Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This Proto-Semitic entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



Cognate with Egyptian zꜣb (pyr, jackal), East Chadic *ǯabiy- (hyaena), West Chadic *ǯib- (viverra). The name might come from the painting of the animal, for Hebrew צָבַע(tsaváʿ) means “to color”.



  1. hyena


  • Akkadian: [script needed] (būṣu) (with metathesis)
  • Arabic: ضَبُع(ḍabuʿ)
  • Ge'ez: ፅዕብ (ṣ́əʿb) (with metathesis)
  • Hebrew: צָבוֹעַ(ṣāḇūaʿ)
  • Classical Syriac: ܐܦܥܐ(ʾap̱ʿā) (with some corruptions)
  • Soqotri: ḍabʿ


  • Leslau, Wolf (1991) Comparative Dictionary of Geʿez (Classical Ethiopic), 2nd edition, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, →ISBN, page 147
  • Riede, Peter (2002) Im Spiegel der Tiere. Studien zum Verhältnis von Mensch und Tier im alten Israel. (Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis; 187) (in de), Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, →ISBN, pages 172–173
  • Kogan, Leonid (2011), “Proto-Semitic Lexicon”, in Weninger, Stefan, editor, The Semitic Languages. An International Handbook (Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft – Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science; 36), Berlin: De Gruyter, →ISBN, page 208