al- / Indo-European roots



Oldest form probably *h2el-, colored to *h2al-.

Derivatives include alarm, ultimate, else, alien, alibi, parallel.

1. O-grade form *ol- (earlier *h2ol-), "beyond"
a. Compound forms *ol-se-, *ol-so- (*so-, pronominal stem; see so-) alarm, alert, alfresco, alligator, El Niño, hoopla, lagniappe, langue d'oïl, lariat, voilà from Latin ille (feminine illa, neuter illud), "yonder" that, from Archaic Latin ollus;
b. suffixed forms *ol-s, *ol-tero-. outré, ulterior, ultimate, ultra-, utterance2 from Latin uls, *ulter, ultrā, beyond.
2. Suffixed form *al-tero-, "other of two"
a. alter, altercate, alterity, alternate, altruism; subaltern from Latin alter, other, other of two;
b. adulterate, adulterine, adultery from Latin adulterāre, to commit adultery with, pollute, probably from the phrase ad alterum, "(approaching) another (unlawfully)" (ad, to; see ad-);
c. variant suffixed form *an-tero-, "other (of two)" other from Old English ōther, from Germanic *antharaz.
3. Suffixed form *al-eno-. Aranyaka from Sanskrit araṇa-, foreign.
4. Extended form *alyo-, "other of more than two"
a. else; eldritch from Old English el-, elles, else, otherwise, from Germanic *aljaz (with adverbial suffix);
b. alias, alien; alibi, aliquot, hidalgo from Latin alius, other of more than two;
c. allo-; allegory, allelomorph, allelopathy, morphallaxis, parallax, parallel, trophallaxis from Greek allos, other.

[Pokorny 1. al- 24, 2. an 37.]


To grow, nourish.

Derivatives include old, haughty, altitude, enhance, alumnus, coalesce, prolific.

I. Suffixed (participial) form *al-to-, "grown"
1. a. alderman, old from Old English eald, ald, old; b. elder1 from Old English (comparative) ieldra, eldra, older, elder; c. eldest from Old English (superlative) ieldesta, eldesta, eldest; d. Germanic compound *wer-ald- (see wī-ro-). a-d all from Germanic *alda-.
2. alt1, alto, haughty, hawser; altimeter, altiplano, altitude, altocumulus, altostratus, enhance, exalt, hautboy from Latin altus, high ("grown tall"), deep.
II. Suffixed form *al-mo-. alma mater from Latin almus, nurturing, nourishing.
III. Suffixed form *al-o-. adolescent, adult, alible, aliment, alimony, altricial, alumnus; coalesce from Latin alere, to nourish, and alumnus, fosterling, step-child, originally a participle of alere ("being nourished" < *al-o-mno-).
IV. Suffixed (causative) form *ol-eye-. abolish from Latin abolēre, to retard the growth of, abolish (ab-, from; see apo-)
V. Compound form *pro-al- (pro-, forth; see per1) proletarian, proliferous, prolific from Latin prōlēs, offspring.
VI. Extended form *aldh-. althea from Greek althein, althainein, to get well.

[Pokorny 2. al- 26.]



Germanic and Celtic root.
1. Suffixed form *al-na-.
a. all; albeit, already, also, although, always, as1 from Old English all, eall, eal-, al-, all;
b. Althing from Old Norse allr, all. Both a and b from Germanic *allaz.
2. Germanic *ala-, all, in compound *Ala-manniz (see man-1)

[In Pokorny 1. al- 24.]

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