'hatred, anger, punishment' (Modern English hate)


The vocalism of ME hate can be explained either by influence from the ME v. haten < OE hatian (or indeed derivation on the root of the OE v. itself) or by input from ON, cp. Ocel hatr (almost always neut.) 'hate, enmity' (cp. Go neut. hatis). The ON n. is formed on the same PGmc root *xat- as the OE n. hete (masc.) 'hate, envy, malice, hostility', but due to the stem variation (on PIE s-stem neut. nouns in OE, see Hogg-Fulk §2.69), the OE was subject to i-mutation (cp. OS heti). Commentators therefore vary in their views of whether it is necessary to adduce ON input, but often (e.g. OED, MED) include the possibility alongside explanations of the form of hate as a native development.

PGmc Ancestor

*xat- or *xat-iz-

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

hatr (masc. or neut.) 'hate, enmity'
(ONP hatr (sb.) (m.) and (n.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far hatur, Icel hatur, Norw hat, Dan had, Sw hat

OE Cognate

hete 'hate, envy, malice, hostility'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



First attested with the spelling <hate> by MED from c1175(?OE) Bod.Hom. (Bod 343). Common and widespread in ME and MnE.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Pe 463; Cl 714, 915; WA 921, 1979


MED hāte (n.) , OED hate (n.1) , HTOED , de Vries hata, Mag. hata, Orel *xataz ~ *xatez, Kroonen *hatiz-