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Derived from the root of somnus (sleep); possibly inherited from Proto-Indo-European *swópniom, from the root *swep- (to sleep). Cognate with Sanskrit स्वप्न्यम् (svápnyam, vision in a dream), Lithuanian sapnỹs (sleep, dream), Old Church Slavonic съниѥ (sŭnije, dream), and Tocharian B sänmetse (in a trance).[1]
Surface analysis: somn(us) (sleep) +‎ -ium (nominal derivational suffix).



somnium n (genitive somniī or somnī); second declension

  1. dream, vision
  2. fantasy, daydream


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative somnium somnia
Genitive somniī
Dative somniō somniīs
Accusative somnium somnia
Ablative somniō somniīs
Vocative somnium somnia

1Found in older Latin (until the Augustan Age).

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Asturian: suañu, sueñu
  • Old Catalan: suny
  • Franco-Provençal: sonjo
  • French: songe
  • Friulian: sium
  • Galician: soño
  • Istriot: sugno
  • Italian: sogno


  1. ^ Mallory, J. P.; Adams, D. Q. (2006) The Oxford introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European world, Oxford University Press, page 324

Further reading[edit]

  • somnium in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • somnium in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • somnium 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)
  • somnium in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • my dream is coming true: somnium verum evādit (Div. 2. 53. 108)
    • to explain a dream: somnium interpretari
    • an interpreter of dreams: somniorum interpres, coniector