ܐܙܐܕ zdʾ noble, freeman
Calque (?): ܒܪ ܚܝܪܝ br ḥyry
MP āzād [ʾcʾt'] free, noble (CPD 15); Av. āsna-; OP *āzātā̆- (Hinz 1975, 52; Gershevitch 1954a, 126); the OP word is reconstructed on the basis of the Off. Aram. loanword (see below), and of Gr. Ἀζάτη (cf. Hesych. ἀζάτη: ἐλευθερία; Lagarde GA p. 186); ManMP and ManParth. ʾzʾd, ʾʾzʾd /āzād/ noble, free (Durkin-Meisterernst 2004, 84); Arm. LW azat; azna-wor noble (Hübschmann AG 91, no. 2). — Off. Aram. ʾzt āzāta free (Kraeling 1953, 5: 4; Greenfield 1987, 257). According to Russell 2001–2002, 38 n. 16, the Syr. expression br ḥyry, lit. "son of the free", i.e. "noble", which appears in the Hymn of the Pearl, is possibly a calque on Parth. āzād ● BB 99, 24 ◆ Duval index pers. 212
Périkhanian 1968, 9–16, followed by Nyberg 41, believes that MP āzād represents the confluence of two homonyms; the first word, meaning "noble, nobleman", is related to Av. ā-zāta- "high-born, noble", properly "agnate" and therefore in the line of succession and entitled to a share in the inheritance and privileges of the clan. The second word, meaning "free, manumitted (of a slave)" is related to Av. ā- + zāy- "to let out" and is attested in ManMP and Parth. ʾʾzʾd "free", in NP āzād "free", and appears as an early borrowing in Off. Aram. ʾzt āzāta "free" and in Gr. Ἀζάτη. As to the etymon of MP āzād see also Bailey 1931, 70; Id. 1932, 953–955; Benveniste1954, 298 f. However, Sims-Williams (personal communication) calls to my attention that Colditz 2000, 53-61, convincingly argues against the theory that āzād "noble" and "free" have two different etymologies.