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Ancient GreekEdit


According to Frisk of onomatopoeic origin, from μῡ (). According to Beekes there are no plausible comparanda and the word is Pre-Greek. Others compare it to Proto-Slavic *myslь (idea, thought), as if via Proto-Indo-European *muHdʰ-. Ernštedt (1953: 55-57) argue that it derived from Egyptian mdt (word, speech, affair). If so, a cognate to Coptic ⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ (moute).




μῦθος (mûthosm (genitive μῡ́θου); second declension

  1. something said: word, speech, conversation
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 11.561:
      ἀλλ' ἄγε δεῦρο, ἄναξ, ἵν' ἔπος καὶ μῦθον ἀκούσῃς
      all' áge deûro, ánax, hín' épos kaì mûthon akoúsēis
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Odyssey 4.777:
      μῦθον, ὃ δὴ καὶ πᾶσιν ἐνὶ φρεσὶν ἤραρεν ἥμιν.
      mûthon, hò dḕ kaì pâsin enì phresìn ḗraren hḗmin.
    1. public speech
    2. (mostly in plural) talk, conversation
    3. advice, counsel, command, order, promise
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 5.493:
        Ὣς φάτο Σαρπηδών, δάκε δὲ φρένας Ἕκτορι μῦθος·
        Hṑs pháto Sarpēdṓn, dáke dè phrénas Héktori mûthos;
      • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 7.358:
        οἶσθα καὶ ἄλλον μῦθον ἀμείνονα τοῦδε νοῆσαι.
        oîstha kaì állon mûthon ameínona toûde noêsai.
    4. the subject of a speech or talk
    5. a resolve, purpose, design, plan
    6. saying, proverb
    7. the talk of men, rumor, report, message
  2. tale, story, narrative,
    1. tale, legend, myth
      1. (in Attic prose) a legend of the early Greek times, before the dawn of history
    2. a professed work of fiction, fable, such as those of Aesop
    3. the plot of a tragedy or comedy

Usage notesEdit

The scholia on the Odyssey 21.71 says that μῦθος (mûthos) is Aeolic for μόθος (móthos), but compare μυθιήτης (muthiḗtēs). It is used there in the significance of "resolve, purpose."


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit