From Middle Welsh keuen, from Proto-Celtic *kebno- (back), related to Breton kein (back), Cornish keyn (back), Gaulish Cebenna (ridge, height) (whence French Cévennes).



cefn m (plural cefnau or cefnoedd)

  1. back, rear; (figuratively) support, second; body as needing clothing, etc.
  2. support, ridge; butt of ploughed land between two parallel furrows; opening furrows of such a butt; (biblical) furlong; vertical fissure or fault in a rock
    1. garden bed
  3. middle, centre

Derived termsEdit


Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
cefn gefn nghefn chefn
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.


  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950-), “cefn”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies