Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



From Latin pābulum (food, nourishment).


pabulum (plural pabula or pabulums)

  1. Food or fodder, particularly that taken in by plants or animals.
  2. Material that feeds a fire.
  3. (figuratively) Food for thought.
  4. Bland intellectual fare; an undemanding diet of words.
    • 2017 March 1, Anthony Zurcher, “Trump addresses Congress: A kinder, gentler president”, in BBC News[1]:
      As this was largely a traditionally crafted speech, there were some painful cliches and political pabulum to which a typical politician might be prone, of course.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy ; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.

See also[edit]



From pā(scō) (I nourish) +‎ -bulum, or directly from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂-dʰlom (*peh₂- + *-dʰlom).



pābulum n (genitive pābulī); second declension

  1. food, nourishment, sustenance
    • c. 37 BCE – 30 BCE, Virgil, Georgicon 4.265
      [] ultro / hortantem et fessas ad pabula nota vocantem
      [] freely / calling them and exhorting the weary insects to eat their familiar food.
  2. (of animals) fodder, pasture
  3. (figuratively) nourishment for the mind, food for thought


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative pābulum pābula
genitive pābulī pābulōrum
dative pābulō pābulīs
accusative pābulum pābula
ablative pābulō pābulīs
vocative pābulum pābula


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]