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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 krāsagray color
    gaiši, tumši pelēks — light, dark gray
    zvina pelēks — lead gray
    pelēkas debesisgray sky
    pelēki mākoņi, miglagray cloud(s), mist
  2. gray (having a tone or hue similar to gray when compared to other related elements)
    pelēkais strazdsgray thrush, fieldfare
    pelēkā alvagray tin
    pelēkais čugunsgray cast iron
  3. gray, cloudy
    pelēka diena, pelēks rītsgray day, gray morning
  4. colorless, commonplace, uninteresting, unhealthy
    pelēka ikdienagray (= uninteresting) everyday (life)
    pelēka masagray (= 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      brūns      dzeltens      zaļš      ?      zils      ?
     rozā      oranžs      ?      ?      ?      ?      ?
     violets      ?      melns      pelēks      balts


  1. ^ “pelēks” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN 9984-700-12-7
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