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Borrowed from Sanskrit कर्ण (karṇa). Doublet of कान (kān), a tadbhava.



कर्ण (karṇm (Urdu spelling کرن)

  1. (anatomy, uncommon) ear
    Synonym: कान (kān)
  2. (geometry, trigonometry) hypotenuse
  3. (nautical) helm, rudder



  • Caturvedi, Mahendra, Bhola Nath Tiwari (1970) “कर्ण”, in A practical Hindi-English dictionary, Delhi: National Publishing House


Sanskrit Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia sa

Alternative scripts[edit]


Of uncertain origin.

Likely related to Persian کر (kar, deaf), and perhaps to Old Church Slavonic крънъ (krŭnŭ, mutilated (esp. of the ears and nose)); however, Fraenkel's presupposition that "defect of the ear" was the original meaning of the common root and that Sanskrit later developed the more basal meaning of "ear" from the "defect" meaning is suspect.

Pischel takes the original meaning as "point, spike"; under this view, कर्णक (karṇaka, lateral protrusion; fork) could be related. However, a convincing etymological path for this has not been found.

Zupitsa connects this with Russian Church Slavonic črĕnъ, from a common root meaning "handle, grip".

Finally, others have connected this word to शृणोति (śṛṇóti, to listen, hear).


कर्ण (kárṇa) stemm

  1. (anatomy) ear
  2. (nautical) the handle or ear of a vessel
  3. (nautical) the helm or rudder of a ship
  4. (geometry) the hypotenuse of a triangle or the diagonal of a quadrilateral
  5. diameter (of a circle)
  6. (prosody) spondee


Masculine a-stem declension of कर्ण
Nom. sg. कर्णः (karṇaḥ)
Gen. sg. कर्णस्य (karṇasya)
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative कर्णः (karṇaḥ) कर्णौ (karṇau) कर्णाः (karṇāḥ)
Vocative कर्ण (karṇa) कर्णौ (karṇau) कर्णाः (karṇāḥ)
Accusative कर्णम् (karṇam) कर्णौ (karṇau) कर्णान् (karṇān)
Instrumental कर्णेन (karṇena) कर्णाभ्याम् (karṇābhyām) कर्णैः (karṇaiḥ)
Dative कर्णाय (karṇāya) कर्णाभ्याम् (karṇābhyām) कर्णेभ्यः (karṇebhyaḥ)
Ablative कर्णात् (karṇāt) कर्णाभ्याम् (karṇābhyām) कर्णेभ्यः (karṇebhyaḥ)
Genitive कर्णस्य (karṇasya) कर्णयोः (karṇayoḥ) कर्णानाम् (karṇānām)
Locative कर्णे (karṇe) कर्णयोः (karṇayoḥ) कर्णेषु (karṇeṣu)



  • Turner, Ralph Lilley (1969–1985) “karna”, in A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages, London: Oxford University Press, page 144
  • Mayrhofer, Manfred (1992) Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen [Etymological Dictionary of Old Indo-Aryan]‎[1] (in German), volume 1, Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, pages 314-315