Aorist (from Greek "αοριστός" without horizon, unbounded) is an aspect or, used more specifically, a verb tense in some Indo-European languages, such as Classical Greek (the term is also used for unrelated concepts in some other languages, such as Turkish [] ). In contrast to the imperfective aspect, which refers to an action as continual or repeated, or to the perfect aspect, which calls attention to the consequences generated by an action, the "aorist aspect" has no such implications, but refers to an action "pure and simple". [cite book|title=Learning Greek with Plato|author=Frank Beetham|year=2007|publisher=Bristol Phoenix Press|pages=362]

In the indicative mood, the aorist refers to a past action, in a general way or as a completed event. It may also be used to express a general statement in the present (the "gnomic aorist"). Used this way, it is described as the "aorist tense". In other moods (subjunctive, optative, and imperative), the infinitive, and (largely) the participle, the aorist is purely aspectual. In these forms, it has no temporal meaning, and acts purely as an alternative to the other aspects.

The aorist aspect is used, for example, in the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:11, which says "Give ("δὸς" "dos", aorist imperative) us "this day" our daily bread"), whereas Luke 11:3 implies a sense of continuation with "Give ("δίδου" "didou", present imperative) us "day by day" our daily bread."

In Proto-Indo-European, the aorist may have originated simply as an aspect of syntactic inflection, but later it probably developed into a combination of tense and aspect, a similar syntax being evident in Sanskrit. Many Indo-European languages, such as Latin, have lost the aorist as a distinct feature.


In the Indo-European languages Greek and Sanskrit, the aorist is marked by several morphological devices, but three stand out as most common:

ee also

*Perfective aspect




External links

* [ Greek tenses]

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  • aorist — AORÍST, aoriste, s.n. Timp verbal, în unele limbi, care exprimă o acţiune trecută nedeterminată. – Din fr. aoriste, lat. aoristus. Trimis de ana zecheru, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  aoríst s. n., pl. aoríste Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa:… …   Dicționar Român

  • Aorist — A o*rist ([=a] [ o]*r[i^]st), n. [Gr. ao ristos indefinite; a priv. + ori zein to define, ? boundary, limit.] (Gram.) A tense in the Greek language, which expresses an action as completed in past time, but leaves it, in other respects, wholly… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Aorist — (v. gr. Aoristus, d.i. die unbestimmte, unbegrenzte, nämlich Zeit), Tempus, besonders der griechischen Sprache eigen, bezeichnet eine einmalige, ohne Beziehung auf eine andere gedachte Handlung, daher das historische Tempus …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Aŏrist — (griech., »unbegrenzt«), ein Tempusstamm des griech. Verbums, der sich auch in andern ältern indogermanischen Sprachen findet, und dessen Indikativ durch unser deutsches einfaches oder zusammen gesetztes Präteritum zu übersetzen ist …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Aoríst — (grch.), eine Zeitform des Verbums, die die momentane Handlung ausdrückt, zugleich das histor., erzählende Tempus, so z.B. im Griechischen; in andern Sprachen meist verloren …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Aorist — Aorist, griech. Zeitform, die ohne Beziehung auf Gegenwart oder ein anderes Moment der Vergangenheit eine Handlung rein als geschehen darstellt; ihr entspricht im Deutschen unser fälschlich sogenanntes Imperfektum, z.B. trat, lebte …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • aorist — (n.) 1580s, the simple past tense of Greek verbs, from Gk. aoristos (khronos) indefinite (tense), from privative prefix a not (see A (Cf. a ) (3)) + horistos limited, defined, verbal adjective from horizein to limit, define, from horos boundary,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • aorist — ȁorist m DEFINICIJA gram. glagolski oblik koji izriče prošlu svršenu radnju [skočih prema skočiti] ETIMOLOGIJA grč. aóristos: neomeđen ≃ a 1 + horízein: omeđivati …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • aorist — [ā′ə rist, er′ist] n. [Gr aoristos, indefinite < a , not + horistos, definable < horizein, to define < horos, a limit: see HORIZON] a past tense of Greek verbs, denoting an action without indicating whether completed, continued, or… …   English World dictionary

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