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From the Ancient Greek γλῶσσᾰ (glôssa, tongue).


glossa (plural glossae)

  1. (zoology) The tongue, or lingua, of an insect.

Related terms[edit]


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for glossa in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)



Borrowed from Latin glossa. Compare the doublet chiosa.


glossa f (plural glosse)

  1. gloss (explanatory note)

Related terms[edit]



  1. third-person singular present indicative of glossare
  2. second-person singular imperative of glossare


Italiot Greek[edit]


glossa f

  1. tongue


Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Ancient Greek γλῶσσᾰ (glôssa).



glōssa f (genitive glōssae); first declension

  1. an obsolete, foreign, rare, or otherwise obscure or difficult term that requires explanation
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Ausonius to this entry?)
    • circa AD 95, Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (author), Harold Edgeworth Butler (editor, translator), Institutio Oratoria (1920), book I, chapter i, § 35:
      protinus enim potest interpretationem linguae secretioris, quas Graeci γλώσσας vocant, dum aliud agitur, ediscere et inter prima elementa consequi rem postea proprium tempus desideraturam. et quoniam circa res adhuc tenues moramur, ii quoque versus, qui ad imitationem scribendi proponentur, non otiosas velim sententias habeant sed honestum aliquid monentes.
      He can readily learn the explanations or glosses, as the Greeks call them, of the more obscure words by the way and, while he is still engaged on the first rudiments, acquire what would otherwise demand special time to be devoted to it. And as we are still discussing minor details, I would urge that the lines, which he is set to copy, should not express thoughts of no significance, but convey some sound moral lesson. ― translation from the same source
    1. (Late Latin) an explanation or interpretation of such a word
      • (Can we find and add a quotation of Isidore of Seville to this entry?)
    2. (Medieval Latin) an explanation added to a passage of text, a gloss
  2. (in the plural, as glossae) a term applied to collections of such words with explanations, a glossary
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Marcus Terentius Varro to this entry?)
    1. (Medieval Latin) a series of glosses assembled into a commentary
  3. (Medieval Latin) a language, dialect, or peculiar idiom
  4. (Medieval Latin) an image or example (of a thing)

Usage notes[edit]

  • This word is written in untransliterated Greek in some Classical sources.


First-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative glōssa glōssae
Genitive glōssae glōssārum
Dative glōssae glōssīs
Accusative glōssam glōssās
Ablative glōssā glōssīs
Vocative glōssa glōssae


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • English: gloss
  • Irish: gluais
  • Italian: chiosa, glossa
  • Portuguese: glosa
  • Spanish: glosa