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From Proto-Indo-European *dl̥kú- (sweet). Cognate with Ancient Greek γλυκύς (glukús).



dulcis (neuter dulce); third declension

  1. (of taste) sweet
    • 234 BCE – 149 BCE, Cato the Elder, De Agri Cultura 157.1
      omnia ad salutem temperat conmutatque sese semper cum calore arida simul et umida et dulcis et amara et acris
      It has all the virtues necessary for health, and constantly changes its nature along with the heat, being moist and dry, sweet, bitter, and acid.
  2. sweet-smelling, sweet-scented, fragrant
    • 43 BCEc. 17 CE, Ovid, Tristia 5.13.22
      / cana prius gelido desint absinthia Ponto / et careat dulci Trinacris Hybla thymo /
      Sooner would pale wormwood be missing from icy Pontus or Sicilian Hybla lack its sweet-scented thyme
  3. sweet-sounding, melodic, melodious, tuneful
    • 46 BCE, Cicero, Brutus 57
      dicit plorare etiam Demosthenes istum quem saepe dicat voce dulci et clara fuisse
      Demosthenes, however, says most upon this head, and often speaks of his accuser as having a sweet-sounding and clear pronunciation.
  4. (figuratively) agreeable, delightful, pleasant, soft, sweet
    • 23 BCE – 13 BCE, Horace, Odes 3.2.13
      Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
      Sweet and fitting it is to die for one's fatherland.
    • c. 37 BCE – 30 BCE, Virgil, Georgicon 1.342
      / tum pingues agni et tum mollissima vina / tum somni dulces densaeque in montibus umbrae /
      Then lambs are fat, and wines are mellowest then; then sleep is sweet, and dark the shadows fall upon the mountains.
    • Phædrus, Fabulae 7.1
      Quam dulcis sit lībertās breviter prōloquar.
      Let me declare briefly how sweet freedom is.
  5. (figuratively, of persons) friendly, charming, kind, dear, pleasant, agreeable


Third declension.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
nominative dulcis dulce dulcēs dulcia
genitive dulcis dulcium
dative dulcī dulcibus
accusative dulcem dulce dulcēs, dulcīs dulcia
ablative dulcī dulcibus
vocative dulcis dulce dulcēs dulcia



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