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Traditionally derived from pele(mouse) (q.v.), from Proto-Indo-European *pel-(gray, pale), with a suffix -ek, to refer to an inherent quality of mice. But maybe it was derived directly from *pel-, via a previous adjective *pels (whence the verb pelēt(to grow moldy, mildewy) and the dialectal form pelgans(grayish), yielding *pel(e)ks (compare 19th-century family name Peleks); the final vowel would then be lengthened by association with pele(mouse). Cognates include Lithuanian mice gray.[1]


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pelēks (def. pelēkais, comp. pelēkāks, sup. vispelēkākais; adv. pelēki)

  1. gray (having the color of, e.g., ash; white with low brightness)
    pelēka krāsa‎ ― gray color
    gaiši, tumši pelēks‎ ― light, dark gray
    zvina pelēks‎ ― lead gray
    pelēkas debesis‎ ― gray sky
    pelēki mākoņi, migla‎ ― gray cloud(s), mist
  2. gray (having a tone or hue similar to gray when compared to other related elements)
    pelēkais strazds‎ ― gray thrush, fieldfare
    pelēkā alva‎ ― gray tin
    pelēkais čuguns‎ ― gray cast iron
  3. gray, cloudy
    pelēka diena, pelēks rīts‎ ― gray day, gray morning
  4. colorless, commonplace, uninteresting, unhealthy
    pelēka ikdiena‎ ― gray (= uninteresting) everyday (life)
    pelēka masa‎ ― gray (= undifferentiated) mass (of people)
    seja slimniekam kļuvusi pelēka‎ ― the pacient's face turned gray


Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit
Colors in Latvian · krāsas (layout · text)
     sarkans, sārts      zaļš      dzeltens      ?      balts
     {{{crimson}}}      ?      ?      ?      rozā
     ?      zils      oranžs      pelēks      ?
     melns      violets      brūns      ?      ?


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