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See also: germanus and ģermāņus



First used by Caesar and Tacitus to describe tribes as distinct from the Gauls and originally from the east of the Rhine. Of uncertain origin; several conjectures now deemed improbable have been put forward, such as:

It may have originally been the name of a particular tribe.[2]

It is not to be confused with the word germānus (of brothers or sisters), which derives from germen (sprout, bud) and is thought to be unrelated.[1]



Germānus m (genitive Germānī, feminine Germāna); second declension

  1. a Germanic person; member of a Germanic tribe


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
Nominative Germānus Germāna Germānī Germānae
Genitive Germānī Germānae Germānōrum Germānārum
Dative Germānō Germānīs Germānīs
Accusative Germānum Germānam Germānōs Germānās
Ablative Germānō Germānā Germānīs Germānīs
Vocative Germāne Germāna Germānī Germānae

Derived terms[edit]


  • Albanian: gjerman
  • Dutch: Germaan
  • English: German
  • Greek: Γερμανός (Germanós)
  • Italian: germano


  • Germanus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Germanus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  1. 1.0 1.1 The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories (1991, →ISBN), page 194
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ernest Weekley, An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, volume 1 (A-K) (2013, →ISBN), page 634: "Prob. orig. name of particular tribe. [...] Etymologies proposed for the name (e.g. Olr. gair, neighhour, gairm, war-cry, OHG. ger, spear) are pure conjectures."