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digitus ‎(plural digiti)

  1. An Ancient Roman unit of length, approximately 0.73 inches.


digitus manūs (digit of the hand)


From Proto-Indo-European *deyǵ- ‎(to show, point out, pronounce solemnly), variant of the root *deyḱ- that also gave Latin dīcō ‎(I say, speak talk) and English toe. Fingers were thus "pointers, indicators". Digit sense comes from the fact that they were used for counting up to ten.

Indo-European cognates include Sanskrit दिशति ‎(diśáti, to show, point out), Ancient Greek δείκνυμι ‎(deíknumi, to show), δίκη ‎(díkē, manner, custom), Old English tǣċan ‎(to show, point out) (English teach) and tācen (English token).

Compare similar semantic shift in English in the cognate word teacher ‎(forefinger, index finger).



digitus m ‎(genitive digitī); second declension

  1. a finger, toe, digit
  2. a twig


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative digitus digitī
genitive digitī digitōrum
dative digitō digitīs
accusative digitum digitōs
ablative digitō digitīs
vocative digite digitī

Derived terms[edit]



  • digitus in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • digitus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • DIGITUS in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • digitus” in Félix Gaffiot (1934), Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette.
  • Meissner, Carl; Auden, Henry William (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to touch with the fingertips: extremis digitis aliquid attingere
  • digitus in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • digitus in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin