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From Proto-Baltic *spēkas, from *spē- with a suffix -ko, from Proto-Indo-European *speh₁- (to develop, to evolve, to increase). The meaning changed from “(well) developed, big, fat” to “stout, strong”, i.e., for the nominal form, “strength,” “force.” Cognates include Lithuanian spė̃kas, spėkà,[1] Albanian fuqi.


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spēks m (1st declension)

  1. (physics) force (physical quantity describing the interaction of bodies whereby they undergo acceleration or deformation)
    Zemes pievilkšanas spēksthe Earth's attraction force, gravity
    gravitācijas, berzes spēksgravitational, attrition force
    centrbēdzes, centrtieces spēkscentrifugal, centripetal force
    spēka lauksforce field
    spēka pielikšanas punktsforce application point
    pielikt spēkuto apply a force
  2. (of people, animals) force, strength, power (capacity to carry out (especially physical) actions or motion)
    fiziskais spēksphysical strength
    taupīt spēkuto spare, to save strength, power
    uzkrāt spēkuto accumulate strength, power
    nav spēka piecelties(s/he) doesn't have the strength to get up
    izsmelt (visus) spēkusto exhaust (all) (one's) forces, strength
    pēdējiem spēkiem sasniegt krastuto reach the coast with (one's) last strength
  3. (of people's behavior) (physical) force, coercion, violence
    viņa ar spēku izrāva Mārim no rokām meitas fotogrāfijushe snatched the girl's photograph from Māris' hands by force
    jūs uzvaru redzat tikai spēkā; bet saprāta uzvara, kur tad paliek tā?you see only victory in violence; but the victory of reason, where is it then?
  4. strength, power (of mental processes: mental features that support or strengthen their expression)
    garīgais, morālais spēksspiritual, moral strength
    gribas spēks, gribasspēkswillpower
    iekšējs, dvēseles spēksinner, soul strength
    negaidīti aktrise atrada sevī lielu speku, tuvojoties varonības robežaiunexpectedly, the actress found in herself intense strength, verging on heroism
  5. (of laws) force (legal validity, power)
    likuma spēksforce of law, legal force
    būr, palikt, uzturēt spēkāto be, to remain, to keep in force
    stāties spēkāto come into force
  6. force, power, strength (capacity or power to influence, to persuade, to make something happen)
    personības spēksstrength of personality
    ieraduma spēksforce of habit
    vārda spēksthe power of the word
    mākslas spēksthe power of art
    dažādu ar valdībām nesaistīto organizāciju pretkara kustība ieguvusi milzīgu spēkuvarious non-governmental organizations' anti-war movement has gained enormous power, strength
  7. (chiefly in the plural) forces (a group within society, united by a common feature)
    demokrātiskie, revolucinārie spēkidemocratic, revolutionary forces
  8. (chiefly plural; of professionals, soldier, etc.) forces (people united by a goal, ideal, task)
    teātra jaunie spēkinew young forces of theater
    mākslinieciskie spēkiartistic forces
    bruņotie spēkiarmed forces
    karaspēks'armed forces, (national) army, troops
    starptautisko spēku samērsinternational balance of forces, power


Derived terms[edit]


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