6 Websites to Know Origin of Words

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We use different languages worldwide to communicate with each other. Every so often we wonder where a word came from. How did a particular word start being used as a common word worldwide and where did it actually originate from. So to find this out we will explore the world of languages and origin of words in this article. This article will cover websites which will let you know the origin of a word.

The study of origin of a word is known as Etymology. You will find that often there are popular tales behind the origin of a word. Most of these tales are just tales and not true, but knowing how the word came into being is equally interesting. So let’s look at these websites to know the origin of words below.

Online Etymology Dictionary

Online etymology dictionary explains you the origin of words and what they meant along with how they would have sounded years back. You would see a date beside each word. This date represents the earliest evidence of this word being used in some sort of written manuscript. Now you can either search for a word you are looking for by typing it in the search box given at the top of the page, otherwise you can browse the words alphabetically. The website has a huge collection of words in it. You can go through the words and find out there origins and meanings as well.

Word Origins by English Oxford Living Dictionaries

Word Origins by English Oxford Living Dictionaries is a good website to know about a words origin. You can check out origin of a word or a phrase. You can search for the word or a phrase you are looking for or can even browse the page to know origin of different words. The website apart from this has a dictionary, thesaurus, grammar helper, etc. As this app has a dictionary, it proves to be a good source for knowing the origin of a word. You can see trending words when you scroll down the page. You can also subscribe to the newsletter on this website to receive updates regarding new words, phrases, etc.


The website Wordorigins.org will let you know the origin of words and phrases. The website has a big list of words which you can go through, or even search for a particular word that you are looking for. The website also has a blog and discussion forum where people can discuss there views. You can login and become a member of the website so you receive regular updates from the website. You can either start browsing words by going to the big list words tab, or by searching for a word. The big list of words is in alphabetical order and there are about 400 words in here. Each word has a interesting story or folklore related to it.

Words of the World

Words of the World is a website which lets you watch videos to let you know the origin of a word. The website explains which language a word originated from through a video. The home page of the website will have a list of words for which you can see a video explaining how the word originated. The words on the home page are given in the format as shown in the screenshot above, but they can also be turned into a neat list if you like. The website is supported by the University of Nottingham and thus is a trusted source.

Learning Nerd

Learning Nerd is another website which has a section on English etymology resources. The website lists references to origin of words like there are word origin dictionaries listed, words with Greek and Latin roots are under a different category, words originating from around the world can be found under international words, and then there is a section for miscellaneous words. You can also play etymology quizzes and listen to etymology podcasts as well. The website itself doesn’t have much information about word origins but will redirect you to another website for your word needs.

Learn That Word

Learn That Word is another website which lists root words and prefixes. The website is pretty basic and a list of words can be seen right on the first page. The words are listed alphabetically, so you can even jump to a word that you are looking for easily. The website will list the root word, its meaning, its place of origin, and then definition and examples. This can be seen in the screenshot above.

These are the websites I found which let you know the origin of a word. Go through them and let me know which one you liked most. If you think there is a website which could be included in this article then leave a comment below.

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