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From Latin āmanuēnsis ‎(secretary), from ab, "from, off (of)" + manus, "hand" + -ensis, "of or from (a place)".


  • enPR: ə-măn'yo͞o-ĕnʹsĭs
  • Hyphenation: amanu‧en‧sis


amanuensis ‎(plural amanuenses)

  1. One employed to take dictation, or copy manuscripts.
  2. A clerk, secretary or stenographer, or scribe.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      “[…] We are engaged in a great work, a treatise on our river fortifications, perhaps? But since when did army officers afford the luxury of amanuenses in this simple republic? []


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  • Gamble, Harry Y. “Amanuensis.” Anchor Bible Dictionary. Vol. 1. Ed. David Noel Freedman. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
  • Longenecker, Richard N. “Ancient Amanuenses and the Pauline Epistles.” New Dimensions in New Testament Study. Eds. Richard N. Longenecker and Merrill C. Tenney. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1974. 281-97. idem, “On the Form, Function, and Authority of the New Testament Letters.” Scripture and Truth. Eds. D.A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983. 101-14.



From ab + manus ‎(hand).



āmanuēnsis m ‎(genitive āmanuēnsis); third declension

  1. secretary, clerk

Usage notes[edit]

Originally used for a slave at his master's personal service 'within hand reach', performing any command. Later, it was specifically applied to intimately trusted servants (also many freedmen) acting as a personal secretary.


Third declension i-stem.

Case Singular Plural
nominative āmanuēnsis āmanuēnsēs
genitive āmanuēnsis āmanuēnsium
dative āmanuēnsī āmanuēnsibus
accusative āmanuēnsem āmanuēnsēs
ablative āmanuēnse āmanuēnsibus
vocative āmanuēnsis āmanuēnsēs



  • amanuensis in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • amanuensis in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • amanuensis in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin