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Word of the Day
Friday, October 27, 2017

Definitions for preta

  1. Hindu Mythology. a wandering or disturbed ghost.

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Citations for preta
It hurtled down upon us, wanting to hurt us, as if we were horrid abominations it hungered to kill; as if the cloud truly was a hungry ghost, a preta. James Alan Gardner, Radiant, 2004
The boy's expression was that of a preta, unburied at death. Kim Stanley Robinson, The Years of Rice and Salt, 2002
Origin of preta
In Sanskrit e is a long vowel (it is also transliterated as ē). Hindi grammarians correctly analyzed e as a monophthong replacing an earlier diphthong ai; thus the Sanskrit adjective preta “gone before, deceased” is from an earlier form, praita, formed from the adverb and prefix pra- “forth” and -ita “gone.” Pra- is cognate with the Latin prepositions prō and prae (and prefixes pro- and prae-) and the Greek preposition pró (and prefix pro-), all of them meaning “before, in front of.” The Sanskrit participle ita- corresponds exactly in form with Latin itum, past participle of the verb īre “to go” and the Greek verbal adjective itós “passable,” all from the Proto-Indo-European root ei-, i- “to go.” Preta entered English in the early 19th century.