Wilhelm Scherer (vĬl´hĕlm shĕr´ər), 1841–86, German philologist, b. Austria. Scherer held professorships at the universities of Vienna, Strasbourg, and Berlin. His History of German Literature (1883, tr. 1886) and his history of the German language (1868) are his best-known works. Through his writings ran a strong sense of nationalism. Scherer was one of the first to maintain that the phonetic development of language follows set rules that do not admit of exception.