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See also: ulus and Ulus



From Latin -ulus (diminutive suffix).



  1. (taxonomy) used to form genus names, especially from other genus names, indicating smaller size


Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-Italic *-elos (whence Faliscan -饜寗饜寢饜審饜寯 (-elos)), from Proto-Indo-European *-el贸s, thematized from Proto-Indo-European *-l贸s.[1]

Cognate with Proto-Germanic *-ilaz and *-ulaz, whence no longer productive English -le (as in dimple and nozzle), Dutch -el, German -el.



-ulus (feminine -ula, neuter -ulum); first/second-declension suffix

  1. Used to form a diminutive of a noun, indicating small size or youth.
  2. Used to form a diminutive of an adjective with diminished effect, indicating 鈥渟omewhat鈥 or 鈥-ish鈥.
  3. Used to form an agent noun or adjective from a verb.

Usage notes[edit]

The suffix -ulus is added to a noun to form a diminutive of that noun. Latin diminutives typically match the gender of the base word.

r膿x m (king) + ‎-ulus 鈫 ‎r膿gulus m (prince, petty king)
virga f (twig, rod, switch, staff) + ‎-ulus 鈫 ‎virgula f (little twig, small rod, wand)
oppidum n (town, settlement) + ‎-ulus 鈫 ‎oppidulum n (small town or settlement, village)
calx f (limestone, game counter) + ‎-ulus 鈫 ‎calculus m (pebble, little stone)

The allomorph -olus, -ola, -olum is regularly used to form diminutives of nouns ending in -ius, -ia, -ium, -eus, -ea, -eum.

When added to an adjective, it forms a diminutive of that adjective:

albus (white) + ‎-ulus 鈫 ‎albulus (whitish, literally a little white)

When added to a verb, it forms an adjective with the relational meaning 鈥渄oing 鈥︹ or 鈥渢ending to 鈥︹:

trem艒 (tremble) + ‎-ulus 鈫 ‎tremulus (trembling, tending to tremble)
cr膿d艒 (believe) + ‎-ulus 鈫 ‎cr膿dulus (believing, tending to believe)


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative -ulus -ula -ulum -ul墨 -ulae -ula
Genitive -ul墨 -ulae -ul墨 -ul艒rum -ul膩rum -ul艒rum
Dative -ul艒 -ul艒 -ul墨s
Accusative -ulum -ulam -ulum -ul艒s -ul膩s -ula
Ablative -ul艒 -ul膩 -ul艒 -ul墨s
Vocative -ule -ula -ulum -ul墨 -ulae -ula

Derived terms[edit]


  • English: -ule
  • Galician: -贸, -oa (no longer productive)
  • Greek: -慰蠉位伪 (-o煤la)
  • Italian: -olo, -ola
  • Sicilian: -ulu, -ula
  • Spanish: -uelo, -uela


  1. ^ de Goede, Tim (2014) de Vaan, Michiel, editors, Derivational Morphology: New Perspectives on the Italo-Celtic Hypothesis (Research master thesis)[1], Leiden University, pages 14-15