vade mecum

noun
va·​de me·​cum | \ˌvā-dē-ˈmē-kəm, ˌvä-dē-ˈmā- \
plural vade mecums

Definition of vade mecum 

1 : a book for ready reference : manual

2 : something regularly carried about by a person

Keep scrolling for more

Brush Up on Your Latin With Vade Mecum

Vade mecum is Latin for go with me (it derives from the Latin verb vadere, meaning "to go.") In English, "vade mecum" has been used (since at least 1629) of manuals or guidebooks sufficiently compact to be carried in a deep pocket. But from the beginning, it has also been used for such constant companions as gold, medications, and memorized gems of wisdom.

Examples of vade mecum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

By the time the last of its five massive volumes appeared, in 1959, the Sowerby catalog had become the vade mecum of Jefferson scholarship. Jorge Dionis, Town & Country, "Turn Up the Volumes," 6 Dec. 2013

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vade mecum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of vade mecum

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vade mecum

borrowed from Latin, "go with me"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vade mecum

Share vade mecum

Listen to Our Podcast about vade mecum

Statistics for vade mecum

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vade mecum

The first known use of vade mecum was in 1629

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on vade mecum

Nglish: Translation of vade mecum for Spanish Speakers

Comments on vade mecum

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

WORD OF THE DAY

playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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