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This word results from the merging of two different lines: (a) a derivation from the same stem as skaidrs(clear) (q.v.): *skaid-tas > *skaistas > skaists; the older “clear, pure” meaning can be found in examples up to the beginning of the 19th century; and (b) the past participle of kaist(to be hot, to glow), with an extra initial s from a former reflexive marker (compare apskaisties(to get angry) from ap-s-kaist-ies). The meaning probably changed as follows: “warm, hot, heated” > “red, flushed” > “bright, attractive, beautiful.” The older “red, flushed” meaning can be found in older sources and in folk tales (skaistiem vaigiem “with flushed cheeks”). Cognates include Lithuanian skaistùs, dialectal skáistas(bright, light, clear, glittering, sparkling, beautiful, pure, chaste).[1]


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skaists (def. skaistais, comp. skaistāks, sup. visskaistākais; adv. skaisti)

  1. beautiful (having beauty; corresponding to certain aesthetic ideals, provoking certain aesthetic feelings)
    skaista mūzika, glezna‎ ― beautiful music, painting
    skaists stāsts‎ ― beautiful story
    skaista seja, balss‎ ― beautiful face, voice
    skaists dārzs‎ ― beautiful garden
    skaists (vājais, daiļais) dzimums‎ ― the beautiful (weak, graceful) sex (i.e., women)
  2. beautiful, pleasant (which causes, gives pleasure)
    skaistas atmiņas‎ ― beautiful memories
    skaisti apsveikuma vārdi‎ ― beautiful words of greeting
    skaists laiks, rīts‎ ― beautiful weather, morning
  3. beautiful, good (having good moral value, being socially useful)
    skaista dvēsele‎ ― beautiful soul
    skaistas domas‎ ― beautiful thoughts
    skaista rīcība‎ ― beautiful action
    skaisti nodzīvots mūžs‎ ― a beautifully lived life
  4. (of animals, plants) beautiful, good (well kept, having desirable characteristics, e.g., for breeding)
    skaists suns‎ ― beautiful dog
    skaisti kartupeļi‎ ― beautiful potatoes




Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns. 1992, 2001. Latviešu etimoloģijas vārdnīca. Rīga: AVOTS. ISBN 9984700127.