Words related to *ner-


masc. proper name, from Latin, from Greek Alexandros "defending men," from alexein "to ward off, keep off, turn (something) away, defend, protect" + anēr (genitive andros) "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"). The first element perhaps is related to Greek alke "protection, help, strength, power, courage," alkimos "strong;" and cognate with Sanskrit raksati "protects," Old English ealgian "to defend."

As a kind of cocktail recipe featuring crème de cacao and cream, Alexander is attested from 1913; the reason for the name is unclear.


masc. proper name, from Old French Andreu (Modern French André), from Late Latin Andreas (source also of Spanish Andrés, Italian Andrea, German Andreas, Swedish and Danish Anders), from Greek Andreas, a personal name equivalent to andreios (adj.) "manly, masculine, of or for a man; strong; stubborn," from anēr (genitive andros) "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man").

Nearly equivalent to Charles. Andrew Millar (1590s) for some forgotten reason became English naval slang for "government authority," and especially "the Royal Navy." St. Andrew (feast day Nov. 30) has long been regarded as patron saint of Scotland; the Andrew's cross (c. 1400) supposedly resembles the one on which he was crucified.


word-forming element meaning "man, male, masculine," from Greek andro-, combining form of anēr (genitive andros) "a man, a male" (as opposed to a woman, a youth, or a god), from PIE root *ner- (2) "man," also "vigorous, vital, strong."

Equivalent to Latin vir (see virile). Sometimes in later use equivalent to anthrōpos, Latin homo "a person, a human being," and in compounds it often retain this genderless sense (e.g. androcephalous "having a human head," said of monsters including the Sphinx, which in Greece was female).

androgynous (adj.)

1620s, "womanish" (of a man); 1650s, "having two sexes, being both male and female," from Latin androgynus, from Greek androgynos "hermaphrodite, male and female in one; womanish man;" as an adjective (of baths) "common to men and women," from andros, genitive of anēr "male" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man") + gynē "woman" (from PIE root *gwen- "woman"). Related: Androgynal (1640s).

android (n.)

"automaton resembling a human being in form and movement," 1837, in early use often in reference to automated chess players, from Modern Latin androides (itself attested as a Latin word in English from 1727), from Greek andro- "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man") + -eides "form, shape" (see -oid). Greek androdes meant "like a man, manly;" compare also Greek andrias "image of a man, statue." Listed as "rare" in OED 1st edition (1879), popularized from c. 1950 by science fiction writers.


wife of Hector, Latin Andromache, from Greek Andromakhē, perhaps literally "whose husband excels in fighting," fem. of andromakhos "fighting with men;" see anthropo- + -machy.


northern constellation, 1667 (earlier Andromece, mid-15c.), from Greek, literally "mindful of her husband," from andros, genitive of anēr "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man") + medesthai "to be mindful of, think on," related to medea (neuter plural) "counsels, plans, devices, cunning" (and source of the name Medea). In classical mythology the daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, she was bound to a rock to be destroyed by the sea monster Cetus, but was rescued by Perseus, mounted on Pegasus. The whole group was transferred to the Heavens (except the rock).

andron (n.)

men's apartment in a house, from Greek andron, collateral form of andronitis "men's apartment," from anēr (genitive andros) "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"). The female equivalent was a gynaeceum.


before a vowel, anthrop-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to man or human beings," from Greek anthrōpos "man; human being" (including women), as opposed to the gods, from andra (genitive andros), Attic form of Greek anēr "man" (as opposed to a woman, a god, or a boy), from PIE root *ner- (2) "man," also "vigorous, vital, strong."

Anthropos sometimes is explained as a compound of anēr and ops (genitive opos) "eye, face;" so literally "he who has the face of a man." The change of -d- to -th- is difficult to explain; perhaps it is from some lost dialectal variant, or the mistaken belief that there was an aspiration sign over the vowel in the second element (as though *-dhropo-), which mistake might have come about by influence of common verbs such as horao "to see." But Beekes writes, "As no IE explanation has been found, the word is probably of substrate origin."

anthropocentric (adj.)
"regarding man as the central fact of creation," 1855, from anthropo- + -centric. Related: Anthropocentrically.