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agnus (a lamb)


From Proto-Indo-European *h₂egʷnós. Cognates include Ancient Greek ἀμνός (amnós), Old Church Slavonic агнѧ (agnę), and Old English ēanian (English yean).



agnus m (genitive agnī); second declension

  1. a lamb, especially one used as a sacrifice
    Agnus absque maculā.
    A lamb without blemish.
    Villa abundat porco, haedo, agno.
    The farm abounds in pigs, young goats and lambs.
    Ecce Agnus Dei.
    Behold the Lamb of God.


Second declension, with contracted genitive plural.

Case Singular Plural
nominative agnus agnī
genitive agnī agnōrum
dative agnō agnīs
accusative agnum agnōs
ablative agnō agnīs
vocative agne agnī

1Contraction found in poetry.

Derived terms[edit]



  • agnus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • agnus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • agnus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • agnus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • agnus in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[1], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  • agnus” on page 97/2 of the Oxford Latin Dictionary (2nd ed., 2012)



A verbal adjective from an unattested root *ag- ("to drive"), paralleled by Old Irish án (quick) < *ag-nos, Sanskrit अजिर (ajirá-, agile, quick). Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eǵ- (to drive); compare Old Irish aigid, Sanskrit अजति (ajati). The Lithuanian form appears to have undergone depalatalization before the nasal.[1]

The connection with Russian яглый (jaglyj, active, energetic) is rejected by Vasmer.[2]


IPA(key): /ɐɡˈnʊs/


agnùs m (feminine agnì, neuter agnù) stress pattern 4

  1. (Samogitian) agile, energetic


Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Jurij Vladimirovič Otkupščikov (1967) Iz istorii indojevropejskovo slovoobrazovanija [From the History of Indo-European Word Formation], page 227
  2. ^ Vasmer, Max (1964–1973), “яглый”, in Etimologičeskij slovarʹ russkovo jazyka [Etymological Dictionary of the Russian Language] (in Russian), translated from German and supplemented by Trubačev O. N., Moscow: Progress