Is the Latin word verenda a noun? If so, which lexical root does it have?


"Si habuerint inter se jurgium viri duo, et unus contra alterum rixari coeperit, volensque uxor alterius eruere virum suum de manu fortioris, miseritque manum, et apprehenderit verenda ejus"

"When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets"


2 Answers 2


No, it is not a noun. It is a gerundive form of the verb vereri. Gerundives can function like nouns, but they will not be listed separately in dictionaries; the keyword is the underlying verb.

I suggest looking up this verb in a dictionary you like, and also looking into gerundives if you are not already familiar with them. The gerundive behaves like an adjective of the first and second declension. Therefore verenda can be feminine singular nominative or neuter plural nominative or accusative. (Not all of these are possible in the context, of course!) If you are still puzzled, I recommend asking a follow-up question.

  • 1
    To be fair, gerundives, like other adjectives, can function like nouns, and that is the case here.
    – varro
    May 6, 2019 at 20:56
  • @varro Good point! I edited my answer to reflect that. What I was trying to say is that to find the word in a dictionary, one has to look for the underlying verb.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 6, 2019 at 21:06
  • 1
    How do I define the grammatical case of the word "verenda" or wherefrom should I know how to decline this word?
    – user4752
    May 6, 2019 at 21:21
  • @naloss I added a little something in my answer. Although I listed the possible forms above, I recommend looking up how gerundives behave in general. That will tell you about the possible interpretations of verenda. If you are not familiar with gerundives, I urge you to familiarize yourself with them – at least a little.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 6, 2019 at 21:28



external private parts 2nd neuter

apprehended him by the fearful parts. et apprehenderit verenda eius

came across this today, dictionaries are short on it: Pliny:

C. Plinius Caecilius Secundus, Epistulae berat, alius pectus et uentrem, atque etiam foedum dictu uerenda contundit; the guy's slaves hit his chest, belly, and even (shameful to say) they contunditted his privates.

  • 1
    I love how "Latin is simple" offers several example sentences, none of which have anything to do with "private parts" (verendum nobis erit, etc). Apr 13, 2022 at 20:57

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