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Old NorseEdit


From Proto-Germanic *ilhilaz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁elk-. The comparative and superlative degrees are taken from the Proto-Germanic adjective *ubilaz (whence English evil), but are themselves from yet another origin, possibly from Proto-Indo-European *wers-.


illr (comparative verr, superlative verst)

  1. evil, bad
  2. hard, difficult
  3. close, mean, stingy


This word seems to have a suppletive inflection, using another root in the comparative and superlative forms, than in the positive form.

Related termsEdit


  • Icelandic: illur
  • Faroese: illur
  • Norwegian Bokmål: ille
  • Westrobothnian: il
  • Old Swedish: ilder, īller
  • Danish: ilde
  • Middle English: ille


  • illr in Geir T. Zoëga (1910) A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, Oxford: Clarendon Press