Etymological Wordnet


Some might be surprised to find out that the English word "muscular" and the German word for the animal "bat" share the same origins.

The Etymological Wordnet project provides information about how words in different languages are etymologically related.

The information is for the most part mined from Wiktionary. The semi-structured data is turned into a machine-readable etymological database that also incorporates some additional manually added etymological relationships.

Access Data

Browse Online
A very basic interface to (an older version of) the data is provided at A more advanced browsing interface will be available later.
Download Etymological Wordnet 2013-02-08 version in Text (TSV) format
Java API
Programmatical access for the JVM (download the UWN library and the Etymological Wordnet plugin)

Note: A new version is currently in the works and expected to be released in the summer of 2020. Please check back soon!


For academic use, please cite the following publications:

Gerard de Melo.
Etymological Wordnet: Tracing the History of Words  PDF   BibTeX
In: Proc. LREC 2014. ELRA, 2014, Paris, France.

Gerard de Melo and Gerhard Weikum.
Towards Universal Multilingual Knowledge Bases   PDF    BibTeX
In: Principles, Construction, and Applications of Multilingual Wordnets. Proceedings of
the 5th Global Wordnet Conference (GWC 2010)
Narosa Publishing 2010, New Delhi India.

Further Information

Other Resources

The Etymological WordNet is just one of several linguistic and lexical-semantic resources that we provide. Please see the Resources section for other resources, including UWN, our large multilingual network of word senses with millions of semantic relationships.


Please get in touch with Gerard de Melo if you would like to contribute to the Etymological WordNet or if you have additional suggestions or research proposals. There are several ways in which the data could be improved if you have a specific research project in mind.


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© 2020 Gerard de Melo