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From Latin gladius (Roman short sword, gladius). Doublet of glaive.


gladius (plural gladiuses or gladii)

  1. (historical) A Roman sword roughly two feet long.
    • 1882, "The Genesis of the Sword", Popular Science Monthly, Volume 21, page 81:
      Finally, the Romans made the gladius—sharp, of highly-tempered steel, and strongly piercing—the first real sword (Figs. 17, 18, 19), of which only five specimens are now known to exist.
    • 2007, Pat Southern, The Roman Army: A Social and Institutional History, page 212:
      The gladius was effective either for cutting or for thrusting and was used by legionaries and auxiliaries.
  2. (zoology) A pen, a hard internal bodypart of certain cephalopods, made of chitin-like material.
    • 2017, Mark Carnall, The Guardian, 31 October:
      From the Cretaceous of North America fossilised gladii in the enigmatic genus Tusoteuthis have been estimated to give a mantle length (body size) of 1.8m, just less than that of the giant squid’s.





From Latin gladius (Roman short sword, gladius).


gladius m (plural gladii, diminutive gladiusje n)

  1. Roman short sword; gladius


See also[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Like many Dutch words borrowed from Latin, the plural takes the form of the Latin nominative plural.



< Latin



  1. gladius (Roman sword)


Inflection of gladius (Kotus type 39/vastaus, no gradation)
nominative gladius gladiukset
genitive gladiuksen gladiusten
partitive gladiusta gladiuksia
illative gladiukseen gladiuksiin
singular plural
nominative gladius gladiukset
accusative nom. gladius gladiukset
gen. gladiuksen
genitive gladiuksen gladiusten
partitive gladiusta gladiuksia
inessive gladiuksessa gladiuksissa
elative gladiuksesta gladiuksista
illative gladiukseen gladiuksiin
adessive gladiuksella gladiuksilla
ablative gladiukselta gladiuksilta
allative gladiukselle gladiuksille
essive gladiuksena gladiuksina
translative gladiukseksi gladiuksiksi
instructive gladiuksin
abessive gladiuksetta gladiuksitta
comitative gladiuksineen


Related terms[edit]


gladius (sword)


Possibly from Gaulish *kladyos (sword) (compare Old Irish claideb (sword), from Proto-Celtic *kladiwos (sword), from Proto-Indo-European *kelh₂- (to beat, break). Cognate with Latin clādes, clāva, percellō.


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈɡ, [ˈɡɫa.di.ʊs]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈɡ, [ˈɡlaː]
  • (file)


gladius m (genitive gladiī); second declension

  1. sword
    Mitte gladium in vaginam.
    Put the sword into its sheath.
    In gladium incumbere.
    To fall on one's sword.
  2. (figuratively) murder, death
  3. a gladiatorial contest
  4. swordfish
  5. (slang) penis


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative gladius gladiī
Genitive gladiī
Dative gladiō gladiīs
Accusative gladium gladiōs
Ablative gladiō gladiīs
Vocative gladī gladiī

1Found in older Latin (until the Augustan Age).


Derived terms[edit]



  • gladius in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • gladius in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • gladius in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • gladius in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • a sword hangs over his neck: gladius cervicibus impendet
    • to use javelins at a distance, swords at close quarters: eminus hastis, comminus gladiis uti
    • to draw one's sword (from the scabbard): gladium educere (e vagīna)
    • to sheath one's sword: gladium in vaginam recondere
    • to draw one's sword: gladium stringere, destringere
    • to plunge one's sword in some one's breast: gladium alicui in pectus infigere
    • to transfix, pierce a man's breast with one's sword: gladio aliquem per pectus transfigere (Liv. 2. 46)
    • to fight with swords at close quarters: gladio comminus (opp. eminus) rem gerere
    • to throw down the javelins (pila) and fight with the sword: omissis pilis gladiis rem gerere
    • swords must now decide the day: res ad gladios vēnit
    • swords must now decide the day: res gladiis geri coepta est
    • to throw oneself on the enemy with drawn sword: strictis gladiis in hostem ferri
  • gladius in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • gladius in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin