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See also: Tellus



From Proto-Italic *telnos, perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *telnos ~ *telnes-, from *telh₂- (flat ground), but reshaped after rūs. Otherwise, could derive from Etruscan 𐌕𐌖𐌋𐌀𐌓 (tular, earth).



tellūs f (genitive tellūris); third declension

  1. earth, ground, soil
    Synonyms: terra, solum, humus
  2. Earth, globe, world
    • 43 BCEc. 17 CE, Ovid, Fasti 2.515:
      nōn habuit doctōs tellūs antīqua colōnōs
      The ancient world did not have skilled farmers.
      (Other possible translations include: ‘‘soil’’ or ‘‘country.’’)
  3. country, district, region, land
    • 29 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Aeneid 1.34:
      Vix ē cōnspectū Siculae tellūris in altum
      Almost beyond sight of the land of Sicily, upon the deep [sea]
      Or: On the deep [sea], [with] Sicilian land [being] scarcely out of sight


Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative tellūs tellūrēs
Genitive tellūris tellūrum
Dative tellūrī tellūribus
Accusative tellūrem tellūrēs
Ablative tellūre tellūribus
Vocative tellūs tellūrēs

Derived terms[edit]


  • tellus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • tellus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • tellus 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)
  • tellus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • tellus”, in The Perseus Project (1999) Perseus Encyclopedia[1]
  • tellus”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • tellus”, in William Smith, editor (1848) A Dictionary of Greek Biography and Mythology, London: John Murray
  • De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7)‎[2], Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN