I'd like to create an agent noun from the verb volo (volare), meaning "one who flies". For some additional context, this will be used as a name for an animal that flies but has characteristics that make it noteworthy that it flies. In other words, by calling the thing a "flyer" it is highlighting that skill in particular (as opposed to something like avis where flying is inherent to the animal).

It seems like using -or is common for agent nouns, but I'm unsure of which conjugation of volo to use with that.

  • Apparently there is a late Latin (“lat[ino] tardo”) form volator, -oris: treccani.it/vocabolario/volatore
    – DaG
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 13:59
  • It's perhaps worth pointing out that there are two verbs volo: velle (want) and volare (fly). This question only concerns the latter one, but I'd be happy to see a separate question on the former one, too.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 14:50
  • I'd be curious to see that as well. I updated the question just to make it clearer which verb this is, though.
    – Adam
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


Additionally, you can just use the present participle: volans, volantis. Both Lucretius and Vergil use volantes to mean "birds." From L&S:

  1. P. a. as subst.: vŏlantes , ĭum, comm., the birds (poet.), Lucr. 2, 1083; Verg. A. 6, 239; 6, 728.—

It's not a standard agent noun formation, but there is in fact a word for "flier" or "flying one" derived from volāre: volucer -cris -cre. It was used both as an adjective and as a noun in the Classical period, though the noun generally took the feminine form (volucris rather than volucer).

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