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AP90 Apte Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary (User notes)

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Author of the “Practical” and “Student’s” Sanskrit-English Dictionaries, “Student’s Guide to Sanskrit Composition”, etc

Indologiscries Seminal der Universität Bonn

Publisher’s Preface to the Third Edition

In preparing this edition, extreme care has been taken to
make a thorough revision of the book, the main features of
which are:–
(a) Over a thousand new words frequently occurring in
the English literature but not given in the previous editions
have now been added with their appropriate Sanskrit
(b) In some cases, Sanskrit equivalents of words in senses
other than those given in the earlier editions have been supplied.
(c) Words similar in form but different in sense, and also
their derivatives were mixed up in the earlier editions to save
space. But as this was found to interfere greatly with clear-
ness and facility of reference they have now been separately
given in some cases to remedy the inconvenience.
(d) The feminine forms of adjectives ending in त्, न्, and
स् which are regularly formed by the simple addition of ई were
given in the previous editions in the case of the first three
letters, and then discontinued. They have now been deleted
In making these changes, the original plan of the learned
author has been strictly followed.
These additions and alterations will be found to have con-
siderably added to the usefulness of the book, and it is hoped that
in its present form, it will be more helpful to the student world.


When I prepared “The Student’s Hand-Book of Progressive
Exercises,” Part II., I thought of adding to it a glossary of
difficult words and expressions in the Exercises. When this
was done, an idea occurred that the Glossary should be made
to include all words of ordinary occurrence, such as are given
in small School-Dictionaries. When the revision of the sheets
thus written out commenced, and when they were put to a
practical test, it was found that several words and expressions
had still been left out. I, then, resolved to prepare an English-
Sanskrit Dictionary as complete as possible, and the following
pages are the result. The Dictionary has thus passed through
different stages, and has assumed this form, far exceeding the
limits which I had first assigned to it.
Much need not, I think, be said with regard to the necessity
of a work like this. In these days of literary activity, when
the attention of students is drawn more and more to the study
of Sanskrit, it is necessary that all appliances should be ready
before them to facilitate this study. There are one or two
small Sanskrit-English Dictionaries, though not quite adequate
to meet the wants of advanced students of Sanskrit, but there
is no English-Sanskrit Dictionary such as will be within their
easy reach. The Dictionaries of this description that I know
of, are two in number:-one by Professor Monier Williams, and
another by Mr. Anundoram Borooah of Calcutta. Both these
Dictionaries, though valuable in themselves, are not accesible
to the student, the prices being prohibitively high. But there
are other considerations which make these works not quite
adapted to his wants. Professor Monier Williams’ Dictionary,
having been compiled nearly 35 years ago, chiefly by inverting
the then existing Sanskrit-English Dictionaries, is naturally
open to the fault of being often not practical. As he says in
the Preface to his Dictionary, he proceeded to translate
Webster’s Dictionary systematically into Sanskrit, omitting
words, phrases &c. of which no classical equivalent could be
found or suggested. The result has been that many of his
synonyms appear more as coined words than classical expres-
sions used by standard Sanskrit authors. With regard to words
collected in Lexicons, such as Amarakosha, Medini, Sabdakal-
padruma, there is no difficulty; but in the case of those words
and expressions which can only be suggested by a careful study
of the usage of the best authors, the work, in my humble opin-
ion, falls short of one’s expectations. Mr. Anundoram Borooah’s
work is eminently practical: it abounds with quotations from
several standard authors; the renderings are generally happy,
and the work has, at least, a classical appearance. The
fondness for giving quotations has induced the writer to give
several quotations for illustrating such words as गम, इति, तत्र, वद
&c., of the meanings of which there is no doubt nor is any
confirmation needed. But one great defect of his otherwise
very useful work is that it gives too few equivalents. He has
pursued the course of referring one word to another, but
this is, in some cases, carried to such an extent, that
when a word, as directed, is referred to another, that
again is referred to some other word of a synonymous
nature, which in its turn is referred to another till the
reader returns to the original word, apparently without
having his labours rewarded. A study of Mr. Borooah’s work
is a good treat for an advanced Sanskrit scholar, but will not,
I believe, satisfy the student. From considerations like these
I thought I should be doing some service to the Sanskrit read-
ing public, if I compiled an English-Sanskrit Dictionary
adapted to the wants of the student. The foregoing remarks
are made not with the view of detracting from the high and
acknowledged merits of the two works but solely to indicate
the line I have followed, and the object I have had in compil-
ing this work.
Some words are now necessary as to the plan and scope of
the Dictionary. When I resolved to make this Dictionary as
complete as possible, consistently with its aim of being useful
for the student, I took the latest edition of Webster’s Complete
Dictionary, and taking that as my basis, proceeded with the
work of compilation. As I advanced, I found that several
words, phrases and expressions and several senses of single
words, could not be adeqately represented in Sanskrit, so as to
appear like Sanskrit, either because the words &c. were purely
technical and referred to specific ideas in subjects, such as
Chemistry, Botany, Medicine, Psychology, Law, Engineering
&c., or were such as had no corresponding ideas in Sanskrit and
were peculiar to the English language. Words of this nature
are numerous in Webster’s Dictionary, and I have omitted
them, including also obsolete and rare words or senses of words.
Several words of obvious signification, such as those formed
by the prefixes’ ‘in,’ ‘mis,’ ‘pre,’ ‘un,’ are also omitted, as
they may be easily formed from their second member. But the
general terms of all sciences have been included, and of
technical terms such as could be duly represented by Sanskrit
equivalents actually existing in the language or by short,
wieldy new combinations of words have been inserted. Of
this description are words like Telegram, Democrat, Society,
Literature, Address (of a letter) and several other words which
have a peculiar sense in English and have to be translated by
inventing equivalents. English. like many other languages, has
so many expressions and idioms peculiar to itself, so many shades
and nice distinctions of meaning, and so many new formations
of words, progressing with the progress of the language, that it
would be impossible to embrace them all in an English-Sanskrit
Dictionary, even if it were the most comprehensive work, much
more so, in a work designed principally for students. Take the
words Line, Pass, Strong. Webster gives 21 senses under
‘Line,’ 13 under ‘Pass (v. i.)’ and 20 under ‘Strong.’ Some
of these are technica’ and some are not different senses as
such, but shades of meaning or particularities of use; most of
which may be translated by the words given for the general
sense, (see the words)’. I have not thought it desirable, like
Professor Monier Williams, to insert words the English
explanation of which has to be systematically translated, in
order to give some idea of their meaning. ‘Indian-rubber’ is
translated by अतिस्थितिस्थापकविशिष्टो भारतदेशीयवृक्षनिर्यासः; ‘Shuttle cock’
by लघुगुलिकाविशेषः यो विनोदार्थं दंडाहतो भूत्वा इतस्ततः प्रक्षिप्यतेः and many
others of this nature, which can be translated by विशेषः ‘a kind
of tree, flower, fruit’ &c. Such words may be retained by the
student in their English form, or their meaning may be
translated if he desire to have them in a Sanskrit garb. स्पंजः
‘Sponge,’ द्युकः ‘Duke,’ सावनं ‘Soap,’ लाटिनं ‘Latinity’ (as given
by Mr. Borooah) may, I think, be very safely omitted even in
a comprehensive Dictionary.
To turn now to the plan and arrangement of the work.
The most striking feature of the arrangement is that a
word in its different parts of speech, compound words
derived from it, derivatives formed from it either regularly,
by means of terminations (e. g. ed, ing, ly, ness &c.)
or irregularly, have been given together, the derivatives be-
ing arranged in order under the root or primitive word,
by means of small black dashes. The dashes are
intended to at once strike the eye and to direct it to the
word after it; and when the “directions to the student” are
remembered, there will, I believe, be no difficulty in referring
words to the Dictionary. The principle of the arrangement is
to give words according to the root-system; words regularly
derived will, of course, be referred in their proper places; but
words formed from the radical irregularly should also be refer-
red under that radical. ‘Abstemious’ should be referred under
‘Abstain,’ ‘Perception’ under ‘Perceive, ‘Death,’ ‘Dead,’
under ‘Die,’ ‘Strength’ &c., under ‘Strong,’ ‘Would,’ under
‘Will,’ and so on; where it is not likely for the student to
know where such words are given, reference is made to those
places; e. g. see Material, Sight. One of the greatest advant-
ages of the system has been practically, (whatever it may be
theoretically) to effect a very large saving of space. To give
the reader an idea of the vast saving effected by this system,
it may be stated that, if the words in their different parts of
speech and their compounds and derivatives were separately
given, as in Monier Williams’ Dictionary, they would cover
nearly 800 pages of this size, or 1, 000 of the size, style of print-
ing, &c. of Monier Williams’ Dictionary. Besides, by giving
the words ‘Dead’ ‘Death’ under ‘Die,’ a considerable
repetition of words is avoided. About 20 equivalents are given
for ‘Die,’ and only a few are given for ‘Dead’; the rest can be
formed in the same way from the roots immediately above; if it
were given in its usual place, all words would have to be given
or a reference made to ‘Die.’ My chief aim has been to give a
good deal of matter in a small space, and this object is, I
believe, considerably secured, as shown by the figures given
above; and I have thus been enabled to give this book to the
public at a cheap price.
The next point to be noticed is the number of equivalents
that are given for a word. I believe that in an English-
Sanskrit Dictionary, it is sufficient to give such words only as
are of very frequent occurrence in Sanskrit authors. It cannot
include all words in the language, and even if it could, it
would be of no great use, since many of the words would be
found to be very rarely used. The word ‘Gold’ has over 50
synonyms given for it in the different lexicons; ‘Sun’ has
nearly a hundred. But it will easily be seen that, excepting
some, the synonyms are either combinations of simple words,
or are descriptive epithets. Of this class are the words
वक्रपुच्छः, ललजिव्हः, रात्रिजागरः, for ‘Dog.’ Mr. Borooah in his
Dictionary has given only a few equivalents, in some instances,
only one, where there were 5 most commonly used; Prof.
Williams has very often given too many equivalents, grouping
together common and rare, synonyms proper and epithets. In
the former case the student will hardly have any room left for
choosing his word, while in the latter, he will be at a loss to
see which to choose. In giving equivalents in this Dictionary,
whether for Substantives, Adjectives, Adverbs or Verbs, I have
endeavoured to strike a middle course between these two
courses, and, have kept one principle steadily in view: to give
such words as are found frequently used in the works of
standard authors. The equivalents are arranged in the order
of their frequency of use; and the student, in his ordinary
prose composition, would do well to make his selection from
the first few equivalents enumerated. In the case of Verbs it
has not been possible to maintain this principle with perfect
accuracy in every case, but it is generally maintained. It is
only in a few cases of substantives that I have gone the length
of giving all words enumerated in the Amarakosha; and in the
case of names of material substances, names of plants and
trees that have been identified, and in a few others, all the
words given in the Amarakosha have been here incorporated,
care being taken to arrange them in the order of their useful-
ness. Similarly such Genders, Padas or Conjugations are
given as will be found generally used; I have very rarely given
all possible ones. It has not been thought necessary to give the
3rd person singular, Present tense, nor all possible derivatives
from simple words; they will have, if necessary, to be made up
according to the “Directions” afterwards given. In giving
equivalents for a word in its different senses, it has also not
been thought necessary to give the meanings in English, except
where it was necessary to note a particular sense. One word
in Sanskrit often represents several meanings in English, and
to render them into Sanskrit, the Sanskrit word has to be
repeated. This accounts for the repetition of some Sanskrit
words under different meanings.
In will be noticed that there are several sentences given to
illustrate the meanings of words, some of which are quotations
from standard authors, as will be readily seen from the
references given after them; but many of the phrases and
sentences that are translated, and are not supported by any
authority, are taken from the “Student’s Hand-Book of
Progressive Exercises,” Part II. I deemed it essential to illust-
rate, in some cases at least, the construction of the equivalents
given, wherever it was peculiar in Sanskrit; and I thought I
could do this better if I gave sentences from classical authors
instead of framing them myself. The quotations have become
quite necessary in those cases where equivalents have been
here suggested for the first time; I thought I should produce my
vouchers for a particular word that I suggested rather than
leave the reader in doubt as to its genuineness. In a few cases the
English or Sanskrit sentences are closely translated; in a few
others only such parts of the Sanskrit sentences are translated
as are sufficient to illustrate the word intended to be illustrat-
ed, while in several cases, Sanskrit sentences alone are given
which might be readily understood by the student. On a reference
to the names of works or authors drawn upon for quotations,
it will be found that the list is not very comprehensive; several
large and useful works have been left out, and works falling
in the range of classical literature excluded. But my principal
aim in giving quotations has been to supply the student with
good expressions from works within his easy reach so that he might
study, if necessary. the particular places referred to. Kalidasa’s
works and Bana’s Kadambari are more frequently drawn upon
than the Ramayana, the Mahabhharata, the Naishadha or the
An attempt has been made to avoid as much unneccessary
repetition as was possible, without marring the usefulness of
the work. A Dictionary is necessarily a work of repetition;
several words have to be unavoidably repeated, howsoever un-
willing one might be to do so. I have thought it necessary to
make reference under some words to preceding or succeeding
parts of the Dictionary, chiefly with the view of avoiding
repetition; but in such cases a few equivalents are given, and
the student is told to follow out the reference, if he want to
know more about the word. Take, for instance, the words,
Beguile, Cheat, Deceive, Delude, Defraud, Impose upon, Take
in; or Blame, Censure, Reprove, Reproach, Scold, Reprimand,
Reprehend; or Path, Road, Way: these words, whatever be their
shades of meaning in English, are, when represented in
Sanskrit, almost synonymous, and may be conveniently
represented by the same words. If ten or fifteen equivalents
under one of these words, say, Cheat, Censure, or Way, are
given, it would be unnecessary to repeat all of them again
under the synonymous words. In all such cases, therefore,
references have been made to some general word under which
are given all the equivalents. In a few cases the reference has
been made, not for any equivalents, but for any expressions,
phrases, idioms &c. that may have been given under the
principal word. In no case will the student have to refer to
the Dictionary more than twice.
In a work which professes to deal with the phrases and
expressions of the English Language, the writer cannot afford
to disregard the several small useful proverbs, mottoes, or other
expressions which have become proverbial. I have, with this
view, inserted, under some principal word therein, such
proverbs &c., and have given exact or approximate equivalents,
wherever they existed in Sanskrit, and have in a few cases
given my own translation of them. Of this nature are proverbs
given under Bush, Handsome, Make, Oil, Race, Something,
Suffer, Touch &c.
With regard to the method of writing the Sanskrit equival-
ents, an objection might possibly be raised. Throughout the
work the usual practice of representing every anusvara in the
body of a word by its corresponding nasals has been rejected
and the anusvara sign is invariably used, where usually a
nasal would stand. I have not been able to understand the
principle on which scholars reject this system and betake
themselves solely to the other; though the anusvara system is
most convenient in printing, and occasionally saves much
misunderstanding. Besides, it is a practice generally followed
in our old Manuscripts, and is sanctioned by Panini as being
optional. For these reasons I have scrupulously followed it in
this Dictionary, but more especially because it is very conveni-
ent in printing. The rules of Sandhi, to make the words
clearly intelligible, are not in all cases strictly observed.
It now remains for me to do the grateful duty of acknow-
ledging my obligations to those that have assisted me in the
preparation of the Dictionary in one form or another.
Foremost among them stand the works of Mr. Borooah and
Prof. Williams, both of which I have most frequently consult-
ed. Monier Williams’ Dictionary, though inferior in several
respects to Mr. Borooah’s, has several happy renderings of
short words and expressions, especially where ideas, purely
English, have to be clothed in a Sanskrit garb, and I have freely
consulted his Dictionary for such renderings. I have also
frequently referred to the learned Professor’s valuable Sanskrit-
English Dictionary; for both of which my sincere thanks are
due to him. But my acknowledgments are chiefly due to Mr.
Borooah, from whose work I have derived much substantial
assistance, in the suggestion of equivalents for words or
phrases, more particularly from his numerous quotations, and
therein again, quotations from such works as were not
accessible to me, or being accessible, I had no time at my
disposal sufficient to go through them. I have also had to
keep constantly by my side, the useful Sanskrit Lexicon – the
Kosha of Amarasimha – made more useful by the edition
published by the Department of Public Instruction, Bombay.
In giving illustrative sentences from classical Authors, I have
used annotations or translations wherever they existed, and
have derived hints from them and have occasionally adopted
their translation. My thanks are due to all annotators, editors
or translators of such works. I have to thank sincerely Prof.
R. G. Bhandarkar, M. A. Deccan College, Poona, who kindly
proposed suitable equivalents for some difficult words and
phrases which were referred to him. I have also to thank my
friend, Mr. Ganesh Krishna Garde. L. M. & S., for having
supplied me with accurate equivalents for some knotty and
technical terms in Medicine, from books and sources which
I had no time to reach, and which even if I had time to reach
and use, I could not, unaided by him, turn to much practical
account. Lastly, my thanks are due to several kind and
obliging friends who assisted me either in collecting materials
for the Dictionary, or in carrying it through the Press.
In conclusion, I trust that the Dictionary will be useful
not only to those for whose use it is principally prepared, but
to the general public also who may wish to avail themselves
of appliances calculated to help the study of Sanskrit. It is
my belief that, except for the translation of passages from
purely technical subjects, such as Chemistry, Botany, Medicine,
Philosophy etc., this Dictionary will be useful to all readers of
Sanskrit for translating any passage dealing with ordinary
subjects. None is more conscious than myself of the defects
of the book, and of the mistakes or inaccuracies that might
have crept into it, in spite of my vigilance; and when a second
edition is prepared, I shall endeavour, to the best of my ability,
to make the Dictionary complete in itself. I shall be very
happy to receive any suggestions that readers may have to
make and shall be but too willing to adopt them, if I find them
useful. With these prefatory remarks I leave the work to the
indulgent judgment of the public.

June 11th, 1884.
V. S. A.


The Publisher had hoped that the learned author would
write a preface to this Edition; but unfortunately it was not to
be. He was snatched away suddenly from amongst us by the
cruel hand of death to the sincere regret of all lovers of Sanskrit
learning. Therefore the present edition has had to suffer
along with other works of his, the want of his finishing touch.
However it is in some respects a consolation to think that Mr.
Apte found time before his death to go carefully through the
first Edition and to make the necessary corrections in it in the
light of his riper studies.


1. Words and their derivatives are arranged in the follow-
ing order: first the radical or primitive word, in all its different
parts of speech; then compound words, arranged in alphabetical
order; (in the case of verbs, such words as Break off, Turn out,
are given as -off, -out); and then the derivatives which are
always distinguished by a black dash; those formed regularly
being given first, and the irregular ones, written fully, after
them (see Ambition, Humble, Young.)
Note. – This order is not regularly observed in the first
three letters, compound words and derivatives being, in a few
cases, both distinguished by black dashes.
2. In giving the terminations by which derivatives are
formed, the changes which the final and initial letters undergo,
e. g. the dropping, doubling or assimilation of letters are as-
sumed; the terminations being always given in their original
form; see Cut, Hurry, Mature.
3. (a) A small black dash (-) marks the commencement
of a new derivative. (b) A word preceded by a large black
dash (-) indicates that the derivatives given after it, are from
that word and not from the radical or primitive word; see Die,
Dead. (c) A hyphen used in the middle of Sanskrit words
indicates that each of the members separated by the hyphen is
to be repeated with the word after it; or that the word after
the hyphen is to be taken as an alternative for the word im-
mediately before it (to be, in some cases, decided by the context),
e. g. in HAVE, l. 9, यथाकामं-स्वरुच्या-वृत् means यथाकामं वृत्, स्वरुच्या वृत्; in
PRACTICE, l. 3, नित्यवृत्तिः-चर्या अनुष्ठानं means नित्यवृत्तिः, नित्यचर्या, नित्यानुष्ठानं।
(d) A hyphen followed by a comma (-,) indicates that the
word after it may stand by itself or may be joined with the
word before it; e. g. in PLACE l. 1, प्र-, देशः means the word is either
देशः or प्रदेशः; (e) A comma followed by a hyphen (,-) indicates
that the word after it may be compounded with the word
preceding it; e. g. in STAGE l. 1, रंगः-, शाला means the word is either
रंगः, or रंगशाला। (f) º denotes that the word immediately before it
which is separated by a comma, may be compounded with the
words which it connects; e. g. PREVENT, l. 1 वृ c.. नि-विनि°, means
the root is also निवृ c. and विनिवृ c.
4. In the case of substantives, the nominative case, wherever
it could at once indicate the gender, has been given; the visarga
thus indicates masculine gender, and anusvára neuter gender.
Where the nominative is not indicative of the gender, it is
given as m., f., n., as the case may be. All substantives ending
in consonants have their genders specified as m., f., or n.
5. In the case of adjectives, the simple base only is given.
The feminine of the majority of adjectives in अ ends in आ, and
adjectives ending in इ, उ have generally the same base for all
genders. In all such cases the simple base is given, the genders
being formed regularly according to similar substantive bases.
Irregular feminines are denoted in brackets. (f.) Bases ending
in त्, न्, स्, form their feminine regularly in ती, नी, सी,
6. (a) In the case of verbs, the Arabic figure denotes the
conjugation to which the root belongs; P denoting Parasmaipada,
A Atmanepada, and U Ubhayapada (P & A.) Roots of the tenth
conjugation belong to both Padas, theoretically at least; and
hence 10 is used for all roots of this conjugation, though the
Parasmaipada, unless where otherwise specified, should be
generally preferred for use. (b) c. denotes causal, and is form-
ed from roots by making the same changes as in the
10th conjugation. Wherever it cannot be formed by this
general rule, it is shown in brackets. (e) D. means Denomina-
tives; here the 3rd pers. singular Present tense is given
7. All the derivatives from a word are not always given
when they may be easily supplied; more especially, in the case
of potential passive participles, formed by तव्य, य, अनीय, past
participles, present participles, verbal nouns, abstract nouns
from adjectives, and adverbs from adjectives. Where there
was any peculiarity in the formation of these derivatives,
they are given; but in many cases the student will have to
supply the forms, according to rules given in grammars.

ABBREVIATIONS Of Grammatical Terms &c.

gen.Genitive, Generally (when followed by ex.)
gen. abs.Genitive absolute.
lit.Literal, literally
loc. abs.Locative absolute.
pot. pass.Potential passive participle.
pron. a.Pronominal adjective.
q. v.Quod vide, which see.
sim. comp.Similar compound.
U.Ubhayapada (Parasmaipada and Atmanepada).
v.Verb (transitive and intransitive).
v. i.Verb intransitive.
v. t.Verb transitive.

Abbreviations of the Names of Works

N. B. – where a Roman figure is followed by an Arabic figure, the former
refers to the canto or chapter, and the latter, to the number of the veṛse;
Arabic figures in the case of dramas &c. refer to the act or page.
Bh.Bhartrihari, II denoting Nitishataka and III Vairagyashataka. (Bombay Edition.)
D. K.Dashakumaracharita, I denoting the Purvapithika, and II the Uttarapithika, and the Arabic figure,| the number of the story.
H.Hitopadesha, the Arabic figures denoting the four parts in their order.
Ka.Kadambari (Bombay Edition)
M.Malavikagnimitra (Bombay Edition.)
Mal.Malatimadhava (Bombay edition)
Me.Meghaduta (Calcutta Edition.)
P.Panchatantra, the Roman figure denoting the number of the Tantra and the Arabic, the number of the story (Bombay Edition.)
S. B.Shankar Bhashya.
S. K.Siddhanta Kaumudi.
S. R.Subhashitaratna-bhandagaram.
V. M.Vyavahara Mayukha (Mr. Mandlik's edition.)