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Cognate with Mycenaean Greek a-ke-ro, but origin uncertain. Probably a loanword, and probably related to ἄγγαρος (ángarosPersian mounted courier) (whence Latin angarius), which is probably from an Asian language. Klein suggests Semitic, cf. 𐡀𐡍‬𐡂𐡓𐡕‬𐡀‎ (’engirtāmissive, letter; contract) and ܐܓܪܬܐ‎ (ˀeggarṯāletter, document) (from Akkadian, see etymology there); but it could also be from Pre-Greek. Compare also Sanskrit अजिर (ajiraagile, swift)Sanskrit अञ्जि (añjicommander, sender) and Sanskrit अञ्जस् (añjasspeed, 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 • (ángelosm (genitive ᾰ̓γγέλου); second declension (Epic, Attic, Ionic, Doric, Koine)

  1. a messenger
  2. one that announces
  3. (later) angel, heavenly spirit

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