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From Proto-Indo-European *sker-, *ker-, *kr̥- ‎(to turn, to bend), changed to *krei- (whence also kreilis ‎(left-hander)), with a suffix -so. The meaning evolved from “bent, crooked” to “not strong, clumsy, weaker, less good,” hence “left (hand),” as opposed to the “good,” “able” right hand. Cognates include Old Prussian crays ‎(hay), craysi ‎(stalk, straw) (presumably from “that which bends, rocks”).[1]




kreiss (def. kreisais, comp. kreisāks, sup. viskreisākais; adv. kreisi)

  1. (usually definite forms) left, left-side (located on the side of the human body that contains the heart)
    kreisā acs, roka, kājaleft eye, hand, foot
    kreisais plecsleft shoulder
  2. (usually definite forms) left, left-side (located on the side (of another living being or object) that is analogous to the human left side)
    suņa kreisā auss — a dog's left ear
    lidmašīnas kreisais spārns — an airplane's left wing
    automobiļa priekšējais kreisais ritenis — the car's left rear wheel
    rakstāmgalda augšēja kreisā atvilkne — the desk's top left drawer
    skatuves kreisā mala — the stage's left side, edge
    upes kreisais krasts — a river's left bank
    iet pa ietves kreiso pusi — to go, walk on the left side of the pavement
    iet uz kreiso pusi — go to the left side
  3. (adverbial form, with pa) on, to the left
    ezers ir pa kreisi — the lake is on the left
    nogriezties pa kreisi — to turn left
  4. (politics) left, left-wing (politically progressive, in favor of social change; revolutionary)
    parlamenta kreisās partijas — the left-wing parties of parliament
    kreisā frakcija, grupaleft-wing fraction, group
    kreisais virziensleft-wing current, tendency
    cik kreiss ir vidējais Latvijas iedzīvotājs?how (much) left-wing is the average inhabitant of Latvia?


Usage notes[edit]

This adjective is generally used in its definite forms (kreisais, kreisā, etc.). The indefinite forms do occur as predicates after the verb būt ‎(to be), especially in the political, “left-wing” sense (see examples above).


  • (physical): labais (“right”)
  • (political): labējs (“right-wing”)

Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ “kreiss” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN 9984-700-12-7