A depiction of a cestus (fighting glove)


Etymology 1Edit

From Latin caestus.


cestus (plural cestuses or cestus or cesti)

  1. A leather fighting glove, frequently weighted with metal.
    • 1994 August, Carl Brown, “Nunchucks and Throwing Stars in Your State? A State-byState Survey of Martial Arts Weapons Laws”, in Black Belt, page 81:
      It is against Massachusetts law to carry on your person or in a vehicle any stiletto, dagger, ballistic knife, dirk knife, doubl-edged knife, switchblade knife, slungshot, blowgun, blackjack, metallic knuckles, nunchaku (also referred to as “klackers” or “kung fu sticks” in Massachusetts law), shuriken or similar pointed star-like objects intended to injure a person when thrown, armband with metallic spikes, points or studs, cestus weighted with metal or other substance and worn on the hand, manriki gusari or similar length of chain with weighted ends, or billy club.
    • 2011, James Edward Raggi, IV, Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Weird Fantasy Role-Playing (Grindhouse Edition): Rules Book, →ISBN, page 25:
      'Cestus': This includes all sorts of fist wrappings and brass knuckle weapon types.

Etymology 2Edit

Juno receiving the Cestus from Venus

From Latin cestus.


cestus (plural cesti)

  1. (obsolete) A girdle, especially that of Aphrodite (or Venus) which gave the wearer the power to excite love.
    • 1826, Joanna Baillie, The Martyr, Act 2:
      With pasture slopes, and flocks just visible;
      Then, further still, soft wavy wastes of forest,

      In all the varied tints of sylvan verdure,

      Descending to the plain; then, wide and boundless,

      The plain itself, with towns and cultured tracts,

      And its fair river gleaming in the light,

      With all its sweepy windings, seen and lost,

      And seen again, till through the pale grey tint

      Of distant space, it seem'd a loosen'd cestus

      From virgin's tunic blown; and still beyond,

      The earth's extended vastness from the sight

      Wore like the boundless ocean.




Etymology 1Edit

From Ancient Greek κεστός (kestós, stitched, embroidered).


cestus m (genitive cestī); second declension

  1. a girdle, tie, band or strap worn around the upper body, directly under the breast
  2. the girdle of Aphrodite or Venus

Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative cestus cestī
Genitive cestī cestōrum
Dative cestō cestīs
Accusative cestum cestōs
Ablative cestō cestīs
Vocative ceste cestī
  • English: cestus

Etymology 2Edit

Variant of caestus, from caedō (I cut in pieces)


cestus m (genitive cestūs); fourth declension

  1. boxing glove; a strip of leather, weighted with iron or lead, tied to a boxer's hands

Fourth-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative cestus cestūs
Genitive cestūs cestuum
Dative cestuī cestibus
Accusative cestum cestūs
Ablative cestū cestibus
Vocative cestus cestūs


  • cestus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • cestus 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)
  • cestus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • cestus”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • cestus”, in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin