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From Proto-Italic *porskō, from a *-sḱe- present *pr̥sḱé-, from Proto-Indo-European *preḱ- ‎(to ask, ask for). Cognates include Sanskrit पृच्छति ‎(pṛccháti), Old Armenian հարց ‎(harcʿ), Old Church Slavonic просити ‎(prositi) and Old English friġnan (English frayne, freyne). Confer precor ‎(to beg, to implore), procus ‎(a wooer, a gigolo, a suitor) and procax ‎(pushing, frivolous).



pōscō ‎(present infinitive pōscere, perfect active popōscī); third conjugation, no passive

  1. I beg, I demand, I request, I desire.
    Poscor aliquid. ― Something is asked of me.
    Poscor meum Laelapa. ― They demand of me my Laelaps.
  2. I demand for punishment, I ask the surrender of.
  3. I call someone.
    • c. 254 BCE – 184 BCE, Plautus, Curculio 5.3.5
      Argentariis male credi qui aiunt, nugas praedicant: nam et bene et male credi dico; id adeo ego hodie expertus sum. Non male creditur qui numquam reddunt, sed prorsum perit. Vel ille, decem minas dum solvit, omnis mensas transiit. Postquam nil fit, clamore hominem posco: ille in ius me vocat; pessume metui, ne mihi hodie apud praetorem solveret. Verum amici compulerunt: reddit argentum domo. Nunc domum properare certumst.[1]
      People that say bankers are ill trusted talk rubbish. Why, they are well and ill trusted both, I tell you–and what is more, I have proved it myself this very day. Money is not ill trusted to men that never repay you; it is gone for good. That Lyco, for example, in trying to raise forty pounds for me, went to every single bank. Nothing coming of it, I begin dunning him at the top of my lungs. He summons me before the magistrate I was horribly afraid he would settle with me in court. But his friends coerced him, and he paid me out of his own cash in hand. Now I must hurry home.[2]
    Ego poscor Olympo! ― It is I that Olympus summons!
    Ad te confugio et supplex tua numina posco. ― To you I have recourse and, as a suppliant, I call on your divine power.
  4. I ask in marriage, I demand one's hand.
    Filiam tuam mihi uxorem posco. ― I demand your daughters hand in marriage.


   Conjugation of posco (third conjugation, no passive perfect forms)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present poscō poscis poscit poscimus poscitis poscunt
imperfect poscēbam poscēbās poscēbat poscēbāmus poscēbātis poscēbant
future poscam poscēs poscet poscēmus poscētis poscent
perfect poposcī poposcistī poposcit poposcimus poposcistis poposcērunt, poposcēre
pluperfect poposceram poposcerās poposcerat poposcerāmus poposcerātis poposcerant
future perfect poposcerō poposceris poposcerit poposcerimus poposceritis poposcerint
passive present poscor posceris, poscere poscitur poscimur posciminī poscuntur
imperfect poscēbar poscēbāris, poscēbāre poscēbātur poscēbāmur poscēbāminī poscēbantur
future poscar poscēris, poscēre poscētur poscēmur poscēminī poscentur
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present poscam poscās poscat poscāmus poscātis poscant
imperfect poscerem poscerēs posceret poscerēmus poscerētis poscerent
perfect poposcerim poposcerīs poposcerit poposcerīmus poposcerītis poposcerint
pluperfect poposcissem poposcissēs poposcisset poposcissēmus poposcissētis poposcissent
passive present poscar poscāris, poscāre poscātur poscāmur poscāminī poscantur
imperfect poscerer poscerēris, poscerēre poscerētur poscerēmur poscerēminī poscerentur
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present posce poscite
future poscitō poscitō poscitōte poscuntō
passive present poscere posciminī
future poscitor poscitor poscuntor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives poscere poposcisse poscī
participles poscēns poscendus
verbal nouns gerund supine
nominative genitive dative/ablative accusative accusative ablative
poscere poscendī poscendō poscendum

Usage notes[edit]

Though it is listed without passive forms, they do sometimes appear, as in Seneca's Thyestes, 242-43: "Tantalum et Pelopem aspice; / ad haec manus exempla poscuntur meae."



  1. ^ Latin
  2. ^ English