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From Middle Welsh llymhau, from Proto-Brythonic, from Proto-Celtic *lim-ā- (to sharpen), probably from Proto-Indo-European *sley- (smooth; slick; sticky; slimy).[1] Cognate with Breton lemm, Cornish lym.


llym (feminine singular llem, plural llymion, equative llymed, comparative llymach, superlative llymaf)

  1. keen, harsh, strong, severe
  2. bitter, acrid
  3. sharp, pointed
  4. vicious (temper)
  5. poignant (smell)

Derived terms[edit]

  • llymder (sharpness, keenness; severity, rigour; acridity, pungency)
  • llymsur (acrid, bitter)


Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
llym lym unchanged unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present) , “llym”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies


  1. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) , “lim-a”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, pages 239