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Alternative forms




By surface analysis, fōrma (mould) +‎ -āticum (noun-forming suffix). Has also been suggested to be a contraction of *[cāseus fōrmāticus] 'mould-cheese' (although the latter is not attested as an adjective), in which case the masculine variants would be original.

further information

Attested in the eighth-century Reichenau Glossary and the Capitulary of Charlemagne (802 CE).[1]

Displaced the original Latin term cāseus in Gallo-Romance, though apparently at a relatively late date, considering that the latter has left various reflexes,[2] such as the French casier (cheese-basket). On the other hand, the early Breton borrowing fourondec shows that the term pre-dates the syncope of the penultimate vowel in Gallo-Romance, a change which would have occurred at some point during the eighth or ninth century CE.[3]

Compare the single occurrence of fōrmulae in the sense of 'cheese-moulds' in Late Latin,[4] and several of its diminutive fōrmella.[5]



fōrmāticum n (genitive fōrmāticī); second declension (Early Medieval Latin)

  1. cheese
    Synonym: cāseus (Classical)



Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative formāticum formātica
Genitive formāticī formāticōrum
Dative formāticō formāticīs
Accusative formāticum formātica
Ablative formāticō formāticīs
Vocative formāticum formātica




  1. ^ Blaise, Albert (1975) “formaticum (-ticus, forma, formagium)”, in Dictionnaire latin-français des auteurs du moyen-âge: lexicon latinitatis medii aevi (Corpus christianorum) (overall work in Latin and French), Turnhout: Brepols, page 396.
  2. ^ Walther von Wartburg (1928–2002) “formaticum”, in Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), volumes 3: D–F, page 719
  3. ^ Pope, Mildred K. 1934. From Latin to French. Manchester University Press. §165.1.
  4. ^ Palladius, Opus Agriculturae 6.9.2
  5. ^ formella 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)
  6. ^ Sorbello, Albano. 1906–7. L'Archiginnasio. Bollettino della Biblioteca comunale di Bologna. Vol. I–II. 178.