From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Usually compared to Ancient Greek ὄνος (ónos) (which cannot be its direct ancestor), and, just like other IE words for "ass", must be traced back to an unknown substrate source in Asia Minor (compare Hieroglyphic Luwian [script needed] (tarkasna), Sumerian 𒀲 (anšu)). The lack of rhotacism of the single intervocalic -s- after a short vowel would point to a recent borrowing.



asinus m (genitive asinī); second declension

  1. a donkey, an ass
  2. (figuratively, humorous, derogatory) an ass, cretin, idiot, dolt, blockhead (a slow-witted, inept person)
    • c. 191 BCE, Plautus, Pseudolus, act 1, scene 2:
      Neque egō hominēs magis asinōs umquam vīdī [] quōs quom feriās, tibi plūs noceās.
      I've never seen human beings who were more like asses [] When you hit them, you hurt yourself more.
    • 160 BCE, Publius Terentius Afer, Adelphoe :
      Quid tū autem huic, asine, auscultās?
      And why are you listening to him, you dolt?
    • c. 70 BCE, Cicero, In Pisonem, chapter 73:
      Quid nunc tē, asine, litterās doceam? Nōn opus est verbīs, sed fustibus.
      Must I now teach an ass like you to read? What you need isn't words but a cudgeling.


Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative asinus asinī
Genitive asinī asinōrum
Dative asinō asinīs
Accusative asinum asinōs
Ablative asinō asinīs
Vocative asine asinī


Derived terms[edit]


  • Eastern Romance:
    • Romanian: asin, asân
  • Insular Romance:
  • Italo-Dalmatian:
  • Western Romance:
  • Proto-Celtic:
  • Samoan: asini


asinus (feminine asina, neuter asinum); first/second-declension adjective

  1. (relational) ass, donkey
  2. stupid, asinine


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative asinus asina asinum asinī asinae asina
Genitive asinī asinae asinī asinōrum asinārum asinōrum
Dative asinō asinō asinīs
Accusative asinum asinam asinum asinōs asinās asina
Ablative asinō asinā asinō asinīs
Vocative asine asina asinum asinī asinae asina


  • asinus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • asinus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • asinus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • asinus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 57