Latin Phrases for Academic Use

  • ad majorem Dei gloriam – to the greater glory of God (SJ motto)

 

 

  • a posteriori – from what comes later

 

  • a priori – from what comes before

 

  • a verbis ad verbera – from words to blows

 

  • ad absurdum – taken to absurd lengths, to an absurd extreme

 

  • ad hoc – to this particular purpose

 

  • ad hominem – according to the person (argumentum ad hominem is argument directed against a person, attacking their character, rather than the subject matter)

 

  • ad infinitum – going on forever

 

  • ad interim – for the meantime

 

  • ad libitum (ad lib) – as one pleases

 

  • ad locum – at the place

 

  • ad nauseam – to the point of making one sick

 

  • addendum – an item to be added

 

  • advocatus diaboli – devil’s advocate (Someone takes a position solely for the sake of a discussion or argument.)

 

  • alea iacta est – “The die is cast” (Julius Caesar)

 

  • alias – otherwise

 

  • alibi – elsewhere

 

  • alma mater – nurturing or nourishing mother (refers to the university one has attended)

 

  • alter ego – another “I” or another self

 

  • alumnus – from the word “alere” meaning to nurture, a graduate of a school or university Feminine form is alumna, plural – alumni.

 

  • amicus curiae – friend of the court

 

  • amor patriae – love of country

 

  • Amor vincit omnia. – love conquers all

 

  • anno – year

 

  • Anno Domini (A.D.) -in the year of the Lord

 

  • anno mundi – in the year of the world

 

  • annus horribilis – a horrible year (So Queen Elizabeth II described 1992)

 

  • annus mirabilis – year of wonders

 

  • ante – before

 

  • ante cibum – before meals

 

  • ante meridiem (a.m.) – before noon in the period from midnight to noon.

 

  • ante mortem – before death

 

  • ante prandium – before a meal, especially lunch

 

  • antebellum – before the war

 

  • aqua vitae – water of life (spirits, wine/brandy)

 

  • argumentum ad populum – A fallacious argument; because many people believe something it is not necessarily true

 

  • ars gratia artis – art for art’s sake

 

  • Artium Baccalaureus – Bachelor of Arts (BA)

 

  • Artium Magister – Master of Arts (MA)

 

  • Audaces fortuna iuvat – fortune favours the bold

 

  • aurora borealis – northern lights

 

  • Aut vincere aut mori – either conquer or die

 

  • ave atque vale – hello and goodbye

 

  • bona fide -in good faith

 

  • Carpe diem – seize the day

 

  • casus belli – an act used to justify war

 

  • causa mortis – cause of death

 

  • Caveat – let him/her beware

 

  • Caveat emptor – let the buyer beware

 

  • Caveat lector – Let the reader beware

 

  • circa (ca.) – around or approximately, as used with dates.

 

  • circulus vitiosus – vicious circle

 

  • citius altius fortius – faster, higher, stronger (the Olympic motto)

 

  • cogito ergo sum. – “I think therefore I am” (Rene Descartes)

 

  • commune bonum – the common good

 

  • compos mentis – of sound mind

 

  • consensu omnium – by the agreement of all

 

  • consummatum est – it is completed

 

  • cui prodest scelus, is fecit. – The one who derives advantage from the crime is the one most likely to have committed it (Seneca).

 

  • culpa – a sin

 

  • cum – with

 

  • cum grano salis – with a grain of salt

 

  • cum laude – with praise

 

  • curriculum vitae – the course of one’s life (official resumé)

 

  • de facto – in fact

 

  • de iure – according to law

 

  • De mortuis nil nisi bonum – say only good about the dead.

 

  • Deo gratias -thanks be to God

 

  • deus ex machina – god from the machine (contrived solution to a plot)

 

  • de gustibus non est disputandum – there is no arguing tastes

 

  • Deus vobiscum – God be with you

 

  • divide et impera – divide and conquer

 

  • dominus vobiscum – the Lord be with you

 

  • dulce et decorum est pro patria mori – it is sweet and honourable to die for one’s country” (Horace)

 

  • dum spiro, spero – while I breathe, I hope

 

  • e pluribus unum – out of many, the one – motto of the USA

 

  • Ecce homo – behold the man

 

  • editio princeps – first printed edition

 

  • eiusdem generis – of the same kind

 

  • emeritus – from merit (used to refer to a retired professor or other office)

 

  • eo ipso – by that very act

 

  • ergo – therefore ( to show a logical conclusion)

 

  • errare humanum est – to err is human

 

  • erratum – error

 

  • esse quam videri – to be rather than to seem

 

  • et alii (et al.) – and others (used to abbreviate a list of names)

 

  • et cetera (etc.) – and the rest, and others, and so on or and more

 

  • et sequens – and the following

 

  • et tu, Brute – “And you, Brutus?” (quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar – supposedly the final words of the assassinated Roman dictator)

 

  • ex – out of

 

  • ex animo – from the heart (sincerely)

 

  • ex cathedra – with authority

 

  • ex Deo – from God

 

  • ex dolo – intentionally

 

  • ex gratia – from kindness or from grace (refers to someone performing an act out of kindness as opposed to being forced to do it)

 

  • ex libris -from the books or library of

 

  • ex more – according to custom

 

  • ex officio – from the office (when one position is held by virtue of holding another, for example, the president of a country is the commander in chief of the armed forces. In the U.S., the vice president is ex officio president of the Senate)

 

  • ex post facto – from what is done afterward, of a law with retroactive effect

 

  • ex tempore – right away, immediately

 

  • excelsior – higher, ever upward (NYS motto)

 

  • Exceptio probat regulam -the exception proves the rule

 

  • extempore – without premeditation

 

  • exempli gratia (e.g.) – for the sake of example, usually translated “for example.”

 

  • – They leave.

 

  • He/she leaves.

 

  • extempore – without premeditation

 

  • facile princeps – acknowledged leader

 

  • – Make a similar one. (origin of the word fax)

 

  • facta, non verba – deeds, not words

 

  • Factum est. – It is done.

 

  • Fiat – Let it be done.

 

  • Fiat lux. – Let there be light.

 

  • finis – the end

 

  • flagrante delicto – in the act of committing a crime

 

  • Flamma fumo est proxima. – There is no smoke without fire.

 

  • Fugit hora. – The hour flies.

 

  • gloria – glory

 

  • gloria in excelsis Deo – glory to God in the highest

 

  • Habeas corpus. – You must have the body. (You must justify an imprisonment.)

 

  • hic et nunc – here and now

 

  • hic iacet – here lies

 

  • Homo sum. – I am a man.

 

  • honoris causa – for the sake of honor

 

  • Horas non numero nisi serenas. – I only count the sunny hours. (common inscription on sundials)

 

  • hora somni (h.s.) – at bedtime, literally at the hour of sleep

 

 

  • ibidem (ibid.) – in the same place, usually in bibliographic citations.

 

  • id est (i.e.) – that is to say, sometimes “in this case,” depending on the context

 

  • Ignorantia legis neminem excusat. – Ignorance of the law excuses no one.

 

  • imago Dei – image of God

 

  • imperium – absolute power

 

  • – Let it be printed.
  • imprimis – in first place

 

  • inter arma silent leges – There is no law on the battlefield”.

 

  • in absentia – in the absence of

 

  • in articulo mortis – at the moment of death

 

  • In camera -in secret (literally “in the chamber”)

 

  • Incipit – Begin here.

 

  • index librorum prohibitorum – list of forbidden books

 

  • in dubio – in doubt

 

  • in duplo – in two

 

  • in effigie – in (the form of) an image

 

  • in esse – in existence

 

  • in excelsis – in the highest

 

  • in extenso – in long (form) that is complete, unabridged.

 

  • in extremis – in extremity

 

  • In fidem – to faith

 

  • in fine – at the end

 

  • In flagrante delicto – In flaming crime (caught in the act)

 

  • in flore – in bloom

 

  • in foro – in forum (in court)

 

  • infra – below, underneath

 

  • in futuro – in the future

 

  • in infinitum – to infinity

 

  • In loco – at the place

 

  • in loco parentis – in the place of a parent

 

  • In medias res – into the middle of things

 

  • in memoriam – in memory of

 

  • In nuce – in a nutshell

 

  • in perpetuum – for ever

 

  • in personam – against the person

 

  • in pleno – in full

 

  • in praesenti – at the present time

 

  • in principio – in the beginning

 

  • in propria persona – in person

 

  • in puris naturalibus – completely naked

 

  • in rem – against the matter (property)

 

  • in rerum natura – in the nature of things

 

  • In salvo – in safety

 

  • in se – in itself

 

  • in situ – in position

 

  • in totidem verbis – in so many words

 

  • in toto – totally,completely

 

  • in transitu – in passing

 

  • In triplo – in three (copies)

 

  • in usu – in use

 

  • in utero – in the womb

 

  • in vacuo – in a vacuum

 

  • in vino veritas. – In wine is truth.

 

  • in vitro – in glass

 

  • in vivo – in the living (thing)

 

  • incredibile dictu – incredible to say

 

  • inter alia – among other things

 

  • inter alios – among other people

 

  • inter se – between themselves

 

  • inter spem et metum – between hope and fear

 

  • inter vivos – between living (people)

 

  • intra muros – within the walls, not public

 

  • intra vires – within the powers

 

  • Ipsi dixit. – He himself said it.

 

  • ipsissima verba – the exact words

 

  • ipso facto – by the fact itself

 

  • ipso iure – by operation of the law

 

  • ius gentium – the law of nations

 

 

  • justitia omnibus – justice for all

 

  • Not used in Latin

 

  • lapsus linguae – a slip of the tongue

 

  • lapsus memoriae – a slip of the memory

 

  • Laus Deo – Praise be to God.

 

  • lex domicilii – the law of a person’s home country

 

  • Lex lata – the law as it exists

 

  • lex loci – the law of the place

 

  • lex non scripta – the unwritten (common) law

 

  • lex scripta – the written law

 

  • Licentia poetica – Poetic license

 

  • literati – men of letters

 

  • locus delicti – the scene of the crime

 

  • locus in quo – the place in which something happens

 

  • Loquitur – He/She speaks.

 

  • lumen naturale – natural light

 

  • lusus naturae – a freak of nature

 

  • lux et veritas – light and truth

 

  • lux mundi – the light of the world

 

  • Magister Artium (MA) – master of arts

 

  • magna cum laude – with great distinction

 

  • – It magnifies.

 

  • magnum opus – the greatest piece of work

 

  • mala fide – in bad faith

 

  • manu propria (m.p.) – with one’s own hand

 

  • mater – mother

 

  • materfamilias – mother of family

 

  • mea culpa – through my fault

 

  • Memento mori. – Remember that you must die.

 

  • memorabilia – memorable things

 

  • mens sana in corpore – a healthy mind in a healthy body

 

  • millennium (millennia) – a thousand year period

 

  • mirabile visu – wonderful to behold

 

  • – Have mercy.

 

  • modus operandi (m.o.) – way of operating

 

  • modus vivendi – way of living

 

  • moratorium – a delay

 

  • Morituri te salutant. – Those who are about to die salute you.
  • Nascentes morimur. – From the moment we are born, we die.

 

  • Natura abhorret a vacuo. – Nature abhors a vacuum

 

  • ne plus ultra (also non plus ultra) “nothing more beyond” literally, the best or most extreme example of something.

 

  • nihil – nothing

 

  • nihil per os (n.p.o.) – nothing by mouth

 

  • nolens volens – whether unwilling or willing

 

  • Noli me tangere. – Touch me not.

 

  • nolle prosequi – not willing to prosecute (a legal motion to drop legal charges, usually in exchange for a diversion program or out-of-court settlement)

 

  • Nolo contendere – I do not wish to contend. (no contest – a plea that can be entered on behalf of a defendant in a court that states the accused doesn’t admit guilt but will accept punishment for a crime.)

 

  • non mihi solum �not for myself alone

 

  • non sequitur – it does not follow

 

  • Nota bene (n.b.) Note it well.

 

  • nulli secundus – second to none

 

  • nunc pro tunc – now for then (effective from an earlier date)

 

  • tempora, O mores! – “Oh the times! Oh the morals!” (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

 

  • oculus dexter (O.D.) – right eye

 

  • oculus sinister (O.S.) – left eye

 

  • Oderint dum metuant ~ Let them hate so long as they fear. Lucius Accius Better known perhaps as one of Caligula’s favorite sayings

 

  • Odi et amo. I hate (her) and I love (her) (-Catullus)

 

  • Omnia vincit amor – Love conquers all.

 

  • onus probandi – the burden of proof

 

  • opera omnia – all works (the collected works of an author)

 

  • opere citato (op.cit) – in the cited work

 

  • ophidia in herba – a snake in the grass (hidden danger or unknown risk)

 

  • opus Dei – the work of God

 

  • panem et circenses – bread and circuses

 

  • pari passu – with equal step (moving together, simultaneously)

 

  • pater noster – our father

 

  • paterfamilias – father of the family

 

  • paucis verbis – in a few words

 

  • pax – peace

 

  • Pax vobiscum. – Peace be with you.

 

  • per annum – yearly

 

  • per capita – per head (per person)

 

  • per cent – per hundred

 

  • per diem – daily

 

  • per os (p.o.) – by mouth

 

  • per se – by itself

 

  • per qod – by virtue of and depending on external facts e.g. a libel would only be valid if the accuser were truly of good character. Opposite of per se.

 

  • per stirpes – per branch (used in wills to indicate that each branch of the testator’s family should inherit equally)

 

  • persona non grata – person not wanted,

 

  • post bellum – after the war

 

  • post cibum (p.c.) – after meals

 

  • post facto – after the fact

 

  • post hoc – after this

 

  • Post hoc ergo procter hoc – A logical fallacy of ascribing causatiuon when it is not justified.

 

  • post meridiem (pm) – after midday, from noon to midnight

 

  • post mortem – after death

 

  • post partum – after childbirth

 

  • Post prandial – after eating.

 

  • post scriptum (ps) – written later, used to mark additions to a letter after the signature.

 

  • prima facie – at first sight

 

  • Primum non nocere. “First, do no harm.” (Hippocrates)

 

  • primus inter pares – first among equals

 

  • pro bono (pro bono publico) – for the good of the public said of a lawyer’s work that is not charged for.

 

  • pro forma – as a matter of form, formality

 

  • pro nunc – for now

 

  • pro patria – for one’s country

 

  • pro rata – for the rate, (in proportion to the value)

 

  • pro re nata (prn) – as needed

 

  • pro tempore – for the time being, (temporary)

 

  • Probatum est – It has been proved.

 

  • punctum saliens – the outstanding (essential or most notable) point

 

  • qua – in so far as

 

  • Quaere verum. – Seek the truth.

 

  • quaque die (qd) – every day

 

  • quaque hora (qh) – every hour

 

  • quaque mane (qm) – every morning

 

  • quaque nocte (qn) – every night

 

  • quater in die (qid) – four times a day

 

  • Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius – Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad

 

  • Qui tacet consentit. – Who keeps silent, consents.

 

  • quid pro quo – this for that (a favor for a favor)

 

  • Quidnunc? or Quid nunc? – What now? (noun: a busybody or a gossip)

 

  • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – Who will guard the guardians?

 

  • quo iure – by what law

 

  • Quo vadis – Where are you going?

 

  • quod erat demonstrandum (QED) – which was to be demonstrated

 

  • Quod est (qe) – which is

 

  • quorum – of whom

 

  • re – concerning

 

  • redivivus – come back to life

 

  • reductio ad absurdum – reduction to the absurd

 

  • referendum – something to be referred

 

  • regina – queen

 

  • Requiescat in pace. – (RIP) May he/she rest in peace.

 

  • Res ipsa loquitur. – The thing speaks for itself.

 

  • res iudicata- a judged thing (Legal concept: once a matter has been finally decided by the courts, it cannot be litigated again.)

 

  • rex – king

 

  • rigor mortis – the rigidity of death

 

  • salve – hello

 

  • satis – enough

 

  • scilicet (s.c.) – that is to say

 

  • – He/She wrote it.

 

  • semper fidelis (Semper Fi) always faithful

 

  • semper paratus – always prepared.

 

  • sequens (seq) – the following (one)

 

  • sic – thus (this is the way it was put – when quoting someone)

 

  • Si vis pacem, para bellum – if you wish for peace, prepare for war

 

  • Sic vita est – such is life.

 

  • Signetur (sig) – let it be labeled.

 

  • sine anno (s.a.) – without year (unknown publication date)

 

  • sine cura – without a care

 

  • sine die – without a day (indefinitely)

 

  • sine qua non – something/someone indispensable

 

  • sine loco (sl) – without place

 

  • sine prole (sp) – without issue

 

  • statim (stat) – immediately

 

  • Sola scriptura – the idea that the holy book is doctrinally infallible and all required knowledge is to be found therein (theological concept.)

 

  • solum Deum prae oculis habentes – having only God before your eyes

 

  • status quo – the current state of affairs

 

  • Stet – Let it stand. (marginal mark in proofreading to indicate that something previously deleted or marked for deletion should be retained)

 

  • stricto sensu – in the strict sense

 

  • stupor mundi – wonder of the world

 

  • sub poena – under penalty of law

 

  • sub rosa – under the rose (secretly)

 

  • sui generis – of his/her/its own kind

 

  • sui juris – of one’s own right (capable of legal responsibility)

 

  • summa cum laude – with highest praise

 

  • summum bonum – the highest good

 

  • summum malum – the supreme evil

 

  • Sunt omnes unum. – They are all one.

 

  • suo iure – in one’s own right

 

  • suo loco – in a person’s rightful place

 

  • supra – above

 

  • tabula rasa – blank tablet or slate

 

  • tacet – silence

 

  • tempore – in the time of

 

  • Tempus fugit. – Time flees.

 

  • terra firma – solid ground

 

  • terra incognita – unknown land

 

  • ter in die (t.i.d.) – three times a day

 

 

  • ut dictum – as directed

 

  • unus multorum – one of many (an average person)

 

  • Vade in pace. – Go in peace.

 

  • vale – farewell

 

  • Vanitas vanitatum, omnia vanitas. – “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes, 1:2)

 

  • Veni, vidi, vici. – I came, I saw, I conquered.

 

  • vera causa – the true cause (of)

 

  • verbatim et litteratim – word for word and letter for letter

 

  • verbum sapienti sat est – A word is enough to the wise.

 

  • veritas – truth

 

 

  • veritas lux mundi – truth is light of the world

 

  • veritas nunquam perit – truth never dies.

 

  • veritas vos liberabit – the truth will set you free.

 

  • versus (vs.) – against

 

  • veto – I forbid (a right to unilaterally stop a certain piece of legislation)

 

  • via – by way of

 

  • vice – in place of

 

  • vice versa – with places exchanged (in reverse order)

 

  • vide – see

 

  • Vis legis – force of the law

 

  • Vivat regina – Long live the queen.

 

  • Vivat rex – Long live the king.

 

  • vox populi – voice of the people
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