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Borrowed from Maori.


kehua (plural kehuas or kehua)

  1. (New Zealand) A ghost; an evil spirit.
    • 1906, Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand, page 228:
      An old man explained to me, “The spirits of dead persons are afflicting such sufferers. These kehua control them. If the afflicted person survives he will be the medium of that [evil] spirit. Some people become demented when so affected.”
    • 1924, Elsdon Best, Māori Religion and Mythology: being an account of the cosmogony, anthropogeny, religious beliefs and rites, magic and folk lore of the Māori folk of New Zealand, Part 2, 2005, Te Papa Press, page 42,
      The other aspect of the "etheric double" of the theosophist, that is the wraith or apparitional spirit seen after the death of the body, is the kehua of the Maori.
    • 2001, Patricia Grace, Irihapeti Ramsden, Jonathan Dennis, The Silent Migration: Ngati Poneke Young Maori Club, 1937-1948, page 17:
      We'd say, 'Ready? Steady. Go!' And we'd run past his bedroom. Grandpa would be in his armchair looking out. We'd flash past crying out, ‘Kehua! Kehua!’




Unknown. Possibly related to kehottaa (to recommend, urge).


  • IPA(key): /ˈkehuɑˣ/, [ˈk̟e̞ɦuɑ̝(ʔ)]
  • Rhymes: -ehuɑ
  • Syllabification(key): ke‧hu‧a



  1. (transitive, usually atelic) to praise, tout, acclaim, commend
    Kuinka kehun naista kauniiksi?
    How should I praise a woman's beauty?
    Hän kehui minua artikkelistani.
    He praised me for my article.


Inflection of kehua (Kotus type 52/sanoa, no gradation)
indicative mood
present tense perfect
person positive negative person positive negative
1st sing. kehun en kehu 1st sing. olen kehunut en ole kehunut
2nd sing. kehut et kehu 2nd sing. olet kehunut et ole kehunut
3rd sing. kehuu ei kehu 3rd sing. on kehunut ei ole kehunut
1st plur. kehumme emme kehu 1st plur. olemme kehuneet emme ole kehuneet
2nd plur. kehutte ette kehu 2nd plur. olette kehuneet ette ole kehuneet
3rd plur. kehuvat eivät kehu 3rd plur. ovat kehuneet eivät ole kehuneet
passive kehutaan ei kehuta passive on kehuttu ei ole kehuttu
past tense pluperfect
person positive negative person positive negative
1st sing. kehuin en kehunut 1st sing. olin kehunut en ollut kehunut
2nd sing. kehuit et kehunut 2nd sing. olit kehunut et ollut kehunut
3rd sing. kehui ei kehunut 3rd sing. oli kehunut ei ollut kehunut
1st plur. kehuimme emme kehuneet 1st plur. olimme kehuneet emme olleet kehuneet
2nd plur. kehuitte ette kehuneet 2nd plur. olitte kehuneet ette olleet kehuneet
3rd plur. kehuivat eivät kehuneet 3rd plur. olivat kehuneet eivät olleet kehuneet
passive kehuttiin ei kehuttu passive oli kehuttu ei ollut kehuttu
conditional mood
present perfect
person positive negative person positive negative
1st sing. kehuisin en kehuisi 1st sing. olisin kehunut en olisi kehunut
2nd sing. kehuisit et kehuisi 2nd sing. olisit kehunut et olisi kehunut
3rd sing. kehuisi ei kehuisi 3rd sing. olisi kehunut ei olisi kehunut
1st plur. kehuisimme emme kehuisi 1st plur. olisimme kehuneet emme olisi kehuneet
2nd plur. kehuisitte ette kehuisi 2nd plur. olisitte kehuneet ette olisi kehuneet
3rd plur. kehuisivat eivät kehuisi 3rd plur. olisivat kehuneet eivät olisi kehuneet
passive kehuttaisiin ei kehuttaisi passive olisi kehuttu ei olisi kehuttu
imperative mood
present perfect
person positive negative person positive negative
1st sing. 1st sing.
2nd sing. kehu älä kehu 2nd sing.
3rd sing. kehukoon älköön kehuko 3rd sing. olkoon kehunut älköön olko kehunut
1st plur. kehukaamme älkäämme kehuko 1st plur.
2nd plur. kehukaa älkää kehuko 2nd plur.
3rd plur. kehukoot älkööt kehuko 3rd plur. olkoot kehuneet älkööt olko kehuneet
passive kehuttakoon älköön kehuttako passive olkoon kehuttu älköön olko kehuttu
potential mood
present perfect
person positive negative person positive negative
1st sing. kehunen en kehune 1st sing. lienen kehunut en liene kehunut
2nd sing. kehunet et kehune 2nd sing. lienet kehunut et liene kehunut
3rd sing. kehunee ei kehune 3rd sing. lienee kehunut ei liene kehunut
1st plur. kehunemme emme kehune 1st plur. lienemme kehuneet emme liene kehuneet
2nd plur. kehunette ette kehune 2nd plur. lienette kehuneet ette liene kehuneet
3rd plur. kehunevat eivät kehune 3rd plur. lienevät kehuneet eivät liene kehuneet
passive kehuttaneen ei kehuttane passive lienee kehuttu ei liene kehuttu
Nominal forms
infinitives participles
active passive active passive
1st kehua present kehuva kehuttava
long 1st1
Possessive forms
Person sing. plur.
1st kehuakseni kehuaksemme
2nd kehuaksesi kehuaksenne
3rd kehuakseen
past kehunut kehuttu
2nd inessive2 kehuessa kehuttaessa agent3 kehuma
Possessive forms
Person sing. plur.
1st kehuessani kehuessamme
2nd kehuessasi kehuessanne
3rd kehuessaan
negative kehumaton
instructive kehuen 1) Used only with a possessive suffix.

2) Usually with a possessive suffix (active only).
3) Usually with a possessive suffix. Not used with intransitive verbs. Distinct from nouns with the -ma suffix and third infinitive forms.
4) Some uses of the verbal noun are called the 'fourth infinitive' by certain sources (more details).

3rd inessive kehumassa
elative kehumasta
illative kehumaan
adessive kehumalla
abessive kehumatta
instructive kehuman kehuttaman
4th4 verbal noun kehuminen
Possessive forms
Person sing. plur.
1st kehumaisillani kehumaisillamme
2nd kehumaisillasi kehumaisillanne
3rd kehumaisillaan

Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]