From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Latin numbers (edit)
2  →  10  → 
    Cardinal: ūnus
    Ordinal: prīmus
    Adverbial: semel
    Multiplier: simplex, simplus
    Distributive: singulus
    Collective: ūniō
    Fractional: integer



From Proto-Italic *senɣelos, from Proto-Indo-European *sem- (one) + distributive particle *ǵʰe (compare Albanian gjithë).[1]





singulus (feminine singula, neuter singulum); first/second-declension numeral

  1. (in the plural) one each
  2. each one
  3. every one
  4. one at a time
  5. one apiece
  6. one by one
  7. single

Usage notes


In Classical Latin, this adjective was used only in the plural,[2] functioning as the distributive form of the numeral 1. Thus, the English descendant single is somewhat of a false friend: Classical Latin used other words such as ūnus, singulāris, sōlus when a grammatically singular adjective with the sense of "lone", "sole", "single", "singular" was needed (although singulus can be found with this sense pre- and post-classically[2]).



First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative singulus singula singulum singulī singulae singula
Genitive singulī singulae singulī singulōrum singulārum singulōrum
Dative singulō singulō singulīs
Accusative singulum singulam singulum singulōs singulās singula
Ablative singulō singulā singulō singulīs
Vocative singule singula singulum singulī singulae singula

Derived terms




From diminutive *singellus:


  1. ^ Michiel de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 566.
  2. 2.0 2.1 singuli”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press

Further reading

  • singuli”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • singulus 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)
  • singuli in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • year by year; day by day: singulis annis, diebus
    • from day to day: in dies (singulos)
    • corn had gone up to 50 denarii the bushel: ad denarios L in singulos modios annona pervenerat
  • singuli in Dizionario Latino, Olivetti