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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.



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". See also castrō, careō.



castrum n (genitive castrī); second declension

  1. castle, fort, fortress
  2. (chiefly plural) camp, especially a military camp


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]



  • 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, 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 II, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, page 586