from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of an ancient people of Campania.
  • n. The Italic language of the Oscans.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Oscan language or Oscan people, or their writing system.
  • n. A member of an ancient group of Italic-speaking peoples of Campania (the Osci).
  • proper n. The language of the Oscan people.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Osci, a primitive people of Campania, a province of ancient Italy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of au Italic race occupying a great part of southern Italy in ancient times.
  • n. A language, akin to the Latin and Umbrian, spoken in Samnium, Campania, etc. It had not entirely disappeared as a spoken tongue in the time of the earlier emperors.
  • Of or pertaining to the Oscans or their language: as, the Oscan cities; the Oscan language; an Oscan inscription.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an Oscan-speaking member of an ancient people of Campania
  • n. an extinct Italic language of ancient southern Italy


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin Oscus +‎ -an.


  • Testaments in Armenian appeared at Amsterdam in 1666, under the care of a person commonly termed Oscan or Uscan, and described as being an Armenian bishop.

    Smith's Bible Dictionary

  • Indeed, so successful was Latin that it supplanted all its ancient linguistic cousins—other Italic languages once spoken on the so-called Italic Peninsula: Faliscan, Oscan, Umbrian, and South Picene.

    The English Is Coming!

  • To clarify on the topic of flimflam Etruscan etymologies that irk me, see for example Augias/Jenkens, The Secrets of Rome: Love & death in the eternal city (2007), p.3 (see link): "Other hypotheses include the Etruscan word rumon, or river, and thus the 'city of the river,' or the Oscan ruma, or hill."

    An etymology for 'Rome'

  • A cartoon-like fresco, it labels one of its characters as Spartacus: literally, SPARTAKS, which is the Oscan version of the Latin name Spartacus.

    The Spartacus War

  • In fact, after 80 B.C. native Pompeians might even have wanted to flaunt the Oscan language as a sign of lcoal pride.

    The Spartacus War

  • But Oscan inscriptions from the first century A.D. are found elsewhere in southern Italy, so the fresco might indeed refer to Spartacuss revolt.

    The Spartacus War

  • After Sulla planted a colony of his veterans there in 80 B.C., Latin quickly dominated the citys public life, but the Oscan language lingered.

    The Spartacus War

  • Much debate revolves around the frescos use of the Oscan language.

    The Spartacus War

  • In the conventional view, Oscan disappeared in Pompeii after 80 B.C., so the fresco cant refer to Spartacuss revolt.

    The Spartacus War

  • And from the big screen to the small stamp, Oscan winner Katherine Hepburn.

    CNN Transcript Dec 30, 2009


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.