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From Proto-Indo-European *pel- (flour, dust).



pulvis m (genitive pulveris); third declension (sometimes feminine)[1]

  1. dust, powder, ashes
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Fasti 5.655–656:
      ‘mittite mē in Tiberim, Tiberīnīs vectus ut undīs
      lītus ad Īnachium pulvis inānis eam.’
      “Release [my body] into the Tiber [River], so that, carried by the waves of the Tiber, I may go as lifeless dust to the Inachian shore.”
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Genesis.3.19:
      pulvis es et in pulverem revertēris.
      Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (King James ver.)
  2. (figuratively) an arena, place of contest
  3. toil, effort, labor
    Synonyms: cōnātus, studium, opus, mōlīmen, opera, labor, cūra, intēnsiō, mōlēs


Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative pulvis pulverēs
Genitive pulveris pulverum
Dative pulverī pulveribus
Accusative pulverem pulverēs
Ablative pulvere pulveribus
Vocative pulvis pulverēs

Derived terms[edit]


See also pulvera.


  1. ^ Joan Coromines, José A. Pascual (1985) “polvo”, in Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico (in Spanish), volumes IV (Me–Re), Madrid: Gredos, →ISBN, page 599

Further reading[edit]

  • pulvis”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • pulvis”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • pulvis 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)
  • pulvis in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.