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Alternative forms[edit]

  • (without rhotacism of the stem consonant): quaesō


Uncertain. According to Nussbaum and de Vaan, from Proto-Italic *kwai-s-e/o, from Proto-Indo-European *kweh₂- ‎(to acquire), via an se/o-present built upon an i-present form *kweh₂-i- ‎(to acquire). In this case, cognates would include Ancient Greek πέπαμαι ‎(pépamai, to get, acquire), Old Prussian quoi ‎(I/you want) and quāits ‎(desire), Lithuanian kviẽsti ‎(to invite) and probably Albanian kam ‎(I have).

In some sources etymologized as if from Proto-Indo-European *kwoys-, *kweys- ‎(to see), but this was deemed uncertain by Schrijver in 1991.

LIV accepts Szemerényi's 1960 etymology that it is a derivation of *h₂eys- ‎(to seek, ask), via the form *ko-ais-(s)-e/o-.



quaerō ‎(present infinitive quaerere, perfect active quaesīvī, supine quaesītum); third conjugation

  1. I seek, look for
    Quaerendo invenietis
    By seeking ye shall find.
    Quaerite Dominum
    Seek ye the Lord
  2. I ask, question, inquire.
  3. I strive for; endeavor; seek to obtain
  4. I miss, lack
  5. I desire, require


   Conjugation of quaero (third conjugation)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present quaerō quaeris quaerit quaerimus quaeritis quaerunt
imperfect quaerēbam quaerēbās quaerēbat quaerēbāmus quaerēbātis quaerēbant
future quaeram quaerēs quaeret quaerēmus quaerētis quaerent
perfect quaesīvī quaesīvistī quaesīvit quaesīvimus quaesīvistis quaesīvērunt, quaesīvēre
pluperfect quaesīveram quaesīverās quaesīverat quaesīverāmus quaesīverātis quaesīverant
future perfect quaesīverō quaesīveris quaesīverit quaesīverimus quaesīveritis quaesīverint
passive present quaeror quaereris, quaerere quaeritur quaerimur quaeriminī quaeruntur
imperfect quaerēbar quaerēbāris, quaerēbāre quaerēbātur quaerēbāmur quaerēbāminī quaerēbantur
future quaerar quaerēris, quaerēre quaerētur quaerēmur quaerēminī quaerentur
perfect quaesītus + present active indicative of sum
pluperfect quaesītus + imperfect active indicative of sum
future perfect quaesītus + future active indicative of sum
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present quaeram quaerās quaerat quaerāmus quaerātis quaerant
imperfect quaererem quaererēs quaereret quaererēmus quaererētis quaererent
perfect quaesīverim quaesīverīs quaesīverit quaesīverīmus quaesīverītis quaesīverint
pluperfect quaesīvissem quaesīvissēs quaesīvisset quaesīvissēmus quaesīvissētis quaesīvissent
passive present quaerar quaerāris, quaerāre quaerātur quaerāmur quaerāminī quaerantur
imperfect quaererer quaererēris, quaererēre quaererētur quaererēmur quaererēminī quaererentur
perfect quaesītus + present active subjunctive of sum
pluperfect quaesītus + imperfect active subjunctive of sum
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present quaere quaerite
future quaeritō quaeritō quaeritōte quaeruntō
passive present quaerere quaeriminī
future quaeritor quaeritor quaeruntor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives quaerere quaesīvisse quaesītūrus esse quaerī quaesītus esse quaesītum īrī
participles quaerēns quaesītūrus quaesītus quaerendus
verbal nouns gerund supine
nominative genitive dative/ablative accusative accusative ablative
quaerere quaerendī quaerendō quaerendum quaesītum quaesītū

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  • quaero” in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879.
  • quæro” on pages 1,288–9 of Félix Gaffiot (1934), Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Paris: Hachette.
  • quaerō” on page 1,533 of the Oxford Latin Dictionary (1st ed., 1968–82)
  • quaerere” on page 877 of Jan Frederik Niermeyer’s Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus (1976)
  • De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, page 503