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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.



Borrowed from a Germanic language, probably Gothic 𐌷𐌻𐌰𐌹𐍆𐍃 (hlaifs) (Proto-Germanic *hlaibaz) which has the root final 𐍆 (f) (phonetically probably [ɸ]) in the nominative, vocative, and accusative singular and 𐌱 (b) (phonetically probably [β]) in the oblique case forms. The fricative was replaced by the labial stop *b since Proto-Slavic did not have labial fricatives. Alternatively it may be from Old High German hleib.


*xlě̀bъ m

  1. bread


Usage notes[edit]

Scholars do not agree whether *xlě̀bъ originally referred to leavened or unleavened bread.[who exactly?]

Derived terms[edit]



  • Trubachyov, Oleg, editor (1981), “*xlěbъ”, in Этимологический словарь славянских языков [Etymological dictionary of Slavic languages] (in Russian), issue 8 (*xa – *jьvьlga), Moscow: Nauka, page 27
  • Pronk-Tiethoff, Saskia E. (2013) The Germanic loanwords in Proto-Slavic[1] (in English), Amsterdam - New York: Rodopi, →ISBN, page 83f
  • Etymologický slovník jazyka staroslověnského, volume 4, page 219
  • Kiparsky, V. (1934), Die gemeinslavischen Lehnwörter aus dem Germanischen, Helsinki, p. 199