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Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Italic *feiðos (faithful), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeydʰ-os, from *bʰeydʰ- (to trust). Same root as fīdō, fidēs, fīdus, and Proto-Germanic *bīdaną. Perhaps a corruption from an o-stem.[1]


foedus n (genitive foederis); third declension

  1. (among nations, states, or rulers) treaty, compact, alliance, truce, league
    Synonym: conventum
  2. (among individuals) agreement, bond, contract, compact, pact, pledge, conditions, terms
    • 29 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Aeneid 4.338–339:
      “[...] Nec coniugis umquam / praetendī taedās, aut haec in foedera vēnī.”
      “Nor did I ever extend the wedding-torches of a bridegroom, or enter into these bonds [with you].”
  3. (biblical) covenant

Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative foedus foedera
Genitive foederis foederum
Dative foederī foederibus
Accusative foedus foedera
Ablative foedere foederibus
Vocative foedus foedera
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Proto-Italic *foiðos (afraid), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeyh₂- (to frighten; be afraid).[2]


foedus (feminine foeda, neuter foedum, comparative foedior, superlative foedissimus, adverb foedē); first/second-declension adjective

  1. (physically) filthy, foul, disgusting, loathsome, ugly, unseemly, detestable, abominable, horrible
    Synonyms: nefandus, turpis
  2. (mentally) disgraceful, vile, obscene, base, horrible, dreadful, dishonorable, shameful, infamous, foul
    • 29 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Aeneid 4.195:
      Haec passim dea foeda virum diffundit in ōra.
      The disgraceful goddess scatters these [tales] here and there into the mouths of men.
      (The goddess: Fama or Rumor personified.)

First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative foedus foeda foedum foedī foedae foeda
Genitive foedī foedae foedī foedōrum foedārum foedōrum
Dative foedō foedō foedīs
Accusative foedum foedam foedum foedōs foedās foeda
Ablative foedō foedā foedō foedīs
Vocative foede foeda foedum foedī foedae foeda
Derived terms[edit]
  • Asturian: feu
  • Italian: fedo
  • Old Galician-Portuguese: feo
  • Spanish: feo


  • foedus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • foedus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • foedus 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)
  • foedus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to conclude a treaty, an alliance: foedus facere (cum aliquo), icere, ferire
    • to violate a treaty, terms of alliance: foedus frangere, rumpere, violare
    • (ambiguous) according to treaty: ex pacto, ex foedere
  • foedus”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • foedus”, 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, →ISBN, pages 218-9
  2. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 229