Etymological dictionary of the German language

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Editions of "Kluge", 1883 to 2011

The Etymological Dictionary of the German Language is a reference work on German language history. It is considered the standard work among the etymological dictionaries . It is also called the Kluge after its founder and first editor Friedrich Kluge , occasionally currently Kluge- Seebold (with the current editor of the 23rd and 24th editions) to distinguish it from older arrangements such as the Kluge- Götze (7th to 16th centuries) . Edition) and the Kluge- Mitzka (17th to 22nd edition).

The dictionary was published up to the 8th edition (1915) by Verlag Karl J. Trübner , Strasbourg . Since the 9th edition (1921) it has been published by Walter de Gruyter , Berlin (and New York ).

Requirements, processor, scope

Edition year editor pages stab
1. (in deliveries since 1881) 1883 Friedrich Kluge 392 3900 with dictionaries pp. 395–428;
2nd, unchanged impression 1883 Friedrich Kluge 392 3900 with dictionaries pp. 395–428; Digitized UB Regensburg ,
3rd, unchanged edition 1884 Friedrich Kluge 392 3900 with dictionaries pp. 395–428.
4th, improved edition 1889 Friedrich Kluge 405 3600 with dictionaries pp. 409–453; , , ,
5th, improved edition 1894 Friedrich Kluge 425 3600 with dictionaries pp. 428–491; ,
6th, improved and increased edition 1899 Friedrich Kluge 443 4700 with dictionaries pp. 428–491; , , 2nd reprint 1905:
7th, improved and increased edition 1910 Friedrich Kluge 514 5200 Digitized MDZ Munich
8th, improved and increased edition 1915 Friedrich Kluge 510 5300
9th, revised edition 1921 Friedrich Kluge 510 5300 Digitized at Taylor Institution Library
10th, improved and increased edition 1924 Friedrich Kluge 552 6200
11th, revised edition 1934 Alfred Gotze 740 8300
12th and 13th, unchanged edition 1943 Alfred Gotze 740 8300
14th, unchanged edition 1948 Alfred Gotze 740 8300
15th, completely revised edition 1951 Alfred Schirmer 933 9500
16th, corrected edition 1953 Alfred Schirmer 933 9500 last edition in Fraktur
17th, edited edition 1957 Walther Mitzka 900 8500
18th, edited edition 1960 Walther Mitzka 917 8700
19th, edited edition 1963 Walther Mitzka 917 8700
20th, edited edition 1967 Walther Mitzka 915 8600
21st, unchanged edition 1975 Walther Mitzka 915 8600
22nd, revised edition 1989 Elmar Seebold 822 000000000012200.000000000012,200 with Max Birgisser and Bernd Gregor
23rd, expanded edition 1995 Elmar Seebold 921 000000000011500.000000000011,500 Reprinted as paperback 1999
24th, revised and expanded edition 2002 Elmar Seebold 1023 000000000011900.000000000011,900 also as CD-ROM
25th, revised and expanded edition 2011 Elmar Seebold 1021 000000000011900.000000000011,900 ISBN 978-3-11-022364-4 ; also as an e-book ( ISBN 978-3-11-022365-1 ) and Android app

Information on the requirements in accordance with the end caps. Pages: dictionary part only. Keywords: counted by sampling five pages each of the letters D, H and K. For the 23rd edition, the publisher gives “13,000 words”, for the 24th “more than 13,000 words” and for the 25th edition “a total of approx. 13,000 words ”. The difference to the counted value comes from the joint discussion of related terms, which are considered individual keywords.


From the 10th edition in 1924 to the 12th / 13th edition. The 1943 edition was the dedication on the flyleaf: To the German people his German dictionary.

In the 1980s, criticism of the dictionary's condition at that time grew. It was said that it was not being maintained intensively enough and that it was partly out of date. The 21st edition (from 1975) remained unchanged compared to the previous edition. As a result of this criticism, Elmar Seebold became the new editor of the dictionary.


Since the first edition, Kluge has been an important source for etymological dictionaries of other languages. Examples:

  • Etymologically Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal by Johannes Franck
  • Etymologisk Ordbog over det norske og det danske sprog by Hjalmar Falk and Alf Torp
  • Svensk etymologisk ordbok by Elof Hellquist
  • An etymological dictionary of the English language by Walter William Skeat
  • Dansk etymologisk ordbog by Niels Åge Nielsen

More etymological dictionaries of German

  • German dictionary by Friedrich Ludwig Karl Weigand . 5th edition, Töpelmann, Giessen 1909–1910. The main processor was the Indo-Germanist Hermann Hirt ; Although this dictionary is old, it is extensive and its etymologies are independent of Kluge.
  • Etymological dictionary of German by Wolfgang Pfeifer , developed at the Central Institute for Linguistics, Berlin. 1665 pages. 2nd edition, Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-05-000626-9 . Paperback edition: Unabridged, revised edition, 7th edition dtv, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-423-32511-9 .
  • Duden . The dictionary of origin. Etymology of the German language . Edited by the Duden editorial team, 20,000 keywords in the 4th, newly edited edition, Dudenverlag, Mannheim / Leipzig / Vienna / Zurich 2007, ISBN 3-411-04074-2 .
  • Truig, dictionary of origin ( Truig Volume 6), Bertelsmann Lexikon Institut im Wissen Media Verlag (August 2002), ISBN 978-3-577-10071-7 .


  1. Kluge. Etymological dictionary of the German language. (No longer available online.) De Gruyter, archived from the original on October 11, 2016 ; accessed on May 15, 2018 .
  2. a b Oddvar Nes: Etymologiske ordbøker over germanske språk. In: Mål og Minne, 1 (1991), pp. 19-56.