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(index se)


From Proto-Finnic *selvä. Related to Ingrian selvä, Karelian selvä and Votic selvä.


  • IPA(key): /ˈselʋæ/, [ˈs̠e̞lʋæ]
  • Rhymes: -elʋæ
  • Hyphenation: sel‧vä


selvä (comparative selvempi, superlative selvin)

  1. clear (primarily of abstract concepts; see usage notes)
  2. free (unobstructed)
  3. (informal) sober
  4. distinct
  5. plain
  6. obvious
  7. unmistakable
  8. lucid
  9. evident

Usage notesEdit

The words selvä and selkeä are partly synonymous, but there are some distinctive senses as well. A good article (in Finnish) can be found on the issue on the Kotus website. To sum up selkeä is used of things which have an observable structure, e.g. selkeä taivas (“clear sky”) whereas selvä is generally used in abstract contexts, e.g. tehdä selväksi (“to make clear”). There is a wide overlapping area, e.g. a thought may be both selkeä and selvä. Sometimes the difference is a matter of convention, e.g. reitti on selvä means that a route is clear of obstacles and reitti on selkeä means that the route is easy to grasp because it is straightforward or well marked.


Inflection of selvä (Kotus type 10/koira, no gradation)
nominative selvä selvät
genitive selvän selvien
partitive selvää selviä
illative selvään selviin
singular plural
nominative selvä selvät
accusative nom. selvä selvät
gen. selvän
genitive selvän selvien
partitive selvää selviä
inessive selvässä selvissä
elative selvästä selvistä
illative selvään selviin
adessive selvällä selvillä
ablative selvältä selviltä
allative selvälle selville
essive selvänä selvinä
translative selväksi selviksi
instructive selvin
abessive selvättä selvittä
comitative selvine


Derived termsEdit



  1. all right (used to affirm, indicate agreement, or consent).
    Selvä, mennäänpä sitten.
    All right, let's go then.
  2. (radio) roger!