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Classical Syriac[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Semitic *ʾab-.



ܐܒܐ (ʾăḇāʾm (plural ܐܒܗܬܐor ܐܒܗܐ‎, singular feminine counterpart ܐܡܐ‎)

  1. father
  2. (in the plural) parents
  3. (figuratively) forefather, ancestor, progenitor
  4. monk, abbot; bishop
  5. chief, leader
  6. (figuratively) author, originator, founder, inventor
  7. teacher
Usage notes[edit]
  • Usually, the plural ܐܒܗܐ(ʾăḇāhēʾ) is used for literal senses while ܐܒܗܬܐ(ʾăḇāhāṯāʾ) is used for figurative senses.
  • The word ܐܒܐ‎ is one of only three nouns in the entire language that have an irregular possessive stem ending in the letter Waw; the other two being ܐܚܐ(ʾăḥāʾ, brother) and ܚܡܐ(ḥəmāʾ, father-in-law).
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably from an earlier uncontracted form ܐܢܒܐ(ʾenbāʾ), possibly from Akkadian [script needed] (inbu). Compare Hebrew אֵב(ʾēḇ).

Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): [ʔɛbbɑ], [ʔabbɑ] (singular)
  • IPA(key): [ʔɛbbe], [ʔabbe], [ʔɛbbɑne], [ʔabbɑne] (plural)


ܐܒܐ (ʾebbāʾ, ʾabbāʾm (plural ܐܒܢܐor ܐܒܐ)

  1. produce, fruit, vegetable

Etymology 3[edit]

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ܐܒܐ (ʾabbāʾm (plural ܐܒܐ)

  1. crocodile


  • ˀb”, in The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1986–, retrieved 2008-11-10
  • Costaz, Louis (2002) Dictionnaire syriaque-français : Syriac–English Dictionary, 3rd edition, Beirut: Dar El-Machreq, p. 1a
  • Payne Smith, Jessie (1903) A Compendious Syriac Dictionary Founded Upon the Thesaurus Syriacus of R. Payne Smith, D.D., Oxford: Clarendon Press, p. 1b-2a
  • Sokoloff, Michael (2009) A Syriac Lexicon: A Translation from the Latin, Correction, Expansion, and Update of C. Brockelmann's Lexicon Syriacum, Winona Lake, Indiana; Piscataway, New Jersey: Eisenbrauns; Gorgias Press, p. 1