eDIL - Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language

The electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL) is a digital dictionary of medieval Irish. It is based on the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of the Irish Language based mainly on Old and Middle Irish materials (1913-1976) which covers the period c.700-c.1700 but incorporates corrections and additions to thousands of entries.

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Citing the Dictionary

There are two ways of citing the Dictionary. You can cite using the traditional method, for example, eDIL s.v. focal, or you can use the permanent URL displayed on the left-hand side of the page under the headword, for example, dil.ie/2345. Although the spelling of headwords may change in the light on new knowledge, these numbers will always remain the same and this link will always take you to the same entry.

In your bibliography, please cite as:

eDIL 2019: An Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, based on the Contributions to a Dictionary of the Irish Language (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1913-1976) (www.dil.ie 2019). Accessed on [access date].

Word of the Week[See More]


LUPAIT seems to have been a term for a young pig, which some sources say was killed on the Feast of St Martin. According to O’Dovoren’s Glossary, there were eight different names for types of pig in medieval Irish, including also COMLACHTAID 'a piglet', DEIL 'a two-year-old pig' and CRÓ, which must have been a pig kept in a sty. Pig-Ogham, a system for identifying the names of letters in the Ogham alphabet using the names of pigs, gives us also ORC 'a young pig' and FORORC, which the dictionary defines as 'a big pig'!

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SAMAIN, the 1st of November, is a word for which medieval Irish scholars had a number of different explanations. The suggestion that it derives from SAM 'summer' and FUIN ‘end’ is well-known, but there was also a tradition that the second part came from the word SÚAN and that the whole meant 'summer-sleep'. One medieval Irish tale says that common people called this time of year FÉIL MOINGFHINNE 'the festival of Moingfhinn'. Moingfhinn was a scheming Otherworld woman who died at Hallowe’en, having drunk poison which she had prepared for her brother.

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