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Diminutive from liber (book) +‎ -lus.



libellus m (genitive libellī); second declension

  1. a little book, pamphlet
    • Martial, Epigrams 7.3
      Cūr nōn mitto meōs tibi, Pontiliāne, libellōs?
      nē mihi tū mittās, Pontiliāne, tuōs.
      Why do I not send my little books [of poetry] to you, Pontilianus?
      So that you, Pontilianus, don't send yours to me.
  2. a billet, leaflet
  3. a petition
    • Dictum est autem: Quicumque dimiserit uxorem suam, det ei libellum repudii.
      And it has been said: 'Whoever would dismiss his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce'. Vulgate, Mt 5, 31


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative libellus libellī
genitive libellī libellōrum
dative libellō libellīs
accusative libellum libellōs
ablative libellō libellīs
vocative libelle libellī

Related terms[edit]



  • libellus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • libellus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • libellus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • libellus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • libellus in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • libellus in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin