Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

vade mecum

[vey-dee mee-kuh m, vah-]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural va·de me·cums.
  1. something a person carries about for frequent or regular use.
  2. a book for ready reference; manual; handbook.
Show More

Origin of vade mecum

First recorded in 1620–30, vade mecum is from the Latin word vāde mēcum literally, go with me
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vade mecum

Historical Examples

  • The bow at that time was his vade-mecum; he never left it home.

    Hunting with the Bow and Arrow

    Saxton Pope

  • It was her vade-mecum—good against rain, or sun, or mad bulls, or troublesome dogs.

    Mount Royal, Volume 1 of 3

    Mary Elizabeth Braddon

  • This is a metaphor, borrowed partly from the grazier's vocabulary, and partly from the arithmetician's vade-mecum.

  • Charles Alexander, the publisher of the Vade-Mecum, issued this magazine also.

  • Not a rambling, hap-hazard collection but a vade-mecum for youth from the ages of six or seven to sixteen or seventeen.

    Christ Legends

    Selma Lagerlf


British Dictionary definitions for vade mecum

vade mecum

noun
  1. a handbook or other aid carried on the person for immediate use when needed
Show More

Word Origin

C17: from Latin, literally: go with me
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for vade mecum

n.

"a manual," 1620s, Latin, literally "go with me."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper