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See also: Scutum


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Conspicuous scutum on a typical female hard tick before she has fed. Note the pale eye-spots near the edges of the scutum, roughly between the 2nd and 3rd legs
The same scutum is relatively less conspicuous after the tick has fed, because it has not changed in size, whereas the tick has swollen as it engorged


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



scutum (plural scuta or scutums)

  1. (historical, Roman antiquity) An oblong shield made of boards or wickerwork covered with leather, with sometimes an iron rim; carried chiefly by the heavily armed infantry of the Roman army.
  2. (zoology) A scute.
  3. (zoology) A shield-like protection, such as the scutum protecting the back of a hard tick (cf. alloscutum, conscutum)
    • 2009, Dwight D. Bowman, Georgis' Parasitology for Veterinarians:
      A tick's eye, if present, is a mere roundish lucent area at the margin of the scutum about opposite the second coxa.
  4. (zoology) One of the two lower valves of the operculum of a barnacle.
  5. (anatomy) The kneecap.



tria scūta (three scuta)


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


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈskuː.tum/, [ˈs̠kuːt̪ʊ̃ˑ]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈsku.tum/, [ˈskuːt̪um]
  • (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 noun (neuter).

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 with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 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