WORDS - Version 1.97FC

William Whitaker

Download a free Latin-English-Latin dictionary program for your PC or MAC.

December 2006 - New release - Version 1.97FC. Additional corrections (all by me in this case). Especially note that the text of the meanings has been spellchecked (American spelling). I recommend downloading this version.

October 2006 - New release of Version 1.97F. There is no change in program. Only change is some corrections to the dictionary (thanks to John White and Jim Stacey). The version number is not changed.

September 2006 - Updated Version 1.97F release. This includes corrections prompted by user feedback (special thanks to Michel Come and Shizuo Asogawa), a few additional tricks, and another 1000 entries in the dictionary, now 39000 entries.

This Latin dictionary program, (WORDS for the PC - DOS, Windows 95/98/NT/ME/2000/XP, OS/2, LINUX - and Mac OS X - console version), takes keyboard input or a file of Latin text lines and provides an analysis/morphology (declension, conjugation, case, tense, etc.) of each word individually, the dictionary form, and the translation (meaning).           V      1 1 PRES ACTIVE  IND 3 S X       
amo, amare, amavi, amatus
love, like; fall in love with; be fond of; have a tendency to;

There is an English-to-Latin phase, invoked by ~E or ~e (tilde E).

love v

amo, amare, amavi, amatus  V     1 1 [XXXAO]  
love, like; fall in love with; be fond of; have a tendency to;

diligo, diligere, dilexi, dilectus  V     3 1 [XXXAX]  
select, pick, single out; love, value, esteem; approve, aspire to, appreciate;

The dictionary contains over 39000 entries and, through additional word construction with hundreds of prefixes and suffixes, may generate more, leading to many hundreds of thousands of 'words' that can be formed by declension and conjugation. Present emphisis is on classical Latin and late Latin, but medieval Latin entries are increasing. WORDS provides a tool to help in translations for the Latin student and a memory jog for researchers.

This version has been considerably enhanced in neo/modern Latin, by including, with his kind permission, the Melissa Calepinus Novus dictionary of Guy Licoppe.

The program source (in Ada) and dictionary are freely available for rehosting.

A Net interactive version of WORDS is at Notre Dame.

There are pointers to separate download and information pages for each operating system.

See the particular page for each specific system. Not all upgraded yet.
Intel PC Systems
Windows 95/NT/98/ME/2000/XP - 1.97FC
Linux and FreeBSD.

Mac OS X

The documentation is included with download and is also directly accessible on this site as WORDSDOC.HTM.

Anyone not having a download capability can request a CD ROM or floppy from the address at the end of this page.

I regret that there is no program for the Palm and other such. However, there is a DICTPAGE.HTM HTML file of the dictionary that my be downloaded and searched locally, without the parsing provided by the program.

There are such and other supporting files to be found at WORDS OTHER FILES. Additional displays and studies may appear here.

The WORDS Program

WORDS runs on all systems as a console program (keyboard entry). It runs like the DOS program, line-oriented, without fancy Windows GUI.

Run WORDS to do Latin-to-English word translations. The output looks like this:

portas            N      1 1 ACC P F T                    
porta, portae  
gate, entrance; city gates; door; avenue;            V      1 1 PRES ACTIVE  IND 2 S X       
porto, portare, portavi, portatus  
carry, bring;

arc.arum           N      1 1 GEN P F T                    
arca, arcae  
box, chest; strong-box, coffer; wealth, money; coffin, bier; cell, cage; ark;
ark (Noah's); Ark of the Covenant;
quadrangular landmark for surveyors;

am.arum            N      1 1 GEN P F T                    
ama, amae  
bucket; water bucket; (esp. fireman's bucket);            ADJ    1 1 NOM S N POS                     ADJ    1 1 VOC S N POS                     ADJ    1 1 ACC S M POS                     ADJ    1 1 ACC S N POS                  
amarus, amara -um, amarior -or -us, amarissimus -a -um  
bitter, brackish, pungent; harsh, shrill; sad, calamitous; ill-natured, caustic

amarum             ADV    POS                              
with bitterness, acidly, spitefully, bitterly;

amar.o             ADJ    1 1 DAT S M POS                  
amar.o             ADJ    1 1 DAT S N POS                  
amar.o             ADJ    1 1 ABL S M POS                  
amar.o             ADJ    1 1 ABL S N POS                  
amarus, amara -um, amarior -or -us, amarissimus -a -um  
bitter, brackish, pungent; harsh, shrill; sad, calamitous; ill-natured, caustic

Word mod  r => v.r 
Syncopated perfect often drops the 'v' and contracts vowel - likely
amav.ero           V      1 1 FUTP ACTIVE  IND 1 S X       
amo, amare, amavi, amatus  
love, like; fall in love with; be fond of; have a tendency to;

The codes for inflections are in the documentation, however it is expected that the user will have had at least a few weeks of introductory Latin in order to be able to interpret the results beyond the simple meaning.


There are academic situations in which it would be inappropriate for the student to have access to the parsed forms information, but for which the professor might allow simple meanings. For this situation a modification has been made producing a program called MEANINGS for each host. This is a version that is crippled to output ONLY MEANINGS, no parsing of the word. It is hard-coded so there is no way to output the case/tense, as opposed to the option in WORDS that allows the temporary suppression of this information. It does allow the display of the dictionary form, which seems to be appropriate and allowed for the intended use. If anyone requires a version that supresses the dictionary form, let me know.


The source program is in Ada and very system independent. While I just have compiled executables for the PC, it should be possible to rehost the program on any machine with an Ada compiler. Some have requested the Ada source code for this purpose and there is now a fairly simple set of files that should allow this. Beside PCs, it has been put on DEC, SUN and SGI systems, at least. For developers and for porting, or anyone interested in using parts of WORDS, copy the WORDS system source, code, data, and tools. This is freely available without restriction.


The Net interactive version of WORDS is at Notre Dame.

John White has produced a commercial PC program, Blitz Latin, using the WORDS dictionary but goes further and translates sentences, not just separate words.

Roger Pearse has written a commercial Windows program QuickLatin. This also uses the Words dictionary and algorithms and includes logic to help with understanding clauses and sentences, and not just individual words.

Perry Rapp is developing Verba, a local dictionary program to translate single words from Latin to English, from Spanish to English, or from English to Spanish, and also markup texts in html. It uses the WORDS data files for the Latin option.

Mike Polis has a Tcl/Tk program called Glossator using the WORDS dictionary, but not the program. This should work on the MAC, as well as Windows 95 and Linux.

Michael Cumming has used WORDS output in constructing his Caesar Machine.

There is a Bible site developed by Joel Peter Anderson using WORDS to process the Vulgate. At this website you can call up a Vulgate passage. When it comes up, each line of text is a link to the words.exe at Notre Dame. Clicking the link brings up your output in a new window.

Some WORDS output was used for Latin fables by Dainis Zeps.

An entirely independent downloadable program with similiar goals to WORDS, but translating to French, can be found at Collatinus

A downloadable MAC lexicon (no forms) by Matt Neuburg using Peter N Lewis' ObiWan, based on 15600 entry Cassell's dictionary.

Another MAC program, including several languages, is available from Andrew Lindesay in New Zealand.

An almost impossible problem is covered admirably in Abbreviations in Latin Inscriptions by Tom Elliott.

The competition to WORDS is the Perseus net look-up based on Lewis and Short's Latin Dictionary, Latin-to-English and English-to-Latin.