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flōs albus (a white flower)


From Proto-Italic *alβos, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂elbʰós.

Cognates include Umbrian 𐌀𐌋𐌚𐌖 (alfu), Ancient Greek ἀλφός (alphós, whiteness, white leprosy), Hittite 𒀠𒉺𒀸 (alpas, cloud), Middle Welsh elbid (world) and English elf.



albus (feminine alba, neuter album); first/second declension

  1. white (without lustre)
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Metamorphoses 12.402–403
      totus pice nigrior atra, candida cauda tamen; color est quoque cruribus albus.
      All blacker than pitch was he, yet white was his tail; his legs were snowy white.
    • p. 830, Nennius, Historia Brittonum, II: 42
      duo vermes in eo sunt, unus albus et unus rufus
      "There are," said he, "two serpents, one white and the other red [] "
  2. clear, bright
  3. pale, fair, gray, hoary
    • p. 1250, Thomas Aquinas, De ente et essentia
      [] et sic de ipsa aliquid praedicatur per accidens ratione eius, in quo est, sicut dicitur quod homo est albus, quia Socrates est albus, quamvis hoc non conveniat homini in eo quod homo.
      And thus something is accidentally asserted, that is, we say that man is white because Socrates is white, although this does not come about for men because [Socrates] is a man.
  4. (figuratively) favorable, fortunate, auspicious, propitious

Usage notesEdit

Latin albus is used primarily to mean "white" that is dull or matte. The word candidus is used primarily for shining whiteness. However, this distinction is not always followed.


First/second declension.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
nominative albus alba album albī albae alba
genitive albī albae albī albōrum albārum albōrum
dative albō albō albīs
accusative album albam album albōs albās alba
ablative albō albā albō albīs
vocative albe alba album albī albae alba



Derived termsEdit