alveus (plural alvei)

  1. The channel of a river.


  • 1860, John Weale, Rudimentary dictionary of terms used in architecture, civil, architecture, naval, building and construction: "Alveus, in hydrography, the channel or belly of a river".



Alternative formsEdit


From alvus (belly, hollow).



alveus m (genitive alveī); second declension

  1. a hollow vessel, in the shape of a trough
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Fasti 2.407–408:
      Sustinet impositōs summā cavus alveus undā:
           heu, quantum fātī parva tabella tulit!
      The vessel supports the [babies] laid there on the surface of the water:
           oh, what a fate the little plank bore!
    1. a through for feeding pigs
      • c. 77 CE – 79 CE, Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia 24.67:
        Sed ad liēnem praecipua est, sī sūcus eius expressus in vīnō bibātur. Adeōque mīrābilem eius antipathīān contrā sōlum hoc viscerum faciunt, ut adfirment, sī ex eā alveīs factīs bibant suēs sine liēne invenīrī.
        But it is of special effect for the spleen, if its juice, squeezed out, is drunk in wine. So extraordinary do they make out its antipathy against this specific organ to be, that they affirm that if pigs drink from troughs made out of it, they'll be found without a spleen.
    2. (derogatory, humorous) a dish for food
      • c. 27 CE – 66 CE, Petronius, Satyricon 66:
        Etiam in alveō circumlāta sunt oxycomina, unde quīdam etiam improbē ternōs pugnōs sustulērunt.
        Pickled olives were also brought round in a dish, from where some voraciously took three fistfuls.
  2. bathtub
    • 106 BCE – 43 BCE, Cicero, Pro Caelio 67:
      Praegestit animus iam vidēre prīmum lautōs iuvenēs mulieris beātae ac nōbilis familiārēs, deinde fortēs virōs ab imperātrīce in īnsidiīs atque in praesidiō balneārum collocātōs; ex quibus requīram, quem ad modum latuerint aut ubī, alveusne ille an equus Troiānus fuerit, quī tot invictōs virōs muliebre bellum gerentēs tulerit ac texerit.
      The soul is thrilled to now see, first, luxurious young men, acquaintances of a rich and well-known woman, and second, strong men posted by their commandress in the ambush and garrison of the baths; for which I'd ask, how did they hide and where, and whether that was a bathtub or a Trojan Horse, which carried and hid so many invincible men fighting a war for a woman.
  3. (nautical) hull
    • c. 117 CE, Tacitus, Annales 14.29:
      Igitur Monam īnsulam, incolīs validam et receptāculum perfugārum, adgredī parat, navēsque fābricātur plānō alveō adversus breve et incertum.
      So he prepares to attack the island of Anglesey, considerable in population and a haven for deserters, and builds ships with a flat hull in view of the short and uncertain channel.
    1. (metonymically) ship
      • 29 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Aeneid 6.411–414:
        Inde aliās animās, quae per iuga longa sedēbant,
        dēturbat laxatque forōs; simul accipit alve̯ō
        ingentem Aenēam. Gemuit sub pondere cumba
        sūtilis et multam accēpit rīmōsa palūdem.
        Then the other souls, sitting on the long thwarts,
        he routs out and clears the gangways; at once he takes in the ship
        the giant Aeneas. The seamy boat creaks
        under the weight and, full of fissures, takes marshy water in.


Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative alveus alveī
Genitive alveī alveōrum
Dative alveō alveīs
Accusative alveum alveōs
Ablative alveō alveīs
Vocative alvee alveī


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


  • Aromanian: alghinã
  • Catalan: obi
  • French: auge
  • Istro-Romanian: albire
  • Italian: alveo (borrowing)
  • Lombard: albio