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Latin, meaning "selection", from deligere, delectum (to select).


delectus (plural delectuses)

  1. (obsolete) An elementary book for learners of Latin or Greek.
    1871-2, George Eliot, Middlemarch, book 37
    If she spoke with any keenness of interest to Mr. Casaubon, he heard her with an air of patience as if she had given a quotation from the delectus familiar to him from his tender years, and sometimes mentioned curtly what ancient sects or personages had held similar ideas, as if there were too much of that sort in stock already; at other times he would inform her that she was mistaken, and reassert what her remark had questioned.
    1872, Matthew Arnold, General Report for the Year 1872; in Reports on Elementary Schools 1852-1882, edited by Sir Francis Sanford
    I am convinced that for [t]his purpose the best way would be to disregard classical Latin entirely, to use neither Cornelius Nepos, nor Eutropius, nor Cæsar, nor any delectus from them, but to use the Latin Bible, the Vulgate.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for delectus in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



Perfect passive participle of dēligō ([I] pick off; select).


dēlectus m (feminine dēlecta, neuter dēlectum); first/second declension

  1. picked off, having been picked off, plucked off, having been plucked off; culled, having been culled
  2. chosen, having been chosen, selected, having been selected


First/second declension.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
nominative dēlectus dēlecta dēlectum dēlectī dēlectae dēlecta
genitive dēlectī dēlectae dēlectī dēlectōrum dēlectārum dēlectōrum
dative dēlectō dēlectō dēlectīs
accusative dēlectum dēlectam dēlectum dēlectōs dēlectās dēlecta
ablative dēlectō dēlectā dēlectō dēlectīs
vocative dēlecte dēlecta dēlectum dēlectī dēlectae dēlecta


dēlectus m (genitive dēlectūs); fourth declension

  1. selection, choice, distinction
  2. levy, recruiting


Fourth declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative dēlectus dēlectūs
genitive dēlectūs dēlectuum
dative dēlectuī dēlectibus
accusative dēlectum dēlectūs
ablative dēlectū dēlectibus
vocative dēlectus dēlectūs


  • delectus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • delectus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • delectus” in Félix Gaffiot’s Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette (1934)
  • delectus in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • delectus in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin