- algorithm (n.) 1690s, from Fr. algorithme, refashioned (under mistaken connection with Gk. arithmos "number") from O.Fr. algorisme "the Arabic numeral system" (13c.), from M.L. algorismus, a mangled transliteration of Arabic al-Khwarizmi "native of Khwarazm," surname of the mathematician whose works introduced sophisticated mathematics to the West (see ALGEBRA (Cf. algebra)). The earlier form in Middle English was algorism (early 13c.), from Old French.
Etymology dictionary. 2014.