wer- / Indo-European roots


To raise, lift, hold suspended.

Oldest form *h2wer-.
1. Basic form *awer-. aorta, arsis, arterio-, arteriole, artery; meteor from Greek āeirein, to raise, and artēriā, windpipe, artery.
2. Possibly from this root is Greek āēr, air (from an obscure basic form *āwer-) aerial, aero-, air, aria; malaria
3. Zero-grade form *aur-. aura from Greek aurā, breath, vapor (related to Greek āēr, air; see 2 above).

[Pokorny 1. u̯er- 1150.]


Conventional base of various Indo-European roots; to turn, bend.

Derivatives include stalwart, weird, vertebra, wrath, wrong, wrestle, briar1, rhapsody, worm.

I. Root *wert-, to turn, wind.
1. Germanic *werth-. a. (i) -ward from Old English -weard, toward (< "turned toward"); (ii) inward from Old English inweard, inward, from Germanic *inwarth, inward (*in, in; see en). Both (i) and (ii) from Germanic variant *warth; b. perhaps Germanic derivative *werthaz, "toward, opposite" hence "equivalent, worth" worth1; stalwart from Old English weorth, worth, valuable, and derivative noun weorth, wierth, value.
2. worth2 from Old English weorthan, to befall, from Germanic *werthan, to become (< "to turn into").
3. Zero-grade form *wr̥t-. weird from Old English wyrd, fate, destiny (< "that which befalls one"), from Germanic *wurthi-.
4. versatile, verse1, version, versus, vertebra, vertex, vertigo, vortex; adverse, anniversary, avert, bouleversement, controversy, converse1, convert, dextrorse, divert, evert, extrorse, extroversion, extrovert, introrse, introvert, invert, malversation, obvert, peevish, pervert, prose, retrorse, revert, sinistrorse, subvert, tergiversate, transverse, universe from Latin vertere, to turn, with its frequentative versāre, to turn, and passive versārī, to stay, behave (< "to move around a place, frequent").
5. verst from Russian versta, line, from Balto-Slavic *wirstā-, a turn, bend.
II. Root *wreit-, to turn. a. wreath from Old English writha, band (< "that which is wound around"); b. writhe from Old English wrīthan, to twist, torture; c. wrath, wroth from Old English wrāth, angry (< "tormented, twisted"). a-c all from Germanic *wrīth-, *wraith-..
III. Root *wergh-, to turn.
1. worry from Old English wyrgan, to strangle, from Germanic *wurgjan.
2. Nasalized variant *wrengh-. a. wring from Old English wringan, to twist, from Germanic *wreng-; b. (i) wrong from Middle English wrong, wrong, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse *vrangr, rangr, curved, crooked, wrong; (ii) wrangle from Middle English wranglen, to wrangle, from a Low German source akin to wrangeln, to wrestle. Both (i) and (ii) from Germanic *wrang-..
IV. Root *werg-, to turn.
1. Nasalized variant form *wreng-. a. wrench from Old English wrencan, to twist; b. wrinkle from Old English gewrinclian, to wind (ge-, collective prefix; see kom). Both a and b from Germanic *wrankjan.
2. verge2; converge, diverge from Latin vergere, to turn, tend toward.
V. Root *wreik-, to turn.
1. a. wry; awry from Old English wrīgian, to turn, bend, go; b. wriggle from Middle Low German wriggeln, to wriggle. Both a and b from Germanic *wrīg-.
2. a. wrist from Old English wrist, wrist; b. gaiter from Old French guietre, gaiter, from Frankish *wrist-. Both a and b from Germanic *wristiz, from *wrihst-.
3. wrest, wrestle from Old English wrǣstan, to twist, from secondary Germanic derivative *wraistjan.
4. Possibly from this root are European words for heather. a. hypericin1, brusque from Greek ereikē, tree heath (exact preform uncertain);; b. Possibly o-grade form *wroik-. briar1, brusque from Late Latin brūcus, heather, from Gaulish *brūko-.
VI. ribald from Old High German rīban, to rub, copulate, from Germanic root *wrib-.
VII. Root *werb-, also *werbh-, to turn, bend.
1. warp from Old English weorpan, to throw away, from Germanic *werp-, *warp-, "to fling by turning the arm"
2. reverberate from Latin verber, whip, rod.
3. verbena, vervain from Latin verbēna, sacred foliage.
4. Zero-grade form *wr̥b-. rhabdomancy, rhabdovirus from Greek rhabdos, rod.
5. Nasalized variant form *wrembh-. rhombus from Greek rhombos, magic wheel, rhombus.
VIII. Root *werp-, to turn, wind.
1. Metathesized form *wrep-. wrap from Middle English wrappen, to wrap, from a source akin to Danish dialectal vravle, to wind, from Germanic *wrap-.
2. Zero-grade form *wr̥p-. raphe, raphide; rhapsody; staphylorrhaphy, tenorrhaphy from Greek rhaptein, to sew.
IX. Root *wr̥mi-, worm; rhyme word to kwr̥mi-
1. worm from Old English wyrm, worm, from Germanic *wurmiz.
2. vermeil, vermi-, vermicelli, vermicular, vermin from Latin vermis, worm.

[Pokorny 3. u̯er- 1152.]


To perceive, watch out for.

Derivatives include wary, lord, reward, guard, panorama.

I. O-grade form *wor-.
1. Suffixed form *wor-o-. a. wary from Old English wær, watchful; b. aware from Old English gewær, aware (ge-, collective and intensive prefix; see kom); c. ware2 from Old English warian, to beware. a-c all from Germanic *waraz.
2. Suffixed form wor-to-. a. (i) ward; lord, steward from Old English weard, a watching, keeper; (ii) warder2 from Old English weardian, to ward, guard; b. warden; award, reward, wardrobe from Old North French warder, to guard; c. guard; garderobe, regard from Old French guarder, to guard; d. rearward2 from Anglo-Norman warde, guard. a-d all from Germanic *wardaz, guard, and *wardōn, to guard.
3. ware1 from Old English waru, goods, protection, guard, from Germanic *warō.
4. Suffixed form *wor-wo-. Arcturus, pylorus from Greek ouros, a guard.
5. Probably variant *(s)wor-, *s(w)or-. ephor, panorama from Greek horān, to see.
II. Suffixed (stative) form *wer-ē-. revere1 from Latin verērī, to respect, feel awe for.

[Pokorny 8. u̯er- 1164.]


To cover.

Derivatives include overt, cover, warranty, garage, garrison, garnish.

I. Basic form *wer-.
1. weir from Old English wer, dam, fish trap, from Germanic *wer-jōn-.
2. Compound form *ap-wer-yo- (*ap-, off, away; see apo-) aperient, apéritif, aperture; overt, overture, pert from Latin aperīre, to open, uncover.
3. Compound form *op-wer-yo- (*op-, over; see epi) cover, operculum; kerchief from Latin operīre, to cover.
4. Suffixed form *wer-tro-. ambarella, wat from Sanskrit vāṭaḥ, enclosure, from lengthened-grade derivative *vārt(r)a-.
II. O-grade form *wor-.
1. warn from Old English *war(e)nian, to take heed, warn, from Germanic *war-nōn.
2. a. (i) guaranty from Old French garant, warrant, authorization; (ii) warrant, warrantee, warranty from Old North French warant, warrant, and warantir, to guarantee; b. garage from Old French garer, to guard, protect; c. garret, garrison from Old French g(u)arir, to defend, protect; d. warren from Old North French warenne, enclosure, game preserve; e. garment, garnish, garniture from Old French g(u)arnir, to equip. a-e all from Germanic *war-.
3. Suffixed form *wor-o-. a. Germanic *warōn-, protector, in compound *burg-warōn- (see bhergh-2); b. salwar from Old Iranian compound *šara-vāra-, thigh-covering (*šara-, thigh); c. barbican from Old Iranian compound *pari-vāraka-, protective (*pari-, around; see per1).

[Pokorny 5. u̯er- 1160.]


To speak.

Oldest form *werh1-, with variant *wreh1-, becoming *wrē-.
1. Suffixed zero-grade form *wr̥-dho-. word from Old English word, word, from Germanic *wurdam.
2. Suffixed form *wer-dho-. verb, verve; adverb, proverb from Latin verbum, word.
3. Suffixed form *wer-yo-. irony from Greek eirein, to say, speak.
4. Variant form *wrē-.
a. Suffixed form *wrē-tor-. rhetor from Greek rhētōr, public speaker;
b. suffixed form *wrē-mn̥. rheme from Greek rhēma, word.

[Pokorny 6. u̯er- 1162.]

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