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Borrowed from Latin pectus.


pectus (plural pectora)

  1. (anatomy, zoology) The breast, especially of a bird.

Related terms[edit]




From Proto-Italic *pektos, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *peg- (breast). Cognate with Old Irish ucht.[1]



pectus n (genitive pectoris); third declension

  1. chest, breast
  2. (figuratively) heart, breast, as the seat of emotion
    Synonym: cor
  3. (figuratively) soul, spirit, mind, understanding
    Synonym: animus
    • 43 BCEc. 17 CE, Ovid, Fasti 6.509:
      ‘ō nimium facilēs, ō tōtō pectore captae!’
      “O too easy [souls]! O [those] with every spirit having been captured!”
      (That is to say, easy to deceive and entirely believing. Several figurative translations are possible. The poetic voice is that of Juno (mythology).)
  4. person, individual (as a being of passion)
    Synonyms: persona, caput


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

Case Singular Plural
Nominative pectus pectora
Genitive pectoris pectorum
Dative pectorī pectoribus
Accusative pectus pectora
Ablative pectore pectoribus
Vocative pectus pectora

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7)‎[1], Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN

Further reading[edit]

  • pectus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • pectus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • pectus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[2], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • the water is up to, is above, the chest: aqua pectus aequat, superat
    • to take a thing to heart: demittere aliquid in pectus or in pectus animumque suum
    • what he said made a deep impression on..: hoc verbum alte descendit in pectus alicuius
    • to love some one very dearly, with all one's heart: aliquem toto pectore, ut dicitur, amare (Leg. 18. 49)
    • to inspire with religious feeling, with the fear of God: imbuere (vid. sect. VII. 7, note imbuere...) pectora religione
    • to plunge one's sword in some one's breast: gladium alicui in pectus infigere
    • to transfix, pierce a man's breast with one's sword: gladio aliquem per pectus transfigere (Liv. 2. 46)
  • pectus in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[3], pre-publication website, 2005-2016