/et-ә-mahl-ә-jee/. 1. The study of the origin or derivation of words and how their meanings develop and change over time. • In dictionaries, the etymology of a term is shown after the pronunciation, part of speech, and variant spellings, or at the end of an entry. 2. The history of a particular term, usually including an account of its various forms and meanings. — etymological, adjective

An asterisk (✳) precedes words and phrases that are invariably inferior forms.
Garner’s Modern American Usage, Bryan A. Garner