GR 1157          DEO

H 0341            י ד

Concept of root : needed

Hebrew word


English meanings

י ד


need, sufficient

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


י ד


need, sufficient

d y < d w


δεω, δευω

deo, deuo

to need, lack

d u



Proto-Semitic *DAY > *DAW --- *DEW- Greek



A very brief root indeed, shared by Greek and Hebrew. Both languages in all probability had in origin a root with a D and a W : "* D W ". In Greek this was pronounced with a vowel E and then developed further, either eliminating the W or changing it into a vowel " Ü ". In Hebrew the W or Waw, pronounced O or WO, changed as usual into a Y . A vowel A was than used for better pronunciation.


Mostly Hebrew uses this root to express "sufficiency, covered needs". Our comparison, in looking for a possible common origin with Greek, links a central concept of "necessity, things needed, requirement", to the in Hebrew also present one of "needs to be covered ( Leviticus 25:26)" and the Greek meanings of " various kinds of needes, necessities and wants". A similarity in sound as found in this case can justify a supposition of related origins.



  • Proto-Semitic. Proto-Semitic is considered as having had the same root still in use in Hebrew. It is more probable that it had the predecessor " *D . W ". The root is found with Y in Phoenician and in Aramaic "כ ד א י, kedai= worthy" , but still with W in Syriac "כ ד י, kadu = enough". The initial "K" is a prefix, meaning "like, as". Proto-Semitic probably had "* ד ו, D W".


  • Greek. There are in Greek two verbs "δεω, deo, one meaning "to bind, attach" and the other, as in this entry, "to need" . There are also two verbs "δευω, deuo, one meaning "to make wet" and the other, as in this entry, "to need, lack". For both verbs with the message of "need, lack", the supposed root is "*δευσ, deus". We are not so certain about the " S ". The " S " is found in the conjugations of Future and Aorist, which is a very common thing. We rather see a root "*δευ , D EU-".


  • Indo-European. Besides Greek, we have found no evidence that would allow a hypothesis for Indo-European. We would gladly believe in the existing hypothesis of "D Ē W Ĕ-, but the supporting evidence is too limited. Old Indian "dutsyati= to become bad, corrupted" and "dotsa- = vice, fault, deficiency" is too distant and of different origin in message. The Germanic hypothesized "*tiu-n- = injury, harm" , on the basis of it descendants, like Old Frisian "tiona = damage" and Old Saxon "tiono = injustice, evilness" rather should mean "damage, injustice", which anyhow remains as far off as the other hypothesis. We are forced to limit the comparison to Greek and Semitic.






Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 17/10/2012 at 16.58.24