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  1. superlative form of spry: most spry




This word results from the merging of two stems: (a) Proto-Baltic *spriesti < *spried-ti < Proto-Indo-European *spreid- “to press, to squeeze, to block” (cf. Sudovian cognate saspriziz “squeeze! crush!”); and (b) Proto-Baltic *sprensti, from *sprend-ti, from Proto-Indo-European *sprend- (to pull, to stretch, to jump), from *p(ʰ)er-, *sp(ʰ)er- (to pull, to kick, to scatter, to strew, to sputter) (whence also Latvian spert and sprēgāt, q.v.). The meaning of the (b) forms, perhaps with some influence from the (a) forms, has became dominant, evolving from probably “to pull, to stretch, to drag,” via uses such as sprīdi spriest “to stretch a span,” i.e., “to measure (a span, a gap) by stretching one's fingers,” to “measure” > “evaluate” > “judge.” The (a) form meaning has basically disappeared in standard Latvian, but it can still be found in several dialects, where spriest can still mean “press, squeeze,” and in the standard language in some derived terms (e.g., spriesties, iespriest, saspriest). Cognates of the (b) forms include Lithuanian sprę́sti (to drive, stick into, to squeeze through, to throw, to stretch; to tighten, to harness; to judge, to decide, to solve), Old Church Slavonic прѧсти (pręsti) “to spin (yarn),” Russian прясть (prjastʹ), Ukrainian прясти (prjásty), Bulgarian преда (predá, I spin), Czech přísti, Polish prząść.[1]


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spriest tr. or intr., 1st conj., pres. spriežu, spried, spriež, past spriedu

  1. to judge (to make or formulate an opinion, a judgment)
    spriest patstāvīgito judge independently
    spriest pēc nostāstiemto judge by witness accounts
    spriest pēc ārienesto judge by outside appearances
    spriest par nākotnito judge on, about the future
    viņš spriež pareizihe judges well, correctly
    man par šo jautājumu grūti spriestI find it difficult to judge on this question
    jā, nakts liekas vēsa... to var spriest pēc zvaigznēmyes, the night seemed cool... you could judge that by the stars
  2. (law) to try, to judge (to decide a case in court, to make, to emit a judgment in court)
    spriest soduto pronounce (lit. judge) the verdict
    spriest tiesuto dispense (lit. judge) justice
    kā nu tiesa spriedīs, tā būsas the court will judge, so it will be (= it will be as the court decides)
    krimināllietās tiesu spriež, pamatojoties uz pilsoņu vienlīdzību likuma un tiesas priekšāin criminal court, justice is dispensed (lit. judged) on the basis of every citizen's equality before the law and the courts



Derived terms[edit]

prefixed verbs:
other derived terms:

See also[edit]


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