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 ferrum on Latin Wikipedia


A loanword from an unknown source. According to de Vaan, possibly from a Phoenician dialect[1]: compare Phoenician 𐤁𐤀𐤓𐤆𐤄𐤋 ‎(barzel), Classical Syriac ܦܪܙܠܐ ‎(parzlā, iron). The word could have entered Latin through Etruscan.[2]



ferrum n ‎(genitive ferrī); second declension

  1. iron
  2. any tool made of iron
  3. sword
    Urbi ferrō flammāque minitatus est.
    He threatened the city with fire and sword.
    Ferro incumbere.
    To fall on his sword.


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative ferrum ferra
genitive ferrī ferrōrum
dative ferrō ferrīs
accusative ferrum ferra
ablative ferrō ferrīs
vocative ferrum ferra


  • (iron, tool made of iron, weapon made of iron): chalybs

Related terms[edit]



  • ferrum in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • ferrum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • FERRUM in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • ferrum” 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 cut one's way (through the enemies' ranks): ferro viam facere (per confertos hostes)
    • to ravage with fire and sword: omnia ferro ignique, ferro atque igni or ferro flammaque vastare
    • to fight a pitched battle: acie (armis, ferro) decernere
    • all have perished by the sword: omnia strata sunt ferro
    • (ambiguous) to fly aloft; to be carried into the sky: sublimem or sublime (not in sublime or sublimiter) ferri, abire
    • (ambiguous) to be in every one's mouth: per omnium ora ferri
    • (ambiguous) to feel an attraction for study: trahi, ferri ad litteras
    • (ambiguous) to feel inspired: divino quodam instinctu concitari, ferri (Div. 1. 31. 66)
    • (ambiguous) to take a higher tone (especially of poets and orators): exsurgere altius or incitatius ferri
    • (ambiguous) to be carried away by one's passions: libidine ferri
    • (ambiguous) to be carried away by something: praecipitem ferri aliqua re (Verr. 5. 46. 121)
    • (ambiguous) to have no principles: caeco impetu ferri
    • (ambiguous) to throw oneself heart and soul into politics: studio ad rem publicam ferri
    • (ambiguous) to throw oneself on the enemy with drawn sword: strictis gladiis in hostem ferri
  • ferrum in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • ferrum in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin
  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, page 214
  2. ^ Klein, Dr. Ernest, A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, Amsterdam: Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co., 1971.