From Proto-Indo-European *sker-, *ker-, *kr̥- ‎(to turn, to bend), changed to *krei- (whence also kreilis ‎(left-hander)), with a suffix -so. The meaning evolved from “bent, crooked” to “not strong, clumsy, weaker, less good,” hence “left (hand),” as opposed to the “good,” “able” right hand. Cognates include Old Prussian crays ‎(hay), craysi ‎(stalk, straw) (presumably from “that which bends, rocks”).[1]




kreiss (def. kreisais, comp. kreisāks, sup. viskreisākais; adv. kreisi)

  1. (usually definite forms) left, left-side (located on the side of the human body that contains the heart)
    kreisā acs, roka, kājaleft eye, hand, foot
    kreisais plecsleft shoulder
  2. (usually definite forms) left, left-side (located on the side (of another living being or object) that is analogous to the human left side)
    suņa kreisā auss — a dog's left ear
    lidmašīnas kreisais spārns — an airplane's left wing
    automobiļa priekšējais kreisais ritenis — the car's left rear wheel
    rakstāmgalda augšēja kreisā atvilkne — the desk's top left drawer
    skatuves kreisā mala — the stage's left side, edge
    upes kreisais krasts — a river's left bank
    iet pa ietves kreiso pusi — to go, walk on the left side of the pavement
    iet uz kreiso pusi — go to the left side
  3. (adverbial form, with pa) on, to the left
    ezers ir pa kreisi — the lake is on the left
    nogriezties pa kreisi — to turn left
  4. (politics) left, left-wing (politically progressive, in favor of social change; revolutionary)
    parlamenta kreisās partijas — the left-wing parties of parliament
    kreisā frakcija, grupaleft-wing fraction, group
    kreisais virziensleft-wing current, tendency
    cik kreiss ir vidējais Latvijas iedzīvotājs?how (much) left-wing is the average inhabitant of Latvia?


Usage notesEdit

This adjective is generally used in its definite forms (kreisais, kreisā, etc.). The indefinite forms do occur as predicates after the verb būt ‎(to be), especially in the political, “left-wing” sense (see examples above).


  • (physical): labais (“right”)
  • (political): labējs (“right-wing”)

Related termsEdit


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