Originally the reflexive form of an archaic verb censt, from Proto-Baltic *kensti, from *kent-ti, from Proto-Indo-European *ken- with an extra t, meaning “to try hard, to strive for, to hurry” from an earlier “to rise, to stretch.” The meaning of censties would thus have evolved from “to stretch oneself” to “to make an effort, to strive for.” Note, in addition to the standard forms with š (cenšos < *kentyuos), there are also dialectal forms with t (centos) and with s (censos), which explains why, alongside standard derived forms centīgs, centība, there are also parallel forms like censīgs, sacensība and censonis.[1]




censties refl., 1st conj., pres. cenšos, centies, cenšas, past centos

  1. to strive for, to endeavor (to make efforts to, to insist on, doing something)
    censties saprastto make an effort, to strive to understand
    censties kādu panāktto strive to catch up with someone
    visiem spēkiem censties sasniegt mērķito make all efforts to reach (one's) goals
    Rūdis gulēja aizvērtām acīm un centās iemigt, skaitīdams līdz simtam un atpakaļRūdis lay down with closed eyes and tried hard to fall asleep, counting up to a hundred and back
    nē, viņa nevēlējās samierināties ar savas dzīves ēnām, nespēja un arī necentās atrast attaisnojumu Fēliksa Vildes rīcībaino, she did not want to be satisfied with their life's shadows, she couldn't and also didn't make an effort to find an excuse for Fēlikss Vilde's actions



Derived termsEdit

prefixed verbs:

Related termsEdit


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “censties”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN