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This Proto-Indo-European entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.


Alternative reconstructionsEdit


This noun is usually reconstructed with the initial *h₁ and thus explained as active participle of the verb *h₁ed- (to eat). However, Aeolic ἔδοντες (édontes) appears to be a folk-etymological adaptation to ἔδω (édō), and the initial ἔ- is hence no evidence for *h₁-. Old Armenian ատամն (atamn) also points to *h₃-, as well as a prefixed Greek derivative νωδός (nōdós), which requires *n̥-h₃d- (where */h₃/ was regularly vocalized to ό in interconsonantal position). Thus, the word is ultimately an active participle of the root *h₃ed- (to bite) +‎ *-ónts.


*h₃dónts m (oblique stem *h₃dn̥t-)[2][3]

  1. tooth


Athematic, hysterokinetic
nominative *h₃dónts
genitive *h₃dn̥tés
singular dual plural
nominative *h₃dónts *h₃dónth₁(e) *h₃dóntes
vocative *h₃dónt *h₃dónth₁(e) *h₃dóntes
accusative *h₃dóntm̥ *h₃dónth₁(e) *h₃dóntm̥s
genitive *h₃dn̥tés *? *h₃dn̥tóHom
ablative *h₃dn̥tés *? *h₃dn̥tmós
dative *h₃dn̥téy *? *h₃dn̥tmós
locative *h₃dónt, *h₃dónti *? *h₃dn̥tsú
instrumental *h₃dn̥téh₁ *? *h₃dn̥tbʰí


  • Armenian: *ataman
  • Balto-Slavic:
    • Lithuanian: dantìs
    • Old Prussian: dantis
    • Slavic: *dęsna, *dęsno, *dęslo "gum" < PIE *h₃dón- + Slavic *-sno- (*-slo- is by dissimilation from earlier *-sno-) (see there for further descendants)
  • Celtic: *dantom (see there for further descendants)
  • Germanic: *tanþs (see there for further descendants)
  • Hellenic: *odónts (see there for further descendants)
  • Indo-Iranian: *Hdánts (oblique stem: *Hdát) (see there for further descendants)
  • Italic: *dents (see there for further descendants)


  1. ^ Ringe, Don (2006) From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic, Oxford University Press
  2. ^ Kroonen, Guus (2013) Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill
  3. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “dēns”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, pages 166-167