vade mecum

va·​de me·​cum | \ ˌvā-dē-ˈmē-kəm How to pronounce vade mecum (audio) , ˌvä-dē-ˈmā- How to pronounce vade mecum (audio) \
plural vade mecums

Definition of vade mecum

1 : a book for ready reference : manual
2 : something regularly carried about by a person

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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"

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The first known use of vade mecum was in 1629

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vade mecum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on vade mecum

Nglish: Translation of vade mecum for Spanish Speakers

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