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See also: catenă


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From Medieval Latin, from Latin catēna (chain) (from which also chain).


catena (plural catenas or catenae)

  1. A series of related items.
    • 1873, Walter Bagehot, Lombard Street:
      And, on the contrary, there is a whole catena of authorities, beginning with Sir Robert Peel and ending with Mr. Lowe, which say that the Banking Department of the Bank of England is only a Bank like any other bank [...]
  2. (soil science) A series of distinct soils arrayed along a slope.
    • 2000, Ewan Anderson, Middle East: Geography and Geopolitics, Routledge, →ISBN, page 55:
      The changes in soil characteristics from the crest to the foot of a slope are together known as a catena.

Related terms[edit]





catena (plural catenas)

  1. chain



From Latin catēna.


catena f (plural catene)

  1. chain
  2. bond, fetter; subordination, repression
  3. tie, cord, bond
  4. tether (a rope, cable etc. that holds something in place whilst allowing some movement)


Related terms[edit]




The origin is uncertain. Probably connected with cassis (hunting-net).[1]

Pokorny derives catēna and cassis from Proto-Indo-European *kat- (to link or weave together; chain, net), with casa as another possible cognate.[2]

Martirosyan connects cassis and catēna with Old Armenian ցանց (cʿancʿ, casting-net) and derives all from a Mediterranean substrate.[3]


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /kaˈteː.na/
  • (file)


catēna f (genitive catēnae); first declension

  1. chain


First declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative catēna catēnae
Genitive catēnae catēnārum
Dative catēnae catēnīs
Accusative catēnam catēnās
Ablative catēnā catēnīs
Vocative catēna catēnae

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, pages 97, 98
  2. ^ Pokorny, Julius (1959) Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Indo-European Etymological Dictionary] (in German), volume II, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, page 534
  3. ^ Martirosyan, Hrach (2016), “Mediterranean substrate words in Armenian: two etymologies”, in Bjarne Simmelkjær Sandgaard Hansen, Benedicte Nielsen Whitehead, Thomas Olander & Birgit Anette Olsen, editors, Etymology and the European Lexicon. Proceedings of the 14th Fachtagung of the Indogermanische Gesellschaft, Copenhagen, 17-22 September 2012[1], Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, page 294

Further reading[edit]

  • catena in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • catena in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • catena in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • catena in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[2], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to put some one in irons, chains: in vincula, in catenas conicere aliquem
  • catena in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • catena in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin