iWords Help

iWords is a Latin dictionary for macOS based on Whitaker's WORDS, a beloved and venerable dictionary and parsing program for Latin.

The WORDS project website can be found at mk270.github.io/whitakers-words.

The iWords website can be found at iWords.org.

Table of Contents

User Interface


In general, holding down Shift while performing a search action (e.g. searching from the search field, going forward/back, or selecting an item from the history menu) will perform the search in a new window or tab, depending on your setting in System Preferences > General > Prefer Tabs.


By default, the toolbar includes the following items:

Right-clicking on the toolbar will let you customize it. Selecting "Customize Toolbar..." will let you re-arrange or add additional items to the toolbar.

You can add the following additional toolbar items:

Below the toolbar sits the search bar. Type a single word, or multiple words separated by spaces, into the text field and press Enter or the "Go" button to search.

If you type more text than can fit in the text field, it will grow vertically to accommodate. You can disable this by control-clicking in the search bar and unselecting "Search Bar Grows Vertically to Fit Content", or changing the same setting in Preferences.

Menu Bar

All features exposed through the toolbar are also available through the macOS menu bar, and many have keyboard shortcuts.

In addition to the standard macOS options, iWords adds the following options to the menu bar:


You can open the iWords preferences window from iWords > Preferences.... The following options are available:

Services Integration

iWords provides 2 macOS services, one for each direction of dictionary lookup (English to Latin or Latin to English). These services allow you to search in iWords from anywhere on your computer. As an example:

  1. Select text in an application
  2. Go to the application menu in the menu bar, then select Services, then select either "Look Up in iWords (English to Latin)" or "Look Up in iWords (Latin to English)"
  3. iWords will open and show the results for your query in the frontmost window

You can also assign a keyboard shortcut to services. For more information, see Apple Support.

Shortcuts Integration

iWords integrates with the Shortcuts app on macOS 12+ by providing a "Look Up in iWords" action, so you can use iWords in automation workflows.

For more information on using Shortcuts, see the Shortcuts User Guide.


If you have feedback, please email support@danielweiner.org. Any suggestions or comments are appreciated!

If reporting a bug, please include the steps you took that led to the bug, including the search results and screenshots if applicable. You can save the search results as a text file using File > Save As.

Introduction to the WORDS Dictionary

excerpt from William Whitaker's original documentation on his WORDS program

I am no expert in Latin, indeed my training is limited to a couple of years in high school more than 50 years ago. But I always felt that Latin, as presented after two millennia, was a scientific language. It had the interesting property of inflection, words were constructed in a logical manner. I admired this feature, but could never remember the vocabulary well enough when it came time to exercise it on tests.

I decided to automate an elementary-level Latin vocabulary list. As a first stage, I produced a computer program that will analyze a Latin word and give the various possible interpretations (case, person, gender, tense, mood, etc.), within the limitations of its dictionary. This might be the first step to a full parsing system, but, although just a development tool, it is useful by itself.

Please remember that this is only a computer exercise in automating a Latin dictionary. I am not a Latin scholar and anything in the program or documentation is filtered by me from reading the cited Latin dictionaries. Please let no one go to his teacher and cite my interpretation as an authority.

While developing this initial implementation, based on different sources, I learned (or re-learned) something that I had overlooked at the beginning. Latin courses, and even very large Latin dictionaries, are put together under very strict ground rules. Some dictionary might be based exclusively on 'Classical' (200 BC - 200 AD) texts; it might have every word that appears in every surviving writing of Cicero, but nothing much before or since. Such a dictionary will be inadequate for translating medieval theological or scientific texts. In another example, one textbook might use Caesar as their main source of readings (my high school texts did), while another might avoid Caesar and all military writings (either for pacifist reasons, or just because the author had taught Caesar for 30 years and had grown bored with going over the same material, year after year). One can imagine that the selection of words in such different texts would differ considerably; moreover, even with the same words, the meanings attached would be different. This presents a problem in the development of a dictionary for general use.

One could produce a separate dictionary for each era and application or a universal dictionary with tags to indicate the appropriate application and meaning for each word. With such a tag arrangement one would not be offered inappropriate or improbable interpretations. The present system has such a mechanism, but it is not fully exploited.

The Version 1.97E dictionary may be found to be of fairly general use for the student; it has all the easy words that every text uses. It also has the adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions, which are not as sensitive to application as are the nouns and verbs. The system also tests a few hundred prefixes and suffixes, if the raw word cannot be found. Beyond that, there are a large number of TRICKS which may be applied. These may be thought of as correcting for variations in spelling. This allows an interpretation of many words which would otherwise be marked unknown. The result of this analysis is fairly straightforward in most cases, accurate but esoteric in some others. Some constructions are recognized Latin words, and some are perfectly reasonable words which may never have been used by Cicero or Caesar but might have been used by Augustine or a monk of Jarrow. For about 1 in 10 constructed words the result has no relation to the normal dictionary meaning.

BE WARNED! The program will go to great lengths if all tricks are invoked. If you get a word formed with an enclitic, prefix, suffix, and syncope, be very suspicious! It my well be right, but look carefully. (Try siquempiamque!)

The final try is to look at the input as two words run together. In most cases this works out, and is especially useful for late Latin number usage. However, this algorithm may go very wrong. If it is not obviously right, it is probably incorrect.

With this facility, and a 39000 word dictionary, trials on some tested classical texts and the Vulgate Bible give hit rates of far better than 99%, excluding proper names (there are very few proper names in this dictionary). (I am an old soldier so the dictionary may have every possible word for attack or destroy. The system is near perfect for Caesar.) The question arises, what hit rate can be expected for a general dictionary. Classical Latin dictionaries have no references to the terminology of Christian theology. The legal documents and deeds of the Middle Ages are a challenge of jargon and abbreviations. These areas require special knowledge and vocabulary, but even there the ability to handle the non-specialized words is a large part of the effort.

The development system allows the inclusion of specialized vocabulary (for instance a SPEcial dictionary for specialized words not wanted in most dictionaries), and the opportunity for the user to add additional words to a DICT.LOC.

It was initially expected that there would be special dictionaries for special applications. That is why there is the possibility of a SPECIAL dictionary. Now the general dictionary is coded by AGE and application AREA. Thus special words used initially/only by St Thomas Aquinas would be Medieval (AGE code F) and Ecclesiastical (AREA code E). Eventually there needs to be a filter that allows one, upon setting parameters for Medieval and Ecclesiastical, to push those words over others. Right now there are not have enough non-classical vocabulary to rely on such a scheme. The problem is that one needs a very complete classical dictionary before one can assure that new entries are uniquely Medieval, that they are not just classical words that appear in a Medieval text. And the updated is only into the D's. So the situation is that the mechanism is there, but not sufficient data. Nevertheless that is exactly the application I had in mind when I set out to do the program.

The program may be larger than is necessary for the present application. It is still in development but some effort has now been put into optimization. Nevertheless there is lots of room for speeding it up. Specifically, the program is disk-oriented is order to run on small machines, such as DOS with the 640KB limitation. Rejecting this limitation and assuming that the user has tens of megabytes of memory (clearly realistic today) would allow faster processing. The next version may go that way.

This is a free program, which means it is proper to copy it and pass it on to your friends. Consider it a developmental item for which there is no charge. However, just for form, it is Copyrighted (c). Permission is hereby freely given for any and all use of program and data. You can sell it as your own, but at least tell me.

This version is distributed without obligation, but the developer would appreciate comments and suggestions.

How to Read Output

excerpt from William Whitaker's original documentation on his WORDS program

Latin-to-English Examples

Following are annotated examples of output. Examination of these will give a good idea of the system. The present version may not match these examples exactly - things are changing - but the principle is there. A recent modification is the output of dictionary forms or 'principal parts' (shown below for some examples).

agricol.arum         N      1 1 GEN P M
agricola, agricolae  N    M   [XAXBO]
farmer, cultivator, gardener, agriculturist; plowman, countryman, peasant;

This is a simple first declension noun, and a unique interpretation. The '1 1' means it is first declension, with variant 1. This is an internal coding of the program, and may not correspond exactly with the grammatical numbering. The 'N' means it is a noun. It is the form for genitive (GEN), plural ('P'). The stem is masculine (M). The stem is given as 'agricol' and the ending is 'arum'. The stem is normal in this case, but is a product of the program, and may not always correspond to conventional usage.

On the next line is given the expansion of the form that one might find in a paper dictionary, the nominitive and genitive (agricola, agricolae). The [XAXBO] is an internal code of the program and is documented below as Dictionary Codes. Several codes are associated with each dictionary entry (presently AGE, AREA, GEO, FREQ, SOURCE). These provide some information to enhance the interpretation of the dictionary entry. In this case, the interesting piece is the B, which signifies that this word is found frequently in texts, in the top 10 percent. The O says it has been verified in the Oxford Latin Dictionary. The A says it is an agrigultural word.

The declension/conjugation numbers for nouns and verbs are essentially arbitary (but will be familiar to Latin students). The variants are complete inventions. They have no real meaning, just codes for the program.

(In the case of adjectives, they are even more arbitary, although a Latin student might see how I came by them. Again they are only codes for the program. The initial release of the program did not put these out, but there is some interest on the part of students, so they are now included. The user may ignore them altogether. There is no relation between the declension/variant codes of a noun and the accompaning adjective. They only agree in case, number, and gender (NOM S N), which are listed in the output.)

femin.ae             N      1 1 GEN S F
femin.ae             N      1 1 DAT S F
femin.ae             N      1 1 NOM P F
femin.ae             N      1 1 VOC P F
femina, feminae  N    F   [XXXAX]
woman; female;

This word has several possible interpretations in case and number (Singular and Plural). The gender is Feminine. Presumably, the user can examine the adjoining words and reduce the set of possibilities.

corn.u               N      4 1 ABL S F
cornus, cornus  N    F   [XXXCO]
cornel-cherry-tree (Cornus mas); cornel wood; javelin (of cornel wood);
corn.u               N      4 2 NOM S N
corn.u               N      4 2 DAT S N
corn.u               N      4 2 ABL S N
corn.u               N      4 2 ACC S N
cornu, cornus  N    N   [XXXAO]
horn; hoof; beak/tusk/claw; bow; horn/trumpet; end, wing of army; mountain top;

Here is an example of another declension and two variants. The Masculine (and few Feminine) (-us) nouns of the declension are '4 1' and the Neuter (-u) nouns are coded as '4 2'. This word has both. The horn parse is very frequent (A), while the cornel option (C) is less so but still common.

ego                  PRON   5 1 NOM S C
I, me; myself;

A pronoun is much like a noun. The gender is common (C), that is, it may be masculine or feminine. For some odd words, especially including pronouns, there is no dictionary form given.

ill.ud               PRON   6 1 NOM S N
ill.ud               PRON   6 1 ACC S N
ille, illa, illud  PRON   [XXXAX]
that; those (pl.); also DEMONST; that person/thing; the well known; the former;

The asterisk means that there are other, less probable forms which have been trimmed, but which may be recovered by running with the TRIM parameter reset.

h.ic                 PRON   3 1 NOM S M
hic, haec, hoc  PRON   [XXXAX]
this; these (pl.); also DEMONST;
hic                  ADV    POS
hic                 ADV   [XXXCX]
here, in this place; in the present circumstances;

In this case there is a adjectival/demonstrative pronoun, or it may be an adverb. The POS means that the comparison of the adverb is positive.

bon.um               N      2 1 ACC S M
bonus, boni  N    M   [XXXCO]
good/moral/honest/brave man; man of honor, gentleman; better/rich people (pl.);
bon.um               N      2 2 NOM S N
bon.um               N      2 2 ACC S N
bonum, boni  N    N   [XXXAO]
good, good thing, profit, advantage; goods (pl.), possessions, wealth, estate;
bon.um               ADJ    1 1 NOM S N POS
bon.um               ADJ    1 1 ACC S M POS
bon.um               ADJ    1 1 ACC S N POS
bonus, bona -um, melior -or -us, optimus -a -um  ADJ   [XXXAO]
good, honest, brave, noble, kind, pleasant, right, useful; valid; healthy;

Here we have an adjective, but it might also be a noun. The interpretation of the adjective says that it is POSitive, and that is the meaning listed, as is the convention for all dictionaries. The user must generate form this the meanings for other comparisons. Check the comparison value before deciding on the real meaning. Again, there is an asterisk, indicating further inflected forms were trimmed out.

facil.e              ADJ    3 2 NOM S N POS
facil.e              ADJ    3 2 ABL S X POS
facil.e              ADJ    3 2 ACC S N POS
facilis, facile, facilior -or -us, facillimus -a -um  ADJ   [XXXAX]
easy, easy to do, without difficulty, ready, quick, good natured, courteous;
facile               ADV    POS
facile, facilius, facillime  ADV   [XXXBO]
easily, readily, without difficulty; generally, often; willingly; heedlessly;

Here is an adjective or and adverb. Although they are related in meaning, they are different words.

acerri.mus           ADJ    3 3 NOM S M SUPER
acer, acris -e, acrior -or -us, acerrimus -a -um  ADJ   [XXXAO]
sharp, bitter, pointed, piercing, shrill; sagacious, keen; severe, vigorous;

Here we have an adjective in the SUPERlative. The meanings are all POSitive and the user must add the -est by himself.

optime               ADV    SUPER
bene, melius, optime  ADV   [XXXAO]
well, very, quite, rightly, agreeably, cheaply, in good style; better; best;
opti.me              ADJ    1 1 VOC S M SUPER
bonus, bona -um, melior -or -us, optimus -a -um  ADJ   [XXXAO]
good, honest, brave, noble, kind, pleasant, right, useful; valid; healthy;

Here is an adjective or and adverb, both are SUPERlative.

monu.issemus         V      2 1 PLUP ACTIVE  SUB 1 P
moneo, monere, monui, monitus  V   [XXXAX]
remind, advise, warn; teach; admonish; foretell, presage;

Here is a verb for which the form is PLUPerfect, ACTIVE, SUBjunctive, 1st person, Plural. It is 2nd conjugation, variant 1.

am.at                V      1 1 PRES ACTIVE  IND 3 S
amo, amare, amavi, amatus  V   [XXXAO]
love, like; fall in love with; be fond of; have a tendency to;

Another regular verb, PRESent, ACTIVE, INDicative.

amat.us              VPAR   1 1 NOM S M PERF PASSIVE PPL
amo, amare, amavi, amatus  V   [XXXAO]
love, like; fall in love with; be fond of; have a tendency to;
amat.us              ADJ    1 1 NOM S M POS
amatus, amata, amatum  ADJ   [XXXEO]    uncommon
loved, beloved;

Here we have the PERFect, PASSIVE ParticiPLe, in the NOMinative, Singular, Masculine. In addition, there is the ADJective that is formed from this participle. If the ADJective is common, it will likely have its own dictionary entry. Sometimes there may be a special or idiomatic meaning not obvious from the verb, or the meaning may stray from the original. In this case, the verb is very frequent, but the use as a adjective is uncommon.

amat.u               SUPINE 1 1 ABL S N
amo, amare, amavi, amatus  V   [XXXAO]
love, like; fall in love with; be fond of; have a tendency to;

Here is the SUPINE of the verb in the ABLative Singular.

ori.etur             V      4 1 FUT          IND 3 S
orior, oriri, oritus sum  V    DEP   [XXXAO]
rise (sun/river); arise/emerge, crop up; get up (wake); begin; originate from;
be born/created; be born of, decend/spring from; proceed/be derived (from);
ori.etur             V      3 1 FUT          IND 3 S
orior, ori, ortus sum  V    DEP   [XXXBO]
rise (sun/river); arise/emerge, crop up; get up (wake); begin; originate from;
be born/created; be born of, decend/spring from; proceed/be derived (from);

For DEPondent verbs the passive form is to be translated as if it were active voice, so there is no VOICE given in the output.

ab                   PREP   ABL
by (agent), from (departure, cause, remote origin/time); after (reference);

Here is a PREPosition that takes an ABLative for an object.

sin.e                N      2 2 NOM P N
sin.e                N      2 2 ACC P N
sinum, sini  N    N   [XXXCX]
bowl for serving wine, etc;
sin.e                V      3 1 PRES ACTIVE  IMP 2 S
sino, sinere, sivi, situs  V   [XXXAX]
allow, permit;
sine                 PREP   ABL
sine  PREP  ABL   [XXXAX]

Here is a PREPosition that might also be a Verb or a Noun. While as a preperation it is so common that it is unlikely that any other use would occur, there is no way to indicate that. Just be reminded that the frequency given for a verb is for the sum of all the couple of hundred forms of the verb, not just the one form that is parsed.

contra               ADV    POS
contra              ADV   [XXXAO]
facing, face-to-face, in the eyes; towards/up to; across; in opposite direction;
against, opposite, opposed/hostile/contrary/in reply to; directly over/level;
otherwise, differently; conversely; on the contrary; vice versa;
contra               PREP   ACC
contra  PREP  ACC   [XXXAO]
against, facing, opposite; weighed against; as against; in resistance/reply to;
contrary to, not in conformance with; the reverse of; otherwise than;
towards/up to, in direction of;  directly over/level with; to detriment of;

Here is a PREPosition that might also be an ADVerb. This is a very common situation, with the meanings being much the same.

et                   CONJ
et                  CONJ   [XXXAX]
and, and even; also, even;  (et ... et = both ... and);

Here is a straight CONJunction.

vae                  INTERJ
vae                 INTERJ   [XXXBX]
alas, woe, ah; oh dear;  (Vae, puto deus fio - Vespasian); Bah!, Curses!;

Here is a straight INTERJection.

septem               NUM    2 0 X   X X CARD
septem, septimus -a -um, septeni -ae -a, septie(n)s  NUM   [XXXAX]
 7 - (CARD answers 'how many');

Numbers are recognized as such and given a value. An additional provision is the attempt to recognize and display the value of Roman numerals, even combinations of appropriate letters that do not parse conventionally to a value but may be ill-formed Roman numerals.

VII                  NUM    2 0 X   X X CARD

Beyond simple dictionary entry words, the program can construct additional words with prefixes, suffixes and other ADDONS.

que                  TACKON
-que = and (enclitic, translated before attached word); completes plerus/uter;
popul.us             N      2 1 NOM S M
populus, populi  N    M   [XXXAO]
people, nation, State; public/populace/multitude/crowd; a following;
members of a society/sex; region/district (L+S); army (Bee);

Here the input word is recognized as a combination of a base word and an enclitic (-que) tacked on. This particular enclitic is extremely common and its omission, or the omission of the process that handles it, would result in an very large number of UNKNOWNs in the output.

pseudo               PREFIX
false, fallacious, deceitful; sperious; imitation of;
christ.us            N      2 1 NOM S M
Christus, Christi  N    M   [XEXAO]

Here there is a prefix and a base. The user must make the combination into a word or phrase.

Generally, the meaning is given for the base word, as is usual for dictionaries. For the verb, it will be a present meaning, even when the tense given is perfect. For a noun, it will be the singular, and the user must interpret when the form is plural.

For an adjective, the positive meaning is given, even if a comparative or superlative form is output. The user is invited to expand to comparative (-er) and superlative (-est). For a few adjectives, the only stem in the dictionary is COMP or SUPER. When there is just one comparison, the WORDS dictionary gives that expanded meaning. This might be considered inconsistant, in that it expects the user to observe the FORM to interpret the meaning, but it is consisent with ordinary dictionary practice.

Initially there were more defective adjective entries. I had accepted assertions in OLD or L+S and others like 'comparative does not exist'. Later on I went over to the position that even if theCicero did not use it, someone might. I started generating COMP and SUPER where it seemed reasonable. One can also count on a suffix to correct most omissions, and it will.

Sometimes a word is constructed from a suffix and a stem of a different part of speech. Thus an adverb may be constructed from its adjective. It will show the base adjective meaning and an indication of how to make the adverb in English. The user must make the proper interpretation.

In some cases an adjective will be found that is a participle of a verb that is also found. The participle meaning, as inferred by the user from the verb meaning, is not superseded by the explicit adjective entry, but supplemented by it with possible specialized meanings.

English-to-Latin Examples

~E (tilde E/e plus Enter/CR) changes mode from Latin-to-English to English-to-Latin. ~L changes back.

A single input English word is followed by the desired part of speech. Omitting the part of speech defaults to all, which is not recommended for any word which can be ambiguous. Since the program is looking for a part of speech, it would be inconvenient to support the input of several English words on a line. While a (@) file of words can be processed in the English mode, it must be one word per line.

Output looks much like a paper dictionary entry, with form, part of speech, gender, etc. Also included are the WORDS coded declension/conjugation and the TRANS flags, which give age, frequency and source, information for the user in selecting the best trnslation. The output may also contain a vertical bar leading the meaning. This is a continuation symbol which states that there are other meanings for the Latin word. The user might want to run the Latin phase of WORDS to get the full set of meanings so that no unintended conflicts appear.

love v

amo, amare, amavi, amatus  V     1 1 [XXXAO]
love, like; fall in love with; be fond of; have a tendency to;

diligo, diligere, dilexi, dilectus  V     3 1 [XXXAX]
select, pick, single out; love, value, esteem; approve, aspire to, appreciate;

amo, amare, additional, forms  V     9 1 [BXXEO]
love, like; fall in love with; be fond of; have a tendency to;

ardeo, ardere, arsi, arsus  V     2 1 [XXXAO]
be on fire; burn, blaze; flash; glow, sparkle; rage; be in a turmoil/love;

adamo, adamare, adamavi, adamatus  V     1 1  TRANS   [XXXBO]
fall in love/lust with; love passionately/adulterously; admire greatly; covet;

deamo, deamare, deamavi, deamatus  V     1 1  TRANS   [XXXCO]
love dearly; be passionately/desperately in love with; be delighted with/obliged

in prep

in  PREP  ABL    [XXXAX]
in, on, at (space); in accordance with/regard to/the case of; within (time);

ante  PREP  ACC    [XXXAO]
in front/presence of, in view; before (space/time/degree); over against, facing;

super  PREP  ABL    [XXXAX]
over (space), above, upon, in addition to; during (time); concerning; beyond;

in  PREP  ACC    [XXXAX]
into; about, in the mist of; according to, after (manner); for; to, among;

prae  PREP  ABL    [XXXAX]
before, in front; in view of, because of;

praeter  PREP  ACC    [XXXAX]
besides, except, contrary to; beyond (rank), in front of, before; more than;


intro               ADV    [XXXAX]
within, in; to the inside, indoors;

in  PREP  ABL    [XXXAX]
in, on, at (space); in accordance with/regard to/the case of; within (time);

gener, generi  N     2 3  M   [XXXBX]

baro, baronis  N     3 1  M   [XXXBL]
baron; magnate; tenant-in-chief (of crown/earl); burgess; official; husband;

sororius, sorori(i)  N     2 4  M   [XXXCX]
sister's husband, brother-in-law;

socrus, socrus  N     4 1  M   [XXXCX]
father-in-law; spouse's grandfather/great grandfather;

kill v

occido, occidere, occidi, occisus  V     3 1 [XXXAX]
kill, murder, slaughter, slay; cut/knock down; weary, be the death/ruin of;

interficio, interficere, interfeci, interfectus  V     3 1 [XWXAX]
kill; destroy;

consumo, consumere, consumpsi, consumptus  V     3 1  TRANS   [XXXAO]
burn up, destroy/kill; put end to; reduce/wear away; annul; extinguish (right);

perago, peragere, peregi, peractus  V     3 1 [XXXAX]
disturb; finish; kill; carry through to the end, complete;

dejicio, dejicere, dejeci, dejectus  V     3 1  TRANS   [XXXAS]
|overthrow, bring down, depose; kill, destroy; shoot/strike down; fell (victim);

deicio, deicere, dejeci, dejectus  V     3 1  TRANS   [XXXAO]
|overthrow, bring down, depose; kill, destroy; shoot/strike down; fell (victim);

death n

mors, mortis  N     3 3  F   [XXXAX]
death; corpse; annihilation;

fatum, fati  N     2 2  N   [XPXAX]
utterance, oracle; fate, destiny; natural term of life; doom, death, calamity;

funus, funeris  N     3 2  N   [XXXAX]
burial, funeral; funeral rites; ruin; corpse; death;

nex, necis  N     3 1  F   [XXXBX]
death; murder;

letum, leti  N     2 2  N   [XXXBX]
death, ruin, annihilation; death and destruction;

Orcus, Orci  N     2 1  M   [XXXBX]
god of the underworld, Dis; death; the underworld;

destruction n

cinis, cineris  N     3 1  C   [XXXAO]
ashes; embers, spent love/hate; ruin, destruction; the grave/dead, cremation;

pestis, pestis  N     3 3  F   [XXXBX]
plague, pestilence, curse, destruction;

exitium, exiti(i)  N     2 4  N   [XXXBX]
destruction, ruin; death; mischief;

ruina, ruinae  N     1 1  F   [XXXBX]
fall; catastrophe; collapse, destruction;

interitus, interitus  N     4 1  M   [XXXBX]
ruin; violent/untimely death, extinction; destruction, dissolution;

excidium, excidi(i)  N     2 4  N   [XXXCX]
ruin, destruction, military destruction; overthrow;

While six prioritized translations may seem like enough, and they will likely cover the needs of a student, the full set (setting # parameter to not TRIM) contains much valuable information for the advanced translator. For instance for the verb live vivo usually works, but there are other options associated with specific situations: cohabito meand live together, ruror means live in the country, adjaceo means live near, judaizo means live in the Jewish manner keeping the law. These sorts of meanings are often conveyed in Latin by a single word, while in English one might just use live and a modifing word or phrase.

Design of the Meaning Line

The role and complexity of the WORDS meaning line has evolved over time. Initially it reflected an elementry, back-of-the-book, textbook dictionary with a single word or two for each entry. Nevertheless, the size of the MEAN element was set at 80 characters (as God, Holerith and IBM decreed), as appropriate for a standard computer screen in text mode. (Depending on the system and mode of display, the output may be limited to 78 or 79 characters, but the traditional 80 characters of the century-old IBM card was chosen. They will likely appear on printed output.)

With expansion of the dictionary beyond a few thousand elementary seentries and the extensive inclusion of the Oxford dictionaries, a much larger set of possible interpretations surfaced for many words, filling and exceeding the 80 character limit. A certain disipline was introduced to structure the line.

Through the many phases of development of the dictionary, standards were developed and modified and rigor was not always maintained, therefore the rules below are generally, but not universally, observed. Evolution of the dictionary is bringing it more closely in line with these rules.

A decision was made to include as many meanings and synonyms as convenient. The OLD will sometimes list a dozen or more meaning groups with notably different senses, each with several similiar meanings. Presumably these different meanings were the product of different translations of the Latin word, different translators, different context, and different eras. The WORDS dictionary includes many of these synonyms, and specifically adds some more modern ones, in order to give the user inspiration for his translation. Further, it is important to give the user the full flavor of the word that various translations employ. A word with a nominal meaning of respect may be found to also mean fear (which may be the basis of all respect for the Romans), and that will certainly color the interpretation of a passage. Going the other way, one might not want to apply it to a discription of Mother Teressa. Also one should be warned if an otherwise simple word also is used as a rude reference to female anatomy.

There are a couple of other factors that may influence the user in determining the appropriate meaning from the list. Some words have different meanings depending on the age. If one is reading a text written recently in modern Latin, one must consider hints about the meaning. While the classical meaning, the WORDS default, may be appropriate, if there is a line with a late AGE code or an indication of a modern dictionary source (e.g,. Cal), the user should take this into consideration.

Signs and Abbreviations in Meaning
, [comma] is used to separate meanings that are similar. The philosophy has been to list a number of synonyms just to key the reader in making his translation.

; [semicolon] is used to separate sets of meanings that differ in intent. This is just a general tendency and is not always rigorously enforced.

: [colon] is used with an AREA code to specify a single special meaning appropriate for that AREA in a series of general meanings. For example, L: has the same impact as (legal) before or after a defination in meaning. This supplements the use of the AREA code in the set of flags, which implies that all or most of the meanings are associated with that area.

/ [solidus] means 'or' or gives an alternative word. It sometimes replaces the comma and is often used to compress the meaning into a short line.

(...) [parentheses] set off and optional word or modifier, e.g., '(nearly) white' means 'white' or 'nearly white', (matter in) dispute means either the matter in dispute or the dispute itself. They are also used to set off an explanation, further information about the word or meaning, or an example of a translation or a word combination.

? [question mark] in a meaning implies a doubt about the interpretation, or even about the existence of the word at all. For the purposes of this program, it does not matter much. If the dubious word does not exist, no one will ask for it. If it appears in his text, the reader is warned that the interpretation may be questionable to some degree, but is what is available. May indicate somewhat more doubt than (perh.).

~ [tilde] stands for the stem or word in question. Usually it does not have an ending affixed, as is the convention in other dictionaries, but represents the word with whatever ending is proper. It is just a space saving shorthand or abbreviation.

{~ [tilde] also is the flag for changing the language base. ~E (plus Enter/CR) changes from Latin-to-English to English-to-Latin. ~L changes back.)

=> in meaning this indicates a translation example.

abb. abbreviation.

(Dif) - [Diferrari] is used to indicate an additional meaning taken from A Latin-English Dictionary of St. Thomas Aquinas by Roy J. Diferrari. This is singled out because of the importance of Aquinas. The reference is to be applied from the last semicolon before the mark. It is likely that the meaning diverges from the base by being medieval and ecclesiastical, but not so overwhelming as to deserve a separate entry.

(Douay) is used to designate those words for which the meaning has been derived or modified by examination of the Douay translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible of St Jerome.

(eccl.) ecclesiastical - designating a special church meaning in a list of conventional meanings, an additional meaning not sufficient to justify a separate entry with an ecclesiastical code.

esp. [especially] - indicates a significant association, but is only advisory.

(King James) or (KJames) is used to designate those words for which the meaning has been derived or modified by examination of the King James Bible in connection with the Latin Vulgate Bible of St Jerome.

(KLUDGE) This indicates that the particular form is distorted in order to make it come out correctly. This usually takes the form of a special conjugational form applied to a few words, not applicable to other words of the same conjugation or declension. The user can expect the form and meaning to be correct, but the numerical coding will be odd.

(L+S) [Lewis and Short] is used to indicate that the meaning starting from the previous semicolon is information from Lewis and Short 'A Latin Dictionary' that differs from, or significantly expands on, the meaning in the 'Oxford Latin Dictionary' (OLD) which is the baseline for this program. This is not to imply that the meaning listed is otherwise taken directly from the OLD, just that it is not inconsistent with OLD, but the L+S information either inconsistent (likely OLD knows better) or Lewis and Short has included meanings appropriate for late Latin writers beyond the scope of OLD. The program is just warning the reader that there may be some difference. There are cases in which this indication occurs in entries that have Lewis and Short as the source. In those cases, the basic word is in OLD but the entry is a variant form or spelling not cited there. There are cases where OLD and L+S give somewhat different spellings and meanings for the 'same' word (same in the sense that both dictionaries point to the same citation). In these cases a combination of meanings are given for both entries with the (L+S) code distinction and the entries of different spelling or declension have the SOURCE coded.

NT [New Testament] is a reference in the Bible.
(OLD) [Oxford Latin Dictionary] is used to indicate an additional meaning taken from the Oxford Latin Dictionary in an entry that is otherwise attributed. While it is usually true that if a classical word has other than OLD as the listed source then it does not appear in that form in OLD, this is not always the case. On occasion some other dictionary gives a much better or more complete and understandable definition and the honor of source is thereto given.

OT [Old Testament] is a reference in the Bible.
Other source indicators are occasionally used and are indicated in the general discription of SOURCE below.

(PASS) [passive] - indicates a special, unexpected meaning for the passive form of the verb, not easily associated with the active meaning. In addition this is often used to remind the user that compounds of facio form the passive by using the active of fio. Ex: calefio (calefacio PASS). There may be more translation information in the base word cited and the user is encouraged to refer to it.

perh. [perhaps] - denotes an additional uncertainty, but not as strong as (?).

(pl.) [plural] means that the Latin word is believed by scholars to be used (almost) always in the plural form, with the meaning stated, even though that meaning in English may be singular. If it appears in the beginning of the meaning, before the first comma, it applies to all the meanings. If it appears later, it applies only to that and later meanings. For the purpose of this program, this is only advisory. While it is used by some tools to find the expected dictionary entry, the program does not necessarily exclude a singular form in the output. While it may be true that in good, classical Latin it is never used in the singular, this does not mean that some text somewhere might not use the singular, nor that it is uncommon in later Latin. The TRIM_OUTPUT option may cause only plural forms to appear, with no TRIM_OUTPUT the singular will be shown.

prob. [probably] - denotes some uncertainty, but not as much as (perh.).

pure Latin ... indicates a pure Latin term for a word which is derived from another language (almost certainly Greek).

(rude) - indicates that this meaning was used in a rude, vulgar, coarse, or obscene manner, not what one should hear in polite company. Such use is likely from graffiti or epigrams, or in plays in which the dialogue is to indicate that the characters are low or crude. Meanings given by the program for these words are more polite, and the user is invited to substitute the current street language or obscenity of his choice to get the flavor of text.

(sg.) [singular] means that the Latin word is believed by scholars to be used always in the singular. If it appears in the beginning of the meaning, before the first comma, it applies to all the meanings. If it appears later, it applies only to that and later meanings. For the purpose of this program, this is only advisory.

usu. [usually] is weakly advisory. (usu. pl.) is even weaker than (pl.) and may imply that the plural tendency occurred only during certain periods.

w/ means 'with'.