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Alternative forms[edit]


From Old Latin poplicus, from Old Latin poplus, which became Latin populus (the people), ultimately from Proto-Italic *poplos (army), of unknown origin.

The change from -ŏp- to -ūb- is traditionally explained as paronymic attraction to pūbēs (adult population; puberty; genitals).[1] An alternative explanation is that it is a regular sound change, divisible into two steps: voicing of -p-, then breaking of -o- to -ou- (subsequently monophthongized to -ū-).[2]



pūblicus (feminine pūblica, neuter pūblicum); first/second-declension adjective

  1. of or belonging to the people, state, or community
    • 58-49 BCE, Gaius Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico, VI.13.4:
      Illi rebus divinis intersunt, sacrificia publica ac privata procurant, religiones interpretantur.
      The former are engaged in things sacred, conduct the public and the private sacrifices, and interpret all matters of religion.
  2. public, general


First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative pūblicus pūblica pūblicum pūblicī pūblicae pūblica
Genitive pūblicī pūblicae pūblicī pūblicōrum pūblicārum pūblicōrum
Dative pūblicō pūblicō pūblicīs
Accusative pūblicum pūblicam pūblicum pūblicōs pūblicās pūblica
Ablative pūblicō pūblicā pūblicō pūblicīs
Vocative pūblice pūblica pūblicum pūblicī pūblicae pūblica


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



pūblicus m (genitive pūblicī); second declension

  1. a public officer, magistrate


Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative pūblicus pūblicī
Genitive pūblicī pūblicōrum
Dative pūblicō pūblicīs
Accusative pūblicum pūblicōs
Ablative pūblicō pūblicīs
Vocative pūblice pūblicī


  • publicus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • publicus 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)
  • publicus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[3], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) to be interred (at the expense of the state, at one's own cost): funere efferri or simply efferri (publice; publico, suo sumptu)
    • statesmen: auctores consilii publici
    • public land; state domain: ager publicus
    • (ambiguous) in the time of the Republic: libera re publica
    • (ambiguous) to be interred (at the expense of the state, at one's own cost): funere efferri or simply efferri (publice; publico, suo sumptu)
    • (ambiguous) to be cast out unburied: proiici inhumatum (in publicum)
    • (ambiguous) in the streets: in publico
    • (ambiguous) to show oneself in the streets, in public: in publicum prodire (Verr. 2. 1. 31)
    • (ambiguous) to never appear in public: publico carere, se abstinere
    • (ambiguous) at the time of a most satisfactory government: optima re publica
    • (ambiguous) the Republic: libera res publica, liber populus
    • (ambiguous) to hold the first position in the state: principem in re publica locum obtinere
    • (ambiguous) public affairs: negotia publica (Off. 1. 20. 69)
    • (ambiguous) to take part in politics: in re publica or in rebus publicis versari
    • (ambiguous) to retire from public life: a re publica recedere
    • (ambiguous) to shun publicity: publico carere, forum ac lucem fugere
    • (ambiguous) the state is secure: res publica stat (opp. iacet)
    • (ambiguous) for the advantage of the state; in the interests of the state: e re publica (opp. contra rem p.)
    • (ambiguous) the welfare of the state: summa res publica (or summa rei publicae)
    • (ambiguous) the interests of the state: commoda publica or rei publicae rationes
    • (ambiguous) to have the good of the state at heart: bene, optime sentire de re publica
    • (ambiguous) to have the good of the state at heart: omnia de re publica praeclara atque egregia sentire
    • (ambiguous) statesmen: viri rerum civilium, rei publicae gerendae periti or viri in re publica prudentes
    • (ambiguous) an experienced politician: homo in re publica exercitatus
    • (ambiguous) to possess great political insight: plus in re publica videre
    • (ambiguous) a man's policy is aiming at, directed towards..: alicuius in re publica or capessendae rei publicae consilia eo spectant, ut...
    • (ambiguous) to bring a law before the notice of the people: legem proponere in publicum
    • (ambiguous) a political ally: consiliorum in re publica socius
    • (ambiguous) to have the same political opinions: idem de re publica sentire
    • (ambiguous) to hold different views in politics: ab aliquo in re publica dissentire
    • (ambiguous) democracy: imperium populi or populare, civitas or res publica popularis
    • (ambiguous) to betray the interests of the state: a re publica deficere
    • (ambiguous) the public income from the mines: pecunia publica, quae ex metallis redit
    • (ambiguous) let the consuls take measures for the protection of the state: videant or dent operam consules, ne quid res publica detrimenti capiat (Catil. 1. 2. 4)
    • (ambiguous) to let out public works to contract: locare opera publica
    • (ambiguous) the council of the nation; the senate: publicum consilium (Phil. 7.7. 19)
    • (ambiguous) a criminal case: causa publica (Brut. 48. 178)
  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
  2. ^ Ranjan Sen (2015) Syllable and Segment in Latin[2], Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 146