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This Proto-Slavic entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



From Proto-Indo-European root noun *bʰel- (white surface or stain). Cognate with Lithuanian bãlas (white), báltas (white) and Latvian bãls (pale), balts (white).



  1. white (the brightest color)
  2. bright (color close to white)
  3. clear, clean
    *bě̃lъ dь̏nьbroad daylight
    1. (figuratively)good, favorable, happy
      *bě̃lъ bȍgъgood luck
    2. (figuratively)beautiful


Accent paradigm b.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Colors in Proto-Slavic · *mȃsti (layout · text)
(of animals) *bronъ
     *sivъ, *śěrъ, *śědъ      *čьrnъ, *smaglъ/*smǫglъ
(of animals) *vornъ, *galъ
             *čьrvenъ, *ryďь, *ruměnъ              *rudъ, *granivъ; *smědъ,
(of animals) *gnědъ
(of animals) *solvъ; *polvъ
             *zelenъ              *zelenъ, *grěnъ             
                          *polvъ              *siňь; *modrъ
             *slivъ              *bagrъ             


Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Derksen, Rick (2008), “*bě́lъ”, in Etymological Dictionary of the Slavic Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 4), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 40: “adj. o (b) ‘white’”
  2. ^ Olander, Thomas (2001), “bělъ -a -o”, in Common Slavic accentological word list, Copenhagen: Editiones Olander: “b hvid (NA 125f.; SA 103, 108, 110; PR 136)”
  3. ^ Snoj, Marko (2016), “bẹ́l”, in Slovenski etimološki slovar3 (in Slovene), “*bělъ̏”
  4. ^ Sławski, Franciszek, editor (1974), “bělъ”, in Słownik prasłowiański [Proto-Slavic Dictionary] (in Polish), volume 1 (a – bьzděti), Wrocław: National Ossoliński Institute, page 238