opus·​cu·​lum | \ ō-ˈpə-skyə-ləm How to pronounce opusculum (audio) \
plural opuscula\ ō-​ˈpə-​skyə-​lə How to pronounce opusculum (audio) \

Definition of opusculum

: a minor work (as of literature) usually used in plural

Did you know?

Opusculum—which is often used in its plural form opuscula—comes from Latin, where it serves as the diminutive form of the noun opus, meaning "work." In English, opus can refer to any literary or artistic work, though it often specifically refers to a musical piece. Being a diminutive of opus, opusculum logically refers to a short or minor work. Unlike its more famous relation, however, opusculum is most often used for literary works. The Latin plural of opus is opera, which gave us (via Italian) the word we know for a musical production consisting primarily of vocal pieces performed with orchestral accompaniment.

First Known Use of opusculum

1624, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for opusculum

borrowed from Latin, from oper-, opus "work, effort, literary work" + -culum, diminutive suffix — more at opus

Learn More About opusculum

Time Traveler for opusculum

Time Traveler

The first known use of opusculum was in 1624

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About opusculum

Dictionary Entries Near opusculum



opus Dei

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for opusculum

Cite this Entry

“Opusculum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opusculum. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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