Definition 2023



See also: selva


(index se)


selvä (comparative selvempi, superlative selvin)

  1. clear
  2. free
  3. sober
  4. distinct
  5. plain
  6. obvious
  7. unmistakable
  8. lucid
  9. evident


Inflection of selvä (Kotus type 10/koira, no gradation)
nominative selvä selvät
genitive selvän selvien
partitive selvää selviä
illative selvään selviin
singular plural
nominative selvä selvät
accusative nom. selvä selvät
gen. selvän
genitive selvän selvien
partitive selvää selviä
inessive selvässä selvissä
elative selvästä selvistä
illative selvään selviin
adessive selvällä selvillä
ablative selvältä selviltä
allative selvälle selville
essive selvänä selvinä
translative selväksi selviksi
instructive selvin
abessive selvättä selvittä
comitative selvine

Usage notes

The words selvä and selkeä are partly synonymous, but there are some distinctive senses as well. There's a good article (in Finnish) on the issue on the Kotus website . To sum up selkeä is used of things which have an observable structure, e.g. selkeä taivas ("clear sky") whereas selvä is generally used in abstract contexts, e.g. tehdä selväksi ("to make clear"). There's a wide overlapping area, e.g. a thought may be both selkeä and selvä. Sometimes the difference is a matter of convention, e.g. reitti on selvä means that a route is clear of obstacles and reitti on selkeä means that the route is easy to grasp because it is straightforward and/or well marked.


Derived terms



  1. all right (used to affirm, indicate agreement, or consent).
    • Selvä, mennäänpä sitten.
      • All right, let's go then.