Reference: A List of Abbreviations in the Hans Wehr Dictionary


root: خ-ص-ر / noun / plural: اِختِصارات / definition: abbreviation

So, admittedly, this may not be the most interesting post you’ll read on this blog. But anything that helps with understanding the Hans Wehr dictionary—and, by extension, Arabic—is worth posting, in my opinion.

Anyone who’s used the Hans Wehr dictionary will have noticed that many words are followed by little abbreviations, like this one:

These often refer to the grammar of a word or the field that it’s used in. They can also refer to the dialect in which the word is used, or the language from which the word was derived.

If you use a hard copy of the Hans Wehr, you can easily find a list of these abbreviations towards the front of the dictionary.

If you use the app or website however, you won’t find the full list.

So, here, I’ve decided to type out all of the abbreviations which means—whether you’re using the hard copy, app, or website—you can easily find the meaning of the abbreviation you’re looking for. Just press ctrl+F and search for what you need.

I’ve included some notes/explanations next to a few of the abbreviations for clarity.

Symbols are also included at the bottom of the list.

Note: dialect words are the ones marked by the lower-case abbreviations such as alg. for the Algerian dialect and syr. for the Syrian dialect.

When you see the same abbreviations beginning with a capital letter, these refer to the country itself, i.e. Alg. means Algeria and Syr. means Syria.

List of Abbreviations

abstr. = abstract

acc. = accusative (منصوب)

A.D. = anno Domini

adj. = adjective

adm. = administration

adv. = adverb

A.H. = year of the Hegira (Hijrah, i.e. the Islamic calendar)

Alg. = Algeria

alg. = Algerian

a.m. = ante meridiem

anat. = anatomy

apoc. = apocopate form (المضارع المجزوم)

approx. = approximately

arch. = architecture

archeol. = archeology

arith. = arithmetic

astron. = astronomy

athlet. = athletics

attrib. = attribute, attributively

biol. = biology

bot. = botany

Brit. = British

ca. = circa, about

caus. = causative

cf. = compare

chem. = chemistry

Chr. = Christian

coll. = collective (اسم الجمع)

colloq. = colloquial

com. = commerce

conj. = conjunction

constr.-eng. = construction engineering

Copt. = Coptic

cosm. = cosmetics

dam. = Damascene

def. = definite

dem. = demonstrative

dial. = dialectal

dimin. = diminutive

dipl. = diplomacy

do. = ditto

du. = dual

E = east, eastern

econ. = economy

Eg. = Egypt

eg. = Egyptian

e.g. = for example

el. = electricity

ellipt. = elliptical

Engl. = English

esp. = especially

ethnol. = ethnology

f. = feminine

fem. = feminine

fig. = figuratively

fin. = finance

foll. = following

Fr. = French

G. = German

G.B. = Great Britain

genit. = genitive (مجرور)

geogr. = geography

geol. = geology

geom. = geometry

Gr. = Greek

gram. = grammar

Hebr. = Hebrew

hij. = Hejazi

hort. = horticulture

i.e. = that is

imp. = imperative

imperf. = imperfect (present tense)

indef. = indefinite

interj. = interjection

Intern. Law = International Law

intr. = intransitive

invar. = invariable, invariant

Ir. = Iraq

ir. = Iraqi

Isl. = Islam, Islamic

It. = Italian

Jord. = Jordan Kingdom

journ. = journalism

Jud. = Judaism

jur. = jurisprudence

Leb. = Lebanon

leb. = Lebanese

lex. = lexicography

Lib. = Libya

lib. = Libyan

lit. = literally

m. = masculine

magn. = magnetism

Maḡr. = Maghrib

maḡr. = Maghribi

masc. = masculine

math. = mathematics

med. = medicine

meteor. = meteorology

mil. = military

min. = mineralogy

Mor. = Morocco

mor. = Moroccan

mus. = music

myst. = mysticism

N = north, northern

n. = noun, nomen

N.Afr. = North Africa

NE = northeast, northeastern

naut. = nautics

neg. = negation

nom. = nominative (مرفوع)

n. un. = nomen unitatis (اسم الوحدة)

n. vic. = nomen vicis (اسم المرّة)

NW = northwest, northwestern

obl. = obliquus (cases other than مرفوع)

obs. = obsolete

opt. = optics

o.s. = oneself

Ott. = Ottoman

Pal. = Palestine

pal. = Palestinian

parl. = parliamentary language

part. = particle

pass. = passive

path. = pathology

perf. = perfect (past tense)

Pers. = Persian

pers. = person, personal

pharm. = pharmacy

philos. = philosophy

phon. = phonetics

phot. = photography

phys. = physics

physiol. = physiology

pl. = plural

pl. comm. = pluralis communis

p.m. = post meridiem

poet. = poetry

pol. = politics

prep. = preposition

pron. = pronoun

pronun. = pronunciation

psych. = psychology

q.v. = which see

refl. = reflexive

rel. = relative

relig. = religion

rhet. = rhetoric

S = south

Saudi Ar. = Saudi Arabia

saud.-ar. = Saudi-Arabian

SE = southeast, southeastern

sing. = singular

s.o. = someone

Span. = Spanish

specif. = specifically = something

styl. = stylistics

subj. = subjunctive (المضارع المنصوب)

subst. = substantive

surg. = surgery

SW = southwest, southwestern

Syr. = Syria

syr. = Syrian

techn. = technology

tel. = telephone

temp. = temporal

theat. = theatrical art

theol. = theology

trans. = transitive

Tun. = Tunisia

tun. = Tunisian

Turk. = Turkish

TV = television

typ. = typography

uninfl. = uninflected

verb. = verbal

W = west, western

Yem. = Yemen

yem. = Yemeni

zool. = zoology


2 = diptote (ممنوع من الصرف)

◯ = the circle symbol indicates newly-coined (“new” being relative to the edition of the dictionary!) terms

◻ = the square symbol marks dialect words where the spelling indicates a colloquial pronunciation

That’s all of it! Note that the roman numerals you’ll see in verb entries relate to the verb forms. You can find a table of the verb forms here.

One final note: if anyone knows what the pluralis communis is in Arabic, let me know! I couldn’t find the equivalent in Arabic grammar.

!مع السلامة

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