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Ancient GreekEdit


The four principal parts of the verb display the e-grade, o-grade, and zero-grade (πενθ-, πονθ-, παθ- (penth-, ponth-, path-) from Proto-Indo-European *kʷendʰ-, *kʷondʰ-, *kʷn̥dʰ) of the root *kʷendʰ- (to suffer, endure). Cognate with Lithuanian kenčiù.

The present πάσχω (páskhō), like the aorist ἔπαθον (épathon), comes from the zero-grade παθ- (path-), but with the inchoative suffix -σκω (-skō) added *πάθ-σκ-ω (*páth-sk-ō) and subsequent loss of θ (th) before σ (s) and transference of aspiration from θ (th) to κ (k), resulting in χ (kh). The future stem πείσομαι (peísomai) developed from *πενθ-σ-ομαι (*penth-s-omai), from e-grade πενθ- (penth-) with the tense-suffix σ (s), with subsequent cluster simplification νθσ > σ (nths > s) and compensatory lengthening *ε > ει (*e > ei). The future stem πείσω (peísō) of the verb πείθω (peíthō, persuade) is identical.

Others have connected the word to Proto-Indo-European *bʰendʰ- (to bind) with semantic shift from “to be bound” to “to suffer”. Cognates would then include Ancient Greek πενθερός (pentherós, father-in-law).[1]




πᾰ́σχω (páskhō)

  1. to undergo, experience (as opposed to acting)
  2. (with another person involved) have someone do something to oneself, to be treated a certain way by someone (with ὑπό (hupó) and genitive, sometimes with adverb of manner)
    1. (in a negative sense) suffer at someone's hands
      • 442 BCE, Sophocles, Antigone 927–929
        Ἀντιγόνη   εἰ δ᾽ οἵδ᾽ ἁμαρτάνουσι, μὴ πλείω κακὰ
        πάθοιεν ἢ καὶ δρῶσιν ἐκδίκως ἐμέ.
        Antigónē   ei d᾽ hoíd᾽ hamartánousi, mḕ pleíō kakà
        páthoien ḕ kaì drôsin ekdíkōs emé.
        Antigone:   But if they are wrong [to treat me as a criminal], let them suffer no worse than they are doing unjustly to me.
    2. (law) to suffer a punishment
  3. (without a person involved) to experience something, have something happen to one, undergo something
    1. to be in a certain situation (with adverb of manner)
    2. to feel an emotion or impulse
    3. (in negative sense) suffer
    4. to be ill or injured in a certain way (with accusative of part affected)
      • Πάσχω τὴν καρδίαν.
        Páskhō tḕn kardían.



  • (to be in a certain situation): ἔχω (ékhō)


Derived termsEdit


  1. ^ Holger Pedersen, Zwei Fälle eines irrtümlich als Labiovelar aufgefassten π, p. 192 ff., in: Revue des Études Indo-européennes (Bucarest), 1/1 (1938), pp. 192–199.
    Michael Janda, Eleusis. Das indogermanische Erbe der Mysterien, Innsbruck 2000, p. 128 f.
    Robert S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, s. v. “πάσχω”. First published online: October 2010.