Word Origin & History
moon goddess, from Gk. selene "moon," related to selas "light, brightness, flame," from PIE base *swel- "to burn" (cf. Skt. svargah "heaven," Lith. svilti "to singe," O.E. swelan "to be burnt up," M.L.G. swelan "to smolder"); related to swelter, sultry. The element selenium was named in Mod.L. for Selene
by Berzelius (1818), on analogy of tellurium, uranium, etc.