The term “web” comes from the Old English word “webb,” which means “woven fabric” or “a structure made by weaving.” Here’s a detailed chronological breakdown:

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*webh-” means “to weave.”

2. Proto-Germanic

From the PIE root, the Proto-Germanic word “*wabjan” developed, meaning “to weave” or “a woven fabric.”

3. Old English (c. 5th to 11th century CE)

The term “webb” in Old English was used to describe a woven fabric, a tapestry, or anything formed by weaving. It also referred to a spider’s web, which is a structure created by the interweaving of silk threads.

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old English “webb” evolved into Middle English “web,” maintaining the meanings of “woven fabric” and “spider’s web.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “web” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, referring to a network of fine threads constructed by a spider, as well as any intricate structure resembling such a network.

6. Contemporary Usage

In the digital age, “web” has taken on additional meanings, particularly in reference to the World Wide Web (WWW), which is a vast network of interconnected documents and resources on the internet.

The word “web” reflects the concept of interwoven structures, whether in textiles, spider constructions, or complex networks such as the internet. It emphasizes the idea of interconnectedness and intricacy in various contexts.