• synonyms

vade mecum

[vey-dee mee-kuh m, vah-]
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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.

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

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

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


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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