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See also: Vexillum



Borrowed from Latin vēxillum (flag, banner).


vexillum (plural vexilla)

  1. A flag, banner, or standard.
  2. A company of troops serving under one standard.
  3. The sign of the cross.
  4. (botany) The upper petal of a papilionaceous flower.
  5. (ornithology) The rhachis and web of a feather taken together.
    Synonym: vane

Related terms[edit]


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for vexillum”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.)


Alternative forms[edit]

  • vixillum (Vulgar or Late Latin, Pompeian inscriptions)


From Proto-Italic *wekslolom, synchronically a diminutive form of vēlum.



vēxillum n (genitive vēxillī); second declension

  1. flag, banner
    • 6th century, Venantius Fortunatus, Vexilla regis, first stanza:
      Vexilla regis prodeunt
      Fulget crucis mysterium
      Quo carne carnis conditor,
      Suspensus est patibulo.
      The Banners of the King issue forth,
      the mystery of the Cross does gleam,
      where the Creator of flesh, in the flesh,
      from the cross-bar is hung.


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative vēxillum vēxilla
Genitive vēxillī vēxillōrum
Dative vēxillō vēxillīs
Accusative vēxillum vēxilla
Ablative vēxillō vēxillīs
Vocative vēxillum vēxilla



  • vexillum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • vexillum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • vexillum 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)
  • vexillum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to fix the ensign on the general's tent (as a signal to commence the engagement): vexillum proponere (Liv. 22. 3)
  • vexillum”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898), Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • vexillum”, in William Smith et al., editor (1890), A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin