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Ancient GreekEdit


From Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁(y)-. Cognates include Latin fēmina, fētus, fīlius; Sanskrit धयति (dhayati); Avestan 𐬛𐬀𐬉𐬥𐬎(daēnu); Old Armenian դիեմ (diem); and Old Church Slavonic доити (doiti).




θῆλῠς (thêlusm (feminine θήλειᾰ, neuter θῆλῠ); first/third declension

  1. female
    θήλεια θεός
    thḗleia theós
    female god (i.e. goddess)
    • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 3.66.2:
      Καμβύσεα τὸν Κύρου, [] ἄπαιδα τὸ παράπαν ἐόντα ἔρσενος καὶ θήλεος γόνου
      Kambúsea tòn Kúrou, [] ápaida tò parápan eónta érsenos kaì thḗleos gónou
      [] Cambyses son of Cyrus, who [] was altogether childless, without male or female issue.
  2. of or belonging to women, womanly, feminine
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 6.122:
      ὥς τέ με κουράων ἀμφήλυθε θῆλυς ἀϋτή
      hṓs té me kouráōn amphḗluthe thêlus aütḗ
      There rang in my ears a womanly cry, as of maidens.
  3. soft, gentle
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 5.467:
      μή μ’ ἄμυδις στίβη τε κακὴ καὶ θῆλυς ἐέρση
      mḗ m’ ámudis stíbē te kakḕ kaì thêlus eérsē
      I fear that together the bitter frost and the gentle dew may overcome me.
  4. tender, delicate
    • 431 BCE, Euripides, Medea 928:
      γυνὴ δὲ θῆλυ κἀπὶ δακρύοις ἔφυ
      gunḕ dè thêlu kapì dakrúois éphu
      But a woman is by nature delicate and prone to tears.
  5. female having an internal socket, into which another part fits
  6. (grammar) feminine
  7. (mathematics) even
  8. (astrology) negative or feminine sign (one of Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, or Pisces)


This is one of the two non-compounded adjectives in -ύς, -εῖα, -ύ, along with ἥμισυς (hḗmisus), that have a recessive accent. See also ἐλαχύς (elakhús), λιγύς (ligús).


Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit