Classical Arabic - English Dictionary

by Edward William Lane (1801-1876)

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اهل او اوب


أَوْ a conjunction, (M, Mughnee, Ḳ,) to which the later authors have ascribed meanings amounting to twelve: (Mughnee:) a particle which, when occurring in an enunciative phrase, [generally] denotes doubt, and vagueness of meaning; and when occurring in an imperative or a prohibitive phrase, [generally] denotes the giving of option, or choice, and the allowing a thing, or making it allowable. (Ṣ.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A2

First, (Mughnee,) it denotes doubt. (T, Ṣ, M, Mṣb, Mughnee, Ḳ.) So in the saying, رَأَيْتُ زَيْدًا أَوْ عَمْرًا [I saw Zeyd or ʼAmr]. (T,* Ṣ, Mṣb.) And جَآءَنِى رَجُلٌ أَوِ ٱمْرَأَةٌ [A man or a woman came to me]. (Mbr, T.) And لَبِئْنَا يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ [in the Ḳur xviii. 18 and xxiii. 115, We have remained a day or part of a day]. (Mughnee.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A3

Secondly, (Mughnee,) it denotes vagueness of meaning. (Ṣ, Mṣb, Mughnee, Ḳ.)[it may be used] in the first of the exs. given above. (Mṣb.) And so in the saying, وَأَنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَى هُدًى أَوْ فِى ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ [And verily we or ye are following a right direction or in manifest error], (Ṣ, Mughnee,) in the Ḳur [xxxiv. 23]; (Ṣ;) the ex. being in the former او. (Mughnee.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A4

Thirdly, (Mughnee,) it denotes the giving of option, or choice. (T, Ṣ, M, Mughnee, Ḳ.) So in the saying, كُلِ السَّمَكَ أَوِ ٱشْرَبِ اللَّبَنَ [Eat thou the fish, or drink thou the milk]; i. e. do not thou both of these actions; (Mbr, T, Ṣ;) but choose which of them thou wilt. (Mbr, T.) And تَزَوَّجْ هِنْدًا أَوْ أُخْتَهَا [Take thou as wife Hind or her sister]. (Mughnee.) And [in like manner] it denotes the making choice. (T.) [So when you say, سَأَتَزَوَّجُ هِنْدًا أَوْ أُخْتَهَا, meaning I will take as wife Hind or her sister; whichever of them I choose.]

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A5

Fourthly, (Mughnee,) it denotes the allowing a thing, or making it allowable. (T, Ṣ, Mṣb, Mughnee, Ḳ.) So in the saying, جَالِسِ حَسَنَ أَوِ ٱبْنَ سِيرِينَ [Sit thou with El-Ḥasan or Ibn-Seereen]. (Mbr, T, Ṣ.) And قُمْ أَوِ ٱقْعُدْ [Stand thou or sit]: and the person to whom this is said may do [one or] both of the se actions. (Mṣb. [And similar exs. are given in the Mughnee.]) But وَلَا تُطِعْ مِنْهُمْ آثِمًا أَو كَفُورًا [in the Ḳur lxxvi. 24, And obey not thou, of them, a sinner or a person very ungrateful to God,] means that thou shalt not obey either of such persons: (Mbr, T, Mughnee:) in which case او is more forcible than وَ; for when you say to a person, لَا تُطِعْ زَيْدًا وَعَمْرًا [Obey not thou Zeyd and ʼAmr], he may obey one of them, since the command is that he shall not obey the two. (Zj, T.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A6

Fifthly, (Mughnee,) it denotes unrestricted conjunction. (Mughnee, Ḳ.) So in the saying, in the Ḳur [iv. 46 and v. 9], أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ مِنَ الغَائِطِ [And if any one of you cometh from the privy]; (TA;) [where, however, it may also be rendered or, though] meaning وَجَآءَ; (T, TA;) the و in this explanation being what is termed a denotative of state. (T.) So, too, accord. to AZ, in the expression أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ [And they exceeded that number], in the Ḳur [xxxvii. 147]: but see below. (TA.) And so in the words, أَوْ أَنْ نَفْعَلَ فِى أَمْوَالِنَا مَا نَشَآءُ [And our doing, in respect of our possessions, what we will], in the Ḳur [xi. 89]. (T, TA.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A7

Sixthly, it denotes transition, (Mughnee,) used in the sense of [the adversative particle] بَلْ, (T, Ṣ, M, Mughnee, Ḳ,) in a case of amplification of speech; (Ṣ;) accord. to Sb, on two conditions; that it shall be preceded by a negation or a prohibition, and that the agent shall be mentioned a second time; as in مَا قَامَ زَيْدٌ أَوْ مَا قَامَ عَمْرٌو [Zeyd did not stand: nay, rather ʼAmr did not stand]; and لَا يَقْمٌ زَيدٌ أَوْ لَا يَقُمْ عَمْرُو [Let not Zeyd stand: nay, rather let not ʼAmr stand]. (Mughnee.) Accord. to Fr, (Th, M, Mughnee,) it has this meaning in أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ [Nay, rather they exceeded that number], (Th, Ṣ, M, Mughnee,) in the Ḳur [xxxvii. 147, cited above]: (Ṣ:) or the meaning is, or they would exceed [that number] in your estimation: or these words with those preceding them in the same verse mean, we sent him to a multitude of whom, if ye saw them, ye would say, They are a hundred thousand, or they exceed [that number]; (M, Mughnee;*) so that it denotes doubt on the part of men, not of God, for He is not subject to doubt: (M:) or we sent him to a hundred thousand in the estimation of men, or they exceeded [that number] in the estimation of men; for God does not doubt: (Ṣ:) or او is here used to denote vagueness of meaning: (IB, Mughnee:) or, it is said, to denote that a person might choose between saying, “they are a hundred thousand,“and saying, “they are more;“but this may not be when one of the two things is the fact: or, accord. to some of the Koofees, it has the meaning of وَ: and each of these meanings, except the last, has been assigned to او as occurring in the Ḳur ii. 69 and xvi. 79. (Mughnee.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A8

Seventhly, it denotes division; (Mughnee, Ḳ;*) as in the saying, الكَلِمَةُ ٱسْمٌ أَوْ فِعْلٌ أَوْ حَرْفٌ [The word is a noun or a verb or a particle]: so said Ibn-Málik: or, as he afterwards said, in preference, it denotes separation (التَّفرِيق) divested of the attribute of denoting doubt and vagueness of meaning and the giving of option or choice; adducing as one of his exs. of this meaning the saying, وَقَالُوا كُونُوا هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَى [in the Ḳur ii. 129, And they said, “Be ye Jews” or “Christians”]; because the use of و in division is better; as when you say, الكَلِمَةُ ٱسْمٌ وَفِعْلٌ وَحَرْفٌ: or it denotes, accord. to some, distinction (التَّفْصِيل); and the meaning of the ex. last cited, say they, is, and the Jews said, “Be ye Jews,” and the Christians said, “Be ye Christians.” (Mughnee.) It is [said to be] used in this last sense (that of التفضيل) in the saying, كُنْتُ آكُلُ اللَّحْمَ أَوِ العَسَلَ [I used to eat flesh-meat or honey]; i. e. I used to eat flesh-meat one time and honey another time: and so in the Ḳur vii. 3 and x. 13.

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A9

Eighthly, (Mughnee,) it is used in the sense of the exceptive إِلَّا, (Mughnee, Ḳ,) or إِلَّا أَنْ (M;) and in this case the aor. after it is mansoob, because of أَنْ suppressed. (Mughnee, Ḳ.) So in the saying, لَأَقْتُلَنَّهُ أَوْ يُسْلِمَ [I will assuredly slay him or he shall become a Muslim; i. e., unless he become a Muslim]. (Mughnee.[And a similar ex. is given in the M.]) So, too, in the saying,

* وَكُنْتُ إِذَا غَمَزْتُ قَنَاةَ قَوْمٍ *
* كَسَرْتُ كُعُوبَهَا أَوْ تَسْتَقِيمَا *

[And I used, when I pinched and pressed the spear of a people, to break its knots, or joints, or its internodal portions, (the shaft being a cane,) or, i. e. unless, it became straight]: (Mughnee, Ḳ:*) a prov., of which the author is Ziyád El-Aajam; meaning, when a people behaved with hardness to me, I endeavoured to soften them: (TA in art. غمز:) thus related by Sb, the verb ending it being rendered mansoob by او; and thus he heard it from some one or more of the Arabs; but in the original verses, which are but three, it is تَسْتَقِيمُ, with refa. (IB and TA in art. غمز.) [And similar to these above are the sayings,] إنَّهُ لِفُلَانٍ أَوْمَا بِنَجْدٍ قَرظَهُ [Verily it belongs to such a one or there is not, i. e. unless there be not, in Nejd, a قَرَظَة (see art. قرظ)]: and لَآتِيَنَّكَ أَوْ مَا بِنَجْدٍ قَرَظَةٌ [I will assuredly come to thee or there is not, i. e. unless there be not, in Nejd, a قَرَظَة]; meaning I will assuredly come to thee, in truth. (T.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A10

Ninthly, (Mughnee,) it is used in the sense of إِلَى, (Mughnee, Ḳ,) or إِلَى أَنْ; (Ṣ;) in which case also the aor. after it is mansoob, because of أَنْ suppressed: (Mughnee:) and in the sense of حَتَّى [which is also syn. with إِتَى]. (Fr, T, M, Ḳ.) So in the saying, لَأَضْرِبَنَّهُ أَوْ يَتُوبَ [I will assuredly beat him until he repent]. (Ṣ. [And similar exs. of او as explained by حَتَّى are given in the T (from Fr) and in the M and in the Mughnee.]) And so in the saying of the poet,

* لَأَسْتَسْهِلَنَّ الصَّعْبَ أَوْ أُدْرِكَ المُنَى *
* فَمَا ٱنْقَادَتِ الآمَالُ إِلَّا لِصَابِرِ *

[I will assuredly deem easy what is difficult until I attain the objects of wish; for hopes become not easy of accomplishment save to one who is patient]. (Mughnee.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A11

Tenthly, some say, (Mughnee,) it denotes nearness [of one event or thing to another]; as in the saying, مَا أَدْرِى أَسَلَّمَ أَوْ وَدَّعَ [I know not whether he saluted or bade farewell]: (Mughnee, Ḳ: [but in the CK this ex. is misplaced:]) this, however, is manifestly wrong; او being here used to denote doubt, and the denoting of nearness being only inferred from the fact of the saluting being confounded in the mind with the bidding farewell, since this is impossible or improbable when the two times are far apart. (Mughnee.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A12

Eleventhly, (Mughnee,) it occurs as a conditional, (T, Mughnee, Ḳ,) accord. to Ks alone; (T;) or rather as a conjunctive and conditional; وَإِنْ being meant to be understood in its place; though in truth the verb that precedes it indicates that the conditional particle [إِنْ] is meant to be understood [before that verb], and او retains its proper character, but forms part of that which has a conditional meaning because conjoined with a preceding conditional phrase. (Mughnee.) So in the saying, لَأَضْرِبَنَّهُ عَاشَ أَوْ مَاتَ, (Mughnee, Ḳ,) i. e., إِنْ عَاِض بَعْدَ الضَّرْبِ وَإِنْ مَاتَ [I will assuredly beat him if he live (after the beating) or if he die]: so says Ibn-Esh-Shejeree. (Mughnee.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A13

Twelfthly, accord. to Ibn-Esh-Shejeree, on the authority of some one or more of the Koofees, (Mughnee,) it denotes division into parts, or portions; as in the saying [in the Ḳur ii. 129, before cited,] وَقَالُوا كُونُوا هُودًا أَو نَصَارَى, (Mughnee, Ḳ,) i. e. And they said, “Be ye, some of you, Jews, and, some of you, Christians:(TA:) but [IHsh says,] it appears to me that the meaning here is that of التَّفْصِيل mentioned before. (Mughnee.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A14

[In the Ḳ it is said to occur also in the sense of أَنْ: but this is evidently a mistake, app. originating in one of the two principal sources of the Ḳ, namely, the M, in which the same is said, but is exemplified by a phrase in which it is explained by إِلَّا أَنْ, the eighth of the meanings of أَوْ mentioned above.]

Root: او - Entry: أَوْ Signification: A15


أَوَ in أَوَ لَمْ يَرَوْا, &c. is [the conjunction] وَ with the interrogative ا prefixed to it. (Fr, T.)

أَوِّ / أَوَّ

أَوِّ مِنْ كَذَا (T, M) and أَوَّ (M) [Alas, on account of, or for, such a thing!] an expression denoting complaint of distress, or of anxiety, or of grief or sorrow; (T;) or an expression of grief or sorrow; (M;) likeآوِ↓ andآوٍ↓ andأَوَتَاه↓ (Ḳ and TA in art. اوه,) orأَوَتَاهُ↓ (CK in that art.,) orأَوَّتَاه↓, orآوَّتَاه↓, (Ṣ in that art., [the ه in one copy of which is marked as quiescent,]) and like آهِ and أَوْهِ, &c. (Ṣ and Mṣb and Ḳ in art. اوه: see آهِ in that art.) AZ says, one says, أَوْهِ عَلَى زَيْدٍ [meaning Alas, for Zeyd!] with kesr to the ه, andأَوَّتَا↓ عَلَيْكَ [thus without ه, meaning Alas, for thee!] with ت; an expression of regret for a thing, whether of great or mean account. (T.)


أَوٌّ The word أَوْ↓ when made a noun. (T, Ḳ.) So say the grammarians. (T.) You say, هٰذهِ أَوٌّحَسَنَةٌ [This is a good أَوْ]. (T.) And to one who uses the phrase أَفْعَلُ كَذَا أَوْ كَذَا, (T,) you say, دَعِ الأَوَّجَانِبًا [Let thou, or leave thou, the word أَوْ alone]. (T, Ḳ.)


أَوَّةٌ [A moaning (see its syn. آهَةٌ in art. اوه)] is said by some to be of the measure فَعْلَةٌ, in which the ة is the sign of the fem. gender; for they say, سَمِعْتُ أَوَّتَكَ [I heard thy moaning], making it ت: and so says Lth; أَوَّةٌ is after the manner of فَعْلَةٌ: (T:) you say, أَوَّةً لَكَ [May God cause moaning to thee!], (Lth, T, and Ṣ in art. اوه,) and آهَةً لَكَ: [but accord. to J, the former of these is cognate with the latter; for he says that] the former is with the ه suppressed, and with teshdeed to the و. (Ṣ in art. اوه, where see آهَةٌ.)

Root: او - Entry: أَوَّةٌ Signification: A2

أَوَّتَا عَلَيكَ; and أَوَّتَاه, or آوَّتَاه, or أَوَتَاه, or أَوَتَاهُ: see أَوِّ مِنْ كَذَا.


أُوَّةٌ i. q. دَاهِيَةٌ [A calamity, a misfortune,, &c.: or, perhaps, very cunning, applied to a man]: pl. أُوَوْ; (AA, T, Ḳ, TA; [but in copies of the Ḳ, written أُوَوٌ;]) which is one of the strangest of the things transmitted from the Arabs; the regular form being أُوَّى, like قُوَّى, pl. of قُوَةٌ; but the word occurring as above in the saying of the Arabs, مَا هُوَ إِلَّا أُوَّةٌ مِنَ الأُوَوْ [It is no other thing than a calamity of the calamities: or, perhaps, he is no other than a very cunning man of the very cunning]. (AA, T, TA.)

آوِ / آوٍ

أَوَوِىٌّ / آوِىٌّ

أَوَوِىٌّ and آوِىٌّ: see آيَةٌ, in art. اى.


آوَّتَاه: see أَوِّ.

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