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See also: Equus



Alternative forms

  • equos (Republican spelling)
  • ecus (phonetic spelling)


PIE word

For Proto-Italic *ekwos, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁éḱwos (horse), cognate with Ancient Greek ἵππος (híppos), Sanskrit अश्व (áśva), Persian اسب (asb), Old Armenian էշ (ēš, donkey), Tocharian B yakwe, Gaulish epos. Respelt with QVV for the earlier QVO/CV in post-Augustan times on the analogy of oblique cases.


equus (a horse)



equus m (genitive equī, feminine equa); second declension

  1. horse
    • 29 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Aeneid II.48:
      equo ne credite, Teucri! Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.
      Do not trust the horse, Trojans! Whatever it is, I fear the Danaans even if they are bearing gifts.
    • Vergil, Aeneis II, 48 and 110-113 and 150 (edited and translated by H. Rushton Fairclough, Virgil with an English translation I, 1916)
      saepe illos aspera ponti | interclusit hiems et terruit Auster euntis; | praecipue, cum iam hic trabibus contextus acernis | staret equus, toto sonuerunt aethere nimbi.
      Often a fierce tempest of the deep cut them off and the gale scared them from going. Above all, when yonder horse now stood framed of maple-beams, storm clouds sounded throughout the sky.
      quo molem hanc immanis equi statuere?
      To what end have they set up this huge mass of a horse?
  2. steed, charger
    • Vergil, Georgicon II, 541-542 (edited and translated by H. Rushton Fairclough, Virgil with an English translation I, 1916)
      Sed nos immensum spatiis confecimus aequor, | et iam tempus equum fumantia solvere colla.
      But in our course we have traversed a mighty plain, and now it is time to unyoke the necks of our smoking steeds.



Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative equus equī
Genitive equī equōrum
Dative equō equīs
Accusative equum equōs
Ablative equō equīs
Vocative eque equī





Derived terms



  • Esperanto: ekvo, ekvedo, ekveno
  • Translingual: Equus


  • equus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • equus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • equus 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)
  • equus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to begin a journey (on foot, on horseback, by land): iter ingredi (pedibus, equo, terra)
    • to ride: equo vehi
    • to saddle a horse: sternere equum
    • to mount: conscendere equum
    • to mount: ascendere in equum
    • to dismount: descendere ex equo
    • to be on horseback: in equo sedere; equo insidēre
    • to sit a horse well; to have a good seat: (in) equo haerere
    • to put spurs to a horse: calcaria subdere equo
    • to put spurs to a horse: calcaribus equum concitare
    • at full gallop: equo citato or admisso
    • ride against any one at full speed; charge a person: equum in aliquem concitare
    • to give a horse the reins: admittere, permittere equum
    • to give a horse the reins: frenos dare equo
    • to make a horse prance: agitare equum
    • to manage a horse: moderari equum
    • the horses are panic-stricken, run away: equi consternantur
    • to bring horses to the halt when at full gallop: equos incitatos sustinere
    • to keep horses, dogs: alere equos, canes
    • to serve in the cavalry, infantry: equo, pedibus merere (Liv. 27. 11)
    • to capture horses: capere equos
    • to fight on horseback: ex equo pugnare