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dē- +‎ sum


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈdeː.sum/, [ˈd̪eːs̠ʊ̃ˑ]
  • (modern Italianate Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈde.sum/, [ˈd̪ɛːs̬um]
  • Note: The ēe found in forms such as dēesse, dēerunt, dēest frequently scans in poetry as a single syllable (an example of synizesis).


dēsum (present infinitive dēesse, perfect active dēfuī, future participle dēfutūrus); irregular conjugation, irregular, no passive, no supine stem except in the future active participle

  1. to be wanting/lacking (+ dative)
    Synonyms: careō, egeō, indigeō, dēlinquō, deficiō, cessō, perdō
    Antonyms: flōreō, niteō, abundō, affluō
    Dominus pāscit mē et nihil mihī dēerit.
    The Lord is my shepherd and nothing shall I want.
    (literally, “The Lord tends me as a shepherd and nothing for me will be lacking.”)
  2. to fall short of, fail to obtain, miss
    Synonyms: discēdō, dēficiō, cadō, dēlinquō
    Antonyms: perficiō, impetrō, perpetrō, ēvincō
  3. to abandon, to desert, to neglect
    Synonyms: relinquō, omittō, dēdō, concēdō, dēcēdō, dēserō, reddō, remittō, dēstituō, dēficiō, oblīvīscor, cēdō, permittō, dissimulō, trādō, addīcō, praetereō, neglegō, pōnō
    Dīmicantī dē fāmā dēesse.
    To abandon one whose reputation is attacked.
    (literally, “To abandon against the pummeling of fame.”)
  4. to be away, to be absent, to be missing
    Synonym: absum
    Antonyms: adsum, stō

Usage notes[edit]

Due to the lack of passive forms, "to be missed" as in "to not get hit" is expressed with the following translation: English [object missed in subject form] + [form of to be] + missed by + [object that misses in object form] becomes [object that misses in subject form] + [form of desum] + [object missed in object form]. "She is missed by us," as in "She does not get hit by us," for example, becomes "Eam desumus," which literally means "We miss her," as in "We do not hit her."


   Conjugation of dēsum (highly irregular, suppletive, no supine stem except in the future active participle, active only)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present dēsum dēes dēest dēsumus dēestis dēsunt
imperfect dēeram dēerās dēerat dēerāmus dēerātis dēerant
future dēerō dēeris,
dēerit dēerimus dēeritis dēerunt
perfect dēfuī dēfuistī dēfuit dēfuimus dēfuistis dēfuērunt,
pluperfect dēfueram dēfuerās dēfuerat dēfuerāmus dēfuerātis dēfuerant
future perfect dēfuerō dēfueris dēfuerit dēfuerimus dēfueritis dēfuerint
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present dēsim dēsīs dēsit dēsīmus dēsītis dēsint
imperfect dēessem,
perfect dēfuerim dēfuerīs dēfuerit dēfuerīmus dēfuerītis dēfuerint
pluperfect dēfuissem dēfuissēs dēfuisset dēfuissēmus dēfuissētis dēfuissent
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present dēes dēeste
future dēestō dēestō dēestōte dēsuntō
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives dēesse dēfuisse dēfutūrum esse,
participles dēfutūrus


  • dēsum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • desum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • dēsum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette, page 510
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • I have no time to do something: tempus mihi deest ad aliquid faciendum
    • to neglect an opportunity: occasioni deesse
    • to assist, stand by a person: adesse alicui or alicuius rebus (opp. deesse)
    • to accede to a man's petitions: alicui petenti satisfacere, non deesse
    • I have nothing to write about: deest mihi argumentum ad scribendum (Att. 9. 7. 7)
    • to answer every question: percontanti non deesse (De Or. 1. 21. 97)
    • we have no expression for that: huic rei deest apud nos vocabulum
    • to neglect one's duty: officio suo deesse (Fam. 7. 3)
    • to take no part in politics: rei publicae deesse (opp. adesse)
    • to further the common weal: saluti rei publicae non deesse
  • dēsum” on page 529 of the Oxford Latin Dictionary (1st ed., 1968–82)