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Adjectives in Latin are varied by gender, number, and case, to agree with substan-tives in all these accidents.

An adjective properly hath neither genders, numbers, nor cases; but certain terminations answering to the gender, number, and eng of the substantive with which it is joined.

Adjectives are varied like three substantives of the same termination and declension. All adjectives are either of the first and second declension, or of the third only. Adjectives of three terminations are of the first and second declension; but adjectives of one or two terminations are of the third.

Exc. The following adjectives, though they have three terminations, are of the third declension :

Cěler, swift.

Acer, sharp.
Alăcer, cheerful.
Equester, belonging to a horse.
Campester, belonging to a plain. Păluster, marshy.
Cělěber, famous.
Pědester, on foot.


Adjectives of the first and second declension have their masculine in us or er, their feminine always in a, and their neuter always in um; as, bonus, for the masculine; bona, for the feminine; bonum, for the neuter, good. See declension of bonus, page 11 Těner, tenĕra, tenĕrum, tender. See declension of tener, page 11.

Like tener, decline,
Lăcer, torn.
Liber, free.

Asper, rough.
Cæter, (hardly used,) the rest.
Gibber, crook-backed.

Also the compounds of gero and fero; as, laniger, bearing wool; opifer, bringing help, &c. Likewise sătur, satura, saturum, full. But most adjectives in er drop the e; as, ater, atra, atrum, black; genitive alri, atræ, atri; dative atro, atra, atro, &c.

See declension of pulcher,
Eger, sick.
Creber, frequent.
Glaber, smooth.

Integer, entire.

Lúdicer, ludicrous.

Dexter, right, has -tra, -trum, or -těra, -těrum.

Sălüber, wholesome.
Sylvester, woody.
Võlucer, swift.

page 11. So,

Măcer, lean.
Niger, black.
Piger, slow.
Rüber, red.

Miser, wretched.
Prosper, prosperous.

OBS. 1. The following adjectives have their genitive singular in ius, and the dative
in i, through all their genders: in the other cases like bonus and tener.
Ūnus, -a, -um, genitive unius, dative uni, one.
Alius, -ius, one of many, another.

Alter, alterius, one of two, the other.

Neuter, -trius, neither.

Nullus, nullius, none.

Amens, -tis, mad.
Atrox, -ocis, cruel.
Audax, -acis, and -ens, -tis, bold.
Bilix, -icis, woven with a double

Căpax, capacious.
Cicur, -ŭris, tame.
Clemens, -tis, merciful.

Săcer, sacred.
Scăber, rough.
Têter, ugly.
Văfer, crafty.

Sõlus, -ius, alone.

Totus, -ius, whole.

Ullus, -ius, any.

Alteruter, the one or the other, alterutrius, alterutri, and sometimes alterius utrius, alteri utri, &c. These adjectives, except tetus, are called Partitives; and seem to resemble, in their signification as well as declension, what are called pronominal adjectives. In ancient writers we find them declined like bonus, page 11,

Üter, utrius, whether of the two.

Uterque, utriusque, both.

Üterlibet, -triuslibet, {which of the two you

Ütervis, -triusvis,

OBS. 2. To decline an adjective properly, it should always be joined with a substantive in the different genders; as, bonus liber, a good book; bona penna, a good pen; bonum sedile, a good seat. But as the adjective in Latin is often found without its substantive joined with it, we therefore, in declining bonus, for instance, commonly say bonus, a good man, understanding vir or homo; bona, a good woman, understanding fæmina; and bonum, a good thing, understanding negotium.


1. Adjectives of one termination; as, felix, for the masculine, felix for the fe minine, felix for the neuter, happy.

See declension of felix, page 11.

In like manner decline,
Contumax, stubborn.
Demens, mad.
Edax, gluttonous.
Efficax, effectual.
Elegans, handsome.
Fallax, deceitful.
Férax, fertile.
Ferox, fierce.

Frequens, frequent.
Ingens, huge.

Iners, -tis, sluggish.
Insons, guiltless.
Mendax, lying.
Mordax, biting, satyrical.
Pernix, -icis, swift.
Pervicas, wilful.

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Pětůlans, forward, saucy
Prægnans, with child.
Prudens, prudent.
Recens, fresh,
Repens, sudden,

Săgax, -ācis, sagacious.

Agilis, active.
Amabilis, lovely,
Biennis, of two years.
Brěvis, short.

Civilis, courteous.

Sălax, -acis, lustful.
Săpiens, wise.
Sõlers, shrewd.
Sons, guilty.
Tenax, tenacious.

Cœlestis, heavenly.
Comis, mild, affable.
Crūdēlis, cruel.
Debilis, weak.

Deformis, ugly.
Docilis, teachable.
Dulcis, sweet in taste.
Exilis, slender.
Exsanguis, bloodless.
Fortis, brave.
Frăgilis, brittle.

Grandis, great.
Grăvis, heavy.

2. Adjectives of two terminations; as, lenis, for the masculine and feminine; lene, for the neuter, mild; so, lenior, lenior, lenius, milder. See declension of lenis, page11

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Trux, -ŭcis, cruel.
Über, -ĕris, fertile.
Vehemens, vehement.
Vēlox, -ōcis, swift.
Vorax, devouring,

Rŭdis, raw.
Segnis, slow.

Solennis, annual, solemn.
Stěrilis, barren.
Suavis, sweet.

Sublimis, lofty.
Subtilis, subtle, fine.
Tális, such.
Těnuis, small.
Terrestris, earthly.
Terribilis, dreadful.
Tristis, sad.

Turpis, base.
Utilis, useful.
Vilis, worthless.
Viridis, green.
Vitilis, pliant.

See declension of lenior, page 11. In like manner all comparatives are declined. 3. Adjectives of three terminations; as, ācer or acris, for the masculine; acris, for the feminine; acre, for the neuter, sharp; thus,



acris, acre, N. a-cres,
-cris, -cris, G. a-crium,

N. a-cer or acris,
G. a-cris,
D. a-cri,
A. a-crem,


D. a-cribus,


-crem, -cre, A. a-cres,

V. a-cer or acris,
A. a-cri,



V. a-cres,
A. a-cribus,

In like manner ălăcer or alacris, celer or celĕris, cèlèber or celebris, sālūber or salubris, volucer or volucris, &c.













1. Adjectives of the third declension have e or i in the ablative singular; but if the neuter be in e, the ablative has i only.

2. The genitive plural ends in ium, and the neuter of the nominative, accusative, and vocative in iar except comparatives, which have um and a.

Exc. 1. Dives, hospes, sospes, superstes, juvěnis, senex, and pauper, have e only in the ablative singular, and consequently um in the genitive plural.

Exc. 2. The following have also e in the ablative singular, and um, not ium, in the gen. plural: Compos, -otis, master of, that hath obtained his desire; impos, -otis, unable; inops, õpis, poor; supplex, -icis, suppliant, humble; uber, -ĕris, fertile; consors, -tis, sharing, a partner; degener, -ĕris, degenerate, or degenerating; vigil, watchful; puber, -ĕris, of age, marriageable; and celer. Also compounds in ceps, sex, pes, and corpor; as, particeps, partaking of; artifex, -icis, cunning, an artist; bipes, -pědis, two-footed; bicorpor, -oris, two-bodied, &c. All these have seldom the neuter singular, and almost never the neuter plural in the nominative and accusative. To which add měmor, mindful, which has memori, memŏrum: also, dēses, rèses, hèbes, perpes, præpes, tĕres, concòlor, versicolor, which likewise for the most part want the genitive plural.

Exc. 3. Par, equal, has only pări: but its compounds have either e ori; as, compăre, or -ri. Vetus, old, has vetěra, and vetĕrum: plus, more, which is only used in the neuter singular, has plure: and in the plural, plūres, plura or pluria, plurium.

Exc. 4. Exspes, hopeless; and põlis, -e, able, are only used in the nominative. Potis has also sometimes potis in the neuter.


1. Comparatives and adjectives in us, have e more frequently than i; and participles in the ablative called absolute have generally e; as, Tiberio regnante, not regnanti, in the reign of Tiberius.

2. Adjectives joined with substantives neuter for the most part have i; as, victrici ferro, not victrice.

3. Different words are sometimes used to express the different genders; as, victor, victorious, for the masculine; victrix, for the feminine. Victrix, in the plural, has likewise the neuter gender; thus, victrices, victricia; so ultor, and ultrix, revengeful. Victrix is also neuter in the singular.

4. Several adjectives compounded of clivus, frenum, bacillum, arma, jūgum, limus, somnus, and animus, end in is or us; and therefore are either of the first and second declension, or of the third; as, declīvis, -is, -e; and declīvus, -a, -um, steep; imbécillis, and imbecillus, weak; semisomnis, and semisom nus, half asleep; exanimis, and exanimus, lifeless. But several of them do not admit of this variation; thus we say, magnănĭmus, flexanimus, effrénus, levisomnus; pot magnanimis, &c. On the contrary, we say, pusillanimis, injugis, illimis, insomnis, exsomnis; not pusillanimus, &c. So semianimis, in ermis, sublimis, acclīvis, declivis, proclivis; rarely semianimus, &c.

5. Adjectives derived from nouns are called Denominatives; as, cordātus, mōrātus, cælestis, ăăămantinus, corporeus, agrestis, æstivus, &c. from cor, mos, cælum, adamas, &c. Those which diminish the signification of their primitives, are called Diminutives; as, misellus, parvulus, dūriuscălus, &c. Those which signify a great deal of a thing, are called Amplificatives, and end in osus, or entus; as, vīnōsus, vinõlentus, given to much wine; opěrōsus, laborious; plumbōsus, full of lead; nõdõsus, knotty, full of knots; corpulentus, corpulent, &c. Some end in tus; as, auritus, having long or large ears; nasūtus, having a large nose; literatus, learned, &c.

6. An adjective derived from a substantive, or from another adjective, signifying possession or property, is called a Possessive Adjective; as, Scoticus, paternus, herilis, alienus, of or belonging to Scotland, a father, a master, another; from Scotia, pater, herus, and alius.

7. Adjectives derived from verbs are called Verbals; as, amabilis, amiable; capax, capable; docilis, teachable from amo, capio, doceo.


8. When participles become adjectives, they are called Participials; as, sapiens, wise; acutus, sharp; disertus, eloquent. Of these many also become substantives; as, adolescens, animans, rudens, serpens, advocatus, sponsus, natus, legatus; sponsa, nata, serta, sc. corona, a garland; prætexta, sc. vestis; debitum, decretum, præceptum, satum, tectum, votum, &c.

9. Adjectives derived from adverbs, are called Adverbials; as, hodiernus, from hodie; crastīnus, from cras; binus, from bis; &c. There are also adjectives derived from prepositions; as, contrarius, from contra; anticus, from ante; posticus, from post.


Adjectives which signify number, are divided into four classes, Cardinal, Ordinal, Distributive, and Multiplicative.

1. The Cardinal or Principal numbers are:

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bis mille. Decem millia, or děcies mille, Viginti millia, or vicies mille,

Viginti unus, or
Unus et viginti,
Viginti duo, or
Duo et viginti,


The cardinal numbers, except unus and mille, want the singular.

Duo and tres are declined, page 11.

In the same manner with duo, decline ambo, both.

thirty. forty.






a hundred.

two hundred. three hundred. four hundred. five hundred. six hundred. seven hundred. eight hundred. nine hundred. a thousand. two thousand. ten thousand.

twenty thousand.

Unus is not used in the plural, unless when joined with a substantive which wants the singular; as, in unis ædibus, in one house, Terent. Eun. ii. 3. 75. Una nuptiæ, Id. And. iv. 1. 51. In una mania convenére, Sallust. Cat. 6: or when several particulars are considered as one whole; as, una vestimenta, one suit of clothes, Cic. Flacc. 29.

All the cardinal numbers from quatuor to centum, including them both, are indeclinable; and from centum to mille, are declined like the plural of bonus; thus, ducenti, -tæ, -ta; ducentorum, -tarum, -torum, &c.

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Mille is used either as a substantive or adjective; when taken substantively, it is indeclinable in the singular number; and in the plural has millia, millium, millibus, &c.

Mille, an adjective, is commonly indeclinable, and to express more than one thousand, has the numeral adverbs joined with it; thus, mille homines, a thousand men; mille hominum, of a thousand men, &c. Bis mille homines, two thousand men; ter mille homines, &c. But with millē, a substantive, we say, mille hominum, a thousand men; duo millia hominum, tria millia, quatuor millia, centum, or centēna millia hominum; decies centēna millia, a million; vicies centēna millia, two millions, &c.


2. The Ordinal numbers are, prīmus, first; sècundus, second, &c. declined like


3. The Distributive numbers are, singuli, one by one; bini, two by two, &c. declined like the plural of bonus.

The following Table contains a list of the Ordinal and Distributive Numbers, together with the Numeral Adverbs, which are often joined with the Numeral Adjectives.

Ordinal. 1 Primus, a, um.

2 secundus.

3 tertius.

4 quartus.

5 quintus.

6 sextus.

7 septimus.

8 octavus.

9 nōnus.

10 děcĭmus.

11 undĕcimus.

12 duodecimus.

13 decimus tertius." 14 decimus quartus. 15 decimus quintus. 16 decimus sextus. 17 decimus septimus. 18 decimus octavus. 19 decimus nonus. 20 vigesimus, vicesimus. 21 vigessimus primus. 30 trigesimus, tricesimus. 40 quadragesimus, 50 quinquagessimus. 60 sexagesimus. 70 septuagesimus. 80 octogesimus. 90 nonagesimus. 100 centesimus. 200 ducentesimus. 300 trěcentesimus. 400 quadringentēsĭmuş. 500 quingentesimus. 600 sexcentesimus. 700 septingentesimus. 800 octingentēsĭmus. 900 nongentesimus. 1000 millesimus. 2000 bis millesimus.

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4. The Multiplicative numbers are simplex, simple; duplex, double, or two-fold; triplex, triple, or three-fold; quadruplex, four-fold, &c. all of them declined like felix; thus, simplex, -icis, &c.

The interrogative words to which the above numerals answer, are quot, quõtus, quotēni, quoties, and quotuplex.

Quot, how many? is indeclinable: So tot, so many; totidem, just so many; quotquot, quotcunque, how many soever; aliquot, some.

To these numeral adjectives may be added such as express division, proportion, time, weight, &c. as, bipartitus, tripartitus, &c. duplus, triplus, &c. bimus, trīmus, &c. biennis, triennis, &c. bimestris, trimestis, &c. bilibris, trilibris, &c. bīnārius, ternarius, &c. which last are applied to the number of any kind of things whatever; as, versus sēnārius, a verse of six feet; dēnārius nummus, a coin of ten asses; octogenarius senex, an old man eighty years old; grex centenarius, a flock of a hundred, &c.

The comparison of adjectives expresses the quality in different degrees; as, hard, harder, hardest.

Those adjectives only are compared, whose signification admits the distinction of more and less.

The degrees of comparison are three, the Positive, Comparative, and Superlative. The Positive seems improperly to be called a degree. It simply signifies the quality; as, durus, hard and serves only as a foundation for the other degrees. By it we express the relation of equality; as, he is as tall as I.

The Comparative expresses a greater degree of the quality, and has always a reference to a less degree of the same; as, stronger, wiser.

The Superlative expresses the quality carried to the greatest degree; as, strongest, wisest.

The comparative degree is formed from the first case of the positive in i, by adding the syllable or, for the masculine and feminine; and us for the neuter. The superlative is formed from the same case, by adding ssimus; as, altus, high, gen. alti: comparative, altior, for the masc. altior for the fem. altius for the neuter, higher; superlative, altissimus, -a, -um, highest. So mītis, meek; dative, miti; mitior, -or, -us, meeker; mitissimus, -a, -um, meekest.

If the positive end in er, the superlative is formed by adding rimus; as, pauper, poor; pauperrimus, poorest.

The comparative is always of the third declension, the superlative of the first and second; as, altus, altior, altissimus ; alta, altior, altissima; altum, altius, altissimum ; genitive, alti, altiōris, altissimi, &c.




1. Bonus,






Feminine, Multa, plurima; neuter, multum, plus, plurimum; plural, multi, plures, plurimi ; multæ, plures, plurimæ, &c.

In several of these, both in English and Latin, the comparative and superlative seem to be formed from some other adjective, which in the positive has fallen into disuse; in others, the regular form is contracted; as, maximus, for magnissimus; most, for morest; least, for lessest; worst, for worsest.







2. These five have their superlative in lĭmus :

Citer, citerior, citimus, near.

Dexter, dexterior, dextimus, right.
Sinister, sinisterior, sinistĭmus, left.
Exter, -erior, extimus, or extrémus, outward.
Inferus, ior, infìmus, or imus, below.
Intĕrus, interior, intīmus, inward.



Inclytus, inclytissimus, renowned.
Měritus, meritissimus, deserving.
Novus, novissimus, new.

Făcilis, facilior, facillimus, easy.
Grăcălis, gracilior, gracillimus, lean.

Hŭmilis, humilior, humillimus, low.

3. The following adjectives have regular comparatives, but form the superlative differently;






Imbecillis, imbecillior, imbecillimus, weak.
Similis, similior, simillimus, like.

1. The following adjectives are not used in the positive:

Dětĕrior, worse, deterrimus.
Ocior, swifter, ocissimus.
Prior, former, primus.

2. The following want the comparative:

Mātūrus, -ior, maturrimus, or maturissimus,


Posterus, posterior, postremus, behind.
Supĕrus, -rior, suprēmus, or summus, high.
Větus, větěrior, věterrĭmus, old.

4. Compounds in dicus, lõquus, ficus, and volus, have entior, and entissimus ; as, mălědicus, railing, mălědicentior, maledicentissimus: So magniloquus, one that boasteth; beneficus, beneficent; mălěvõlus, malevolent, mirificus, wonderful; -entior, -entissimus, or mirificissimus. Nēquam, indeclinable, worthless, vicious, has nēquior, nequissimus.

There are a great many adjectives, which, though capable of having their signification increased; yet either want one of the degrees of comparison, or are not compared at all.

Nūpērus, nuperrimus, late.
Par, părissimus, equal.
Săcer, sacerrimus, sacred

Propior, nearer, proximus, nearest or next.
Ulterior, farther, ultimus.

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