List of Greek words with English derivatives

related topics
{god, call, give}
{disease, patient, cell}
{theory, work, human}
{language, word, form}
{math, energy, light}
{acid, form, water}
{specie, animal, plant}
{church, century, christian}
{@card@, make, design}
{island, water, area}
{food, make, wine}
{album, band, music}
{son, year, death}
{film, series, show}
{woman, child, man}
{ship, engine, design}
{math, number, function}
{black, white, people}
{government, party, election}
{system, computer, user}
{city, large, area}
{school, student, university}
{game, team, player}
{war, force, army}
{town, population, incorporate}

This is a list of Greek words with derivatives in English. The words are in Greek alphabetic order, with tables for the 24 Greek letters, listing thousands of related English words.


There are considerable differences between the various transliterations used to represent the Greek alphabet in English. The table in the sidebar shows:

  • The "traditional" transliteration, in other words that used in Latin, representing classical Greek: this is the form in which most Greek words have made their way into English
  • A "classical" transliteration, commonly used to represent more accurately the pronunciation of Ancient Greek, although traditional forms are rarely used.
  • The "modern" transliteration often used for Modern Greek — see Transliteration of Greek into English for some variations.

Rough breathing was represented in some Greek dialects by an [h] while in others, the [h] represented the vowel eta (the origin of the sign is thought to be the left-hand half ( ├ ) of the letter H): a rough breathing over an initial vowel or diphthong – ἁ ἑ ἡ ἱ ὁ ὑ ὡ – indicates that the word was pronounced with an initial h, and a smooth breathingἀ ἐ ἠ ἰ ὀ ὐ ὠ – indicates the absence of an h, but this has since disappeared in speech, and Modern Greek omits the breathings. An initial upsilon (υ) always had the rough breathing – – hence hy is very common at the start of words derived from Greek, but no (or very few) such words start with y.

The letter rho (ρ) at the start of a word always had the rough breathing – – and is transliterated rh. If a rho was geminated within a word, the first ρ always had the smooth breathing and the second the rough breathing – ῤῥ – leading to the transiliteration rrh.

In ancient Greek, gamma was used to represent nu before a khi, ksi, kappa and another gamma. On this list, where this occurs, the word is listed as if the gamma were in fact a nu.

For a fuller discussion of these matters, see the Greek alphabet.

Note: the distinction between the rough and smooth breathings as shown above may not be very clear on certain browsers.

Greek words with modern derivatives

The citation form shown is the form most commonly shown in dictionaries, but this form is often unrepresentative of the word as used to form a compound word, hence the Root form is also shown. In the case of verbs, the citation form is often by convention the first person singular, present indicative, (cf Latin), for instance φάγω (phagō), "I eat", rather than the infinitive ("to eat"). The Greek forms are generally in their true root form; i.e., a noun or verb derived from an earlier form will appear under the earlier form.

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