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etymology (noun) – 1. The origin and historical development of a linguistic form as shown by determining its basic elements, earliest known use, and changes in form and meaning, tracing its transmission from one language to another, identifying its cognates in other languages, and reconstructing its ancestral form where possible.
2. The branch of linguistics that deals with etymologies.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : late Middle English: from Old French ethimologie, via Latin from Greek etumologia, from etumologos ?student of etymology?, from etumon, neuter singular of etumos ?true?.