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Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Indo-European *snog-, *sneg- ‎(to crawl; a creeping thing). The sense “elephant” is probably from Proto-Indo-European *negʷ- ‎(naked), i.e. “the hairless one”.


नाग ‎(nāgám

  1. a snake, especially Coluber naga
  2. a nāga or serpent-demon
  3. name of the numbers 7 and 8
  4. a cruel man
  5. one of the 5 airs of the human body (which is expelled by eructation)
  6. (in singular, also collectively) an elephant
  7. (at the end of a compound) = the best or most excellent of any kind
  8. shark
  9. cloud
  10. name of several plants (Mesua roxburghii, Rottlera tinctoria etc.)
  11. name of a serpent-demon
  12. name of a साध्य ‎(sādhya)
  13. name of a teacher
  14. name of a dynasty of 9 or 10 princes
  15. name of several authors (also -śarman and -bhaṭṭa)
  16. name of several other men
  17. name of a mountain
  18. name of a district
  19. = दन्त ‎(-danta)


नाग ‎(nāgá)

  1. formed of snakes, relating to serpents or serpents-demons, snaky, serpentine, serpent-like
  2. belonging to an elephant, elephantine (as urine)

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably a Semitic borrowing, ultimately from Sumerian 𒀭𒈾 ‎(anna). Compare Syriac ܐܢܟܐ ‎(ʾānḵāʾ, tin), Hebrew אנך ‎(anāx, plumb, lead) , Arabic آنك ‎(ānuk, lead; tin).


नाग ‎(nāgán

  1. tin, lead
  2. a kind of talc
  3. a kind of coitus
  4. name of the 3rd invariable करण ‎(karaṇa)
  5. name of the effects of that period on anything happening during it
  6. name of a district of भारतवर्ष ‎(bhārata-varṣa)


  • Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1898) A Sanskrit-English dictionary etymologically and philologically arranged with special reference to cognate Indo-European languages, Oxford: Clarendon Press, page 0532