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Cognate with Mycenaean Greek a-ke-ro, but origin uncertain. Probably a loanword, and probably related to ἄγγαρος (ángaros, “Persian mounted courier”) (whence Latin angarius), which is probably from an Asian language. Klein suggests Semitic, cf. 𐡀𐡍𐡂𐡓𐡕𐡀 (’engirtā, “missive, letter; contract”) and ܐܓܪܬܐ (ˀeggarṯā, “letter, document”) (from Akkadian, see etymology there); but it could also be from Pre-Greek. Compare also Sanskrit अजिर (ajira, “agile, swift”), Sanskrit अञ्जि (añji, “commander, sender”) and Sanskrit अञ्जस् (añjas, “speed, velocity, ointment”).
The religious sense is a semantic loan from Biblical Hebrew מַלְאָךְ (malʾāḵ).
- IPA(key): /áŋ.ɡe.los/ → /ˈaŋ.ɡe.los/ → /ˈaɲ.ɟe.los/
ἄγγελος • (ángelos) m (genitive ᾰ̓γγέλου); second declension (Epic, Attic, Ionic, Doric, Koine)
- a messenger
- one that announces
- (later) angel, heavenly spirit