Alternative formsEdit


Uncertain. According to Nussbaum and de Vaan, from Proto-Italic *kʷaizeō, from Proto-Indo-European *kʷeh₂- (to acquire), via a se/o-present built upon an i-present form *kʷeh₂-i- (to acquire). In this case, cognates would include Ancient Greek πέπαμαι (pépamai, to get, acquire), Old Prussian quoi (I/you want) and quāits (desire), Lithuanian kviẽsti (to invite) and probably Albanian kam (I have).

In some sources etymologized as being from Proto-Indo-European *kʷoys-, *kʷeys- (to see), but this was deemed uncertain by Schrijver in 1991.

LIV accepts Szemerényi's 1960 etymology that it is a derivation of *h₂eys- (to seek, ask), via the form *koaiseo.


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈkʷae̯.roː/, [ˈkʷäe̯roː]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈ, [ˈkwɛːrɔ]
  • (file)


quaerō (present infinitive quaerere, perfect active quaesīvī or quaesiī, supine quaesītum); third conjugation

  1. I seek, look for
    Quaerendo invenietis
    By seeking ye shall find.
    Quaerite Dominum
    Seek ye the Lord
  2. I ask, question, inquire, query.
  3. I strive for; endeavor; seek to obtain
  4. I miss, lack
  5. I desire, require, want


   Conjugation of quaerō (third conjugation)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present quaerō quaeris quaerit quaerimus quaeritis quaerunt
imperfect quaerēbam quaerēbās quaerēbat quaerēbāmus quaerēbātis quaerēbant
future quaeram quaerēs quaeret quaerēmus quaerētis quaerent
perfect quaesīvī, quaesiī quaesīvistī, quaesiistī, quaesīstī1 quaesīvit, quaesiit quaesīvimus, quaesiimus quaesīvistis, quaesiistis, quaesīstis1 quaesīvērunt, quaesīvēre, quaesiērunt, quaesiēre
pluperfect quaesīveram, quaesieram quaesīverās, quaesierās quaesīverat, quaesierat quaesīverāmus, quaesierāmus quaesīverātis, quaesierātis quaesīverant, quaesierant
future perfect quaesīverō, quaesierō quaesīveris, quaesieris quaesīverit, quaesierit quaesīverimus, quaesierimus quaesīveritis, quaesieritis quaesīverint, quaesierint
passive present quaeror quaereris, quaerere quaeritur quaerimur quaeriminī quaeruntur
imperfect quaerēbar quaerēbāris, quaerēbāre quaerēbātur quaerēbāmur quaerēbāminī quaerēbantur
future quaerar quaerēris, quaerēre quaerētur quaerēmur quaerēminī quaerentur
perfect quaesītus + present active indicative of sum
pluperfect quaesītus + imperfect active indicative of sum
future perfect quaesītus + future active indicative of sum
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present quaeram quaerās quaerat quaerāmus quaerātis quaerant
imperfect quaererem quaererēs quaereret quaererēmus quaererētis quaererent
perfect quaesīverim, quaesierim quaesīverīs, quaesierīs quaesīverit, quaesierit quaesīverīmus, quaesierīmus quaesīverītis, quaesierītis quaesīverint, quaesierint
pluperfect quaesīvissem, quaesiissem, quaesīssem1 quaesīvissēs, quaesiissēs, quaesīssēs1 quaesīvisset, quaesiisset, quaesīsset1 quaesīvissēmus, quaesiissēmus, quaesīssēmus1 quaesīvissētis, quaesiissētis, quaesīssētis1 quaesīvissent, quaesiissent, quaesīssent1
passive present quaerar quaerāris, quaerāre quaerātur quaerāmur quaerāminī quaerantur
imperfect quaererer quaererēris, quaererēre quaererētur quaererēmur quaererēminī quaererentur
perfect quaesītus + present active subjunctive of sum
pluperfect quaesītus + imperfect active subjunctive of sum
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present quaere quaerite
future quaeritō quaeritō quaeritōte quaeruntō
passive present quaerere quaeriminī
future quaeritor quaeritor quaeruntor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives quaerere quaesīvisse, quaesiisse, quaesīsse1 quaesītūrum esse quaerī quaesītum esse quaesītum īrī
participles quaerēns quaesītūrus quaesītus quaerendus, quaerundus
verbal nouns gerund supine
genitive dative accusative ablative accusative ablative
quaerendī quaerendō quaerendum quaerendō quaesītum quaesītū

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

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



  • quaero in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • quaero in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • quæro in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette, pages 1,288–9
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to court a person's favour; to ingratiate oneself with..: gratiam alicuius sibi quaerere, sequi, more strongly aucupari
    • to be guided by ambition: laudem, gloriam quaerere
    • a theme, subject proposed for discussion: id quod quaerimus (quaeritur)
    • at this point the question arises: hoc loco exsistit quaestio, quaeritur
    • the question now is..: nunc id quaeritur, agitur
    • the question at issue: res, de qua nunc quaerimus, quaeritur
    • to give the etymological explanation of words: nomina enodare or verborum origines quaerere, indagare
    • to earn a livelihood by something: victum aliqua re quaerere
    • to court popularity: gratiam populi quaerere
    • to strive to gain popular favour by certain means: ventum popularem quendam (in aliqua re) quaerere
    • to hold an inquiry into a matter: quaerere aliquid or de aliqua re
    • to have a person tortured: quaerere tormentis de aliquo
    • to examine slaves by torture: de servis quaerere (in dominum)
    • to put it exactly: si quaeris, si verum quaerimus
  • quaerō” on page 1,533 of the Oxford Latin Dictionary (1st ed., 1968–82)
  • Niermeyer, Jan Frederik (1976), “quaerere”, in Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, Leiden, Boston: Brill, page 877
  • De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 503
  • Sihler, Andrew L. (1995) New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, § 457.B