From Proto-Baltic *gleb-, *glab-, *glāb-, from Proto-Indo-European *gelb(ʰ)-, *gleb(ʰ)- (to squeeze while holding), from *gel- (to roll up together, into a ball; round object) with an extra b(ʰ). The semantic evolution was: “to grab, hold in one's hands” > “to keep, to protect (in one's hands)” > “to save (from danger, death).” Cognates include Lithuanian glóbti (to hug, to embrace; to take, to grab for oneself; to cover, to wrap; to save, to help), Old Prussian galbimai (help) (dative), poglabū (he cuddled, hugged), apglobte (little crown sewn with white cloths which young women put on when they had a haircut), Polish głobić (to put a rim on (e.g., a barrel); to squeeze together).[1]




glābt tr., 1st conj., pres. glābju, glāb, glābj, past glābu

  1. to save (to act so as to prevent (someone's) death; to protect (someone) from death)
    glābt slīkstošo‎ ― to save a drowning (person)
    glābt slimo bērnu‎ ― to save a sick child
    glābt dzīvību‎ ― to save (someone's) life
    ievainotais nav vairs glābjams‎ ― the injured (person) can no longer be saved
    Silis saprata, ka viņam nav lemts glābt dēlu‎ ― Silis understood that he was not destined to save (his) son
  2. to save (to cure, to restore to a normal state)
    ārsti mēģināja glābt roku‎ ― the doctors tried to save (the patient's) hand
  3. to save (to prevent harm to something)
    bet mans kuģis? kas jūs pamudināja glābt arī to?‎ ― and (what about) my ship? who will encourage you to save it, too?
    uguns bija ierobežota, sils glābts‎ ― the fire was contained, the pine forest (was) saved
  4. to save (to take action to protect from misfortune, disasters, accidents, etc.; to protect from some unwanted situation, problem)
    glābt dzimteni‎ ― to save (one's) homeland
    glābt no verdzības‎ ― to save (someone) from slavery
    glābt no rājiena‎ ― to save (someone) from a scolding, a reprimand
    ja neglābšu tautu, brāļus no gūsta...‎ ― if I don't save the people, (my) brothers, from captivity...
    Padomju vara atbrīvoja Čukču pussalas tautas,... glāba no izmiršanas‎ ― the Soviets freed the people of the Chukchi peninsula... (and) saved (them) from extinction
  5. to save (to take action to conserve one's honor, fame, reputation, etc.; to avoid dishonor, disgrace, etc.)
    glābt savu labo vārdu‎ ― to save one's good name
    labi, ka vēl ir viena tikumīga meita pasaulē, kas glābj pagasta godu‎ ― good that there still is one virtuous girl in the world that will save the honor of the parish
  6. (figuratively) to save (to protect from something unwanted, undesirable)
    “tie mūs no lietus neglābs”, Ģirts lūkojās bērzos‎ ― “those won't save us from the rain,” Ģirts looked at the birch trees


Derived termsEdit

prefixed verbs:
other derived terms:

Related termsEdit


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), “glābt”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN 9984-700-12-7