Classical SyriacEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Proto-Semitic *ʔabw-.



ܐܒܐ (ʾăḇāʾm (plural ܐܒܗܬܐor ܐܒܗܐ‎, singular feminine counterpart ܐܡܐ‎)

  1. father
  2. (in the plural) parents
  3. (figuratively) forefather, ancestor, progenitor
  4. monk, abbot; bishop
  5. chief, leader
  6. (figuratively) author, originator, founder, inventor
  7. teacher
Usage notesEdit
  • Usually, the plural ܐܒܗܐ(ʾăḇāhēʾ) is used for literal senses while ܐܒܗܬܐ(ʾăḇāhāṯāʾ) is used for figurative senses.
  • The word ܐܒܐ‎ is one of only three nouns in the entire language that have an irregular possessive stem ending in the letter Waw; the other two being ܐܚܐ(ʾăḥāʾ, brother) and ܚܡܐ(ḥəmāʾ, father-in-law).
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Probably from an earlier uncontracted form ܐܢܒܐ(ʾenbāʾ), possibly from Akkadian 𒄧 (/inbu/). Compare Hebrew אֵב(ʾēḇ).

Alternative formsEdit


  • IPA(key): [ʔɛbbɑ], [ʔabbɑ] (singular)
  • IPA(key): [ʔɛbbe], [ʔabbe], [ʔɛbbɑne], [ʔabbɑne] (plural)


ܐܒܐ (ʾebbāʾ, ʾabbāʾm (plural ܐܒܢܐor ܐܒܐ)

  1. produce, fruit, vegetable

Etymology 3Edit

A dialect variation of ܥܒܐ(/ʿabbā/, spiny-tailed lizard), from Proto-Semitic *ṣ́abb- (a type of lizard or reptile; creature that cleaves to the ground). Compare Arabic ضَبّ(ḍabb, spiny-tailed lizard) and Hebrew צַב(ṣaḇ, turtle).



ܐܒܐ (ʾabbāʾm (plural ܐܒܐ)

  1. crocodile


  • ˀb”, in The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project, Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College, 1986–, retrieved 2008-11-10
  • Costaz, Louis (2002) Dictionnaire syriaque-français ∙ Syriac–English Dictionary ∙ قاموس سرياني-عربي, 3rd edition, Beirut: Dar El-Machreq, p. 1a
  • Payne Smith, Jessie (1903) A Compendious Syriac Dictionary Founded Upon the Thesaurus Syriacus of R. Payne Smith, D.D., Oxford: Clarendon Press, p. 1b-2a
  • Sokoloff, Michael (2009) A Syriac Lexicon: A Translation from the Latin, Correction, Expansion, and Update of C. Brockelmann's Lexicon Syriacum, Winona Lake, Indiana; Piscataway, New Jersey: Eisenbrauns; Gorgias Press, p. 1