سماء

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Arabic[edit]

Root
س م و(s-m-w)

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Semitic *šamāy- (sky, space).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /sa.maːʔ/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

سَمَاء (samāʔf (dualسَمَاوَانِ(samāwāni) orسَمَاءَانِ(samāʔāni), pluralسَمَاوَات(samāwāt) orسَمَاءَات(samāʔāt) orأَسْمِيَة(ʔasmiya) orسُمِيّ(sumiyy)) (countable, uncountable)

  1. (countable) the sky/skies; the heaven(s) (figurative, simile), space, the sphere(s), the cosmos(es), the lift(s).
    • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 6:99:
      وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِي أَنْزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ نَبَاتَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ
      wahuwa llaḏī ʔanzala mina s-samāʔi māʔan faʔaḵrajnā bihi nabāta kulli šayʔin
      And it is He Who sent down rain from the sky. And with it have We brought forth germination of all things;
    • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 2:29:
      هُوَ ٱلَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُمْ مَّا فِي ٱلْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ ٱسْتَوَىٰ إِلَىٰ ٱلسَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّىٰهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَٰوَٰتٍ
      huwa llaḏī ḵalaqa lakum mmā fī l-ʔarḍi jamīʕan ṯumma stawā ʔilā s-samāʔi fasawwāhunna sabʕa samāwātin
      It is He Who created for you all what is on earth. Again he directed himself towards the heaven and made thereof seven heavens.
    1. (by extension) the produce of the sky (such as clouds, nimbuses, or rain)
      Hyponyms:سَحَاب(saḥāb, clouds), ⁧غَيْم(ḡaym, clouds; fog; mist), ⁧عَنَان(ʕanān, clouds, the stratosphere), ⁧غَمَام(ḡamām, clouds), ⁧مُزْن(muzn, clouds, nimbi), ⁧مَطَر(maṭar, rain), ⁧سَيْل(sayl, rain; a torrent, a shower, a hail)
      • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 71:11:
        فَقُلْتُ ٱسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا يُّرْسِلِ ٱلسَّمَاءَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّدْرَارًا وَّيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَّبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَلْ لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَّيَجْعَلْ لَّكُمْ أَنْهَارًا
        faqultu staḡfirū rabbakum ʔinnahu kāna ḡaffāran yyursili s-samāʔa ʕalaykum mmidrāran wwayumdidkum biʔamwālin wwabanīna wayajʕal llakum jannātin wwayajʕal llakum ʔanhāran
        So I said, "Ask your Lord for forgiveness! He surely is forgiving. He shall send unto you profusely the produce of the sky. And He shall enrich you with wealth and children and make for you gardens and make for you rivers."
    2. (uncountable), outer space (when observed from earth), the upper regions, the multiverses, the universe, the cosmos(es), the heavens (figurative, simile)
      Synonyms:فَضَاء(faḍāʔ, a space, a void), ⁧فَلَك(falak, outer space, universe)
      • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 25:61:
        تَبَارَكَ ٱلَّذِي جَعَلَ فِي ٱلسَّمَاءِ بُرُوجًا وَّجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَٰجًا وَّقَمَرًا مُّنِيرًا
        tabāraka llaḏī jaʕala fī s-samāʔi burūjan wwajaʕala fīhā sirājan wwaqamaran mmunīran
        Blessed is He Who made asterisms in the heavens and [also] made therein a lamp and a luminous moon.
    3. (proper noun, uncountable, figurative, simile, religion, rare, archaic, obsolete, poetic) the abode of God traditionally conceived as beyond the sky; Heaven, the empyrean
      • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 67:16:
        ءَأَمِنْتُمْ مَّنْ فِي ٱلسَّمَاءِ أَنْ يَّخْسِفَ بِكُمُ ٱلْأَرْضَ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَمُورُ
        ʔaʔamintum mman fī s-samāʔi ʔan yyaḵsifa bikumu l-ʔarḍa faʔiḏā hiya tamūru
        Are you [so] certain that He Who is in Heaven will cause not the earth, when it would be swaying in tumult, to swallow you up?
      • 1865 CE, Bible (SVD), Book of Ezra, 5:12:
        وَلَٰكِنْ بَعْدَ أَنْ أَسْخَطَ آبَاؤُنَا إِلَٰهَ ٱلسَّمَاءِ []
        walākin baʕda ʔan ʔasḵaṭa ʔābāʔunā ʔilāha s-samāʔi []
        But after our fathers made the god of Heaven angry []
    4. airspace, the aether
      Synonyms:أَثِير(ʔaṯīr), ⁧مَجَال جَوِّيّ(majāl jawwiyy)
    5. the celestial sphere(s)
      Synonyms:قُبَّة سَمَاوِيَّة(qubba(t) samāwiyya), ⁧مَجَال سَمَاوِيّ(majāl samāwiyy)
    6. the atmosphere(s)
      Synonym:غِلَاف جَوِيّ(ḡilāf jawiyy)
    7. the stratosphere
      Synonym:سْتْرَاتُوسْفِير(strātūsfīr)
  2. (countable) a high covering; ceiling, vault, canopy
    Synonyms:سَقْف(saqf), ⁧بِنَاء(bināʔ)
    وَقَالَتْ سَمَاءُ الْبَيْتِ فَوْقَكَ مُخَلَّقٌ⁩ ― waqālat samāʔu al-bayti fawqaka muḵallaqunAnd she said: The ceiling of the house above you is perfect in make.
    • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 22:15:
      مَنْ كَانَ يَظُنُّ أَنْ لَنْ يَنْصُرَهُ ٱللهُ فِي ٱلدُّنْيَا وَٱلْآخِرَةِ فَلْيَمْدُدْ بِسَبَبٍ إِلَىٰ ٱلسَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ لْيَقْطَعْ فَلْيَنْظُرْ هَلْ يُذْهِبَنَّ كَيْدُهُ مَا يَغِيظُ
      man kāna yaẓunnu ʔan lan yanṣurahu llāhu fī d-dunyā wal-ʔāḵirati falyamdud bisababin ʔilā l-ssamāʔi ṯumma lyaqṭaʕ falyanẓur hal yuḏhibanna kayduhu mā yaḡīẓu
      He who thinks that God will not support him in this world and the hereafter: Then let him stretch a rope upto the vault and let him strangle himself. Then let him see if his strategy makes what is enraging [him so much] go away.
    1. (uncountable, figurative) anything which resembles a vault, particularly the sky; the firmament, the vault of heaven, the welkin
      Synonym:رَقِيع(raqīʕ)
      • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 22:65:
        وَيُمْسِكُ ٱلسَّمَاءَ أَنْ تَقَعَ عَلَىٰ ٱلْأَرْضِ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ
        wayumsiku s-samāʔa ʔan taqaʕa ʕalā l-ʔarḍi ʔillā biʔiḏnihi
        And He holds up the firmament lest it fall upon the earth but by His leave.
  3. (archaic or Classical Arabic, countable) Arabian horse’s back.
    Synonym:ظَهْرُ الْفَرَسِ(ẓahru l-farasi)
  4. (archaic or Classical Arabic, countable) mountaintop, summit.
    Synonym:ضَهْر(ḍahr)
  5. (archaic or Classical Arabic, countable) rainy grass
    Synonym:عُشْب(ʕušb)

Usage notes[edit]

1:This word means a sky and space, although it does comprise the concept of heaven, a more specific word for Heaven is عليون according to the Ibn Kathir tafsir of the Quran. This word isn’t common as the others جنة, فردوس, and نعيم because it’s only mentioned twice in the Quran.
2:The plural forms سمي and أسمية are exclusive to the sense “grass”, other plural forms aren’t used with this sense.

Declension[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Algerian Arabic: ⁧سما(smā)
  • Egyptian Arabic: ⁧سما(sama)
  • Gulf Arabic: ⁧سما(sima)
  • Hijazi Arabic: ⁧سما(sama)
  • Maltese: sema
  • Moroccan Arabic: ⁧سما(smā)
  • South Levantine Arabic: ⁧سما(sama)
  • Tunisian Arabic: ⁧سما(smā)

Further reading[edit]