[ vahy-at-i-kuhm, vee- ]
See synonyms for viaticum on
noun,plural vi·at·i·ca [vahy-at-i-kuh, vee-], /vaɪˈæt ɪ kə, vi-/, vi·at·i·cums.
  1. Ecclesiastical. the Eucharist or Communion as given to a person dying or in danger of death.

  2. (among the ancient Romans) a provision or allowance for traveling, originally of transportation and supplies, later of money, made to officials on public missions.

  1. money or necessities for any journey.

Origin of viaticum

1555–65; <Latin viāticum, neuter of viāticus, equivalent to viāt(us) (past participle of viāre to travel; see via, -ate1) + -icus-ic; cf. voyage

Words Nearby viaticum Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use viaticum in a sentence

  • The priest may be obliged to administer baptism, to hear confession, to give the viaticum and Extreme Unction.

  • This he was able to do, and she declared that she would keep it to be her viaticum when the time of her release should come.

    The Cradle of Mankind | W.A. Wigram
  • Reconciliation with my friends I do not expect; nor pardon from them; at least, till in extremity, and as a viaticum.

    Clarissa, Volume 6 (of 9) | Samuel Richardson
  • She had not even the viaticum of seeing the phosphorescent star, the floating head of Jao on the water.

    Instigations | Ezra Pound
  • The ghostly viaticum being over, the priest and his assistants left the house.

    The Eternal City | Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for viaticum


/ (vaɪˈætɪkəm) /

nounplural -ca (-kə) or -cums
  1. Christianity Holy Communion as administered to a person dying or in danger of death

  2. rare provisions or a travel allowance for a journey

Origin of viaticum

C16: from Latin, from viāticus belonging to a journey, from viāre to travel, from via way

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