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See also: hostíš


Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-Italic *hostis, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰóstis (guest, stranger), whence also Proto-Germanic *gastiz (English guest) and Proto-Slavic *gostь. Varro (de lingua latina 5.4) confirms this: tum eō verbō dīcēbant peregrīnum [...], nunc dīcunt eum quem tum dīcēbant perduellem. ("Back then this word meant a stranger, today it means the same as perduellis - an enemy of the state.").



hostis m or f (genitive hostis); third declension

  1. an enemy of the state, a hostile
    Synonyms: inimīcus, perduellis
  2. (plural only) the enemy


Third-declension noun (i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative hostis hostēs
Genitive hostis hostium
Dative hostī hostibus
Accusative hostem hostēs
Ablative hoste hostibus
Vocative hostis hostēs

Derived terms[edit]


  • Aromanian: oasti
  • Asturian: güeste
  • Catalan: host
  • Old French: ost, host
  • English: host
  • French: ost (revival of the Old French word)
  • Norman: hôt (Pays de Bray)
  • Picard: hôt
  • Galician: hoste
  • Irish: óstach
  • Italian: oste
  • Occitan: òst
  • Portuguese: hoste
  • Romanian: oaste
  • Spanish: hueste


  • hostis”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • hostis”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • hostis 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)
  • hostis in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to cut one's way (through the enemies' ranks): ferro viam facere (per confertos hostes)
    • the foe is at our heels, is upon us: hostis in cervicibus alicuius est
    • to try one's strength with the enemy; to try issue of battle: periculum hostis facere
    • to cut off all supplies of the enemy: intercludere, prohibere hostes commeatu
    • to surprise and defeat the enemy: opprimere hostes (imprudentes, incautos, inopinantes)
    • to make an inroad into hostile territory: excursionem in hostium agros facere
    • to offer battle to the enemy: potestatem, copiam pugnandi hostibus facere
    • to provoke the enemy to battle: proelio (ad pugnam) hostes lacessere, provocare
    • to not let the enemy escape: hostem e manibus non dimittere
    • to march on the enemy: gradum inferre in hostem
    • to attack the enemy: aggredi hostem
    • to attack the enemy: invadere, impetum facere in hostem
    • to attack the enemy: signa inferre in hostem
    • to rush into the midst of the foe: in medios hostes se inicere
    • to break through the enemy's centre: per medios hostes (mediam hostium aciem) perrumpere
    • to come to close quarters: manum (us) conserere cum hoste
    • to come to close quarters: signa conferre cum hoste
    • to attack the enemy in the front: adversis hostibus occurrere
    • to attack the enemy in the rear: aversos hostes aggredi
    • to attack the enemy in the rear: hostes a tergo adoriri
    • to fight a pitched, orderly battle with an enemy: iusto (opp. tumultuario) proelio confligere cum hoste (Liv. 35. 4)
    • to throw oneself on the enemy with drawn sword: strictis gladiis in hostem ferri
    • to fall upon the enemy's flank: in latus hostium incurrere
    • to surround the enemy from the rear: circumvenire hostem aversum or a tergo (B. G. 2. 26)
    • to be surrounded by the superior force of the enemy: multitudine hostium cingi
    • to be a match for the enemy: parem (opp. imparem) esse hosti
    • to repulse the enemy: pellere hostem
    • the enemy's line is repulsed: acies hostium impellitur
    • to drive the enemy from his position: loco movere, depellere, deicere hostem (B. G. 7. 51)
    • to repel the attack of the enemy's cavalry: summovere or reicere hostium equites
    • to repulse an attack: repellere, propulsare hostem
    • to rout the enemy: prosternere, profligare hostem
    • to put the enemy to flight: in fugam dare, conicere hostem
    • to put the enemy to flight: fugare hostem
    • to rout the enemy's forces: fundere hostium copias
    • to utterly rout the enemy: caedere et fundere hostem
    • to utterly rout the enemy: fundere et fugare hostem
    • to drive the enemy before one: prae se agere hostem
    • to run away from the enemy: terga dare hosti
    • to pursue the enemy: hostes insequi, prosequi
    • to follow up and harass the enemy when in flight: hostes (fusos) persequi
    • to overtake the enemy: hostes assequi, consequi
    • to be on the heels of the enemy: tergis hostium inhaerere
    • to bring the flying enemy to a stand: fugam hostium reprimere (B. G. 3. 14)
    • there was great slaughter of fugitives: magna caedes hostium fugientium facta est
    • to escape from the hands of the enemy: effugere, elābi e manibus hostium
    • to let the enemy escape: dimittere e manibus hostes
    • to rescue some one from the hands of the enemy: eripere aliquem e manibus hostium
    • to inflict a defeat on the enemy: cladem hostibus afferre, inferre
    • to annihilate, cut up the enemy, an army: hostes, exercitum delere, concīdere
    • to absolutely annihilate the enemy: hostes ad internecionem caedere, delere (Liv. 9. 26)
    • to absolutely annihilate the enemy: hostium copias occidione occīdere (Liv. 2. 51)
    • to gain a victory over the enemy: victoriam reportare ab hoste
    • to throw grappling irons on board; to board: in navem (hostium) transcendere
  • hostis”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • hostis”, in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin




  1. plural of hostil