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See also: rhine


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From Middle English Rine, Ryne, from Old English Rīn (the Rhine), from Middle High German and Old High German Rīn, from Proto-West Germanic *Rīn, from Proto-Germanic *Rīnaz, from Gaulish Rēnos, from a Pre-Celtic or Proto-Celtic *rēnos; one of a class of river names built from Proto-Indo-European *h₃reyH- (to move, flow, run).[1]

Cognate with Old High German Rīn ("the Rhine"; > German Rhein), Old Norse Rín (the Rhine), Dutch Rijn (the Rhine). Related also to Latin rivus ("river"), in Celtic with an -n- suffix as in Old Irish rīan (run) (more at run).

The spelling with Rh- is due to the influence of Ancient Greek Ῥῆνος (Rhênos) (via French Rhin).


  • IPA(key): /ɹaɪn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪn

Proper noun[edit]

the Rhine

  1. A river in western Europe, that flows through Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany, France and the Netherlands, before emptying into the North Sea.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Pokorny, Julius (1959) chapter 326, in Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Indo-European Etymological Dictionary] (in German), volume 1, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, page 326 etymon 3. er- : or- : r- 'to move, set in motion' (laryngealistic reconstruction as "*h₁reiH").