List of Latin phrases (U)

"Ultima ratio regum" redirects here. For the roguelike video game, see Ultima Ratio Regum (video game).

This page lists English translations of notable Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. Some of the phrases are themselves translations of Greek phrases, as Greek rhetoric and literature reached its peak centuries before the rise of ancient Rome.

This list covers the letter U. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.


uberrima fidesmost abundant faithOr "utmost good faith" (cf. bona fide), a legal maxim of insurance contracts requiring all parties to deal in good faith
ubertas et fidelitasfertility and faithfulnessMotto of Tasmania
ubi amor, ibi dolorwhere [there is] love, there [is] pain
ubi bene ibi patriawhere [it is] well, there [is] the fatherlandOr "Home is where it is good"; see also ubi panis ibi patria
ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi estwhere there is charity and love, God is there
ubi dubium ibi libertaswhere [there is] doubt, there [is] freedomAnonymous proverb
ubi jus ibi remediumWhere [there is] a right, there [is] a remedy
ubi mel ibi apeswhere [there is] honey, there [are] bees Similar to "you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar"—treat people nicely and they will treat you nicely in return
ubi libertas ibi patriawhere [there is] liberty, there [is] the fatherlandOr "where there is liberty, there is my country". Patriotic motto
ubi nihil vales, ibi nihil veliswhere you are worth nothing, there you will wish for nothingFrom the writings of the Flemish philosopher Arnold Geulincx; also quoted by Samuel Beckett in his first published novel, Murphy.
ubi non accusator ibi non iudexwhere [there is] no accuser, there [is] no judgeThus, there can be no judgment or case if no one charges a defendant with a crime. The phrase is sometimes parodied as "where there are no police, there is no speed limit"
ubi panis ibi patriawhere there is bread, there is my country
ubi pus, ibi evacuawhere there is pus, there evacuate it
ubi re verawhen, in a true thingOr "whereas, in reality...", also rendered ubi revera ("when, in fact" or "when, actually")
ubi societas ibi iusif there's a society, law will be there.By Aristotle
ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellantThey make a desert and call it peacefrom a speech by Calgacus reported/constructed by Tacitus, Agricola, ch. 30.
ubi suntwhere are they?Nostalgic theme of poems yearning for days gone by, from the line ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt ("Where are they, those who have gone before us?")
ubique, quo fas et gloria ducunteverywhere, where right and glory leadsMotto of the Royal Artillery and most other artillery corps within the armies of the British Commonwealth (for example, the Royal Canadian Artillery, Royal Australian Artillery, and Royal New Zealand Artillery)
ultima ratiolast method
the final argument
the last resort (as force)
The last resort, short form for the metaphor "The Last Resort of Kings and Common Men" referring to the act of declaring war; used in the names the French sniper rifle PGM Ultima Ratio and the fictional Reason weapon system, Louis XIV of France had Ultima Ratio Regum ("last argument of kings") cast on the cannons of his armies; motto of the 1st Battalion 11th Marines; motto of the Artilleriregementet Cannon inscribed "ultima ratio regum"
ultimo mense (ult.)in the last monthUsed in formal correspondence to refer to the previous month. Used with inst. ("this month") and prox. ("next month").
ultra viresbeyond powersWithout authority, used to describe an action done without proper authority, or acting without the rules, the term most often used in connection with appeals and petitions
ultra posse nemo obligaturNo one is obligated beyond what he is able to do.
ululas Athenas(to send) owls to AthensFrom Gerhard Gerhards' (1466–1536) [better known as Erasmus] collection of annotated Adagia (1508), Latin translation of a classical Greek proverb, generally means putting large effort in a necessarily fruitless enterprise, compare "selling coal to Newcastle"
una hirundo non facit verone swallow does not make summerA single example of something positive does not necessarily mean that all subsequent similar instances will have the same outcome.
una salus victis nullam sperare salutemthe only safety for the conquered is to hope for no safetyLess literally, "the only safe bet for the vanquished is to expect no safety", preceded by moriamur et in media arma ruamus ("let us die even as we rush into the midst of battle") in Virgil's Aeneid, book 2, lines 353–354, used in Tom Clancy's novel Without Remorse, where character John Clark translates it as "the one hope of the doomed is not to hope for safety". It was said several times in Andromeda as the motto of the SOF units.
unitas, iustitia, spesunity, justice, hopeMotto of Vilnius
unitas per servitiamunity through serviceMotto of the St. Xavier's Institution Board of Librarians
uniti aedificamusunited we build
uno flatuin one breathUsed in criticism of inconsistent pleadings, i.e. "one cannot argue uno flatu both that the company does not exist and that it is also responsible for the wrong"
unus multorumone of manyAn average person
Unus papa Romae, unus portus Anconae, una turris Cremonae, una ceres RaconaeOne pope in Rome, one port in Ancona, one tower in Cremona, one beer in RakovníkMotto of the Czech Brewery in Rakovník[1]
Urbi et Orbito the city and the circle [of the lands]Meaning "To Rome and the World", a standard opening of Roman proclamations and a traditional blessing by the pope
urbs in hortocity in a gardenMotto of the City of Chicago
usque ad finemto the very endOften used in reference to battle, implying a willingness to keep fighting until death
usus est magister optimuspractice is the best teacherpractice makes perfect, or sometimes translated "use makes master"
ut biberent quoniam esse nollentso that they might drink, since they refused to eatAlso rendered with quando ("when") in place of quoniam, from a book by Suetonius (Vit. Tib., 2.2) and Cicero (De Natura Deorum, 2.3), the phrase was said by Roman admiral Publius Claudius Pulcher right before the battle of Drepana, as he threw overboard the sacred chickens which had refused to eat the grain offered them—an unwelcome omen of bad luck, thus, the sense is, "if they do not perform as expected, they must suffer the consequences". He lost the battle disastrously.
ut desint vires, tamen est laudanda voluntasthough the power be lacking, the will is to be praised all the sameFrom Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto (III, 4, 79)
ut dicituras has been said; as above
ut incepit fidelis sic permanetas she began loyal, so she persistsThus, the state remains as loyal as ever, motto of Ontario
ut infraas below
ut in omnibus glorificetur Deusthat in all things, God may be glorifiedMotto of the Order of St. Benedict
ut mare quod ut ventusto sea and into windMotto of USNS Washington Chambers
ut prosimthat I may serveMotto of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
ut proverbium loquitur know what they say...Lit: As the old proverb says...
ut res magis valeat quam pereatthat the matter may have effect rather than fail[2]
ut retroas backwardsOr "as on the back side"; thus, "as on the previous page" (cf. ut supra)
ut Roma cadit, sic omnis terraas Rome falls, so [falls] the whole world
ut sit finis litiumso there might be an end of litigationA traditional brocard, the full form is Interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium, "it is in the government's interest that there be an end to litigation", often quoted in the context of statutes of limitation
ut supraas above
ut tensio sic visas the extension, so the forceRobert Hooke's expression of his discovery of his law of linear elasticity, also motto of École Polytechnique de Montréal and the British Watch and Clockmaker's Guild
utilis in ministeriumusefulness in serviceComes from 2 Timothy 4:11, motto of Camberwell Girls Grammar School
utraque unumboth into oneAlso translated as "that the two may be one", motto found on 18th-century Spanish dollar coins, motto of Georgetown University
utrinque paratusready for anythingMotto of the British Parachute Regiment and the Belize National Coast Guard


  1. "Czech Brewery Rakovník — The Brewery". 1906-04-01. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
  2. "" (in German). 1991-05-27. Retrieved 2013-06-19.

Further reading

  • Adeleye, Gabriel G. (1999). Thomas J. Sienkewicz; James T. McDonough, Jr., eds. World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0865164223. 
  • Hardon, John, Fr., Modern Catholic Dictionary 
  • Stone, Jon R. (1996). Latin for the Illiterati. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415917751. 
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