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Electronic resources for studying etymology.

 Greek inscription (mosaic)

Here are three online English dictionaries, each with its own particular strengths and weaknesses.

     Of the three, the OED is the most comprehensive; as you will discover, however, comprehensiveness can be at odds with usability.

Be sure to take advantage of the search features (booleans, wildcards, truncation markers) available with these electronic tools — they will make your life much easier.

  Merriam-Webster Online.

     This site contains an abridged English dictionary as well as a thesaurus.  Definitions are brief and contain a minimal amount of etymological information.  The dictionary lookup is best used to find partial words — simply surround the text you want to find with asterisks.

  Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.

     An unabridged English dictionary with great search features.  Try the "Etymology Keyword" box, which allows you to locate English words derived from Greek or Latin.  NOTE:  If you are searching by Greek word, you must type the correct transliterated form.

  Oxford English Dictionary Online.

     The OED is not the best known English dictionary, but it is the best — at least in terms of sheer comprehensiveness.  The great strength of the OED is that it traces the history of each word, with examples of usage from various periods.

If you discover other online resources that are helpful to you, please contact me.

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