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New Latin, from Ancient Greek φλέως (phléōs, wool-tufted reed).


fleo m (plural flei)

  1. timothy, catstail



From Proto-Italic *flēō, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleh₁-.



fleō (present infinitive flēre, perfect active flēvī, supine flētum); second conjugation, impersonal in the passive

  1. I weep, cry
  2. I lament, grieve for
    • Horatius, Ars Poetica
      Si vis me flere, dolendum est primum ipsi tibi.
      If you wish me to cry, you yourself must first be grieved.


  • In practice, the only passive forms met with in Latin are the third-person singular forms.
   Conjugation of fleo (second conjugation, impersonal in passive)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present fleō flēs flet flēmus flētis flent
imperfect flēbam flēbās flēbat flēbāmus flēbātis flēbant
future flēbō flēbis flēbit flēbimus flēbitis flēbunt
perfect flēvī flēvistī, flēsti1 flēvit flēvimus flēvistis, flēstis1 flēvērunt, flēvēre
pluperfect flēveram flēverās flēverat flēverāmus flēverātis flēverant
future perfect flēverō flēveris flēverit flēverimus flēveritis flēverint
passive present flētur
imperfect flēbātur
future flēbitur
perfect flētum est
pluperfect flētum erat
future perfect flētum erit
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present fleam fleās fleat fleāmus fleātis fleant
imperfect flērem flērēs flēret flērēmus flērētis flērent
perfect flēverim flēverīs flēverit flēverimus flēveritis flēverint
pluperfect flēvissem, flēssem1 flēvissēs, flēsses1 flēvisset, flēsset1 flēvissēmus, flēssemus1 flēvissētis, flēssetis1 flēvissent, flēssent1
passive present fleātur
imperfect flērētur
perfect flētum sit
pluperfect flētum esset, foret
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present flē flēte
future flētō flētō flētōte flentō
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives flēre flēvisse, flēsse1 flētūrus esse flērī flētum esse
participles flēns flētūrus flētum flendus
verbal nouns gerund supine
nominative genitive dative/ablative accusative accusative ablative
flēre flendī flendō flendum flētum flētū

1At least one rare poetic syncopated perfect form is attested.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


  • fleo in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • fleo in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • fleo in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) to be hardly able to restrain one's tears: fletum cohibere non posse
    • (ambiguous) to move to tears: lacrimas or fletum alicui movere

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of flo

Old EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit


Uncertain. Possibly from Proto-Germanic *fleg-, related to Proto-Germanic *flekka-. Cognate with Old Saxon flī (white spot).



flēo n

  1. A white spot in the eye

Usage notesEdit

  • The neuter forms are indeclineable.



  • flēa m (white spot in the eye)