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  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈlae̯.tus/, [ˈɫ̪äe̯t̪ʊs̠]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈle.tus/, [ˈlɛːt̪us]
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

Unknown; possibly related to alacer (happy, glad, cheerful).[1] Often compared to lardum (fat, bacon lard) and largus (abundant, bountiful),[2][3] presupposing an earlier form *lai-to and earlier *lai-es, but de Vaan finds this reconstruction problematic.[4]

Alternative forms[edit]


laetus (feminine laeta, neuter laetum, comparative laetior, superlative laetissimus, adverb laetē); first/second-declension adjective

  1. happy, cheerful, glad
    • Laetus sum.I (a man) am happy.
    • Laeta sum.I (a woman) am happy.
    Synonyms: felix, libēns, alacer, hilaris, hilarus, vīvus
    Antonyms: trīstis, infelix, maestus, miser, aeger
  2. fertile, luxuriant, lush, rich
    • 234 BCE – 149 BCE, Cato the Elder, De Agri Cultura 6:
      Ubi ager crassus et laetus est sine arboribus, eum agrum frumentarium esse oportet.
      Grain should be sown in heavy, rich, treeless soil.

First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative laetus laeta laetum laetī laetae laeta
Genitive laetī laetae laetī laetōrum laetārum laetōrum
Dative laetō laetō laetīs
Accusative laetum laetam laetum laetōs laetās laeta
Ablative laetō laetā laetō laetīs
Vocative laete laeta laetum laetī laetae laeta
Derived terms[edit]
  • Old French: lié
  • Galician: ledo
  • Italian: lieto
  • Portuguese: ledo
  • Spanish: ledo

Etymology 2[edit]

From Gothic *𐌻𐌴𐍄𐍃 (*lēts) (attested in Gothic 𐍆𐍂𐌰𐌻𐌴𐍄𐍃 (fralēts, freeman)), from Proto-Germanic *lētaz, from Proto-Germanic *lētaną (to let, rent, free, release). Cognate with Old Frisian lēt (serf), Old English lǣt (serf), English let, liege.

Alternative forms[edit]


laetus m (genitive laetī); second declension

  1. (Late Latin) A foreign bondman who received a piece of land to cultivate, for which he paid tribute to his master; a serf.

Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative laetus laetī
Genitive laetī laetōrum
Dative laetō laetīs
Accusative laetum laetōs
Ablative laetō laetīs
Vocative laete laetī
Derived terms[edit]


  • Ernout, Alfred; Meillet, Antoine (1985), “laetus”, in Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine: histoire des mots (in French), with additions and corrections of Jacques André, 4th edition, Paris: Klincksieck, published 2001, pages 337b–338a
  • laetus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • laetus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • laetus 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)
  • laetus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • the laughing cornfields: laetae segetes
  • laetus”, in William Smith, editor (1848) A Dictionary of Greek Biography and Mythology, London: John Murray
  1. ^ Buck, C. D. (2008). A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages. United States: University of Chicago Press.
  2. ^ Pokorny, Julius (1959) Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Indo-European Etymological Dictionary] (in German), volume 2, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, page 652
  3. ^ Roberts, Edward A. (2014) A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Spanish Language with Families of Words based on Indo-European Roots, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN, p. 820
  4. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “laetus”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 323