λαμβάνω

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Ancient Greek[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Uncertain. Probably from a Proto-Indo-European *(s)leh₂gʷ-, with cognates including Old English læċċan (English latch). This etymology is supported by the form ΛΗΑΒΩΝ (aorist participle) found in an inscription in Corfu indicating initial voiceless /l̥/, which would have developed from a Proto-Indo-European sl- cluster. Also see λάζομαι (lázomai) and λάφυρον (láphuron).

The present stem λαμβάνω has zero-grade of the PIE root with nasal infix and suffix, like λανθάνω (lanthánō, do secretly) and τυγχάνω (tunkhánō, happen). The second aorist ἔλᾰβον (élabon) has zero-grade and no further modifications, like ἔλαθον (élathon) and ἔτυχον (étukhon). The forms with eta, such as future λήψομαι (lḗpsomai), have e-grade, like λήσω (lḗsō) and τεύξομαι (teúxomai).

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Verb[edit]

λᾰμβᾰ́νω (lambánō)

  1. I take
    1. I take hold of, grasp, seize
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 6.81
        ἡ δ᾽ ἔλαβεν μάστιγα καὶ ἡνία σιγαλόεντα
        hē d élaben mástiga kaì hēnía sigalóenta
        and she took the whip and bright reins
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 21.286
        χειρὶ δὲ χεῖρα λαβόντες
        kheirì dè kheîra labóntes
        clasping his hand in theirs
      1. I take by force, plunder
        • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 5.273
          εἰ τούτω κε λάβοιμεν, ἀροίμεθά κε κλέος ἐσθλόν.
          ei toútō ke láboimen, aroímethá ke kléos esthlón.
          Could we but take these twain, we should win us goodly renown.
      2. I exact (punishment)
        • 445 BCE – 380 BCE, Lysias, On the Murder of Eratosthenes 29
          καὶ ταύτην ἔλαβον τὴν δίκην
          kaì taútēn élabon tḕn díkēn
          and I exacted that punishment
    2. (of emotions) I seize
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 1.387
        Ἀτρεΐωνα δ᾽ ἔπειτα χόλος λάβεν
        Atreḯōna d épeita khólos láben
        thereafter anger seized the son of Atreus
      1. (of a god) I possess
        • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 4.79.4
          ὅτι βακχεύομεν καὶ ἡμέας ὁ θεὸς λαμβάνει
          hóti bakkheúomen kaì hēméas ho theòs lambánei
          because we play the Bacchant and the god possesses us
      2. (of darkness, etc.) I cover
        • 472 BCE, Aeschylus, The Persians 365
          κνέφας δὲ τέμενος αἰθέρος λάβῃ
          knéphas dè témenos aithéros lábēi
          and darkness had covered the region of the sky
    3. I catch, overtake
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 5.159
        ἔνθ᾽ υἷας Πριάμοιο δύω λάβε
        énth huîas Priámoio dúō lábe
        Then took he two sons of Priam
    4. I catch, discover, detect
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 2.89.2
        λαμφθῆναι γὰρ τινὰ φασὶ μισγόμενον νεκρῷ προσφάτῳ γυναικός
        lamphthênai gàr tinà phasì misgómenon nekrôi prosphátōi gunaikós
        For it is said that one was caught having intercourse with the fresh corpse of a woman
    5. I bind (under oath)
      • 429 BCE, Sophocles, Oedipus the King 276
        ὥσπερ μ᾽ ἀραῖον ἔλαβες, ὧδ᾽, ἄναξ, ἐρῶ.
        hṓsper m araîon élabes, hôd, ánax, erô.
        As you have bound me under oath, my king, I will speak.
    6. I keep
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 7.42.2
        τὴν Ἴδην δὲ λαβὼν ἐς ἀριστερὴν χεῖρα
        tḕn Ídēn dè labṑn es aristerḕn kheîra
        keeping Ida on the left
    7. I take (food or drugs)
      • Diocl., Fr. 121
        τὸν σικυόν φησι μετὰ σιτίων ἐν πρώτοις λαμβανόμενον ἐνοχλεῖν
        tòn sikuón phēsi metà sitíōn en prṓtois lambanómenon enokhleîn
        [he] says that cucumber, if it is taken with the sium in the first course, makes the eater uncomfortable
    8. I perceive, understand
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 3.41.1
        ταῦτα ἐπιλεξάμενος [] καὶ νόῳ λαβὼν ὥς οἱ εὖ ὑπετίθετο Ἄμασις
        taûta epilexámenos [] kaì nóōi labṑn hṓs hoi eû hupetítheto Ámasis
        reading this, and perceiving that Amasis' advice was good
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 7.142.3
        οἱ γὰρ χρησμολόγοι ταύτῃ ταῦτα ἐλάμβανον
        hoi gàr khrēsmológoi taútēi taûta elámbanon
        for the readers of oracles took the verses to mean [that] []
      1. (logic) I assume, take as granted
    9. I undertake
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 3.71.3
        [] ἐπιχείρησιν ταύτην μὴ οὕτω συντάχυνε ἀβούλως, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τὸ σωφρονέστερον αὐτὴν λάμβανε
        [] epikheírēsin taútēn mḕ hoútō suntákhune aboúlōs, all epì tò sōphronésteron autḕn lámbane
        don not hurry this undertaking without thinking, but take it up more prudently
  2. I receive, get
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 6.427
      ἂψ ὅ γε τὴν ἀπέλυσε λαβὼν ἀπερείσι᾽ ἄποινα
      àps hó ge tḕn apéluse labṑn apereísi ápoina
      but thereafter set her free, when he had received ransom past counting
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 23.275
      ἦ τ᾽ ἂν ἐγὼ τὰ πρῶτα λαβὼν
      ê t àn egṑ tà prôta labṑn
      surely it were that I should win the first prize
    • 429 BCE, Sophocles, Oedipus the King
      τίς οὗτος ἔσται, τίς παραρρίψει, τέκνα, τοιαῦτ᾽ ὀνείδη λαμβάνων
      tís hoûtos éstai, tís pararrhípsei, tékna, toiaût oneídē lambánōn
      who shall be the man, my daughters, to risk suffering reproach []
      1. I receive hospitably
        • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 7.255
          ἥ με λαβοῦσα ἐνδυκέως ἐφίλει
          hḗ me laboûsa endukéōs ephílei
          She took me to her home with kindly welcome
      2. I receive in marriage
        • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 9.108.1
          δοκέων αὐτὴν μᾶλλον λάμψεσθαι ἢν ταῦτα ποιήσῃ
          dokéōn autḕn mâllon lámpsesthai ḕn taûta poiḗsēi
          for he thought that by doing so he would be most likely to win her
      3. I conceive
    1. I admit
      • 522 BCE – 443 BCE, Pindar, Olympian Ode 1.81
        ὁ μέγας δὲ κίνδυνος ἄναλκιν οὐ φῶτα λαμβάνει.
        ho mégas dè kíndunos ánalkin ou phôta lambánei.
        Great danger does not admit of a coward.
    2. (of emotions)
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 10.461
        εἰς ὅ κεν αὖτις θυμὸν ἐνὶ στήθεσσι λάβητε
        eis hó ken aûtis thumòn enì stḗthessi lábēte
        until you once again take heart
      • 406 BCE, Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 729
        ὁρῶ τιν᾽ ὑμᾶς ὀμμάτων εἰληφότας φόβον νεώρη τῆς ἐμῆς ἐπεισόδου
        horô tin humâs ommátōn eilēphótas phóbon neṓrē tês emês epeisódou
        I see from your eyes that you feel a sudden fear at my coming
  3. (middle) I take hold of
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 5.325
        ἀλλὰ μεθορμηθεὶς ἐνὶ κύμασιν ἐλλάβετ᾽ αὐτῆς
        allà methormētheìs enì kúmasin ellábet autês
        but sprang after [his raft] amid the waves, and took hold of it
    1. I lay hands upon
    2. I find fault with, censure
    3. I check myself

Inflection[edit]

Along with a few others (ἐλθέ (elthé), ἰδέ (idé), εὑρέ (heuré), εἰπέ (eipé)), the aorist imperative has an irregular accent: λαβέ (labé) and not **λάβε. This is not the case in compounds, however.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]


Greek[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

λαμβάνω (lamváno) (simple past έλαβα, passive form λαμβάνομαι)

  1. get, receive
  2. take
  3. (figuratively) understand, get

Conjugation[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]