https://www.etymonline.com/word/idea gives the definition of the idea as "archetype, concept of a thing in the mind of God," I was wondering if they come from the same word.

  • This is a reminder that when people vote to close for reasons that have nothing to do with the question, I'm just going to vote to leave open instead, and so are probably others. You can specify your own reason for closing if there is one, remember?
    – LjL
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 16:22
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    Trick of the trade: if a pair of words seem related, your best first guess is it’s a coincidence. Best first course of action is to check both etymologies (as you’ve done), and see if one mentions the other. If not, professional lexicographers have found no historical connection to link them. Only in rare cases do such coincidences turn out meaningful, and those are only discovered by finding many such examples, and a pattern emerges (which is what etymology is, ultimately).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 17:41
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this question lacks basic research (in this case: looking up the two words in an etymological dictionary, e.g., wiktionary) Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


Deus "god" is believed to come from Proto-Indo-European (PIE) *deywós, a derivative of *dyew- "sky, bright" (from which we get words like Latin dīes "day").

"Idea" comes from Greek idéia, from PIE *weyd- "to see" (which also gives us video and vedas, among others).

The two are not related.

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    Other words from the root *weyd: witch, wizard (originally meaning an educated person), wisdom, wit, vista, visa. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 13:17
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    The information is good: A link to a dictionary would help. It likely would not mention that *deywós was a full grade vrddi form, or what that even means (start at WP). Your conclusion is myopic: I'm not clear where you find confirmation that *dyew- "bright" and *weyd- "see, whitness" were unrelated; cp. "light" and "look" or "shine", Ger "scheinen" and "seem", "see", "sight", Ger "Gesicht" and "Ant-Litz" [face, appearance] in your ety dict while you're at it. I wouldn't draw conclusions before comparing Gr theos and theory, or Norse Wodan
    – vectory
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 18:59

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