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From Proto-Italic *flektō, of uncertain ultimate origin, lacking any solid Indo-European cognates. Possible Proto-Indo-European predecessors include *bʰleK-, *dʰleK-, and *gʷʰleK-.



flectō (present infinitive flectere, perfect active flexī, supine flexum); third conjugation

  1. I bend, curve or bow
  2. I turn or curl
  3. (figuratively) I persuade, prevail upon, or soften


   Conjugation of flectō (third conjugation)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present flectō flectis flectit flectimus flectitis flectunt
imperfect flectēbam flectēbās flectēbat flectēbāmus flectēbātis flectēbant
future flectam flectēs flectet flectēmus flectētis flectent
perfect flexī flexistī flexit fleximus flexistis flexērunt, flexēre
pluperfect flexeram flexerās flexerat flexerāmus flexerātis flexerant
future perfect flexerō flexeris flexerit flexerimus flexeritis flexerint
passive present flector flecteris, flectere flectitur flectimur flectiminī flectuntur
imperfect flectēbar flectēbāris, flectēbāre flectēbātur flectēbāmur flectēbāminī flectēbantur
future flectar flectēris, flectēre flectētur flectēmur flectēminī flectentur
perfect flexus + present active indicative of sum
pluperfect flexus + imperfect active indicative of sum
future perfect flexus + future active indicative of sum
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present flectam flectās flectat flectāmus flectātis flectant
imperfect flecterem flecterēs flecteret flecterēmus flecterētis flecterent
perfect flexerim flexerīs flexerit flexerīmus flexerītis flexerint
pluperfect flexissem flexissēs flexisset flexissēmus flexissētis flexissent
passive present flectar flectāris, flectāre flectātur flectāmur flectāminī flectantur
imperfect flecterer flecterēris, flecterēre flecterētur flecterēmur flecterēminī flecterentur
perfect flexus + present active subjunctive of sum
pluperfect flexus + imperfect active subjunctive of sum
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present flecte flectite
future flectitō flectitō flectitōte flectuntō
passive present flectere flectiminī
future flectitor flectitor flectuntor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives flectere flexisse flexūrum esse flectī flexum esse flexum īrī
participles flectēns flexūrus flexus flectendus, flectundus
verbal nouns gerund supine
genitive dative accusative ablative accusative ablative
flectendī flectendō flectendum flectendō flexum flexū

Derived terms[edit]


  • English: flex
  • French: fléchir
  • Italian: flettere
  • Portuguese: flectir
  • Spanish: flectar, flecter


  • flecto in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • flecto in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • flecto in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to make a person change his intention: animum alicuius or simply aliquem flectere
    • to deviate, change the direction: iter flectere, convertere, avertere
  • de Vaan, Michiel, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages, vol. 7, of Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series, Alexander Lubotsky ed., Leiden: Brill, 2008.