From Proto-Italic *mentjōr, denominal verb from mēns, mentis (mind). The meaning "to lie" stems from a semantic shift "to be inventive, have second thoughts" > "to lie, conjure up".



mentior (present infinitive mentīrī or mentīrier, perfect active mentītus sum); fourth conjugation, deponent

  1. (with dative) I lie, deceive
    Cur es ausus mentiri mihi?
    How dared you lie to me?
    c. 200 BCE – 190 BCE, Plautus, Captivi 3.5.46
  2. I pretend, feign


   Conjugation of mentior (fourth conjugation, deponent)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present mentior mentīris, mentīre mentītur mentīmur mentīminī mentiuntur
imperfect mentiēbar mentiēbāris, mentiēbāre mentiēbātur mentiēbāmur mentiēbāminī mentiēbantur
future mentiar mentiēris, mentiēre mentiētur mentiēmur mentiēminī mentientur
perfect mentītus + present active indicative of sum
pluperfect mentītus + imperfect active indicative of sum
future perfect mentītus + future active indicative of sum
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present mentiar mentiāris, mentiāre mentiātur mentiāmur mentiāminī mentiantur
imperfect mentīrer mentīrēris, mentīrēre mentīrētur mentīrēmur mentīrēminī mentīrentur
perfect mentītus + present active subjunctive of sum
pluperfect mentītus + imperfect active subjunctive of sum
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present mentīre mentīminī
future mentītor mentītor mentiuntor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives mentīrī, mentīrier1 mentītum esse mentītūrum esse
participles mentiēns mentītus mentītūrus mentiendus, mentiundus
verbal nouns gerund supine
genitive dative accusative ablative accusative ablative
mentiendī mentiendō mentiendum mentiendō mentītum mentītū

1The present passive infinitive in -ier is a rare poetic form which is attested for this verb.

Related termsEdit


  • Asturian: mentir
  • Catalan: mentir
  • French: mentir
  • Friulian: mintî
  • Galician: mentir
  • Italian: mentire

See alsoEdit


  • mentior in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • mentior in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • mentior in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette