from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In anc. Rom. arch., a barrier, as any construction of boards, osiers, grating, or other light work, placed between the columns of a portico; a light wall occupying the lower part of an intercolumniation; a balustrade or parapet crowning a building or a part of a building; also, a shelf fixed to the wall; the headboard of a bed.
  • noun In ane. Rom. milit. engin.: Boards or planks placed on the fortifications of a camp, or on movable towers or other military engines, to form a kind of roof or shed for the protection of the soldiers
  • noun A movable gallery on wheels, shaped like an arch-covered wagon, in which a besieging party made their approaches.
  • noun In zoology, a larval stage of the echinopædia of certain echinoderms, as a holothurian, ophiurian, or echinid.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) The free-swimming larva of sea urchins and ophiurans, having several long stiff processes inclosing calcareous rods.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun architecture A low screen between columns, especially one that surrounds the choir of a church
  • noun zoology The free-swimming larvae of echinoderms.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a large genus of fungi belonging to the family Pluteaceae; the shape of the cap resembles a roof; often abundant early in the summer


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Growing from the side of a stump, the stem of the fawn-colored pluteus bends upwards to the light.

    Some Summer Days in Iowa Frederick John Lazell 1905

  • It was enclosed in a marble _pluteus_ by Cardinal Orsini, in 1438.

    Pagan and Christian Rome Rodolfo Amedeo Lanciani 1888

  • In an analogous manner the deciduous, pluteus-condition of the young Echinoderm perishes and is absorbed by the growing body of the permanent adult stage.

    Our Common Insects A Popular Account of the Insects of Our Fields, Forests, Gardens and Houses 1872

  • The words used to designate such fittings are: _nidus_; _forulus_, or more usually _foruli_; _loculamenta_; _pluteus_; _pegmata_.

    The Care of Books John Willis Clark 1871

  • This investigation has shewn that three of the words applied to the preservation of books, namely, _nidus_, _forulus_, and _loculamentum_, may be rendered by the English "pigeon-hole"; and that _pegma_ and _pluteus_ mean contrivances of wood which may be rendered by the English "shelving."

    The Care of Books John Willis Clark 1871

  • In the case of a bed used for two persons, the two sides were distinguished by different names; the side at which they entered was open, and was called ‘sponda:’ the other side, which was protected by a board, was called ‘pluteus.’

    The Metamorphoses of Ovid Literally Translated into English Prose, with Copious Notes and Explanations 43 BC-18? Ovid 1847

  • _pluteus_ = shelf: use of word discussed and illustrated, 32, 33, 34

    The Care of Books John Willis Clark 1871


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  • Also: a shelf for books, small statues, etc. (Latin pluteus was originally 'a light barrier between columns')

    July 7, 2008