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The American Heritage Dictionary Semitic Roots Appendix

The letter ʾ (aleph) and the letter ʿ (ayin) are alphabetized before the letter a. Therefore, ʿbd follows ʾzr and b follows ʿzz.

For more information about this section, please refer to the Guide to the Semitic Roots Appendix.

Jump to section:

ʾ, ʿ, b, d, , g, ġ, h, , , k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, ś, š, , ṣ́, t, , , ṯ̣, w, , y, z.

Common Semitic noun *ʾab‑, father.
  1. Abraham, from Hebrew ʾabrāhām, the (divine) father is exalted, from ʾab, reduced form of ʾāb, father.
  2. Job, from Hebrew ʾiyyôb, perhaps from an early Northwest Semitic dialectal name meaning "where is the father?", from ʾôb, father, of dialectal origin, akin to Hebrew ʾāb, father. (Alternatively, ʾiyyôb may be akin to Hebrew ʾōyēb, enemy; see ʾyb).
    1. Joab, from Hebrew ʾāb, Yahweh (is) father (, Yahweh; see hwy);
    2. Ahab, from Hebrew ʾaḥʾāb, father's brother (ʾaḥ, brother; see ʾ). Both a and b from ʾāb, father.
    1. Abigail, from Hebrew ʾăbîgayil, my father (is) joy (see gyl);
    2. Absalom, from Hebrew ʾabšālōm, short for ʾăbîšālōm, my father (is) peace (šālōm, peace; see šlm). Both a and b from Hebrew ʾăbî, shortened form of ʾābî, my father, from ʾāb, father.
    1. baobab, from North African Arabic bū ḥibāb, tree of many seeds;
    2. borage, probably from Arabic ʿaraq, from ʾabū ʿaraq, father of sweat;
    3. bwana, from Arabic ʾabūnā, our father;
    4. pataca, from Arabic ʾabū ṭāqa, "father of the window," a type of coin. a-e all from Arabic ʾabū, bound form of ʾab, father, source.
    1. abba, abbacy, abbatial, abbé, abbess, abbey, abbot, from Aramaic ʾabbā, the father, my father, from ʾab, father;
    2. Barabbas, from Aramaic bar-ʾabbā, son of the father (see bn).

To blossom (?).
    1. Abib, from Hebrew ʾābîb, young barley, spring, a month name;
    2. Tel Aviv, from Hebrew tēl ʾābîb, barley tell (see tll).
  1. Addis Ababa, from Amharic addis abäba, new flower, from abäba, flower, from abbäbä, to blossom (addis, new; see ḥdṯ).

West Semitic noun *ʾabaq‑, dust, chaff, whence denominative verb, to be(come) dusty.
abacus, from Greek abax, abak‑, counting board, perhaps from Hebrew ʾābāq, dust.

Common Semitic noun *ʾad‑, father, lord.
  1. Adonai, from Hebrew ʾădônāy, my lord, from ʾādôn, lord (-ay, my; see -y).
  2. Adonis, from Greek Adōnis, from Phoenician *ʾadōn, lord. Both 1 and 2 from Common Semitic extended form *ʾadān‑, lord.

Central Semitic noun *ʾadam‑, human being, perhaps akin to Common Semitic noun *dam‑, blood, and the root *ʾdm, red, ground.
Adam, from Hebrew ʾādām, human being, man, humanity.

Common Semitic noun *ʾuḏn‑, ear.
  1. azan, from Arabic ʾaḏān, call to prayer, from ʾaḏḏana, to call to prayer, derived stem of ʾaḏina, to listen, denominative from ʾuḏn, ear.
  2. muezzin, from Arabic muʾaḏḏin, muezzin, active participle of ʾaḏḏana (see above).

To hire, rent.
agora2, from Hebrew ʾăgôrâ, payment, coin, from ʾāgar, to hire.

Common Semitic noun *ʾaḫ‑, brother.
  1. Ahab, from Hebrew ʾaḥʾāb, father's brother, from ʾaḥ, irregular bound form of ʾāḥ, brother (ʾāb, father; see ʾb).
  2. Sennacherib, from Akkadian Sîn-aḫḫī-erība, Sin has replaced the (lost) brothers for me, from aḫḫī, oblique plural of aḫu, brother (erība, he has replaced for me; see rʾb).
  3. Esarhaddon, from Akkadian Aššur-aḫa-iddin, Ashur has given a brother, from aḫa, accusative of aḫu (see above; iddin, has given; see ntn).

(To be) late, behind, in back.
Achernar, from Arabic ʾaḫīr, last, end.

  1. Common Semitic basic form *ʾil‑, god.
      1. Azazel, from Hebrew ʿăzāʾzēl, perhaps corrupt for ʿăzaz-ʾēl, God has been strong (personal name);
      2. bethel, from Hebrew bêtʾēl, house of God;
      3. Daniel, from Hebrew dānīʾēl, dānīyēʾl, my judge (is) God (alternatively, God has judged);
      4. Ezekiel, from Hebrew yəḥezqēʾl, God has strengthened;
      5. Gabriel, from Hebrew gabrîʾēl, my strong one (is) God (see gpr);
      6. Ishmael, from Hebrew yišmāʿēʾl, God has heard (see šmʿ);
      7. Israel, from Hebrew yiśrāʾēl, God has striven, God has saved;
      8. Joel, from Hebrew ʾēl, Yahweh (is) God;
      9. Michael, from Hebrew mîkāʾēl, who (is) like God?;
      10. Nathanael, from Hebrew nətanʾēl, God has given (see ntn);
      11. Raphael, from Hebrew rəpāʾēl, God has healed (rəpāʾ, he has healed; see rpʾ);
      12. Samuel, from Hebrew šəmûʾēl, name of God (alternatively, the name (is) God; see šm);
      13. schlemiel, perhaps from Hebrew personal name šəlūmîʾēl, my well-being (is) God. a-m all from Hebrew ʾēl, God;
      14. Elijah, from Hebrew ʾēlîyāhû, my God (is) Yahweh, from ʾēlî, my God, from ʾēl (see above) + , my;
      15. Elisha, from Hebrew ʾĕlîšāʿ, God (is) salvation, from ʾĕl, shortened form of ʾēl, God (see above; -îšāʿ, salvation; see wṯʿ);
      16. Elizabeth, from Hebrew ʾĕlîšebaʿ, my God (is) an oath, from ʾĕlî, reduced form of ʾēlî, my God (see above; -šebaʿ, oath; see šbʿ);
      17. Lazarus, from Hebrew ʾelʿāzār, God has helped, from ʾel, reduced form of ʾēl, God (see above; ʿāzār, he has helped; see ʿḏr).
      1. Babylon, from Akkadian bābili, gate of the god, from ilu, god;
      2. Babel, from Hebrew bābel, from Akkadian bāb ili, Babylon (see above).
    1. Enlil, from Sumerian refashioning of Semitic *ʾilil, probably "god of gods," reduplication of *ʾil‑.
  2. Central Semitic extended form ʾilāh‑, god.
    1. Elohim, from Hebrew ʾĕlōhîm, God, plural (used as singular) of ʾĕlōah, god.
      1. Allah, from Arabic allāh, the god, God, from al‑, the + ʾilāh, god;
      2. ayatollah, from Arabic ʾāyatu llāh, sign of God;
      3. Bahaullah, from Arabic bahāʾu llāh, splendor of God; a-c all from Arabic llah, elided form of allāh (see above).

Common Semitic noun *ʾalp‑, ox.
  1. aleph, from Hebrew ʾālep, aleph;
  2. alpha, alphabet, from Greek alpha. Both a and b from Phoenician *ʾalp, ox, first letter of the Phoenician alphabet.

West Semitic, to go toward, lead.
imam, from Arabic ʾimām, leader, imam, from ʾamma, to go, lead.

West Semitic, to be firm, confirmed, reliable, faithful, have faith, believe.
  1. amen, from Hebrew ʾāmēn, truly, certainly;
  2. Mammon, from Aramaic māmonā, probably from Mishnaic Hebrew māmôn, probably from earlier *maʾmōn (? "security, deposit"). Both a and b from Hebrew ʾāman, to be firm.

To see, know, make known, say.
emir; admiral, from Arabic ʾamīr, commander, prince, and ʾamīr al-..., commander of the ... (as in ʾamīr al-baḥr, commander of the sea), from ʾamara, to command, order.

Common Semitic noun *ʾipād‑, a type of garment.
ephod, from Hebrew ʾēpôd, ephod, probably akin to Old Assyrian Akkadian epattum, a costly garment.

To be(come) late, do later, answer.
  1. Assurbanipal, from Akkadian aššur-bāni-apli, Ashur (is) the creator of the heir, from apli, genitive of aplu, heir, from apālu, to be(come) late, come later, come after (bāni, creator; see bny).
  2. Tiglathpileser, from Hebrew tiglat pilʾeser, from Akkadian tukultī-apil-ešarra, my trusted one (is) the heir of Esharra (the main temple of the god Ashur in the Assyrian religious capital of Assur; the "heir of Esharra" is the god Ashur), from aplu, heir (see above; tukultī, my trusted one; see wkl).

Common Semitic noun *ʾarṣ́‑, earth.
Ardipithecus, from Afar ardi, earth, from Arabic ʾarḍ.

West Semitic noun *ʾarz‑, cedar.
alerce, from Arabic ʾarz, cedar.

Central Semitic noun *ʾaš(a)d‑, lion.
Denebola, from Arabic al-ʾasad, the lion.

Central Semitic root meaning "front, first."
mohel, from Mishnaic Hebrew môhēl, active participle of māhal, to circumcise, from Aramaic məhal, akin to Biblical Hebrew māl, to circumcise (perhaps originally "to remove the front"), from môl, front, from earlier *maʾōl.

Central Semitic, to be(come) light.
  1. Urim and Thummim, from Hebrew ʾûrîm, perhaps plural of ʾûr, flame, light;
  2. Uriah, from Hebrew ʾûrîyāh, my light (is) Yahweh, from ûrî, my light, from ûr, light + , my (yāh, Yahweh; see hwy). Both a and b from Hebrew ʾôr, to be(come) light.

Common Semitic noun *ʾāyat‑, sign, mark (*-at‑, feminine suffix).
aya, ayatollah, from Arabic ʾāya, sign.

To be(come) hostile to, hate; in nominal forms, enemy.
Job, from Hebrew ʾiyyôb, perhaps akin to Hebrew ʾōyēb, enemy, participle of ʾāyab, to hate. (Alternatively, ʾiyyôb may mean "where is the father?"; see ʾb and ʾyy.)

Common Semitic interrogative stem *ʾayy‑, which?, where?.
  1. Job, from Hebrew ʾiyyôb, perhaps from an early Northwest Semitic dialectal name meaning "where is the father?", from ʾiyy, where?, akin to Hebrew ʾê, where? (ʾôb, father; see ʾb. Alternately, ʾiyyôb may be akin to Hebrew ʾōyēb, enemy; see ʾyb.)
  2. Jezebel, from Hebrew ʾîzebel, where is the prince?, from î, akin to ê, ʾayyē, where? (zebel, prince; see zbl).

Central Semitic, to surround, gird.
  1. Mizar, from Arabic miʾzar, covering, apron (compare also the probably denominative derived stem ʾazzara, to clothe, cover).
  2. vizier, from Arabic wazīr, vizier, minister, burdened, either from ʾāzara, to help, derived stem of ʾazara, to surround (see above), or from wazara, to carry a burden, take upon oneself (see wzr).

Central Semitic, to serve, work; noun *ʿabd‑, servant, slave.
  1. Obadiah, from Hebrew ʿōbadyāh, servant of Yahweh, from ʿōbad, alternate form of ʿebed, servant, slave.
  2. Abednego, from Hebrew ʿăbēd-nəgô, probably alteration of ʿăbēd-nəbô, servant of Nabu, from ʿăbēd, alternate form of ʿebed, servant (nəbô, Nabu, from Akkadian nabû).

Central Semitic, to help.
  1. Ezra, from Hebrew ʿezrāʾ, hypocoristic form of a name such as ʿazrîʾēl, God (is) my help, from ʿazr‑, ʿezr‑, presuffixal form of ʿēzer, help (ʾēl, God; see ʾl).
  2. Lazarus, from Hebrew ʾelʿāzār, God has helped, from ʿāzār, he has helped, lengthened form of ʿāzar, to help (ʾel, God; see ʾl).
  3. Hasdrubal, from Latin Hasdrubāl, from Phoenician (Punic) *ʿazrō-baʿl, his help (is) Baal, from *ʿazrō, his help, from ʿazr, help, from *ʿzr, to help + *-ō, his (*baʿl, Baal; see bʿl).

West Semitic, to press, bend.
lamejun, from Arabic ʿajīn, dough, from ʿajina, to knead.

Arabic root, to know.
ulema, from Arabic ʿulamāʾ, plural of ʿālim, wise, learned, active participle of ʿalima, to know.

To ascend, become high, exalted.
  1. aliyah, from Hebrew ʿălīyâ, ascent, from ʿālâ, to ascend.
  2. shalom aleichem, from Hebrew ʿălêkem, to you, from ʿal, ʿălê, to, toward, upon (a preposition akin to ʿālâ, to ascend) + -kem, you (plural).
  3. Eli, from Hebrew ʿēlî, exalted, probably short for a name meaning "God is exalted" or the like.
  4. Enuma Elish, (name of the Babylonian creation epic), from Akkadian enūma elîš, when on high (first words of the epic; enūma, when; see ywm), from elîš, above, on high, from elû, high, upper, verbal adjective of elû, to be high, tall + -iš, adverbial suffix.

Common Semitic noun *ʿamm‑, paternal kinsman, kin, clan, people.
    1. Jeroboam, from Hebrew yārobʿām, the (divine) kinsman increased (yārob, he increased; see rbb);
    2. Rehoboam, from Hebrew rəḥabʿām, the (divine) kinsman has increased (rəḥab, he has increased; see rḥb). Both a and b from Hebrew ʿām, people, clan (earlier also "kinsman").
  1. Ammonite, from Hebrew ʿammônî, Ammonite, from ʿammôn, Ammon, perhaps from Canaanite *ʿamm, paternal kinsman, kin.
  2. umma, from Arabic ʾumma, nation, people, community, from Aramaic ʾumməṯā, from Akkadian ummatu, troop, probably from earlier *ʿammatum, feminine of *ʿamm, paternal kinsman.
  3. Hammurabi, from Akkadian ḫammurāpi, from Amorite *ʿammu-rāpiʾ, the (divine) kinsman (is) a healer, from *ʿammu, kinsman (*rāpiʾ, healer; see rpʾ).

Central Semitic, to live, dwell, build; noun *ʿumr‑, life.
  1. Omri, (king of Israel), from Hebrew ʿomrî, probably short for *ʿomrîyāh, my life (is) Yahweh, from ʿomrî, my life, from *ʿōmer (< *ʿumr‑), life.
    1. Omar, from Arabic ʿumar, probably akin to ʿumr, life;
    2. imaret, from Arabic ʿimāra, building. Both a and b from Arabic ʿamara, to live, dwell, build.

Central Semitic, to load, carry.
Amos, from Hebrew ʿāmôs, perhaps "carried (by the divinity)," from ʿāmas, to load, carry.

West Semitic, to follow, guard, protect.
jack, jacket, Jacob, Jacobin, Jacquerie, James, from Hebrew yaʿăqōb, (God) has protected, from early Northwest Semitic *yaʿqub, preterite of *ʿaqaba, to follow, guard.

West Semitic, to bend, bind, confine.
agal, from Arabic ʿiqāl, cord for hobbling a camel, agal, from ʿaqala, to confine, hobble.

To enter, stand surety or bail for, guarantee.
  1. arbiter, from Latin arbiter, judge, from Phoenician (Punic) *ʿarb, surety, guarantee.
  2. earnest2, from Greek arrabōn, from Canaanite *ʿirrabōn, pledge, surety, akin to Hebrew ʿērābôn, from *ʿaraba, to enter, stand surety for.
  3. eruv, from post-Biblical Hebrew ʿêrûb, eruv, verbal noun of ʿērēb, to mix, denominative verb from Hebrew ʿēreb, mixture (perhaps < *"an entering among").
  4. Arabic root form ġrb, to depart. Maghreb, Morocco, from Arabic maġrib, place where the sun sets, west, from ġaraba, to depart, set (of the sun).

Central Semitic, to reckon, know.
tariff, from Arabic taʿrīf, notification, infinitive of ʿarrafa, to announce, inform, derived stem of ʿarafa, to know.

West Semitic, to gnaw, strip.
erg2, from Maghrebi Arabic ʿarq, ʿarg, colloquial pronunciation of Arabic ʿirq, vein, tract of sand extending along the ground (perhaps < *"something stripped off, strip, strand").

Arabic root, to sweat. Perhaps a specialized semantic development of ʿrq1 (< *"to become emaciated"? < "to gnaw, strip&;rdquo;).
  1. arak, arrack, raki, from Arabic ʿaraq, originally short for ʿaraq al-tamr, literally, sweat of the date (arak originally having been distilled from date wine), from ʿaraq, sweat;
  2. borage, probably from Arabic ʿaraq, from ʾabū ʿaraq, father of sweat. Both a and b from Arabic ʿaraq, sweat, from ʿariqa, to sweat, perspire.

Common Semitic *ʿaśr‑, ten.
Ashura, from Arabic ʿāšūrāʾ, the tenth of Muharram kept as a fast day by Arabs in pre-Islamic times, Ashura, ultimately (probably via Aramaic *ʿāsorā) from Hebrew ʿāśôr, a set of ten (days, etc.), decade (used in Leviticus to specify the date of Yom Kippur, the tenth of Tishri), from ʿeśer, ten.

West Semitic, to press. restrain, retain.
  1. Shemini Atzereth, from Hebrew ʿăṣeret, assembly, gathering, from ʿāṣar, to retain.
  2. alizarin, probably from Arabic al-ʿuṣāra, the juice, from ʿaṣara, to squeeze.

To reap, cut.
alidade, from Arabic al-ʿiḍāda, the side, border, region, revolving radius of a circle, alternate form of ʿaḍud, humerus, from ʿaḍada, to lop, cut (trees).

Common Semitic masculine noun *ʿaṯtar‑, feminine *ʿaṯtart‑, gods representing the morning and evening stars.
  1. Ashtoreth, from Hebrew ʿaštōret, taboo-deformation (with the vowels of bōšet, shame, shameful thing) of earlier *ʿašteret.
    1. Astarte, from Greek Astartē, from Phoenician *ʿaštart;
    2. Aphrodite, from Greek Aphrodītē, probably ultimately from Phoenician *ʿaštart, Astarte (influenced by Greek aphros, foam).
    1. Ishtar, from Akkadian ištar;
    2. Esther, from Hebrew ʾestēr, perhaps from Akkadian ištar, Ishtar (or from Persian sitareh, star; see ster-3 in Appendix I).

West Semitic, to smoke, burn incense.
attar, from Arabic ʿaṭir, aromatic, from ʿaṭira, to be fragrant.

West Semitic, to be(come) blind.
average, from Arabic ʿawārīya, damaged goods, from ʿawār, blemish, from ʿawira, to become one-eyed, damaged.

Common Semitic noun *ʿayn‑, eye.
ayin, from Hebrew ʿayin, eye, ayin.

To be(come) strong.
Azazel, from Hebrew ʿăzāʾzēl, name of a demon, perhaps corrupt for ʿăzaz-ʾēl, God has been strong (personal name), from ʿăzaz, reduced form of ʿāzaz, to be strong (ʾēl, God; see ʾl).

Common Semitic preposition bi‑, in, on, at, with.
lamejune, from Arabic laḥm bi-'ajīn, meat with dough, from bi‑, with.

Common Semitic noun *biʾr‑, well, cistern.
  1. Beersheba, from Hebrew ʾēr šebaʿ, well of oath, from ʾēr, well (šebaʿ, oath; see šbʿ).
  2. Beirut, from Arabic bayrūt, from Phoenician *biʾrōt, plural of *biʾr, well.

Common Semitic noun *baʿl‑, lord.
    1. Baal, from Hebrew baʿal, lord, Baal;
    2. Beelzebub, from Hebrew baʿal zəbûb, lord (of the) fly, pejorative alteration of baʿal zəbûl, lord prince (name of a Philistine god; see ḏbb and zbl).
    1. Hannibal, from Phoenician (Punic) *ḥannī-baʿl, my grace (is) Baal (see ḥnn);
    2. Hasdrubal, from Phoenician (Punic) *ʿazrō-baʿl, his help (is) Baal (see ʿḏr). Both a and b from Phoenician (Punic) *baʿl, lord, Baal.
  1. Belshazzar, from Hebrew bēlšaṣṣar, from Akkadian bēl-šar-uṣur, "Bel, protect the king," from bēl, absolute form of bēlu, lord, Bel (Akkadian god; šar, king, and uṣur, protect; see śrr and nṯr).

To change, divide, separate.
habdalah, from Hebrew habdālâ, separation, from hibdîl, to divide, separate.

West Semitic, to be(come) desolate, desert; noun *badw‑, desert.
Bedouin, from Arabic badawīyīn, Bedouins, plural of badawī, nomadic, Bedouin, from badw, desert, nomads, Bedouins.

To seek.
baggage, from Arabic baġīy, prostitute, from baġā, to seek, to oppress, to act corruptly, to fornicate.

West Semitic, to be dumb.
behemoth, from Hebrew bəhēmôt, plural of bəhēmâ, animal, beast.

Central Semitic, to be(come) empty, deserted.
  1. Bahaullah, from Arabic bahāʾu llāh, splendor of God, bahāʾu, splendor, bound form of bahāʾ, from bahā, to be(come) empty, beautiful;
  2. Baha'i, from Arabic bahāʾī, follower of Bahaullah, from bahāʾu llāh (see above).

Common Semitic noun *baḥr‑, sea, coast.
Bahrain, from Arabic baḥrayn, two seas, dual of baḥr, sea.

Common Semitic *bukur‑, *bikr‑, *bak(u)r‑, first-born.
albacore, from Arabic al-bakūra, the albacore, akin to bikr, first-born, and bakr, young camel.

Common Semitic noun *b(i)n‑, son, and feminine derivative *bint‑, daughter.
  1. Common Semitic *b(i)n‑.
      1. bar mitzvah, from Aramaic bar, bound form of bərā, son;
      2. Barabbas, from Aramaic bar-ʾabbā, son of the father (probably a nickname, or a joking name for a bastard; ʾabbā, father; see ʾb);
      3. Barnabas, from Aramaic bar-nəbô, son of Nabu (nəbô, Nabu, Akkadian deity, from Akkadian nabû).
      1. B'nai B'rith, from Hebrew bənê, plural bound form of bēn, son;
      2. Benjamin, from Hebrew binyāmîn, son of the right hand, from bin‑, frozen bound form of bēn (yāmîn, right hand, south; see ymn).
  2. Common Semitic *bint‑.
      1. bat mitzvah, from Hebrew bat (< *batt < *bitt < *bint), daughter;
      2. Bathsheba, from Hebrew bat-šebaʿ (see šbʿ).
    1. bint, from Arabic bint, daughter.

To build, create.
Assurbanipal, from Akkadian aššur-bāni-apli, Ashur (is) the creator of the heir, from bāni, bound form of participle of banû, to build (apli, heir; see ʾpl).

West Semitic, to bless. Probably a metathesized variant of krb.
  1. Baruch, from Hebrew bārûk, blessed, passive participle of *bārak, to bless (only attested in derived stem bērēk, to bless).
  2. broker, from Arabic al-barka, colloquial variant of al-baraka, the blessing, divine favor, gift, from bāraka, to bless. Compare krb.

To flash (especially of lightning). emerald, from Greek smaragdos, emerald, probably ultimately from a Semitic source akin to Akkadian barraqtu and Hebrew bāreqet, a kind of gemstone (probably emerald).

To be(come) clear, pure, white.
  1. barrio, from Arabic barrī, open (of land), rural, from barr, open area, akin to barra, to be kind, true, in derived stem barrara, to clear, acquit.
  2. birr2, from Amharic bərr, coin, silver (< "white metal").

Common Semitic noun *biry‑, interval, in-between area.
  1. B'nai B'rith, from Hebrew bərît, covenant, akin to Akkadian birītu, in-between area, link, from biri, between;
  2. bris, from Ashkenazic Hebrew brīs, from biblical Hebrew bərît (see above).

Central Semitic noun *baśam‑, balsam.
  1. balsam, from Greek balsamon.
  2. desman, from Medieval Latin bisamum. Both 1 and 2 from a Semitic source akin to Hebrew bōśem, bāśām, Aramaic besmā, busmā, Arabic bašām, all meaning "balsam.".

Akkadian noun bābu, gate, doorway.
  1. Bab, Babism, from Arabic bāb, gate, from Aramaic bābā, from Akkadian bābu.
  2. Babylon1, from Akkadian bāb-ili, Babylon, literally "gate of the god" (probably a folk etymology of a pre-Akkadian place name), from bāb, bound form of bābu, gate (ili, genitive of ilu, god; see 'l).

West Semitic, to be separate, clear, distinct; in derived stems, to discern, understand.
maven, from Hebrew mēbîn, one with understanding, expert, active participle of hēbîn, to understand, derived stem of bîn, to discern, understand.

Common Semitic noun *bayt‑, house.
    1. beta; alphabet, from Greek bēta, second letter of the Greek alphabet;
    2. beth, from Hebrew bêt, house, beth. Both a and b from Phoenician *bēt, house, second letter of the Phoenician alphabet.
    1. bethel, from Hebrew bêt ʾēl, house of God, from bêt, bound form of bayit, house;
    2. Bethlehem, from Hebrew bêt-leḥem, house of bread (see lḥm).
  1. Beta Israel, from Ge'ez beta ʾisrāʾel, house of Israel, from beta, bound form of bet, house (ʾisrāʾel, Israel, from Hebrew yiśrāʾēl; seeśry).

Also dby.
Common Semitic noun dubb‑ (also daby‑), bear.
Dubhe, from Arabic dubb, bear.

West Semitic, to cling, adhere.
dybbuk, from Mishnaic Hebrew dibbûq, attachment, joining, from Hebrew dibbēq, to make cling, derived stem of dābaq, to cling.

Central Semitic, various forms meaning "(honey‑)bee."
Deborah, from Hebrew dəbôrâ, bee.

See dpr.

Common Semitic noun *dagan‑, grain.
  1. Dagon, from Hebrew dāgôn, from Phoenician *dagōn, grain, storm-god.
  2. Mudéjar, from Arabic mudajjan, permitted to remain, Mudéjar, passive participle of dajjana, to allow to remain, derived stem of dajana, to remain (< "to become tame, domesticated," probably denominative from an unattested *dajan, grain).
  3. Dagan, from Akkadian dagan, Dagan.

Common Semitic noun *dalt‑, door (*-t‑, feminine suffix).
  1. daleth, from Hebrew dālet, from Phoenician *dalt, door, fourth letter of the Phoenician alphabet.
  2. delta, deltoid, from Greek delta, from Phoenician *dalt (see above) or from a dialectal variant *dilt.

See ʾdm.

To turn one's back on (probably denominative from an old word for "back"). West Semitic variant (assimilated) form dbr.
Aldebaran, from Arabic ad-dabarān, the following, follower, from dabara, to follow.

Arabic root, to become dirty.
dourine, from Arabic darina, mangy (said of a female camel), from darin, dirty, from darina, to be(come) dirty.

West Semitic, to seek, examine, study.
  1. Midrash, from Hebrew midrāš, exposition, commentary, Midrash, from dāraš, to seek, study.
  2. madrasa, from Arabic madrasa, school, from darasa, to study.

Also wdd.
To love.
  1. David; Magen David, from Hebrew dāwīd, David, meaning uncertain, either "beloved" or "kinsman," akin to dôd, beloved, father's brother.
  2. Jedidiah, from Hebrew yədîdyāh, beloved of Yahweh, from yədîd, bound form of yādîd (< *wadīd‑), beloved.

To turn, circle, dwell.
arsenal, from Arabic dār, house (originally a Bedouin encampment with tents arranged in a circle), from dāra, to turn, circle.

To judge.
    1. Daniel, from Hebrew dānīʾēl, dānīyēʾl, my judge (is) God (alternatively, God has judged), from dān, a judge, active participle of dān, to judge;
    2. Midian, from Hebrew midyān, place of judgment (sense uncertain), from dān (see above).
  1. medina, from Arabic madīna, city, from Aramaic mədin(t)ā, jurisdiction, district, province, city, from dān, to judge, adjudicate, administer.

or .
Common Semitic *ḏV̄‑ (or *ṯV̄‑), determinative-relative pronoun.
    1. cedilla, izzard, zed, zeta, from Greek zēta, alteration (influenced by the following letter ēta, eta) of Phoenician *zēn, seventh letter of the Phoenician alphabet, perhaps from *ḏayna, these two (oblique dual of *ḏV̄‑), the original form of the letter being two lines;
    2. zayin, from Hebrew zayin, from alteration of Phoenician *zēn (see above).
  1. Dhu'l-Hijjah, Dhu'l-Qa'dah, from Arabic ḏū l-ḥijja, the one of the pilgrimage, and ḏū l-qaʿda, the one of the sitting, from ḏū, demonstrative pronoun, possessor of.

Common Semitic noun *ḏibb‑, *ḏubāb‑, *ḏubūb‑, fly.
Beelzebub, from Hebrew baʿal zəbûb, lord (of the) fly, from zəbûb, fly (pejorative alteration of baʿal zəbûl, lord prince, name of a Philistine god; see bʿl and zbl).

Central Semitic noun *ḏahab‑, gold.
dahabeah, from Arabic ḏahabīya, the Golden One (name of the gilded barge of the Muslim rulers of Egypt), from ḏahab, gold.

To mention, remind, remember.
  1. Zechariah, from Hebrew zəkaryāh, Yahweh has remembered, from zəkar, reduced form of zākar, he remembered;
  2. Yizkor, from Hebrew yizkōr, may he remember, from zākar (see above).

To be(come) clean, pure.
zakat, from Arabic zakāt, zakāh, purity, justness, alms, charity, from Aramaic zākutā, innocence, justification, merit, meritorious deed, from zəkā, to be innocent, be worth, give alms, from Canaanite zəkā or Akkadian zakû, to be(come) pure, innocent.

Central Semitic, to blame, plot.
dhimmi, from Arabic ḏimmī, from ḏimma, protected status of a dhimmi, from ḏamma, to blame.

Common Semitic noun *ḏanab‑, tail.
Deneb; Denebola, from Arabic ḏanab, tail.

West Semitic noun *dirāʿ, arm.
draa, from Arabic dirāʿ, arm.

To winnow, scatter, disperse.
durra, from Arabic ḏura, durra (sorghum), perhaps akin to ḏarā, to winnow, scatter.

To stand, stand up, move.
  1. mazel tov, schlimazel, from Late Hebrew mazzāl, good luck, from mazzāl, constellation, zodiac, fortune, luck, back-formed singular from plural mazzālôt, signs of the zodiac, from Aramaic, from Akkadian manzaltu, earlier mazzaztum, stand, position, location of a star, from izuzzu, to stand.
  2. mezuzah, from Hebrew məzûzâ, doorpost, mezuzah, from *zâz, to move (not attested until Mishnaic Hebrew, but this is probably accidental).

To divide.
zuz, from Mishnaic Hebrew zûz, zuz, from Aramaic zuzā, from Akkadian zūzu, a unit of weight (< "half, division") from zâzu, to divide.

See zyn.

West Semitic, to gather, collect.
gabbai, from Medieval Hebrew gabbay, synagogue treasurer, gabbai, from Mishnaic Hebrew, tax collector, local official, from gābā, to collect, from Aramaic gəbā, gəbi.

Also kpp.
To be(come) bent, curved; to cut.
  1. kippah, from Mishnaic Hebrew kippâ, arch, vault, yarmulke, from kāpap, to bend, bow.
  2. jumper2, from Arabic jubba, a long garment with wide, open sleeves, from jabba, to cut.

Central Semitic root, appearing in various nouns denoting "border," "frontier," "mountain."
javelina, from Arabic (ḫinzīr) jabalī, mountain (swine), from jabal, mountain.

See gpr.

West Semitic, to gather, collect.

Central Semitic, to wall, build walls; noun *gadir‑, wall.
Cadiz, from Latin Gades, from Phoenician *gadir, wall.

Arabic root, to strive.
  1. jihad, from Arabic jihād, battle, holy war, from jahada, to strive (sense probably influenced by derived stem jāhada, to fight).
  2. mujahid, from Arabic mujāhidīn, plural of mujāhid, fighter, one who fights in a jihad, active participle of jāhada, to fight, derived stem from jahada, to strive.

West Semitic, to become foolish, ignorant. Medjool date, from Arabic majhūl, unknown, passive participle of jahila, to be ignorant of, not to know.

West Semitic, to catch, fetch.
  1. djellaba, from Arabic jallāba, jallābīya, djellaba, from jallāb, trader, importer;
  2. jilbab, from Arabic jilbāb, jilbab. Both a and b from jalaba, to attract, bring, fetch, import.

To roll.
  1. Galilee, from Latin Galilea, either from Aramaic gəlilā, circuit, district (from gəlal, to roll) or from Hebrew gəlîlâ, circuit, district (from gālal, to roll).
  2. Megillah, from Hebrew məgillâ, scroll, roll, from gālal, to roll.
  3. Golgotha, from Aramaic gulgultā, skull, from galgel, to roll, derived stem of gəlal, to roll.

Central Semitic, to cut, break off, separate.
golem, from Hebrew gōlem, formless mass, unfinished thing, from gālam, to wrap up.

Central Semitic, to become hard, congeal, freeze, contract.
Jumada, from Arabic jumādā, a month name, from jamada, to freeze.

Common Semitic noun *gamal‑, camel.
camel; camelopard, from Latin, from Greek kamēlos, from a Semitic source akin to Hebrew gāmāl, Aramaic gamlā, and Arabic jamal, camel.

Common Semitic noun *gaml‑, throwstick.
  1. gamma, from Greek gamma, from Phoenician *gaml, throwstick (?), third letter of the Phoenician alphabet.
  2. gimel, from Hebrew gîmel, gimel, alteration of Phoenician *gaml (see above).

To complete, finish, bring to an end.
Gemara, from Aramaic gəmārā, completion, from gəmar, to complete.

Northwest Semitic, to steal.
ganef, from Yiddish, from Hebrew gannāb, thief, from gānab, to steal.

West Semitic, to cover, surround.
  1. Magen David, from Hebrew māgēn dāwīd, shield of David, from māgēn (< *maginn), shield, from gānan, to cover, defend.
  2. jinni, from Arabic jinnī, demonic, demon, from jinn, demons (< "invisible beings"), from janna, to cover, hide, conceal.

To be(come) strong, prevail, work. West Semitic variant (assimilated) form gbr.
  1. Gabriel, from Hebrew gabrîʾēl, my strong one (is) God, from gabrî, my strong one, from gabr‑, presuffixal form of geber, strong one, man, from gābar, to be strong (ʾēl, god; see ʾl).
  2. algebra, from Arabic al-jabr, the might, force, restoration, from jabara, to force, restore, set (bones).

Central Semitic noun *guraḏ‑ (exact form uncertain), rodent. jird, from colloquial Maghrebi Arabic jird, rat, jird, from Arabic juraḏ.

West Semitic, to drag, draw, pull.
jar1, from Arabic jarra, earthen jar, from jarra, to draw, pull.

Central Semitic noun *gāy‑, tribe.
goy, from Hebrew gôy, nation people (usually, and later exclusively, of non-Israelite, and then non-Jewish, people).

Central Semitic, to pass through.
Betelgeuse, from Arabic yad al-jawzāʾ, hand of Orion, from al-jawzāʾ, Gemini, later also Orion, perhaps from jawz, center, middle, from jāza, to pass through (yad, hand; see yd).

Assumed root of Hebrew gayʾ, valley.
Gehenna, from Hebrew ʾ (ben) hinnōm, valley of (the son of) Hinnom, from ʾ, bound form of gayʾ, valley (hinnōm, a man's name; see hnn).

West Semitic, to rejoice.
Abigail, from Hebrew ʾăbîgayil, my father (is) joy, from *gayil, joy, akin to gîl, rejoicing, joy, from gāl, to rejoice (ʾăbî, my father; see ʾb).

West Semitic, to cut off, destroy.
Algeria, Algiers, from Arabic al-jazāʾir, the islands, Algeria, plural of al-jazīra, the island (< "cut off" from land).

Central Semitic noun *ġadan‑, *ġidn‑, softness, tenderness, verdure.
Eden, from Hebrew ʿēden, delight.

Central Semitic noun *ġumr‑, sheaf.
omer; Lag b'Omer, from Hebrew ʿōmer, sheaf, period from the second day of Passover to the first day of Shavuot (from the offering of a sheaf of barley offered on the second day of Passover), unit of measure.

West Semitic, to be(come) delighted, delightful.
baba ghanouj, from Arabic ġannūj, flirtatious, from ġanija, to flirt.

Common Semitic noun *ġārib‑, *ġurāb‑, raven.
grab2, from Arabic ġurāb, raven, swift galley.

West Semitic, to ladle, scoop.
carafe, probably from Arabic ġarrāfa, dipper, cup, from ġarafa, to ladle, spoon, scoop.

Also ġwr.
Central Semitic noun *ġār‑, *ġarr‑, *miġarr, cave.
realgar, from Arabic rahj al-ġār, powder of the cave, from ġār, cave.

Arabic root, to prick, insert, plant.
Megrez, from Arabic maġriz, base, root, from ġaraza, to prick, insert, plant.

Central Semitic, to surround.
gutra, from Arabic ġuṭra, gutra, keffiyeh, perhaps akin to Hebrew ʿăṭārâ, crown, from ʿāṭar, to surround.

or ġṭš.
Arabic root, to plunge, dive.
albatross, from Arabic al-ġaṭṭās, the diver, sea-eagle, from ġaṭasa, to plunge, dive.

Arabic root, to snatch, grab, destroy.
Algol, ghoul, from Arabic (al‑)ġūl, (the) desert demon, ogre, ghoul, from ġāla, to snatch, grab, destroy.

See ġrr.

Central Semitic, to spin (yarn or thread).
ghazal, from Arabic ġazal, amatory poetry, from ġazila, to court, praise with amatory poetry (perhaps < *"to spin (yarn)").

Arabic root, to strive, make a raid.
  1. ghazi, from Arabic ġāzī, raider, warrior, active participle of ġazā, to strive, make a raid;
  2. razzia, from Arabic ġazya, dialectal variant of ġazwa, raid, military attack, from ġazā (see above).

West Semitic, to move, set out, blow (of wind).
haboob, from Arabic habūb, strong wind, from habba, to move, depart, rush, blow.

Arabic root, to shuffle along, totter.
howdah, from Arabic hawdaj, litter, sedan chair, from hadaja, to shuffle along, totter.

West Semitic, to lead, extend.
Mahdi, from Arabic mahdī, rightly guided (one), Mahdi, passive participle of hadā, to lead.

Arabic root, to depart.
hegira, from Arabic hijra, emigration, flight, from hajara, to depart.

To go.
Halacha, from Hebrew hălākâ, rule, tradition, from hālak, to go.

To shout, boast; in derived stem, to praise.
    1. alleluia, hallelujah, from Hebrew halləlû-yāh, praise Yahweh, from halləlû, praise, masculine plural imperative of hillēl, to praise;
    2. Hallel, from Hebrew hallēl, song of praise, from Hebrew hillēl, to praise.
  1. halala, from Arabic halala, a Saudi Arabian coin, akin to hilāl, crescent, from halla, to appear (of the moon).

Arabic root, to prick, urge on, prod.
hamza, from Arabic hamza, graphic sign for the glottal stop, from hamaza, to prick, to urge on, prod.

Central Semitic (?), to weep, yearn.
Gehenna, from Hebrew ʾ (ben) hinnōm, valley of (the son of) Hinnom, from hinnōm, a man's name (etymology uncertain; perhaps akin to Arabic hanna, to weep, yearn + nominal ending -ōm).

Northwest Semitic noun *harr‑, mountain.
Armageddon, from Hebrew har məgiddô, mountain region of Megiddo, from har, mountain.

Central Semitic, to crush, break.
harissa, from Arabic harīsa, a dish of pounded meat and bulgur, from harasa, to pound, crush.

Arabic root, to smash, shatter, destroy.
Hashemite, from Arabic hāšimī, Hashemite, from hašama, to destroy, smash.

Also hyy.
To fall, happen, be, become.
    1. Yahweh, from Hebrew yahweh, assumed ancient pronunciation of the name of the God of Israel, perhaps meaning "he sends down (the hosts of heaven)," causative derived stem of hāwâ, hāyâ, to fall, happen, be.
    2. Jehovah, modern mispronunciation (since the 16th century ad) of Yahweh, in which the Hebrew consonants Y(J)-H-W(V)-H were pronounced with the vowels of the Hebrew word ʾădōnāy (see ʾd), which were added to the Hebrew consonantal text of the Bible to indicate that the latter word was to be read instead of the divine name.
  1. Various short forms of Hebrew yahweh (see I above), found mostly in personal names.
    1. Jah, from Hebrew yāh, short for yahweh, Yahweh, also appearing in the following personal names:
      1. Jedidiah, from Hebrew yədîdyāh, beloved of Yahweh (see dwd);
      2. Matthew, from Hebrew mattayyāh (< *mattan-yāh), gift of Yahweh;
      3. Nehemiah, from Hebrew nəḥemyāh, Yahweh comforted;
      4. Obadiah, from Hebrew ʿōbadyāh, servant of Yahweh;
      5. Tobit, from Hebrew ṭôbīyāh, my good (is) Yahweh;
      6. Uriah, from Hebrew ʾûrîyāh, my light (is) Yahweh (ʾûrî, my light; see ʾwr);
      7. Zechariah, from Hebrew zəkaryāh, Yahweh has remembered;
      8. Zephaniah, from Hebrew ṣəpanyāh, Yahweh has hidden, Yahweh has treasured.
      1. Hezekiah, from Hebrew ḥizqîyāh(û), my strength (is) Yahweh (see ḥzq);
      2. Isaiah, from Hebrew yəšaʿyāhû, salvation of Yahweh;
      3. Jeremiah, jeremiad, from Hebrew yirməyāhû, Yahweh has established;
      4. Elijah, from Hebrew ʾēlîyāhû, my God (is) Yahweh (see ʾl). a-d all from Hebrew yāhû, short form of yahweh, Yahweh.
      1. Joab, from Hebrew ʾāb, Yahweh (is) father (see ʾb);
      2. Joel, from Hebrew ʾēl, Yahweh (is) God;
      3. John, from Hebrew yôḥānān, Yahweh has been gracious;
      4. Jonathan, from Hebrew yônātān, Yahweh has given (see ntn). a-d all from Hebrew , short form of yahweh, Yahweh.
      1. Jehoshaphat, from Hebrew yəhôšāpāṭ, Yahweh has judged (šāpāṭ, he has judged; see ṯpṭ);
        1. Joshua, from yəhôšûaʿ, perhaps "Yahweh (is) lord" (*šûaʿ, lord; see ṯwʿ) or "Yahweh is salvation" (*šûaʿ, salvation; see wṯʿ);
        2. Jesus, from Hebrew yēšûaʿ, shortening of yəhôšûaʿ, Joshua (see above). Both a and b from yəhô, short form of yahweh, Yahweh.

To be(come) sharp.
hudud, from Arabic ḥudūd, plural of ḥadd, edge, limit, divine ordinance, punishment, from ḥadd, to sharpen, delimit.

To be(come) new.
  1. Carthage, from Phoenician (Punic) *qart-ḥadašt, new town, from *ḥadašt, feminine singular of *ḥadaš, new (*qart, town; see qr).
  2. hadith, from Arabic ḥadīṯ, news, report, tradition, from ḥaddaṯa, to report, derived stem of ḥadaṯa, to be new.
  3. Addis Ababa, from Amharic addis abäba, new flower, from addis, new, akin to addäsä (< *ḥaddaṯa), to renew (abäba, flower; see ʾbb).

Central Semitic, to go around, encompass.
mahzor, from Mishnaic Hebrew maḥăzôr, cycle, mahzor, from ḥāzar, to go around, return, repeat.

Central Semitic, to cover, conceal.
hijab, from Arabic ḥijāb, curtain, veil, from ḥajaba, to veil, cover.

Central Semitic, to make a pilgrimage.
  1. Haggai, from Hebrew ḥaggay, perhaps "born on a feast day," from ḥag, pilgrimage-feast, from ḥāgag, to make a pilgrimage, keep a pilgrimage-feast.
    1. Dhu'l-Hijjah, from Arabic ḏūl-ḥijja, the one of the pilgrimage;
    2. haj, from Arabic ḥajj, pilgrimage. Both a and b from Arabic ḥajja, to make a pilgrimage;
    3. haji, from Arabic ḥājj, pilgrim, active participle of ḥajja (see above).

Central Semitic, to be(come) wise, understand, judge.
  1. hakim1, from Arabic ḥakīm, wise (man), sage, doctor, from ḥakama, to judge, decide, govern;
  2. hakim2, from Arabic ḥākim, ruling, ruler, governor, active participle of ḥakama (see above).

To be(come) clean, pure, holy.
  1. Elul, from Hebrew ʾělûl, a month name, from Akkadian elūlu, elūnu, name of a festival and of a month corresponding to parts of August and September, perhaps from elēlu (< *ḥalālum), to be(come) clean, pure, holy.
  2. halal, from Arabic ḥalāl, legally permissible, from ḥalla, to undo, free, be permissible.

Central Semitic, to desire, delight in, praise.
Muhammad, from Arabic muḥammad, praised, commendable, passive participle of ḥammada, to praise highly, derived stem of ḥamida, to praise, extol.

Common Semitic noun *ḥimār‑, donkey.
homer2, from Hebrew ḥōmer, heap, a unit of capacity (perhaps originally the burden carried by a donkey; akin to ḥămôr, donkey).

West Semitic, to (make) understand, train.
Hanukkah, from Hebrew ḥănukkâ, dedication, from ḥānak, to train, dedicate.

To be(come) gracious.
  1. Ann, Hannah, from Hebrew ḥannâ, grace, from ḥānan, to be(come) gracious.
  2. John, ultimately from Hebrew yôḥānān, Yahweh has been gracious, from ḥānān, lengthened form of ḥānan, he has been gracious (, Yahweh; see hwy).
  3. Hannibal, from Phoenician (Punic) *ḥannī-baʿl, my grace (is) Baal, from *ḥannī, my grace, from *ḥann, grace (*baʿl, lord, Baal; see bʿl).

Central Semitic, to surround, enclose, cover.
chuppah, from Hebrew ḥuppâ, covering, canopy, bridal chamber, from ḥāpap, to surround, cover.

Central Semitic, to be mindful of, preserve.
hafiz, from Arabic ḥāfiẓ, guardian, one who has memorized the Koran, active participle of ḥafiẓa, to preserve, be mindful of, learn, memorize.

West Semitic, to cut into, level, make correct, decree.
hookah, from Arabic ḥuqqa, small box, pot, or jar, from ḥaqqa, to be true, suitable, fitting.

Central Semitic, to be kind, ashamed.
Hasid, from Hebrew ḥāsîd, pious, from ḥāsad, to be kind.

Arabic root, to mow.
  1. hashish, from Arabic ḥašīš, herbs, hemp, cannabis, hashish, from ḥašša, to mow;
  2. assassin, from Arabic ḥaššāšīn, plural of ḥaššāš, hashish user, from ḥašīš (see above).

Arabic root, to occur, obtain, attain, receive.
tahsildar, from Arabic taḥṣīl, collection, revenue, infinitive of ḥaṣṣala, to acquire, collect, derived stem of ḥaṣala, to occur, obtain, attain, receive.

Central Semitic, to be insolent.
chutzpah, from Mishnaic Hebrew ḥuṣpâ, insolence, from ḥāṣap, to be insolent.

Arabic root, to weave.
haik, from Moroccan Arabic ḥāʾik, an outer garment, from classical Arabic, weaver, active participle of ḥāka, to weave.

West Semitic, to go around, turn, change.
hawala, from Arabic ḥawāla, bill of exchange, from ḥāla, to turn, change.

Central Semitic, to be(come) white.
houri, from Arabic ḥūrīya, nymph, houri, from ḥūr, plural (also used as singular) of ʾaḥwar, feminine ḥawrāʾ, characterized by the quality ḥawar, intense whiteness of the sclera of the eye in contrast to deep blackness of the iris (compare ḥawira, to have this quality).

To live. Common Semitic adjective *ḥayy‑, alive, living.
  1. Eve, from Late Latin Ēva, from Hebrew ḥawwâ, living, life, from ḥāyâ, to live.
  2. Ea, from Akkadian Ea, from Old Akkadian *ḥayy‑, living.

To be(come) strong.
  1. Ezekiel, from Hebrew yəḥezqēʾl, God strengthened, from yəḥezq, reduced form of yəḥazzēq, he strengthened, from ḥizzēq, to strengthen, derived stem of ḥāzaq, to be(come) strong;
  2. Hezekiah, from Hebrew ḥizqîyāh(û), my strength (is) Yahweh, from ḥizqî, my strength, from ḥēzeq, strength, from ḥāzaq (see above; yāh(û), Yahweh; see hwy).

Central (Common?) Semitic, to see.
chazan, from Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Aramaic ḥazzān, superintendent, cantor, from Akkadian ḫazannu, administrator, mayor, perhaps from earlier *ḥāziyānum, overseer, active participle of Proto-Akkadian verb *ḥazāyum, to see.

West Semitic, to pierce. challah, from Hebrew ḥallâ, a kind of bread or cake, probably "something perforated," from ḥālal, to pierce.

To pass, follow.
caliph, from Arabic ḫalīfa, successor (to Muhammad), caliph, from ḫalafa, to follow, succeed.

Arabic root, to cover, conceal.
khimar, from Arabic ḫimār, covering, from ḫamara, to cover, conceal.

Common Semitic *ḫam(i)š‑, five.
khamsin, from colloquial Arabic ḫamsīn, fifty, khamsin, from oblique case of Arabic ḫamsūn, fifty, from ḫams, five.

Common Semitic noun *ḫar(r)ūb‑, carob.
carob; algaroba, from Arabic (al‑)ḫarrūba, (the) carob pod, from ḫarrūb, carob.

To be early, do (something) early, with associated nouns denoting "early season."
kharif, from Arabic ḫarīf, autumn (< "early season").

Aramaic root, to be strong.
magazine, from Arabic maḫāzin, plural of maḫzan, storeroom, depository, depot, magazine, from ḫazana, to store, from Aramaic ḥassen, to possess, hoard, derived stem of ḥəsan, to be strong.

Central Semitic, to be fearful, reverent, righteous
Essene, from Aramaic ḥasên, plural of ḥasē, righteous, holy.

To choose.
  1. mohair, moire, moiré, from Arabic muḫayyar, choice, select, a fabric, passive participle of ḫayyara, to prefer, derived stem of ḫāra, to choose.
  2. mukhtar, from Arabic muḫtār, chosen, elected, a mukhtar, passive participle of iḫtāra, to choose, elect, select, derived stem of ḫāra, to choose.

See x̣zy.

West Semitic root, to increase, swell.
Kaaba, from Arabic kaʿba, cube, cubic structure, from kaʿaba to swell, be full (said of breasts).

East Semitic, to burn, char.
shish kebab, from Arabic kabāb, cooked meat in small pieces, probably from Aramaic kabbābā, burning, charring, from kabbeb, to char, roast, probably from Akkadian kabābu, to burn, char.

West Semitic root, to encircle, overturn.
kibbeh, from Arabic kubba, ball, meatball (by association with kabāb, kebab; see kbb1).

See qhw.

Also kly.
To complete. West Semitic *kull‑, whole, all.
  1. Kol Nidre, from Aramaic kol, all.
  2. klezmer, from Mishnaic Hebrew kəlê, plural bound form of kəlî, utensil, article, instrument, from kālâ, to complete.

Common Semitic noun *kammūn‑, cumin, perhaps from Sumerian gamun, cumin, unless this itself is of Semitic origin.
cumin, cymene, from Greek kuminon, probably from a Semitic source akin to Akkadian kam(m)ūnu, Hebrew kammôn, Aramaic kammonā, kammunā, Arabic kammūn, all meaning "cumin."

Also kns, knš.
To gather, collect, assemble.
Knesset, from Modern Hebrew kneset, from Mishnaic Hebrew kəneset, assembly, from Aramaic kəništā, assembly, from kənaš, to assemble.

Common Semitic noun *kanap‑, wing, side.
kunefe, from Arabic kunāfa, from kanafa, to flank, surround, provide with an enclosure.

Common Semitic noun *kapp‑, palm of the hand.
  1. kaph, from Hebrew kap, kaph;
  2. kappa, from Greek kappa, kappa. Both a and b from Phoenician *kapp, palm of the hand, eleventh letter of the Phoenician alphabet.

See gbb.

To wipe clean, polish, purify, cover.
Yom Kippur, from Hebrew kippûr, atonement, from kippēr, to cover, atone.

Common Semitic noun *kapar‑, village.
  1. Capernaum, from Hebrew kəpar naḥûm, village of Nahum, from kəpar, bound form of kāpār, village (naḥûm, Nahum; see nḥm).
  2. giaour, kafir, Kaffir, takfir, takfiri, from Arabic kāfir, unbeliever, infidel (< "villager"), from kafr, village, from Aramaic kaprā, village.

Northwest Semitic noun kupr‑, henna.
cyprinid; cyprinodont, from Greek kuprīnos, carp, perhaps from kupros, henna (from the fish's color), probably from a Semitic source akin to Ugaritic kpr and Hebrew kōper, henna (perhaps ultimately from kpr1 in the meaning "to wipe, cover" > "to cover with dye").

To praise. Common Semitic root, with West Semitic metathesized variant brk.
cherub, from Hebrew kərûb, cherub; akin to Akkadian karābu, to praise, bless. Compare also brk.

Also kwš.
West Semitic, to pound, strike.
couscous, cush, cush-cush, from Arabic kuskus, from kaskasa, to crumble, pulverize.

West Semitic root, to prick, cut; later, to write.
  1. ketubah, from Mishnaic Hebrew kətubbâ, writing, writ, (marriage) contract;
  2. Tanakh, from Hebrew kətûbôt, the Writings, from plural of kətûbâ, feminine of kətûb, written (passive participle). Botha and b from Hebrew kātab, to write.

To succeed, achieve, be(come) suitable, proper.
  1. kosher, from Ashkenazic Hebrew kóšer, proper;
  2. kashrut, from Mishnaic Hebrew kašrût, (ritual) fitness. Both a and b from Hebrew kāšēr, proper, from kāšēr, to succeed, be(come) proper, suitable.

To contain, hold, measure. Variant (Arabic) root form kyl.
maquiladora, from Arabic makīla, measured, a measure of capacity, feminine passive participle of kāla, to measure.

To be, be(come) firm, true.
Sargon, from Hebrew sargôn, from Akkardian šarru-kīn, the king is true, legitimate, from kīn, predicate form of kīnu, verbal adjective of kânu, to be(come) firm, true (šarru, king; see śrr).

See kšš.

Common Semitic noun *kux̣l‑, also *gux̣l‑, (powder of) antimony.
kohl; alcohol, from Arabic (al‑)kuḥl, (the) powder of antimony, antimony.

See kwl.

Common Semitic noun *liʾ, bull, feminine *liʾat‑, cow.
Leah, from Hebrew ʾâ, Leah, originally a noun meaning "cow."

West Semitic, to send.
  1. Malachi, from Hebrew malʾākî, my messenger, from malʾāk, messenger, from *lāʾak, to send.
  2. Malaga, from Latin Malaca, Malacha, from Phoenician *malʾakat‑, work(place) of (a god whose name has not been preserved), from *lʾk, to send, serve, work.

Common Semitic noun *labʾ, *labīʾ, lion.
Leo, leonine, lev, lion; chameleon, codling, 1, dandelion, Leo Minor, leopard, from Greek leōn, from a Semitic source akin to Akkadian lābu, labʾu, labbu, Ugaritic lbʾ, Hebrew lābîʾ, lion, and Arabic feminine lab(u)ʾa, labwa, lioness; compare also Egyptian rw, Coptic laboi, lion(ess).

Also lmlm.
West Semitic root, to sprout, bud, be(come) soft. lulav, from Mishnaic Hebrew lûlā, sprout, palm branch, from liblēb, to bloom.

Central Semitic, to be(come) white; West Semitic noun *lubān(at)‑, frankincense.
  1. Lebanon, from Hebrew ləbānôn, Lebanon, from lābān, white, from lābēn, to be(come) white.
  2. benjamin, benzoin, from Arabic lubān, frankincense.

Common Semitic noun *ladan‑, labdanum.
labdanum, from a Semitic source akin to Akkadian ladinnu, ladunu and Old South Arabian ldn, labdanum.

To eat.
Bethlehem, from Hebrew bêt-leḥem, house of bread, from leḥem, bread, from lāḥam, to eat (bêt, house; see byt).

To learn, be(come) accustomed; in derived stem, to teach, instruct.
  1. Talmud, from Mishnaic Hebrew talmûd, learning, from Hebrew lāmad, to learn.
  2. Northwest Semitic noun *lamd‑, ox-goad (?).
    1. lambda, from Greek lambda, lambda;
    2. lamedh, from Hebrew lāmed, lamedh. Both a and b from Phoenician *lamd, ox-goad (?), eleventh letter of the Phoenician alphabet, akin to Hebrew malmād, ox-goad.

Arabic root, to soften.
loco1, perhaps from Arabic lawqāʾ, feminine singular of ʾalwaq, bent, foolish, from lāqa, to soften.

To wind, twist, circle, encircle.
leviathan, from Hebrew liwyātān, serpent, dragon, akin to Ugaritic ltn, sea monster.

Early Aramaic noun *lawz‑, almond (tree).
lozenge, perhaps ultimately from Early Aramaic noun *lawz‑, almond (tree).

Common Semitic noun *muḫḫ‑, marrow, brain, skull.
nucha, from Arabic nuḫāʿ, marrow, spinal marrow, spinal cord, probably akin to muḫḫ, marrow, brain, from Common Semitic *muḫḫ‑, marrow, brain, skull (though the phonological details are obscure).

Common Semitic noun *milḥ‑, salt.
  1. malachite, from Greek malakhē, molokhē, mallow, probably from a Semitic source akin to Hebrew mallûaḥ, a salt-marsh plant, akin to melaḥ, salt.
  2. mallow, mauve, from Latin malva, probably from a Semitic source akin to Hebrew mallûaḥ (see above).

West Semitic, to rule, dominate, possess, own; Common Semitic noun *malk‑, ruler, king.
  1. Melkite, from Aramaic malkāye, plural of malkāy, royal, royalist, from malkā, king.
  2. Melchizedek, from Hebrew malkî-ṣedeq, my king (is) righteousness, from malk, presuffixal form of melek, king + , my.
  3. Moloch, from Hebrew mōlek, from Canaanite *mulk, perhaps variant of Canaanite *malk, *milk, king.
  4. Mameluke, from Arabic mamlūk, owned, slave, Mameluke, passive participle of malaka, to own, possess.

West Semitic, to be kind, show favor, patronize, disdain.
manna, from Aramaic mannā, from Hebrew mān, manna, akin to Arabic mann, favor, gift, honeydew, manna, from manna, to be kind, show favor.

To count.
  1. mina, from Akkadian manû, a unit of weight, from manû, to count.
  2. minyan, from Mishnaic Hebrew minyān, count, number, minyan, from Aramaic minyānā, count, number, from mənā, to count.

Common Semitic nouns *marʾ‑, *māriʾ, man, master, lord, feminine *marʾat‑, *māriʾat‑, woman, mistress, lady.
Martha, from Aramaic mārətā, lady, feminine of mārā, lord.

To be(come) bitter. Common Semitic noun *murr‑, bitterness, myrrh.
myrrh1, myrrh2, from Greek murrha, from a Semitic source akin to Akkadian murru, Arabic murr, Hebrew mōr, myrrh.

West Semitic, to remove, deliver, hand over.
Masora, from Hebrew māsôrâ, Masora, from māsar, to hand over, transmit.

To anoint.
  1. Messiah, from Aramaic məšiḥā, anointed (one) (from məšaḥ, to anoint) or Hebrew māšîaḥ, anointed (one) (from māšaḥ, to anoint).
  2. massage, masseur, from Arabic masaḥa, to anoint, stroke, rub (or massa, to touch; see mšš).

To feel, grope for, touch.
massage, masseur, from Arabic massa, to touch (or masaḥa, to anoint, stroke, rub; see mšḥ).

West Semitic, to ferment, be(come) sour.
matzo, from Hebrew maṣṣâ, unleavened bread.

Common Semitic noun *mut‑, man.
Methuselah, from Hebrew mətûšelaḥ, man of Shelah (name of a deity), from mətû‑, archaic bound form of *mōt, man.

Hebrew root, to circumcise.
mohel, from Mishnaic Hebrew môhēl, active participle māhal, to circumcise, from Aramaic māhal, by-form of Biblical Hebrew māl.

To die.
checkmate, mate2, from Arabic māt, he has died, from earlier māta, to die.

Northwest Semitic *mīy‑, who?.
  1. Michael, from Hebrew mîkāʾēl, who is like God? (, like + ʾēl, God; see ʾl);
  2. Micah, from Hebrew mîkâ, short for mîkāʾēl (see above) or mîkāyāh, who is like Yahweh (see hwy). Both a and b from Hebrew , who?.

(exact root shape uncertain). Common Semitic noun *mā̆ʾ, *mā̆y‑, water.
  1. mem, from Hebrew mēm, mem;
  2. mu, from Greek , patterned to rhyme with , nu (see nwn). Both a and b from Phoenician *mēm, water, thirteenth letter of the Phoenician alphabet, akin to Hebrew mayim, water.

Central Semitic, to sway, move, shake.
maidan, from Arabic maydān, city square, open space, racetrack, combat area, from māda, to be moved, sway.

Common Semitic pronoun suffix *-na/-ni/-nu, we, us, our.
  1. bwana, from Arabic ʾabūnā, our father;
  2. maulana, from Arabic mawlānā, our master. Both a and b from Arabic -nā, our.

Central Semitic, to be(come) pleasant, agreeable.
  1. Naomi, from Hebrew noʿŏmî, my delight, from ʿam, delight, delightfulness, from ʿēm, to be(come) pleasant, delightful.
  2. anemone, perhaps a folk-etymological alteration (influenced by Greek anemos, wind) of an epithet of Adonis (the anemone having sprung from Adonis's blood in Greek myth), from Phoenician *hannaʿmon, "the pleasant one," akin to Hebrew na'ămān, a man's name (literally "pleasantness"), and na'ămānîm, a word describing a garden in Isaiah 17:10, perhaps a distortion of an epithet of Adonis.

West Semitic, to shake, roar.
noria, from Arabic ʿūra, from Aramaic ʿurā, water-wheel, from ʿar, to shake, roar.

To name, proclaim, summon.
Tanakh, from Hebrew nābîʾ, prophet (originally, "one named, summoned by a god").

Ethiopic root, to sit, dwell.
minbar; almemar, from Arabic minbar, pulpit, probably from Ge'ez manbar seat, chair, pulpit, or mənbār, seat, throne, from nabara, to sit, dwell.

West Semitic, to vow, consecrate.
Kol Nidre, from Aramaic kol nidrê, all the vows of, from nidrê, plural bound form of nidrā, vow, from nədar, to vow.

West Semitic, to become prominent, conspicuous, to drag, lead, travel.
  1. Haggadah, from Hebrew haggādâ, narration, telling, from higgîd, to narrate, tell (< *hangida).
  2. Aggadah, from Aramaic ʾaggādā, formed on the model of Hebrew haggādâ, narration, telling (see 1 above).

West Semitic, to press, oppress, drive.
Negus, from Amharic nəgus, from Classical Ethiopic nəguś, king, ruler, verbal adjective of nagśa, to rule, become king.

Common Semitic noun *nah(a)r‑, river.
Achernar, from Arabic nahr, river.

Central Semitic, to console, comfort.
  1. Nahum, from Hebrew naḥûm, comfort;
  2. Capernaum, from Hebrew kəpar naḥûm, village of Nahum (see kpr2).
Nehemiah, from Hebrew nəḥemyāh, Yahweh comforted, from nəḥem, reduced form of niḥam, he comforted. Both 1 and 2 from Hebrew niḥam, to console, comfort.

To shake, shatter.
intifada, from Arabic intifāḍa, shudder, awakening, uprising, from intafaḍa, to be shaken, shudder, wake up, derived stem of nafaḍa, to shake.

Common Semitic noun *napṭ‑, naphtha.
naphtha, from Greek naphtha, from a Semitic source akin to Arabic and Ethiopic nafṭ, Aramaic nepṭā, Akkadian napṭu, naphtha.

To sift.
apron, map, mop, napery, napkin, nappe, from Latin mappa, originally napkin, cloth, said by the Roman author Quintilian to be of Punic origin, perhaps from Phoenician (Punic) *mappē, from Common Semitic *manpay‑ or *manpiy‑, sieve, fine cloth (?).

To pierce.
  1. Maccabee, from Hebrew maqqebet (< *manqabt‑), hammer, from nāqab, to pierce.
  2. niqab, from Arabic niqāb, veil, from naqaba, to pierce, bore a hole, perforate.

To bore, pierce.
nacre, from Arabic naqqāra, small drum, from naqara, to bore, pierce.

To give.
    1. Matthew, from Hebrew mattayyāh, from *mattan-yāh, gift of Yahweh, from mattan, bound form of mattān (< *mantan), gift (yāh, Yahweh; see hwy);
      1. Nathan, from nātān, he (God) gave;
      2. Jonathan, from Hebrew yônātān, Yahweh has given, from nātān, he gave (, Yahweh; see hwy). Both a and b from Hebrew nātan, to give;
    2. Nathanael, from Hebrew nətanʾēl, God has given, from nətan, reduced form of nātan (see above; ʾēl, God; see ʾl).
  1. Esarhaddon, from Akkadian Aššur-aḫa-iddin, Ashur has given a brother, from iddin (< *yandin), preterite of nadānu, to give (aḫa, brother; see ʾ).

Central Semitic, to stretch out, extend, incline.
mat1, from Late Latin matta, possibly from Phoenician (Punic) *maṭṭē (< *manṭay‑ or *manṭiy‑), akin to Hebrew miṭṭâ, bed, couch, from nāṭâ, to stretch out, extend, incline.

Arabic root, to arrange.
Nizam, from Arabic niẓām, order, arrangement, from naẓama, to arrange.

To see, watch, observe, guard.
    1. Nebuchadnezzar, from Hebrew nəbûkadneʾṣṣar (also nəbûkadreʾṣṣar, whence English by-form Nebuchadrezzar), alteration of Akkadian nabû-kudurrī-uṣur, Nabu protect the borders (nabû, Nabu (a god); kudurrī, oblique plural of kudurru, border);
    2. Belshazzar, from Hebrew bēlšaṣṣar, from Akkadian bēl-šar-uṣur, Bel protect the king (bēl, lord, Bel (Akkadian deity), and šar, king; see bʿl and śrr). Both a and b from uṣur, protect, singular imperative of naṣāru, to guard, protect.
  1. nadir, from Arabic naẓīr (as-samt), opposite (of the zenith), from naẓīr, facing, equal, opposite, from naẓara, to see, watch.

Arabic root, to represent, act as deputy.
nabob, from Arabic nuwwāb, plural of ʾib, deputy, active participle of nāba, to represent, act as deputy.

To rest, come to rest.
almanac, from Arabic munāḫ, halting place, caravan stop, position of the stars, from ʾanāḫa, to make (a camel) lie down, from nāḫa, to lie down, rest (of camels).

Common Semitic noun *nūn‑, fish.
  1. nu, from Greek , nu;
  2. nun2, from Mishnaic Hebrew nûn, nun. Both a and b from Phoenician *nūn, fish, fourteenth letter of the Phoenician alphabet.

To shine, be(come) bright.
  1. menorah, from Hebrew mənôrâ, lamp, lampstand, akin to nēr, lamp.
  2. kinara, minaret, from Arabic manāra, lamp, lighthouse, minaret, akin to nūr, light.
  3. Nanna, from Sumerian Nanna, Nannar, from Akkadian nannāru, luminary, from nawāru, to shine.

Common Semitic noun *pV̄‑, mouth.
    1. pe, from Hebrew , pe;
    2. pi1, from Greek pei, pī, pi. Both a and b from Phoenician *pē, mouth, seventeenth letter of the Phoenician alphabet.
  1. Fomalhaut, from Arabic fam, mouth.

To redeem, ransom.
fedayee, from Arabic fidāʾī, one who sacrifices himself, freedom fighter, from fidāʾ, ransom, sacrifice, from fadā, to ransom, sacrifice.

To watch over, judge, intercede.
tefillin, from Mishnaic Hebrew təpillîn, plural of təpillâ, prayer, from Hebrew hitpallēl, to pray, akin to pillēl, to mediate, judge, both derived stems of *pālal, to beseech.

To break through, pass through.
Falasha, from Amharic fälaša, from fälaš, migrant, active participle of fälläsä, to migrate.

To cleave, till, work.
fellah, from Arabic fallāḥ, peasant, farmer, from falaḥa, to cleave, cultivate, till.

Also bqʿ.
West Semitic, to split, cleave, open.
burqa, from Arabic burqaʿ, variant of burquʿ, perhaps from *buqquʿ, from root variant bqʿ, akin to Arabic faqaʿa, to burst (the name of the garment, burquʿ, perhaps originally making reference to a split or slit in front of the eyes through which the wearer can see).

Common Semitic, to long for.
fakir, from Arabic faqīr, poor, from faqura, to be(come) poor.

West Semitic, to separate.
fardel, from Arabic farda, single piece, pack, bundle, from farada, to be(come) separate, segregated, single.

Ethiopic root, to fear, revere.
Rastafarianism, from Amharic täfäri, feared, respected, participle of täfärra, to be feared, respected, derived stem of färra, to fear, respect, akin to Classical Ethiopic farha, to fear, revere.

Northwest Semitic, to make distinct, to separate.
Pharisee, from Aramaic pərišayyā, plural of pəriš, separate, separated, from pəraš, to separate.

Northwest Semitic, to break, rend.
prutah, from Mishnaic Hebrew pərûṭâ, a small coin, feminine passive participle of pāraṭ, to break.

Hebrew root, to pass over.
  1. Pesach, from Hebrew pesaḥ Passover;
  2. Pasch, from Aramaic pasḥā, from Hebrew pesaḥ (see above). Both a and b from Hebrew pāsaḥ, to pass over.

West Semitic, to advise.
  1. fatwa, from Arabic fatwā, legal opinion, from a verb *fatā, to advise (attested only in derived denominative forms such as ʾaftā, to give a formal legal opinion).
  2. mufti1, from Arabic muftī, one who delivers legal opinions, mufti, active participle of ʾaftā (see above).

To split, separate, detach.
  1. haftarah, from Mishnaic Hebrew hapṭārâ, conclusion, from hipṭîr, to conclude, dismiss, derived stem of Hebrew pāṭar, to separate, remove, release.
    1. Eid al-Fitr, from Arabic fiṭr, breaking a fast;
    2. iftar, from Arabic ʾifṭār, verbal noun of ʾafṭara, to break a fast. Both a and b from Arabic faṭara, to split, break, break a fast.

Northwest Semitic noun *pawl‑, broad bean. ful, from Arabic fūl, broad beans, from Aramaic pōlā, broad bean.

Central Semitic, to bend, sit.
  1. Dhu'l-Qa'dah, from Arabic ḏūl-qaʿda, the one of the sitting (perhaps referring to staying at home instead of going to war, since this is the first of the months in which fighting is forbidden), from qaʿda, sitting;
  2. al-Qaeda, from Arabic al-qāʿida, the foundation, the base. Both a and b from qaʿada, to sit.

Common Semitic noun *qabl‑, front, whence West Semitic denominative verb qbl, to receive.
  1. cabal, kabbalah, from Hebrew qabbālâ, received doctrine, tradition, from qibbēl, to receive.
    1. gabelle, from Arabic qabāla, tax, tribute;
    2. Kabyle, from Arabic qabāʾilu, plural of qabīla, tribe. Both a and b from Arabic qabila, to receive.
  2. qiblah, from Arabic qibla, the direction of the Kaaba, toward which Muslims face when praying, akin to qabila, to receive (compare the probably denominative derived stem qābala, to face).

West Semitic, to collect, gather.
kibbutz, from Hebrew qibbûṣ, gathering, from qibbēṣ, to gather, derived stem of qābaṣ, to gather.

Also qww.
West Semitic, to collect.
mikvah, from Hebrew miqwâ, reservoir, or miqwe, collection (especially of water), immersion pool, both from qāwâ, to collect, perhaps akin to Aramaic (Syriac) qbā, to collect (of liquids), Ethiopic qabawa, to be distended (of the stomach).

Common Semitic noun *qadm‑, front, east, earlier time, with denominative verb, to precede, be in front.
cadmium, Cadmus, from Greek Kadmos, from Phoenician *qadm, front, east.

To be(come) holy, sacred.
  1. Kiddush, from Mishnaic Hebrew qiddûš, sanctification, purification, from Hebrew qiddēš, to consecrate, sanctify, derived stem of qādaš, to be(come) holy, sacred.
  2. Kaddish, from Aramaic qaddiš, holy, sacred, from qədaš, to be(come) holy, sacred (so called after the first words of the prayer: yitgaddalwə-yitqaddaššəmeh rabbā, may His (God's) great name be exalted and kept holy).

Arabic root, to conquer, vanquish.
Cairo, from Arabic al-qāhira, the conquering one, feminine active participle of qahara, to conquer, vanquish.

Also khw.
Central Semitic, to be(come) weak, dim, dull, dark.
café, cafeteria, caffeine, coffee, ultimately from Arabic qahwa, coffee, wine (originally perhaps "dark stuff"), akin to Arabic kahiya, to be(come) weak, Aramaic kəhā, qəhā, Hebrew kāhâ, qāhâ, to be(come) dim, faint, dull.

To burn, roast.
alkali; hyperkalemia, hypokalemia, from Arabic (al‑)qily, the ashes, lye, potash, from qalā, to fry, roast.

Central Semitic, to enclose.
  1. camisole, chemise, chemisette, kameez, from Late Greek kamision, probably from a Semitic source akin to Ugaritic qmṣ, a garment, Arabic qamīṣ, shirt, both akin to Hebrew qāmaṣ, to enclose with the hand, grasp.
  2. camise, from Arabic qamīṣ, shirt.

Common Semitic noun *qanaw‑, reed.
  1. canasta, cane, canistel, canister, canna, cannelloni, cannelure, cannoli, cannon, cannula, canyon; cannellini bean, from Greek kanna, reed, from a Semitic source akin to Akkadian qanû, Aramaic qanyā, Hebrew qāne, all meaning "reed."
  2. canon1, canon2, from Greek kanōn, bar, from the same Semitic source as Greek kanna above or a related one.

West Semitic, to close, enclose.
coffle, from Arabic qāfila, caravan, feminine active participle of qafala, to close, also a denominative verb, to return.

Also qry.
West Semitic *qry, to meet; noun *qart‑, *qary(at)‑, *qiryat‑, village, town (*-(a)t‑, feminine suffix).
Carthage, from Latin Carthāgō, from Phoenician (Punic) *qart-ḥadašt, new town, from *qart, town (*ḥadašt, new; see ḥdṯ).

To call (out), read, summon.
Koran, from Arabic (al‑)qurʾān, (the) reading, Koran, from qaraʾa, to read, recite.

To be(come) near, draw near.
    1. corban, from Hebrew qorbān, offering, from hiqrîb, to bring near, present, offer;
    2. kiruv, from Mishnaic Hebrew qîrûb, bringing near, rapprochement, from Hebrew qērēb, to bring near. Both a and b derived stems of qārab, to approach.
  1. carboy, from Arabic qarrāba, big jug, from qarraba, to bring near, derived stem of qaruba, to be(come) near.

West Semitic, to gnaw, glean.
macramé, from Arabic miqrama, bedcover, thin curtain, veil, from qarama, to gnaw, nibble.

See qr.

West Semitic, to divide, distribute, assign, ordain, practice divination; noun *qasm‑, *qism‑, divination.
kismet, from Arabic qisma, portion, lot, destiny, fate, from qasama, to divide, distribute, assign, foreordain.

To cut, cut off.
Casbah, from Arabic dialectal qaṣba, citadel, fortified area of cities in northwest Africa, from qaṣaba, to cut up.

West Semitic, to judge, decree, rule.
alcalde, from Arabic al-qāḍī, the decisive one, judge, active participle of qaḍā, to settle, decree, judge.

To be(come) thin, fine, small.
cotton, from Arabic quṭn, quṭun, cotton, perhaps akin to Akkadian qatānu, to be(come) thin, fine (of textiles), or perhaps borrowed from an unknown source.

West Semitic, to lead.
alcaide, from Spanish, from Arabic al-qāʾid, the leader, active participle of qāda, to lead.

West Semitic, to (a)rise, stand (up).
  1. sycamine, from Greek sūkamīnos, mulberry tree, from a Semitic source akin to Qatabanian sqmt (probably to be read *suqāmat, planted (< "made to stand"), feminine passive causative adjective of *qāma, to stand), whence also Arabic sawqām, a type of fig tree, and Aramaic šiqmâ and Hebrew *siqāmâ, sycamore fig (Ficus sycomorus).
  2. sycamore, from Greek sūkomoros, sycamore fig, perhaps folk-etymological alteration of a word borrowed from the same Semitic source as above (influenced by Greek sūkon, fig, and moron, black mulberry).

See qbw.

To replace, rectify.
Sennacherib, from Akkadian Sîn-aḫḫī-erība, Sin has replaced the (lost) brothers for me, from erība, he has replaced for me, from erīb, preterite of râbu, to replace + -a, for me (aḫḫī, brothers; see ʾ).

Common Semitic noun *raʾš‑, head, top.
  1. resh, from Hebrew rêš, resh, from Aramaic rēš or dialectal Phoenician *rēš, head, twentieth letter of the alphabet.
  2. rho, from Greek rho, from Phoenician *rōš, head, twentieth letter of the Phoenician alphabet.
  3. Rosh Hashanah, from Hebrew ʾšhaš-šānâ, beginning of the year, from ʾš, head, top, beginning.
  4. ras el hanout, from Arabic raʾs, head, top.
  5. Rastafarianism, from Amharic ras, head, chief, prince.

West Semitic, to see.
rai, perhaps from dialectal Arabic (hā ar‑)ray, (here is the) view, from raʾy, view, opinion, from raʾā, to see.

To graze (of flocks), to pasture, tend (flocks).
rayah, from Arabic raʿīya, flock, parish, subjects, a subject, from raʿā, to graze, pasture, tend.

Common Semitic *ʾarbaʿ, four, Central Semitic noun *rubʿ, fourth, quarter, and other derived forms of various patterns.
  1. arroba, from Arabic ar-rubʿ, the quarter.
  2. rabi, Rabi, from Arabic rabīʿ, fourth part, spring.
  3. rubaiyat, from Arabic rubāʿī, quatrain, from rubāʿ, by fours.

Also rby.
To be(come) much, many, great.
    1. rabbi, Reb2, rebbe, from Hebrew and Aramaic rabbî, my master, from rab(b), master, chief, from rab, to be(come) much, many, great (î, my; see -y);
    2. rabbinical, probably from Aramaic rabbin, plural of rab(b), master (see above).
  1. Jeroboam, from Hebrew yārobʿām, the (divine) kinsman increased, from yārob, archaic preterite of rābab, to be(come) many, much (ʿām, kinsman; see ʿmm).
  2. rebec, from Arabic rabāb, rebec, from rabba, to be master, control.

Arabic root, to bind, tie.
marabout1, from Arabic murābiṭ, posted, stationed, marabout, participle of rābaṭa, to be posted, derived stem of rabaṭa, to bind, tie.

See rbb.

Central Semitic, to fear.
Rajab, from Arabic rajab, a month name, from rajaba, to fear, revere.

West Semitic noun *rigl‑, *ragl‑, foot.
Rigel, from Arabic rijl, foot.

To say, speak, call, shout, contest, lay claim to.
  1. dragoman, from Arabic tarjumān, translator, from Aramaic targəmānā, from Akkadian targumannu, interpreter, either from Akkadian ragāmu, to speak, call, contest, or from an earlier Semitic verb in a derived stem, *t-rgm, to speak to one another, translate.
  2. Targum, from Mishnaic Hebrew targûm, translation, from Aramaic targəmā (< *targumā), back-formation from targəmānā (see above).

Common Semitic noun *raḥt‑, hand, palm of the hand (*-t‑, feminine suffix).
racket1, from Arabic rāḥat, bound form of rāḥa, palm of the hand.

West Semitic, to be(come) wide, large.
Rehoboam, from Hebrew rəḥabʿām, the (divine) kinsman has increased, from rəḥab, reduced form of rāḥab, to be(come) wide, large, to increase (ʿām, kinsman; see ʿmm).

Common Semitic noun *raḫil‑, ewe.
Rachel, from Hebrew rāḥēl, ewe.

West Semitic, to burn, be(come) scorched.
Ramadan, from Arabic ramaḍān, from ramaḍ, parchedness, from ramiḍa, to be(come) scorched.

To throw, throw down, set down, establish. Jeremiah, jeremiad, from Hebrew yirməyāhû, Yahweh has established, from yirm(ə), he has established, old preterite of rāmâ, to establish, cast.

West Semitic, to heal, mend.
  1. Hammurabi, from Akkadian ḫammurāpi, from Amorite *ʿammu-rāpiʾ, the (divine) kinsman (is) a healer, from *rāpiʾ, participle of *rapaʾa, to heal (*ʿammu, kinsman; see ʿmm).
  2. Raphael, from Hebrew rəpāʾēl, God has healed, from rəpāʾ, he has healed, reduced form of rāpāʾ, to heal (ʾēl, God; see ʾl).

To be(come) thin, fine, soft, tender.
Merak, from Arabic marāqq, tender areas of the lower abdomen, loins, from raqqa, to be(come) thin, tender.

Arabic root, to adhere.
intarsia, from Arabic tarṣīʿ, inlaying, setting, infinitive of raṣṣaʿa, to inlay, derived stem of raṣiʿa, to adhere.

West Semitic, to be(come) high, exalted.
Abraham, from Hebrew ʾabrāhām, the (divine) father is exalted, from rāhām, alternate form of rām, exalted, participle of rām, to be(come) high, exalted, rise.

West Semitic, to drink one's fill.
Ruth, from Hebrew or Moabite rût, meaning uncertain, perhaps akin to rāwâ, to drink one's fill.

East Semitic, to give.
marionette, marry2, Mary, Miriam; marigold, from Hebrew miryām, Miriam, meaning uncertain, perhaps "gift" (akin to Akkadian riāmu, to give) or "beloved" (of Egyptian origin).

Arabic root, to bundle.
ream1, from Arabic rizma, bundle, from razama, to bundle.

Arabic root, to fix, stick, insert.
mortise, perhaps from Arabic murtazz, fastened, participle of irtazza, to be fixed (in place), derived stem of razza, to fix, stick, insert.

To arrange, put in order.
  1. Seder, from Hebrew sēder, order, arrangement, Seder, akin to Mishnaic Hebrew sādar, to arrange, order.
  2. siddur, from Mishnaic Hebrew siddûr, arrangement, from siddēr, to arrange, derived stem of sādar (see above).

or śgd.
Aramaic root, to bow down, worship.
masjid, mosque, from Arabic masjid, mosque, from Aramaic *masgid, place of worship, from səged, to bow down, worship.

To close, plug, weave together.
  1. Sukkot, from Hebrew sukkôt, plural of sukkâ, booth, from sākak, to weave together, screen, cover.
  2. sequin, from Arabic sikka, coin, die, from sakka, to close, to coin, mint.

East Semitic, to grind (groats).
semolina, simnel, from Latin simila, ultimately (perhaps via Greek semidālis, fine wheaten flour) from a Semitic source akin to Aramaic səmidā, fine flour, Arabic samīd, semolina, both probably from Akkadian samīdu, a type of groats, from samādu, to grind into groats.

To support.
  1. samekh, from Hebrew sāmek, samekh, from Phoenician *samk, support (?), fifteenth letter of the Phoenician alphabet;
  2. sigma, from Greek sīgma, sigma, altered from Phoenician *samk (see above).

or śmq.
Aramaic root, to be(come) red.
sumac, from Arabic summāq, sumac, from Aramaic summāq, dark red, from səmeq, to be(come) red.

West Semitic, to measure, count.
sofer, from Hebrew sōpēr, scribe, active participle of sāpar, to count.

See ṣqʿ.

Central Semitic, to discuss, take counsel.
sayyid, from Arabic sayyid, chief, lord, master, from sāda, to be(come) chief, predominate, rule.

See šwd.

Arabic root, to gather, disperse.
Sha'ban, from Arabic šaʿbān, a month name, perhaps "dispersal," from šaʿaba, to gather, disperse.

Central Semitic, to entwine, weave, insert.
  1. sambuca1, from Aramaic sabbəkā, sambuca, from səbak, to fasten, cling.
  2. xebec, from Arabic šabbāk, type of small ship, from šabaka, to entwine, fasten.

See sgd.

Arabic root, to bridle.
hackamore, from Arabic šakīma, bit of a bridle, from šakama, to bridle.

To be(come) proud, lofty, joyful.
Simchat Torah, from Hebrew śimḥat, bound form of śimḥâ, joy, rejoicing, from śāmēaḥ, to rejoice.

East Semitic noun *śamm‑, plant, herb.
  1. sesame, sesamoid, from Greek sēsamē, sēsamon, from a Semitic source akin to Ugaritic ššmn, Phoenician ššmn, Aramaic šumšəmā, Arabic simsim, all probably from Akkadian šamaššammū, sesame, back-formation from *šaman šammammī, oil of plants, from šammī, genitive plural of šammu, plant (šaman, bound form of šamnu, oil; see šmn.). It is possible that the Akkadian form represents a folk etymology for an original form šamšamu, from a root *šmšm.
  2. simoom, from Arabic samūm, hot wind, simoom, from samma, to poison, denominative from samm, poison, from Aramaic sammā, drug, from or akin to Akkadian šammu (see above).

See smq.

Common Semitic noun *śaqq‑, sack.
sac1, saccade, sachet, sack1, sack2, satchel; cul-de-sac, haversack, knapsack, rucksack, from Greek sakkos, coarse cloth, article made from coarse cloth, from a Semitic source akin to Hebrew śaq, Akkadian saqqu, sack.

To set, set up, erect, prescribe.
shari'a, from Arabic šarīʿa, law, from šaraʿa, to ordain, prescribe.

West Semitic, to drink, absorb.
  1. sherbet, sorbet, from Arabic šarba, a sip, drink;
  2. shrub2, from Arabic šurb, a drinking, drink;
  3. syrup, from Arabic šarāb, a drink, beverage. a-c all from Arabic šariba, to drink.

To burn.
seraph, back-formation from plural seraphim, from Hebrew śərāpîm, plural of śārāp, fiery serpent, seraph, from śārap, to burn.

Arabic root, to be noble, highborn.
sherif, from Arabic šarīf, noble, highborn, from šarufa, to be noble, highborn.

West Semitic, to be(come) red, rise (of the sun); noun *śarq‑, rising (of the sun), east.
Saracen, sarsen, sirocco, from Arabic šarq, east, sunrise, from šaraqa, to rise, shine.

Common Semitic noun *śarr‑, prince, king.
  1. Sarah, from Hebrew śārâ, princess, feminine of śar, prince.
    1. Sargon, from Hebrew sargôn, from Akkadian šarru-kīn, the king is true, legitimate, from šarru, king (kīn, true; see kwn);
    2. Belshazzar, from Hebrew bēlšaṣṣar, from Akkadian bēl-šar-uṣur, Bel protect the king, from šar, late form of šarru, king (bēl, Bel (Akkadian god), and uṣur, protect; see bʿl and nṯr).

West Semitic, to strive, strive for, save, protect.
Israel; Beta Israel, from Hebrew yiśrāʾēl, God has striven, God has saved, from yiśrā, he has striven, saved, archaic preterite of śārâ, to strive, persevere.

Northwest Semitic, to be(come) hostile, accuse.
  1. Satan, from Hebrew śāṭān, adversary, Satan, from śāṭan, to accuse, act as adversary;
  2. shaitan, from Arabic šayṭān, Satan, from Ethiopic śayṭān, from Aramaic sāṭānā, from Hebrew śāṭān (see above).

To tear apart, split.
chott, from Arabic šaṭṭ, bank, coast, strand, from šaṭṭa, to exceed, deviate.

Arabic root, to rise.
Shawwal, from Arabic šawwāl, a month name, from šāla, to rise.

West Semitic, to consult.
shura, from Arabic šūrā, consultation, from šāwara, to consult.

Central Semitic, to assist.
Shia, Shiite, from Arabic šīʿa, followers, disciples, faction (meaning influenced by Aramaic siʿā, absolute form of siʿ, troop, company), from šāʿa, to spread, become known.

To grow, grow up, grow old.
  1. sheikh, from Arabic šayḫ, old man, chief, from šāḫa, to grow old;
  2. sheikha, from Arabic šayḫa, feminine of šayḫ (see above).

To ask.
Saul, from Hebrew šāʾûl, asked, requested, passive participle of šāʾal, to ask.

Common Semitic *šabʿ, seven.
    1. Shavuot, from Hebrew šābûʿôt, plural of šābûaʿ, week, from šebaʿ, seven;
    2. shiva, from Hebrew šibʿâ, seven, feminine of šebaʿ (see above).
    1. Bathsheba, from Hebrew batšebaʿ, daughter of an oath (bat, daughter; see bn);
    2. Elizabeth, from Hebrew ʾĕlîšebaʿ, my God (is) an oath (ʾĕlî, my God; see ʾl);
    3. Beersheba, from Hebrew ʾēr šebaʿ, well of oath (ʾēr, well; see bʾr). a-c all from -šebaʿ, oath, from *šābaʿ, to swear, possibly denominative from šebaʿ, seven (? < "to bind oneself with sevens" in swearing oaths).

To settle, become still.
sabkha, from Arabic šabaḫa, sabḫa, salt marsh, sabkha, from šabiḫa, to rest.

Central Semitic, to cease, rest.
  1. Sabbath, sabbatical, Shabbat, from Hebrew šabbāt, Sabbath, from šābat, to cease, rest;
  2. Shabbos, from Ashkenazic Hebrew pronunciation of šabbāt (see above).

To strike, beat.
Shevat, from Hebrew šəbāṭ, a month name, from Akkadian šabāṭu, name of a month corresponding to parts of January and February, perhaps akin to šabāṭu, to strike, hit.

To draw, pull, plug, obstruct, despoil.
sudd, from Arabic sudd, obstruction, from sadda, to plug, obstruct.

To rage, be(come) mad.
meshuga, meshugaas, from Hebrew məšuggaʿ, mad, participle of šuggaʿ, to be(come) mad.

or šgḫ.
Hebrew root of uncertain meaning.
mashgiach, from Hebrew mašgîaḥ, overseer, inspector, from hišgîaḥ, to gaze, look, inspect, derived stem of *šāgaḥ.

To sharpen, scrape off, peel.
  1. Swahili, from Arabic sawāḥilī, of the coast, Swahili, from sawāḥil, plural of sāḥil, coast, active participle of saḥala, to scrape off, smooth, plane;
  2. Sahel, from sāḥil, coast, active participle of saḥala, to scrape off, smooth, plane.

Central Semitic, to dwell.
Shekhinah, from Mishnaic Hebrew šəkînâ, dwelling-place, tabernacle, divine presence, from Hebrew šākan, to dwell.

Common Semitic noun *šikar‑, intoxicating drink.
cider, from Greek sikera, from a Semitic source akin to Hebrew šēkār, Akkadian šikaru, intoxicating drink.

To be whole, sound; Common Semitic noun *šalām‑, well-being, welfare, peace.
    1. shalom;; shalom aleichem, from Hebrew šālōm, well-being, peace, from šālēm, to be safe, sound;
    2. Absalom, from Hebrew ʾabšālōm, my father (is) peace (see ʾb).
  1. schlemiel, perhaps from the Hebrew personal name šəlūmîʾēl, my well-being (is) God, from šəlūm, well-being, variant bound form of šālôm (see above; ʾēl, God; see ʾl).
  2. Solomon, from Hebrew šəlōmōh, his (God's) peace, from šəlōm, bound form of šālôm (see above).
  3. Salome, from a Hebrew personal name akin to šəlōmît, Shelomith (biblical name), from šālôm (see above).
  4. salaam, from Arabic salām, well-being, peace, from salima, to be safe, sound.
    1. Islam, from Arabic ʾislām, submission, from ʾaslama, to surrender, resign oneself;
    2. Muslim, Mussulman, from Arabic muslim, one who surrenders, active participle of ʾaslama (see above). Both a and b from Aramaic (Syriac) ʾašlem, to make peace, surrender, derived stem of šlem, to be whole.

West Semitic root, to precede, line up.
Salafi, from Arabic salafī, of the forbears, of the predecessors, from salaf, forbear, predecessor.

To dominate, rule, have power over.
  1. soldan, sultan, from Arabic sulṭān, power, authority, ruler, sultan, from Aramaic šulṭānā, power, authority, rule, ruler, from šəlaṭ, to dominate, rule, prevail;
  2. sultana, from Arabic sulṭāna, feminine of sulṭān (see above).

Common Semitic noun *š(i)m‑, name.
Samuel, from Hebrew šəmûʾēl, name of God (alternatively, the name (is) God), from šəmû, archaic form of šēm, name.

To hear.
  1. schmooze, perhaps from Hebrew šəmûʿâ, report, rumor, feminine passive participle of šāmaʿ, to hear;
  2. Shema, from Hebrew šəmaʿ, hear, imperative of šāmaʿ, to hear (see above);
  3. Ishmael, from Hebrew yišmāʿēʾl, God heard, from yišmaʿ, archaic preterite of šāmaʿ, to hear (see above; ʾēl, God; see ʾl).

Common Semitic noun *šamn‑, oil, fat.
  1. Gethsemane, from Greek Gethsēmani, from Hebrew gat šemen, oil press, from šemen, oil (gat, press; see wgn).
  2. sesame, sesamoid, from Greek sēsamē, sēsamon, sesame, from a Semitic source akin to Ugaritic ššmn, Phoenician ššmn, Aramaic šumšəmā, Arabic simsim, all meaning "sesame" and all probably from Akkadian šamaššammū, sesame, back-fromation from *šaman šammī, oil of plants, from šaman, bound form of šamnu, oil (šammī, genitive plural of šammu, plant; see śmm). It is possible that the Akkadian form represents a folk etymology for an original form šamšamu, from a root *šmšm).

Common Semitic noun *šamš‑, sun.
  1. Samson, from Hebrew šimšôn, Samson, from šemeš, sun.
  2. Shamash, from Akkadian šamaš, absolute form of šamšu, sun, sun-god.

See šmm, šmn.

Common Semitic noun *šan(a)t‑, year (*-(a)t‑, feminine suffix).
Rosh Hashanah, from Hebrew šānâ, year.

Common Semitic noun *šinn‑, tooth; denominative verb, to sharpen.
  1. shin2, from Hebrew šîn, from Phoenician *šinn, tooth, twenty-first letter of the Phoenician alphabet, akin to Hebrew šēn, tooth. (The use of the word for "tooth" for this letter is the result of folk etymology and is based on the shape of the letter, which resembles a row of pointed teeth. The letter originally depicted a composite bow, a powerful kind of bow that is made of layers of different materials such as horn and wood and usually has the tips curving away from the archer when unstrung. The earlier name of the letter was *šann < *ṯann, "composite bow.").
    1. Sunna, from Arabic sunna, customary practice, tradition, from sanna, to sharpen, shape, prescribe;
    2. Sunni, from Arabic sunnī, Sunni, from sunna (see above).

To send a message, send on a journey.
safari, from Arabic safarīya, journey, from safar, departure, journey, akin to the denominative verb sāfara, to travel.

See ṣqʿ.

To be(come) wild, detestable. Exact preform uncertain; other possible reconstructions are *šqṣ́, *šqṯ, *ṯqṣ, and *ṯqṣ́.
shegetz, shiksa, from Hebrew šeqeṣ, blemish, something detestable (compare denominative derived stem verb šiqqēṣ, to detest).

To water, give to drink.
acequia, from Arabic as-sāqiya, the irrigation ditch, feminine active participle of saqā, to water, give to drink.

To loosen, remove, begin.
Tishri, from Hebrew tišrî, a month name, from Akkadian tašrītu, beginning, name of a month corresponding to parts of September and October, from šurrû, to begin, derived stem of *šarû, to begin.

Central Semitic, to be(come) evil, devastated, empty.
Shoah, from Hebrew šôʾâ, devastation, calamity.

or swd.
Arabic root, to be(come) black.
soda, perhaps from Arabic suwayd, soda, soda-plant, or suwayda, a type of saltwort, perhaps akin to ʾaswad, black.

Northwest Semitic noun *šūr‑, wall.
sura, from Arabic sūra, sura, from Aramaic šurā, absolute form of šurətā, line, row.

Central Semitic, to be(come) even, equal.
  1. Shiviti, from Hebrew šiwwîtî, I have set (first word of Psalm 16:8), from šiwwâ, to set, place, derived stem of *šāwâ, to be(come) even.
  2. schwa, from Hebrew šəwāʾ, schwa, probably from Aramaic (Syriac) (nuqzē) šwayyā, even (points), plural passive participle of šwā, to be even, equal.

Common Semitic noun *ṣabar‑, aloe.
sabra, perhaps from Yiddish sabre, member of the first group of Jewish groups to arrive in Palestine beginning in the 19th century or one of their descendants, probably from Palestinian Arabic ṣab(i)ra, singulative of ṣab(i)r, prickly pear (also the source of Modern Israeli Hebrew ṣābār, prickly pear, sabra); akin to Arabic ṣabir, ṣabr, aloe.

West Semitic, to be(come) just, righteous.
    1. Melchizedek, from Hebrew malkî-ṣedeq, my king (is) righteousness, from ṣedeq, righteousness;
    2. Zedekiah, from Hebrew ṣidqîyāhû, my righteousness (is) Yahweh, from ṣidqî, my righteousness, from ṣidq‑, presuffixal form of ṣedeq, righteousness (yāhû, Yahweh; see hwy). Both a and b from ṣādaq, to be(come) just, righteous.
  1. Sadducee, from Mishnaic Hebrew ṣədûqî, Sadducee, after ṣādôq, Zadok, just, righteous, high priest in the time of David and Solomon, from ṣādaq (see above).

West Semitic, to be(come) pressed, constrained, associated.
sahib, from Arabic ṣāḥib, companion, master, participle of ṣaḥiba, to be(come) friends.

Also ṣḥn.
West Semitic noun, dish, bowl, pan.
saganaki, from Arabic ṣaḥn, dish, bowl.

See ṣ́ḥq.

West Semitic, to prosper, be(come) good, better, useful.
garam masala, from Arabic maṣāliḥ, plural of maṣlaḥa, benefit, good, from ṣalaḥa, to be(come) good, useful, in derived stem ʾaṣlaḥa, to improve, make suitable.

West Semitic, to be(come) strong, do (something) skillfully, build, produce, make.
arsenal, from Arabic aṣ-ṣināʿa, the manufacture, industry, or from dār aṣ-ṣināʿa, place of manufacture, from ṣināʿa manufacture, industry, from ṣanaʿa, to make, produce.

Northwest Semitic, to hide.
Zephaniah, from Hebrew ṣəpanyāh, Yahweh has hidden, Yahweh has treasured, from ṣəpan, reduced form of ṣāpan, he has hidden.

Also ṣpṣp and ṣwp.
To press down, cover, overlay.
  1. sofa, from Arabic ṣuffa, sofa, from Aramaic ṣippā, absolute form of ṣippətā, a mat, perhaps akin to ṣippā, ṣuppā, carded wool;
  2. Sufi, from Arabic ṣūfī, (man) of wool, from ṣūf, wool, perhaps from Aramaic ṣippā, ṣuppā, carded wool (see above). Both a and b perhaps from Akkadian ṣuppu, solid, massive, compacted (textile), verbal adjective of ṣuppu, to press down, rub down a horse, derived stem of *ṣâpu.

Arabic root, to be(come) empty, vacant.
  1. cipher, zero; decipher, from Arabic ṣifr, empty (translation of Sanskrit śūnyam, cipher, dot), from ṣafira, to be(come) empty, vacant;
  2. Safar, from Arabic ṣafar, Safar, probably from ṣafira (see above).

Central Semitic, to be(come) yellow. zaffer, perhaps from Arabic ṣufr, yellow copper, brass, from ʾaṣfar, yellow.

See ṣpp.

Arabic root, to be(come) white, covered with frost.
moussaka, from colloquial Egyptian Arabic musaqqaʿa, chilled, moussaka, feminine passive participle of Egyptian colloquial saqqaʿa, to chill, variant of ṣaqqaʿa, denominative from ṣaqʿa, cold (weather), frost, from ṣaqiʿa, be(come) white, covered with frost.

To burn, smelt, refine.
silver, probably ultimately from Akkadian ṣarpu, refined, silver, verbal adjective of ṣarāpu, to refine.

Central Semitic, to be(come) narrow, restricted, distressed, to bind, tie.
tsuris, from Hebrew ṣārâ, distress, from ṣārar, to be(come) narrow, to bind.

West Semitic, to protect.
Zion, from Hebrew ṣiyyôn, probably originally meaning "stronghold, fortress", and derived from a root akin to Arabic ṣāna, to protect.

See ṣpp.

Also wṣy. Central Semitic, to command, order.
mitzvah; bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah, from Hebrew miṣwâ, commandment, from ṣiwwâ, to command.

Common Semitic reduplicated form *ṣīṣīt‑, tassel, fringe (*-t‑, feminine suffix).
tzitzit, from Hebrew ṣîṣīt, tassel, fringe.

To wage war; Common Semitic noun *ṣ́ab(a)ʾ, army, troop.
Sabaoth, from Hebrew ṣəbāʾôt, plural of ṣābāʾ, army, from ṣābāʾ, to wage war.

or ṣḥq.
To laugh.
Isaac, from Hebrew yiṣḥāq, he laughed, archaic preterite of ṣāḥaq, to laugh.

Also ṣḥw, ṣḥy, ṣḥḥ.
West Semitic, to be(come) bright, dazzling.
Eid al-Adha, from Arabic ʾaḍḥā, sacrifice, from ḍaḥā, to become visible (from the fact that the sacrifice is performed soon after sunrise).

West Semitic, to strike, hit.
drub, perhaps from dialectal Arabic ḍrab, to hit, from ḍaraba, to hit.

Central Semitic *ṣ́arw‑, *ṣ́urw‑, an aromatic resin.
storax, from Greek sturax, perhaps from a Semitic source akin to Ugaritic ẓurwu, Hebrew ṣŏrî, Sabaean ḍrw, Arabic ḍarw, ḍirw, all meaning "aromatic resin."

To be(come) narrow, constricted.
souk, from Arabic sūq, market, from Aramaic šuqā, street, market, from Akkadian sūqu, street, from sâqu, to be(come) narrow, tight.

Common Semitic noun *tihām‑, sea.
Tiamat, from Akkadian tiāmat, absolute form of tiāmtu, sea.

West Semitic *taḥt‑, under, under part.
tush3, from Hebrew taḥat, under, under part.

Common Semitic noun *till‑, *tall‑, mound, tell.
  1. Tel Aviv, from Hebrew tēl ʾābîb, barley tell, from tēl, tell (ʾābîb, barley; see ʾbb).
  2. tell2, from Arabic tall, tell.

Central Semitic, to be(come) complete, finished.
Urim and Thummim, from Hebrew tummîm, plural of tōm, completion, integrity, from tam, to be(come) complete, finished.

Common Semitic noun *tam(a)r‑, palm-tree, dates.
  1. Tamar, from Hebrew tāmār, palm-tree.
  2. tamarind, from Arabic tamr hindī, dates of India, from tamr, dates.

Common Semitic noun *tawʾam‑, twin.
Thomas, from Aramaic tāmā or Hebrew ʾām, twin.

Central Semitic noun *taww‑, mark, sign.
  1. tau, from Greek tau, tau;
  2. tav, from Hebrew tāw, tav. Both a and b from Phoenician *taww, mark, twenty-second letter of the Phoenician alphabet.

See ḏ.

Common Semitic noun *ṯaʿlab‑, fox.
salep, from Arabic ṯaʿlab, fox.

Common Semitic *ṯamāni‑, eight.
  1. Shemini Atzereth, from Hebrew šəmînî, eighth, from šəmōne, eight.
  2. Heshvan, from Hebrew ḥešwān, a month name, short for marḥešwān, from Akkadian (w)araḫsamnu, the eighth month of the Babylonian calendar, from samnu, eighth, from samāne, eight.

Common Semitic *ṯn‑, two; derived verb *ṯny, to repeat.
  1. Adar Sheni, from Hebrew šēnî, second.
  2. Mishnah, from Mishnaic Hebrew mišnâ, repetition, instruction, from šānâ, to repeat.

To judge, administer.
Jehoshaphat, from Hebrew yəhôšāpāṭ, Yahweh has judged, from šāpāṭ, he has judged, lengthened form of šāpaṭ, to judge (yəhô, Yahweh; see hwy).

To weigh.
  1. shekel, from Hebrew šeqel, weight, unit of weight, from šāqal, to weigh.
  2. Ashkelon, scallion, shallot, from Hebrew ʾašqəlôn, Ashkelon, from earlier ʾaṯqalōn, from a Canaanite source perhaps originally meaning "scales, balance" or "weighing place" (Ashkelon having been an important center of commerce in ancient times).
  3. metical, from Arabic mitqāl, colloquial variant of miṯqāl, weight, unit of weight, from ṯaqula, to be(come) heavy.

ṯqṣ, ṯqṣ́
See šqṣ.

Common Semitic ṯūʿ, lord. Joshua, from Hebrew yəhôšûaʿ, perhaps "Yahweh (is) lord," from *šûaʿ, lord). Alternatively, "Yahweh (is) salvation" (šûaʿ, salvation; see wṯʿ).

To sink.
Tevet, from Hebrew ṭēbēt, a month name, from Akkadian ṭebētu, name of a month corresponding to parts of December and January, perhaps akin to ṭebû, to sink.

To grind (flour).
tahini, from Arabic ṭaḥīna, tahini, from ṭaḥīn, flour, from ṭaḥana, to grind.

Root of uncertain meaning in South Semitic noun *ṭaḥ(a)f, the love grass Eragrostis tef, teff.
teff, from Amharic ṭef, akin to classical Ethiopic and South Arabian ṭaḥ(a)f, teff.

West Semitic, to seek, request, claim.
Taliban, from Arabic ṭālib, seeker, student, from ṭalaba, to seek.

To insert, throw, burden, toil.
  1. matelassé, mattress, from Arabic maṭraḥ, place where something is thrown;
  2. tare2, from Arabic ṭarḥ, rejection, subtraction, deduction. Both a and b from Arabic ṭaraḥa, to throw, throw away.

Central Semitic, to tear, pluck, seize.
tref, from Hebrew ṭərēpâ, torn flesh, from ṭārap, to tear, pluck.

Central Semitic, to obey.
mutawa, from Arabic muṭṭawwiʿ, volunteer, one following the noncompulsory practices recommended in the shari'a, active participle of iṭṭawwaʿa, to volunteer, contracted form of taṭawwaʿa, to volunteer, reflexive of ṭawwaʿa, to make obedient, factative of ṭāʿa, to be obedient.

Arabic root, to be able, be capable, sustain, support.
  1. pataca, from Arabic ṭāqa, window, from ṭāqa, to be able, be capable, sustain, in derived stem ṭawwaqa, to surround, enclose. (The name of the coin, ʾabū ṭaqa, "father of a window," derives from a scene on early piasters picturing the columns of Hercules, mistaken for windows.)
  2. czardas, from Arabic ṭāq, arch.

To be(come) good, pleasant.
  1. mazel tov, from Late Hebrew mazzāl ṭôb, good luck, from ṭôb, good, from ṭôb, to be(come) good;
  2. Tobit, from Hebrew ṭôbīyāh, my good (is) Yahweh, from ṭôbī, my good (yāh, Yahweh; see hwy).

Central Semitic, to fly.
Altair, from Arabic (an-nasr) aṭ-ṭāʾir, the flying (eagle), from ṭāʾir, flying, active participle of ṭāra, to fly.

To be(come) dark, shaded; *ṯill‑, shade, shadow.
tallit, from Mishnaic Hebrew ṭallît, cover, shawl, from ṭillēl, to cover, from Aramaic ṭallel, to cover, denominative from ṭəlāl, shade.

Common Semitic conjunction *wa‑, and.
Veadar, from Hebrew wa-ʾădār, and Veadar, from wə‑, wa‑, and.

Central Semitic, to fix a time; noun *ʿid(at)‑, fixed time, appointment, meeting (*-at‑, feminine suffix).
Eid; Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, from Arabic ʿīd, feast, from Aramaic ʿed, day of assembly, feast-day, from ʿad, to fix a time.

See ybl.

See dwd.

West Semitic, to put, place, cast.
wadi, from Arabic wādi, valley, ravine, river bed, akin to wadā, to pay blood money, in derived stem ʾawdā, to cut off, kill.

Central Semitic, to beat, press; noun *gint‑, oil or wine press (*-t‑, feminine suffix).
  1. Gath, from Hebrew gat (< *gatt < *gitt < *gint), a press, from *gint;
  2. Gethsemane, from Greek Gethsēmani, from Hebrew gat šemen, oil press (šemen, oil; see šmn).

To trust, rely.
Tiglathpileser, from Hebrew tiglat pilʾeser, from Akkadian tukultī-apil-ešarra, my trusted one (is) the heir of Esharra, from tukultī, my trusted one, from tukultu, trust, object of trust, from takālu, to trust, alteration of earlier wakālum (apil, heir; see ʾpl).

Central Semitic, to be(come) near, associated, in charge.
  1. maulana, mullah, from Arabic mawlā, master, patron, friend;
  2. vilayet, from Arabic wilāya, province. Both a and b from Arabic waliya, to be(come) near, adjacent, be in charge, manage, govern.

Arabic root, to fall.
Vega, from Arabic (an-nasr al‑)wāqiʿ, (the) falling (eagle), from wāqiʿ, falling, active participle of waqaʿa, to fall.

Common Semitic noun *warḫ‑, moon, month.
Heshvan, from Hebrew ḥešwān, a month name, short for marḥešwān, from Akkadian (w)araḫsamnu, name of a month corresponding to parts of October and November, eighth month of the Babylonian calendar, from (w)arḫu, month.

To lead, guide, cast, throw.
Torah; Simchat Torah, from Hebrew tôrâ (< *tawrawat‑), direction, instruction, law, from hôrâ (< *hawriwa), to throw, shoot, direct, teach, derived stem of yārâ (< *warawa), to throw, shoot.

To be(come) fitting, suitable.
    1. mazuma, from Medieval Hebrew məzummān, fixed currency, from Mishnaic Hebrew məzummān, fixed, passive participle of zimmēn, to arrange, arrange a meal, invite, denominative from Hebrew zəmān, appointed time, season, from Aramaic zəmān, zəman, time;
    2. Sivan, from Hebrew sîwān, a month name. Both a and b from Akkadian simānu, season, time, name of a month corresponding to parts of May and June, from (w)asāmu, to be(come), fitting, suitable.
  1. monsoon, from Arabic mawsim, season, from wasama, to mark, wasuma, to be(come) beautiful.

Central Semitic, to add, enlarge, increase.
Joseph, from Hebrew yôsēp (< *yawsip), he increased, archaic preterite of hôsîp, to add, increase, derived stem of yāsap, to add, increase.

West Semitic, to connect, join.
muslin, from Arabic mawṣil, place of joining, from waṣala, to join.

See ṣwy1.

West Semitic, to insert, assign.
Tophet, from Hebrew tōpet, a placename, perhaps originally "assignation" (of a child to be sacrificed there to a deity).

West Semitic, to help, deliver, save.
      1. Joshua, from Hebrew yəhôšûaʿ, Yahweh (is) salvation, from *šûaʿ, salvation. Alternatively, "Yahweh (is) lord" (šûaʿ, salvation; see ṯwʿ).
      2. Jesus, from Hebrew yēšûaʿ, short for yəhôšûaʿ, Joshua (see above);
    1. Elisha, from Hebrew ʾĕlîšāʿ, God (is) salvation, from *yāšāʿ, salvation (exact form uncertain; related to yēšaʿ, salvation, see below; ʾĕl, God, see ʾl). Both a and b from *yāšaʿ, to save (< *waṯaʿa);
      1. Hosanna, from Hebrew hôšaʿ-nāʾ, from hôšaʿ, deliver, save, imperative of hôšîaʿ, to deliver, save (< *hawṯiʿa), derived stem of *yāšaʿ (see above; ʾ, injunctive particle);
      2. Hosea, from Hebrew hôšēaʿ, salvation, from hôšîaʿ (see above).
  1. Isaiah, from Hebrew yəšaʿyāhû, salvation of Yahweh, from yəšaʿ, reduced form of yēšaʿ, salvation (yāhû, Yahweh; see hwy).

To sit, dwell.
  1. moshav, from Hebrew môšāb, seat, dwelling;
  2. yeshiva, from Hebrew yəšîbâ, sitting, session, academy. Both a and b from yāšab(< *waṯaba), to sit, dwell.

Arabic root, to carry (a burden), take upon oneself.
vizier, from Arabic wazīr, vizier, minister, burdened, from wazara, to carry (a burden), take upon oneself, or from ʾāzara, to help (see ʾzr).

Common Semitic noun *x̣alab‑, milk.
  1. galbanum, from Greek khalbanē, of Northwest Semitic origin (compare Hebrew ḥelbənâ, Aramaic ḥelbānitā, galbanum, from *ḥalab, milk).
  2. mahaleb, from Arabic maḥlab, mahaleb, from ḥalaba, to milk.

To be(come) sweet, pleasant, agreeable, merry.
halvah, from Arabic ḥalwā, confection, from ḥaluwa, to be(come) sweet, pleasant.

To plan, carry.
hamal, from Arabic ḥammāl, porter, from ḥamala, to carry.

To bend, incline.
ras el hanout, from Arabic ḥānūt, shop, from Aramaic ḥānūtā, arched chamber, cell, shop, from ḥənā, to bend.

Common Semitic noun *x̣arb‑, plough, blade, dagger.
  1. mojarra, from Arabic muḥarrab, sharpened, from ḥarraba, to sharpen, denominative from ḥarba, lance, spear.
  2. Central Semitic denominative verbal root *ḥrb, to wage war, attack, smite. mihrab, from Arabic miḥrāb, recess, prayer niche, probably from Old South Arabian (Sabaean) mḥrb, part of a temple, from ḥrb, to fight, to perform a certain ritual in a temple.

To separate, ban, prohibit.
  1. harmattan, possibly from Arabic ḥarām, evil thing;
  2. Marrano, probably from Arabic maḥram, something forbidden;
  3. harem, from Arabic ḥarīm, sanctuary, inviolable place, harem. a-c all from Arabic ḥarama, to exclude, deny, prohibit;
  4. ihram, from Arabic ʾiḥrām, state of ritual purity of pilgrims to Mecca, infinitive of ʾaḥrama, to enter ihram, derived stem of ḥarama (see above);
  5. Muharram, from Arabic muḥarram, forbidden, passive participle of ḥarrama, to declare sacred or unlawful, forbid, derived stem of ḥarama (see above).

To be(come) yellow, gold(en).
chryso-, from Greek khrūsos, gold, from a Semitic source akin to Hebrew ḥārûṣ, gold.

To cut, divide, diminish.
mechitza, from Mishnaic Hebrew məḥiṣṣâ, partition, from Hebrew ḥāṣaṣ, to divide.

To see.
chazan, from Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Aramaic ḥazzān, superintendent, cantor, from Akkadian ḫazannu, administrator, mayor, perhaps from earlier *ḫāziyānum, overseer, active participle of Proto-Akkadian verb *ḫazāyum, to see.

Common Semitic pronoun suffix *-ī/-ya, my.
  1. Adonai, from Hebrew ʾădônāy, my lord, from -ay, my (ʾādôn, lord; see ʾd).
  2. rabbi, from Hebrew and Aramaic rabbî, my master, from -ay, my (rab(b), lord; see rbb).

or wbl.
Canaanite noun *yōbil‑, ram, ram's horn.
jubilee, from Hebrew yôbēl, ram, ram's horn, jubilee (the latter probably originally "year of the ram's horn").

Common Semitic noun *yad‑, hand.
    1. iota, jot, from Greek iōta, iota;
    2. yodh, from Hebrew yōd, yodh. Both a and b from Phoenician *yōd, hand, tenth letter of the Phoenician alphabet.
  1. yad, from Hebrew yād, hand.
  2. Betelgeuse, ultimately from Arabic yad al-jawzāʾ, hand of Gemini, from yad, hand.

To know.
Mandean, from Mandean mandaya, having knowledge, from manda, from earlier Aramaic mandaʿ, maddaʿ, knowledge, infinitive of yədaʿ, to know.

West Semitic noun *yamīn‑ and East Semitic noun *yamin‑, right, right hand, south (on the right-hand side when facing east).
  1. Benjamin, from Hebrew binyāmîn, son of the right hand, from yāmîn, right (hand), south. (The Israelite tribal name binyāmîn should perhaps instead be understood as the "southerner" and to be compared to a people called "sons of the right/south" in Akkadian texts of the time of Hammurabi.)
  2. Yemen, from Arabic yaman, right side, south, Yemen.

Common Semitic noun *yawm‑, day.
  1. Yom Kippur, from Hebrew yôm, day.
  2. Enuma Elish, (the name of the Babylonian creation epic), from Akkadian enūma elîš, when on high (first words of the epic), from enūma, when, from ina, in, on + ūma, adverbial accusative of ūmu, day (elîš, on high; see ʿly).

Northwest Semitic noun *yawn‑, feminine *yawnat‑, dove.
Jonah, from Hebrew yônâ, dove.

To carry, raise, exalt; Northwest Semitic noun *zabūl‑, prince.
  1. Jezebel, from Hebrew ʾîzebel, where is the prince?, from zebel, akin to zəbûl, Zebul, a name meaning "prince" (ʾî, where; see ʾyy);
  2. Beelzebub, from Hebrew baʿal zəbûb, lord (of the) fly, pejorative alteration of baʿal zəbûl, lord prince, name of a Philistine god (see bʿl and ḏbb).

Central Semitic, to shine, be splendid.
  1. Zohar, from Hebrew zōhar, brightness, glow, from hizhâr, to shine.
  2. hazard, perhaps from Arabic zahr, gaming die, perhaps from zahr, flowers (the sides of some medieval dice perhaps being painted with images of flowers), from zahara, to shine, be radiant.

To make music.
klezmer, from Mishnaic Hebrew zemer, music, song, from zāmar, to make music.

East Semitic, to build high.
ziggurat, from Akkadian ziqqurratu, temple tower, from zaqāru, to build high.

or ḏyn.
Root of uncertain meaning.
  1. cedilla, izzard, zed, zeta, from Greek zēta, alteration (influenced by the following letter ēta, eta) of Phoenician *zēn, seventh letter of the Phoenician alphabet;
  2. zayin, from Hebrew zayin, from alteration of Phoenician *zēn (see above).

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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.