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Alternative forms[edit]


Older sanguīs, later regularised with a short /i/, likely for *sanguīns, from Proto-Italic *sangwens, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁sh₂-én-, oblique stem of *h₁ésh₂r̥ (blood), whence also saniēs (ichor; ulcer) via suffixation.

The nominative of the original paradigm is likely to be reflected as Old Latin assyr, as(c)er (found in glosses only). It's disputed whether sanguen is the earlier form, but it seems more likely that it's a later reshaping on the analogy of unguen, inguen, since if original, the addition of -s- to it would be reflected as *sanguēs.

It has also supposed that may be related to Etruscan 𐌔𐌀𐌍𐌗𐌖𐌍𐌄𐌕𐌀 (sanxuneta, the sanguinary), with the enclitic article -𐌕𐌀 (-ta).

Cognate to Hittite 𒂊𒌍𒄯 (ēšḫar), Sanskrit असृज् (ásṛj), Ancient Greek ἔαρ (éar), Old Armenian արիւն (ariwn).


Note: the originally long ending vowel also appears as short in hexametric poetry via analogy.


sanguī̆s m (genitive sanguinis); third declension

  1. blood
    • 43 BCEc. 17 CE, Ovid, Fasti 2.212:
      Tuscō sanguine terra rubet
      The land is red with Tuscan blood.
    • c. 160 CEc. 225 CE, Tertullian, Apologeticus L.13:
      Plūrēs efficimur, quotiēns mētīmur ā vōbīs: sēmen est sanguī̆s Chrīstiānōrum.
      • Translation by Alexander Souter
        We spring up in greater numbers the more we are mown down by you: the blood of the Christians is the seed of a new life.
  2. descent, descendant, parentage, progeny, blood relative, flesh-and-blood, family, race
    • 43 BCEc. 17 CE, Ovid, Fasti 2.483-484:
      ‘Iuppiter,’ inquit, ‘habet Rōmāna potentia vīrēs:
      sanguinis officiō nōn eget illa meī.
      ‘‘Oh, Jupiter,’’ he said, ‘‘The Roman power [the Roman political state] [now] has strength [of its own]:
      It has no [further] need with the service of my blood [progeny; descendant].’’

      (Jupiter hears the plea of Mars to deify his son Romulus (mythology).)
  3. blood (consanguinity)

Usage notes[edit]

In 'Vulgar' Latin there existed a parisyllabic variant from the third century onward; see the second inflexion table below.


Classical Latin; third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative sanguī̆s sanguinēs
Genitive sanguinis sanguinum
Dative sanguinī sanguinibus
Accusative sanguinem sanguinēs
Ablative sanguine sanguinibus
Vocative sanguī̆s sanguinēs

Later 'Vulgar' Latin; third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative sanguis sanguēs
Genitive sanguis sanguium
Dative sanguī sanguibus
Accusative sanguem sanguēs
Ablative sangue
Vocative sanguis sanguēs

Derived terms[edit]


From the Classical accusative sanguinem:

From the 'vulgar' accusative sanguem:


  • Adams, James Noel. 2010. An anthology of informal Latin. Cambridge University Press. Pages 406–407.
  • AIS: Sprach- und Sachatlas Italiens und der Südschweiz [Linguistic and Ethnographic Atlas of Italy and Southern Switzerland] – map 88: “il sangue” – on
  • De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “sanguīs”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 537
  • Walther von Wartburg (1928–2002), “sanguis”, in Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), volume 11: S–Si, page 178

Further reading[edit]

  • sanguis”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • sanguis”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • sanguis 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)
  • sanguis in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to drip blood; to be deluged with blood: sanguine manare, redundare
    • to shed one's blood for one's fatherland: sanguinem suum pro patria effundere or profundere
    • the victory cost much blood and many wounds, was very dearly bought: victoria multo sanguine ac vulneribus stetit (Liv. 23. 30)