Etymology is a helpful way of thinking about a word by considering it’s evolution through time. So in order to to better understand it, let’s look at two links. The first is the merriam webster dictionary definition of etymology. Here we see both it’s definition and that there is section dedicated to etymology for every entry. The second link comes from an online etymology dictionary. Here we just get the etymology, but from this we can learn even more it’s meaning. So hopefully you can use both these links and approaches to help understand a new word and/or give context and history to a word that you already know.
Middle English ethimologie, from Anglo-French, from Latin etymologia, from Greek, from etymon + -logia -logy
1 : the history of a linguistic form (as a word) shown by tracing its development since its earliest recorded occurrence in the language where it is found, by tracing its transmission from one language to another, by analyzing it into its component parts, by identifying its cognates in other languages, or by tracing it and its cognates to a common ancestral form in an ancestral language
2 : a branch of linguistics concerned with etymologies
— et·y·mo·log·i·cal \-mə-ˈlä-ji-kəl\ adjective
— et·y·mo·log·i·cal·ly \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
1398, from Gk. etymologia, from etymon “true sense” (neut. of etymos “true,” related to eteos “true”) + logos “word.” In classical times, of meanings; later, of histories. Latinized by Cicero as veriloquium.