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Ancient GreekEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From σκοπός (skopós, watcher) +‎ -έω (-éō, denominative verbal suffix), from Proto-Indo-European *sḱop, the o-grade of *sḱep, a metathesis of *speḱ-, from which also comes σκέπτομαι (sképtomai, to consider, think, speculate).




σκοπέω (skopéō)

  1. I look, look at, behold; I examine, inspect
    • 522 BCE – 443 BCE, Pindar, Olympian Ode 1.5:
      μηκέθ᾽ ἁλίου σκόπει ἄλλο θαλπνότερον ἐν ἁμέρᾳ φαεννὸν ἄστρον ἐρήμας δι᾽ αἰθέρος
      mēkéth᾽ halíou skópei állo thalpnóteron en hamérāi phaennòn ástron erḗmas di᾽ aithéros
      look no further for any star warmer than the sun, shining by day through the lonely sky
    • 409 BCE, Sophocles, Philoctetes 467:
      καιρὸς γὰρ καλεῖ πλοῦν μὴ ᾽ξ ἀπόπτου μᾶλλον ἢ ᾽γγύθεν σκοπεῖν.
      kairòs gàr kaleî ploûn mḕ ᾽x apóptou mâllon ḕ ᾽ngúthen skopeîn.
      Yes, since opportunity bids us watch near our ship for a fair wind, rather than from afar.
    1. (figuratively) I contemplate, consider
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 1.8:
        ἐν τοῖσι ἓν τόδε ἐστί, σκοπέειν τινὰ τὰ ἑωυτοῦ.
        en toîsi hèn tóde estí, skopéein tinà tà heōutoû.
        one of these is that one should mind one's own business.
      • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 1.32:
        σκοπέειν δὲ χρὴ παντὸς χρήματος τὴν τελευτήν, κῇ ἀποβήσεται
        skopéein dè khrḕ pantòs khrḗmatos tḕn teleutḗn, kêi apobḗsetai
        It is necessary to see how the end of every affair turns out
      • 366 BCE – 348 BCE, Plato, Theaetetus 182a:
        σκόπει δή μοι τόδε αὐτῶν:
        skópei dḗ moi tóde autôn:
        Then just examine this point of their doctrine.
    2. I look for
      • 430 BCE – 354 BCE, Xenophon, Anabasis 5.7.32:
        σκοπεῖτε παῦλάν τινα αὐτῶν:
        skopeîte paûlán tina autôn:
        look about for some means of stopping them;
  2. (middle) like active, perhaps implying a more deliberate consideration
    • 413 BCE, Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris 68:
      ὁρῶ, σκοποῦμαι δ᾽ ὄμμα πανταχῆ στρέφων.
      horô, skopoûmai d᾽ ómma pantakhê stréphōn.
      I am watching. Every side I turn mine eye.

Usage notesEdit

Earlier writers use only the present and imperfect, with other tenses supplied by σκέπτομαι (sképtomai).


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit