English vocabulary word information with cross references of Latin and Greek sources for thousands of English words.

English-Word Etymology Info about a
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English Has Integrated Words from Many Languages in Its Span of Existence!

English Comes from Many Sources

Vocabulary-word info comes in all sizes and degrees of difficulty from numerous languages past and present.

While all other languages—French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, and even Japanese—borrow from the English language, English also continues to churn out new words from those and other languages. To do this it incorporates many words from everywhere and from everyone.

That's not all. Once a foreign word is swallowed, digested, and accepted into everyday speech, it becomes English!

English absorbs words, it would seem indiscriminately, from place names, mythology, acronyms, the Bible, Shakespeare, family names, Latin and Greek elements, and many other sources.

It's easy to see that a host of cultural groups have contributed words to English, notably the French, Scandinavians, Greeks, Romans (Latin), American Indians, and Arabs.

The process is frequently accidental and unpredictable. This makes English word origins more exciting, amusing, and educational than etymologies from more homogeneous languages; as well as more surprising.

Understand English Via Its Historical Roots

If you understand the roots of the English language, you are less likely to abuse it and more likely to delight in its liveliness and variety because people have long wondered about the ancestry of the words they use.

Particularly challenging has been the history of English words. It is clear that much of English has been derived from the language of Germanic tribes; the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, who invaded England in the fifth century.

This was the beginning of what has come to be known as the Old English period. During this period, many Latin words, especially ecclesiastical terms, influenced English.

Middle English, which began about 1100 and continued to 1500, was infiltrated with French words brought to England by the Normans, who incidentally, made it the official language of England.

Many of today's English words stem directly from French; in fact some, like garage and rendezvous, have been borrowed in their complete forms.

English has reached out in many directions, not hesitating to acquire words from almost every language, including Indian dialects, Icelandic terms, and Chinese expressions; however, many more words have come to us from Latin and Greek sources, as seen in both generally used words and the more specialized areas of science and medicine.

English words come in all sizes and degrees of difficulty from numerous languages, past and present, to give us a great variety of vocabulary words for better communication.

This is your best opportunity to freely enjoy the richness of English vocabulary.


English vocabulary ranges from general to specialized applications

English vocabulary ranges in terms of a common vocabulary that has no special scientific or legal relevance to terms that do have scientific or legal validity, but are too specialized to be included in a general dictionary

These Greek and Latin to English word presentations make it possible for anyone to learn the primary sources, or etymologies, for words that are relevant to the whole spectrum of English vocabulary, from the generally used words to the specialized vocabulary, of a great variety of scientific fields as well as for other areas of knowledge; such as, legal, educational, and additionally significant scholarly studies.

Since new fields of science are constantly expanding and being created, new words are also being utilized. "Once united under the umbrella of natural philosophy, the sciences have become increasingly distinct and specialized.

New scientific fields and specialties continue to appear. Some result from the discovery of new phenomena (radio-astronomy or virology, for example); others grow out of the development of new concepts (such as quantum physics or string theory), while still others have resulted from the invention of new technologies (computer science, biometrics, nanotechnology, and X-ray crystallography are a few among several examples)."

Harriet Zuckerman in the Foreword of Academic press Dictionary of Science and Technology

It is necessary that we consult various literary references if we want to fulfill our vocabulary requirements!

Books representing vocabulary resource books which are providing a variety of sources for English vocabulary words in the Word Information dictionary.
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Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
—Arnold Lobel

No dictionary, including the biggest unabridged ones whether on CD-ROM (compact disk read-only memory) or in print, can anticipate all of the possible vocabulary forms that can be created by adding Latin and Greek prefixes and/or suffixes to root words.

The value of word-element entries is that they enable the user to grasp the meanings of many more terms than those that are entered into any particular dictionary; that is, if you have access to or know those Latin and Greek elements.

The use of Latin and Greek combining techniques is especially useful in determining the meanings of unfamiliar terms in such fields as medicine, chemistry, botany, zoology, ecology, pharmacology, geology, technology, and several other scientific areas that came to us from the past and those that are being created in the present and even those that will come in the future.

The less we know about the etymology of the vocabulary that is being utilized by global science in all of its formats, the less prepared will we be to understand and to communicate.

Although the best way to learn about the etymological sources of our vocabulary is to actually study the languages of Latin and Greek; the next best way to prepare ourselves is to take advantage of the available roots, prefixes, and suffixes that are presented on this site.

To ignore these resources is to deprive ourselves of the extensive benefits of understanding and expressing ourselves to others regardless of our vocational or career status.

-John Robertson

Words are one of our chief means of adjusting to all the situations of life.
The better control we have over words,
the more successful our adjustment is likely to be.

—Bergen Evans




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