See also: Gäist



The origin of this word is unclear. If, as has been proposed, gaist is connected to dialectal Latvian atgaiša, atgaišis (wind blow; windy place), then its original meaning could have been “to blow, to breathe,” perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *(s)gʷes- (to extinguish, to quench) (whence also Latvian dzēst “to extinguish, to quench”; q.v.): its length grade *gʷēs- would become *gʷeys-, with o grade *gʷoys-, from which Proto-Balto-Slavic *gais- “to blow” → “to disappear with the wind,” “to vanish.” Another suggestion links gaist to ģībt (to faint); yet another, to Latin haereō (to cling, to adhere). Cognates include Lithuanian gaĩšti (to linger, to hesitate; to perish, to die; to vanish, to disappear).[1]





  1. 3rd person singular present indicative form of gaist
  2. 3rd person plural present indicative form of gaist
  3. (with the particle lai) 3rd person singular imperative form of gaist
  4. (with the particle lai) 3rd person plural imperative form of gaist

gaist intr., 1st conj., pres. gaistu, gaisti, gaist, past gaisu

  1. (in the 3rd person; of smoke, gases, etc.) to dissipate (to disappear into the surrounding environment)
    migla gaistthe fog is dissipating
    smaržas gaistthe odor is dissipating
    melni dūmu kamoli, veldamies no augstiem dūmeņiem, risinās un gaistot izsēj sīkas kvēpu pārsliņas Daugavas ūdeņosblack balls of smoke, forming from high chimneys, rose and (while) dissipating sowed tiny flakes of soot on the waters of the Daugava (river)
    (iz)gaist kā dūmi, kā miglait dissipates like smoke, like fog (i.e., it doesn't last long)
    vecie parādi jāmaksā, nodokļus piedzen, bet vieglā peļņa izgaisusi kā dūmiold debts must be paid, taxes are collected, and easy profits dissipate (= vanish) like smoke
  2. to disappear in the distance, to become gradually undistinguishable from one's surroundings as one moves away, or because of darkness, fog, etc.
    gaist skatienamto disappear from sight
    dzērves gaist debesu tālēthe cranes (birds) disappear in the distant sky
    atvados un lēnām gaistuI take leave and slowly disappear
    ārā snieg; krīt lielas un smagas pārslas... sniega ņirboņā gaist tumšās eglesit is snowing outside; big, heavy flakes are falling... the dark fir trees disappear in the abundant snow
  3. (chemistry, in the 3rd person; of volatile substances) to evaporate (to become vapor and disappear in the surrounding environment)
    ēteris viegli gaistether evaporates easily (= is volatile)
    gaistošas vielasvolatile substances
    ir divas fitoncīdu grupas: gaistošā frakcija, tas ir, vielas, kuras augs izdala atmosfērā...; un negaistošā frakcija: vielas, kas atrodas šūnsulāthere are two groups of phytoncides: the volatile group, which the plant releases into the atmosphere...; and the non-volatile group: substances present in the vegetable sap
  4. (in the 3rd person; of mental or physiological states) to wear off, to fade, to recede, to disappear, to end
    nemiers, dusmas gaistthe anxiety, the anger is disappearing
    nogurums gaistthe fatigue is disappearing
    mīlestība ir gaisusilove has dissipated, disappeared
    bēdas gaistthe grief is disappearing
    atmiņas gaistthe memories are fading
    nodomi gaistthe intention is weakening
    ilūzijas gaistthe illusions are wearing off
    daiļums gaistbeauty fades, disappears
    sejā gaist smaidsthe smile is fading on (his) face
    kā viļņi krastmalā pret klinšu pleciem sadrūp, tā mani sapņi gaist; bet pašam nav, kur bēgtlike waves crumbling against the rocks on the coast, so my dreams fade; and I don't have anywhere to flee
    tik labi un viegli bija viņas tuvumā, ka viss bijušais gaisa kā nebijisso good and comfortable it was (to be) near her that everything that was (= existed) disappeared as if it had not been (= existed)
  5. (in the 3rd person; of light or darkness) to fade, to disappear (to stop shining)
    ēnas gaistthe shadows disappear
    krēsla gaistthe dawn is fading
    var nodzēst liesmu; un kvēle gaistone can extinguish the flame; and then the glow fades, disapppears
  6. (in the 3rd person; of sounds) to fade, to fall gradually silent
    dziesma gaist tālumāthe song fades in the distance
    gaistoša melodijafading melody
  7. (in th 3rd person; of time, time periods) to go by, to disappear
    dienas ātri gaistthe days go quickly by
    pagātne gaistthe past goes by, fades, disappears
    vai tādi mirkļi aizmirstībā gaist? — do such (beautiful) moments fade into oblivion?
    ai gadi, kādēļ jūs gaistat, kādēļ tik ātri jums skriet?oh, years, why do you go by, why do you have to run so fast?


Derived termsEdit


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