List of replaced loanwords in Turkish

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Contemporary Turkish includes Ottoman Turkish loanwords—mostly of Arabic and French, but also Persian, Greek, and Italian origin—which were officially replaced with their Turkish counterparts suggested by the Turkish Language Association (Turkish: Türk Dil Kurumu, TDK) as a part of the cultural reforms—in the broader framework of Atatürk's Reforms—following the foundation of Republic of Turkey.

The TDK, established by Atatürk in 1932 in order to conduct research on the Turkish language, also undertook the initiative to replace Arabic and Persian loanwords with their Turkish counterparts. The Association succeeded in removing several hundred Arabic words from the language. While most of the words introduced into the language in this process were newly derived from existing Turkish verbal roots, TDK also suggested using old Turkish words which had not been used in the language for centuries; like yanıt, birey, gözgü. Some words were used before language reform too but they were used much less than the Arabic and the Persian ones. Some words were taken from rural areas but most of them had different meanings, like ürün. Mongolian also played an important role too, because Mongolian preserved the old Turkic borrowings, such as ulus and çağ.

There are generational differences in vocabulary preference. While those born before the 1940s tend to use the old Arabic-origin words (even the obsolete ones), younger generations commonly use the newer expressions. Some new words have not been widely adopted, in part because they failed to convey the intrinsic meanings of their old equivalents. Many new words have taken up somewhat different meanings, and cannot necessarily be used interchangeably with their old counterpart.

Many of the loanwords (especially the Arabic, Persian and French ones) are still widely used today, though decreasing in tendency.

Connotations and implications of word choice[edit]

Historically, Arabic was the language of the mosque and Persian was the language of education. Its deliberate usage (eschewing the usage of a "western" word) often implies romanticism or a religious subtext, respectively. Similarly, the use of European words may be favored to impart a perceived "modern" character. The use of "pure Turkic" words may be employed as an expression of nationalism or as a linguistic "simplification".

Origin of the words in Turkish vocabulary[edit]

Origin of the words in Turkish vocabulary, which contains 104,481 words, of which about 86% are Turkish and 14% are of foreign origin

The 2005 edition of Güncel Türkçe Sözlük, the official dictionary of the Turkish language published by Turkish Language Association, contains 104,481 words, of which about 86% are Turkish and 14% are of foreign origin.[1] Among the most significant foreign contributors to Turkish vocabulary are Arabic, French, Persian, Italian, English, and Greek.[2]

Word derivations[edit]

Most of the new Turkish words are derived from other words with thematic suffixes. For example:

Bat- is the root of the verb batmak, which means to sink or to set. The derived word batı means west. Another example would be aylık, which means salary as well as monthly. This is derived from the word ay, which means month.

Here are some other examples of derivations:

  • gün means day -> günce means agenda, güncel means current, gündem means current events and news, güncellemek means to update, günay means date, güney means south, güneş means sun, günlük means diary, gündüz means day time (opposite of night) or morning,
  • kes- is the root of the verb to cut -> kesi means incision, kesici means cutter, kesin means accurate, kesinlikle means definitely, kesinleşmek means to become definite, kesinsizlik means the state of indefinity, keskenmek means to pretend to hit with a hand motion, kesmece is a saying that means the agreement of cutting a fruit before buying it, keser means adze, kesiklik means sudden feeling of tiredness, lethargy, kesilmek means to act like something, kesir means fraction, kesirli means fractional, kesit means cross section, keski means chisel, keskin means sharp, keskinlik means acuity and sharpness, kesim means segment, kesimlik means animal (or tree) fit or ready to be slaughtered/cut, kesinti means interruption, kesintili means on and off, kesintisiz means uninterrupted and seamless, kesme means an object cut in the form of a geometrical shape, kestirme means short-cut, kesik means interrupted, kestirmek means to forecast and to nap, kestirim means guess, kesen means a line that intersects a geometrical entity, kesenek means deduction, kesişmek means to intersect, kesişim means intersection,
  • sap- is the root of the verb to deviate -> sapık means pervert, sapak means turn (as in roads, traffic),
  • duy- is the root of the verb to hear, to feel -> duyu means sensory, duyarlı means sensitive, duyarlılık means sensitivity, duygu means feeling, duyarga(ç) means sensor, duyargan means allergen, duyarca means allergy, duyum means hearsay, duyumsamazlık means apathy,
  • yet- is the root of the verb to suffice -> yeter means sufficient, yetki means authority, yetenek means talent,
  • başka means other -> başkalaşım means metamorphosis,
  • tek means single -> tekel means monopoly, tekdüze means monotonous,
  • ev means home -> evlilik means marriage, evcil means domestic,
  • seç- is the root of the verb to choose -> seçenek means choice, seçkin means elite, seçim means election,
  • düş- is the root of the verb to fall -> düşük means miscarriage,
  • sür- is the root of the verb to last, to put forward -> süreğen means chronic, sürüm means version,
  • yaz- is the root of the verb to write -> yazar means writer, yazgı means fate, yazılım means software, yazanak means report, yazıt means inscription, yazman means secretary, yazıcı means printer, yazın means literature, yazım means orthography, yazışma means correspondence, yazdırım means dictation,
  • ver- is the root of the verb to give -> veri means data, vergi means tax, verim means efficiency,
  • öz means self, real -> özel means special, özen means attention, özgü means peculiar, özgül means specific, özge means other, özne means subject, özgün means original, özgür means free, özümleme means assimilation, öznel means subjective. The verb özle- (meaning to miss, to long for) is also derived from this word, and özlem is a noun that means longing.

Some of the Turkish words are also compound words, such as:

  • Başvuru means application. It is derived from baş (meaning head) and vuru (meaning hitting), so the literal English translation of this compound word would be head-hitting
  • Ayak means foot, and kap means peel, and the compound verb ayakkabı means shoe.
  • Ana means main, and yasa means law, and the compound verb anayasa means constitution
  • Öz means self, and veri means giving, and the compound word özveri means altruism, self-sacrifice.
  • Büyük means big, and elçi means messenger, and the compound word büyükelçi means ambassador.
  • Kesim means cutting, ev means house, and kesimevi means slaughterhouse.

For more information, see the related article: Turkish vocabulary.

Lists of replaced loanwords[edit]

Loanwords of Arabic origin[edit]

The list gives the Ottoman Turkish word, the modern spelling of the word in Turkish (as suggested by TDK), the modern Turkish equivalent, and its meaning in English.

* Old words that are still used in modern Turkish together with their new Turkish counterparts.
** New words that are not as frequently used as the old words.

Ottoman Turkish word and its transliteration Modern spelling of the Ottoman Turkish word Modern Turkish equivalent Meaning in English Remarks
عجله acele * acele ivedi ** urgent(ly) The Turkish word is derived from the verb ivmek, which means to hurry.
عضله ʻaḍale * adele kas muscle From the verb kasmak which means "to tend". The modern word has practically replaced the old one.
عفو ايتمك ʻafu itmek* affetmek bağışlamak to forgive Bağışlamak is actually Persian and related with bahşiş (baksheesh).
عائله ʻaile * aile ocak ** family
عقد ʻaqd *, مقاوله mukâvele akit, mukavele sözleşme, anlaşma, bağıt contract
عقل ʻaql * akıl us ** wisdom While the Turkish word is almost never used, its derivatives (such as uslu, meaning demure, well-behaved) are more widely employed.
علاقه ʻalaqe* alaka(lı) ilgi(li) relevant, related to
عامل ʻâmil amil etken factor
عملية ʻamaliyyah ameliye işlem operation, process
عامه amme amme kamu public, community
عنعنه a'nane anane gelenek, görenek tradition
عساكر asakir * asker **, çeri ** soldier While the Turkish words are never or very rarely used, its derivatives (such as subay, meaning army officer and yeniçeri, meaning janissary) are commonly used.
عصر asr * asır yüzyıl century The compound Turkish word literally means hundred-year
بارز bâriz * bariz kesin, belli obvious, accurate
بسيط basîṭ * basit kolay easy, simple The Turkish word is derived from the word kol, meaning arm. Both are commonly used.
بعض bazı * bazı kimi some (pronoun)
أبيض abyâz * beyaz ak white The Arabic word and the Turkish word are used in somewhat different contexts.
جمعة camiʻah * camîa topluluk community
جبراً cebren cebren zorla forcefully
جلسة calsah * celse oturum (law) hearing, session
ceninisakıt ceninisakıt düşük miscarriage See the section "word derivations" above to see how this word is derived.
جنوب cenûb cenup güney south
جرحة cerahah cerahat irin pus
جواب cevâb * cevap yanıt answer. The new word is from old Turkic yanut. Cevap is still popular.
جهاز cihaz * cihaz aygıt apparatus
جوارى civarı * civarı dolayları approximately, around
جمله cümle * cümle tümce ** sentence. The new word derived from tüm (all, entire).
دفعه defʻa *, کره kere * defa, kere kez times (repetition) An example is: I did this three times. Both defa and kere are still in popular use.
dâ'ir * dair ilişkin pertinent (to)
دفينه define * define gömü treasure The Turkish word is derived from the verb göm-, which means to bury.
دليل delil * delil kanıt evidence
دور devr * devir çağ era The new word is actually from Mongolian. The Mongolian word is from Old Turkic çak.
دوره devre * devre dönem semester The old word is used in many other meanings, and not used any more in the meaning of "semester".
ابعاد ebʻâd * ebat boyut dimension, size. ebʻâd is the plural of بعد (buʻd, buut).
ابدى ebedî * ebedî sonsuz forever The Turkish word literally means without-end.
اجداد ecdâd ecdat ata ancestry The Turkish word literally means father.
اجل ecel * ecel ölüm (predestined time of) death
اجنبى acnebi* ecnebi el, yad stranger, foreigner
ادبيات edebiyyat * edebiyat yazın ** literature
اهميات ehemmiyyet ehemmiyet önem importance
البسه elbise * elbise giysi cloth The Arabic word is in fact the plural of libas
أمر emr * emir buyruk order, command The pure Turkish word is from old Turkic buyruk.
امنيه amniyyah * emniyet güvenlik security The Turkish word is derived from the word güven, meaning trust.
اثر eser * eser yapıt production (music, film) The Turkish word is derived from the verb root yap-, meaning to do.
اسير esîr * esir tutsak hostage The Turkish word is derived from the verb tutuz-.
اطراف etraf * etraf ortalık surroundings, surrounding area The Arabic word is the plural of the word taraf, which means side (see below in this list).
اوراق evrâk * evrak belge paper document In Arabic, evrāk is the plural of vārāk; in modern Turkish, evrak is used as often a singular, although it should be used as a plural of varak.
اول evvel * evvel önce before The Turkish word is derived from the word ön, meaning front. The original Arabic word (awwal) literally means first.
فعال faʻâl * faal etkin active The Turkish word is derived from the auxiliary word et-, meaning to do.
فائد faiz * faiz ürem **, getiri interest (monetary) While the word ürem is never used, the latter word is common in daily language rather with the meaning of yield.
فقير، فقره fakir, fukara * fakir yoksul poor The Turkish word is derived from the word yok. This word is a negation word, which can mean there is not, do (does) not have, do (does) not exist.
فايدة fâydah * fayda yarar benefit, utility
فن fenn *, علم ʻilm * fen, ilim bilim science The Turkish word is derived from the verb root bil-, meaning to know.
فيضان feyezan feyezan taşkın flood, overflow
فرقة furqah fırkat ayrılık disparity The Turkish word is derived from the word ayrı, meaning separate, different.
فكر fikr * fikir görüş opinion The Turkish word is derived from the verb root gör-, meaning to see.
فعل fiʻl * fiil eylem verb The Turkish word is derived from the verb eyle-, which is derived from the auxiliary verb et-, meaning to do.
غرب garb garp batı west Please see the beginning of this article for the derivation of this word.
غير gayr gayri olmayan, başka, dışı non-, other In Arabic, "gayr-i" is a prefix which means non- as in "he is a non-Muslim"; "he is not a Muslim". The term gayrimüslim (non-Muslim) remains the politically correct term in Turkey, used frequently in newspapers etc.
غذاء gıda * gıda besin food
حادثه hadise * hadise olay event, happening, fact, occurrence The Turkish word is derived from the verb ol-, meaning to be, to become.
حافظه hâfıza * hafıza bellek memory The new word is commonly used in electronics, like computer memory, i.e. önbellek for cache
خفيف hafif * hafif yeğni ** light (in weight) The Turkish word is rarely used.
حفريات hafriyyât hafriyat kazı excavation The Turkish word is derived from the verb root kaz-, meaning to dig.
حق haqq * hak pay portion The old word hak has many other meanings in Turkish.
حقيقت haqîqat * hakikat gerçek reality
حاكم hâkim * hâkim yargıç judge
حال hâl *, وضعيت vazʻiyet * hâl, vaziyet durum situation
خليطه halîta halita alaşım alloy
حامله haʻmile * hamile gebe pregnant
خراب harâb * harap yıkık ruin
حرارت harâret * hararet ısı ¹, sıcaklık ² heat¹, temperature² The old word can be used in both meanings in Turkish language.
حركة harekkat * hareket devinim ** movement, motion
حرف harf * harf ses, imce ** letter The new word also means "sound".
حسره hasra * hasret özlem longing
حساس hassas * hassas duyarlı sensitive
حشره haşara * haşere böcek insect
خطا hatâ *, قصور kusûr * hata, kusur yanlış mistake
خاطره hâtıra * hatıra anı memoir
حيات hayât *, عمر ömr * hayat, ömür yaşam, dirim** life
حيثيت haysiyyet * haysiyet saygınlık respectability
حزم hazm * hazım sindirim digestion
هديه hediyye * hediye armağan gift
هيئت hey'et * heyet kurul board (company)
حدت hiddet * hiddet kızgınlık, öfke anger
حكاية hikâye * hikâye öykü story
خلاف hilâf hilaf karşıt opposite
حس his * his duygu feeling
خواجه hôca * hoca öğretmen teacher New word is from öğret-, meaning to teach.
حقوق hukuk * hukuk tüze ** (judiciary) law The Turkish word is not commonly used; however, its derivatives (such as tüzük, meaning regulations, statute) are more widespread
خصوص husûs * husus konu subject
حضور huzûr * huzur dirlik ** comfort
حجرة hucre * hücre göze ** cell The new word is seldom used. There is a word göze meaning spring, fountainhead, regularly used especially in rural areas, commonly also in East of the Turkey, and not a one derived by TDK.
هجوم hücûm * hücum saldırı attack
حرمت hürmet * hürmet saygı respect
اصرار ısrar * ısrar üsteleme insisting
ابتدائی ibtidâ'î iptidai ilkel primary; primitive
اجتماع ictima içtima toplantı meeting, gathering
içtima içtima kavuşum new moon (astronomy)
اجتماعى ictimai içtimai toplumsal communal
ادرار idrar * idrar sidik urine The original meaning of the Arabic word is the action of yielding milk. The Turkish word is derived from an old Turkic verb siymek, meaning to urinate.
افتخار iftihâr * iftihar övünme pride
احتراس ihtiras * ihtiras tutku passion The Turkish word tutku is derived from the verb root tut- which means to hold
احتواء ihtiva ihtiva etmek içermek to comprise
إحتياج ihtiyâc * ihtiyaç gereksinme or gereksinim need iĥtiyâj is the actual Arabic plural form of ĥajet, meaning need
اختيار ihtiyâr * ihtiyar yaşlı old (age) The Turkish word literally means with age.
احتياط ihtiyât ihtiyat yedek backup, spare
اقتباس iktibas iktibas alıntı copying (in literature; referencing)
علاوه ilave * ilave ek addition
الهام ilhâm * ilham esin inspiration
عمار ʻimâr * imar bayındırlık construction, development
امكان imkân * imkân olanak opportunity, possibility
املاء imlâ * imla yazım orthography
امتحان imtihân imtihan sınav, yazılı examination The new word is a borrowing from Tatar. Tatar word is from sına-, meaning to test.
امتياز imtiyâz * imtiyaz ayrıcalık franchise
انحسار inhisâr inhisar tekel monopoly
انسان insân * insan kul ** human The new word is used almost only in religious context.
انطباع intiba intiba izlenim impression
انتحال intihal intihal aşırma plagirism
ارتفاع irtifâʻ * irtifa yükseklik altitude The old word is only used in aviation, as in "the altitude of the plane".
ارثی irsî * ırsi kalıtsal, kalıtımsal hereditary
اسم ism * isim ad name
إستحصال istiḥṣāl istihsal üretim production
إستقلال istiqlal * istiklal bağımsızlık independence, freedom
استراحة istirâhat * istirahat dinlenme rest
إستثقال istisḳāl istiskal aşağılama abasement
استثناء istisnâ' * istisna aykırı exception
اشتغال iştigâl iştigal uğraş / uğraşı occupation
اشتراك iştirâk * iştirak ortaklık association
ايضاح izâh * izah açıklama clarification
ازدواج izdivâc izdivaç evlilik marriage
قابليه kâbiliyet * kabiliyet yetenek / yeti talent, ability
قادر kader * kader yazgı fate
قفة qaffa * kafa baş head
كافي kâfi * kâfi yeter enough
كائنات kâ'inât * kâinat evren universe
قلب kalb * kalp yürek heart
قانون kânûn * kanun yasa law
قانون اساسى kanunuesasi kanunuesasi anayasa constitution (law)
قافيه kâfiye * kafiye uyak rhyme
كانون اول kânûn-ı evvel aralık December
كانون ثانی kânûn-ı sânî ocak January
كلمه kelime * kelime sözcük, söz word
قرمز ghermez * kırmızı al **, kızıl red The Arabic and the Turkish words are used in somewhat different contexts. Kızıl is mostly used for red hair.
قسم kısm * kısım bölüm part
كتاب ketab * kitap betik ** book The Turkish word is derived from an old Turkic verb bitimek, meaning to write. However, the old Turkic verb is ultimately a loanword from Chinese word pi-ti, meaning brush, writing apparatus. The new word is used in computing in the meaning of script.
كفر kufr * küfür sövme ** curse
قوة kuvvet * kuvvet güç or erk power, force In physics, the old word is used for force and the new word is used for power.
كرة küre * küre yuvar ** sphere
لطيفه lâtîfe latife şaka joke The new word is actually also of Arabic origin (from the word şaḳā (شقاء)), meaning pity, being unfortunate
لسان lisân * lisan dil language Dil means both tongue in the physical sense and language, while "lisan" does only tongue in the language sense.
لغات lûġat lügat sözlük dictionary
لزوملو lüzûmlu * lüzumlu gerekli necessary
معاش maʻâş * maaş aylık salary
معباد maʻbed * mabet tapınak temple
مادة maddî * maddî özdeksel ** material, materialistic The Turkish word is exclusively used in the context of philosophy.
مفصل mafsal mafsal eklem ligament The old word is used for "hinge" (non-anatomical).
مغدور mağdûr * mağdur kıygın ** wronged, injured The new word is almost never used.
مغلوبيات maʻlubiyyat * mağlubiyet yenilgi defeat
محفوظ mahfuz mahfuz saklı hidden
مخلوق mahlûk * mahluk yaratık creature Sometimes the plural of the old word ("mahlukat") is used by its singular meaning.
محصول mahsûl * mahsul ürün product The new word actually meant weed.
مخصوص mahsûs * mahsus özgü peculiar
مقصد maksad *, غايه gaye *, هدف hedef * maksat, gaye, hedef amaç or erek goal
معقول maʻkûl * makul uygun, elverişli reasonable
معنة maʻnah * mâna anlam meaning
معنوي manevî * manevî tinsel ** moral, spiritual The Turkish word is exclusively used in the context of philosophy.
مانع mâniʻ * mani engel obstacle
مصرف masraf * masraf gider, harcama cost
mavi * mavi gökçe ** blue The Turkish word is derived from the word gök, meaning sky. Although the Turkish word is rarely used in the context of color, it is a common female name, meaning pleasant, beautiful.
مجاز mecaz *, استعارة istiare mecaz iğretileme, eğretileme metaphor
مجبور mecbûr * mecbur zorunlu obligation, obligatory Both the new and the old words can be used as either a noun or an adjective.
مجهول mechûl * meçhul bilinmeyen unknown
مدني madanni * medeni uygar civil The new word is derived from Uyghurs. The Arabic word means from Medina.
مدنيات madanniyyat * medeniyet uygarlık civilization
مفهوم mefhûm * mefhum kavram concept
مکروه mekrûh * mekruh iğrenç disgusting The old word also has the religious meaning: Disliked, used by all Muslims. Its Arabic meaning is hated
meleke meleke alışkanlık habit
melez * melez kırma hybrid
مملکت memleket * memleket ülke country The old word is used for "one's native region"
مراسم merâsim * merasim tören ceremony
مرثيه mersiye mersiye ağıt elegy
مسافه mesafe * mesafe uzaklık distance
mesame mesame gözenek pore
مثانة mesane * mesane sidik kesesi urinary bladder
مثلا meselâ * mesela örneğin for example
mesele * mesele sorun problem
مسعود mesʻûd * mesut mutlu, sevinçli happy
مسئوليات maʻsûliyyat * mesuliyet sorumluluk responsibility
مشهور meşhûr * meşhur ünlü famous
مشروبات meşrûbât * meşrubat içecek beverage
موقع mevkiʻ مكان mekân * mevki, mekân yer, konum location
ميدان meydân *, ساحه sâha meydan, saha alan ** open area, plaza While the new word is used mainly in mathematics (as in the "area" of a triangle), it is seldom used with the same meaning of the old words except in compound words like havaalanı (airport), not hava meydanı (older version).
ميل meyl * meyil eğim, eğilim inclination
مزار mezar * mezar gömüt ** cemetery The Turkish word is derived from the verb göm-, which means to bury.
منطقة mıntıka mıntıka bölge region
mısra * mısra dize verse
مراث mirâs * miras kalıt ** inheritance The new word is almost never used, but its derivatives are in use, such as kalıtımsal (hereditary).
مسافر misâfir * misafir konuk guest
مثال misâl * misal örnek example Örnek is actually Armenian.
مسکين miskîn * miskin uyuşuk, mıymıntı lazy
معامله muʻâmele * muamele davranış treatment, behavior
معما muʻammâ muamma bilmece puzzle, trivia
معاصر muʻâsır muasır çağdaş, güncel contemporary
معاون muʻâvin * muavin yardımcı helper
معجزه muʻcize * mucize tansık ** miracle The new word is almost never used.
مغذي mugaddii mugaddi besleyici nourisher
مغالطه mugalata mugalata yanıltmaca deceptive statement
مغني، مغنيه muganni, muganniye muganni,muganniye şarkıcı singer
مغايرة mugayeret mugayeret aykırılık irregularity
مغاير mugayir mugayir aykırı irregular The old word has only remained as a legal term meaning adverse.
mugber muğber küskün, gücenmiş, dargın the state of one not talking to another
muglak * muğlak çapraşık ambiguous
مخابره muhabere muhabere iletişim, iletişme communication
مهاجرة muhaceret muhaceret göç emigration
مهاجم muhacim muhacim saldıran, saldırıcı attacker, offender
مهاجر muhacir muhacir göçmen immigrant
محدب muhaddep muhaddep dış bükey convex The western word konveks is used too.
محافظة muhafaza * muhafaza koruma conservation
muhafazakar * muhafazakar tutucu conservative
محافظ muhafız muhafız koruyucu protector
محاكمه muhakeme * muhakeme yargılama, uslamlama judgment, argumentation
مدة muddat * müddet süre duration
محقق muhakkak* muhakkak kesin(likle) certain(ly)
محقق muhakkik muhakkik soruşturmacı investigator
محال muhal muhal olanaksız impossible
مخالفة muhallaffat * muhalefet karşıtlık opposition The Arabic word is especially common in the context of politics
مخمن muhammen muhammen oranlanan, ön görülen pre-determined
مخمس muhammes muhammes beşgen pentagon
muhammin muhammin ön gören one that pre-determines
محاربه muhârebe, حرب harb muharebe, harp savaş war
محارب muharip muharip savaşçı warrior
محرر muharrer muharrer yazılı, yazılmış written
محرك muharrik muharrik kışkırtıcı, ayartıcı provoker
muharriş muharriş tırmalayan, irkilten aggravator
muhassamat muhasamat çarpışma collusion
محاصره muhasara muhasara kuşatma siege
محاسبه muhasebe * muhasebe saymanlık accounting, bookkeeping
محاسبجي muhasebeci * muhasebeci sayman accountant, bookkeeper
muhassır muhasır kuşatan one that envelops
muhassala muhassala bileşke resultant
muhassas muhassas ayrılmış reserved
muhat muhat kuşatılmış one that's enveloped, sieged
muhavvil muhavvil dönüştüren converter
muhavvile muhavvile dönüştürücü transformer
محتمل muhtemel * muhtemel olası possible
محتويات muhteviyyât muhteviyat içindekiler ingredients
مقدس mukaddes mukaddes kutsal sacred
منتظم muntazam * muntazam düzgün, düzenli tidy
مربع murabbaʻ murabba kare square The word kare is actually a loanword itself (from French carré)
murafaa murafaa duruşma court hearing
معتدل muʻtedil mutedil ılım(lı) moderate(ly)
موفقيت muvaffakıyyet muvaffakiyet başarı success
مبالغه mübalâga mübalağa abartı exaggeration
مجادله mücâdele * mücadele çaba, uğraş endeavor
مجرد mücerrit mücerrit soyut abstract
مدافعه müdâfaʻa müdafaa koruma sustain, protect, defend
مداخله müdâhale * müdahale karışma intervention
مدت müddet * müddet süre duration
مدركه mudrike müdrike anlık intellect (in psychology)
mudrir müdrir idrar söktürücü diuretic
muebbet * müebbet yaşam boyu, sonsuz lifelong, forever In today's Turkish, the Arabic word is exclusively used in the meaning of lifelong prisonment
mueccel müeccel ertelenmiş delayed
مؤدب mueddep müeddep uslu well behaved, demure
مؤلفات muelleffat müellefat (yazılı) yapıt (written) piece
مؤلف، محرر muellif, muharrir müellif, muharrir yazar writer
مؤمن muemmen müemmen sağlanmış secured
مؤنث muennes müennes dişil feminine
مؤسسه mu'essese müessese kurum foundation
muessif müessif üzücü saddenning
مؤثر muessir müessir dokunaklı touching
مؤسس muessis müessis kurucu founder
mueyyide müeyyide yaptırım sanction
مفكره mufekkrireh müfekkire düşünce gücü thought capacity
muferrih müferrih iç açıcı relaxing, refreshing
مفرد mufrett müfret tekil singular
مفلس muflis müflis batkın one that's gone bankrupt
مهم mühim * mühim önemli important
مؤمن mü'min mümin inanan, inançlı believer
مناسبت münâsebet * münasebet ilişki relation
مراجعت mürâcaʻat müracaat başvuru application
مركب mürekkeb mürekkep birleşmiş, birleşik composed of The word mürekkep is still used in Turkish in another meaning: ink.
مرتب murrettip mürettip dizgici type setter
مسابقه müsâbaka müsabaka karşılaşma match, competition
مسامحه müsâmaha müsamaha hoşgörü tolerance
مساوى musavi müsavi eşit, denk equal
مستهجن müstehcen * müstehcen uygunsuz inappropriate, obscene
مستملك mustamlak müstemleke sömürge colony (exploitee)
مسوده müsvedde * müsvedde taslak draft
مشابه، مماثل muşabbih, mumassil müşabih, mümasil benzer similar
مشبهات muşşabbahat müşabehet benzerlik similarity
مشخص müşahhas müşahhas somut concrete (in concept) (opposite of abstract)
مشكل müşkül müşkül çetin ** difficult
muşkul-pesend müşkülpesent titiz fussy
مشرك muşrik müşrik çoktanrıcı polytheist
مشتق müştak müştak türev derivative
muştehi müştehi istekli willing (person)
مشتكي muşteki müşteki yakınan, sızlanan one who complains, whiner
مشتملات muştemilat müştemilat eklenti attachment, appandage
مشترك muşterek * müşterek ortak partner
muştereken müştereken ortaklaşa jointly
مشتري muşteri * müşteri alıcı, alımcı customer
mut'a müt'a geçici kazanç temporary earning
مطالعه mütâlâʻa mütalâa düşünce thought
متارکه mütâreke mütareke antlaşma armistice
متعدد muteaddit müteaddit birçok a lot, many
متفن muteaffin müteaffin kokuşuk malodorous
متعهد muteahhid * müteahhit üstenci contractor
muteahhidlik müteahhitlik üstencilik contractor (as a profession)
muteakiben müteakiben arkadan following
متعاقب muteakib müteakip sonra, ardından after, thereafter
متعاليه mutealiye mütealiye deneyüstücülük transcendentalism
متعلق muteallik müteallik ilişkin, ilgili related (to)
متعمم muteammim müteammim yaygınlaşmış, genelleşmiş something that has widespread
متعارفه mutearife mütearife belit ** axiom The French word aksiyom is more common
متبقي mutebaki mütebaki kalan remaining
mutebasbıs mütebasbıs yaltakçı slimy
متبدل mutebeddil mütebeddil değişen, kararsız one that changes, undecided
متبسم mutebessim mütebessim gülümseyen, güleç one that smiles
متجنس mutecanis mütecanis bağdaşık homogenous
mutecasir mütecasir yeltenen one who dares
متجاوز mutecaviz mütecaviz saldırgan attacker
متدين mutedeyyin mütedeyyin dindar religious
متأثر muteessir müteessir üzüntülü sad (person)
متفكر mutefekkir mütefekkir düşünür thinker, intellectual
متفرق müteferrik müteferrik dağınık untidy
متحمل mutehammil mütehammil dayanıklı durable
متحرك muteharrik müteharrik devingen, oynar mobile
متخصص mütehassıs mütehassıs uzman expert
متشبث muteşşebbis müteşebbis girişimci entrepreneur
متوازي mütevâzî * mütevazi alçakgönüllü humble
متوفى muteveffa müteveffa ölü, ölmüş dead
متفق muttefik * müttefik bağlaşık ** ally
مزايده muzayyadeh müzayede açık arttırma auction
مزمن müzmin müzmin süreğen chronic The new word is seldom used.
نادر، اندر nadir *, ender * nadir, ender seyrek rare(ly)
نغمه nağme nağme ezgi melody
nafile * nafile boşuna futile
نصيحت nasîhat * nasihat öğüt advice, counsel
نظير nâzır nazır bakan minister
نفس nefes * nefes soluk breath
نسيج nesiç nesiç doku tissue
نسل nesl * nesil kuşak generation
نتيجه netîce * netice sonuç result
نزيف nezif nezif kanama hemorrhage
نصف nısf nısıf yarı(m) half
نهايت nihâyet * nihayet son(unda) final(ly)
نكاح nikâh * nikâh düğün wedding In modern Turkish, nikâh is generally used for the wedding ceremony, while düğün is used for the wedding reception or party.
نسبت nisbet * nispet oran ratio
نطق nutk * nutuk söylev speech
رغما ragmen * rağmen karşın despite, in spite of
رفاه rafāh * refah gönenç prosperity
رأی re'y rey oy vote
رئيس re'îs reis başkan president
روح ruh * ruh tin ** spirit The Turkish word is almost never used, except in the context of philosophy
رطوبه rutûbet * rutubet yaşlık, ıslaklık moisture
رؤيا rü'ya * rüya düş dream
سادهّ, سائد sade, sa'aid * sade yalın plain The Turkish word is rarely used.
صفحة safha * safha evre, aşama stage, phase
صفراء safra * safra öd bile
ساحل sahil * sahil kıyı coast
صاحب sahip * sahip iye ** owner The Turkish word is seldom used; however, it is commonly used in the context of grammar when describing the possessive suffix (iyelik eki)
sahte * sahte düzmece fake
samimî * samimi içten sincere the Turkish word literally means from inside
سطح sath satıh yüzey surface
سياره sayyâre seyyare araba, taşıt car Interestingly, "araba" is the outdated expression for "car" in Arabic. The current word in Arabic for car is "Seyyara" but in Turkish seyyar, means "transportable" or given to travel.
سبب sebeb * sebep neden reason
سفاره safarat sefaret büyükelçilik embassy
سلامت selâmet selamet esenlik health, soundness
سما semâ sema gök sky
سنه sene * sene yıl year
seviye * seviye düzey level
صحت sıhhat sıhhat sağlık health
سحر sihr * sihir büyü magic
صحبت sohbet * sohbet söyleşi chat The new word is used in somewhat different contexts.
سؤال su'âl sual soru question
صلح sulh sulh barış peace
صنع sunî suni yapay artificial The Turkish word is derived from the verb yapmak, which means to do.
سکوت sükût sükût sessizlik silence The Turkish word literally means soundlessness.
sürʻat * sürat hız velocity, speed In physics, the old word is used for speed (scalar) and the new word is used for velocity (vectoral). The new word is actually a loanword from Persian خيز (khiz), meaning "move!" and gained its new meaning after 20. century.
شاهد şâhid * şahit tanık witness The Turkish word is derived from the verb tanımak, which means to recognize.
شاعر şair * şair ozan poet
شرق şark şark doğu east The Turkish word is derived from the verb doğmak, which means to be born.
شرط şart * şart koşul condition
şatafat(lı) şatafat(lı) gösteriş(li) spectacular (noun and adjective)
شمال şimâl şimal kuzey north
şuʻûr * şuur bilinç consciousness The Turkish word is derived from the verb bilmek, which means to know.
şübheli * şüpheli sanık suspect; someone charged with an offense
تعلق taalluk taalluk ilinti connection, relation
طبقه tabaqqa * tabaka katman layer
طبيعت ṭabîʻat * tabiat doğa nature The Turkish word is derived from the verb doğmak, meaning to be born.
طبيعى ṭabîʻî * tabii doğal natural The Arabic word is mostly used with the meaning certainly, of course. The new word doesn't have this meaning. French loanword natürel is used too.
تعبير، افاده taʻbîr, ifâde* tabir, ifade deyiş** narration
ṭâbiyet* tâbiyet uyruk** nationality
تحليل tahlil * tahlil inceleme (laboratory) test (as in medicine)
تخمين tahmin * tahmin kestirim ** guess, prediction
تعقيب taʻkib* takip izlem ** follow-up The Turkish word is derivede from the verb izlemek, meaning to watch.
طلب ṭaleb * talep istek request, demand, wish
طلبه ṭalebe talebe öğrenci student (plural of طالب ṭâlib, "seeker" [of knowledge])
تعمير taʻmîr *, تعديلات taʻdîlât * tamir, tadilat onarım repair, renovation
طرف taraf * taraf yan side
taraftar * taraftar yandaş supporter, proponent While the Turkish word is also very common, only the Arabic word is used in the context of fan or supporter of a sports club.
تاريخ tarih * tarih günay ** date (in time) The Arabic word tarih also means history. The Turkish word günay (literally meaning, day-month) is rarely used.
تسلط tasallut tasallut sarkıntılık (sexual) harassment
تصور tasavvur tasavvur canlandırma, tasarı imagine
تصديق tasdîk * tasdik onay approve
تصحيح tashîh tashih düzeltme correction
تصوير tasvîr * tasvir betimleme description
طياره tayyâre tayyare uçak airplane
توصيه tavsiye * tavsiye salık advice
تعادل teʻâdül teadül denklik equivalence
تعامل teʻâmül teamül tepkime, davranış reaction, behavior
تبسم tebessüm tebessüm gülümseme smile
تبديل tebdîl tebdil değişiklik change
تبريك tebrîk * tebrik kutlama congratulate The new word also has the meaning "celebration".
تجلى tecellî tecelli belirme emerge, appear
تجسم tecessüm tecessüm görünme appearance, manifestation
تجربة tecrübe * tecrübe deneyim experience
تجهيزات techîzât * teçhizat donanım equipment
تداوى tedavi * tedavi sağaltım ** therapy
تدبير tedbîr * tedbir önlem precaution
تأثر te'essür teessür üzüntü agony
teferruat teferruat ayrıntı detail
تكامل tekâmül tekamül evrim, başkalaşım maturation, metamorphosis, evolution
تقاعد tekaʻüd tekaüt emeklilik retirement
تكفل tekeffül tekeffül yükümlenme standing surety
تكليف teklîf * teklif öneri proposal
تكرار tekrar * tekrar yine again
تلاش telâş * telaş tasa, kaygı worry
تناسب tenâsüb tenasüp uyum congruity
تنبيه tenbîh * tembih uyarı warning
tercîh etmek * tercih etmek yeğlemek to prefer
ترجمه tercüme * tercüme çeviri translation
تردد terreddut * tereddüt duraksama hesitancy
ترتيب tertip * tertip düzen order, tidiness
تأثير tesir * tesir etki effect
تسلى teselli * teselli avunma console
تشخيص teşhis * teşhis tanı diagnosis The Turkish word tanı is the root of the verb tanımak, which literally means to recognize
تشكيل teshkil teşkil etmek oluşturmak to constitute
تشرين اول teşrîn-i evvel ekim October
تشرين ثانی teşrîn-i sânî kasım November
تشويق teşvik * teşvik özendirme, kışkırtma (providing) incentive, provocation
usûl * usul yöntem method
عنصر unsur * unsur öğe constituent, element
عنوان unvan * ünvan san (professional) title
اسلوب uslup * üslup biçem ** style
وعد vaʻd * vaat söz promise (noun)
واقعه vakʻâ * vaka olay event
وقور vakûr vakur ağır başlı dignified The Turkish expression literally means heavy headed.
وصف vasf * vasıf nitelik feature, quality
واسطه vasıta vasıta araç vehicle
وسيع vâsi vâsi engin vast
وطن vatan * vatan yurt homeland
vatandaş * vatandaş yurttaş ** citizen The Turkish word used to be more common up to thirty years ago.
vaz geçmek * vazgeçmek caymak to change one's mind; to give up (on something/someone) Here, vaz is the Persian loan word, and geçmek is a Turkish auxiliary verb.
وظيفه vazîfe * vazife görev task, mission
و ve * ve ile and Although the Turkish word is also very common, it cannot always replace the Arabic word. For example, in a sentence like, I came and I ate, the Turkish word ile cannot be used in this context.
وهم vehm vehim kuruntu apprehension, fancy
ولاية vilâyet* vilayet il province
تفسير tefsîr * tefsir yorum interpretation, analysis, comment
ضبط dzabt * zabıt tutanak minute of proceeding, trial
ضمير zamîr * zamir adıl ** pronoun
زاويه zaviye zaviye açı angle From 'aç-', meaning 'to open'.

Loanwords of French origin[edit]

The French words started to infiltrate the Turkish language in the 1800s, when the administrative reforms (Tanzimat) started taking place in the Ottoman Empire. The extent of French influence was so much that the number of French loanwords was close to 5,000.

Most of the French loanwords are still widely used in today's Turkish.

* Words that are still used in modern Turkish together with their new Turkish counterparts.

Loanword Turkish equivalent Meaning in English Original French spelling
ajanda * andaç (replaced with gündem ) agenda agenda
akselerasyon ivme acceleration accélération
aksesuar * süs accessory (decorative) accessoire
aktif * etkin active actif
alternatif * seçenek alternative (noun) alternatif
analiz * çözümleme analysis analyse
asimilasyon, anabolizma * özümleme assimilation, anabolism assimilation, anabolisme
astronomi * gökbilim astronomy astronomie
avantaj * üstünlük advantage avantage
done veri data donnée
detay * ayrıntı detail détail
direkt * doğrudan directly direct
dikte * yazdırım dictation dictée
doktrin öğreti doctrine doctrine
doküman * belge document document
domestik * evcil domestic domestique
dominant baskın dominant dominant
egzersiz * alıştırma exercise exercice
endemik * salgın endemic endémique
enerji * erke energy énergie
enflamasyon * yangı inflammation inflammation
enformatik bilişim information technology informatique
enteresan * ilginç interesting intéressant
eritrosit alyuvar red blood cell érythrocyte
eksper * bilirkişi expert expert
faks * belgeç, belgegeçer fax fax
faktör * etken factor facteur
fenomen * olgu phenomenon phénomène
filoloji * dilbilim philology philologie
filtre * süzgeç filter filtre
fizyoloji * işlevbilim physiology physiologie
fonksiyon * işlev function fonction
fotokopi * tıpkıbasım photocopy photocopie
garanti * güvence insurance, assurance garantie
global * küresel global global
gramer dil bilgisi grammar grammaire
grup * öbek group groupe
halüsinasyon * sanrı hallucination hallucination
histoloji doku bilimi histology histologie
homojen * bağdaşık homogenous homogène
illüzyon * yanılsama illusion illusion
istatistik * sayımlama statistics statistiques
izolasyon * yalıtım isolation isolation
kalite * nitelik quality qualité
kampüs * yerleşke campus campus
kapasite * sığa, kapsam capacity capacité
karakter * kişilik character, personality caractère
kategori * ulam category catégorie
kompleks * karmaşık complex complexe
komünikasyon iletişim communication communication
konsantrasyon * derişim concentration concentration
konsolidasyon * süreletme consolidation (economics) consolidation
kontrol * denetim control contrôle
korelasyon bağıntı correlation corrélation
kramp * kasınç (muscle) cramp crampe
kriter * ölçüt criteria critères
kronik * süreğen chronic(ally) chronique
kuaför * güzellik salonu/berber beauty/hair salon, barber coiffeur
lenf * ak kan lymph lymphe
liste * dizelge list liste
lokosit akyuvar white blood cell leucocyte
medya * basın-yayın media média
mekanizma * düzenek mechanism mécanisme
meridyen * boylam longitude méridien
mesaj, posta * ileti message message
metamorfoz * başkalaşım metamorphosis métamorphose
metot * yöntem method méthode
monoton * tekdüze monotonous monotone
mobilya * ? furniture mobilier
moral * özgüç moral morale
mutasyon * değişinim mutation mutation
normal * olağan normal normal
objektif * nesnel objective objectif
organizasyon * düzenleme organization organisation
orijinal * özgün original original
otorite * yetke authority autorité
over yumurtalık ovary ovaire
paradoks * çelişki paradox paradoxe
paralel * enlem latitude parallèle
parazit * asalak parasite parasite
pasif * edilgen passive passif
performans * başarım performance performance
plaj * kumsal beach plage
plato * yayla plateau plateau
popüler, favori * gözde popular, favorite populaire, favori
prensip * ilke principal principe
prezentasyon sunum presentation présentation
primer birincil primary primaire
problem * sorun problem problème
prodüktör yapımcı producer producteur
program * izlence program programme
proje * tasarı project projet
prosedür * işlem, işleyiş procedure procédure
proses süreç process procès
provokasyon kışkırtma provocation provocation
radyoaktif * ışın etkin radioactive radioactif
randıman * verim efficiency rendement
rapor * yazanak report rapport
rejisör yönetmen director régisseur
resesif çekinik recessive récessif
restoran * aşevi restaurant restaurant
rezistans direnç resistance résistance
sekunder, sekonder ikincil secondary secondaire
sekreter * yazman secretary secrétaire
sembol * simge symbol symbole
semptom * belirti symptom symptôme
sendrom * belirti syndrome syndrome
sentez * bireşim synthesis synthèse
sistem * dizge system système
simülasyon * öğrence simulation simulation
solüsyon çözelti solution solution
spesifik özellikli specific spécifique
spesiyal özel special spécial
standart * ölçün standard standard
statik * duruk static statique
statü * durum status statut
subjektif * öznel subjective subjectif
teori * kuram theory théorie
tretuvar kaldırım pavement / sidewalk trottoir
tümör * ur tumor tumeur
versiyon * sürüm version version
viraj * dönemeç turn (as in traffic) virage
ultrason * yansılanım (the act of echoing) ultrasound ultrason

Loanwords of Persian origin[edit]

The list gives the Ottoman Turkish word, the modern spelling of the word in Turkish (as suggested by TDK), the modern Turkish equivalent, and its meaning in English.

Most of the original Persian words are still widely used in modern Turkish. In fact, there are over 1,500 Persian words in Turkish. However, for many of the Persian words (unlike Arabic words[citation needed]), there is no TDK-prescribed equivalent. TDK did not put as much effort into replacing Persian words as it did for Arabic words[citation needed], largely because the Persian words were better assimilated into the language.[citation needed] Arabic language and culture is general perceived by Turks to be more "foreign" than Persian language and culture, which had a native presence in Anatolia since the time of the Achaemenids, and was patronised for millennia afterwards by other dynasties with a presence in Anatolia such as the Sasanians, Seleucids, Seljuks, Sultanate of Rum, and lastly, the Ottomans, amongst others.

* New words that are not as frequently used as the old words.

Ottoman Turkish word Modern spelling of the Ottoman Turkish word Modern Turkish equivalent Meaning in English Remarks
برابر beraber birlikte together
بوسه buse öpücük kiss
جنگ cenk savaş war
چابك çabuk ivedi * quick(ly) Çabuk is actually a Turkic word.
چاره çare çözüm solution
چهره çehre yüz face
چنبر çember yuvarlak circle
çeşit tür kind, variety Çeşit is still in popular use.
چهار یک çeyrek dörtte bir quarter Both the Persian and the Turkish expressions literally mean one in four
درد dert ağrı pain Dert changed meaning and is now used as "problem"
دیگر diğer öbür, öteki other
دشمن düşman yağı * enemy The Turkish word is almost never used.
انديشه endişe kaygı worry (noun)
گزيده güzide seçkin élite Please see the beginning of this article for the derivation of "seçkin"
خسته hasta sayrı* patient, sick The Turkish word is never used. But its derivative sarılık is. The original Persian word actually means tired
همیشه hemîşe her zaman always The Persian word is no longer in use.
هنوز henüz daha yet Both words are still in popular use.
kurnaz açıkgözlü cunning The Turkish word literally means open-eyed. Both words are used.
مهتاب mehtap ay ışığı moonlight
پاپوش pabuç ayakkabı shoe Both the Persian and the Turkish words literally mean foot coverer
سرخوش sarhoş esrik * drunk The Persian word (serhoş) literally means head-sweet. The Turkish word is derived from the verb root es-, meaning to blow, to fan (wind). The Turkish word is no longer used.
سر ser baş head
serbest erkin * free, footloose The Turkish word is almost never used.
سرسری serseri başıboş bum, runabout The Turkish word is rarely used.
سياه siyah kara black The Persian and the Turkish word are used in somewhat different contexts.
بهار sonbahar güz fall (season) The Persian word behar means spring. The Turkish compound word sonbahar (which literally means last-spring) means fall. The compound word ilkbahar'(first-spring')means spring. But often just the word "bahar" is used.
شهر şehir kent city The word kent is actually of Sogdian origin. Sogdian is an Iranian language that is now extinct.
taze yeni new taze and yeni are used in different ways. While taze means rather fresh, yeni means new.
تنبل tembel haylaz lazy
ویران viran yıkık ruin
یاور yaver yardımcı helper The Persian word is hardly ever used.
yeknesak tekdüze monotonous
یکپاره yekpare bütün whole
زهر zehir ağı * poison, toxin The Turkish word is rarely used.
zengin varsıl *, varlıklı, varlı ** rich The Turkish word is rarely used.
زور zor çetin * difficult Both words are used but çetin means very difficult or unfeasible.

Loanwords of other origin[edit]

* Words that are still used in modern Turkish together with their new Turkish counterparts.

Loanword Turkish equivalent Meaning in English Origin language Original spelling Remarks
akut iveğen acute(ly) German akut
angarya * yüklenti drudgery, forced labor Greek αγγαρεία The Turkish word is still unused.
endoskopi * iç görüm ("inside seeing") endoscopy English The Turkish word is less common.
fetüs * dölüt fetus Latin fetus The Turkish word is used occasionally.
genetik * kalıtım (bilimi) ("the science of heredity") genetics German Genetik Both the loanword and the Turkish word are used.
hegemonya * boyunduruk hegemony Greek ηγεμονία The Turkish word is more commonly used.
İnternet * Genel Ağ Internet English The Turkish word is still unused.
konsonant ünsüz consonant German[3] Konsonant The loanword is now unused.
kundura * ayakkabı shoe Italian condura The Turkish word is more commonly used.
otoban * otoyol highway German Autobahn
vokal * ünlü vowel German[4] Vokal The loanword is now unused.
pezevenk * dümbük procurer Armenian բոզավագ The Turkish word is less common.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Güncel Türkçe Sözlük" (in Turkish). Turkish Language Association. 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  2. ^ "Türkçe Sözlük (2005)'teki Sözlerin Kökenlerine Ait Sayısal Döküm (Numerical list on the origin of words in Türkçe Sözlük (2005))" (in Turkish). Turkish Language Association. 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  3. ^ TDK Online Dictionary - konsonant
  4. ^ TDK Online Dictionary - vokal


  • Yazım Kılavuzu, the official spelling guide of the Turkish language on TDK website