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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 senči‎ ― distant ancestors
    dzimtas senči‎ ― (family, clan) ancestors
    senču dievi‎ ― ancestral gods
    senču kults‎ ― ancestor worship
  2. (paleontology) ancestor (species of plants or animals from an earlier time period, from which modern species have evolved)
    zirga sencis‎ ― the ancestor of the horse
    putnu senči'‎ ― the ancestors of the birds
  3. (colloquial) parents (syn. vecāki)
    dzīvot uz senču rēķina‎ ― to live at (one's) parents' expense


Related terms[edit]


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