Sanskrit Glossary and Index

 

Each entry word is given a simple translation (”in quotes” where it is literal); followed by a brief description, and lesson references to where the word may be more fully described or applied.

 
A-kāra

The sound or letter a.

3.A


A-ghoṣa

Unvoiced: characteristic of those consonants that are uttered with the vocal cores not vibrating.

2.A.2  ·  2.A.3  ·  9.A.4


Aṅga

Stem: that part of an inflected word that remains unchanged (except for sandhi) in the process of inflection.

1.B.2


An-udātta

“Not raised”: one of the three pitches or tones (svara) of the vowel accent system of Vedic Sanskrit.

9.A.1


Anunāsika

Nasal: characteristic of those sounds uttered through both nose and mouth.

2.A.2  ·  2.A.3  ·  9.A.4


Anubandha

“Bound along with”: a letter or syllable attached to a dhātu and marking some peculiarity in its inflection.

15.3


Anusvāra

“After sound”

  1. A nasal sound following a svara.

    1.A.7

  2. Sandhi substitute for an m before a consonant.

    8.A.3  ·  11.A.2


Antaḥstha

“Stand between”: General name for the semi-vowels ya ra la va.

3.A.1  ·  10.A.3


Artha

“Meaning”: the word(s) provided in the Dhātu-Pāṭha as the sense of the meaning of a dhātu.

15


Ardha-spṛṣṭa

“half-contact”: the “inner effort” applicable to the ūṣman consonants śa ṣa sa and ha.

3.A.2  ·  3.A.3


A-luk Samāsa

A samāsa wherein the first word does not lose its vibhakti.

10.B.1


Alpa-prāṇa

“Little breath”: characteristic of those consonants uttered with minimal breath.

2.A.2  ·  2.A.3  ·  9.A.4


Avagraha

Symbol for the elision of at the beginning of a word due to sandhi.

8.A.1  ·  10.A.3


Avasāna

Cessation of sound, e.g. at the end of a line of verse.

11.A.1  ·  11.A.2


Avyaya

Indeclinable: that class of words that do not have vibhakti ending.

1.B.2  ·  9.B.1


Avyayībhāva Samāsa

An adverbial compound, the first word of which is the more important.

10.B.1  ·  11.B.3


Aṣṭan

Eight: the cardinal number; the figure eight.

8.A.4


Ātmane-pada

“Expression for oneself”: verbal voice.

3.B.1  ·  14.2  ·  15.4


Ātmane-bhāṣā

“Expression for oneself”: verbal voice, synonymous with ātmane-pada.

15.4


Ābhyantara-prayatna

“Inner effort”: the method (within the mouth) of articulating sounds.

2.A  ·  9.A.4


Itaretara Dvandva Samāsa

The basic copulative compound whose number is the sum of its members.

11.B.1  ·  15.3


Iti

“Thus”: used as inverted commas1, or separating a word from its definition.

9.B.2


Īṣat-spṛṣṭa

“Slight contact”: the “inner effort” applicable to the semivowels ya ra la and va.

3.A.1  ·  9.A.4


Īṣad-vivṛta

“Slightly open”: the “inner effort” applicable to the ūṣman consonants śa ṣa sa and

3.A.2  ·  9.A.4


Uttama-Puruṣa

“Last person”: grammatical person, distinction in verb endings denoting the agent of the verb (equivalent to the English first person).

1.B.2


Udātta

“Raised”: one of the three pitches or tones (svara) of the vowel accent system in Vedic Sanskrit.

9.A.1  ·  12.1


Upadhmānīya

The rare half visarga before pa or pha.

3.A.2  ·  8.A.1


Upapada Tatpuruṣa Samāsa

Determinative compound having a dhātu derivative as its final member.

11.B.2


Upasarga

Verbal prefix

  1. A prefix to verbs to qualify or change its meaning.

    7.B.1

  2. One of the four types of words.

    9.B.1


Ubhayato-bhāṣā

“Expression for both”: verbal voice, dhātu conjugation in parasmai-bhāṣā or ātmane-bhāṣā.

15.4


Ūṣman

“Heated”: general name for the group of four consonants śa, ṣa, sa, and ha.

3.A.2  ·  3.A.3  ·  9.A.4


Eka

One: the cardinal number; the figure one.

8.A.4


Eka-vacana

“One-speaking”: grammatical singular number; the word suffix denoting that one person or thing is referred to. See also dvi-vacana and bahu-vacana.

2.B.1  ·  3.B.2


Eka-śruti

“Single hearing”: the neutral sound of Classical Sanskrit, as contrasted with the tonal accent (svara) system of Vedic Sanskrit.

9.A.1


Oṣṭhya

Labial: the mouth position used with the pronunciation of u, pa-varga, and va.

2.A.1  ·  3.A.4  ·  9.A.4


Kaṇṭhatālavya

Guttural and palatal: the mouth position associated with the pronunciation of e and ai.

2.A.1  ·  9.A.4


Kaṇṭhoṣṭhya

Guttural and labial: the mouth position associated with the ponunciation of o and au.

2.A.1  ·  9.A.4


Kaṇṭhya

Guttural: the mouth position associated with the pronunciation of a, ka-varga, and ha.

2.A.1  ·  3.A.4  ·  9.A.4


Kartṛ

The agent of the verb, expressed in prathamā with an active verb, or tṛtīyā with a passive verb.

6.B.1


Karmadhāraya Tatpuruṣa Samāsa

Determinative compound which, if dissolved, the members would have the same case ending.

11.B.2


Karman

The immediate object of the agent, expressed in dvitīyā with an active verb, or prathamā with a passive verb.

6.B.1


Ka-varga

ka-group: the group of stops beginning with ka, i.e. ka kha ga gha ṅa.

2.A.2  ·  8.A.2


-kāra

“Action”: suffix appended to a Sanskrit letter / sound to name it, e.g. ka-kāra.

3.A


Kriyā

Verb

  1. Fully inflected form of the verb.

    1.B.2

  2. One of the four types of word.

    9.B.1


Kriyā-viśeṣaṇa

Adverb: an indeclinable that qualifies as a verb.

See and 9.B.1


Kṣa

Pronunciation.

7.A.4


Gaṇa

“Class”: there are ten classes of dhātu.

2.B.1  ·  15.2  ·  15.4


Guṇa

“Quality”: the secondary form of vowels.

10.A.2  ·  13.6


Ghoṣa

Voiced: a characteristic of those consonants that are uttered with the vocal cords vibrating.

2.A.2  ·  2.A.3  ·  9.A.4


Catur

Four: the cardinal number; the figure four.

8.A.4


Caturthī Vibhakti

Fourth case: dative affix of nouns and adjectives.

4.B.2  ·  6.B.3

Candrabindu ँ

“Moon-dot”: the symbol placed above a vowel or ya la or va to indicate that the sound is nasalized.

8.A.1


Ca-varga

ca-group: the group of stops beginning with ca, i.e. ca cha ja jha ña.

2.A.2  ·  8.A.2


Jihvāmūlīya

A rare half-visarga before ka or kha.

3.A.2  ·  8.A.1


Jña

Pronunciation.

7.A.5


Ṭa-varga

ṭa-group: the group of stops beginning with ṭa, i.e. ṭa ṭha ḍa ḍha ṇa.

2.A.2  ·  8.A.2


Tatpuruṣa Samāsa

Determinative compound in which the first word qualifies the second.

10.B.1


Ta-varga

ta-group: the group of stops beginning with ta, i.e. ta tha da dha na.

2.A.2  ·  8.A.2


Tālavya

Palatal: the mouth position associated with the pronunciation of i, ca-varga, ya, and śa.

2.A.1  ·  3.A.4  ·  9.A.4


Tiṅ-Vibhakti

Verbal suffix: the suffix of the kriyā indicating puruṣa and vacana.

1.B.2  ·  4.B.2


Tṛtīyā Vibhakti

Third case: instrumental suffix to nouns and adjectives.

4.B.2  ·  6.B.3


Tri

Three: the cardinal number; the figure three.

8.A.4


Dantoṣṭhya

Dental and labial: the mouth position associated with the pronunciation of the English “f” and “v”.

2.A.3  ·  3.A.1


Dantya

Dental: the mouth position associated with the pronunciation of , ta-varga, la, and sa.

2.A.1  ·  3.A.4  ·  9.A.4


Daśan

Ten: the cardinal number; the figure ten.

8.A.4


Dīrgha

“Long”: the long measure, or vowels having the measure.

1.A.1  ·  1.A.6


Devanāgarī

“City of immortals”

  1. The name of the Sanskrit script.

    1.A

  2. Variations in symbols.

    9.A.2

  3. Used in dictionary.

    12.2


Dva

Two: the cardinal number; the figure two.

8.A.4


Dvandva Samāsa

Copualtive compound: a type of compound in which the words are of equal importance.

10.B.1  ·  11.B.1


Dvigu Tatpuruṣa Samāsa

A determinative compound having a numeral or word denoting direction as its first member.

11.B.2


Dvitīyā Vibhakti

Second case: accusative affix to nouns and adjectives.

3.B.2  ·  6.B.3


Dvi-vacana

“Two-speaking”: grammatical dual number; the word suffix denoting that two persons or things are referred to. See also eka-vacana and bahu-vacana.

2.B.1  ·  3.B.2


Dhātu

Root: rudimentary meaningful verbal element from which words are derived.

1.B.1  ·  12.3  ·  14.1  ·  14.2  ·  15.1  ·  15.4


Dhātu-Pāṭha

“Recitation of roots”: name of a book giving the sense of meaning and grammatical information about each dhātu.

See Lesson 15


Nañ-Tatpuruṣa Samāsa

Determinative compound with a negative particle as its first member.

11.B.2


Napuṃsāka-liṅga

Neuter: one of the three grammatical genders.

3.B.2  ·  6.B.2


Navan

Nine: the cardinal number; the figure nine.

8.A.4


Nāma-dhātu

Nominal verb: a verb derived from a noun.

9.B.1


Nāman

“Name”: a noun, one of the four types of word in Sanskrit.

9.B.1


Nipāta

Particle: one of the four types of word in Sanskrit.

9.B.1


Pañcan

Five: the cardinal number; the figure five.

8.A.4


Pañcamī Vibhakti

Fifth case: ablative suffix to nouns and adjectives.

4.B.2


Pada

Word

  1. Traditionally divided into four types.

    9.B.1

  2. General name for a fully inflected word.

    11.A.1

  3. Verbal voice, see also ātmane-pada and parasmai-pada.

    3.B.1  ·  14.2  ·  15.4


Parasmai-pada

Expression for another: verbal voice.

3.B.1  ·  14.2  ·  15.4


Parasmai-bhāṣā

Expression for another: verbal voice, synonymous with parasmai-pada.

15.4


Pa-varga

pa-group: the group of stops beginning with pa, i.e. pa pha ba bha ma.

2.A.2  ·  8.A.2


Pāṇini

A grammarian (circa 350 b.c.) whose work, the Aṣṭādhyāyī, fully describes the grammar of Sanskrit in minute detail. No other language, to this day, has been so perfectly described.

10.A.2  ·  15.5


Puṃ-liṅga

Masculine: one of the three grammatical genders.

3.B.2  ·  6.B.2  ·  8.B.1


Puruṣa

“Person”: grammatical person, distinction in verbal suffix denoting the person or thing spoken of (prathama-puruṣa), spoken to (madhyama-puruṣa), and the person speaking (uttama-puruṣa).


Pūrṇa-virāma ( )

Full stop: indicates the end of a verse or end of a paragraph.

8.A.1


Pragṛhya

“To be taken separately”: exceptions to sandhi rules.

10.A.4


Praṇava Śabda

A name applied to the mystical symbol .

8.A.1


Pratyaya

Suffix: general name for any type of suffix.

10.B.1


Prathama-Puruṣa

“First person”: grammatical person, distinction in verbal suffix denoting the person or thing spoken of (equivalent to the English third person).

1.B.2


Prathamā Vibhakti

First case

  1. Nominative suffix of nouns and adjectives.

    3.B.2  ·  6.B.3

  2. And vocative.

    5.B.1


Prayatna

Effort: the method of articulating sounds: divided into ābhyantara- and bāhya-prayatna.

2.A


Prāṇa

“Breath”: see alpa-prāṇa and mahā-prāṇa.

2.A.2  ·  2.A.3


Prātipadika

Word stem: the stem form (i.e. without any case ending) of a noun or adjective, as found in the dictionary.

3.B.2  ·  12.1


Pluta

“Prolonged”: the prolonged measure, or vowels having this measure.

1.A.1  ·  1.A.6  ·  10.A.4


Bahu-vacana

“Many-speaking”: the grammatical plural number; the word suffix indicating that many (more than two) persons or things are referred to. See also eka-vacana and dvi-vacana.

2.B.1  ·  3.B.2


Bahuvrīhi Samāsa

A descriptive compound: a compound forming an adjective qualifying an external noun.

10.B.1  ·  11.B.4

Bāhya-prayatna

Outer effort: the method (external to the mouth, i.e. the throat) of articulating sounds.

2.A  ·  9.A.4


Bindu

“Dot”: the anusvāra mark above a vowel.

8.A.1


Bhāṣā

Speech: verbal voice. See also ātmane-bhāṣā, parasmai-bhāṣā, and ubhayato-bhāṣā.

15.4


Madhyama Puruṣa

“Middle person”: the second grammatical person; distinction in verbal suffix denoting the person spoken to (equivalent to the English second person).

1.B.2


Mahā-prāṇa

“Great breath”: a characteristic of those consonants uttered with extra breath.

2.A.3  ·  9.A.4


Mātṛkā

Name applied to the first sixteen sounds of the Sanskrit alphabetical order.

1.A.7


Mātrā

“Measure”: the length or duration for which a vowel is sounded; these may be hrasva, dīrgha, or pluta.

1.A.1  ·  1.A.2  ·  1.A.3


Mūrdhanya

Cerebral2: the mouth position associated with the pronunciation of , ṭa-varga, ra, and ṣa.

2.A.1  ·  3.A.4  ·  9.A.4


Repha

Traditional name for ra which, unlike other sounds, does not use the -kāra suffix.

3.A


La-kāra

L-affixes: a common term for the ten primary tenses and moods of Sanskrit verbs.

2.B.1


Laṭ

A technical term for the present indicative (simple present tense); one of the la-kāra.

2.B.1  ·  14.2


Liṅga

Grammatical gender: there are three genders: puṃ-liṅga, strī-liṅga, and napuṃsaka-liṅga.

3.B.2


Vacana

“Speaking”: grammatical number; the word suffix that one, two, or more persons or things are referred to. See also [eka-vacana(#eka-vacana), dvi-vacana, and bahu-vacana.

2.B.1  ·  3.B.2


Varga

Group: grouping of consonants according to some common quality, e.g. ka-varga, pa-varga.

2.A.2


Vibhakti

Common term for the case endings used for nouns and adjectives (sup-vibhakti), as well as the personal endings for verbs (tiṅ-vibhakti).

4.B.1


Virāma

Stop

  1. Symbol “ ‍् ” indicates a consonant without a following vowel.

    7.A.1

  2. Symbol “ ” indicates the end of a half-verse or end of a sentence.

    8.A.1


Viśeṣaṇa

Adjective: it has the same case, number, and gender as the noun that it qualifies.

8.B.2  ·  9.B.1


Visarga

“Emission”: unvoiced breath after a vowel.

1.A.7  ·  9.A.4


Visarga Sandhi

Euphonic changes arising with the visarga.

11.A.1


Visarjanīya

“Emitted”: unvoiced breath after a vowel; synonymous with visarga.

1.A.7  ·  3.A.2  ·  ;8.A.1


Vṛddhi

“Increase”: strengthened form of vowels.

10.A.2  ·  13.6


Vyañjana

“Embellishment”: general name for any consonant.

1.A  ·  14.1


Vyadhikaraṇa Tatpuruṣa Samāsa

Determinative compound which, if dissolved, the members would have different case endings.

11.B.2


Śakti

Name applied to the first sixteen sounds of the Sanskrit alphabetical order.

1.A.7


Ṣaṣ

Six: the cardinal number; the figure six.

8.A.4


Ṣaṣṭhī Vibhakti

Sixth case: genitive affix to nouns and adjectives.

5.B.1  ·  6.B.3


Saṃyoga

“Bound together”: a conjunct consonant; consonants not having a separating vowel or pause.

7.A.2


Saṃjñā

Proper noun: personal or place name, technical terms whose meanings cannot be etymologically derived.

9.B.1


Sandhi

“Placed together”: the system of euphonic changes that arise when sounds are uttered in proximity; it is the tendency to ease pronunciation.

10.A.1  ·  10.A.3  ·  10.A.4  ·  11.A.1  ·  11.A.2  ·  11.A.3


Sandhi Vigraha

“Separation of sandhi”: removal of the sandhi between words in a sentence so that the words stand separately.

11.A.1


Sandhyakṣara

Compound vowel (diphthong): general name for e, ai, o, and au.

1.A.5


Saptan

Seven: the cardinal number; the figure seven.

8.A.4


Saptamī Vibhakti

Seventh case: locative suffix to nouns and adjectives.

5.B.1  ·  6.B.3


Samānādhikaraṇa Tatpuruṣa Samāsa

Determinative compound which, if dissolved, the members would have different case endings.

11.B.2


Samāsa

“Placed together”: a compound word.

10.B.1  ·  12.3


Samāhāra Dvandva Samāsa

Copulative compound whose members are taken collectively as a unit; the compound is treated as a neuter singular noun.

11.B.1


Samprasāraṇa

The process whereby an antaḥstha is replaced by a simple vowel.

10.A.5


Sambodhana

Calling, addressing: case ending of nouns and adjectives, variation of prathamā-vibhakti3.

5.B.1  ·  6.B.1


Sarva-nāman

“Name of all”: pronoun.

9.B.1


Savarṇa

Homophonic: categories of sounds having the same mouth position and “inner effort”.

8.A.2


Sup-vibhakti

Case endings used for nouns and adjectives.

3.B.2


Strī-liṅga

Feminine: one of the three grammatical genders.

3.B.2  ·  6.B.2  ·  8.B.1


Sthāna

“Position”: the various mouth positions used in uttering vowels and consonants.

2.A


Sparśa

“Contact”: the general name for the group of 25 stops ka through ma.

2.A.2  ·  9.A.4


Spṛṣṭa

“Contact”: the “inner effort” for the 25 sparśa ka through ma.

2.A.2  ·  9.A.4


Svara

“Sound” or “tone”

  1. A general term for the vowels.

    1.A

  2. A term for the tonal accents (udātta, an-udātta, and svarita of Vedic Sanskrit4.


Svarita

Mixed tone: one of the three pitches or tones (svara) of the vowel accent system of Vedic Sanskrit.

9.A.1  ·  12.1


Hal

Technical term referring to any consonant.

7.A.1


Halanta

“Consonant-final”: ending in a consonant without a following vowel.

7.A.1


Hrasva

“Short”: the short measure, or vowels having this measure.

1.A.1