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Alternative forms[edit]


Traditionally derived from Proto-Indo-European *ley- (to flow), whence perhaps Lithuania. De Vaan is unconvinced, and prefers a derivation from Proto-Indo-European *leyt-os- (going) (with sense development "going away" > "end, side" > "seashore, coast"), from *leyt- (to go, depart), whence Tocharian B litā- (to pass on), Avestan 𐬌𐬭𐬌𐬚𐬌𐬌𐬈𐬌𐬙𐬌 (iriθiieiti, to die, pass away), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌻𐌴𐌹𐌸𐌰𐌽 (galeiþan, to depart, go forth).[1]



lītus n (genitive lītoris); third declension

  1. strand, shore, beach
    • 29 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Aeneid 2.27:
      ... juvat ire et Dorica castra desertosque videre locos litusque relictum.
      ... it was a delight to walk through the Doric camp and to see the deserted places and the abandoned shore.

Usage notes[edit]

N.B. The difference between ora and litus is that ora denotes a coast simply as a border, whereas litus refers exclusively to the sea-coast.


Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative lītus lītora
Genitive lītoris lītorum
Dative lītorī lītoribus
Accusative lītus lītora
Ablative lītore lītoribus
Vocative lītus lītora

Derived terms[edit]


  • Corsican: lidu
  • Italian: lido (obsolete lito)
  • Sicilian: litu
  • Venetian: lido (obsolete lio)

See also[edit]


  • litus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • litus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • litus 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)
  • litus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to be stranded: in litus eici (B. G. 5. 10)
    • to land (of people): appellere navem (ad terram, litus)
    • to keep the coast and harbours in a state of blockade: litora ac portus custodia clausos tenere
  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 346