Etymological Wordnet

Maintainer: Gerard de Melo


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.

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.


  • 2013-02-08 version
    Text (TSV) format
    Note: A new version is currently in the works and expected to be released in the summer of 2018. Please check back soon!
  • Java API (download the UWN library and the Etymological Wordnet plugin)

Who would have thought that the English word "muscular" and the German word for the animal "bat" share the same origins?


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.


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.

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.

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