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This word is traditionally derived from Proto-Baltic *per-k-, *pr̥k-, from Proto-Indo-European *per- (taking over, past something) (whence Latvian prepositions par, pār, q.v.), as a verb “to take over, past (somewhere)” > “to take (somewhere) to sell” > “to sell”, with an extra k. With this meaning, cf. Ancient Greek περνάναι (pernánai), πιπράσκειν (pipráskein, to sell, to export), and Old Irish renim (I sell) (< *pr̥-nā-). In the Baltic languages, the meaning “to sell” became “to buy,” given the nature of buying and selling as two aspects of the same two-sided event. From the same stem also prece (product, ware, merchandise), q.v. A more recent suggestion is that pirkt may derive from another Proto-Indo-European stem *per- (to hit) (whence pērkons (thunder), q.v.), with as original meaning “to rob, to plunder;” in several Indo-European languages, verbs of buying originate from verbs of taking (cf. Latin emere (to buy), earlier “to take”). Cognates include Lithuanian pir̃kti.[1]


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pirkt tr., 1st conj., pres. pērku, pērc, pērk, past pirku

  1. to buy, to purchase (to obtain, to acquire something by paying an appropriate amount of money)
    pirkt pārtikuto buy groceries
    pirkt lakatu, zābakusto buy a scarf, boots
    pirkt gleznuto buy a painting
    pirkt biļetesto buy tickets
    dārgi, lēti pirktto buy at an expensive, cheap price
    izdēvīgi pirktto buy at a convenient price
    pirkt par skaidru nauduto buy (for) cash (lit. for clear money)
    pirkt skaidrā naudāto buy cash (lit. in clear money)
    pirkt uz kredīta, uz nomaksuto buy on credit, by installments
    viņš brauca uz Igauniju pirkt jaunu zirguhe went to Estonia to buy a new horse
    viņa pirka tikai pašu visnepieciešamakoshe bought only the most necessary (things)
    visi pērk, tātad arī man jāpērkeverybody is buying, so I also have to buy
  2. (figuratively) to buy (to obtain something with effort, with sacrifice)
    par milzīgu asinscenu pirkta uzvara pār fašismuthe victory over fascism was bought with an enormous price in blood



Derived terms[edit]

prefixed verbs:
other derived terms:


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “pirkt”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN