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Learned borrowing from Latin sermō.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsɛ, [ˈs̪ɛr̺mo]
  • Rhymes: -ɛrmo
  • Hyphenation: sèr‧mo


sermo m (plural sermi)

  1. Archaic form of sermone.


Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-Indo-European *sermō (with stem sermōn-, for *sermin-, from the nominative case), from *ser- (to bind) + *-mō. Related to serō (to join).



sermō m (genitive sermōnis); third declension

  1. a conversation, discussion
    • c. 4 BCE – 65 CE, Seneca the Younger, De brevitate vitae 15:
      Horum te mori nemo coget, omnes docebunt; horum nemo annos tuos conteret, suos tibi contribuet; nullius ex his sermo periculosus erit, nullius amicitia capitalis, nullius sumptuosa obseruatio.
      No one of these will force you to die, but all will teach you how to die; no one of these will wear out your years, but each will add his own years to yours; conversations with no one of these will bring you peril, the friendship of none will endanger your life, the courting of none will tax your purse.
  2. a rumor, diction, speech, talk, discourse
  3. a language, manner of speaking


Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative sermō sermōnēs
Genitive sermōnis sermōnum
Dative sermōnī sermōnibus
Accusative sermōnem sermōnēs
Ablative sermōne sermōnibus
Vocative sermō sermōnēs

Derived terms[edit]



  • sermo in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • sermo in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • sermo in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • sermo in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • report says; people say: rumor, fama, sermo est or manat
    • to be a subject for gossip: in sermonem hominum venire
    • pathetic address; emotional language: contentio (opp. sermo) (Off. 2. 48)
    • to adopt the language of everyday life: accedere ad cotidiani sermonis genus
    • a mistake, solecism: vitium orationis, sermonis or simply vitium
    • native tongue; vernacular: sermo patrius (Fin. 1. 2. 4)
    • to usage of language: consuetudo sermonis, loquendi
    • the ordinary usage of language, everyday speech: cotidiani sermonis usus
    • the ordinary usage of language, everyday speech: communis sermonis consuetudo
    • the ordinary usage of language, everyday speech: sermo familiaris et cotidianus
    • the expression is not in accordance with Latin usage: aliquid a consuetudine sermonis latini abhorret, alienum est
    • incorrect usage: consuetudo vitiosa et corrupta (opp. pura et incorrupta) sermonis
    • pure, correct Latin: incorrupta latini sermonis integritas (Brut. 35. 132)
    • good Latin: sermo latinus (opp. sermo parum latinus) (cf. sect. VII. 2., note For the use of adverbs...)
    • to translate from Greek into Latin: aliquid e graeco in latinum (sermonem) convertere, vertere, transferre
    • to render something into Latin: aliquid (graeca) latine reddere or sermone latino interpretari
    • an old proverb which every one knows: proverbium vetustate or sermone tritum (vid. sect. II. 3, note tritus...)
    • to enter into conversation with some one: sermonem conferre, instituere, ordiri cum aliquo
    • to enter into conversation with some one: se dare in sermonem cum aliquo
    • to turn the conversation on to a certain subject: sermonem inferre de aliqua re
    • to talk of a subject which was then the common topic of conversation: in eum sermonem incidere, qui tum fere multis erat in ore
    • the conversation turned on..: sermo incidit de aliqua re
    • to begin a conversation: in sermonem ingredi
    • the conversation began with..: sermo ortus est ab aliqua re
    • to turn the conversation to another topic: sermonem alio transferre
    • to break off in the middle of the conversation: medium sermonem abrumpere (Verg. Aen. 4. 388)
    • to prolong a conversation far into the night: sermonem producere in multam noctem (Rep. 6. 10. 10)
    • to converse, talk with a person on a subject: sermonem habere cum aliquo de aliqua re (De Am. 1. 3)
    • the conversation began in this way: hinc sermo ductus est
    • the conversation began in this way: sermo inductus a tali exordio
    • a long conversation: multus sermo
    • conversational language: sermo cotidianus, or simply sermo
  • sermo in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  • sermo in William Smith, editor (1854, 1857) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, volume 1 & 2, London: Walton and Maberly