In Abrahamic religions, a powerful spiritual being, the tempter and persecutor of humanity, sometimes considered as an angel who rebelled against God and became the Devil.
[Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin Satān, from Greek Satanas, Satān, from Hebrew śāṭān, devil, adversary, from śāṭan, to accuse, act as adversary; see śṭn in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.