Indo-European Lexicon

PIE Etymon and IE Reflexes

Below we display: a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) etymon adapted from Pokorny, with our own English gloss; our Semantic Field assignment(s) for the etymon, linked to information about the field(s); an optional Comment; and Reflexes (derived words) in various Indo-European languages, organized by family/group in west-to-east order where Germanic is split into West/North/East families and English, our language of primary emphasis, is artificially separated from West Germanic. IE Reflexes appear most often as single words with any optional letter(s) enclosed in parentheses; but alternative full spellings are separated by '/' and "principal parts" appear in a standard order (e.g. masculine, feminine, and neuter forms) separated by commas.

Reflexes are annotated with: Part-of-Speech and/or other Grammatical feature(s); a short Gloss which, especially for modern English reflexes, may be confined to the oldest sense; and some Source citation(s) with 'LRC' always understood as editor. Keys to PoS/Gram feature abbreviations and Source codes appear below the reflexes; at the end are links to the previous/next etyma [in Pokorny's alphabetic order] that have reflexes.

All reflex pages are currently under active construction; as time goes on, corrections may be made and/or more etyma & reflexes may be added.

Pokorny Etymon: 1. ghrebh-, gherbh-, root extension ghrebhā-   'to grab, grasp'

Semantic Field(s): to Grasp, Seize, Take Hold of


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old English: (ge-)græppian vb to grapple ASD/IEW
Middle English: graspen vb to grasp W7
English: grab vb to snatch, clutch AHD/W7
grabble vb to grope, search with hand IEW
grapple vb to seize, hold fast IEW
grasp vb to clutch, make motion of seizing AHD/W7
West Germanic  
Old Frisian: grova vb to grovel GED
Low German: grabben vb to grab W7
Old High German: garba n.str/wk.fem sheaf GED
Middle High German: grāpen vb to grope GED
German: grapsen vb to grasp GED
North Germanic  
Old Icelandic: grufla vb to grovel GED
Norwegian: gruvla vb to grovel GED
Swedish: grabba vb to grab GED
Lithuanian: grabinėti vb to seize here and there GED
grabùs adj dexterous GED
grõbis n booty GED
gróbiu vb to seize forcefully GED
gróbti vb to seize forcefully GED
Latvian: grâbt vb to seize, rake GED
Old Persian: ag(a)rbāya vb.pret seized GED
Avestan: gərəwnāiti vb to seize GED
Sanskrit: gṛbhṇāti vb to seize GED


Key to Part-of-Speech/Grammatical feature abbreviations:

Abbrev. Meaning
fem=feminine (gender)
pret=preterite (tense)
str=strong (inflection)
wk=weak (inflection)

Key to information Source codes (always with 'LRC' as editor):

Code Citation
AHD=Calvert Watkins: The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 2nd ed. (2000)
ASD=Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller: An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary (1898)
GED=Winfred P. Lehmann: A Gothic Etymological Dictionary (1986)
IEW=Julius Pokorny: Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (1959)
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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