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Ancient GreekEdit


Of uncertain origin. Generally acknowledged to be a non-Indo-European loan. A possible relationship with the Semitic root ʕ-w-g "to be crooked, tortuous" has been discussed.[1] Another possibility includes a derivation from non-attested Sumerian *A-ki-an(u) (Water of the Land and Heaven).[2]

Beekes suggests a Pre-Greek proto-form *kay-an. Michael Janda has reminded the scientific community of an earlier comparison[3] with the Vedic dragon Vṛtra's attribute āśáyāna- “lying on [the waters]”, claiming it to be an exact phonetical transposition of the Greek word, both stemming from Proto-Indo-European *ō-kei-m̥[h₁]no- (lying on), related to κεῖται (keîtai, to lie).


  • (5th BCE Attic) IPA(key): /ɔː.ke.a.nós/
  • (1st CE Egyptian) IPA(key): /o.kɛ.aˈnos/
  • (4th CE Koine) IPA(key): /ˈnos/
  • (10th CE Byzantine) IPA(key): /o.ce.aˈnos/
  • (15th CE Constantinopolitan) IPA(key): /o.ce.aˈnos/
  • Proper nounEdit

    Ὠκεᾰνός (Ōkeanósm (genitive Ὠκεᾰνοῦ); second declension

    1. Oceanus, a Greek water god usually said to be a Titan, one of the sons of Uranus and Gaia.
    2. The great freshwater river thought to encompass the world disc.
    3. The great saline outer sea (the Atlantic), as opposed to the Mediterranean.


    Derived termsEdit



    • Ὠκεανός in Liddell & Scott (1940) A Greek–English Lexicon, Oxford: Clarendon Press
    • Ὠκεανός in Liddell & Scott (1889) An Intermediate Greek–English Lexicon, New York: Harper & Brothers
    • Ὠκεανός in Autenrieth, Georg (1891) A Homeric Dictionary for Schools and Colleges, New York: Harper and Brothers
    • Ὠκεανός in Slater, William J. (1969) Lexicon to Pindar, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter
    • Woodhouse, S. C. (1910) English–Greek Dictionary: A Vocabulary of the Attic Language[1], London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited, page 1,018
    • Michael Janda: Die Musik nach dem Chaos. Der Schöpfungsmythos der europäischen Vorzeit. Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Innsbruck, Innsbruck 2010, p. 57 ff.
    1. ^ Joaquín Sanmartín, Glossary of Old Syrian [GlOS] Preprint 7: ʔ - x(ḫ). Updated March 2016, p. 240
    2. ^ Bernal, Martin: Black Athena: The archaeological and documentary evidence. Rutgers University Press, 1987, Chapter 7, page 301
    3. ^ Traced back to Adalbert Kuhn, ὠκεανός, in: Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiet des Deutschen, Griechischen und Lateinischen, vol. 9 (1860), 240, who had refined an earlier suggestion by Theodor Benfey.