I could not find any relevant information on the internet except the PIE had the root dre- for sleep (Vasmer)

  • English wiktionary has the etymology for dream, and Russian wiktionary has the etymology for дрёма: Родственно лат. dormiō, dormīre «спать», далее, др.-инд. drā́ti, drā́yatē «спит», греч. δαρθάνω «сплю», аор. ἔδραθε. Восходит к праиндоевр. *dre- «спать». Nov 18, 2019 at 11:45
  • @Adam Bittlingmayer American Heritage dictionary says the etymology of dream is unknown.
    – Anixx
    Nov 18, 2019 at 11:49
  • The key sources claiming no known etymology or a distinct etymology is "relevant information". Nov 18, 2019 at 12:09
  • Completely unrelated question, are Ru да́лее, (dáleje), Ukr да́лі (dáli), etc. (comparative of dal "far") akin to Ger mach dalli "go on, hurry up; make dalli"? Indeed, "from Polish dalej" [en.wt] also cp eg. Danish derefter (obv ~*thereafter*), with Slav. dal perhaps likewise related to dat*(I can hardly read the ru.wiktionary ety under да́лее). Cp. *telepathy. In a very ironic way, this might be not so off-topic, if you know what I mean.
    – vectory
    Nov 18, 2019 at 17:26
  • Also note Sanskr drati "run", which I like to cp to G drahtig "sporty, flexible", usually understood as "like thread [Draht]"; also cp AGr drom "[e.g. velo-]drome", or other words deriving "path". Alas, I'm commiting formating mistakes again--it's literally insane.
    – vectory
    Nov 18, 2019 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


First, Russian дремать 'sleep' (дрёма 'a nap' is derived from this verb) and Latin dormio 'sleep' (> dormito 'feel sleepy') are cognate (Горяев; Trautmann; Преображенский; Berneker; Младенов; Boisacq; Vasmer; Machek; Slawski; Pokorny; Buck; etc.). Where did you find Latin "dormatio"?

Second, English dream has no plausible reconstruction even on Proto-Germanic level, ref. at least Oxford Dictionary of English. There are semantic reasons why etymologists are not eager to postulate a protoform, more on this read, for example, here: https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=dream.

Since the aforesaid, dream is unlikely to be cognate for Russian дрёма and Latin dormio though the latter obviously are.

Some Russian scholars (Шанский et al) claim that German Traum (of which English dream is a cognate) shares the same root with Russian дремать. Nevertheless, this seems doubtful in the absence of special comments on the English etymology (see above).

Trustworthy Etymological Dictionary of Slavic Languages does not mention any German cognates:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.