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Borrowed from Latin scūtum (shield). Doublet of escudo, scudo, scute, écu.


scutum (plural scuta)

  1. (historical, Roman antiquity) An oblong shield made of boards or wickerwork covered with leather, with sometimes an iron rim; carried chiefly by the heavy-armed infantry of the Roman army.
  2. (zoology) A scute.
  3. (zoology) In many contexts a shield-like protection, such as the scutum protecting the back of a hard tick
  4. (zoology) One of the two lower valves of the operculum of a barnacle.
  5. (obsolete) A penthouse or awning.
    • Alexander M. Burrill
      SCUTUM. L.Lat. In old English law. A pent-house or awning; literally, a shield, or shelter. By the Assise of Measures, 9 Ric.I. it was forbidden to all merchants throughout England, to spread over their shop windows red or black cloths or awnings (scuta,) or any other things by which the sight of purchasers is often deceived in selecting a good cloth. [1]


  1. ^ Alexander M. Burrill, Law Dictionary and Glossary, 2nd ed. vol 2 1871


tria scūta (three scuta)


Referred to either Proto-Indo-European *skewH- (to cover, protect) or Proto-Indo-European *skey- (to cut, split). See obscūrus, Old Irish scíath, Russian щит (ščit).


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈskuː.tum/, [ˈskuː.tũ]
  • (file)


scūtum n (genitive scūtī); second declension

  1. a shield, especially the scutum, the large oblong wooden shield carried by the Roman infantry
  2. (by metonymy) shield-bearing soldiers
  3. (figuratively) a defense, protection, shelter


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative scūtum scūta
Genitive scūtī scūtōrum
Dative scūtō scūtīs
Accusative scūtum scūta
Ablative scūtō scūtīs
Vocative scūtum scūta

Related terms[edit]



  • scutum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • scutum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • scutum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • scutum in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • scutum in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin