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See also: Hebes




  1. plural of hebe




hebes anim (plural hebesii)

  1. beaver (aquatic rodent)

Derived terms[edit]



From hebeō (I am blunt or dull) with a suffix -t- that can also be found in -es (faring).



hebes (genitive hebetis, comparative hebetior); third-declension one-termination adjective

  1. blunt, dull, not sharp or pointed
    Synonym: retūsus
    • c. 206 BCE, Plautus, Miles Gloriosus 1.1.52–54:
      ARTOTRŌGUS. Quid in Cappadociā, ubi tū quīngentōs simul,
      hebes machaera foret, ūnō ictū occīderās?
      PYRGOPOLINĪCĒS. At peditastellī quia erant, sīvī vīverent.
      ARGOTROGUS. What about that time in Cappadocia, where you would've killed
      fifty with a single blow, were the sword not blunt?
      PYRGOPOLINICES. But because they were foot-soldiers, I suffered them to live.
    • c. 99 BCE – 55 BCE, Lucretius, De rerum natura 5.1273–1275:
      Tum fuit in pretiō magis aes, aurumque iacēbat
      propter inūtilitātem hebetī mūcrōne retūsum;
      nunc iacet aes, aurum in summum successit honōrem.
      Then was bronze more of worth, and gold was held in no esteem
      for it uselessness, dull with blunt edge;
      now bronze is in disgrace, and gold has climbed to the highest honour.
  2. (of senses) dim, faint, dull; tasteless, without smell, without sensation
    • 54 BCE – 51 BCE, Cicero, De re publica 6.18:
      Hōc sonitū opplētae aurēs hominum obsurduērunt; nec est ūllus hebetior sēnsus in vōbīs, sīcut, ubi Nīlus ad illa, quae Catadūpa nōminantur, praecipitat ex altissimīs montibus, ea gēns, quae illum locum adcolit, propter magnitūdinem sonitūs sēnsū audiendī caret.
      Filled with this sound, the ears of humans become deaf, just as, where the Nile rushes down from the highest mountains to those which are called Catadupa, that folk which inhabits that place lacks the sense of hearing because of the magnitude of the sound.
    • 2 CE, Ovid, The Art of Love 3.799–800:
      Īnfēlīx, cui torpet hebes locus ille, puella,
           quō pariter dēbent fēmina virque fruī.
      Unhappy girl, whose place unfeeling lays,
           which man and woman should equally enjoy.
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Fasti 5.361–368:
      Lūmina restābant, quōrum mē causa latēbat,
           cum sīc errōres abstulit illa meōs:
      'Vel quia purpureīs collucent flōribus agrī,
           lūmina sunt nostrōs vīsa decēre diēs;
      vel quia nec flōs est hebetī nec flamma colōre,
           atque oculōs in sē splendor uterque trahit;
      vel quia dēliciīs nocturna licentia nostrīs
           convenit. Ā vērō tertia causa venit.'
      The lights remained, whose cause escaped me,
           when she removed my uncertainties thus:
      'Either because the fields shine with purple flowers
           are lights seen as befitting my days;
      or because neither is a flower or a flame is of dull colour,
           and each splendor draws the eyes to itself;
      or becuse a nocturnal licence is convenient to my
           revels. From the truth comes the third cause.
    • 4 CEc. 70 CE, Columella, De Re Rustica 3.2.24:
      Inerticula tamen nigra, quam quīdam Graecī amargion appellant, potest in secundā quasi tribū esse, quod et bonī vīnī est et innoxia, quoniam nōmen trāxit, quod iners habētur in tentandīs nervīs, quamvīs gustū nōn sit hebes.
      However the black inerticula, which some Greeks call amargios, can be in the second, so to speak, tribe, because it makes for good wine and is unintoxicating, whence it also gets its name, for it's considered 'inert' in stretching the sinews, although it's not dull in taste.
    • c. 77 CE – 79 CE, Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia 21.39.67:
      Aliī rūrsus subeunt autumnō: tertium genus līliī, et crocum et orsinī utraque genera, ūnum hebes, alterum odōrātum, prīmīs omnia imbribus ēmicantia.
      Others go away again in the autumn: the third kind of lily, and both kinds of crocus and orsinus, one without smell, the other parfumed, all disappearing with the first rains.
  3. (figuratively) dull, obtuse, sluggish, heavy, stupid; slow, tardy
    Synonym: brūtus


Third-declension one-termination adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
Nominative hebes hebetēs hebetia
Genitive hebetis hebetium
Dative hebetī hebetibus
Accusative hebetem hebes hebetēs hebetia
Ablative hebetī hebetibus
Vocative hebes hebetēs hebetia

Note that there is an archaic accusative singular form hebem and an alternative ablative singular form hebete:

  • C.E. 4th C., Flavius Sosipater Charisius (author), Heinrich Keil (editor), Ars Grammatica (1857), page 132:
    Hebes hebetis, ut mīlitis segetis comitis teretis; et omnia quae es correptā terminantur, genetīvō tis syllabā fīniuntur, exceptīs residis obsidis dēsidis nōminibus, quia ex verbō generantur.
    Hebem Caecilius in Ὑποβολιμαίῳ,
         subitō rēs reddent hebem.
    Hebeshebetis, just like mīlitis, segetis, comitis, teretis; and all which end in a short es end in the syllable tis in the genitive, except for the nouns residis, obsidis, dēsidis, because they are derived from a verb.
    Caecilius Statius says hebem in Hypobolimaeus:
         the facts will suddenly render him dull.
  • Aulus Cornelius Celsus, De Medicina, 7, 3. In: Celsus De Medicina with an English translation by W. G. Spencer In three volumes III, 1961, page 304 and the following (the text of an older reprint online: Celsus: De Medicina)
    Idem prōcēdente cūrātiōne ēruptiō sanguinis, aut sī, antequam sinus carne impleatur, ōrae carnosae fīunt, illa quoque ipsa carne hebete nec firma.
    Again, bad signs in the course of the treatment are: haemorrhage, or if the margins become fleshy before the sinus has been filled up by flesh, and this flesh is insensitive and not firm.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • English: hebete
  • French: hébété
  • Italian: ebete


  • hebes”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • hebes”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • hebes in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.