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Borrowed from Latin domus. Doublet of dome.


domus (plural domus)

  1. (anthropology, archaeology) A farmstead with its people, plants and animals, considered as a unit.
    • 2017, James C Scott, chapter 2, in Against the Grain, New Haven and London: Yale University, →ISBN, page 73:
      The domus was a unique and unprecedented concentration of tilled fields, seed and graain stores, people, and domestic animals, all coevolving with consequences no one could possibly have foreseen.
  2. (dated) In the UK a college (or collectively its fellows) in Cambridge or Oxford.



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Alternative forms[edit]


For Proto-Italic *domos, from Proto-Indo-European *dṓm (house, home), from root *dem- (to build). Cognates include Ancient Greek δόμος (dómos), Albanian dhomë (a chamber, a room), Avestan 𐬛𐬀𐬨-(dam-) Sanskrit दम (dáma), Proto-Slavic *domъ and further to English timber. At least indirectly cognate to Latin dominus.

The feminine gender probably due to the original root noun; attempts to transfer it to the 4th declension are due to 2nd declension feminines being unusual outside of treenames. Some manuscripts of Plautus show forms in dem-; De Vaan (2008) doubts their authenticity.



domus f (irregular, variously declined, genitive domūs or domī); fourth declension, second declension

  1. house, home (the building where a person lives)
    • 43 BCEc. 17 CE, Ovid, Fasti 2.792:
      nox erat et tōta lūmina nūlla domō
      It was night, and [there were] no lights in the whole house.
    1. a townhouse
    Hypernyms: aedificium, aedēs
    Hyponyms: casa, domuncula, tugurium, gurgustium
  2. any dwelling-place or abode (of people or animals)
    1. (also of the shell of invertebrates, tombs of the dead)
    Synonyms: domicilium, habitāculum, habitātiō, tēctum, mānsiō, sēdēs, aedēs
  3. the place of one's birth or residence, native country, town
    Hypernym: patria
  4. household, family (the dependants of the head of a house)
    1. a group of disciples, school; an intellectual movement
    2. (monarchy) house, dynasty
  5. (idiomatic) one's own possessions or resources
    domum trahereto drag into one's pocket
    domī versūra fitOne is one's own creditor (proverb).
    domō afferreto conceive on one's own
  6. (in locative case in phrases, idiomatic) peace
    bellī domīque/ bello domique/ vel belli vel domi/ domi belloque, domi militiaequeIn war and peace.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This is one of a handful of common nouns that take the locative case; others are bellum, rūs and humus.
  • It is irregular in that it has a mix of second and fourth declension forms, the second declension forms being more idiomatic. The classically most common declension is as follows:
domus, domūs, domuī, domum, domō — domūs, domōrum, domibus, domōs, domibus.


Fourth/second-declension noun, with locative.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative domus domūs
Genitive domūs
Dative domuī
Accusative domum domūs
Ablative domū
Vocative domus domūs
Locative domī domibus

Derived terms[edit]

  • domī (at home, in the house, adverbial form)
  • domī habeō (I have at home, I have in abundance, I am provided with, colloquial)
  • domum (home, homewards, to the house, adverbial form)
  • domō (from home, out of the house; at home, in the house, adverbial form)
  • extrā domum (placed outside of the house; refers to a possible result of Catholic ecclesiastical legal proceedings when the culprit is removed from being part of a group like a monastery)
  • prō domō (for one’s own home or house; serving the interests of a given perspective or for the benefit of a given group)
  • domuncula
  • domesticus
  • Domidūcus
  • domiporta
  • domiseda
  • dominus
  • domītus
  • domuitiō
  • domus equestris

Related terms[edit]


  • Italian: duomo (cathedral)
    • Middle French: dome
      • French: dôme (cathedral)
  • Old French: dom (rare)
  • Venetian: domo
  • Sardinian: domu, domo, dommu
  • Sicilian: domu
  • Proto-West Germanic: *dōm (see there for further descendants; some were later influenced by French)

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • domus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • domus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • domus 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)
  • domus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette, page 555
  • domus in Georges, Karl Ernst; Georges, Heinrich (1913–1918) Ausführliches lateinisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch, volume 1, 8th edition, Hahnsche Buchhandlung, column 2285
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • a comfortably-furnished house: domus necessariis rebus instructa
    • the house threatens to fall in (vid. sect. X. 5, note 'Threaten'...): domus ruina impendet
    • the house threatens to fall in (vid. sect. X. 5, note 'Threaten'...): domus collapsura, corruitura (esse) videtur
    • the house suddenly fell in ruins: domus subita ruina collapsa est
    • to demolish, raze a house: domum demoliri (Top. 4. 22)
    • the house is not large enough for all: domus non omnes capit (χωρειν)
    • to be a regular visitor at a house: domum frequentare (Sall. Cat. 14. 7)
    • the house walls are beginning to crack: domus rimas agit
    • (ambiguous) to welcome to one's house (opp. to shut one's door against some one): tecto, (in) domum suam aliquem recipere (opp. prohibere aliquem tecto, domo)
    • to welcome a man as a guest in one's house: hospitio aliquem accipere or excipere (domum ad se)
    • I am always welcome at his house: domus patet, aperta est mihi
    • (ambiguous) to invite some one to one's house: invitare aliquem tecto ac domo or domum suam (Liv. 3. 14. 5)
    • to give, undertake a contract for building a house: domum aedificandam locare, conducere
    • (ambiguous) to rush out of the house: se proripere ex domo
    • (ambiguous) I felt quite at home in his house: apud eum sic fui tamquam domi meae (Fam. 13. 69)
    • (ambiguous) to welcome to one's house (opp. to shut one's door against some one): tecto, (in) domum suam aliquem recipere (opp. prohibere aliquem tecto, domo)
    • (ambiguous) to never set foot out of doors: domo pedem non efferre
    • (ambiguous) to never appear in public: domi se tenere
    • (ambiguous) to escort a person from his house: deducere aliquem de domo
    • (ambiguous) at home; in one's native country: domi (opp. foris)
    • (ambiguous) to turn a person out of his house, his property: expellere aliquem domo, possessionibus pellere
    • (ambiguous) to live in some one's house: habitare in domo alicuius, apud aliquem (Acad. 2. 36. 115)
    • (ambiguous) to emigrate: domo emigrare (B. G. 1. 31)
    • (ambiguous) homeless: domo profugus (Liv. 1. 1)
    • (ambiguous) to invite some one to one's house: invitare aliquem tecto ac domo or domum suam (Liv. 3. 14. 5)
  • domus”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • domus”, in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin





  1. predicative plural of dom