Borrowed from Medieval Latin syllabus (list), which arose as a misprint, its accusative plural syllabos appearing in place of sittybas in a 1470s edition of Cicero's “Ad Atticum” IV.5 and 8.[1] The corrupt form was influenced by the stem of Ancient Greek συλλαμβάνω (sullambánō, put together), the source of σῠλλᾰβή (sullabḗ, syllable); the true etymon is σιττύβα (sittúba, parchment label, table of contents) of unknown origin.[2]


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsɪləbəs/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: syl‧la‧bus
  • Rhymes: -ɪləbəs


syllabus (plural syllabi or syllabuses)

  1. (education) A summary of topics which will be covered during an academic course, or a text or lecture.
    • 2019 November 23, A Falun Dafa practitioner in Australia, “Eliminating Attachments While Helping Coordinate a Minghui School”, in Minghui[1]:
      In the first half of the year, teachers attended the training workshop for the new K-10 Chinese syllabus. In July, almost all the teachers attended the teacher training courses provided by OCAC.
    • 2020, Abi Daré, The Girl With The Louding Voice, Sceptre, page 183:
      ‘I checked online for a beginner syllabus,’ she say. ‘A syllabus is a plan for how we would work, what I can teach you.’
  2. (law) The headnote of a reported case; the brief statement of the points of law determined prefixed to a reported case.

Related termsEdit






syllabus m (genitive syllabī); second declension

  1. (Medieval Latin, New Latin) list, register, syllabus


Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative syllabus syllabī
Genitive syllabī syllabōrum
Dative syllabō syllabīs
Accusative syllabum syllabōs
Ablative syllabō syllabīs
Vocative syllabe syllabī