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From prae- +‎ capiō.



praecipiō (present infinitive praecipere, perfect active praecēpī, supine praeceptum); third conjugation iō-variant

  1. I take or seize beforehand, in advance.
  2. I anticipate.
  3. I enjoin, direct, order, command.
  4. I teach, instruct, advise, inform.

Usage notes[edit]

Used with the dative.


   Conjugation of praecipio (third conjugation -variant)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present praecipiō praecipis praecipit praecipimus praecipitis praecipiunt
imperfect praecipiēbam praecipiēbās praecipiēbat praecipiēbāmus praecipiēbātis praecipiēbant
future praecipiam praecipiēs praecipiet praecipiēmus praecipiētis praecipient
perfect praecēpī praecēpistī praecēpit praecēpimus praecēpistis praecēpērunt, praecēpēre
pluperfect praecēperam praecēperās praecēperat praecēperāmus praecēperātis praecēperant
future perfect praecēperō praecēperis praecēperit praecēperimus praecēperitis praecēperint
passive present praecipior praeciperis, praecipere praecipitur praecipimur praecipiminī praecipiuntur
imperfect praecipiēbar praecipiēbāris, praecipiēbāre praecipiēbātur praecipiēbāmur praecipiēbāminī praecipiēbantur
future praecipiar praecipiēris, praecipiēre praecipiētur praecipiēmur praecipiēminī praecipientur
perfect praeceptus + present active indicative of sum
pluperfect praeceptus + imperfect active indicative of sum
future perfect praeceptus + future active indicative of sum
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present praecipiam praecipiās praecipiat praecipiāmus praecipiātis praecipiant
imperfect praeciperem praeciperēs praeciperet praeciperēmus praeciperētis praeciperent
perfect praecēperim praecēperīs praecēperit praecēperīmus praecēperītis praecēperint
pluperfect praecēpissem praecēpissēs praecēpisset praecēpissēmus praecēpissētis praecēpissent
passive present praecipiar praecipiāris, praecipiāre praecipiātur praecipiāmur praecipiāminī praecipiantur
imperfect praeciperer praeciperēris, praeciperēre praeciperētur praeciperēmur praeciperēminī praeciperentur
perfect praeceptus + present active subjunctive of sum
pluperfect praeceptus + imperfect active subjunctive of sum
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present praecipe praecipite
future praecipitō praecipitō praecipitōte praecipiuntō
passive present praecipere praecipiminī
future praecipitor praecipitor praecipiuntor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives praecipere praecēpisse praeceptūrus esse praecipī praeceptus esse praeceptum īrī
participles praecipiēns praeceptūrus praeceptus praecipiendus
verbal nouns gerund supine
nominative genitive dative/ablative accusative accusative ablative
praecipere praecipiendī praecipiendō praecipiendum praeceptum praeceptū

Derived terms[edit]


  • praecipio in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • praecipio in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • praecipio in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français [Illustrated Latin-French Dictionary], Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to form a conception of a thing beforehand: animo, cogitatione aliquid praecipere (Off 1. 23. 81)
    • to inculcate good (bad) principles: bene (male) praecipere alicui
    • that Greek proverb contains an excellent lesson: bene illo Graecorum proverbio praecipitur
    • to give moral advice, rules of conduct: de virtute praecipere alicui
    • to consider oneself already victor: victoriam praecipere (animo) (Liv. 10. 26)