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From Proto-Italic *dokeō, from earlier *dokejō, causative of Proto-Indo-European *deḱ- (to take). Cognate with Ancient Greek δοκέω (dokéō, I expect, suppose, seem) and Ancient Greek δέχομαι (dékhomai, I accept, receive). The sense "rehearse, present on stage" is a semantic loan from Ancient Greek διδάσκω (didáskō).





doceō (present infinitive docēre, perfect active docuī, supine doctum); second conjugation

  1. to teach, instruct; tell, inform; show, demonstrate
    Synonyms: īnstruō, discō, ēdūcō, ērudiō, ēdoceō, imbuō, magistrō, fingō
    Omnium scientiārum prīnceps, Salmantica docet.The University of Salamanca, first in all fields of knowledge, teaches.
  2. (drama) to rehearse, present on stage

Usage notes


The verb doceō takes a double accusative to express both the knowledge taught or given and to whom it is taught.


   Conjugation of doceō (second conjugation)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present doceō docēs docet docēmus docētis docent
imperfect docēbam docēbās docēbat docēbāmus docēbātis docēbant
future docēbō docēbis docēbit docēbimus docēbitis docēbunt
perfect docuī docuistī docuit docuimus docuistis docuērunt,
pluperfect docueram docuerās docuerat docuerāmus docuerātis docuerant
future perfect docuerō docueris docuerit docuerimus docueritis docuerint
passive present doceor docēris,
docētur docēmur docēminī docentur
imperfect docēbar docēbāris,
docēbātur docēbāmur docēbāminī docēbantur
future docēbor docēberis,
docēbitur docēbimur docēbiminī docēbuntur
perfect doctus + present active indicative of sum
pluperfect doctus + imperfect active indicative of sum
future perfect doctus + future active indicative of sum
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present doceam doceās doceat doceāmus doceātis doceant
imperfect docērem docērēs docēret docērēmus docērētis docērent
perfect docuerim docuerīs docuerit docuerīmus docuerītis docuerint
pluperfect docuissem docuissēs docuisset docuissēmus docuissētis docuissent
passive present docear doceāris,
doceātur doceāmur doceāminī doceantur
imperfect docērer docērēris,
docērētur docērēmur docērēminī docērentur
perfect doctus + present active subjunctive of sum
pluperfect doctus + imperfect active subjunctive of sum
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present docē docēte
future docētō docētō docētōte docentō
passive present docēre docēminī
future docētor docētor docentor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives docēre docuisse doctūrum esse docērī doctum esse doctum īrī
participles docēns doctūrus doctus docendus
verbal nouns gerund supine
genitive dative accusative ablative accusative ablative
docendī docendō docendum docendō doctum doctū

Derived terms



  • Old Occitan: dozer
  • Old French: duire, doire (homophone for duire 'lead' < dūcere)
    • French: duire (archaic or regional (Normandy))
  • Ido: docar


  • doceo”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • doceo”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • doceo in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • everyday experience tells us this: res ipsa, usus rerum (cotidie) docet
    • experience has taught me: usus me docuit
    • to teach children the rudiments: pueros elementa (prima) docere
    • the very facts of the case show this: res ipsa docet
    • to teach an art: artem tradere, docere
    • to teach some one to play a stringed instrument: docere aliquem fidibus
    • to study a piece, of the actor); to get a piece played, rehearse it: fabulam docere (διδάσκειν) (of the writer) (opp. fabulam discere
    • this fable teaches us (without nos): haec fabula docet
  • Walther von Wartburg (1928–2002) “docere”, in Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), volumes 3: D–F, page 111