(Greek: truth, true meaning, real [the root meaning, true meaning or literal meaning of a word])
By comparing words in related languages, people may learn about their shared parent languages and in this way, some word roots have been found which can be traced all the way back to the origin of the Indo-European language family.
An etymologist is a scholar who knows the difference between an etymologist and an entomologist.
2. To construct the history of words: The lexicographer spent a great deal of time searching into the origins of words and etymologizing their meanings from their simple roots.
3. To give the derivation or to suggest an origin and historical development of language forms for a word or words: Although he is not trained in linguistics, Mathew's hobby is etymologizing various vocabulary terms.
2. Tracing the transmissions of words from one language to another and identifying their relationships in other languages, and reconstructing their ancestral forms when possible: The English language has borrowed many roots from Greek and Latin; so, one important aspect of historical linguistics involves the etymology of words that come from those classical languages as well as some other contributing sources; such as, French, German, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Indo-European, etc.
Through old texts and comparisons with other languages, etymology is an effort to reconstruct the history of words; when they entered a language, from what sources, and how their forms and meanings have changed.
2. A word, or part of a word, from which another term is derived: Some etymons have been derived from other languages, possibly in changed forms.
3. Etymology: from late 16th century; via Latin from Greek etumon "true sense of a word" and etumos "true, original".
"Etymology" comes from the same source as etymon and gives a clue to the definition it provides; which is, "the literal meaning of a word according to its origin".
2. A modification of a linguistic form according either to a falsely assumed etymology, or to a historically irrelevant analogy.
2. A popular but false notion of the origin of a word.
A few humorous examples of folk etymology
The word woman is derived from woe- + man; and so, "a bringer of woe".
The origin of virgin, comes from vir, Latin for "man", and gin, "a trap" and so a virgin is "a mantrap" or a "trapper of men".