I try to learn Latin vocabulary with macrons.

But online dictionaries, either don't give the diacritic, or give them only for the nominative, have some errors, or give only macrons, and no apices.

For instance, vātēs, sometimes it's given "vātēs" only in singular, and "vates" in plural, sometimes there are no macrons at all, and sometimes both singular and plural have macrons.

For instance, macron only on the singular: https://www.online-latin-dictionary.com/latin-dictionary-flexion.php?lemma=VATES100

Macron only on the plural: https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/vates

In many books, it's not consistent. So, while I have Gaffiot and Lewis & Short as my references for definition and usage, I didn't find a good source (online), errors-free, for apices & macrons.

4 Answers 4


The basic problem is that in many instances the length of the vowels is not actually known, for example in words that do not occur in poetry, or vowels in closed syllables (hidden quantity). Your best bet is to use established print dictionaries like Lewis/Short, Gaffiot or Georges and avoid automated conjugation tables like Wiktionary or online-latin-dictionary.


Collatinus-web will decline and conjugate any word for you with macrons and breves.

Just enter a word in the second entry field and press Submit:

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But note that Collatinus will recognise inflected forms, so it may find several words for a form you entered. This is in fact the case for vates, where it also lists the alternative form vatis (nom. sing.) which also is vates in the nom. plur.

Collatinus also names the vocative, and it uses the order Nom-Voc-Acc-Gen-Dat-Abl, which personally drives me crazy, but OK.

In my experience the tool is quite reliable but not perfect. For example, for vates it lists the following forms (I took the liberty of putting them in proper order):

     Singular   Plural
Nom  vātēs      vātēs
Gen  vātĭs      vātŭm
Dat  vātī       vātĭbŭs
Acc  vātĕm      vātēs
Abl  vātĕ       vātĭbŭs

Note that it correctly specifies the unexpected genetive plural (instead of vātĭŭm), but it does incorrectly not give vātĭŭm as an alternative form despite Gaffiot, Lewis & Short and Georges all mentioning it.

(It does not give vātīs as an alternative accusative plural, which it does for vātĭs, so make of that what you will—I am inclined to believe it.)


For macrons I generally check the dictionaries at Logeion


Pedecerto.eu at least has a database of vowel length in poetry for those syllables which are not long by position. For those vowels which are long by position, well, they are always long in that database. I think they have something like 250,000 lines analyzed but only dactylic hexameter and pentameter.

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