E 0603          (TO) MOVE

The verb " to move " is, via Norman- and Old French, of Latin origin .

H 0619         ש ו מ

Concept of root : moving off

Hebrew word


English meanings

ש ו מ

mosh; *mowèsh

to move off, away;

moving off, away

Related English words

to move, from Latin

Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


ש ו מ



to move off, away; moving  off, away

m (o) w sh




to move

m (o) v




to move

m (uo) v




to move

m (ou) v


to move

to move

m (o) v



Hebrew MOVÈSH --- *MOV- Indo-European



The Hebrew verb is both transitive and intransitive, so it says "to move away (go away)" as well as "to move off something". The Latin verb is only transitive. For the intransitive meaning of "to move oneself" it uses the reflexive form.


Two forms of Hebrew are shown here, as the participle (today used as a nominative present tense ), sounds nearer to Latin by the use of the vowel O.


The root in Hebrew has as middle consonant the Waw, W, perhaps also with a pronunciation of the word as "MOSH", that in modern Hebrew has become MASH ( מ ש, mash ) with the abolition of the Waw. It has anyhow a final consonant "SH" that is not found in the Indo-European languages.



  • Latin and Romance. Development never ends. The key-factor is the W-sound, that changes into other consonants like V or F, but frequently into vowels, O or U. And it also diphthongues as is seen here in Latin and Italian. Latin has diphthongued the original W into OV.


    This is maintained in Spanish and Portuguese "mover". But Italian goes further and makes UOV, with the pronunciation of V between W and and that of U between U and W. So the full pronunciation lies somewhere betweem MUOVERE and MOWERE. Just listen to Italians speaking well their language and the thing becomes clear.


    The French changed the first part into "mouv- ", but pronounce this as "muv-". In further flexions of the verb we often see the V abolished, like in English "motion" and "motive" . Latin also contracted a composite word "movibilis" into "mobilis", which we find in English "automobile". This last word is a lovely combination of Greek "auto (self)" and Latin "mobilis (that can move)". The original Latin root probably had "*M O V-".


  • Greek has words that are considered related to Latin "movere", but one does not see that relationship immediately, as the meanings have shifted somewhat. They are "αμευομαι , ameuomai = to surpass" and "αμειβω , ameibo = to change (in many senses); to displace, move oneself ". The root of "ameibo" is clearly seen as not having had a W, but a B or P, with the sounds B between vowels and the sound PS if combined with S. On the other hand "ameuomai" comes from a basic "*"αμευω , ameuo". This active verb may have meant exactly "to (make) move (from one place to another)".


    The range of messages of "ameibo" can be divided in two groups, one about "change", in general the other about various changes of place, as "to pass, cross, pass through, enter, leave" This gives support to the general opinion that supposes a common origin with Latin "movere" . This word has, like Hebrew here, its origin not in "changing" but in "moving". And "moving" causes a change, but most human actions do so. The probable original Greek root would have "*(A) M E U-", in which the "A" is a prefix that can be defined either neutral or confirming.


  • Proto-Semitic. We have limited information from other Semitic languages . Akkadian "mashu = not to care for" as well as Hebrew "mashà = to draw " are seen as related to the verb of this entry. Anyhow the form "mosh" itself is old and together with the existing of composed verbs this justifies a hypothesis of a Proto-Semitic "* מ ו ש , M W SH, mosh".


  • Indo-European. Old Indian has "mīvati = moves, shoves, pushes". In other forms ons sees a "U" in front of consonants instead of the "V" before a vowel. The root is "M Ī U/V-". It is used also in figurative sense.


    On the basis of Greek, Latin and Old Indian an Indo-European "*M O U/V-" can be supposed.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 10/11/2012 at 10.31.41