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 viaticum on Wikipedia


From Latin viāticum (travelling-money, provisions for a journey), from viāticus (of a road or journey), from via (road).



viaticum (plural viaticums or viatica)

  1. The Eucharist, when given to a person who is dying or one in danger of death.
    • 1971, Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic, Folio Society 2012, p. 37:
      from Anglo-Saxon times there had been a deep conviction that to receive the viaticum was a virtual death sentence which would make subsequent recovery impossible.
  2. Provisions, money, or other supplies given to someone setting off on a long journey (often figurative).
    • 1885, Sir Richard Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 20:
      Towards night-fall he entered a town called Sa’adiyah where he alighted and took out somewhat of his viaticum and ate
    • 1971, Anthony Burgess, M/F, Penguin 2004, p. 184:
      That viaticum I had been made to drink had undoubtedly been spiked with cantharides or something
  3. A portable altar.




Substantivization of the neuter form of the adjective viāticus (pertaining to a journey or traveling).



viāticum n (genitive viāticī); second declension

  1. travelling-money; provision for a journey
  2. (figuratively) a journey
  3. resources; means
  4. money made abroad, especially as a soldier, or used to travel abroad


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative viāticum viātica
genitive viāticī viāticōrum
dative viāticō viāticīs
accusative viāticum viātica
ablative viāticō viāticīs
vocative viāticum viātica

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



  • viaticum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • viaticum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • du Cange, Charles (1883), “viaticum”, in G. A. Louis Henschel, Pierre Carpentier, Léopold Favre, editors, Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (in Latin), Niort: L. Favre
  • viaticum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français [Illustrated Latin-French Dictionary], Hachette
  • viaticum in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • viaticum in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin