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From sens (ancient), made into a 2nd-declension noun. The c suggests a dialectal origin, from those dialects where ns > nc. Alternatively, it may have come from an earlier *sentis, via genitive *senša > senča. There may have been influence from the c in vecis (old man).[1]


sencis m (2nd declension, feminine form: sence)

  1. (usually in the plural) ancestor (ancient relatives, e.g., the originators of an ethnic group, a clan, a family)
    tāli senčidistant ancestors
    dzimtas senči(family, clan) ancestors
    senču dieviancestral gods
    senču kultsancestor worship
  2. (paleontology) ancestor (species of plants or animals from an earlier time period, from which modern species have evolved)
    zirga sencisthe ancestor of the horse
    putnu senčithe ancestors of the birds
  3. (colloquial) parents (syn. vecāki)
    dzīvot uz senču rēķinato live at (one's) parents' expense


Related terms[edit]


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