lituus [lit-yoo-uh s] ExamplesWord Origin noun, plural lit·u·i [lit-yoo-ahy] /ˈlɪt yuˌaɪ/.

  1. Geometry. a polar curve generated by the locus of a point moving so that the square of its radius vector varies inversely as the angle the radius vector makes with the polar axis. Equation: θr2 = a.
  2. (in ancient Rome) a crook-shaped staff used by augurs for divination.

Origin of lituus 1605–15; Latin; geometrical sense from the curve’s resemblance to such a staff Examples from the Web for lituus Historical Examples of lituus

  • A Roman lituus, or clarion, was found near Tattershall Ferry.

    Records of Woodhall Spa and Neighbourhood

    J. Conway Walter

  • Lituus, li-tū′us, n. an augur’s staff with recurved top: a spiral of similar form.

    Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 2 of 4: E-M)


  • The Roman lituus, the chief ensign of the augurs, became the crozier.

    History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science

    John William Draper

  • Eckhel infers from the guttus and lituus on one of Sulla’s coins that he was an Augur.

    Plutarch’s Lives, Volume II

    Aubrey Stewart & George Long

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