omnium-gatherum

noun

om·​ni·​um-gath·​er·​um ˌäm-nē-əm-ˈga-t͟hə-rəm How to pronounce omnium-gatherum (audio)
plural omnium-gatherums
: a miscellaneous collection (as of things or persons)

Did you know?

English abounds in Latin phrases. They roll off the learned tongue like peas off a fork: tabula rasa, ab ovo, a posteriori, deus ex machina, ex cathedra, mea culpa, terra firma, vox populi, ad hominem, sub rosa. Omnium-gatherum belongs on that list too, right? Not exactly. Omnium-gatherum sounds like Latin, and indeed omnium (the genitive plural of Latin omnis, meaning "all") is the real thing. But gatherum is simply English gather with -um tacked on to give it a classical ring. We're not suggesting, however, that the phrase is anything less than literate. After all, the first person known to have used it was John Croke, a lawyer who was educated at Eton and Cambridge in the 16th century.

Word History

Etymology

Latin omnium (genitive plural of omnis) + English gather + Latin -um, noun ending

First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of omnium-gatherum was in 1530

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Cite this Entry

“Omnium-gatherum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/omnium-gatherum. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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