Understanding the Dictionary Entries


Variants are marked by the abbreviation “Var.” (Variante):

aányá n. cafard m. Var.: anyínyá (Est-Mono).
Words borrowed from another language are marked by: “Empr. de” (Emprunt de):

kàtàfìyá n. parapluie m. Empr.de: ewe.
Compound words are indicated by:
Etym.” (Etymology):


tàlé Etym.: ta àlé. v. faire une promesse f.

The literal meaning of a word or phrase is marked by:
Litt.” (Littéralement):


adzáɖò n. espèce de poisson m qui mord. Litt.: 'chien du marigot'.
The format of the French definition is marked after the actual definition to provide clarification:
lɛ̀kɛ̀ n. perles fpl, bijoux mpl, collier m.
D’autres mots qui ont une signification très proche sont donnés après “Cf.” (Confer):

pílí pílí id. (blanc) éclatant. Cf.: fṹ.
When a word has more than one distinct but related meanings, the definitions are numbered:

ɖɛ̃ v. 1) creuser. 2) déterrer, déraciner.
When there are two or more words with the same spelling but vastly different meanings, these are homographs, and are listed as different entries and numbered.

1 v. guérir.

2 v. consulter (l'oracle m).
Words formed from verb plus a noun will appear under the individual words as well as under the combined form:

ìtá n. surface f. Cf.: ńǹtá‑.

rí ìtá, ríìtá; surveiller, se charger de, avoir la responsabilité.


rώ2 v. voir.

rœé œètaÉ, rœéœètaÉ; surveiller, se charger de, avoir la responsabilité.

ríìtá v. surveiller, se charger de, avoir la responsabilité.
When two words combine to form a new meaning, the phrase will appear in the entries of each of the individual words.

kadzá v. sauter, traverser, enjamber.

rã́ã̀rĩ́ kadzaÉ; rire aux éclats.


rã́ã̀rĩ́ n. rire.

rã́ã̀rĩ́ kadzá; rire aux éclats.

Nominal verbs

In Ife, all the verbs can appear in nominalized form, giving the action of the verb.

In general these nominalized verbs will not appear in the dictionary as a separate entry. The most common ones will normally appear in the entry of the verb.

lákṹ ‘être grand’ → lílákṹ ‘grandeur’

nɔ̀ ‘tambouriner’ → nínɔ̀ ‘action de tambouriner’

nyɛ̀ ‘louer’ → nyínyɛ̀ ‘louange’

‘remuer’ → rírò ‘action de remuer’

tsubú ‘tomber’ → tsútsubú ‘chute’
When a word is composed of two words linked by a hyphen, the word will appear in the entry of the first word.

The grammatical category or part of speech of a word is marked in italics after the word.

An expanation of the word use appears in parentheses. If there is a "..." between or following, may mean one or more words are left out.

Word usage will be shown in bold, while idioms will be shown in italics.