Other Phrases | Latin

Abbreviations | Words | Legal Phrases | Other Phrases | Sentences | US Mottoes | Other Mottoes

ema capite ad calc

“From head to heel”

a die

“From that day”

a fortiori

“With stronger reason”

a posteriori

“From the later / Subsequent” (From effect to cause / Empirical)

a priori

“from the previous” (From cause to effect / Deductive / Presumptive)

ab initio

“From the beginning”

ab ovo usque ad mala

“From egg to apples” (From the first to the last course of a Latin meal / From first to last)

ab origine

“From the origin / From the beginning”

ad absurdum

“To the absurd” (Used to demonstrate the absurdity of the opponent's position)

ad finem fidelis

“Faithful to the end”

ad hoc

“With respect to this object/purpose” (An ad hoc committee, for example, is elected or appointed for a definite work.)

ad infinitum

“To infinity”

ad litteram

“To the letter”

ad maiorem Dei gloriam

“To the greater glory of God”

ad nauseam

“To the point of disgust / To satiety”

ad rem

“To the thing / To the purpose/point”

ad valorem

“In proportion to the value”

ad verbum

“To the word / Word for word / Verbatim”

advocatus diaboli

“the devil's advocate” (A person chosen to dispute before the papal court the claims of a candidate for canonization)

aequo animo

“With an equable/calm mind”

Agnus Dei

“Lamb of God”

alma mater

“Fostering mother”

alter ego

“The other I / Another self”

anguis in herba

“A snake in the grass” (An unsuspected danger)

ante bellum

“Before the war”

ante cibum

“Before food” (A doctor's instruction for taking medicine)

aqua pura

“Pure water”

aurora australis

“Southern dawn” (A southern phenomenon similar to the northern lights)

aurora borealis

“Northern dawn” (Northern lights)

aurea mediocritas

“The golden mean”

aut mors aut victoria

“Either death or victory”

Ave Maria

“Hail Mary” (A Roman Catholic prayer based on Gabriel's greeting to Mary)

bona fide

“With/in good faith”

Canis Major

“Larger Dog” (A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere)

Canis Minor

“Smaller/Lesser Dog” (A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere)

casus belli

“The cause/justification of war”

ceteris paribus

“Other things being equal”

cito maturum, cito putridum

“Quickly ripe, quickly rotten”

communi consensu

“By common consent”

compos mentis

“Composed of mind / In control of one's mind”

con amore

“With love”

coram populo

“In the presence of the people / Publicly”

crocodilae lacrimae

“Crocodile tears / False tears” (Based on the belief that crocodiles weep after eating their prey)

cum grano salis

“With a grain of salt” (Pliny)

cum laude

“With praise”

de die in diem

“From day unto day”

de facto

“From the fact / In point of fact / Actual”

De Natura Rerum

“From the Nature of Things” (Title of a book by Lucretius)

de novo

“From new / Anew”

de profundis

“Out of the depths”

de fumo in flammam

“Out of the smoke (frying pan) into the fire”

Dei gratia

“By the grace of God”

Deo favente

“God being favorable / With God's favor”

Deo gratias

“Thanks to God”

Deo juvante

“If God is helping / With God's help”

Deo volente

“If God is willing / God willing”

deus ex machina

“A god from a machine” (In a drama or novel, a character is “miraculously” removed from a scene when he has no human means of escape.)

dictum factum

“Said, done”

dies irae

“Day of wrath”

dira necessitas

“Dire necessity” (Horace)

disiecta membra

“Scattered remains” (Horace)

dramatis personae

“Persons of the drama”

e contra

“On the other hand”

e contrario

“From/on the contrary”

editio princeps

“First edition (of a book)”

ego et rex meus

“I and my king / my king and I”

eheu fugaces anni

“Alas, the fleeting years” (Horace)

et id genus omne

“And everything of that kind”

eo ipso

“By that itself / By that fact”

et tu Brute?

“And you, too, Brutus?”

ex athedra

“From the (official) chair (of the pope) / With high authority”

ex libris

“From the library of” (Used to show ownership of a book)

ex more

“From custom”

ex officio

“From duty / By virtue of office or position”

ex parte

“From one part/party/side”

ex post facto

“From after the deed / Retrospective”

ex propriis

“From one's own experiences”

ex tempore

“From the time / Extemporaneously”

extra muros

“Outside the walls”

facile princeps

“Easily the first / Preeminent”

facta non verba

“Deeds, not words”

falsum in uno falsum in toto

“False in one false in all”

fides Punica

“Punic (Carthaginian) faith / Treachery”

fidus Achates

“Faithful Achates / A true friend”

folio verso

“The page having been turned / On the back side of the page”

fortis in Domino

“Strong in the Lord”

functus officio

“Occupied with duty”

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

“Glory to God in the Highest”

gratia Dei

“By the grace of God”

hic et nunc

“Here and now”

hic et ubique

“Here and everywhere”

Hic jacet

“Here lies” (Used in epitaphs)

hoc tempore

“At this time”

hodie, non cras

“Today, not tomorrow”

homo sapiens

“Wise/thinking man” (Man as distinguished from other beings)

honoris causa

“For the cause/sake of honor”

horribile dictu

“Horrible to relate/tell”

ignis fatuus

“Foolish fire” (Will-o'-the-wisp)

in aeternam

“Into eternity / Forever”

in articulo mortis

“In/at the point of death”

in esse

“In being/existence” (Opposite of in posse)

in excelsis

“In the highest (places)”

in extremis

“In the last moments / At the point of death”

in loco parentis

“In the place/position of a parent”

in medias res

“Into the midst of things” (Horace)

in memoriam

“Unto/in memory”

in omnia paratus

“Prepared for/unto all things”

in perpetuum


in posse

“In possibility / Possible but not actual”

in propria persona

“In one's own person”

in re

“In the matter of”

in secula seculorum

“Unto the ages of the ages”

in situ

“In its original position”

in terrorem

“Unto terror” (A warning)

in toto

“In the whole / Complete”

in transitu

“In the course of transit”

inter alia

“Among other things”

inter nos

“Among us”

intra muros

“Within the walls”

ipsissima verba

“The very words / The words themselves”

jure divino

“By divine law”

jure humano

“By human law”

lapsus calami

“A slip of the pen”

lapsus linguae

“A slip of the tongue”

laus Deo

“Praise to God”

lex non scripta

“Law not written” (Common law)

lex scripta

“Written law” (Statute law)

licentia poetica

“Poetic license” (Seneca)

locum tenens

“One holding the place of another” (A substitute)

locus classicus

“Classic place” (A passage from a classic writing that is cited as an illustration or example)

lupus in fabula

“The wolf in the fable” (Terence)

lusus naturae

“A trick/sport/freak of nature”

magna cum laude

“With great praise”

magnas inter opes inops

“Poor among great riches”

magnum bonum

“A great good thing”

magnum opus

“A great work”

mala fide

“With/in bad faith”

mare clausum

“A closed sea” (A sea belonging to one nation)

me judice

“I being judge” (In my opinion)

mea culpa

“My fault / By my fault”

mens sana in corpore sano

“A sound mind in a sound/healthy body” (Juvenal)

mens sibi conscia recti

“A mind conscious to itself of rectitude / A mind conscious of its own rectitude”

meo periculo

“At my own peril/risk”

modus operandi

“A manner of working / The manner in which something works”

modus vivendi

“A way of living (A temporary settlement between contending parties)

nolens volens

“Unwilling, willing” (Willy nilly)

Nova Scotia

“New Scotland”

nulli secundus

“Second to none”

numquam minus otiosus
quam cum otiosus

“Never less at leisure than when at leisure (P. Scipio Africanus, quoted by Cicero)

nunc aut numquam

“Now or never”

O tempora! O mores!

“O the times! O the customs!” (Cicero)

panem et circenses

“Bread and circuses”

Pater noster

“Our Father” (The Lord's prayer)

pater patriae

“Father of the country”

per capita

“By heads / Per person”

per diem

“Per day”

persona grata

“An acceptable person” (For example, a diplomat acceptable to a foreign government)

persona non grata

“A person not acceptable”

posse non peccare /
Non posse peccare

“to be able not to sin / Not to be able to sin”

post cibum

“After food” (A doctor's instruction for taking medicine)

post hoc ergo propter hoc

“After this therefore on account of this”

post mortem

“After death”

prima facie

“On/At first appearance”

quid pro quo

“What for what / Something for something” (An equal exchange)

quid nunc

“What now” (A busybody or noisy person)

quo jure

“By what legal right”

quo modo

“In what manner”

quot homines tot sententiae

“As many people so many opinions / As many opinions as people)”

rara avis

“Rare bird” (Horace)

Roma aeterna

“Rome eternal / Eternal Rome” (Tibullus)

sanctum sanctorum

“Holy of holies” (A private room or retreat)

scilicet (shortened form
of scire licet)

“It is permitted to know / That is to say / That is / Namely”

semper eadem

“Always the same” (Cicero)

sine qua non

“Without which not” (An essential element or condition)

status quo

“The state in which” (The existing condition or state of affairs)

suaviter in modo,
fortiter in re

“Pleasantly in manner, vigorously in act”

sub rosa

“Under the rose” (In secret)

sui generis

“Of one's own kind” (Unique, individual)

summa cum laude

“With highest praise”

summum bonum

“The highest good”

suum cuique

“To everyone/each his own” (Cicero)

te judice

“You being the judge” (In your judgment)

terrae filius

“Son of the soil” (A man of lowly birth)

terra firma

“Solid earth” (A solid footing)

ultima Thule

“The farthest land” (Virgil)

via cruce

“By way of the Cross”

vice versa

“The positions having been changed / conversely”

virginibus puerisque

“For girls and boys” (Horace)

virtute et fide

“By virtue and faith”

vivere est cogitare

“To think is to live. / To live is to think.” (Cicero)

volens et potens/valens

“Willing and able”

volente Deo

“God being willing / If God is willing”

vox populi

“The voice of the people”

Collected by Edith E. Smith, M.A.

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