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saxum (a stone, rock)


From Proto-Italic *saksom, of unknown derivation. De Vaan rejects any connections with Proto-Indo-European *sek- (to cut), leaving it as unknown. This is due to the presence of the vowel a in the Latin word, reasoning that to obtain that vowel in that position, a laryngeal must be posited. The root *sek- does not have a laryngeal, ruling out a Proto-Indo-European derivation.[1]



saxum n (genitive saxī); second declension

  1. stone, rock (a large, rough fragment of rock)
    • Aaron Stone, season 1 episode 16:
      Responsum est sub saxo.
      The answer is under the rock.
  2. (by extension) wall of stone


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative saxum saxa
Genitive saxī saxōrum
Dative saxō saxīs
Accusative saxum saxa
Ablative saxō saxīs
Vocative saxum saxa


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Galician: seixo
  • Istriot: sasso
  • Italian: sasso
  • Ligurian: sàscio
  • Portuguese: seixo
  • Spanish: sajo, saxo


  • saxum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • saxum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • saxum 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)
  • saxum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • steep rocks: saxa praerupta
    • the rocks re-echo: saxa voci respondent or resonant
    • to pave a road: viam sternere (silice, saxo)
    • to throw some one down the Tarpeian rock: deicere aliquem de saxo Tarpeio
  • saxum in Samuel Ball Platner (1929), Thomas Ashby, editor, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, London: Oxford University Press
  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008), “saxum”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 541