Definition - The earliest traceable form from which a word has been derived.

1. The ancient Stoic philosophers believed that the etymon was the true original form of a word from which the currently used form was a degenerate descendant.

Example -
The English word motor derives from the Latin etymon motor, mover.

Etymology -
The word ultimately derives from the Greek etymos, true.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1570–6:
"Thus much then concerning the Etymon of this woorde Gavelkinde."
(Lambarde Peramb. Kent (1826) 477)

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