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See also: Geest



A substantivisation of the Low German adjective güst, which means "dry and infertile".


geest (plural geests)

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  1. A type of slightly raised landscape, with sandy and gravelly soils, that occurs in the plains of Northern Germany, the Northern Netherlands and Denmark.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of R. Jameson to this entry?)




Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle Dutch geest, from Old Dutch gēst, geist, from Proto-Germanic *gaistaz, from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰeysd-, *ǵʰisd- (anger, agitation).

Compare German Geist, West Frisian geast, English ghost, Swedish gast.


geest m (plural geesten, diminutive geestje n)

  1. ghost, spirit
  2. mind, mental conscience
  3. life force, vital energy
  4. (alchemy) spirit, gas, distillate, essence
Idioms and expressions
De armen der geest.
De geest is uit de fles.
The situation has become uncontrollable.
Helder voor de geest staan.
Having a clear recall of something.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle Dutch geest, from Old Dutch *gēst, a nominalisation of an adjective that meant "dry, infertile", a derivation of Proto-Germanic *gais- (infertile).

Cognate to West Frisian gaast, geast (as in the Dutch/Frisian place name Gaasterland) and German Geest (which is borrowed from Low German). Other derivations of *gais- are: Old English gæsne (infertility, poverty), Old French gaste (waste) and Icelandic gisinn (dry).[1][2]


geest m (plural geesten, diminutive geestje n)

  1. heath, heathland
Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Kluge, Friedrich (1989), “Geest”, in Elmar Seebold, editor, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache [Etymological dictionary of the German language] (in German), 22nd edition, ISBN 3-11-006800-1
  2. ^ J. de Vries & F. de Tollenaere, "Etymologisch Woordenboek", Uitgeverij Het Spectrum, Utrecht, 1986 (14de druk)