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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 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.

1352 news items

Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor
Thu, 21 May 2015 02:56:15 -0700

Here's the scoop from the Online Etymology Dictionary: Bandy turns out to be an Irish game, a sort of proto-hockey. To bandy something about is thus to knock it around like a hockey puck. The name of our hypothetical prospective dean might be said to ...

Asheville Citizen-Times

Asheville Citizen-Times
Mon, 18 May 2015 13:15:44 -0700

A couple of sources, including Online Etymology Dictionary, noted busker refers to an itinerant entertainer, with the verb "busk" originally meaning to offer goods for sale only in bars and taprooms. It also noted that in a more figurative sense, it ...
The Daily News of Newburyport
Sun, 10 May 2015 23:56:15 -0700

... this everyday word that comes from Persian through Urdu around 1800, originally “psi jamahs,” meaning “loose trousers tied at the waist,” worn by Muslims in India and adopted by Europeans there, “especially for nightwear” (Online Etymology Dictionary).
Mon, 18 May 2015 02:00:00 -0700

The Online Etymology Dictionary says that nearly a century after "flabbergast" came into the picture, around 1844, it says - "throw" evolved into another synonym to confuse or flabbergast - as in, "You threw me with that fact." Random House also ...
Thu, 07 May 2015 17:56:15 -0700

The term "Anabaptist," according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, means "one who baptizes over again" and it was applied to Anabaptists by their persecutors. Anabaptists eventually branched off into several different sects, including Amish ...

Highbrow Magazine

Highbrow Magazine
Fri, 01 May 2015 10:54:43 -0700

'Broth' comes from the same Proto-Germanic root as the Old English 'brew' and refers to “...liquid in which something has been boiled,” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. 'Brodo' is the Italian word for broth. Nonbelievers have pointed out ...

University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News

University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News
Sun, 19 Apr 2015 18:04:34 -0700

Similar to the definition for marijuana in Western culture at the time, “ganjha” referred to a “powerful preparation of cannabis sativa,” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. The movement toward coining ganja reflects the 1856 British tax on ...

The Atlantic

The Atlantic
Tue, 21 Apr 2015 19:33:24 -0700

It's 1967, it's 5 in the morning, and Renata Adler, a 28-year-old reporter for The New Yorker, is at a club on the Sunset Strip. She has been observing, in that limpid, discarnate New Yorker style—as if the writer's brains have been preserved in a ...

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