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English Wikipedia has an article on:


Borrowed from Latin castrum. Doublet of Chester.


castrum (plural castra)

  1. (historical) Among the Ancient Romans, a building or plot of land used as a military defensive position.


Latin Wikipedia has an article on:
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From Proto-Italic *kastrom, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱes- (to cut, cut off, separate) (Watkins, 1969). An older etymology (1899) derived castrum from Latin casa, and proposed an ultimate etymon from a Sanskrit root (sic) *skad-, "to cover". If directly from Proto-Indo-European *ḱ(e)stróm, cognate with Sanskrit शस्त्र (śastrám-, śástram-, cutting tool, knife, weapon).[1] See also castrō, careō.



castrum n (genitive castrī); second declension

  1. castle, fort, fortress
  2. (chiefly plural) several soldiers' tents situated together; hence, a military camp, an encampment

Usage notes[edit]

Use in singular is rarer than that of castellum.


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative castrum castra
Genitive castrī castrōrum
Dative castrō castrīs
Accusative castrum castra
Ablative castrō castrīs
Vocative castrum castra

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Olsen, Birgit Anette (1988) The Proto-Indo-European Instrument Noun Suffix *-tlom and its Variants (Historisk-filosofiske Meddelelser; 55), Copenhagen: Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, →ISBN, page 16: “3.1.1. *k̂əs-trom/*-trah₂ “cutting tool””
  • De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “castrum”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, pages 97–98
  • castrum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • castrum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • castrum 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)
  • castrum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • veterans; experienced troops: qui magnum in castris usum habent
    • to disarm a person: armis (castris) exuere aliquem
    • to leave troops to guard the camp: praesidio castris milites relinquere
    • to mount guard in the camp: vigilias agere in castris (Verr. 4. 43)
    • to keep the troops in camp: copias castris continere
    • to remain inactive in camp: se (quietum) tenere castris
  • castrum”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • Pokorny, Julius (1959) Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Indo-European Etymological Dictionary] (in German), volume 2, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, page 586