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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.

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings may appreciate the source & meaning tips that pop up when the mouse pointer hovers over a non-obvious word or name that he coined from Indo-European (usually Old English or Old Norse) stock. But only reflexes of PIE etyma can be included, and these tend to concentrate in the vocabulary of Rohan and the Shire.

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

Note: this page is for systems/browsers with Unicode® support, but fonts for only the Unicode 2.0 character set (including combining diacritics). Versions of this page rendered in alternate character sets are available via links (see Unicode 3 and ISO-8859-1) in the left margin.

Pokorny Etymon: 4. mer-, merə-   'to die'

Semantic Field: to Die; Dead; Death


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Old Irish: marb adj dead LRC
  marbaid vb to put to death LRC
Welsh: marw adj dead LRC
Old English: morð n.masc death, murder, destruction LRC
  morðor n.masc/neut murder, misery, wickedness W7/ASD
Middle English: amortisen vb to amortize, alienate W7
  immortal adj immortal W7
  moreyne n murrain W7
  mortal adj mortal W7
  morte-mayne n mortmain W7
  mortuarie n mortuary W7
  mot n horn blast, note W7
  murther/murdre n murder W7
English: ambrosia n food of Greek/Roman gods AHD/W7
  amortize vb.trans to kill, slay, deaden, destroy AHD/OED
  amrita n ambrosia bestowing immortality (Hindu mythology) AHD
  immortal adj exempt from death AHD/W7
  Mordor prop.n land of Sauron in Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings LRC
  moribund adj dying AHD/W7
  mort n note (sounded on horn) signalling death of prey AHD/W7
  mortal adj fatal, causing death AHD/W7
  mortar n strong vessel where substances are ground/pounded with pestle AHD/W7
  mortmain n inalienable land/building possession AHD/W7
  mortuary n place where dead bodies are kept before burial AHD/W7
  murder n unlawful killing of person AHD/W7
  murrain n plague/pestilence affecting domestic plants/animals AHD/W7
  postmortem adj occurring after death AHD
British English: amortise vb.trans to amortize LRC
Old Frisian: morth n death, murder, destruction ASD
Old Saxon: morð n death, murder, destruction ASD
Old High German: mord n death, murder, destruction W7
German: Mord n.masc murder LRC
Old Norse: morþ n death, murder LRC
  myrða vb to kill, murder LRC
Icelandic: morð n death, murder, destruction ASD
Gothic: maurþr n murder LRC
  maurþrjan vb to murder LRC
Latin: ambrosia n.fem ambrosia W7
  immortalis adj immortal, eternal W7
  moribundus adj dying W7
  morior, mori vb.dep to die, expire W7
  mors, mortis n.fem death W7
  mortalis, mortalis, mortale adj mortal LRC
  mortuarius adj re: the dead W7
  mortuus vb.ptc dead W7
Vulgar Latin: admortio, admortīre vb to amortize W7
Portuguese: morrer vb to die TLL
Spanish: morir vb to die TLL
Old French: amortir vb to amortize AHD
  mort(e) adj dead W7
  mortemain n.fem mortmain W7
Middle French: amortir vb to absorb, amortize W7
  morine n.fem murrain W7
  morir vb to die W7
  mortel adj mortal W7
  mortemain n.fem mortmain W7
French: amortir vb to absorb, subdue, amortize W7
  mourir vb to die TLL
Italian: morire vb to die TLL
Lithuanian: mir̃ti, mìršta, mìrė vb to die LRC
  mirtìs n.fem death LRC
Old Church Slavonic: mrĕti vb to die LRC
  mrьtvъ adj dead LRC
  sъmrьtь n.fem death LRC
Homeric Greek: ἀμβροσία n.fem ambrosia, immortality LRC
Greek: ʼάμβροτος n.masc immortal man LRC
  βροτός n.masc mortal man LRC
  *μορτός n.masc mortal man LRC
Hittite: martari vb to disappear LRC
  merzi vb to go missing LRC
Classical Armenian: mahaber adj death-bearing LRC
  mah n death LRC
  mard n (mortal) man LRC
  mardik n mankind, people LRC
Armenian: meranim vb to die LRC
Old Persian: am(a)riyatā vb.pret (he) died LRC
Avestan: miryeite vb to die LRC
Sanskrit: amṛtam adj/adv without death AHD
  márate/mriyáte vb to die LRC
  mṛtam n death AHD


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

Abbrev. Meaning
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)
neut=neuter (gender)
pret=preterite (tense)

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)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
OED=James A.H. Murray et al: The Oxford English Dictionary (1933)
TLL=Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language (1944)
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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