An early dictionary fits the longest word in Latin into a hexameter. In a previous question Expedito Bipes introduced this astonishing dictionary entry (1286), (and then later gave an alternative reading "fuget" for fulget, and another useful link ) a scanned dictionary entry

And when it says (line3) 'in this verse,' it quotes two dactylic hexameters:

'Fulget hon/orifi-/cabili-/tudini-/tatibus/ iste
Et corri-/pit pen-/ultimam / honori-/fico /eas.'

Have I transcribed and scanned it right? Have I missed two elisioins penultim[am] honorific[e] eas? And what does it mean?

'That man sheds light upon acts of Honour;
And hastens the end of (corripio) those acts(eas) /last but one/ ?honorifice honourably / ?honorificitas his respect hastens their demise.

2 Answers 2


As a supplement to the above answer, here is a full transcription and translation of the dictionary entry:

Haec honorificabilitas -tatis, et haec honorificabilitudinitas -tatis:

Et haec est longissima dictio, ut patet scilicet in hoc versu:

fulget honorificabilitudinitatibus iste

Et corripit penultimam "honorifico" -tas.


honorificabilitas -tatis (f.), and honorificabilitudinitas -tatis (f.):

This is the longest word, as is evident e.g. in the following verse:

He shines with "honorificabilitudinities"

And the "-tas" shortens the penultimate syllable of "honorifico."

So, the last line is not a verse, but just an indication about the length of the vowels of this word. For this meaning of corripio, see I.B.4 of the entry in L&S. I'm not sure what it means, though, since the penultimate would normally be short anyway.

As another note, I believe the beginning "haec" is just a way to indicate the feminine gender of the noun.


I think there is only one hexameter verse:

Fulget hon/orifi/cabili/tudini/tatibus / iste.

This contains a word even longer than the headword. It would not scan right without the addition of the dactylic -tudini-. I would translate it as "he shines in his honor(-related thing)".

The following line does not seem to scan as a hexameter or pentameter, whether one elides or not. The previous line was introduced as in hoc versu, not in his versibus, which further supports the conclusion. The last line could be a comment on the hexameter.


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