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Latin amplexus (embrace)



amplexus (uncountable)

  1. A form of pseudocopulation, found chiefly in amphibians and horseshoe crabs, in which a male grasps a female with his front legs as part of the mating process.
    • 2014, Elizabeth Kolbert, chapter 1, in The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Henry Holt and Company:
      Finally, we came upon a pair of Panamanian robber frogs locked in amplexus—the amphibian version of sex.
    • 2018 March 29, Ed Douglas, “Country diary: tantric embraces and nuptial pads – the secrets of frog sex revealed”, in The Guardian[1]:
      In the middle, just below the surface, a male and a female were locked in amplexus, a coupling that can last for days as the male waits to fertilise the eggs when they are laid.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]




Etymology 1[edit]

Perfect active participle of amplector (surround; grasp).


amplexus (feminine amplexa, neuter amplexum); first/second-declension participle

  1. surrounded, encircled, entwined
  2. embraced, clasped, grasped
  3. esteemed
  4. cherished

First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative amplexus amplexa amplexum amplexī amplexae amplexa
Genitive amplexī amplexae amplexī amplexōrum amplexārum amplexōrum
Dative amplexō amplexō amplexīs
Accusative amplexum amplexam amplexum amplexōs amplexās amplexa
Ablative amplexō amplexā amplexō amplexīs
Vocative amplexe amplexa amplexum amplexī amplexae amplexa

Etymology 2[edit]

amplector +‎ -tus


amplexus m (genitive amplexūs); fourth declension

  1. clasp, embrace
  2. a loving embrace, caress (mostly in the plural)
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Fasti 6.553-554:
      ūna ministrārum solita est, Cadmēī, tuārum
      saepe sub amplexūs coniugis īre tuī.
      It had been the habit of one of your serving-women, [daughter] of Cadmus, often to go under the embraces of your husband.
      (The daughter of Cadmus is Ino (mythology).)
  3. coil
  4. circumference

Fourth-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative amplexus amplexūs
Genitive amplexūs amplexuum
Dative amplexuī amplexibus
Accusative amplexum amplexūs
Ablative amplexū amplexibus
Vocative amplexus amplexūs
  • English: amplexus


  • amplexus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • amplexus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • amplexus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette