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From Latin culmen (apex, acmé).


culmen (plural culmens or culmina)

  1. Top; summit.
    Synonyms: 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.

Further reading[edit]



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



culmen n (genitive culminis); third declension

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


Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative culmen culmina
Genitive culminis culminum
Dative culminī culminibus
Accusative culmen culmina
Ablative culmine culminibus
Vocative culmen culmina


  • Albanian: kulm
  • Aromanian: culmã, culmi
  • English: culmen
  • Galician: cume, cumio
  • Italian: colmo, culmine
  • Portuguese: cume


  • 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 with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 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