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

  • Priscian fl. A.D. 500. Latin grammarian at Constantinople whose text Institutiones Grammaticae was used throughout medieval Europe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A grammarian. Compare the phrase to break Priscian's head, under break.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Besides these direct influences, the sources for Peter's works on logic can be traced back to Boethian-Aristotelian logic, and authorities in the field of grammar such as Priscian and Donatus.

    Peter of Spain

  • -- Pedanticgrammarians such as Priscian whom the author mocks at in the line "Bome boom for boon precian, a little scratcht, 'twil serve," falsely tel us that there is a passive verb "tueor" with a past participle "tutus."

    Bacon is Shake-Speare

  • I do not know that hitherto any rational explanation has been given of the reason why this reference to the pedantic grammarian "Priscian" is there inserted.

    Bacon is Shake-Speare

  • (Priscian, for instance, had stated that a noun signifies substance plus quality, and pronouns substance without quality.)

    Lorenzo Valla

  • To throw light on these conflicting answers, Bonaventure turned to his study of the Arts. Priscian had noted three different senses of the subject of grammar.


  • Jack and Priscian: there's an easy explanation as to why I haven't run into that self--and it's because that self is still with me.

    Ferule & Fescue

  • And if you're speaking to Priscian: he knows that I think he romanticizes academics and the academic life out of all proportion.

    Ferule & Fescue

  • Just snatched from the cradle and hastily weaned, they mouth the rules of Priscian and Donatus; while still beardless boys they gabble with childish stammering the Categorics and Peri

    The Love of Books : The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury

  • De relativis (On relatives) deals with the relative pronouns as defined by Priscian in his Institutiones grammaticae.

    Peter of Spain

  • The term syncategorema comes from a famous passage of Priscian in his Institutiones grammatice II, 15, in which a distinction is made between two types of wordclasses (partes orationis) distinguished by logicians, viz. nouns and verbs on the one hand, and syncategoremata, or consignificantia, on the other.

    Peter of Spain


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