See also: μυ, μι, and μη

Ancient GreekEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Proto-Hellenic *mḗ, from Proto-Indo-European *meh₁ (prohibitive particle). Cognate with Old Armenian մի (mi), Sanskrit मा (), Old Persian 𐎶𐎠 (m-a /mā/), and Albanian mos.




μή (mḗ) (negative particle)

  1. not (used in clauses expressing will or thought)
    1. (with an imperative or subjunctive in negative commands)
    2. (with an optative or past indicative, expressing a negative wish)
    3. (in a question expecting a negative answer)
    4. (in dependent clauses)
    5. (with participle representing conditional clause)
  2. (in warnings or statements of fear)
    1. (in independent clauses) that ... not; that
      • 386 BCE – 367 BCE, Plato, Meno 89c:
        Σωκράτης   [] ἀλλὰ μὴ τοῦτο οὐ καλῶς ὡμολογήσαμεν.
        Sōkrátēs   [] allà mḕ toûto ou kalôs hōmologḗsamen.
        Socrates: But [let's hope] that we didn't agree on this incorrectly.
        or [I'm worried] that we agreed [] .
    2. (introducing indirect statement after verb of fearing or apprehension) that

Usage notesEdit

μή is the negative of thought or wish, but οὐ (ou) of objective statements of fact.

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit