Definition 2024



See also: balts




  1. plural of Balt




See also: Balts



balts m (uncountable)

  1. courtship display (e.g. birds)

Related terms

  • baltsen
  • baltsgedrag
  • baltstijd
  • baltsvlucht


Etymology 1

From an unattested verb *balt (to become white) (of which balts originally was the past participle form; compare. Lithuanian verb bálti, and compare. Latvian 17th-century derived verb baltīt (to make, paint something white), later replaced by other verbs, derived from balts: from Proto-Baltic *bal-, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel-, *bʰol- (shiny, white). Cognates include Lithuanian báltas, Sudovian baltas. In several Indo-European languages, reflexes of the stem *bʰel-, *bʰol- are often found in words relating to water or humid places, probably due to their shiny, reflective surfaces: Illyrian *balta (“marsh, swamp”), Albanian baltë (mud, sludge, swamp), Proto-Slavic *bolto (swamp, lake) (Old Church Slavonic блато (blato, lake), Russian болото (bolóto, marsh, swamp) (dialectal “puddle, lake”), Czech bláto (mud; pl. swamp), Polish błoto (mud, swamp)). This usage is also attested in Baltic languages, as in, e.g., Old Prussian placename Namuynbalt (swamp). It left also traces in Latvian, in the names of lakes or swamps (Baltenis, Baltiņa purvs), and is a possible source of the word balti (Balts, Baltic).[1]


  • IPA(key): [bālts]



balts (def. baltais, comp. baltāks, sup. visbaltākais; adv. balti)

  1. white (having the color of, e.g., snow or milk)
    balts papīrswhite paper
    balts kā sniegs, krīts, piens, kaulswhite as snow, chalk, milk, bone
    dzīvnieks ar baltu spalvu ― an animal with white fur, feathers
    baltais zaķiswhite hare
    nokrāsot durvis baltas ― to paint the door white
    balta kafijawhite coffee (i.e., with milk or cream)
    Baltais nams ― the (American) White House
    baltais karogswhite flag (= symbol of peace, truce)
  2. white (light, not dark; without color; gray)
    baltās naktis ― white nights (polar nights in summer, without darkness)
    baltie asinsķermenīšiwhite (blood) cells
    baltais vīnswhite wine
    balta bārdawhite beard
    galva balta kā ābele — head white as an apple tree (= gray hair)
  3. white (a member of the Caucasian race)
    baltā rasewhite (= Caucasian) race
    baltie kolonizatoriwhite colonizers, settlers
  4. (usually clothes) clean
    uzvilkt sestdienā baltu veļu ― to wear white linen (= clean clothes) on Saturday
  5. (Russian civil war) counterrevolutionary, member of the white guard
    balto armija, balto karaspēks ― the white army, white troops
    balto uzbrukums ― a white attack
Derived terms
Related terms
See also
Colors in Latvian · krāsas (layout · text)
     sarkans, sārts      zaļš      dzeltens      ?      balts
     {{{crimson}}}      ?      ?      ?      rozā
     ?      zils      oranžs      pelēks      ?
     melns      violets      brūns      ?      ?

Etymology 2

The mainstream opinion on this word is that it comes from old uses of the stem balts (white) (q.v.) in names of places containing water, giving rise to the name of the Baltic Sea (already Latin Mare Balticum); it is possible that *balt- in Old Prussian placenames referred originally to the sea or coastal area. Another suggestion is that Latin Mare Balticum is to be derived from Old Norse balti, Danish balte, from Latin balteum (belt) (whence German Belt (sea strait)), perhaps because of this sea's narrowness, or because of the many islands and straits between islands and the continent.[1]


balts m (1s declension)

  1. Balt, a Baltic person, someone from the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia)
  2. (chiefly in the plural) the Balts (Latvians, Lithuanians, and other related people; the Indo-European people from which Latvians and Lithuanians descend)
  3. (genitive plural) Baltic, pertaining to the Baltic states and their people; pertaining to the ancient Balts
    baltu tautas ― the Baltic peoples
    baltu valodas ― the Baltic languages
    baltu valodniecībaBaltic linguistics
Usage notes

This word is almost always used in the plural; the singular forms, though existing, are only sporadically attested (probably due to potential confusion with the adjective balts (white)).

Derived terms
  • Baltija


  1. 1 2 Karulis, Konstantīns (1992), balts”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN 9984-700-12-7



From Proto-Indo-European *bʰel-.


balts m (feminine balta)

  1. white

See also