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From Proto-Italic *pretjom, from Proto-Indo-European *per- (in front) perhaps in the meaning of “equivalence, recompense, compensation”. Compare Proto-Slavic *protivъ (contrary, against), Ancient Greek πρός (prós) from older προτί (protí, in the direction of, towards, near), Sanskrit प्रति (prati, towards, near; against).



pretium n (genitive pretiī or pretī); second declension

  1. worth, price, value, cost
  2. pay, hire, wage
    Synonyms: praemium, stīpendium, commodum, mercēs
  3. reward
    Synonyms: praemium, datum, dōnum, oblātiō
  4. ransom
  5. bribe
    Synonym: praemium
  6. punishment
    Synonyms: pūnītiō, sānctiō, poena, supplicium, exemplum, vindicātiō, vindicta, animadversus, malum, mercēs


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative pretium pretia
Genitive pretiī
Dative pretiō pretiīs
Accusative pretium pretia
Ablative pretiō pretiīs
Vocative pretium pretia

1Found in older Latin (until the Augustan Age).

Derived terms[edit]



Further reading[edit]

  • pretium”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • pretium”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • pretium in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • pretium in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • it is worth while: operae pretium est (c. Inf.)
    • to fix a price for a thing: pretium alicui rei statuere, constituere (Att. 13. 22)
    • (ambiguous) to buy cheaply: parvo, vili pretio or bene emere
    • (ambiguous) to restore prisoners without ransom: captivos sine pretio reddere