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Etymological Dictionary of Arabic

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Click to Expand/Collapse OptionEtymArab
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baḥṯ بَحْث , pl. buḥūṯ , ʔabḥāṯ
ID ... • Sw – • BP 332 • APD ... • Aut SG
BḤṮ
n.
1 search (ʕan for), quest (ʕan of). – 2 examination, study. – 3research. – 4investigation, inquiry, examination. – 5exploration. – 6discussion. – 7treatise. – 8 (pl. ʔabḥāṯ ) study, scientific report ( on)
Apart from its function as a vn. of vb. I →baḥaṯa, the word is lexicalized in ClassAr only as ‘mine’ and ‘great serpent’, both derived from the original meaning of baḥaṯa , ‘to dig up, scrape up (the sand or earth, in search for s.th.)’, a mine being a place where the earth is digged up in search of minarals etc., while the serpent is so called because with its movements it scrapes up the dust (Lane).
▪ The modern meanings are all extensions and specific lexicalizations of the original vn. meaning ‘scraping, scratching (the dust or the earth).
▪ The older value is still mentioned in Hava1899: baḥaṯa ‘to scrape (the earth)’ (alongside with baḥaṯa ʕan ‘to be in quest of, to search s.th.’, although it is no longer listed in Steingass1884, where only the meanings ‘mine’ and ‘large snake’ for the n. baḥṯ reminds of the earlier value.
baḥṯ : The only values given in Lane for the n. baḥṯ in ClassAr, besides that of a regular vn. I, are 1 ‘mine (in which one searches for gold and silver) and 2 ‘great serpent’ (because it scrapes up the dust or earth). These are now obsolete, and nominalizations of the vn., like ‘research’, and ‘research paper, study’, have taken over.
baḥaṯa
baḥaṯa
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