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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch plien, later pleghen, originally a class 4 strong verb with past tense plach, plaghen, geploghen. Presumably from Old Dutch *plian, from Proto-Germanic *plehaną (to vouch for), and cognate with Old English plēon. However, the form plegan already occurs in Old Saxon with -g-, and likewise for Old High German pflegan, so it is not certain what the ultimate form of this word is.


plegen (past singular placht, past participle geplacht)

  1. to do (something) habitually, customarily
    • Mijn grootvader pleegt na het middageten een pijp te roken.
      • My grandfather usually smokes a pipe after lunch.
  2. to usually happen
    • Op onze wandelvakanties placht het vaak te regenen.
      • On our trekking holidays, it often rained.

Etymology 2[edit]

From the same origin as above. The formation of the weak past occurred in early modern Dutch.


plegen (past singular pleegde, past participle gepleegd)

  1. to commit (a crime)
Derived terms[edit]