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See also: þarf


Alternative forms[edit]


Etymology 1[edit]

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From Middle English tharf (infinitive thurven; also thar, dar by confusion with forms of dare), from Old English þearf, first and third person singular indicative of þurfan (to be in need, have need of, need to, be required to, be obliged to, owe), from Proto-Germanic *þurfaną, *þurbaną, *þerbaną (may, need to, be allowed to), from Proto-Indo-European *terp-, *trep- (to saturate, enjoy). Cognate with Dutch durf ((I) dare) (infinitive durven), German darf ((I) am allowed to) (infinitive dürfen), Swedish tarva (to require), Icelandic þarf ((I) need) (infinitive þurfa).


tharf (third-person singular simple present tharf, present participle thurving or tharving, simple past thurft or tharved, past participle -)

  1. (transitive, intransitive, obsolete) To need; lack.
    • 1999, Richard Beadle, ‎Pamela M. King, York Mystery Plays: A Selection in Modern Spelling, page 73:
      Sir ye tharf marvel nothing
      Of this ilk note that thusgates news,
      For Balaam said a star should spring
      Of Jacob's kind, and that is Jews.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English therf, from Old English þeorf (unleavened, fresh, skim), from Proto-Germanic *þerbaz (unleavened, simple), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)terbh-, *(s)trebh- (rigid, stiff, tight). Cognate with German derb (rough, coarse, rude), Old Frisian therve, Middle Dutch derf, Middle High German derp, Icelandic þjarfur (unleavened).


tharf (comparative more tharf, superlative most tharf)

  1. (obsolete) Unleavened.
  2. (obsolete) Stiff, unsocial, rough in manner.
    A tharf person.
Derived terms[edit]

Old Saxon[edit]


From Proto-Germanic *þarbō; cognate with Old English þearf, Old High German darba, Old Icelandic þörf, Gothic 𐌸𐌰𐍂𐌱𐌰 (þarba). Compare thurvan.



tharf f (genitive tharvo)

  1. need, lack, necessity


Related terms[edit]