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From Latin culmen (apex, acmé).


culmen (plural culmens or culmina)

  1. top; summit; acme
    (Can we find and add a quotation of R. North to this entry?)
  2. (zoology) The dorsal ridge of a bird's bill.
    • 1997 June 20, “A Role for Ecotones in Generating Rainforest Biodiversity”, in Science[1], volume 276, number 5320, DOI:10.1126/science.276.5320.1855, pages 1855-1857:
      The measurements were taken as follows: wing length, from the carpal joint to the tip of the longest primary; tarsus length, from the tibiotarsal joint to the distal undivided scute; upper mandible length, the chord length from the point where the culmen enters the feathers of the head to the tip; bill depth, in the vertical plane level at the anterior edge of the nares.
    • 1910, Alfred M. Tozzer and Glover M. Allen, Animal Figures in the Maya Codices[2]:
      A very simple form was found in the carving shown in Pl. 17, fig. 13, where a long projecting knob is seen at the base of the culmen.




From Proto-Italic *kolamen, from Proto-Indo-European *kelH-. Doublet of columen.



culmen n (genitive culminis); third declension

  1. stalk
  2. top, roof, summit
  3. (figuratively) height, acme


Third declension neuter.

Case Singular Plural
nominative culmen culmina
genitive culminis culminum
dative culminī culminibus
accusative culmen culmina
ablative culmine culminibus
vocative culmen culmina



  • culmen in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • culmen in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • culmen in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • culmen in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[3], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • the summits of the Alps: culmina Alpium
  • Collins Latin Dictionary, →ISBN



culmen m (plural cúlmenes)

  1. height, epitome, high point