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. Logically, then, "opusculum" refers to a short or minor work. ("Opusculum" isn't restricted to music, though. In fact, it 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. We can also thank "opus" for our verb "operate."

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

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The first known use of opusculum was in 1624

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Cite this Entry

“Opusculum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opusculum. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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