, 20 Aug 2015 13:43:40 -0700

(Source: Online Etymology Dictionary). Somewhere along the line I became fascinated with the term "founder perseverance." As a fan of human performance, I have the highest admiration for those entrepreneurs who absorb risk and stretch themselves to the ...

The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine
Tue, 18 Aug 2015 02:11:15 -0700

American writer Herman Melville's experience as a sailor on a merchant ship and on an 18-month whaling voyage provided fodder for his most famous novels, including Typee, Omoo, and of course Moby Dick. Such seafaring accounts put into print nautical ...

Honi Soit

Honi Soit
Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:15:00 -0700

And some sponsor a word in the Online Etymology Dictionary. For $10 you can sponsor a word for six months, and if you follow the link at the bottom right of the homepage, you can read their dedications. Although not all words are exclusively sponsored ...

Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor
Thu, 06 Aug 2015 02:56:15 -0700

Etymologically, relic made a slow meandering pilgrimage from Latin via French before ending up in English during the 13th century. The Online Etymology Dictionary explains its roots in something “remaining, or “that which remains.” Relinquish, meaning ...


Sat, 08 Aug 2015 20:33:45 -0700

And what of that bizarre newspaper term “morgue?” The Online Etymology Dictionary cites a 1903 reference indicating that originally the morgue was simply a “collection of pre-written obituary material.” The term evolved to include a “library of clips ...
Fri, 07 Aug 2015 09:18:45 -0700

(Reference from the Online Etymology Dictionary) But in our current times, the word “whore” while still derogatory, became also used for men and women who lower or debase themselves in some way for some form of attention. See: “media whore,” “attention ...

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