1. Education

Etymology Exercise

Exploring Word Origins

By

Etymology Exercise

Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th edition (Wiley Publishing, 2007)

Instructions:
The words listed below have experienced some interesting changes in meaning over the centuries. Look up each word in a good college dictionary (or an unabridged dictionary, if available), and then provide the following information about its etymology:

(a) an earlier (usually obsolete) meaning of the word in English (or the meaning of the word as it was used in another language before entering English)

(b) the most common meaning(s) of the word today
When you're done, compare your responses with the answers on page two.

TIP: To view this exercise without ads, click on the printer icon near the top of the page.

  1. nice

    (a)

    (b)


  2. dandelion

    (a)

    (b)


  3. muscle

    (a)

    (b)


  4. salary

    (a)

    (b)


  5. gorilla

    (a)

    (b)


  6. gossip

    (a)

    (b)


  7. gregarious

    (a)

    (b)


  8. hazard

    (a)

    (b)


  9. lunch

    (a)

    (b)


  10. assassin

    (a)

    (b)

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Grammar & Composition
  4. Words
  5. Etymology Exercise - Exploring Word Origins

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.