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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
    • 8 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).)
    Synonym: animus
  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]


  • Aragonese: peito
  • Aromanian: cheptu, chieptu
  • Asturian: pechu
  • Catalan: pit
  • French: pis, poitrine
  • Friulian: pet
  • Galician: peito

From a Vulgar Latin *pectorīna:

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