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Ancient GreekEdit



Etymology 1Edit

From Proto-Indo-European *deh₁-. Cognates include Sanskrit द्यति (dyati), Avestan 𐬥𐬍𐬛𐬫𐬁𐬙𐬄𐬨(nīdyātąm) and Albanian duaj.

Alternative formsEdit


δέω (déō)

  1. I bind, tie, fasten, fetter
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 10.443:
      ἠέ με δήσαντες λίπετ᾽ αὐτόθι νηλέϊ δεσμῷ
      ēé me dḗsantes lípet᾽ autóthi nēléï desmôi
      or bind me with a cruel bond and leave me here
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 10.475:
      ὠκέες ἵπποι ἐξ ἐπιδιφριάδος πυμάτης ἱμᾶσι δέδεντο
      ōkées híppoi ex epidiphriádos pumátēs himâsi dédento
      his swift horses were tethered by the reins to the topmost rim of the chariot
    1. (figuratively)
      • 522 BCE – 443 BCE, Pindar, Pythian Ode 3.54:
        ἀλλὰ κέρδει καὶ σοφία δέδεται.
        allà kérdei kaì sophía dédetai.
        But even skill is enthralled by the love of gain.
    2. (middle) I tie onto myself
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 2.44:
        ποσσὶ δ᾽ ὑπὸ λιπαροῖσιν ἐδήσατο καλὰ πέδιλα
        possì d᾽ hupò liparoîsin edḗsato kalà pédila
        and beneath his shining feet he bound his fair sandals
    3. (with genitive) I hinder from
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 4.380:
        ἀλλὰ σύ πέρ μοι εἰπέ [] ὅς τίς μ᾽ ἀθανάτων πεδάᾳ καὶ ἔδησε κελεύθου
        allà sú pér moi eipé [] hós tís m᾽ athanátōn pedáāi kaì édēse keleúthou
        But do thou tell me [] who of the immortals fetters me here, and has hindered me from my path
    4. (medicine) I brace
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Uncertain. Either from Proto-Hellenic *dew- or Proto-Indo-European *dews-. If the latter, then cognate with Sanskrit दोष (doṣa).

Alternative formsEdit


δέω (déō)

  1. To lack, need, require [+genitive = something, someone]
    • 428 BCE – 347 BCE, Plato, The Statesman 277d:
      παραδείγματος [] αὖ μοι καὶ τὸ παράδειγμα αὐτὸ δεδέηκεν.
      paradeígmatos [] aû moi kaì tò parádeigma autò dedéēken.
      The very example I employ requires another example.
    1. with πολλοῦ (polloû) To be far from being able to do [+infinitive = something]
      • 400 BCE – 387 BCE, Plato, Apology 30d:
        πολλοῦ δέω ἐγὼ ὑπὲρ ἐμαυτοῦ ἀπολογεῖσθαι
        polloû déō egṑ hupèr emautoû apologeîsthai
        I am far from giving a defense for myself
    2. participle δέων (déōn)
      1. modifying a noun, with genitive of the number by which something is less than another thing: lacking a number: a number less than something, something minus a number; often used to express numbers ending in 8 or 9
        • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 1.14.1:
          δυῶν δέοντα τεσσεράκοντα ἔτεα
          duôn déonta tesserákonta étea
          forty minus two years; two less than forty years [= 38 years]
      2. with both the participle and the number in the genitive: genitive absolute: with a number lacking, a number less than
  2. (middle, never impersonal, transitive) To lack, not have, or need [+genitive = something]
    • 429 BCE, Sophocles, Oedipus the King 1148:
      ἐπεὶ τὰ σὰ δεῖται κολαστοῦ μᾶλλον ἢ τὰ τοῦδ᾽ ἔπη.
      epeì tà sà deîtai kolastoû mâllon ḕ tà toûd᾽ épē.
      Your words need rebuking more than his.
    1. (intransitive) to need [+infinitive = to do something]
      • 380 BCE, Plato, The Republic 392d:
        ἔτι δέομαι σαφέστερον μαθεῖν
        éti déomai saphésteron matheîn
        I still need to understand more plainly.
    2. (intransitive) To be in need
      οἱ δεόμενοι
      hoi deómenoi
      the needy
    3. (transitive) To beg [+two genitives = something from someone]; [+genitive and infinitive = someone to do something]
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 3.157.1:
        ἐπιτρέπεσθαι ἕτοιμοι ἦσαν τῶν ἐδέετο σφέων
        epitrépesthai hétoimoi êsan tôn edéeto sphéōn
        they were ready to entrust to him all that he asked from them
Usage notesEdit

The third person and non-finite forms are also used impersonally: see δεῖ (deî).

Other forms: δεοῦμαι (deoûmai) for δεήσομαι (deḗsomai) (Doric: Epicharmus, Collected Works 120).

Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit


Etymology 3Edit


δέω (déō)

  1. Alternative form of δήω (dḗō)



From Ancient Greek δέω (at its sense: need). From its other sense ("I tie"), the modern δένω (déno).


  • IPA(key): /ˈðe.o/
  • Hyphenation: δέ‧ω


δέω (déo) (past: εδέησα/δέησα, passive with different sense: δέομαι

  1. (active voice: only in perfective stem) make possible (also used ironically) e.g.
    εδέησα (edéisa, past tense, retaining the old syllabic augment ε-)
    Εδέησε να μου επιστρέψει το βιβλίο που του είχα δανείσει.
    Edéise na mou epistrépsei to vivlío pou tou eícha daneísei.
    S/he finally (succeeded to) return the book I had lent him/her.
    1. (in 3rd persons) + να used as impersonal
      Μετά την ξηρασία, εδέησε να βρέξει.
      Metá tin xirasía, edéise na vréxei.
      After the drought, it finally rained.
      Also see the ancient uncontracted: → δει (dei, it is needed), Polytonic spelling: δεῖ
  2. (passive voice) δέομαι (déomai, pray to God)


Related termsEdit

Compounds (and see their related words)


Also see related words of δένω (déno) deriving from the second sense of δέω.

See alsoEdit

  • the unrelated δέος n (déos, awe)