На Викисловаре это две раздельные статьи

но они сильно пересекаются, и этимология одна.
Есть ли в действительности разница и рекомендации к правильному употреблению?

  • 1
    Personally I would say/write "лазить в подвал" но "лазать на дерево"
    – permeakra
    Commented Jun 6 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


Both лазить (лажу) and лазать (лазаю) have the same meanings; the difference is in register. According to gramota.ru, лазить is neutral stylistically and can be used both in written and colloquial speech, whereas лазать is labeled in some dictionaries as colloquial; you can use it in oral speech, but it's frowned upon in writing.


The form "лазить" can have a slightly more vague and slightly derogatory meaning. It seems to me that "лазать" is almost exactly the English verb "to climb", while "лазить" can be used both in this sense and in a broader sense - for example, instead of the verb "to crawl". I can say "Мой друг лазает по скалодрому and this phrase contains no message other than that my friend is climbing. I can also say "Мой друг лазит по скалодрому" and this will not be an erroneous use of words, but may carry additional meaning: for example, I am unhappy that he is doing this for too long (now it’s my turn to climb!) or that he is busy doing this instead of to carry out some of his duties.

Besides, if my child comes home all dirty, I can ask "Где ты лазил?!" - and I will not mean by this that he was climbing a tree or a rock or a ladder, but that he was perhaps crawling somewhere or exploring some cramped and dirty place. Using the form "лазал" in this case will be inaccurate. This is a non-literary use of the word, but a common one.


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