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Old Irish[edit]


From Proto-Celtic *kenetlom (family).


cenél n (genitive ceníuil or cenéuil or cenéoil, nominative plural cenél or cenéla)

  1. race (group of people set apart from others on the basis of a common heritage)
  2. people (group of persons forming or belonging to a particular nation etc.)
  3. kind (type, race, or category)
  4. (grammar) gender


Neuter o-stem
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative cenélN cenélN cenélL, cenéla
Vocative cenélN cenélN cenélL, cenéla
Accusative cenélN cenélN cenélL, cenéla
Genitive cenéuilL cenél cenélN
Dative cenéulL cenélaib cenélaib
Initial mutations of a following adjective:
  • H = triggers aspiration
  • L = triggers lenition
  • N = triggers nasalization



Old Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Nasalization
cenél chenél cenél
pronounced with /ɡ(ʲ)-/
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.


  • cenél” in Dictionary of the Irish Language, Royal Irish Academy, 1913–76.