From quis +‎ quam (any). Compare to quisque.





quisquam (neuter quidquam or quicquam); relative/interrogative pronoun with an indeclinable portion

  1. (masculine, chiefly in the negative) anyone
    • c. 52 BCE, Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico
      nec fuit quisquam qui praedae studeret.
      and there was not anyone who gave attention to spoils.
    • Plautus, Bacchides. In: Plautus with an English translation by Paul Nixon, vol. I of five volumes, 1916, p. 330f.:
      ne a quoquam acciperes alio mercedem annuam, nisi ab sese, nec cum quiquam limares caput.
      Not to let you take a yearly fee from anyone else but him, or rub heads with anyone.
  2. (neuter, chiefly in the negative) anything
    • 70 BCE, Cicero, In Verrem
      Qui cum in convivium venisset, si quicquam caelati aspexerat, manus abstinere, iudices, non poterat.
      When he came to a banquet, if he saw anything engraved, he could not keep his hands off, judges.

Usage notes

  • The negative polarity counterpart of nēmō (nobody) and nihil (nothing). Typically used in clauses that contain a preceding negative word, often the conjunction nec/neque. In Classical Latin, "nec quisquam" was preferred over "et nēmō".[1] Like other negative polarity items, quisquam can also occur with no preceding negative word in certain contexts, possibly connected by the concept of downward entailment. Other words that can licence its use include vix (scarcely) and sine (without). It it also used with comparatives. It can be used in conditional or interrogative clauses, but its usage here can overlap with other pronouns, especially the indefinite pronoun quis. After , , num, an, it is more usual to find quis, but quisquam can also occur; it may have a more emphatic sense "any at all" or "any whatsoever". Quisquam is not used in nisi-clauses.[2]
  • Like other pronouns, it may take a partitive genitive. The neuter may be used with the genitive singular of a neuter second-declension adjective, e.g. quicquam mali 'anything wrong', or with an agreeing adjective, as in quicquam bonum 'anything good'.
  • The forms in the column labeled "Masc./Fem." are typically used as an indefinite pronoun that takes masculine grammatical agreement but has a generic sense that encompasses anyone regardless of sex. The masculine gender is often used in Latin as a default when referring to persons of unknown gender; compare the masculine interrogative pronoun quis (who?) and negative pronoun nēmō (nobody).
  • Notes on forms by gender and number:
    • Grammatically feminine forms of this pronoun are rare and very poorly attested in Classical Latin. To express its sense in the feminine, forms of ūllus such as ūlla, ūllam, etc. could be used instead[3] (see Citations:ullus). There are examples of the nominative quisquam and accusative quemquam being used as feminine pronouns by the anteclassical poets Plautus and Terence (see Citations:quisquam). Alternative, exclusively feminine forms quaequam (nom. sg.) and quamquam (acc. sg.) are mentioned by postclassical grammarians and attested in postclassical texts; however, in the Classical Latin corpus, these forms are unattested as pronouns and scarcely attested as adjectives (see below and see Citations:quaequam). Compare the use of quae and quam as feminine interrogative pronouns (versus the anteclassical use of quis and quem in this function). No feminine ablative singular form seems to be attested in Classical Latin outside of adverbial use of quāquam (compare the adverb quā) as part of the expressions haud/haut quāquam = haudquāquam and nec quāquam = nēquāquam (or in "negas nuptam quaquam" in Pomponius as cited by Charisius[4]).
    • For the neuter pronoun, the only form in common use is nominative/accusative quidquam/quicquam. (The forms cuiusquam, cuiquam, quōquam are occasionally used as adjectival modifiers of neuter nouns, but are usually masculine rather than neuter when used by themselves as pronouns.) To express the sense of the neuter pronoun in the genitive, dative and ablative, the periphrastic expressions ūllī̆us reī, ūllī reī, and ūllā rē[5] may be used (compare how nūllī̆us reī, nūllī reī, and nūllā function as suppletive genitive, dative and ablative forms of the indeclinable pronoun nihil (nothing)[6]), as in "sūmptū nē parcās ūllā in , quod ad valētūdinem opus sit" (Cicero Epistulae ad Familiares
    • For the masculine pronoun, the genitive singular cuiusquam is frequent, but ūllī̆us can optionally be used instead.[7] The masculine ablative singular form quōquam is attested as a pronoun in Classical Latin[8] (see Citations:quoquam), but is relatively rare[9][10] (the form quōquam is more often an adverb). As an alternative, ūllō can be used instead[11][10] (see Citations:ullus; compare the common use of nūllō in place of nēmine.) An alternative masculine ablative singular form quīquam is found in Plautus and possibly also in Apuleius (see Citations:quiquam).[12]
    • Plural forms are unattested in Classical Latin, as with the corresponding negative pronouns nēmō (nobody) and nihil (nothing). The 4th-century grammarian Charisius says the plural is not used: "unum autem adest quam semper singulare. non enim ut quisquam quemquam, sic utique quiquam quosquam dicimus" (Charisius 2, 7).[13][14][15] Forms of ūllus may be used in place of the unused plural forms.[16]



Negative polarity indefinite pronoun.

Number Singular
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter
Nominative quisquam quidquam
Genitive cuiusquam1
Dative cuiquam1
Accusative quemquam quidquam
Ablative quōquam

1In Republican Latin or earlier, alternative spellings could be found for the following forms of quī/quis and its compounds: the masculine nominative singular or plural quī (old spelling quei), the genitive singular cuius (old spelling quoius), the dative singular cui (old spelling quoi or quoiei), the dative/ablative plural quīs (old spelling queis).

In practice, forms other than quidquam/quicquam are almost always non-neuter when used as pronouns (and usually grammatically masculine, but in most cases can semantically include any human being regardless of gender); see usage notes. Considered purely in terms of form, cuiusquam, cuiquam, quīquam are theoretically unmarked for grammatical gender, quisquam and quemquam are theoretically marked as non-neuter (i.e masculine or feminine), and quōquam is theoretically marked as non-feminine (i.e. masculine or neuter).



quisquam (feminine quaequam, neuter quodquam); relative/interrogative pronoun with an indeclinable portion

  1. (chiefly in the negative) any
    Synonym: ūllus

Usage notes


Depending on the number, gender, case, and meaning of the accompanying noun, forms of the synonymous adjective ūllus (any) may be preferred instead. In Classical Latin, only singular forms of quisquam are securely attested; when used adjectivally, it appears mostly in combination with masculine nouns that denote persons, such as homō (man) or scrīptor (writer) (compare the use of nēmō (nobody) as a modifier of a singular personal noun). There are also some attested uses with masculine, feminine or neuter nouns that refer collectively to a group of people, or rarely, with nouns that denote impersonal things.[17]

Classical Latin usage can be summarized as follows:

  • Nominative and accusative forms:
    • Masculine: In the nominative case, Cicero seems to have preferred quisquam over ūllus in combination with personal masculine nouns (e.g. quisquam scrīptor), whereas in the accusative case he used both quemquam and ūllum in this context (e.g. quemquam scrīptōrem, ūllum scrīptōrem).[18] With an impersonal masculine noun, the use of quisquam or quemquam rather than ūllus/ūllum is uncommon, but is found several times in Lucretius's poem De Rerum Natura and is sporadically attested in other authors (see Citations:quisquam).
    • Feminine nominative and accusative forms are unattested in Classical Latin, with the single possible exception of quamquam in "ad quamquam rem" in the Epistulae of Seneca the Younger. The nominative form quaequam seems to be attested only in postclassical Latin. See Citations:quaequam. Usually ūlla and ūllam are used instead in combination with feminine nouns, whether personal or impersonal (see Citations:ullus). In the anteclassical poet Plautus, the forms quisquam and quemquam can be found with feminine nouns, generally personal or animate ones (e.g. "quisquam alia mulier"; see Citations:quisquam).
    • Neuter nominative/accusative forms are unattested in Classical Latin: usually ūllum is used instead in combination with neuter nouns. The form quodquam is attested only in postclassical Latin (see Citations:quodquam). The form quidquam/quicquam is typically used as a pronoun, but in Plautus, there are two attestations of "quicquam facinus", with "quicquam" used as an adjective or in apposition with an accompanying noun (compare the use of quidquid as an adjective).
  • The genitive and dative forms cuiusquam and cuiquam seem to have been preferred by Cicero over ūllī̆us and ūllī in combination with a personal masculine noun (i.e. cuiusquam scrīptōris, cuiquam scrīptōrī).[18] Cuiusquam and cuiquam are also attested in combination with feminine and neuter nouns in classical Latin, although rarely (see Citations:quisquam).
  • In the ablative, it seems to have been preferred in Classical Latin to use forms of ūllus (ūllō m or n, ūllā f) instead, even in combination with personal masculine nouns. Quōquam is attested once in combination with a masculine noun in Cicero ("homine quoquam", Pro Roscio Amerino 74.14; contrast with "homine ullo", Pro S. Roscio Amerino 96.6, Pro Cluentio 152.9 and "ullo homine", Pro Ligario 26.5, Epistulae ad Atticum and once in combination with a neuter noun in Suetonius ("quoquam incepto", Divus Julius 59.1). There are numerous additional examples of quōquam as a masculine or neuter adjective in the works of postclassical authors such as Augustine of Hippo. See Citations:quoquam. In Plautus, the alternative ablative singular form quīquam is attested in combination with masculine nouns ("quiquam homine", "quiquam viro"; see Citations:quiquam).

A full declensional paradigm with feminine singular quaequam, quamquam, quāquam, neuter singular quodquam, and plural forms is given by the late grammatical texts Instituta artium[19] (attributed to a 'Probus', but its author cannot be the grammarian Marcus Valerius Probus) and Ars grammatica by Diomedes Grammaticus.[20][21] Some of these forms (such as quaequam, quāquam, quodquam) have attested use in postclassical Latin, while others (such as the vocative forms these authors list) may be purely theoretical.



Negative polarity indefinite determiner.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative quisquam quaequam1
quodquam1 quīquam1 quaequam1
Genitive cuiusquam quōrumquam1 quārumquam1 quōrumquam1
Dative cuiquam quibusquam1
Accusative quemquam quamquam3
quodquam1 quōsquam1 quāsquam1 quaequam1
Ablative quōquam4
quāquam1 quōquam4 quibusquam1
Vocative quisquam1 quaequam1 quodquam1 quīquam1 quaequam1

1Only attested in postclassical Latin. In Classical Latin, forms of ūllus were used instead.
2Only attested as a feminine form in the preclassical Latin of authors like Plautus.
3Attested only once in Classical Latin. Usually ūllam was used instead.
4Attested, but rare in Classical Latin. Usually ūllō was used instead.

Derived terms



  1. ^ Harm Pinkster (2015) The Oxford Latin Syntax, volume 1. The Simple Clause, page 1168
  2. ^ Bertocchi, Alessandra, Maraldi, Mirka (2005) “Indefinite pronouns in conditional clauses”, in Journal of Latin Linguistics, volume 9, number 1, pages 457-564
  3. ^ (Latijnse Spraakkunst, 83.4, A. Geerebaert S.I.)
  4. ^ Wilhelm Wagner, editor (1866), T. Macci Plauti Aulularia, with notes critical and exegetical and an introduction on Plautian prosody, page 95
  5. ^ Adolfo Gandiglio (1916) Grammatica latina ad uso dei ginnasi e dei licei, Bologna, page 159
  6. ^ Robert Ogilvie (1901) Alexander Souter, editor, Horae Latinae: Studies in Synonyms and Syntax, page 195
  7. ^ Hugo Saintine Anton (1869) Studien zur lateinischen Grammatik und Stilistik im Anschluss an Krebs-Allgayer's Antibarbarus, page 279
  8. ^ Johann Philipp Krebs, Franz Naver Allgayer, Joseph Hermann Schmalz (1888) Antibarbarus der lateinischen sprache, 6 edition, volume 2, page 418
  9. ^ quisquam”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  10. 10.0 10.1 Francis Hay Rawlins, William Ralph Inge (1888) The Eton Latin Grammar: For Use in the Higher Forms, Part 2, page 105
  11. ^ P. Thoresby Jones, editor (1914), T. Livi Ab Urbe Condita: Liber III, page 187
  12. ^ H.E. Butler, A.S. Owen (1914) “Commentary”, in Apulei apologia siue pro se de magia liber, Oxford, page 20
  13. ^ Heinrich Keil (1857) Grammatici Latini / Vol. 1 Flavii Sosipatri Charisii Artis Grammaticae Libri V. Ex recensione Henrici Keilii, volume 1, →OCLC, page 160
  14. ^ Friedrich Neue, C. Wagener (1892) Formenlehre der lateinischen Sprache: Adjektiva, Numeralia, Pronomina, Adverbia, Präpositonen, Konjunctionen, Interjectionen, 3rd edition, volume 2, Berlin, page 508
  15. ^ Alfred Gudeman (1894) Dialogus de oratoribus: edited with prolegomena, critical apparatus, exegetical and critical notes, bibliography and indexes, Boston: Ginn & Company, page 150.
  16. ^ Neue (1892), ibid.; Gudeman (1894), ibid.
  17. ^ Robert Ogilvie (1901) Alexander Souter, editor, Horae Latinae: Studies in Synonyms and Syntax, Longmans, Green, and Co., page 20
  18. 18.0 18.1 Raphaël Kühner, editor (1835), M. Tullii Ciceronis Tusculanarum disputationum libri quinque ex Orellii recensione edidit et illustravit, page 334
  19. ^ Heinrich Keil (1864) Grammatici Latini / 4 Probi Donati Servii qui feruntur de Arte Grammatica Libri ex recensione H. Keilii[1], volume 4, →OCLC, page 134
  20. ^ Heinrich Keil (1857), Grammatici Latini Vol. 1 page 332
  21. ^ Neue (1892), ibid

Further reading

  • quisquam”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • quisquam in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • quisquam in Ramminger, Johann (2016 July 16 (last accessed)) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016