A user has added this entry to requests for verification(+) with the reason: “for the feminine and the plural”
If it cannot be verified that this term meets our attestation criteria, it will be deleted. Feel free to edit this entry as normal, but do not remove {{rfv}} until the request has been resolved.


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



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

  1. (not) anyone
  2. (not) anything

Usage notesEdit

  • Often used in negative or quasi-negative sentences, e.g. with nec/neque.
  • Most often used substantivally as an indefinite singular pronoun, either in the masculine gender with the meaning "anyone" or in the neuter gender with the meaning "anything".
  • Also used adjectivally with the meaning "any" (making it a synonym of ūllus; compare the adjectival use of quis). In this case, the accompanying noun is often a singular masculine noun that refers to a person; sometimes a masculine, feminine or neuter noun used collectively of persons; rarely a noun referring to a thing.[1]
  • Plural forms are probably unattested in Classical Latin. 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).[2][3][4]
  • Forms of ūllus can be used in place of the unused plural forms[5], the rare feminine singular[6], or the uncommon masculine ablative singular[7]. The genitive singular cuiusquam is common, but ūllī̆us can also be found used substantively.[8]


The following forms are found in Classical Latin as an indefinite pronoun, or sometimes as an adjective:

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).

  • The masculine ablative singular form quōquam is rare[9], but it is classical[10]; it can be found in Cicero and Livy (see Citations:quoquam), although both of these authors also use the ablative ūllō from ūllus as a substantive.[11] (Compare the usual use of nūllō substantively in place of nēmine for the ablative singular of nēmō (nobody).) The form quōquam has a separate use as an adverb meaning "whithersoever, to anywhere". An alternative masculine ablative singular form quīquam is found in Plautus and may also occur in Apuleius (see Citations:quiquam).[12]
  • Feminine forms of quisquam are rare and poorly attested in the classical period. Anteclassically, the forms quisquam and quemquam could be feminine as well as masculine, while in later time periods, the exclusively feminine forms quaequam and quamquam came to be used in the nominative and accusative singular. Compare the apparent change over time in the use of quis and quem vs. quae and quam as feminine nominative and accusative singular interrogative pronouns. As noted above, the sense of the feminine singular may alternatively be expressed by forms of ūllus.
    • The genitive cuiusquam and dative cuiquam have forms that do not vary by gender, and are attested (although rare) in adjectival use with feminine nouns.
    • The anteclassical poets Plautus and Terence use quisquam and quemquam adjectivally in the feminine singular (see Citations:quisquam).
    • In the classical period, quamquam may be attested once as a feminine singular accusative form, used adjectivally in the Epistulae of Seneca the Younger (see Citations:quisquam). The corresponding feminine nominative singular form quaequam seems to be unattested in the classical period, although mentioned by postclassical grammarians and attested in postclassical texts.
    • No feminine ablative singular form seems to be attested in the classical period. Aside from being rare, quōquam has a form that implies masculine or neuter gender. The alternative ablative singular quīquam does not have a form that inherently implies non-feminine gender, but it does not seem to be attested with feminine use. The nominative singular quaequam and accusative singular quamquam would be expected to correspond to a feminine ablative singular form quāquam, which is given by postclassical grammarians and attested in postclassical texts, but quāquam seems to be unattested in the classical period outside of adverbial use (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[13]).
  • The neuter nominative/accusative singular form in Classical Latin is quidquam or quicquam. It is usually used as a pronoun, but there are a few adjectival uses of quidquam/quicquam in Plautus. The form quodquam is unattested in Classical Latin.

A full declensional paradigm with feminine singular quaequam, quamquam, quāquam, neuter singular quodquam, and plural forms is given in the late grammatical texts Instituta artium[14] (attributed to a 'Probus', but its author cannot be the grammarian Marcus Valerius Probus) and Ars grammatica by Diomedes Grammaticus.[15][16]. Some of these forms (such as quodquam) are attested in post-Classical Latin, while others (such as the vocative forms these authors list) may be purely theoretical.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative quisquam quaequam quodquam quīquam quaequam
Genitive cuiusquam quōrumquam quārumquam quōrumquam
Dative cuiquam quibusquam
Accusative quemquam quamquam quodquam quōsquam quāsquam quaequam
Ablative quōquam quāquam quōquam quibusquam


  • 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.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


  1. ^ Robert Ogilvie (1901), Alexander Souter, editor, Horae Latinae: Studies in Synonyms and Syntax, Longmans, Green, and Co., page 20
  2. ^ Heinrich Keil (1857) Grammatici Latini / Vol. 1 Flavii Sosipatri Charisii Artis Grammaticae Libri V. Ex recensione Henrici Keilii, volume 1, →OCLC, page 160
  3. ^ Friedrich Neue; C. Wagener (1892) Formenlehre der lateinischen Sprache: Adjektiva, Numeralia, Pronomina, Adverbia, Präpositonen, Konjunctionen, Interjectionen, volume 2, 3rd edition, page 508
  4. ^ Alfred Gudeman (1894) Dialogus de oratoribus: edited with prolegomena, critical apparatus, exegetical and critical notes, bibliography and indexes, Ginn & Company, page 150.
  5. ^ Neue (1892), ibid.; Gudeman (1894), ibid.
  6. ^ (Latijnse Spraakkunst, 83.4, A. Geerebaert S.I.)
  7. ^ Francis Hay Rawlins; William Ralph Inge (1888) The Eton Latin Grammar: For Use in the Higher Forms, Part 2, page 105
  8. ^ Hugo Saintine Anton (1869) Studien zur lateinischen Grammatik und Stilistik im Anschluss an Krebs-Allgayer's Antibarbarus, page 279
  9. ^ quisquam”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  10. ^ Johann Philipp Krebs; Franz Naver Allgayer; Joseph Hermann Schmalz (1888) Antibarbarus der lateinischen sprache, volume 2, 6 edition, page 418
  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, page 20
  13. ^ Wilhelm Wagner, editor (1866) T. Macci Plauti Aulularia, with notes critical and exegetical and an introduction on Plautian prosody, page 95
  14. ^ 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
  15. ^ Heinrich Keil (1857), Grammatici Latini Vol. 1 page 332
  16. ^ Neue (1892), ibid

Further readingEdit

  • 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 (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016