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Probably ultimately from Latin Danuvius/Danubius, though through an uncertain intermediate form. A form *Donaris has been proposed to be the one that preceded the Romanian word, possibly showing influence from an older paleo-Balkan or Thracian name for the river, as the -aris suffix can be found in another river, Naparis. The Latin term is likely derived from a Proto-Celtic *Dānowyos, from *Dānu, of Indo-European origin. Doublet of Danubiu.

Alternately, it may have been borrowed from Old Church Slavonic Дꙋнавъ (Dunavŭ), Доунавъ (Dunavŭ), from Proto-Slavic *Dunavь, from Gothic *𐌳𐍉𐌽𐌰𐍅𐌹 (*dōnawi), with a singular form recreated from earlier plural form Dunări, from *Duna, akin to Aromanian Duna.

Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *déh₂nu (river goddess), akin to *dʰenh₂- (to set in motion; to flow). Likely found in many other river names such as Doncaster, Don, Donets and Dniester, perhaps by way of Scythian (compare Ossetian дон (don, river)) or Celtic.


  • IPA(key): [ˈdu.nə.re]
  • Audio:(file)

Proper noun


Dunăre f

  1. Danube (river)
    Synonym: Danubiu