Etymology Worksheets

What is Etymology?

Etymology is a rhetorical or literary device. In other words, it's the concept of understanding the history of words. It is believed that every word has an origin story, and often their histories are quite informative and adventurous. Some can jump across languages or found as formal words in one language and slang in another. The word's birthday is when it is used for the first time. For instance, the word "show-and-tell" was introduced in 1948 in an elementary school. After more than 60 years, it is still used in different schools as a favorite activity. Several words have historical origins dating back hundreds of years ago.

Finding Meaning through Root Words

Use what you have learned to match each word to its meaning. Then, on the lines, explain how the words are similar, or how the root word contributes to the meaning of each word.

Do You Know Your Roots?

Look up each of the following words in the dictionary. What is the root word? Write it on the line.

Meaning Chart

Look up the words in the dictionary. Complete the chart.

Word Origins

Now choose the correct word to complete each sentence.

Latin Prefixes

Write what each Latin prefix means.

Common Latin Roots

Read the clues. Then identify the Latin root.

Greek and Latin Roots

Match each Greek or Latin root to its meaning.

Greek Prefixes

Write what each Latin prefix means.

Where's Melancholy Going?

CLUES: Melancholy means a dark mood. Melatonin is a hormone your brain produces in response to darkness. Melanin is a pigment that determine how dark your skin and hair color is.

Where's It Come From?

Many words in the English language come from other languages, often Greek or Latin.

Unscramble and Decode

Each word below contains one or more Greek or Latin roots. Unscramble the words. Then use a dictionary to determine the etymology and meaning of each word.


Take one word and break it down.

Vocabulary Worksheet

Choose three words from this week's vocabulary list. Use a dictionary to complete an etymology chart for each word.

Word Find

Find words in the puzzle that belong to the roots provided. Underneath each root, write its meaning.


Find nine words in the puzzle that start with the letter a. Then look up each word in the dictionary and complete the table for each word.