caput mortuum

noun (1)
caput mor·​tu·​um | \ -ˈmȯrchəwəm\
plural capita mortua\ -​wə \

Definition of caput mortuum

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 alchemy : the residuum after distillation or sublimation
2 : dross : worthless residue
3 or caput mortuum vitrioli \ -​ˌvi‧trēˈōˌlē , -​ī \ : a red iron-oxide pigment made by calcining iron sulfate

mortuum vadium

noun (2)
mor·​tu·​um va·​di·​um | \ ˈmȯrchəwəmˈvādēəm\

Definition of mortuum vadium (Entry 2 of 3)

: a mortgage agreement in early English law that gave possession of the mortgaged land and the use of its rents and profits to the mortgagee until such time as the mortgage was paid — compare vivum vadium

vadium mortuum

noun (3)

Definition of vadium mortuum (Entry 3 of 3)

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for caput mortuum

Noun (1)

New Latin, literally, dead head

Noun (2)

Medieval Latin, literally, dead pledge

Noun (3)

Medieval Latin, literally, dead pledge

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on caput mortuum

What made you want to look up caput mortuum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!