cunae reginae


From Proto-Indo-European *ḱoy-no- (lair, cradle), from *ḱey- (to lie down). Cognate with Ancient Greek κοίτη (koítē).[1]



cūnae f pl (genitive cūnārum); first declension (usually plural)

  1. cradle
    • 8, Ovid, Fasti, book 6, line 167:
      Post illud nec aves cunas violasse feruntur,/ Et rediit puero, qui fuit ante, color.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  2. (metonymically) nest of young birds
    • after 8, Ovid, Tristia, book 3, elegy 12, line 10:
      Utque malae crimen matris deponat hirundo,/ Sub trabibus cunas, parvaque tecta facit.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  3. (metonymically) birth or early childhood, infancy; compare cūnābulum
    • 8, Ovid, Metamorphoses, book 3, line 313:
      Furtim illum primis Ino matertera cunis/ Educat. inde datum Nymphae Nyseïdes antris/ Occuluere suis, lactisque alimenta dedere.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
    • 8, Ovid, Metamorphoses, book 9, line 67:
      Cunarum labor est angues superare mearum,/ Dixit: et, ut vincas alios, Acheloë, dracones,/ Pars quota Lernaeae serpens eris unus Echidnae?
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

Usage notesEdit

Although the singular forms (see cūna) do exist in Classical Latin, they were rarely used. The plural was normally used for a singular object.


First-declension noun, plural only.

Case Plural
Nominative cūnae
Genitive cūnārum
Dative cūnīs
Accusative cūnās
Ablative cūnīs
Vocative cūnae

Derived termsEdit


  • Aromanian: cunji, cunã
  • Basque: kuma
  • Greek: κούνια (koúnia)


  • cunae in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • cunae in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • cunae in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • cunae in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • cunae in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin
  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7)‎[1], Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN