Warhammer 40k

Whether you are seeking to understand the different factions that vie for dominance, the intricate lore and history that shape the universe, or the vast array of weapons, vehicles, and creatures that populate the battlefield, our glossary is your invaluable companion.

We have painstakingly curated a collection of definitions and explanations to provide you with the necessary knowledge to fully immerse yourself in the world of Warhammer 40,000.


ABLUTORY — A restroom or water closet, which often includes showers

ACKENBERRY — A berry known for its juice and sweetness. It is also made into preserves.

ACTUALITY SPHERE — A holographic sphere used to display current status

ADAMANTIUM — (Also: Adamant, Adamantite, Adamantine) This super-hard alloy is used in armour and strategic structures where durability and defence are an issue.

ADAMITE — An adamantium alloy

AGRI-PLEX — A farming complex of moderate to large size

AGRI WORLD — (Also: α-class, alpha-class) Entirely devoted to animal breeding, agriculture, or other means of food production, these planets feed the countless billions of the Imperium.

AIRCAR — These vehicles use a variety of methods, from turbines to grav units, to fly through the air. They are mostly seen on high-tech planets.

AIR-MILL — (Also: Airmill) A fanned structure, either used to push air, such as the massive ones used in hives, or to capture the wind to do work, such as flour mills on more primitive worlds

ALTHAK — Thought to be the most dangerous carnivore on Fedrid, a planet of carnivores, this beast appears to be a mix of crocodile and wolverine. They live in dens and typically have a territory of 2 kilometer radius. They mark their territory with pungent urine, which repels predators, even ones from other planets.

AMASEC — This fine liquor is common through much of the Imperium.

AMBULL — These mainly subterranean creatures can dig quickly through rock and other hard substances. They are native to Luther Macintyre IX. They are typically 1.5 to 1.75 meters in height and have extremely powerful claws at the ends of arms jointed roughly two-thirds up their length. They can survive in many environments, though they prefer their native desert type. They see in the infra-red spectrum, essentially seeing heat sources.

AMPLIVOX — This is a sound amplification device.

AMUNDI HERETICA — This classification of the Inquisition is used when a planet’s population is genetically contaminated.

ANAESTHOTAPE — This combination of anaesthesia dermal and wound closure tool is commonly used by chirurgeons and medicae.

ANCYLITUM — An ultra-rare metal

ANIMA — This is another term frequently used in reference to machine spirits.

ANSIDIUM-90 — This rare element produces a catalyst crucial to the construction of plasma reactors, and is a stable ignition element for personal plasma weapons.

ANTI-INTOXICANT — Available either as tablets or liquid, this uncommon and sometimes black-market drug neutralizes alcohol in the bloodstream.

APOTROPAIC CONGRESS — These are large gatherings of Inquisitors, a score or more, to increase the knowledge of all attendees by examining and assessing valuable captives.

ARCHEOXENOLOGY — The study of xenos artefacts

ARCHEOTECH — This term represents either technology or materials from better times. It can consist of copper wiring in the underhive or machines from the Golden Age of Technology depending on the hunter.

ARMAGLAS — An armored transparent substance

ARMAPLAS — This is a rigid armour material that can be moulded during its manufacture.

ARMOURCRYS — (Also: Armourcrys) This is another name for a transparent armoured material like Armaglas and others.

ARMOURGLASS — (Also: Armourglass) See: Armaglas

ARMY BADGE — When the Divisio Militaria or other organizations go to war, the overall Imperial commander chooses a symbol to act as a campaign badge, marked upon the uniforms or armour of all who participate, Imperial Guard, Space Marine, etc. They are normally a geometric shape with a simple icon. Space Marines typically wear the badge upon their right greave. When the campaign is over, the badge is removed, except if a unit has performed exceptionally, in which case they may be awarded the right to wear it as a permanent honour.

ASSAULT LASER — The Fractrix pattern version of this assault weapon can fire five shots per second and has twin power cells that have a 75-shot capacity. The focus prism must be changed every 1000 shots by a Tech Priest.

AUCTORITA IMPERIALIS — This is both a badge of office, symbolizing Imperial authority and documents concerning the warrant or sanction of the Imperium, particularly as it applies to the Adeptus Arbites.

AUGE — This , coined by the Imperial Guard, covers a wide variety of diseases resultant from travel from planet to planet.

AUGER — This is the technical name for sense enhancement devices integrated into helmets, masks, or goggles.

AUGER — A remote sensing device, often part of a defensive network

AUGER — Imperial naval vessels employ these large sensor arrays

AUGMETIC — This term refers to artificial replacements for biological body parts. Typically grafted to replace injuries or amputations, those of the Cult Mechanicus choose to replace portions of their bodies, believing it brings them closer to the Omnissiah. They vary widely in quality and maintenance requirements, from crude units requiring almost constant attention to ones virtually indistinguishable from what they’ve replaced.

AUROCHOTHERE — A massive riding animal with powerful tails

AUSPEX — This is a common name for many types of ranged sensory equipment, from radars to bio-detectors. Most have the capacity to detect life forms, energy sources, and large concentrations or metal or other elements. They range from handheld models to the main sensoriums on starships

AUTOGUN — These rifles fire solid slug ammunition.

AUTOSANGUINATION — Mechanicus priests sometimes replace their blood with a more efficient medium, allowing them to stop blood loss from wounds and heal far more quickly.

AUTO-SENSES — These devices, also a subsystem of Space Marine armor, automatically pick up motion and other threat indicators, allowing them to be plotted in a helmet heads-up display.

AUTOSNUB — A short, compact automatic slug thrower

AUTOVOX — This term refers to a vox transmission sent by a machine spirit, such as an automated countdown.

AVIGNORAN BLACK EAGLE — This bird of prey native to Avignor has keen hunting instincts, and its cerebral cortex is used as the basis of the Adeptus Arbites grapplehawk.


BEASTMAN — Once considered abhumans, many feel that the beastial appearance, typically a goat-like head, horns, and legs, is the touch of Chaos.

BIO-ERROR PURGATION — This Adeptus Mechanicus term refers to reprogramming.

BIOLUMIN — A means of lighting utilizing bioluminescence

BIONIK — Orks use this term to refer to any mechanical replacements Mekboyz or Painboyz used to replace missing body parts.

BIOVORE — This Tyranid subspecies (Imperial classification Tyranicus Patris Boletus) is essentially an artillery creature that sustains spoor mines within its body and ejects them with great force through a barrel in line with its spine.

BIRRI TRUFFLES — A particularly luxurious food, often sautéed in wine

BITTERROOT — A bitter tasting root used in cooking

BLACK OX — This mammal is raised for its meat. Certain cuts are considered a delicacy.

BLACKSUN FILTER — An advanced optical and night-vision device used by the Tau

BLINDER — Navigators use this somewhat derogatory term to refer to those without Warp sight.

BLIND GRENADE — These grenades produce an electro-statically charged cloud of smoke that conceals personnel from visual, thermal, and most other types of sensors.

BLISSOUT — This drug induces a state of extreme euphoria.

BLLEK — An animal used for its supple and durable hide.

BLUIES — Some Imperial citizens use this derogatory term to refer to the Tau.

BLUNT — Psykers use this slightly derogative term to refer to non-psykers.

BOC — This Heresy-era term refers to a type of tobacco, smoked in pipes.

BODY-BLOWER — This term refers to the super-dense ammunition produced by the hyper-gravity of the Lathes in the Calixis Sector. They pierce armor and can do large amounts of damage. This ammunition is very expensive and often bought by the single round.

BODYGLOVE — Assassins and other covert operatives often use these skin-tight suits. They can be armoured or fitted with chameleon-like cameleoline camouflage.

BOOK OF LAW — This term refers to the actual tome of Lex Imperialis, that some Adeptus Arbites carry for its visual impact.

BOSSBOY — This term refers to Ork leaders.

BOY — (Plural: Boyz) This term refers to the average Ork warrior, if such a term can be said to apply to that race.

BRONZE HALO — An award for gallantry and bravery

BULK-LIFTER — These large starships carry bulk goods from planet to planet

BURST CANNON — This Tau weapon uses plasma-induction technology and uses multiple barrels to sustain a high rate of fire.


CABA — This plant/tree produces nuts that many eat toasted.

CAMELEOLINE — Fabric or shrouding that provides active camouflage, breaking up visual and auspex returns.

CAMPAIGN BADGE — See: Army Badge

CANDLEMAS — This Imperial holiday celebrates the end of the year.

CARBIFIBRE — This cheap, easily made material is used in Flak Armour for impact absorption.

CARGO-# — These are large, wheeled trucks, named for their number of wheels. Thus, a ten-wheeled vehicle would be called a Cargo-10.

CARNODON — These large felid predators have squat builds, brush tails, and long, multi-tusked snouts. Adults can be over 6m long and weight more than 900kg. They are the heraldic animal of Gudrun. They have been hunted nearly to extinction.

CARNOSAUR — This term refers to any of a number of sauroid predators.

CARNYX — A beast with horns

CARRION BATS — A type of underhive animal

CATACHAN DEVIL — This large, multi-legged, segmented predator, named for its planet of origin, is a match for many tanks, and considered on of the more dangerous life forms on Catachan. Some Imperial authorities feel that this creature might be a feral Tyranid subspecies that has become separated from the Hive Mind – descended from the Ravener strain.

CATECHISMS OF COMMAND — These prayer-like mantras and psalms are tought to Schola Progenium students.

CAVAE — A holding area for gladiatorial animals

CERAMITE — Hard substance used for personal armor and fortified buildings.

CHASTENER — Members of this Adeptus Arbites position/rank sometimes wear a brown sash over their uniform.

CHIRUGEON — A ship’s doctor or surgeon

CHIRUMEK — A chaos doctor practising the fusion of biological and mechanical components

CHORAGIUM — The under-stage of a theatre or gladiator arena

CHORISTER — This term refers to members of Astropathic choirs, be they the Astronomicon on Holy Terra or the multitude of Astropathic stations in need of additional power.

CHRON — (Also: Chronograph) This shortened form of chronograph means watch; thus wrist-chron or pocket-chron are also popular terms.

CODEX FERAE — This in an encyclopedic tome about animals native to various planets of the Imperium.

CODIFIER — A small computer, from handheld to briefcase size

COGBOY — Some members of the Imperial Guard – and certain portions of the populace – use this mildly derogatory term in reference to Engineseers and Tech Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus.


COGITATOR — A computer, from suitcase-sized to the main core and stacks of a starship or installation

COGNITAE — This term refers to an individual trained to use their mind, either normally or psychically, in a detached, logical manner.

COIL-BOW — This low-tech weapon fires a projectile with a heavy-gauge spring

COMBAT-CANT — Mercenaries and combat specialists sometimes use this shorthand language to communicate during battle or to confound the uninitiated.

COMMERCIA — A general term for the commercial merchant district of many cities

CONSIDERATIONS OF THE DIVINE — The author Nordwick wrote this chapbook of daily prayers and meditations for the devout.

CONVERSION BEAMER — These extremely rare weapons from the pre-Heresy era fire a beam that destructively converts mass into energy. It is unusual in that it becomes more effective with range.

CONVERSION FIELD — This personal protective field converts incoming energy into light. The small device, which has an integral power cell, is typically worn at the belt.

CORDITE — An explosive propellant

CORPSE STARCH — A foodstuff recycled from organic matter by reprocessing plants, typically on densely populated hive worlds

COUNTERSEPTIC — (Also: Counter-septic) Any of a number of antiseptic liquids used to sterilize wounds.

COURTS TEMPORAL — Often preceded by a scope of jurisdiction, such as Segmentum Courts Temporal, these are the high-level courts of the Imperium, hearing cases where branches of the Adeptus Terra come into conflict, or cases against those outside it, such as the Adptus Astartes or Rogue Traders.

CRAWLER — Ubiquitous on many ice and jungle planets, these wide-tracked vehicles were roughly the size and shape of a Chimera troop transport and adept at moving quickly over snow and other uncertain ground.

CRUSADE MARK — The Black Templars Space Marines grant these awards for conduct above and beyond the call of duty. One type is for Valiant Conduct.

CRUSADE VERSES — This is a collection of Imperial hymns.

CRYO-BIN — A cold-storage unit for suspended animation

CRYOGENERATOR — These machines supply the necessary temperature for Hibernation berths.

CRYO-STACKS — An array of cryo-bins, usually on a starship

CUDBEAR — These large, dangerous animals are native to the death world of Cthella.

CYBER-MASTIFF — The Adeptus Arbites and affluent citizens utilize this servitor-equivalent based on a dog. They generally have superior tracking abilities and a mostly mechanical, armoured skin.

CYCLE — Those on starships or in the depths of hives use this term to refer to a day.

CYCLIC ION BLASTER — This Tau weapon generates rapid-fire pulses of ion radiation for use against lightly armoured targets.

CYNA BUN — A sweet pastry flavoured with spice


DAMAGE CONTROL TEAM — (Also: DCT) This term is commonly used by both the Imperial Navy and the Space Marines, referring to starship repair crews.

DARK TONGUE — Sometimes also called Black Speech, this is the language of Chaos and its minions. It is partially pictographic and partially runic when written.

DARTCASTER — This weapon, utilized by several imperial agencies shoots semi-silenced darts, which can be loaded with various substances.

DATA-ARC — These objects hold large amounts of data, essentially a mini-library.

DATA CRYSTAL — These are data storage devices, approximately the size of an almond, that can be encrypted.

DATA-LOOM — A large, powerful cogitator

DATA-SLATE — These boards hold and display moderate amounts of data.

DATASLAVE — A type of Adeptus Administratum worker.

DATA-SLUICE — Cables that carry large volumes of data

DEATH-MASK — The Adeptus Ministorum places these penitent masks upon sinners.

DEC — This is the Tau time unit, 10 in each rotaa, roughly 1.5 Terran hours.

DEMI-PACHYDERM — (Also: Demi-pach) These elephant-like beasts are a major source of meat in parts of the Imperium.

DENTCLEAN — The Imperial Guard issues this dental cleaner, which is swilled around the mouth for a period of time and spat out. The foaming liquid typically comes in a small foil pouch.

DEPARTMENTO MAGISTRATUM — A sub-organization of the Adeptus Arbites tasked with solving local crimes and disputes.

DEPARTMENTO TACTICAE — This sub-organization of the Departmento Munitorium sets Imperial tactical policy.

DET-PACK — An explosive satchel charge

DETOX PILL — This medicine counters many of the toxic effects of tainted or polluted atmospheres.

DIAGNOSTICATOR — Automated diagnostic machines

DIALOGS OF THE CONFESSOR — This Ecclesiarchal tome is used in religious readings.

DIAMANTINE — This is a crystalline-tempered alloy of adamantine, typically only used for the tips of armor-piercing shells.

DIFFERENTIAL THEOREM OF DISPERSED ATTRITION — Colonel Van Cjester wrote this military work, which states that where one tank may be equal to an enemy vehicle, two tanks are three times more effective due to both the difference in firepower and the need for the outgunned tank to kill twice its number of opponents.

DIGI-LAS — These weapons, miniaturized las armament, are concealed or built into rings or the fingers or knuckles of gauntlets.

DIGITAL WEAPON — These weapons, sometimes of ancient Imperial or Jokaero/xenos manufacture are fitted into a ring, glove, gauntlet or augmetic. They lack range, but can be very accurate in close quarters.

DISPLACER FIELD — This ancient technology creates a field around an individual, which when broken by a high speed or high energy projectile will teleport them roughly 10 meters away. Remaining examples of this rare personal device are not well understood, cannot be replicated, and have varying dependability.

DOWN TOWN — This is the colloquial name for the lower levels of many underhives.

DRACOLITH — These crystalline creatures are extremely dangerous.

DRONE — This is a common term for crude servitor-skulls and other small, semi-autonomous servitors.

DRONE — The Tau version of these autonomous machines are more independent come in Gun (Kor’vesa), Marker, Shield, and Sniper versions.


EBON RING — Award for exemplary service

ECCLESIARCHAL PROSCRIPTIONS — These multiple volumes define forbidden actions for the common man.

EDICT OF OBLITERATION — Issued by the High Lords of Terra, this command compels all records on a person, organization, item or event to be stricken from Imperial records. It can sometimes take centuries for such orders to be fully executed, and even then, some elements, often including the Inquisition, will disobey the order.

ELECTOO — These sub-dermal metallic strips allow a Tech Priest to channel some of the energy from his potentia coil, shocking those who he strikes.

ELECTRO-CANDLES — Small electric lights

ELECTRO-GAFF — This naval close combat weapon is designed for boarding actions.

EMP GRENADE — This Tau grenade generates a strong pulse of energy, burning out unshielded electronics.

EMPEROR’S DAY — This is the first day of the year, and is an Imperium-wide holiday.

EMPEROR’S GRACE — This term refers to killing one who is mortally wounded to save them suffering.

EMPEROR’S MIRACLE — The Ecclesiarchy proclaims these miraculous events

EMPEROR’S PEACE — See: Emperor’s Grace

EMPEROR’S TAROT — These divining tools are constructed from psycho-reactive crystal or similar material, and assist psykers with the gift of divination to express that gift.

ENERGY CORE — A massive energy storage system

ENGINARIUM — This is the engine area of a starship, space station, or other large craft.

ENGINSEER — These Tech Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus work for other arms of the Adeptus Terra and the Imperial Guard. They specialize in communicating with the Machine Spirits of vehicles and other equipment.

EPIDOTRICHITE — A tele-empathic crystal

EPIMA-OIL — A scented oil

ERESHT — A chaos term meaning package or parcel

ESTOC — A broadsword, tapered towards the tip to aid armor penetration


EXCUBITOR — A chaos foot-soldier

EXECUTIONER SHELL — This Adeptus Arbites shotgun ammunition has a limited ability to track its target.

EXECUTIONERS — This Eldar pirate group operated out of the Graildark Nebula, possibly assisted by a Craftworld in the area, during the Gothic War, causing difficulties for Imperial shipping in the sector.

EXHORTATIONES PRINCIPIS TITANORUM — A training manual for Titan Princeps

EZZEL — This xeno meta-breed has several forms, including a scout-form.


FABIUS SCALE — A metric for the toxicity of substances named after the infamous Fabius Bile.

FABRICATORY — A manufactorium

FACEEATERS — A type of underhive animal

FACILTIATRIX — A title/rank of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica.

FAITH PAPER — This supposed curative for skin conditions on worlds with acid rain is blessed by a priest and infused with thistle, milkroot, and/or flodroxil.

FARCODER — These spy devices send the content of a data-line to a third party.

FETCH-HOUNDS — These chaos-bred semi-feral mastiffs have a very sensitive sense of smell, and can track pheromones and other minute trace scents, particularly blood.

FETH — A common curse among the Tanith First and Only

FIREWASP — These insects live in nests.

FIRST BOOK OF HOURS — This Adeptus Arbites tome contains devotional sayings.

FIRST BOOK OF INDOCTRINATIONS, THE — This book tells of the evil of daemons.

FLAK ARMOUR — Easily produced by most industrial worlds and in wide use by the Imperial Guard, flak armour comprises several layers of ablative thermoplast and impact absorbent carbifibres.

FLAKBOARD — (Also: Flak-board) This cheap building material also gives some measure of protection from weapons.

FLICK-BLADE — These small blades are inserted under the skin, and can be extended quickly, giving them their name.

FLORN — A flour-like substance used to make small cakes or biscuits.

FLUX-UNIT — A power conversion source.

FORCE PYLON — These vertical nodes can project a force field between adjacent pylons, though their field can be overloaded by sufficient firepower.

FRAG — A common curse word in both Imperial and Ork culture

FRAG GRENADE — These grenades are designed for anti-personnel use, bursting into a lethal cloud of splinters and shrapnel.

FRAG-SACK — Sandbag

FRAK — (Also: Frakk) A common curse word in many systems of the Imperium

FREEZY STICK — A popular treat involving a wooden stick insterted into frozen fruit juice.

FYCELINE — A propellant used for bolter and autogun shells


GAK — A common profanity of the Verghast area and Vervunhive in particular.

GALAXIA DAEMONICA PERPETUA — This work by Jerome described Chaos and the Eye of Terror.

GALAXY CLASS TROOPSHIP — This starship design dated from the Age of Apostasy, with the means of building new vessels apparently lost. They are popular amongst troops and commanders due to their large deployment bays, which allow an entire regiment to deploy into landing craft at the same time.

GEIGEER SINK — A device for harvesting radioactive energies from a star

GELLAR FIELD — This fields project a bubble of reality around starships as they travel through the Warp, protecting them from the denizens of that realm.

GENERAL SYNOD — These central hub of Ecclesiarchal power debate and decide on important matters of the faith. The largest and most influential is the General Synod of Holy Terra

GHOSTFIRE — This rare flower, which can be grown on only a few worlds, and which generates pollen used in several combat drugs used by Penal Legions.

GINNY FOWL — A bird raised for food

GLADSTONES — These small, round, smooth stones are mined on an outworld planet. They are psy-reactive and when held in the palm or under the tongue produce a pleasant, blissful feeling for days. They are illegal in the Imperium, but are still widely used.

GLAIVE CLASS ORBITAL TORPEDO — This class of missile is ground-facility launched for use against starships in orbit.

GLAVIAN LYRE — This instrument, so named for its system of origin, integrates with the circuitry imbedded in many Glavians’ hands.

GLAYVA — This is a Cadian alcoholic drink.

GLOW GLOBES — General term for artificial lighting

GLYF — These semi-sentient chaos symbols are expressions of the warp. The runes represent some heinous concept or idea and shift and glow with ruinous power. They can be summoned by ordinals.

GOSHRAN — An exotic dish served spiced in small bowls.

GRAND HARVEST — This is a phrase referring to the tithe levied upon Imperial worlds by the Adeptus Terra.

GRAPPLEHAWK — An Adeptus Arbites handler controls this semi-autonomous device designed to capture fugitives. It resembles a mechanical bird of prey, has hooks and taser spikes for talons, a suspensor field, and the cortex of an Avignoran black eagle, which allows it to identify and track its prey. They have the strength to carry a grown man after capture.

GRAVATUS PLATING — This Titan armor was more effective than standard plating.

GRAV CHUTE — An anti-gravity device that works as a parachute, to slow the fall of an individual or ordnance

GRAVITY TRAP — This refers to the gravity well around a planet or other stellar body, from which translation to the warp cannot be made.

GREAT BOOK OF JUDGEMENT, THE — This book encompasses the entire legal code of the Imperial within its pages, and is the central document of the Adeptus Astartes.

GREAT LIBRARY OF THOR, THE — This library on San Sebastian, rebuilt in M41, contains over 700 volumes concerning the life and works of the Imperial Ecclesiarch. It has stasis chambers for its most valuable tomes.

GREAT TITHE — (Also: Terra’s Due or Grand Harvest) This term refers to the tithe that the Imperial levies from all its planets. In theory, each provides people, troops, or material in accordance with their capabilities, including nascent psykers for the Black Ships. However, there are many examples of the Administratum dictating completely inappropriate thithe grades due to simple error or changes over time.

GREEL — This creature eats flies.

GRIMOIRE HERETICUS — This text documented the Imperial units and Space Marine Legions that turned traitor during the Horus Heresy.

GRIMOIRE MALEFACT — This Inquisitorial tome contains knowledge of the Warp, and practices.

GRIMOIRE OF TRUE NAMES — Highly desired by Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus, these books cataloge the names of daemons of the ruinous powers. Many copies are incomplete or incorrect, resulting in risk to the user. One, the Malefact Maloreum is a complete and accurate rendition of the Imperium’s knowledge.


GROTESQUE — The name for the iron masques worn by Blood Pact warriors

GROUNDCAR — Any of a number of vehicles that move on wheels along the ground.

GUARDSMAN’S DUTY, THE — This is a popular ballad on many Imperial worlds.

GUN-CUTTER — A very small, non-warp-capable starship, usually only used by VIPs and members of the Inquisition. They are approximately 70-100 meters long and mass approximately 150 tonnes.


HAB-BLOCK — (Also: Habs) This is the common name for any mass-housing complex in Imperial cities.

HAB ZONE — Massive clusters of buildings that house a hive city’s population

HAEMONCOLYTE — Grown from a Tech Priest’s own flesh, these small dwarfish creatures absorb impurities and poisons via a connecting umbilical cord. These poisons tend to age them rapidly.

HEAT SINK — Most hive cities use a tap through the planetary crust to generate heat and power.

HELISPEX ENGINE — These ancient Adeptus Mechanicus engines analyse genetic samples.

HELLFIRE — This acidic-virus compound developed by the Adeptus Mechanicus burns through light armour and flesh with ease. Many types of rounds, from bolter shells to massive missiles use the substance against personnel.

HELLFIRE ROUNDS — This rare type of Bolt Gun ammunition has dual incendiary and fragmentation effect, making it very useful in anti-personnel roles.

HELLGUN — (Also: Hell-gun and Helgun) These high-power las weapons fire a more powerful charge, allowing for some armour penetration. They are favoured by Imperial Guard stormtroopers and Imperial naval security.

HELLRIFLE — This weapon, often crafted to resemble an antique firearm, fires shards of daemonic matter. It is used by radical Inquisitors.

HERCUS — This syrup is added to caffeine and gives it a smokey, malty flavour.

HIEROCRAT — Administrative rulers of the Imperium sometimes use this title.

HIGH ANCHOR — This naval term refers to ships in a high orbit ,or those on station far away from other bodies.

HIGH CONCLAVE — An Inquisitor Lord may call a larger-scale Conclave to deal with vast threats or broad reaching concerns.

HOCWHEAT — This grain is frequently used to make liquor.

HOLO — This term is both a shortened version of Hololith and a general reference to entertainments using it as a medium.

HOLODRAMA — These entertainments are quite popular on technologically advanced worlds, where the citizenry may have access to a hololith.

HOLOLITH — A holographic viewer, essentially a three dimensional pict screen for watching newscasts or entertainment

HONORIFICA VALOURUM — These Space Marine honours signify great bravery in battle.

HORNDEER — This ice-planet mammal is considered something of a delicacy.

HORN-HEAD — These large creatures, raised for their meat, are raised in the plains.

HOT-SHOT — This is the common term for a special power cell used in Long Las sniper rifles. Their charge batteries use liquid metal rather than the standard solid variety.

HULL GHAST — These creatures prey upon vessels where the Warp-materium barrier is weak or breached.

HUNTER-KILLER MISSILE — These extremely long-ranged krak missiles have a limited ability to track their targets

HYDROPONICUM — A chamber, typically aboard starships, for growing plants.


ICARUS LASCANNON — Often used in Imperial emplacements, this is a higher-powered version of the man- or vehicle-mounted versions.

IDEOSAVANT — A type of Adeptus Administratum worker.

IDLE MUSINGS — Jarvin Wallankot published this book in 605M41

IF I SHOULD FORGET THEE, O TERRA — A marching song popular amongst some Imperial Guard regiments.

IGNITER — This term refers to cigarette lighters.

IMAGO — These bio-tech creatures, which serve as a living identification and restrictors, are grafted into the flesh of chaos slaves to ensure their obedience.

IMPERIAL LAUREL — This is a Space Marine award for bravery and heroism, and is typically sculpted into a Marine’s helmet or shoulder armour. The Codex Astartes demands that standard bearers have this award.

IMPERIAL LEGATE — The High Lords of Terra send these high-ranking judges to rule on their behalf when required.

IMPERIAL SENESCHAL — Term used for Governors and administrators during most ages of the Imperium.

IMPERIAL THREAT INDEX — A method of classifying threats to the Imperium employed by the Adeptus Munitorum.

IMPERIALIS, THE — This Space Marine honour is awarded for a righteous victory, and historically was the campaign badge for the Horus Heresy. It is a winged skull and is typically worn on the helmet, shoulder or chest armour.

INDENTS — Common Imperial slang for indentured workers

INCARCERY — Prison or jail, frequently one of the Adeptus Arbites

INFERNO GRENADE — These grenades spray an area with fire.

INFERNO PISTOL — These weapons, some of which date from the Dark Age of Technology, are miniaturized melta-guns

INFERNO ROUND — Made for weapons varying in size from bolters to Demolisher cannons, they consist of a small explosive charge inside a volatile mix of highly flammable compounds, setting everything within their blast radius on fire.

IRON HALO1 — This addition power armour equipment projects an energy field around the wearer.

IRON HALO2 — This leadership award is given to Space Marines who demonstrate exceptional initiative, leadership, and strategy. In Codex chapters, a Marine must earn this award before becoming a squad leader.

IRON SKULL — This is both the Codex symbol for a Space Marine Sergeant and an award for leadership, and is typically displayed on the helmet or shoulder armour.


JOILIQ — A type of hard liquor typically made from grain.

JOKAERO DEFENCE ORB — Housed within a Jokaero’s back harness is a fabricator array for energy-refractive spheres that swarm about the owner and move to intercept incoming attacks.

JOYGIRL — A word for escort or prostitute

JUDGE — An Adeptus Arbites position/rank

JUDICAR-PRELATE — These overseers dispense justice to factorum workers.

JUSTICAR1 — This is the local name for law enforcement personnel on many Imperial worlds, including Periremunda.

JUSTICAR2 — This Grey Knight rank is equivalent to Sergeant.

JUVENAT TREATMENT — Relatively common on civilized and advanced worlds and available to the rich, these are anti-ageing treatments.


KAI’ROTAA — This is the Tau equivalent of a monthly division, consisting of 80 rotaa. There are 6 per Tau’cyr, and each is dedicated one of the castes, with the last dedicated to the race as a whole. It is equal to approximately 50 Terran days.

KAU’UI — Roughly equal in size to an Imperial Guard company, a “Cadre” consists of up to six Fire Warrior Teams, a variable number of Pathfinder, Stealth, and Battlesuit Teams, plus Hammerhead and/or Sky Ray tanks.

KAUYON — This Tau tactical concept is that of the “Patient Hunter,” where a lure causes the enemy to expose himself, and thus be destroyed.

KAVAAL — Though translated as “Battle,” it more properly means battle group. It is a temporary grouping of contingents used to achieve a specific goal, after which it is dissolved. It is the largest group the Fire caste has committed to the field.

KEDGEREE — An Imperial food dish that can be prepared with multiple substances, such as Salma Kedgeree.

KETRA BLADE — A short, curved chaos blade

KHANJAR — A curved dagger

KHITAJ PENINSULA — This was the location of the fortress compound of the Damask brothers on Demaris Primary before it was destroyed by the Cadian 450th and Inquisitor Alastor.

KLAYLWARE — This fat-rimmed, heavy style of ceramics is valuable to some collectors.

KLOM — Many Imperial Guard regiments, including the Valhallans, make use of this short form of kilometer.

KORSH 50 ASSAULT CANNON — This is a version of the weapon famed for use with Terminator armor and Space Marine Dreadnoughts.

KRAK GRENADE — (Also: krak grenade) These grenades are designed for vehicles, bunkers, and other heavily armored targets concentrating their force on a very small area.

KRAK MISSILE — These man-portable missiles use the same warhead as the grenade of the same name, designed for hardened targets and vehicles.


LAMP-PACK — This Imperial Guard issue combination of lantern and flashlight has an internal battery sufficient for approximately six-hundred hours of use. In the field, the duration is somewhat less.

LAPIDORONTIUM — A psychically conductive metal

LA’RUA — This is the smallest Tau military unit, roughly translating to “Team.” It consists of six to twelve fighters.

LAS-CUTTER — This is a cutting torch based on las technology.

LAS-LANCE — A heavy, vehicular las weapon similar to a las cannon.

LAS-LOCK — This is a primitive chaos version of a Las Rifle. It fires only a single shot between reloads, much like a musket, but is quicker to reload.

LEX IMPERIA — This term refers to the body of law in the Imperium and those that serve it.

LEXIGRAPHER — A servitor that records words

LHO STICK — This cigarette is a mild narcotic.

LIFE SIGNS MONITOR — This subsystem of Space Marine armor includes much more than monitors. It also has an auto-medicae with painkillers, stimulants, anti-venoms, and other injectables.

LIFTER — This term refers to any planet-to-orbit craft for moving cargo or personnel.

LIMITER — These devices cancel the power of untouchables, and are typically worn voluntarily, especially on powerful individuals. The individual’s ability works normally when the device is removed.

LITANIES OF HATE — Used by several Space Marine Chapters, Marines will chant them as they battle against their foes.

LITANY OF COMMAND — Commissarial Cadets use this text in their learning.

LOGEUMS — A performance stage

LOGIC MILL — This name is given to large, powerful cogitators.

LONG LAS — This sniper weapon can be loaded with standard power cells, or with hot-shot cells that give it extra power and penetration for sniping.

LOW ANCHOR — This naval term refers to starships in low orbit, or in the case of airless bodies those stationed closest to the asteroid, etc.

LUMIN-PANEL — This generic term refers to any light-generating panel.

LUMINA FLARES — These Tau weapons, when used in concert, light the entire sky with blinding light, fouling optical sensors.

LUMINANT — See: Servo-Skull

LUMINATOR — Short for Illuminator, they are any of a number of cell-powered devices that produce light in a beam or across a broad area.


MACHARIUS REQUIEM — This rousing orchestral piece is famous throughout the Imperium.

MACHINA OPUS — This half-skull, half-cog symbol is the sign of Tech-Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to whom it is awarded upon completion of their training on Mars. Bearers are accorded great respect, and are the only ones allowed free passage through the Ring of Iron into the great Mars hive workshops and foundries.

MACROSCORPS — A type of underhive animal

MADAM NORITAKE’S HOUSE OF FUN — A brothel in Hive Main of Hive Primus of Necromunda

MAG-CUFFS — Shackles or handcuffs

MAGENTA — This is the second-highest security/encryption level used by Imperial military forces, below Vermilion.

MAGIR — A term of respect to some chaos military forces

MAGLEV — Trains on technologically advanced worlds still use magnetic levitation for trains and cargo transports.

MAGLOCK — This security system for doors is an advanced form of lock, using a magnetic mechanism rather than mechanical tumblers.

MAGNAMINA LIBER — This was a collection of essays concerning holy works.

MAGNOCULAR — (Also: Magnoculars) Binoculars

MAGNOPTICS — These systems, typically found on large vehicles or starships, amplify and magnify.

MAMZEL — This is a general honorific for formal address of women, widely used throughout the Imperium.


MARCH OF THE PRIMARCHS — This piece of music is a stately march for processions

MARKERLIGHT — This Tau system acts as a target designator, making it easier for other units to acquire and strike marked units.

MARKSMAN’S HONOUR — Awarded for consistent, excellent marksmanship in combat, these Space Marine awards are typically made of gold plated Bolter shells.

MARSHAL ISOLATE — Commanders of the Adeptus Arbites operating in isolated circumstances wear a red and gold badge that symbolizes their authority.

MASS-DRIVE REGULATORS — This starship system is essential for propulsion.

MASTER CHASTENER — Those of this Adeptus Arbites rank, senior to regular Chasteners, wear brown and black uniforms.

MASTER-CRAFTED WEAPON — This is the general name given to any weapon hand forged by one of the great artisans of the Imperium. They are generally very ornate and have greater accuracy and power than their standard counterparts.

MEAN COMMERCE AVERAGE — The Adeptus Administratum uses this figure to calculate the productivity of systems, sub-sectors, and sectors.

MEATBAG — The Adeptus Mechanicus use this term as an insult to the unaugmented.

MECHADENDRITES — These mechanical appendages are common amongst the Adeptus Mechanicus, resembling metal tentacles.

MECHANICLIGUA — This is a family of languages used by the Adeptus Mechanicus, subdivided by letters, such as Mechanilngua-A or ?.

MEDALLION CRIMSON — The suffix “Mundanus” is added to this Imperial medal if the recipient is not a member of the Adeptus Munitorum.

MEDICAE — Doctor or physician

MEDITATIONS OF THE SAINTS — A religious book used in the Imperium by the particularly devout.

MELTA ROUND — These shells, typically only available for large artillery pieces or heavy tanks, contain a melta charge to defeat heavy armor.

MEME-VIRUS — These diseases affect human and mechanical brains, compelling them to continuously collect information.

MEMOGRAPH — (Also: Cerebral Memograph) This Adeptus Mechanicus Implant serves as a supplemental memory source with instant, perfectly accurate recall.

MEMOIRS — This book, penned by Lord Militant Gresh, is an instructional book of the Schola Progenium.

MERCONIUM — The Imperium mines this naturally occuring substance, which has the ability to bond permanently with almost any other substance.

METRICULATOR — A large computer

MICROBEAD — These advanced vox communication devices fit in the ear but have a fairly short range.

MICRO-SERVITOR — These tiny machines can be directed for delicate surgical or mechanical work.

MICROWIRE — This term refers to small monofilament weapons and cutters, often disguised as bracelets or other jewellery.

MIND-IMPULSE UNIT — These devices link mind and machine, most commonly in Adeptus Titanicus titans, but also in Imperial Navy fighters and certain other complex systems.

MINDLOCK — This process closes a mind to interrogation, particularly psychic interrogation, to protect valuable minds from the enemy. Though many agencies make use of the technique, the Inquisition and Commissariat among others, the psykers of the Guild Astropathicus of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica actually place the lock.

MINISTORUM SYNOD — The Ecclesiarchal council for a segmentum

MOLIN — A fruit

MONETARIAT — This sub-division of the Adeptus Administratum oversees monetary transactions.

MONOCRAT — This position leads the Adeptus Administratum presence on large planets or sector capitals.

MORPHIA — Morphine

MULTI-KEY — This device is akin to a physical and electronic lock pick.

MURITAN CHOLETTIA — This disease is capable of wiping out entire ship crews if it spreads unchecked.


NAFAR BISQUITS — An expensive food to be served with tea

NARTHECIUM — This instrument contains an automated collection of sensors, probes, drugs, and chemicals. Medicae from many of the Imperial services utilize these gloves, including the Adepta Sororitas and Imperial Guard. Space Marine Apothecaries use them to harvest the Progenoid gland from fallen battle brothers.

NARTHECIUM SCANNER — A handheld medical device able to perform a variety of diagnostic functions

NEEDLE PISTOL — (Also: Needler) These weapons fire needles which can be imbued with toxins or other drugs. They have limited ability to penetrate armor.

NEEDLE RIFLE — These are larger, more powerful versions of the Needle Pistol. They have significant penetration power, and are often used as sniper weapons.

NEURAL SCOURGE — This strousine device inserts into nerve nodes, both causing extreme pain and eventually burning out the neurons.

NINKER — This derogatory term roughly translates to idiot or simpleton.

NOVENA — (Also: Holy Novena) An Imperial celebration

NULL ROD — These obsidian devices absorb Warp energy, preventing psychic powers from affecting the holder. A blow from one of these rods can cause extreme nervous system damage to a psyker. They must be periodically drained of their absorbed power, lest they create a Warp rift.

NULL-SHIP — These psychically shielded ships of the Inquisition are used to probe chaos worlds in the Eye of Terror or Maelstrom.

NURGLE’S ROT — This Warp-spawned disease combines the worst of every disease imaginable. It is incurable, and those that perish from it forfeit their souls to Nurgle, becoming Plague Bearers. The Rot takes several months to run its course, and the bearer can infect others during this time.

NUTRIENT RESERVOIR — This Power Armor subsystem contains a self-replenishing, high-energy liquid food source that can sustain a Space Marine’s metabolism for extended periods.

NYMPH RECON FLYER — This semi-helicopter model is used by the Imperial Guard.


OBSCURA — This highly addictive drug, typically smoked, numbs the mind, having the side effects that psykers cannot probe them, and they tend not to feel pain, or anything else.

OBSCURAS HONORIFICA — High award of Segmentum Obscuras

OCCULLUM TEST STATION — The Emperor would have built these machines near the end of the Great Crusade. Along with Psy-Engines, they would search out latent psykers within the Imperial populace.

OLICET TEA — A particularly good tea

OPHELIAN PSALMS — Ecclesiarchal writings

OPTICON — A remote camera or visual sensor. The Imperial Navy has opticon stations near the Warp points of key systems.

ORBITAL STRIKE RELAY — This device allows for accurate orbital bombardment, providing orbiting starships with precise targeting data.

ORDINALS — These are the senior administrators for chaos worlds.

ORKUNU — A meat animal

ORNITHON — A poultry farm complex

ORPHANARIUM — This is a lesser-used term for an orphanage.

OSSCIL — It produces scented oil

OSSUARY — A room that contains the bones of the dead

OUR FRIEND PROMETHIUM — This educational book, published by Imperial Educational Press, featured the character Pyrus the Flame, which taught the many uses of promethium.

OUSLITE — This very durable stone is a favored building material for many large structures in the Imperium.



PANOPTICON — These chart rooms, often found on large starships, have hololiths or holospheres that project galactic charts in three dimensions.

PASHA — An after-dinner liqueur

PENDANTICUM — A type of Adeptus Administratum worker.

PENSHEL SEEDS — A mild stimulant when dried, ground, and smoked

PHETAMOTE — These so-called “thrill pills” are an addictive drug, illegal in the Imperium.

PHORYDNUM — An ultra-rare metal used in starship engines

PHOTOLAMP — This word refers to many devices that give off light, but is mostly used for flashlights.

PHOTOLENSES — These allow sight in low light, into the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum, as well a damping any bright flashes. They are integrated into the helmet of Astartes power armour.

PHOTO-LUMIN LAMP — A high-powered, often surgical, lamp

PHOTON GRENADE — These grenades generate an intense burst of light and sound over a broad spectrum of wavelengths, stunning those in proximity to denotation on open ground. Lethal within confined spaces, such as trenches, foxholes, or bunkers.

PHOTONIC MIRRORS — Essentially solar collectors

PICT — This is the common name for any artificial image, usually displayed upon a screen, but sometimes in hardcopy as well.

PICT-CAST — This is a remote view of an event either transmitted live or recorded.

PICT-SCREEN — This is any of a variety of technologies used to display images.

PILOT DRONE — These small, brightly lit drones assist ships in navigating into docking bays or through obstacles.

PLAGUE-ZOMBIE — An individual so overtaken with sickness or underhive toxins that they resemble the walking dead

PLASMA COIL — This element is integral to the power systems of starships.

PLASTISTEEL — This variation of plasteel can be made clear and used for goggle lenses.

PLASTEEL — This building material of combined polymers and iron can also be transparent.

PLASTEEN — This flexible material is used for medical purposes, such as replacing damaged eardrums.

PLASTEK — A treated plastic designed to be resistant to corrosion.

PLOIN — This soft, green-skinned, sweet fruit grows on trees and is very versatile in cooking. It has pink flesh and many black seeds.

PODWHEAT — This hardy wheat adapts to a wide variety of climates and variations of it can be found throughout the Imperium. Local varieties take on the name of the planet, such as Kragmeerian Podwheat.

PONTIFEX MILITIAS — The highest ranking Ecclesiarchy official serving with the Segmentum Imperial Navy bears this title.

POWER-CART — These large rubber-tracked carts are typically powered by electricity and are used to caravan goods from community to community in hives and under-hives.

PRIVACY FIELD — These fields, small enough to be employed in vehicles or rooms, block all visual and audial wavelengths from the inside out or vice versa.

PROBLEMS OF ORGANIC THINKING — This text of the Mechanicus expounds the virtues of machine spirits over the basic human mind.

PROCURATOR — This is the title given to the members of the ruling councils of the Adeptus Administratum.

PROGENA — (Also: Progeni) This term refers to the students of the Schola Progenia.

PROMETHIUM — This general term covers most flammable fuels derived from crude promethium in the Imperium. It is used as a fuel for most Imperial vehicles, and in weapons such as flamers. It is also essential in the production of plastics and synthetic materials, as well as certain drugs and dyes.

PROSELYTES — These people are new converts to chaos, having given up their faith in the Emperor.

PROTEUS CLASS BUNKER — This STC defensive bulwark design is common in large-scale defensive fortifications.

PROVOST’S WREATH — This is a high award of the Adeptus Arbites.

PSI-DAMPNER — These fields dampen psychic powers, effectively blocking all but the most powerful psykers.

PSI-FUSION — Reactors employing this Dark Age technology employ psychic energies to create extremely powerful reactions.

PSI-SHIELD — These fields dampen psychic powers, effectively blocking all but the most powerful psykers.

PSYBOLT AMMUNITION — Used by the Inquisition and Grey Knights in their bolt weapons, these shells are silver-tipped and psychically charged for great efficacy.

PSYCANNON — These special weapons fire psychically prepared ammunition and are particularly effective against daemons and creatures of the Warp. As its ammunition must be psychically activated, they are typically only used by strong psykers.

PSYCHIC HOOD — Worn by Space Marine Librarians and a few members of the Inquisition, this mesh of crystal and wires set into a helmet or cowl amplifies a psyker’s abilities.

PSYCHIC QUOTIENT — (Also: PQ) Similar to IQ, this is an estimation of an individuals psychic potential.

PSYCHNEUEIN — This wasp-like race dwells in the Warp, but preys upon individuals where the realspace barrier is weak.

PSYCHON — A combat drug

PSYCHOTROKE GRENADES — These grenades release a sweet-smelling nerve gas that causes violent visions of those in proximity. As the gas is psycho-reactive, masks and sealed armour does not block its effects.

PSY-ENGINE — The Emperor would have built these machines near the end of the Great Crusade. Along with Occullum Test Stations, they search out latent psykers within the Imperial populace.

PSYFLAME AMMUNITION — This is psychically impregnated promethium, which burns far hotter than normal fire and a blue flame.

PSYK-CAGE — This material dampens or redirects psychic power. It can ce incorporated into buildings or walls.

PSYK-OUT — This rare substance, impregnated with psychic material rendered from by-products of the Golden Throne or Sensei, can be put in grenades or missiles, and has the effect of negating psychic or Warp energy, sometimes permanently reducing ability in psykers. It has no effect on non-psykers.

PSYOCCULUM — This visor, made of psychically-treated lenses, circuitry and amplifiers, allows the user to track psykers by their psychic emanations.

PTERASQUIRREL — A small, skittish creature

PYRALINE — A tele-empathic crystal


QUAD-GUN — These Imperial anti-aircraft weapon is a combination of four rapid-fire autocannons.

QUAESTOR — This is the title given to the senior Adeptus Administratum official in some systems.


RAD GRENADE — These grenades explode with a shower of radioactive particles with a half-life of milliseconds. This allows the grenade thrower to charge after it without fear of being affected.

RAD MIRROR — A device for collecting a star’s energy

RAIL RIFLE — This weapon represents the cutting edge of Tau technology and is a personal version of the Railgun.

RAPIER — (Also: Rapier Laser Destroyer) This is a mobile remote weapons platform armed with an array of lascannons which normally requires the attention of a Tech Adept or Techmarine to operate.

RATION BAR — This ubiquitous form of Imperial Guard rations has

REBREATHER MASK — These masks remove carbon-dioxide and add oxygen as necessary to allow breathing in hostile or airless environments.

RECAF — Coffee. See: Caffeine.

REDUCTOR — A medical tool used by medicae

REFRACTOR FIELD — This field distributes the energy of incoming attacks over its entire surface. When functioning, it produces a hazy aura of light, making it impossible to conceal.

REGICIDE — This complex game of skill is similar to chess, though more complex. There are many variants, including three dimensional boards, games played in reverse, and wild pieces. Pieces include militants, sentries, basilisks, raptors, and yales.

RESEARCH STATION — (Also: ρ-class, rho-class) Sharing the classification with Fortress Worlds, research stations often colocate with surveillance posts and defensive outposts.

RITE OF PURE THOUGHT — This procedure replaces the right hemisphere of a Tech Priest’s brain with a cogitator.

RITE OF REAFFIRMAMENT — The Adepta Sororitas perform this sacred rite to bring a Sister back into the convent. Typically used for those missing in action, it may also be used for those estranged from the Sororitas.

ROCKCRETE — (Also: Rockrete) This common building material is essentially concrete.

ROSARIUS — These small amulets are extremely rare and valuable, and project a protective conversion field around the wearer.

ROSETTE — (See also: Inquisitorial Seal) This is the symbol of the Inquisition and Inquisitors bear it as a badge of authority.

ROTAA — This is the Tau equivalent of a day, consisting of 10 decs. There are 80 rotaa in a kai’rotaa, and 480 in a tau’cyr. Each rotaa is equal to 15 Terran hours

ROTATOR CANNON — This is a personal variation of the gatling-style assault cannon.


SABRE-CLASS DEFENCE PLATFORM — This artillery platform is designed for fixed locations, such as fortifications or hives.

SACROSANCTORIUM — These astropath sanctums are screened and shielded from all possible intrusions, both material and the Warp. They are reserved for astropaths only, and non-psykers could enter only by invitation.

SALMA — A foodstuff

SALTHOUSE — A town along the West Banks of Flint where a beast-moot took place at the end of each season

SAMEC — This food item makes a sauce sometimes served with Grox.

SANCTA ADEPTORUM — A series of books of hymns and songs

SANGUINALA — This holy time, celebrated to varying degrees throughout the Imperium, honors Sanguinius’ sacrifice. It is a week-long celebration on Hydraphur.

SARISSA — This spike or bayonet mounts to a weapon, and has a power field much like that of a power sword.

SARKY — Being a wise ass

SAURAPT — A carnivorous saurian raptor

SCALY — These Ogryn-sized creatures live deep in the toxic areas of the underhive. Their skin is frequently covered in scale-plates that act as armour.

SCAVVY — These people have been mutated or diseased by the toxics of underhive sumps or poisoned wastelands.

SCEPTRE OF VICTORY — This segmentum level award is given in recognition of extensive service to the Imperium, and can be given to organizations such as Space Marine chapters.

SCHOLA PROGENIUM PRIME — These rare Schola Progenium locations serve sector or segmentum capitals and admission into one is considered a great honour.

SCHOLAM — Any of a number of instructional facilities on planets of the Imperium

SCHOLAR — Progena of the Schola Progenium use this honorific when addressing each other.

SCHOLARIUM — Another term for schools and instructional institutions within the Imperium

SCION SENIORES — Rank for a senior member of a Knight Household

SCORPION-ANT — A hand-sized insect with a tail-stinger

SCRAP CODE — This term refers to contaminated or garbled binary communication, sometimes laden with viruses. It is typically used by the Dark Mechanicum.

SCRAP-HEAD — A junkie or user who searches for scrap to sell to supply his habit.

SCREAMER-KILLER — This variant of Tyranid Carnifex is so named for the noise it makes while spitting out a ball of bio-plasma.

SCRIPTORIUM — In these halls or buildings, servitors or adepts write and copy books, data, and/or statistics.

SCRIPTORUS MUNIFICANTUS — One of the holy writings of the Adeptus Ministorum

SCRUMBALL — Students of the Schola Progenium, and other Imperial institutions, played this rugby-like sport.

SENSORIUM — This is the main auspex and sensor array for a starship.

SEREBITE — This obsidian-like gloss-stone is in demand throughout the Imperium. It is extremely similar in composition to the material of the Cadian pylons and can be found on Serebos.

SERMONS OF SEBASTION THOR, THE — This multi-volume epic work recounts the sermons of the great leader, and is a common text of the Ecclesiarchy.

SERVITOR, PRAETORIAN — Sometimes based upon the Ogryn bio-form, these servitors are heavily armed and armoured, intended to provide complete protection to a Tech Priest. They typically have twice the bulk of a human and sometimes utilize tracks of mechanical legs to support their great weight.

SHADOW FIELD — This piece of equipment covers its wearer in shadow.

SHIELD NODE — These projectors produce void shields on starships or titans.

SHIPMAN — This is the common term for a ship hand on a starship.

SHIPMASTER — This title, common in many Space Marine chapters, refers to the commander of a starship to avoid confusion with the Astartes rank of Captain. It is also sometimes used for merchant vessels.

SHOCK FLAIL — A weapon based on the same concept as the power maul

SHOCK-TEAM — This Adeptus Arbites squad carries riot shields with integrated suppressor charges.

SIEUR — This is a general honorific for formal address of men, widely used throughout the Imperium.

SIGN OF THE AQUILA — One makes this gesture, typically used superstitiously, by crossing one’s hands across the chest with thumbs interlocked, making a semblance of the Imperial Eagle.

SIGNUM — These communication devices allow the bearer to pass on tactical information to others with appropriate gear to receive and display the signal.

SILENT WATCH — Astropaths of this subset keep on the lookout for unscheduled communications, such as distress calls or emergency signals.

SINKS — This hive term refers to any level far down enough in the hive to have sunk due to the weight of the levels built upon it.

SINQUA — A meat animal

SKIMMER — This class of vehicles, Imperial and otherwise, employ various propulsion methods to hover above the ground. Though they can climb to low altitude for very short periods, they primarily stay close to the ground.

SKYSHIELD LANDING PLATFORM — (Also: Skyshield Landing Pad) These landing platforms have armoured edges that can be raised to protect deploying troops. Large enough to handle a single craft up to the size of a Thunderhawk, they typically stand on four reinforced stanchions.

SLATE — These cheap data-storage devices are common throughout the Imperium. They essentially replace books.

‘SLAUGHT — This combat drug, whose name is short for onslaught, induces a frenzied state.

SMILE-GIRL — This term refers to any person whose sole purpose is to look good for clients. They are also often courtesans.

SNOW-OX — These large meat animals thrive in cold climates.

SOLAR HONOURIFICA — High award of Segmentum Solar

SOLAR VAULT — A massive energy storage system

SOLDIERS OF THE THRONE — An inspirational martial song common in the Imperium, known to many Imperial Guard and PDF regiments.

SOLIAN TEA — An expensive variety of tea

SONAMBULIN — This drug is a sedative, and is used by Astartes Techmarines to tranquillize the pilots of Astartes dreadnoughts.

SONEGRAPH 160 — These large, non-portable voxcasters are used in communications hubs. It is a very old design and has been replaced with newer models in most cases. It uses a physical key to unlock its cryptographic cypher.

SPAWNGOAD — These electrified plasteel staves are used to guide Chaos Spawn.

SPIGER — This three meter long felinid has eight legs and a segmented body. They are very dangerous

SPLINTER BOMB — The Dark Eldar make use of this variety of grenade.

SPLINTER WINDS — This phenomenon, native to Baraspine, is 700 km/hr force winds carrying minute shards of ceramic material. They can strip an unprotected man to the bone in less than a minute.

SPOLIARUM — An area for dead bodies, be they animals and gladiators

SPOOK — Some in the Imperial Guard use this derogatory term for Sanctioned Psykers.

SPYRER — These are scions or nobles that prey upon the gangs of the underhive.

SQUIGEON — This subspecies of squig shares the round shape of its ground-bound cousins, but has feathered wings and can fly. Carrier squigeons can be trained to carry messages from one place to another.

SQUIG-HOUND — This squig subspecies are midsized, and are used by Orks much in the same as dogs are used among humans. Can be either two or four legged, and have a great variety of colours.

SQUIG-HAWK — This squig predator subspecies are relatively small, and prey upon squigeons and other smaller subspecies. They are sleek and have featherless, leathery wings.

SQUIG-SHARK — This aquatic squig sub-species can grow very large and is equipped with an impressive array of teeth, more than capable of eating an Ork.

SQUINCH — This vegetable is a food crop. It was grown on Adumbria, one of the few plants that adapted well to the perpetual twilight of the habitable zones there.

STABLIGHT — A spotlight (?)

STACKS — This is a common Imperial term for any tall, clustered groups of buildings, particularly in hives. It implies a degree of shabbiness.

STARFARER’S PSALMS — This is a common devotional book among missionaries and pilgrims.

STARNOVA CLASS ORBITAL WEAPONS STATION — This orbital weapons platform design packs the firepower of a battleship, and were employed in orbit around Macragge to defend against Hive Fleet Behemoth.

STASIS CLERK — A type of Adeptus Administratum worker.

STeG 4 — A highly mobile, wheeled armoured car

STIMM — Slang for stimulant, they exist in a wide variety of forms, injectable, pill, dermal, etc.

STRATEGIUM — This portion of the bridge of a starship, or command deck of a Capital Imperialis, usually houses an actuality sphere.

STUB-PISTOL — A small projectile weapon

STUBBER — These weapons fire solid slug projectiles, propelled by a casing filled with black powder or some other explosive chemical.

SUMP — Common name for the very lowest levels of the underhive

SUMP HOLE — One of the lowest regions in the underhive of Hive Primus on Necromunda

SUPRESSOR CHARGE — The Adeptus Arbites use these electrical weapon for riot control. They build the charges into specialized riot shields.

SUN-SHADES — Sunglasses

SURVEYOR — A remote sensing device, often part of a defensive network

SUSPENSOR FIELD — These counter-gravity fields are extremely rare, and allow for both the flying ability of landspeeders and the weight reduction of heavy weapons, or for Astartes terminator armour.

SWEEPER — Short for minesweeper in Imperial Guard parlance

SWEETBRIAR — This sweet-tasting plant is used in cooking.

SWIFTDEATH — This Chaos fighter design excelled at destroying Imperial torpedo waves.

SYNOD — This is a gathering of Ecclesiarchy to make policy or other decisions.

SYNOD IMPERIALIS — This is the chamber of highest authority of the Adeptus Ministorum.

SYSTEM SHIP — This term refers to civilian vessels pressed into military service for defence of a system.


TABAC — Tobacco

TACTICA IMPERIUM — This body of knowledge serves as a guide for the fighting forces of the Imperium.

TA’LISSERA — In this Tau bonding ceremony, a group pledges support and community to one another. Within these groups there is a degree of bonding and closeness akin to that of siblings. Also means marriage, and the same ceremony can be used for such.

TANNA — This fragrant, tea-like beverage is brewed from Tanna leaf. Native to Valhalla, it has a somewhat bitter taste and is considered an acquired taste by most. Nonetheless, its popularity is now Imperium wide.

TARANTULA — This is a mobile remote weapons platform that normally requires the attention of a Tech Adept or Techmarine to operate. Common to the Imperial Guard.

TARASK — A common class of merchant vessel

TARGETERS — These devices accurately track and predict motion, allowing weapons to be used with greater chance of hitting moving targets. They also act as range-finders and scopes.

TECHNA-LINGUA — This is a language used by Tech Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

TECHNOARCANA — This is the body of technical lore searched for and studied by the Adeptus Mechanicus.

TECHNOMAGI — This is another means of referring to followers of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

TECHNO-MAT — These servitor attendants monitor and service the biological functions of a Tech Priest.

TEFRA — A hardwood tree whose wood is prized for its beauty

TELEKINE — A common Imperial name for telekinetic psykers

TELEPORTARIUM — These very rare and holy pieces of technology allow for teleportation of small groups, usually with the aid of a homer to fix the end location.

TEMPERATURE REGULATOR — This Space Marine armour subsystem maintains the temperature inside the suit, venting through the backpack power unit’s nozzles. It allows Marines to function in environments from vacuum to inferno.

TEMPLUM — A term used to describe places of worship within the Imperium

TERRA’S DUE — This is another phrase referring to the Imperial tithe on its worlds.

TERRA’S MESSENGER — This Space Marine Vindicator fought at the battle of Rynn’s World in 989M41.

TESLA-SPINE — These structures, often kilometres in length, transmit energy across the void.

THALIOS FEAVER — This disease is capable of wiping out entire ship crews if it spreads unchecked.

THANE GILIAD SPIRE — Formerly a Black Templars, and a place where the Black Templars fought the Tyranids.

THERMAL SINK — A system used for harvesting energy on some planets with large heat differentials.

THERMOPLAST — This cheap, easily produced armour material provides moderate ablative protection to the wearer.

TIO’VE — A Tau “Contingent” consists of three to six Cadres and is roughly equal in size to an Imperial Guard regiment.

TITHE FLEET — These fleets collect and distribute the Great Tithe.

TITHEPROCTOR SUPERIAN — These overseers ensure that Imperial factorum contribute their appropriate tithe to the Emperor.

TRACKER — These electronic devices allow a sensor unit to locate the tracker. They vary in size from a dinner plate to a sub-dermal implant.

TRANQ — This term refers to a number of drugs used as tranquillizers.

TRANSCODING — A process by which psykers remove mindlock

TRANSLATION POINT — This naval term refers to optimal locations to enter the warp, usually far removed from gravity wells.

TRIAL OF CASTIGATION — An Adeptus Ministorum method of redeeming sinners.

TRIKALI — These crystals, mined from the Corain system among others, are used in the anti-magnetic containment fields of warp generators and plasma reactors.

TUBE-CHARGE — This explosive device is similar in effect to a krak-charge.

TUMIN — This fruit grows on white-barked trees.

TURBO LASERS — This titan-scale weapon is common among Warhound class titans. They are often quad- or twin-mounted and are ideal for multiple armoured targets. They are also employed on Space Marine Thunderhawks.

TUSK VERGE — A town along the West Banks of Flint where a beast-moot took place at the end of each season

TWIST — This is a common colloquial term for mutants in the Imperium.


UASH’O — Tau for “Command,” this is the term for all the troops of a given caste at a given location. Thus, Fire Caste Command Nimbosa represents all the Fire caste warriors on the planet of Nimbosa.

UHLREN’S POX — A virulent and fatal disease

UNIVERSAL LAW, 1ST — Life is Directed Motion

UNIVERSAL LAW, 2ND — The Spirit is the Spark of Life

UNIVERSAL LAW, 3RD — Sentience is the Ability to Learn the Value of Knowledge

UNIVERSAL LAW, 4TH — Intellect is the Understanding of Knowledge

UNIVERSAL LAW, 5TH — Sentience is the Basest Form of Intellect

UNIVERSAL LAW, 6TH — Understanding is the True Path to Comprehension

UNIVERSAL LAW, 7TH — Comprehension is the Key to All Things

UNIVERSAL LAW, 8TH — The Omnissiah Knows All, Comprehends All

UNIVERSAL LAW, 9TH — (Also: Xenos Testamenta, Prime Warning) The Alien Mechanism is a Perversion of the True Path

UNIVERSAL LAW, 10TH — The Soul is the Conscience of Sentience

UNIVERSAL LAW, 11TH — A Soul Can be Bestowed Only by the Omnissiah

UNIVERSAL LAW, 12TH — The Soulless Sentience is the Enemy of All

UNIVERSAL LAW, 13TH — The Knowledge of the Ancients Stands Beyond Question

UNIVERSAL LAW, 14TH — The Machine Spirit Guards the Knowledge of the Ancients

UNIVERSAL LAW, 15TH — Flesh is Fallible, but Ritual Honours the Machine Spirit

UNIVERSAL LAW, 16TH — To Break with Ritual is to Break with Faith

UNIVERSAL LAWS — (Also: Sixteen Universal Laws) These sixteen commandments of the Adeptus Mechanicus for the basis of their cult and help guide their Quest for Knowledge. The first eight are often called The Mysteries, and the last eight The Warnings.

USTRINUM — Furnaces or fire pits where bodies and/or offal are burned.


VALOUR CREST — Space Marines earn these crests worn on their helmets with near-suicidal acts of bravery.

VAMPYRE — A creature of the warp

VERDIKINE — A grazing meat animal

VERIFIX MAJORIS — High honour of the Adeptus Mechanicus

VERISPEX — An Adeptus Arbites rank/position assigned to forensic analysis

VERISPEX LABORITORIA — These advanced Adeptus Arbites crime and evidence labs only grace larger facilities.

VERMILION — This is the highest security/encryption level used by Imperial military forces, above the sequence of Cyan, Scarlet, Magenta, and Obsidian.

VERSES OF INQUISITOR ENOCH — Inquisitor Enoch penned these books dealing with daemons, one of which was The Book of Exorcisms.

VICE SIRDAR — This chaos rank is equivalent to a Captain’s second in command or assistant leader of several patrols.

VICTOREX ALPHA — These Space Marine honours are granted for valour and victory in the face of insurmountable odds.


VISTA-CASTER — Video communication unit

VISTA-PLATE — Viewscreen

VITIFER — These individuals, working for the Astra Telepathica, are conditioned to constant attentiveness and stand ready to kill any Astropaths that loose control or show signs of Warp taint.

VOID-DOCK — This is an internal docking bay, shielded and kept pressurized by a void-field.

VOID-FIELD — A smaller, less powerful version of the titan- or starship-based energy shields of similar name

VOID-HATCHES — These are large-scale bay doors, such as those used for small craft hangars on starships.

VOID-SHIELD — This is the energy field used as protection on large starships and titans. They collapse when overloaded, sometimes burning out the generators themselves, but otherwise they can be re-raised after resetting their systems.

VOID-VOYAGER — This term applies to individuals or starship that make a life travelling the warp.

VORDER LEAVES — A particularly luxurious food

VOX — This is the common name for a wide variety of radio-band communications devices.

VOX-CASTER — A radio transmitter

VOX-DRONE — These small drones deliver messages based on an individual’s pheromone trace on highly-technological worlds.

VOXMAT — A facility devoted to vox transmissions

VOX-PONDER — These devices transmit and receive IFF and provide warning when locked onto.

VOX-SCREEN — A field that blocks vox transmissions

VOX-THIEVES — These devices are high-tech bugs that can capture both simple sound and vox transmissions in their vicinity

VOX-VISTA — A communication device that transmits both audio and video signals.

VYL — A creature whose smoked meat is considered a delicacy.


WAR-RENA — This deathsport simulates battles in large arenas.

WASTER — This term refers to anyone who is so addicted to drugs that they allow their bodies to waste away.

WATER-MILL — A water-powered structure, often harnessed to grind grain into flour

WAVEBOARDING — This sport, practised on many Imperial worlds graced by oceans, involves balancing on a shaped board that is being carried along by waves or currents.

WAXSWEAT MUSHROOM — This man-sized fungus grows in some underhive locations

WAYSTATION — These compounds serve as rest stops and safe havens for Navis Nobilite navigators. They can be found in major systems or those at the nexus of trade routes.

WHITE CHOKE — A spoor-borne wasting disease common to the underhive of many hive cities.

WIREWOLVES — These psycho-mechanical chaos constructs are constructed of metal parts and wire, which are filled with glowing warp energy, making them appear to glow from within, and are adept at tracking, but do not have the endurance for prolonged pursuits. Despite their name, they are generally humanoid.

WIRON — Similar to neon-tubes, these emit light with the application of electric current.


XEN-OPS — Adeptus Arbites term for cases involving aliens

XENOS MALEFICORUM, DE — This tome of the Inquisitorial Ordo Xenos describes the tactics of various alien races.

XENOSAVANT — These scholars devote much of their lives to study of aliens.




ZANTHROCLASE — A tabular form of this silicate is used in mind-impulse devices.

ZENDOCAINE — This psycho-reactive drug is a synaptic enhancer but has an opiate-like effect as well.

ZOG or ZOGGIN’ — Common Ork curse word. (PDF) (below is edited from here)