Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Proto-Indo-European *skelos (curve, bending), from *(s)kel- (to curve, bend). This etymology presupposes a semantic shift from "crooked" to "wicked, bad". Cognate with Proto-Germanic *skelhaz (whence Dutch scheel), Ancient Greek σκέλος (skélos), σκολιός (skoliós).



scelus n (genitive sceleris); third declension

  1. evil deed, crime, villainy, sin, wickedness; criminal, villain


Third-declension noun (neuter, imparisyllabic non-i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative scelus scelera
Genitive sceleris scelerum
Dative scelerī sceleribus
Accusative scelus scelera
Ablative scelere sceleribus
Vocative scelus scelera

Derived terms[edit]


  • scelus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • scelus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • scelus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to be tainted with vice: vitiis, sceleribus contaminari or se contaminare (Off. 3. 8. 37)
    • to be vicious, criminal: vitiis, sceleribus inquinatum, contaminatum, obrutum esse
    • to meditate crime: scelera moliri (Att. 7. 11)
    • to commit crime: scelus facere, committere
    • to commit a crime and so make oneself liable to the consequences of it: scelere se devincire, se obstringere, astringi
    • to commit a crime and so make oneself liable to the consequences of it: scelus (in se) concipere, suscipere
    • to commit a crime against some one: scelus edere in aliquem (Sest. 26. 58)
    • to heap crime on crime: scelus scelere cumulare (Catil. 1. 6. 14)
    • to expiate a crime by punishment: scelus supplicio expiare
    • a guilty conscience: conscientia mala or peccatorum, culpae, sceleris, delicti
    • to be tormented by remorse: (mens scelerum furiis agitatur)
    • to take a person in the act: deprehendere aliquem in manifesto scelere
  • De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill