Words related to *pele-

Planaria (n.)

flat worm-like animal, 1819, from Modern Latin (1776) noun use of fem. of Late Latin planarius, literally "on level ground" (here used to mean "flat"), from Latin planum, planus "flat, level, even, plain" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread"). Related: Planarian.

plane (n.1)

"flat surface, simplest of all geometrical surfaces," c. 1600, from Latin planum "flat surface, plane, level, plain," noun use of neuter of adjective planus "flat, level, even, plain, clear," from PIE *pla-no- (source also of Lithuanian plonas "thin;" Celtic *lanon "plain;" perhaps also Greek pelanos "sacrificial cake, a mixture offered to the gods, offering (of meal, honey, and oil) poured or spread"), suffixed form of root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread."

Introduced (perhaps by influence of French plan in this sense) to differentiate the geometrical senses from plain, which in mid-16c. English also meant "geometric plane." The figurative sense, in reference to inanimate things, is attested from 1850.

plane (n.3)

"tool for smoothing surfaces," mid-14c., from Old French plane, earlier plaine (14c.) and directly from Late Latin plana, back-formation from planare "make level," from Latin planus "level, flat, smooth" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread").

plane (v.2)

"soar, glide on motionless wings," early 15c., planen, from Old French planer "to hover (as a bird), to lie flat," from plan (n.) "plane," or perhaps via Medieval Latin; in either case from Latin planum "flat surface" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread"), on notion of bird gliding with flattened wings. Of boats, etc., "to skim over the surface of water," it is attested by 1913. Related: Planed; planing.

planet (n.)
Origin and meaning of planet

late Old English planete, in old astronomy, "star other than a fixed star; star revolving in an orbit," from Old French planete (Modern French planète) and directly from Late Latin planeta, from Greek planētēs, from (asteres) planētai "wandering (stars)," from planasthai "to wander," a word of uncertain etymology.

Perhaps it is from a nasalized form of PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread," on the notion of "spread out," "but the semantics are highly problematic," according to Beekes, who notes the similarity of meaning to Greek plazein "to make devious, repel, dissuade from the right path, bewilder," but adds, "it is hard to think of a formal connection."

So called because they have apparent motion, unlike the "fixed" stars. Originally including also the moon and sun but not the Earth; modern scientific sense of "world that orbits a star" is from 1630s in English. The Greek word is an enlarged form of planes, planetos "who wanders around, wanderer," also "wandering star, planet," in medicine "unstable temperature."


word-forming element meaning "level, flat, plane," from Latin plani-, from planus "flat, level" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread").

planisphere (n.)

"map of the heavens made by projection of a portion of the celestial sphere onto a plane surface," late 14c., planisperie, from Anglo-Latin planispherium, Medieval Latin planisphaerium, from Latin planus "flat, level" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread") + sphaera (see sphere (n.)). Related: Planispheric.


alternative form of plani- "flat, level" (based on Latin planus), but an identical word-forming element is used in sciences as a combining form of Greek planos "wandering" (see planet).

word-forming element in biology and medicine denoting "formation, growth, development," from Modern Latin -plasia, from Greek plasis "molding, formation," from plassein "to mold" (see plasma).
plasma (n.)

1712, "form, shape" (a sense now obsolete), a more classical form of earlier plasm; from Late Latin plasma, from Greek plasma "something molded or created," hence "image, figure; counterfeit, forgery; formed style, affectation," from plassein "to mold," originally "to spread thin," from PIE *plath-yein, from root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread."

Sense of "the liquid part of blood, etc., as distinguished from the corpuscles" is from 1845. In physics, the sense of "ionized gas" is by 1928.

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