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Online Etymology Dictionary

Thursday, December 4th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Cool Sites

I love looking up the etymology of a word and seeing how it’s usage has changed over time. It’s one of the things that draws me to studying the discipline of literature. When I found this site, I knew I had to share it with all of you because it’s just so nifty!

The site is very easy to use. You can start just by typing a word into the blank text box and clicking the Ok button. And it will bring up all the listings for that word or words that contain that word.

For example, I searched for the word button. It brought up button, buttonhole, push-button, and many more entries.

Each entry delineates the part of speech the word is, a general definition of the word, when that definition came into use.

You can also use the alphabetical navigation, by selecting a letter and then browsing all the entries under that letter. This was also a fascinating way to browse and learn about words randomly. I also liked browsing this way because it shows what popular suffixes mean. For example, if you look under L you’ll find  -ly, -logue, -ling, etc. This is a part of word composition that I don’t think of very often.

Anyway, this is a very cool way to investigate the English language! Go check it out today!


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