See also: canís and Canis

Latin edit

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canisa dog

Etymology 1 edit

From earlier canēs. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *ḱwṓ, *ḱun- (dog),[1][2][3][4][5] from earlier *ḱwón-s, whence also Ancient Greek κύων (kúōn), Sanskrit श्वन् (śván), though the expected outcome was formally much altered.

The -a- gained a number of ad hoc explanations, such as a shift of *-wo- to *-wa- in open syllables,[n 1][5] or of *-n̥- to -an- before vowels.[n 2][1] The initial unrounded c- must have been levelled early into the rest of the inflection from the expected nominative outcome *cō, as *ḱw- would have regularly delabialised before a rounded vowel.[1][2]

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

canis m or f (genitive canis); third declension

  1. a dog, a hound (animal)
  2. a ‘dog’ constellation or ‘dog’ star: either Canis Major, its brightest star Sirius; or Canis Minor, its brightest star Procyon
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Fasti 4.939–940:
      ‘est Canis, Īcarium dīcunt, quō sīdere mōtō
      tosta sitit tellūs, praecipiturque seges’
      ‘‘There is a Dog – they say [of?] Icarius – a star (or constellation), [and] where it has moved, the earth thirsts, [it] having been scorched, and the crop is seized beforehand.’’
      (Maera (hound) found the body of Icarius (Athenian) and became the constellation Canis Minor with the bright ‘‘dog’’ star Procyon; it, along with Canis Major, the other celestial dog with its brighter ‘‘dog’’ star Sirius, were believed to cause late summer heat and drought.)
  3. a dog, a hound, a bounder, a blackguard, a cad, a heel (foul person)
  4. a dog, a creature (human parasite or follower who depends on someone with great power and resources and bends to their will)
  5. a tiger, a dragon, a savage (a fierce or enraged person)
Declension edit

Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative canis canēs
Genitive canis canum
Dative canī canibus
Accusative canem canēs
Ablative cane canibus
Vocative canis canēs
Synonyms edit
Related terms edit
Descendants edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Compare possible parallel *-o- > -a- shifts in lacus, mare, manus, lanius, etc. This assumes relevelling from the stem of the accusative canem, which would have regularly reflected *ḱwónm̥.
  2. ^ Now mostly rejected, as this assumes a relevelling on a genitive stem *ḱwn̥-, which is actually largely attested as *ḱun- in all the word's cognates.[4]

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Walde, Alois, Hofmann, Johann Baptist (1938) “canis”, in Lateinisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (in German), 3rd edition, volume I, Heidelberg: Carl Winter, pages 152–153
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ernout, Alfred, Meillet, Antoine (1985) “canēs, canis, -is”, in Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue latine: histoire des mots[1] (in French), 4th edition, with additions and corrections of Jacques André, Paris: Klincksieck, published 2001, page 92
  3. ^ Pokorny, Julius (1959) “k̑u̯on-, k̑un-”, in Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Indo-European Etymological Dictionary] (in German), volume 2, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, pages 632–633
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sihler, Andrew L. (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, § 100c, page 98
  5. 5.0 5.1 De Vaan, Michiel (2008) “canēs, -is”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 87

Etymology 2 edit

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit


  1. dative/ablative masculine/feminine/neuter plural of cānus

Etymology 3 edit

See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit


  1. second-person singular present active indicative of canō

Further reading edit

  • canis”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • canis”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • canis 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)
  • canis in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[2], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) to keep horses, dogs: alere equos, canes
  • canis”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898), Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers

Anagrams edit

Portuguese edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

canis m

  1. plural of canil

Spanish edit

Noun edit

canis m pl

  1. plural of cani