Last modified on 24 April 2015, at 17:36



Etymology 1Edit

From earlier *grenz-, from Proto-Baltic *grenž-, from Proto-Indo-European *grenǵ-, from the zero grade of Proto-Indo-European *ger- (to turn; to wind; to wreathe) with an extra ǵ and an infix -n-. A minority opinion considers griezt (to turn) to have the same origin as griezt (to cut) (see below), with the circular motion meaning coming from certain ways of cutting. Cognates include Lithuanian grę̃žti (to drill, to turn, to change, to mend), Old Prussian granstis (one who drills, who drilled), greanste ([grēnste], rope made of woven, wound branches), Old Norse kringr (ring), kringla (ring, circle), cranga (to crawl, to creep, to drag oneself), German Kringel (pretzel), Dutch krinkel (loop; twist).[1]


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griezt tr., 1st conj., pres. griežu, griez, griež, past griezu

  1. to turn, to spin (to move, to cause something to move in circular motion, around an axis)
    griezt tecīlu — to turn the grindstone
    ūdens griež turbīnas — the water turns the turbine
    Ieva grieza telefona ripu — Ieva dialed (lit. turned the telephone dial)
    puiši griež meitenes dejā — the boys turn the girls in the dance
  2. (usually of the wind) to turn, to whirl (to cause something to move in a whirl, swirl)
    ass vējš grieza sniega mutuļus — the sharp wind gave the snow a whirl (lit. turned snow whirls)
    rudens vējš purina kokus, atrauj un griež virpulī zeltainas lapas — the autumn wind shakes the trees, tears the golden leaves apart and turns them in a whirl(wind)
  3. (when dancing) to turn, to whirl, to dance in fast circles
    griezt valsi — to whirl (= dance) a waltz
    pēc gadiem trauku polku griežu — after (many) years I am (now) whirling (= dancing) a crazy polka
  4. to turn (to change the position or the direction of motion of something)
    griezt automašīnu pa labi — to turn the car to the right
    griezt zirgu uz ceļa — to turn the horse (back) to the road
    griezt lopus uz māju pusi — to turn the animals back home
    griezt par labu — to turn to good (= to fix, to make up for)
    viņi iedarbina motoru un griež laivu atpakaļ uz pilsētu — he started the motor and turned the ship back to(ward) the city
    Ceplis tiešām nesaprata, kā viņš bija visu to varējis, pilnīgi pazaudējot pašsavaldīšanos... tagad vajadzēja mēģināt visu par labu griezt — Ceplis really couldn't understand how he had been able to do all that, to have completely lost his self-control... now he had to try to make (lit. turn) it good (= fix it, make up for it)
  5. (usually with apkārt, otrādi, uz otru pusi) to turn (to reverse the orientation or configuration of something to its opposite)
    griezt apkārt — to turn around (= upside down)
    griezt cimdu otrādi — to turn the glove (inside out)
    griezt mēteli uz otro pusi — to turn the coat (inside out)
    griezt kažokam otru pusi, griezt kažoku uz otro pusi — to turn the coat (= to change one's position completely)
    trīs dienas pēc kārtas griezu apkārt visus Rīgas cepuru veikalus; uzlaikoju tūkstošiem dažādu platmaļu — three days in a row I turn all hat shops in Rīga upside down (looking for something); I tried thousands of different hats on
  6. to turn, to turn around (to move (something) in all directions, from one side to another, to and fro (usually nervously)
    griezt vēstuli rokās — he turned the letter in his hands
    rakstā viņš iemeta tikai paviršu mirkli, bet zīmogu aplūkoja pamatīgi, papīru pirkstos riņķi griezdams un iestādes nosaukumu burtodams — he cast only a superficial glance on the text, but the seal he examined thoroughly, turning the paper in his hands and spelling the name of the institution
  7. to turn (to point, to direct something to, at, against something else; also metaphorically, e.g., attention, a topic of conversation)
    griezt ieročus pret ienaidnieku — to turn (one's) weapon against the enemy
    griezt seju pret sauli — to turn (one's) face to the sun
    katrs vēja pūtiens griež viņas skatienu pāri ciemam uz jūru — every blow of the wind turns her gaze over the village to the sea
    Gusts ienācis un apsveicinājies sāka valodu griezt uz nupat nobeigto sēju — Gusts came in and, after greeting, began to turn the talk (= coversation) to the just abandoned sowing
    Kārlis pirmais palēnina soļus, lai nebūtu piepeši jāapstājas un tā jāgriež uz sevi uzmanība — Kārlis first slowed down his steps, so that he wouldn't have to stop and turn (other people's) attention to himself
  8. to weave, to roll up (to make something by wrapping, rolling up, weaving something else)
    griezt cigāru — to roll up a cigar
    griezt virvi — to weave a rope
    Jānis sniedzas pēc tabakas un griež rūpīgi un apdomīgi no kāda plāna papīra smēķi — Jānis reached for the tobacco and rolled up every thin (piece of) paper carefully and deliberately into a smoke (= cigarette)
  9. to turn, to bend, to twirl (to curve the shape of something; to produce something curved while growing)
    griezt ūsas — to twirl (one's) mustache
    (sa)griezt gredzenā — to turn, bend (something) into a ring
    grieztās riņķa kāpnes — a circular staircase (lit. stairs turned into a cirlce)
    agrīnie lini jau sāka griezt galus sprogās — the early flax had already started turning its ends into curls
    mums mājās dobē agrie kāposti jau grieza galviņas, bet arī nezāles bija stipri sakuplojušas — in (their) beds in our home the cabbages have already turned (= grown) heads, but also the weeds have grown thick
  10. to wring, to twist (e.g., wet clothes) in order to force out the liquid
    griezt palagu pēc skalošanas — to wring the sheets after washing
    griezt salijušas drēbes — to wring drenched clothes
    viņš uzmeta acis zēna glābējam, kas bija novilcis virsbikses un grieza nost lieko ūdeni — he turned his eyes to the rescuer of the child, who had taken off his overpants and was wringing the excess water out
  11. (colloquial) to work, to make, to do something (important)
    es jau ar mežiem griežu lielas lietas, un koku fabrika arī man labi strādā — I am turning (= doing) great things with the forests, and the wood factory works well for me
    kas ir mana fotodarbnīca, salīdzinot ar tiem darba apjomiem, kādus mēs griežam kolhozā!? — what is my foto lab, in comparison with the range of work that we turn (= do) in the collective farm!?
Derived termsEdit
prefixed verbs:
other derived terms:
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Proto-Baltic *griež-, from *greiž-, from Proto-Indo-European *greyǵ, from the zero grade of a stem *ger- (to cut) with an extra (y)ǵ. With a different extra element at the end, *ger- yielded Old Prussian gīrbin (number) (< “mark(s), cut(s), incision(s)”), Old East Slavic жеребей (žerebeй), Russian жребий (žrébij, lot; fate, destiny) (< “cut, jagged, carved stick, wand”), Old English ceorfan, Old High German kerban (to cut, to jag). Cognates include Lithuanian gríežti.[1]




griezt tr., 1st conj., pres. griežu, griez, griež, past griezu

  1. to cut (to separate a part of something with a sharp tool)
    griezt papīru, drēbi — to cut paper, cloth
    griezt ziedus — to cut flowers
    griezt maizi — to cut bread
    Andrs dziedādams grieza lapainos zarus un vilka čupā, acīm redzami, būdu gribēja taisīt — singing, Andrs cut softwood branches and pulled them to a pile; clearly, he wanted to make a hut
    griezta brūce izveidojas, iegriežot ar asu priekšmetu... šādas brūces malas ir gludas, un brūce stipri asiņo — a cut (= cutting) wound happens when one is cutting with a sharp object... the edges of these wounds are smooth, and they bleed heavily
  2. (of a sharp tool) to cut
    šķēres labi griež — the scissors cut well
    nazis negriež — the knife doesn't cut (= is blunt)
    kokus grieza spēcīgs elektriskais zāģis — a powerful electric saw was cutting the trees
  3. (colloquial) to cut (to perform surgery; to remove surgically)
    griezt aklo zarnu — to cut (= remove) the appendix (= to perform an appendicectomy)
  4. (of plow blades) to cut (to plow the soil)
    dienu un nakti traktors loba tukšos laukus, un spīdīgie lemeši griež rudens arumus — day and night the tractor plowed the empty fields, and the shiny blades cut the autumn plowed soil
  5. (of grass, lawns) to cut, to mow
    mēs ar vectēvu griezam līci; zāle bija diezgan jauna un mīksta — grandpa and I mowed (lit. cut) the bay; the grass was quite new and soft
  6. (figuratively) to advance against something (an obstacle, etc.); to advance, leaving a mark on something
    kuģa priekšgals griež viļņus — the front of the boat cut the waves
    prožektoru gaisma griež tumsu — the projectors' light cut the darkness
    ar slidām griezt ledu — to cut the ice with (one's) skis
    riteņi griež ceļu līdz rumbām! — the wheels are cutting the ground (lit. road) to the hubs!
  7. to cut, to bite (to penetrate; to rub in a way that causes discomfort, pain; to cause discomfort, pain)
    aukla griež delnā — the string cuts, bites in the palm (of his hand)
    spaiņa stīpa sāpīgi griež rokā — the bucket handle cuts, bites painfully in (his) hand
    spožā gaisma griež acīs — the bright light cuts, bites in the eye (= dazzles painfully)
    Līzei sāpīgi grieza tēva nicinājums — her father's contempt cut, bit Līze painfully
  8. to cut out, to carve; to engrave (to make something using a sharp instrument)
    griezt koka rotaļlietas — to cut, to carve wooden toys
    griezt nūjā robus — to cut, to make an incision on a stick
    ne no katra koka var svilpes griezt — not from all (kinds of) wood can one cut, make a whistle
    Āziju atgādina... gaumīgie pasažieru ostas vārti ar kokā grieztiem austrumnieciskiem rakstiem — the stylish passanger (air)port gateway with (its) engraved Eastern patterns reminded (us) of Asia
  9. (with nost, klāt, of land) to cut off, to separate, to take away
    “bet ko tad nu iesāksim?” Irma turpinajā; “trīsdesmit hektāru mums griezīšot nost... iztiec nu ar otriem trīsdesmit!” — “but what are we going to do now?” Irma continued; “they will cut off (= take away) thirty hectares from us; (we'll have) to do with (only) the other thirty (hectares)!”
  10. (of corncrakes and some other birds) to chirp (to produce its characteristic sound, reminiscent of the sound of cutting)
    rasainajā pļavā kā ar izkapti grieza grieze — in the dewy meadow the corncrake chirped (lit. cut) as if with a scythe
    pie debesīm atmirdzēja retas zvaigznes; kaut kur aiz upes grieza vientuļa grieze — on the sky, a few rare stars were shining; somewhere beyond the river a single corncrake was chirping (lit. cutting)
Derived termsEdit
prefixed verbs:
other derived terms:

, griezīgums

Related termsEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 “griezt” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN: 9984-700-12-7