What do the Turkish loanwords merak and meraklı mean in your language?

By: | Post date: 2016-08-09 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

In Greek, μεράκι means:

  • yearning
  • love-sickness
  • pride in one’s work (in the phrase με μεράκι “with merak”)

A μερακλής on the other hand is a bon vivant, a connoisseur, someone who knows how to have a good time and who appreciates the finer things in life.

And the verb μερακλώνομαι is to be in a euphoric mood, usually associated with drinking.

I’ll now defer to the definitions of the Triantafyllidis dictionary:


  • Intense desire: I have a ~ to go to Paris. If a child has no ~ for studying, don’t force him.
  • Intense love and care for something, especially an activity: Old time craftspeople worked with ~, not robotically like modern builders.
  • (plural) Intense pleasant sensation that comes from entertainment (cf. kefi): Tonight he drank a bit more and came to ~.


  • Someone characterised by meraki, intense love or care for something. A ~ cook/barber/tailor/cabinetmaker. He is a ~ about his work; he doesn’t do anything shoddily. Retsina and meze fit for ~’s.


  • To be overcome by a very intense pleasant feeling: He was ~-ed by the song and started dancing.
  • To cause meraki in someone. The drink ~-ed him and he started singing.
  • (passive) To have an intense desire for something: He ~-ed for a sweet/for a trip.

BTW, I’m OP, and I am going to formulate a grand unified theory of how the meanings grew when the answers come in.

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