List of Latin phrases (full)

This page lists direct English translations of common Latin phrases. Some of the phrases are themselves translations of Greek phrases, as Greek rhetoric and literature reached its peak centuries before that of ancient Rome.

This list is a combination of the twenty divided "List of Latin phrases" pages, for users who have no trouble loading large pages and prefer a single page to scroll or search through. The content of the list cannot be edited here, and is kept automatically in sync with the separate lists through the use of transclusion.



ab absurdofrom the absurdSaid of an argument either for a conclusion that rests on the alleged absurdity of an opponent's argument (cf. appeal to ridicule) or that another assertion is false because it is absurd. The phrase is distinct from reductio ad absurdum, which is usually a valid logical argument.
ab abusu ad usum non valet consequentiaan inference from an abuse to a use is not validRights abused are still rights; confer abusus non tollit usum.
ab aeternofrom the eternalLiterally, "from the everlasting", "from eternity", and "from outside of time". Philosophically and theologically, it indicates something, e. g., the universe, that was created from outside of time. Sometimes the phrase is used incorrectly to denote "from time immemorial", "since the beginning of time", or "from an infinitely remote time in the past", i. e., not from without time but from a point within time.
ab antiquofrom the ancientFrom ancient times.
a bene placitofrom one well pleasedOr, "at will" or "at one's pleasure". This phrase, and its Italian (beneplacito) and Spanish (beneplácito) derivatives, are synonymous with the more common ad libitum (at pleasure).
ab epistulisfrom the lettersRegarding or pertaining to correspondence.
ab extrafrom beyond/withoutA legal term denoting derivation from an external source, rather than from a person's self or mind, this latter source being denoted by "ab intra".
ab hincfrom here onAlso sometimes written as "abhinc".
ab imo pectorefrom the deepest chestOr "from the bottom of my heart", "with deepest affection", or "sincerely". Attributed to Julius Caesar.
ab inconvenientifrom an inconvenient thingNew Latin for "based on unsuitability", "from inconvenience", or "from hardship". An argumentum ab inconvenienti is one based on the difficulties involved in pursuing a line of reasoning, and is thus a form of appeal to consequences. The phrase refers to the legal principle that an argument from inconvenience has great weight.
ab incunabulisfrom the cradleThus, "from the beginning" or "from infancy". Incunabula is commonly used in English to refer to the earliest stage or origin of something, and especially to copies of books that predate the spread of the printing press circa AD 1500.
ab initiofrom the beginningOr, "from the outset", referring to an inquiry or investigation. In literature, it refers to a story told from the beginning rather than "in medias res" ("from the middle"). In law, it refers to a thing being true from its beginning or from the instant of the act, rather than from when the court declared it so. An annulment is a judicial declaration of the invalidity or nullity of a marriage ab initio; i. e., that the pseudo marriage was "no thing" (in Latin, "nullius", from which the word "nullity" derives) and never existed, except perhaps in name only. In science, the phrase refers to the first principles. In other contexts, it often refers to beginner or training courses. "Ab initio mundi" means "from the beginning of the world".
ab intestatofrom an intestateFrom a decedent, i. e., a dead person, who died without executing a legal will. Confer ex testamento.
ab intrafrom withinFrom the inside; the opposite of ab extra.
ab invitounwillingly
ab iratofrom an angry manOr, "by an angry person"; used in law to describe a decision or action that is detrimental to those whom it affects and is motivated by hatred or anger instead of reason. The form irato is masculine; however, this does not limit the application of the phrase to men: rather, "person" is meant because the phrase probably elides "homo" ("man/person"), not "vir" ("men").
ab originefrom the sourceFrom the origin, beginning, source, or commencement; i. e., "originally". It is the source of the word aboriginal.
ab ovo usque ad malafrom the egg to the applesFrom Horace, Satire, 1.3. Means "from beginning to end", based on the Roman main meal typically beginning with an egg dish and ending with fruit; cf. the English phrase soup to nuts. Thus, ab ovo means "from the beginning", and can connote thoroughness.
absens haeres non eritan absent person will not be an heirThe legal principle that a person who is not present is unlikely to inherit.
absente reo (abs. re.)[with] the defendant being absentA legal phrase denoting action "in the absence of the accused".
absit iniuria"let injury be absent"Expresses the wish that no insult or injury be presumed or done by the speaker's words, i. e., "no offense". Also rendered absit iniuria verbis ("let injury be absent from these words"). Contrast with absit invidia.
absit invidia"let ill will/envy be absent"Said in the context of a statement of excellence: unlike the English expression "no offense", absit invidia is intended to ward off envious deities who might interpret a statement of excellence as hubris. Also extended to absit invidia verbo, ("may ill will/envy be absent from these words"). Contrast it with absit iniuria verbis. An explanation of Livy's usage.
absit omenlet an omen be absentOr, "let this not be a bad omen". Expresses the wish that something seemingly ill-boding does not turn out to be an omen for future events, and calls on Divine protection against evil.
absolutum dominiumabsolute dominionTotal, if not supreme, power, dominion, ownership, and sovereignty.
absolvoI acquitA legal term pronounced by a judge to acquit a defendant following his trial. Te absolvo or absolvo te, translated, "I forgive you," said by Roman Catholic priests during the Sacrament of Confession, in Latin prior to the Second Vatican Council and in vernacular thereafter.
abundans cautela non nocetabundant caution does no harmFrequently re-phrased as "one can never be too careful".
ab uno disce omnesfrom one, learn allFrom Virgil, Aeneid, Book 2, 65-6. Refers to situations where a single example or observation indicates a general or universal truth. Visible in the court of the character King Silas in the American television series Kings.
ab urbe condita (a.u.c.)from the city having been foundedOr, "from the founding of Rome", which occurred in 753 BC, according to Livy's count. It was used as a referential year in ancient Rome from which subsequent years were calculated, prior to being replaced by other dating conventions. Also anno urbis conditae (a.u.c.); literally "in the year of the founded city".
abusus non tollit usummisuse does not remove useThe misuse of some thing does not eliminate the possibility of its correct use.
ab utilifrom utilityUsed of an argument.
abyssus abyssum invocatdeep calleth unto deepFrom Psalms 42:7; some translations have "sea calls to sea".
a caelo usque ad centrumfrom the sky to the centerOr, "from Heaven all the way to the center of the Earth". In law, it may refer to the proprietary principle of Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos ("Whosesoever is the soil, it is his up to the sky and down to the depths [of the Earth]").
a capite ad calcemfrom head to heelFrom top to bottom; all the way through; or from head to toe. Equally, a pedibus usque ad caput.
accipe hoc take thisMotto of the 848 Naval Air Squadron, British Royal Navy.
accusare nemo se debet nisi coram Deono one ought to accuse himself except in the presence of GodA legal principle denoting that an accused person is entitled to plead not guilty, and that a witness is not obligated to respond or submit a document that would incriminate himself. A similar phrase is nemo tenetur se ipsum accusare ("no one is bound to accuse himself"). See right to silence.
a contrariofrom the oppositeEquivalent to "on the contrary" and "au contraire". An argumentum a contrario ("argument from the contrary") is an argument or proof by contrast or direct opposite.
acta deos numquam mortalia falluntmortal actions never deceive the godsOvid, Tristia, 1.2.97: si tamen acta deos numquam mortalia fallunt, / a culpa facinus scitis abesse mea. ("Yet if mortal actions never deceive the gods, / you know that crime was absent from my fault.")
acta est fabula plauditeThe play has been performed; applaud!A common ending to ancient Roman comedies; Suetonius claimed in The Twelve Caesars that these were the last words of Augustus; Sibelius applied them to the third movement of his String Quartet No. 2, so that his audience would recognize that it was the last one, because a fourth would be ordinarily expected.
acta non verbaDeeds Not WordsMotto of the United States Merchant Marine Academy.
acta sanctorumDeeds of the SaintsAlso used in the singular preceding a saint's name: Acta Sancti ("Deeds of Saint") N.; a common title of hagiography works.
actiones secundum fideiaction follows belief"We act according to what we believe (ourselves to be)."[1]
actus me invito factus non est meus actusthe act done by me against my will is not my act
actus non facit reum nisi mens sit reaThe act does not make [a person] guilty unless the mind should be guilty.The legal principle of the presumption of mens rea in a crime.
actus reusguilty actThe actual crime that is committed, as distinguished from the intent, thinking, and rationalizing that procured the criminal act; the external elements of a crime, as contrasted with the mens rea, i. e., the internal elements.
ad absurdumto absurdityIn logic, to the point of being silly or nonsensical. See also reductio ad absurdum. Not to be confused with ab absurdo ("from the absurd").
ad abundantiamto abundanceIn legal language, used when providing additional evidence to an already sufficient collection. Also used commonly, as an equivalent of "as if this wasn't enough".
ad actato the archivesDenoting the irrelevance of a thing.
ad altiora tendoI strive towards higher things
ad arbitriumat will, at pleasure
ad astrato the starsName or motto, in whole or part, of many organizations, publications, et cetera.
ad astra per asperato the stars through difficultiesOr, "a rough road leads to the stars", as on the Launch Complex 34 memorial plaque for the astronauts of Apollo 1. Motto of the State of Kansas and other organisations.
ad augusta per angustato rise to a high position overcoming hardships
ad captandum vulgusin order to capture the crowdTo appeal to the masses. Often said of or used by politicians. An argumentum ad captandum is an argument designed to please the crowd.
ad clerumto the clergyA formal letter or communication in the Christian tradition from a bishop to his clergy. An "ad clerum" may be an encouragement in a time of celebration or a technical explanation of new regulations or canons.
a Deucalionefrom or since DeucalionA long time ago. From Gaius Lucilius, Satires, 6, 284.
ad eundemto the sameAn ad eundem degree, from the Latin ad eundem gradum ("to the same step" or "to the same degree"), is a courtesy degree awarded by a university or college to an alumnus of another. It is not an honorary degree but a recognition of the formal learning for which the degree was earned at another college.
ad fontesto the sourcesA motto of Renaissance humanism and the Protestant Reformation.
ad fundumto the bottomSaid during a generic toast; equivalent to "bottoms up!" In other contexts, it generally means "back to the basics".
ad hocto thisGenerally means "for this", in the sense of improvised or intended only for a specific, immediate purpose.
ad hominemto the manOr, "at the man". Typically used in argumentum ad hominem, a logical fallacy consisting of criticizing a person when the subject of debate is the person's ideas or argument, on the mistaken assumption that the soundness of an argument is dependent on the qualities of the proponent.
ad honoremto the honourGenerally means "for the honour", i. d., not for the purpose of gaining any material reward.
ad infinitumto infinityEnduring forever. Used to designate a property which repeats in all cases in mathematical proof. Also used in philosophical contexts to mean "repeating in all cases".
ad interim (ad int)for the meantimeAs in the term "chargé d'affaires ad interim", denoting a diplomatic officer who acts in place of an ambassador.
ad kalendas graecasat the Greek CalendsAttributed by Suetonius in The Twelve Caesars to Augustus. The Calends were specific days of the Roman calendar, not of the Greek, and so the "Greek Kalends" would never occur. Similar to "when pigs fly".
ad libitum (ad lib)toward pleasureLoosely, "according to what pleases" or "as you wish"; libitum comes from the past participle of libere, "to please". It typically indicates in music and theatrical scripts that the performer has the liberty to change or omit something. Ad lib is specifically often used when someone improvises or ignores limitations. Also used by some restaurants in favor of the colloquial "all you can eat or drink".
ad litemto the lawsuitA legal phrase referring to a party appointed by a court to act in a lawsuit on behalf of another party who is deemed incapable of representing himself. An individual who acts in this capacity is called a guardian ad litem.
ad lucemto the lightMotto of Oxford High School (Oxford), the University of Lisbon, Withington Girls' School, Little Flower Academy and St. Bartholomew's School, Newbury, UK
ad maiorem Dei gloriam or ad majorem Dei gloriam (AMDG)to the greater glory of GodMotto of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Edward Elgar dedicated his oratorio The Dream of Gerontius "A.M.D.G."
ad melioratowards better thingsMotto of St. Patrick's College, Cavan, Ireland.
ad mortemto deathA medical phrase serving as a synonym for death.
ad multos annosto many yearsA wish for a long life; similar to "many happy returns".
ad nauseamto seasicknessOr, "to the point of disgust". Sometimes used as a humorous alternative to ad infinitum. An argumentum ad nauseam is a logical fallacy whose erroneous proof is proffered by prolonged repetition of the argument, i. e., the argument is repeated so many times that persons are "sick of it".
ad oculosto the eyesMeaning "obvious on sight" or "obvious to anyone that sees it".
ad pedem litteraeto the foot of the letterThus, "exactly as it is written"; similar to the phrase "to the letter", meaning "to the last detail".
ad perpetuam memoriamto the perpetual memoryGenerally precedes "of" and a person's name, and is used to wish for someone to be remembered long after death.
ad pondus omnium (ad pond om)to the weight of all thingsMore loosely, "considering everything's weight". The abbreviation was historically used by physicians and others to signify that the last prescribed ingredient is to weigh as much as all of the previously mentioned ones.
ad quod damnumto whatever damageMeaning "according to the harm" or "in proportion to the harm". The phrase is used in tort law as a measure of damages inflicted, implying that a remedy, if one exists, ought to correspond specifically and only to the damage suffered (cf. damnum absque iniuria).
ad referendum
(ad ref)
to be proposed [before the Senate]Loosely "subject to reference": provisionally approved, but still needing official approval. Not the same as a referendum.
ad remto the matterThus, "to the point", without digression.
ad sumushere we areMotto of the Brazilian Marine Corps.
ad susceptum perficiendumin order to achieve what has been undertakenMotto of the Association of Trust Schools.
ad terminum qui praeteriitfor the term which has passedA legal phrase for a writ of entry ad terminum qui praeteriit ("for the term which has passed").[2]
ad undasto the wavesEquivalent to "to Hell".
ad unumto one
ad usum Delphinifor the use of the DauphinSaid of a work that has been expurgated of offensive or improper parts. The phrase originates from editions of Greek and Roman classics which King Louis XIV of France had censored for his heir apparent, the Dauphin. Also rarely "in usum Delphini" ("into the use of the Dauphin").
ad usum proprium (ad us. propr.)for one's own use
ad utrumque paratusprepared for either [alternative]Motto of Lund University, with the implied alternatives being the book (study) and the sword (defending the nation in war) and of the United States Marine Corps' III Marine Expeditionary Force
ad valoremaccording to valueUsed in commerce to refer to ad valorem taxes, i. e., taxes based on the assessed value of real estate or personal property.
ad victoriamto victoryMore commonly translated "for victory", it was a battlecry of the Romans.
ad vitam aeternamto eternal lifeAlso "to life everlasting"; a common Biblical phrase.
ad vitam aut culpamfor life or until faultA phrase describing the term of a political office as ending upon the death of the officer or his commission of a sufficiently grave immorality and/or legal crime.
addendumthing to be addedAn item to be added, especially as a supplement to a book. The plural is addenda.
adaequatio intellectus et reicorrespondence of the mind and realityOne of the classic definitions of "truth". When the mind has the same form as reality, we think truth. Also found as adaequatio rei et intellectus.
adaequatio intellectus nostri cum reconformity of our minds to the factA phrase used in epistemology regarding the nature of understanding.
adsumI am hereEquivalent to "Present!" or "Here!" The opposite of absum ("I am absent").
adversus solem ne loquitordo not speak against the SunOr, "do not argue what is obviously/manifestly incorrect".
advocatus diaboliDevil's advocateSomeone who, in the face of a specific argument, voices an argument that he does not necessarily accept, for the sake of argument and discovering the truth by testing the opponent's argument. Confer the term "arguendo".
aegri somniaa sick man's dreamsHorace, Ars Poetica, 7. Loosely, "troubled dreams".
aetatisof age / agedOften abbreviated to "aetat.", or more frequently further to "aet."; meaning "of age _ [years]" or "aged _ [years]". E. g., "aetatis 36" denotes being "36 years old".
aetatis suaeof his age (followed by an ordinal number)Thus, "at the age of _ [years]". Appears on portraits, gravestones, monuments, et cetera. Usually preceded by anno (AAS), "in the year [of his age/life] _". Sometimes shortened to aetatis, aetat.", or even "aet. Frequently combined with Anno Domini, giving a date as both the theoretical age of Jesus Christ and the age of the decedent; e. g., Obiit anno Domini MDCXXXVIo (tricensimo sexto), [anno] aetatis suae XXVo (vicensimo quinto) ("he died in the 1636th year of the Lord, [being] the 25th [year] of his age[/life]").
a falsis principiis proficiscito set forth from false principlesLegal phrase; Cicero, De Finibus, 4.53.
affidavithe assertedA legal term from "fides" ("faith"), originating at least from Medieval Latin to denote a statement under oath.
a fortiorifrom the strongerLoosely, "even more so" or "with even stronger reason". Often used to lead from a less certain proposition to a more evident corollary.
age quod agisdo what you are doingMore often translated as "do well whatever you do". Literally translated, it means "do what you do"; figuratively it means "keep going, because you are inspired or dedicated to do so". This is the motto of several Roman Catholic schools. It was also used by Pope St. John XXIII in the sense of "do not be concerned with any other matter than the task in hand"; he was allaying worry of what would become of him in the future: his sense of "age quod agis" was "joy" regarding what is presently occurring and "detachment" from concern of the future. (Pope St. John XXIII, Journal of a Soul, pages 154-5)
agere sequitur (esse)action follows beingMetaphysical and moral principle that indicates the connection of ontology, obligation, and ethics.[1]
Agnus DeiLamb of GodLatin translation from John 1: 36, when St. John the Baptist exclaimed "Ecce Agnus Dei!" ("Behold the Lamb of God!") upon seeing Jesus Christ; it refers both to the innocence of a lamb and to Christ being a sacrificial lamb after the Jewish religious practice.
alea iacta estthe die has been castOr, in Greek, ἀνερρίφθω κύβος anerrhíphthō kýbos; said by Julius Caesar upon crossing the Rubicon in 49 BC, according to Suetonius. The original meaning was similar to "the game is afoot", but its modern meaning, like that of the phrase "crossing the Rubicon", denotes passing the point of no return on a momentous decision and entering into a risky endeavor where the outcome is left to chance.
alenda lux ubi orta libertaslight [is] to be nourished where liberty [has] arisen.Or. "let learning be cherished". The motto of Davidson College.
aliasat another time, otherwiseAn assumed name or pseudonym; similar to alter ego, but more specifically referring to a name, not to a "second self".
alibielsewhereA legal defense where a defendant attempts to show that he was elsewhere at the time a crime was committed.
His alibi is sound; he gave evidence that he was in another city on the night of the murder.
aliquid stat pro aliquosomething stands for something elseA foundational definition in semiotics.
alis aquilaeon an eagle's wingsA quotation from Isaiah, 40: "But those who wait for the Lord shall find their strength renewed, they shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not grow faint."
alis grave nilnothing [is] heavy with wingsOr, "nothing is heavy to those who have wings". Motto of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
alis volat propriisshe flies with her own wingsMotto of the State of Oregon, adopted in 1987; it replaced the previous state motto of "The Union", which was adopted in 1957.
alma maternourishing motherA term used for the university one attends or has attended. Another university term, matriculation, is also derived from mater. The term suggests that the students are "fed" knowledge and taken care of by the university. The term is also used for a university's traditional school anthem.
alter egoanother IAnother self, a second persona or alias. Can be used to describe different facets or identities of a single character, or different characters who seem representations of the same personality. Often used of a fictional character's secret identity.
alterius non sit qui suus esse potestlet no man be another's who can be his ownThe final sentence from Aesop ascribed fable (see also Aesop's Fables) "The Frogs Who Desired a King" as appears in the collection commonly known as the "Anonymus Neveleti", in Fable 21B: De ranis a Iove querentibus regem). Motto of Paracelsus. Usually attributed to Cicero.
alterum non laedereto not wound anotherOne of Justinian I's three basic legal precepts.
alumnus or
pupilGraduate or former student of a school, college, or university. Plural of alumnus is alumni (male). Plural of alumna is alumnae (female).
a mari usque ad marefrom sea to seaThis translation ignores the word usque, which is an emphasis word, so a better translation is probably from sea even unto sea. From Psalm 72:8, "Et dominabitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flumine usque ad terminos terrae" (KJV: "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth"). National motto of Canada.
amicus certus in re incertaa sure friend in an unsure matterEnnius, as quoted by Cicero in Laelius de Amicitia s. 64
amicus curiaefriend of the courtAn adviser, or a person who can obtain or grant access to the favour of a powerful group, e. g., the a Roman Curia. In current United States legal usage, an amicus curiae is a third party allowed to submit a legal opinion in the form of an amicus brief to the court.
Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas.Plato is my friend, but truth is a better friend.An assertion that truth is more valuable than friendship; attributed to Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1096a15 and Roger Bacon, Opus Majus, Part 1, Chapter 5.
amittere legem terraeto lose the law of the landAn obsolete legal phrase signifying the forfeiture of the right of swearing in any court or cause, or to become infamous.
amat victoria curamvictory favors careMotto of Baylor School, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Wellesley College Primary School, Eastbourne, New Zealand; and Victoria College, St. Helier Parish, Jersey, Channel Islands.
amor Dei intellectualisintellectual love of GodBaruch Spinoza
amor et melle et felle est fecundissimuslove is rich with both honey and venom
amor fatilove of fateNietzscheian alternative world view to that represented by memento mori ("remember you must die"): Nietzsche believed "amor fati" was more affirmative of life.
amor omnibus idemlove is the same for allVirgil, Georgics, 3.
amor patriaelove of the fatherlandOr, "love of the nation", i. e., patriotism.
amor vincit omnialove conquers allInscribed on a bracelet worn by the Prioress in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales; originally from Virgil, Eclogues, 10, 69: omnia vincit amor: et nos cedamus amori ("love conquers all: let us too surrender to love").
anglicein EnglishUsed before the anglicized version of a word or name. For example, "Terra Mariae, anglice, Maryland".
animus in consulendo libera mind unfettered in deliberationMotto of NATO.
anno (an.)in the yearAlso used in such phrases as anno urbis conditae (see ab urbe condita), Anno Domini, and anno regni.
anno Domini (A.D.)in the year of the LordAbbreviated from Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi ("in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ"), the predominantly used system for dating years across the world; used with the Gregorian Calendar and based on the perceived year of the birth of Jesus Christ. The years before His birth were formerly signified by a. C. n (ante Christum natum ("before Christ was born")), but now use the English abbreviation "BC" ("before Christ"). For example, Augustus was born in the year 63 BC and died in AD 14.
anno regniIn the year of the reignPrecedes "of" and the current ruler.
annuit cœptishe nods at things now begunOr, "he approves our undertakings". Motto on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States and, consequently, on the reverse of the United States one-dollar bill; in this context the motto refers to God.
annus horribilishorrible yearA recent pun on annus mirabilis, first used by Queen Elizabeth II to describe what a bad year 1992 had been for her, and subsequently occasionally used to refer to many other years perceived as "horrible". In Classical Latin, this phrase could actually mean "terrifying year". See also annus terribilis.
annus mirabiliswonderful yearUsed particularly to refer to the years 1665-6, during which Isaac Newton made revolutionary inventions and discoveries in calculus, motion, optics and gravitation. Annus Mirabilis is also the title of a poem by John Dryden written in the same year. It has since been used to refer to other years, especially to 1905, when Albert Einstein made equally revolutionary discoveries concerning the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, mass-energy equivalence, and the special theory of relativity. (See Annus Mirabilis papers)
annus terribilisdreadful yearUsed to describe 1348, the year the Black Death began to afflict Europe.
ante bellumbefore the warAs in status quo ante bellum ("as it was before the war"); commonly used in the Southern United States as antebellum to refer to the period preceding the American Civil War.
ante cibum (a.c.)before foodMedical shorthand for "before meals".
Ante faciem Dominibefore the face of the LordMotto of the Christian Brothers College, Adelaide
ante litterambefore the letterSaid of an expression or term that describes something which existed before the phrase itself was introduced or became common. Example: Alan Turing was a computer scientist ante litteram, since the field of "computer science" was not yet recognized in Turing's day.
ante meridiem (a.m.)before middayFrom midnight to noon; confer post meridiem.
ante mortembefore deathSee post mortem ("after death").
ante omnia armaribefore all else, be armed
ante prandium (a.p.)before lunchUsed on pharmaceutical prescriptions to denote "before a meal". Less common is post prandium ("after lunch").
a pedibus usque ad caputfrom feet to headOr, "completely"; similar to the English expressions "from tip to toe" and "from head to toe". Equally a capite ad calcem. See also ab ovo usque ad mala.
aperire terram gentibus open the land to nations Motto of Ferdinand de Lesseps referring to the Suez and Panama Canals. Also appears on a plaque at Kinshasa train station.
a posse ad esse from being able to being"From possibility to actuality" or "from being possible to being actual".
a posteriorifrom the latterBased on observation, i. e., empirical evidence; the reverse of a priori. Used in mathematics and logic to denote something that is known after a proof has been carried out. In philosophy, used to denote something known from experience.
apparatus criticustools of a criticTextual notes or a list of other readings relating to a document, especially in a scholarly edition of a text.
a priorifrom the formerPresupposed independent of experience; the reverse of a posteriori. Used in mathematics and logic to denote something that is known or postulated before a proof has been carried out. In philosophy, used to denote something is supposed without empirical evidence. In everyday speech, it denotes something occurring or being known before the event.
apudin the writings ofUsed in scholarly works to cite a reference at second hand.
aqua (aq.)water
aqua fortisstrong waterRefers to nitric acid.
aqua purapure waterOr, "clear water" or "clean water".
aqua regiaroyal waterRefers to a mixture of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid, thus called because of its ability to dissolve gold.
aqua vitaewater of life"Spirit of Wine" in many English texts. Used to refer to various native distilled beverages, such as whisky (uisge beatha) in Scotland and Ireland, gin in the Netherlands, brandy (eau de vie) in France, and akvavit in Scandinavia.
aquila non capit muscasan eagle does not catch fliesOr, "a noble or important person does not deal with insignificant matters".
arare litusto plough the seashoreDesiderius Erasmus, Adagia (AD 1508); meaning "wasted labor".
arbiter elegantiarumjudge of tastesOne who prescribes, rules on, or is a recognized authority on matters of social behavior and taste. Said of Petronius. Sometimes found in the singular as arbiter elegantiae ("judge of taste").
arcana imperiithe secrets of powerOriginally used by Tacitus to refer to the state secrets and unaccountable acts of the Roman imperial government.
arcanum boni tenoris animaeThe secret behind a good moodMotto of the Starobrno Brewery in Brno.
arcus senilisbow of an old personAn opaque circle around the cornea of the eye, often seen in elderly people.
arduus ad solemStriving towards the SunMotto of Victoria University of Manchester.
argentum albumwhite silverAlso "silver coin"; mentioned in the Domesday Book; signifies bullion or silver uncoined.
arguendofor arguingOr, "for the sake of argument". Said when something is done purely in order to discuss a matter or illustrate a point. E. g., "let us assume, arguendo, that your claim is correct."
argumentumargumentOr "reasoning", "inference", "appeal", or "proof". The plural is argumenta. Commonly used in the names of logical arguments and fallacies, preceding phrases such as a silentio (by silence), ad antiquitatem (to antiquity), ad baculum (to the stick), ad captandum (to capturing), ad consequentiam (to the consequence), ad crumenam (to the purse), ad feminam (to the woman), ad hominem (to the person), ad ignorantiam (to ignorance), ad invidiam (to hatred - appealing to low passions), ad judicium (to judgment), ad lazarum (to poverty), ad logicam (to logic), ad metum (to fear), ad misericordiam (to pity), ad nauseam (to nausea), ad novitatem (to novelty), ad personam (to the character), ad numerum (to the number), ad odium (to spite), ad populum (to the people), ad temperantiam (to moderation), ad verecundiam (to reverence), ex silentio (from silence), in terrorem (into terror), and e contrario (from/to the opposite).
ars celare artemart [is] to conceal artAn aesthetic ideal that good art should appear natural rather than contrived. Of medieval origin, but often incorrectly attributed to Ovid.[3]
ars gratia artisart for the sake of artTranslated into Latin from Baudelaire's "L'art pour l'art". Motto of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. While symmetrical for the logo of MGM, the better word order in Latin is "Ars artis gratia".
ars longa, vita brevisart is long, life is shortSeneca, De Brevitate Vitae, 1.1, translating a phrase of Hippocrates that is often used out of context. The "art" referred to in the original aphorism was the craft of medicine, which took a lifetime to acquire.
arte et laboreby art and by labourMotto of Blackburn Rovers F.C.
arte et marteby skill and valourMotto of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) Branch of the Canadian Forces.
Artis Bohemiae AmicisFriends of Czech ArtsAward of the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic for the promotion of the positive reputation of Czech culture abroad.
asinus ad lyraman ass to the lyreDesiderius Erasmus, Adagia (AD 1508); meaning "an awkward or incompetent individual".
asinus asinum fricatthe jackass rubs the jackassUsed to describe 2 persons who are lavishing excessive praise on one another.
assecuratus non quaerit lucrum sed agit ne in damno sitthe assured does not seek profit but makes [it his profit] that he not be in lossRefers to the insurance principle that the indemnity can not be larger than the loss.
astra inclinant, sed non obligantthe stars incline us, they do not bind usRefers to the distinction of free will from astrological determinism.
auctores variivarious authorsUsed in bibliography for books, texts, publications, or articles that have more than 3 collaborators.
auctoritasauthorityThe level of prestige a person had in Roman society.
auctoritas non veritas facit legemauthority, not truth, makes lawThis formula appears in the 1668 Latin revised edition of Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, book 2, chapter 26, p. 133.
audacia pro muro et scuto opusboldness is our wall, action is our shieldCornelis Jol,[4] in a bid to rally his rebellious captains to fight and conquer the Spanish treasure fleet in 1638.
audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeretslander boldly, something always sticksFrancis Bacon, De Augmentis Scientiarum (AD 1623).
audax at fidelisbold but faithfulMotto of Queensland, Australia.
audeamuslet us dare Motto of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment [CSOR] on their regimental coat of arms; of Otago University Students' Association, a direct response to the university's motto of sapere aude ("dare to be wise"); and of Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont.
audemus jura nostra defenderewe dare to defend our rightsMotto of the State of Alabama, adopted in AD 1923; translated into Latin from a paraphrase of the stanza "Men who their duties know / But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain" from William Jones, "What Constitutes a State?"
audentes fortuna iuvatfortune favors the boldFrom Virgil, Aeneid, Book 10, 284, where the first word is in the archaic form audentis. Allegedly the last words of Pliny the Elder before he left the docks at Pompeii to rescue people from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79. Often quoted as audaces fortuna iuvat. Also the motto of the Portuguese Army Commandos and the USS Montpelier (SSN-765) in the latter form.
audere est facereto dare is to doMotto of Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
audi alteram partemhear the other sideA legal principle; also worded as audiatur et altera pars ("let the other side be heard also").
audio hostemI hear the enemyMotto of the 845 NAS Royal Navy.
audi, vide, tacehear, see, be silent
aurea mediocritasgolden meanFrom Horace's Odes, 2, 10. Refers to the ethical goal of reaching a virtuous middle ground between two sinful extremes. The golden mean concept is common to many philosophers, chiefly Aristotle.
auri sacra famesaccursed hunger for goldFrom Virgil, Aeneid, Book 3, 57. Later quoted by Seneca as quod non mortalia pectora coges, auri sacra fames ("what do not you force mortal hearts [to do], accursed hunger for gold").
auribus teneo lupumI hold a wolf by the earsA common ancient proverb, this version from Terence. It indicates that one is in a dangerous situation where both holding on and letting go could be deadly. A modern version is "to have a tiger by the tail".
aurora australissouthern dawnThe Southern Lights, an aurora that appears in the Southern Hemisphere. It is less well-known than the Northern Lights (aurorea borealis). The Aurora Australis is also the name of an Antarctic icebreaker ship.
aurora borealisnorthern dawnThe Northern Lights, an aurora that appears in the Northern Hemisphere.
aurora musis amicadawn is a friend to the musesTitle of a distich by Iohannes Christenius (1599–1672): "Conveniens studiis non est nox, commoda lux est; / Luce labor bonus est et bona nocte quies." ("Night is not suitable for studying, daylight is; / working by light is good, as is rest at night."); in Nihus, Barthold (1642). Epigrammata disticha. Johannes Kinckius. 
aurum potestas estgold is powerMotto of the fictional Fowl Family in the Artemis Fowl series, written by Eoin Colfer.
auspicium melioris aevihope/token of a better ageMotto of the Order of St Michael and St George and of Raffles Institution in Singapore.
aut Caesar aut nihileither Caesar or nothingDenotes an absolute aspiration to become the Emperor, or the equivalent supreme magistrate, and nothing else. More generally, "all or nothing". A personal motto of Cesare Borgia. Charles Chaplin also used the phrase in The Great Dictator to ridicule Hynkel's (Chaplin's parody of Hitler) ambition for power, but substituted "nulles" for "nihil".
aut consiliis aut enseeither by meeting or the swordI. e., either through reasoned discussion or through war. It was the first motto of Chile.
aut cum scuto aut in scutoeither with shield or on shieldOr, "do or die" or "no retreat". A Greek expression («Ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς») that Spartan mothers said to their sons as they departed for battle. It refers to the practices that a Greek hoplite would drop his cumbersome shield in order to flee the battlefield, and a slain warrior would be borne home atop his shield.
aut imiteris aut oderisimitate or loathe itSeneca the Younger, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, 7:7. From the full phrase: "necesse est aut imiteris aut oderis" ("you must either imitate or loathe the world").
aut neca aut necareeither kill or be killedAlso: "neca ne neceris" ("kill lest you be killed").
aut pax aut bellumeither peace or warThe motto of the Gunn Clan.
aut simul stabunt aut simul cadentthey will either stand together or fall togetherSaid of two situations that can only occur simultaneously: if one ends, so does the other, and vice versa.[5]
aut viam inveniam aut faciamI will either find a way or make oneHannibal.
aut vincere aut morieither to conquer or to dieA general pledge of victoria aut mors ("victory or death"). Motto of the Higgenbotham and Higginbottom families of Cheshire, England, United Kingdom; participants in the War of the Roses. Also the motto for the United States 1st Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, in Virginia.
ave atque valehail and farewellCatullus, Carmen 101, addressed to his deceased brother.
ave Europa nostra vera patriahail Europe, our true fatherlandAnthem of Imperium Europa.
Ave Imperator, morituri te salutantHail, Emperor! Those who are about to die salute you!From Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars, Claudius 21. A salute and plea for mercy recorded on one occasion by naumachiarii–captives and criminals fated to die fighting during mock naval encounters. Later versions included a variant of "We who are about to die", and this translation is sometimes aided by changing the Latin to nos morituri te salutamus.
Ave MariaHail, MaryRoman Catholic prayer of intercession asking St. Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ to pray for the petitioner.
ave mater AngliaeHail, Mother of EnglandMotto of Canterbury, England, United Kingdom.


barba crescit caput nescitbeard grows, head doesn't grow wiser
barba non facit philosophuma beard doesn't make one a philosopher
barba tenus sapienteswise as far as the beardOr wise only in appearance. From Erasmus's collection of Adages.
Beata Virgo Maria (BVM)Blessed Virgin MaryA common name in the Roman Catholic Church for Mary, the mother of Jesus. The genitive, Beatae Mariae Virginis (BMV), occurs often as well, appearing with such words as horae (hours), litaniae (litanies) and officium (office).
beatae memoriaeof blessed memorySee in memoriam.
beati pauperes spirituBlessed in spirit [are] the poor.A Beatitude from Matthew 5:3 in the Vulgate: beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum "Blessed in spirit [are] the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens".
beati possidentesblessed [are] those who possessTranslated from Euripides.
beati qui ambulant lege dominiBlessed are they who walk in the law of the LordInscription above the entrance to St. Andrew's Church (New York City), based on Psalm 119:1.
beatus homo qui invenit sapientiamblessed is the man who finds wisdomfrom Proverbs 3:13; set to music in a 1577 motet of the same name by Orlando di Lasso.
bella gerant alii
Protesilaus amet!
Let others wage war
Protesilaus should love!
Originally from Ovid, Heroides 13.84,[6] where Laodamia is writing to her husband Protesilaus who is at the Trojan War. She begs him to stay out of danger, but he was in fact the first Greek to die at Troy. Also used of the Habsburg marriages of 1477 and 1496, written as bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube (let others wage war; you, happy Austria, marry). Said by King Matthias.
bella detesta matribus war hateful to mothers from Horace.
bello et jure senesco I grow old through war and law Motto of the House of d'Udekem d'Acoz
bellum omnium contra omneswar of all against allA phrase used by Thomas Hobbes to describe the state of nature.
bellum se ipsum aletwar feeds itself
Biblia pauperumPaupers' BibleTradition of biblical pictures displaying the essential facts of Christian salvation.
bibo ergo sumI drink, therefore I am A play on "cogito ergo sum", "I think therefore I am".
bis dat qui cito dathe gives twice, who gives promptlyA gift given without hesitation is as good as two gifts.
bis in die (bid)twice in a dayMedical shorthand for "twice a day".
bona fidein good faithIn other words, "well-intentioned", "fairly". In modern contexts, often has connotations of "genuinely" or "sincerely". Bona fides is not the plural (which would be bonis fidebus), but the nominative, and means simply "good faith". Opposite of mala fide.
bona notabilianote-worthy goodsIn law, if a person dying has goods, or good debts, in another diocese or jurisdiction within that province, besides his goods in the diocese where he dies, amounting to a certain minimum value, he is said to have bona notabilia; in which case, the probat of his will belongs to the archbishop of that province.
bona officiagood servicesA nation's offer to mediate in disputes between two other nations.
bona patriagoods of a countryA jury or assize of countrymen, or good neighbors.
bona vacantiavacant goodsUnited Kingdom legal term for ownerless property that passes to The Crown.
boni pastoris est tondere pecus non deglubereit is a good shepherd's [job] to shear his flock, not to flay themTiberius reportedly said this to his regional commanders, as a warning against taxing the populace excessively.
bono malum superateOvercome evil with goodMotto of Westonbirt School.
bonum commune communitatiscommon good of the communityOr "general welfare". Refers to what benefits a society, as opposed to bonum commune hominis, which refers to what is good for an individual. In the film Hot Fuzz, this phrase is chanted by an assembled group of people, in which context it is deliberately similar to another phrase that is repeated throughout the film, which is The Greater Good.
bonum commune hominiscommon good of a manRefers to an individual's happiness, which is not "common" in that it serves everyone, but in that individuals tend to be able to find happiness in similar things.
boreas domus, mare amicusthe North is our home, the sea is our friendMotto of Orkney.
brutum fulmenharmless (or inert) thunderboltUsed to indicate either an empty threat, or a judgement at law which has no practical effect.
busillisPseudo-Latin meaning "baffling puzzle" or "difficult point". John of Cornwall (ca. 1170) was once asked by a scribe what the word meant. It turns out that the original text said in diebus illis magnis plenae (in those days there were plenty of great things), which the scribe misread as indie busillis magnis plenae (in India there were plenty of large busillis).


cacoethes scribendiinsatiable desire to writeCacoēthes[7] "bad habit", or medically, "malignant disease" is a borrowing of Greek kakóēthes.[8] The phrase is derived from a line in the Satires of Juvenal: Tenet insanabile multos scribendi cacoethes, or "the incurable desire (or itch) for writing affects many". See hypergraphia.
cadavera vero innumeratruly countless bodiesUsed by the Romans to describe the aftermath of the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains.
Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.Kill them all. For the Lord knows those who are his.Supposed statement by Abbot Arnaud Amalric before the massacre of Béziers during the Albigensian Crusade, recorded 30 years later, according to Caesarius of Heisterbach. cf. "Kill them all and let God sort them out."
Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare curruntThose who hurry across the sea change the sky [upon them], not their souls or state of mindHexameter by Horace (Epistula XI).[9] Seneca shortens it to Animum debes mutare, non caelum (You must change [your] disposition, not [your] sky) in his Letter to Lucilium XXVIII, 1.
Caesar non supra grammaticosCaesar has no authority over the grammariansPolitical power is limited; it does not include power over grammar.[10]
caetera desuntthe rest is missingCaetera is Medieval Latin spelling for cētera.
calix meus inebriansmy cup making me drunk
calamus gladio fortiorThe pen is mightier than the sword
camera obscuradark chamberAn optical device used in drawing, and an ancestor of modern photography. The source of the word camera.
Cane Nero magna bella PersicaTell, oh Nero, of the great wars of PersiaPerfectly correct latin sentence usually reported as funny from modern Italians because the same exact words, in today's dialect of Rome, mean "A black dog eats a beautiful peach", which has a ridiculously different meaning.
canes pugnaceswar dogs or fighting dogs
canis canem editdog eats dogRefers to a situation where nobody is safe from anybody, each man for himself.
capax Deicapable of receiving GodFrom Augustine, De Trinitate XIV, 8.11: Mens eo ipso imago Dei est quo eius capax est,[11] "The mind is the image of God, in that it is capable of Him and can be partaker of Him."
capax infinitiholding the infiniteCapability of achieving goals by force of many instead of a single individual.
caput inter nubila (condit)(she plunges) [her] head in the cloudsSo aggrandized as to be beyond practical (earthly) reach or understanding (from Virgil's Aeneid and the shorter form appears in John Locke's Two Treatises of Government)
caput mortuumdead headOriginally an alchemical reference to the dead head or worthless residue left over from a reaction. Also used to refer to a freeloader or worthless element.
Caritas ChristiThe love of ChristIt implies a command to love as Christ loved. Motto of St. Francis Xavier High School located in West Meadowlark Park, Edmonton.
Caritas in VeritateCharity in TruthPope Benedict XVI's third encyclical.
carpe diemseize the dayAn exhortation to live for today. From Horace, Odes I, 11.8. Carpere refers to plucking of flowers or fruit. The phrase collige virgo rosas has a similar sense.
carpe noctemseize the nightAn exhortation to make good use of the night, often used when carpe diem, q.v., would seem absurd, e.g., when observing a deep-sky object or conducting a Messier marathon or engaging in social activities after sunset.
carpe vinumseize the wine
Carthago delenda estCarthage must be destroyedThe Roman senator Cato the Elder ended every speech after the Second Punic War with ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam, literally "For the rest, I am of the opinion that Carthage is to be destroyed." Before the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon in the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan ended all his speeches in a similar way with Pactio Olisipiensis censenda est "The Treaty of Lisbon must be put to a referendum".
castigat ridendo moresOne corrects customs by laughing at themOr, "[Comedy/Satire] criticises customs through humour", is a phrase coined by French New Latin poet Jean-Baptiste de Santeul (1630–1697), but sometimes wrongly attributed to his contemporary Molière or to Roman lyric poet Horace.
casus bellievent of warRefers to an incident that is the justification or case for war.
causa latet, vis est notissimaThe cause is hidden, but the result is well known.Ovid: Metamorphoses IV, 287; motto of Alpha Sigma Phi.
causa mortiscause of death
cavebeware!especially used by Doctors of Medicine, when they want to warn each other (e.g.: "cave nephrolithiases" in order to warn about side effects of an uricosuric). Spoken aloud in some British public schools by pupils to warn each other of impending authority.
cave canemBeware of the dogEarliest written example is in the Satyricon of Petronius, circa 1st century C.E.
caveat emptorlet the buyer bewareThe purchaser is responsible for checking whether the goods suit his need. Phrases modeled on this one replace emptor with lector, subscriptor, venditor, utilitor: "reader", "signer", "seller", "user".
caveat venditorlet the seller bewareIt is a counter to caveat emptor and suggests that sellers can also be deceived in a market transaction. This forces the seller to take responsibility for the product and discourages sellers from selling products of unreasonable quality.
cedant arma togaelet arms yield to the gown"Let military power yield to civilian power", Cicero, De Officiis I:77. Former motto of the Territory of Wyoming. See also Toga
cedere nescio I Know Not How To Yield Motto of HMAS Norman
Celer - Silens - MortalisSwift-Silent-DeadlyMotto of United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Units - especially USMC FORCE RECON units - the Force Reconnaissance companies, also known as FORCE RECON, are one of the United States Marine Corps Special Operations Capable forces (SOC) that provide essential elements of military intelligence to the command element of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF); supporting their task force commanders, and their subordinate operating units of the Fleet Marine Force (FMF).
celerius quam asparagi cocunturmore swiftly than asparagus [stem]s are cookedOr simply "faster than cooking asparagus". A variant of the Roman phrase velocius quam asparagi coquantur, using a different adverb and an alternative mood and spelling of coquere.
cepi corpusI have taken the bodyIn law, it is a return made by the sheriff, upon a capias, or other process to the like purpose; signifying, that he has taken the body of the party. See also habeas corpus.
certum est quod certum reddi potestit is certain, whatever can be rendered certainOr "... if it can be rendered certain." Often used in law when something is not known, but can be ascertained (e.g. the purchase price on a sale which is to be determined by a third-party valuer)
cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lexwhen the reason for the law ceases, the law itself ceasesA rule of law becomes ineffective when the reason for its application has ceased to exist or does not correspond to the reality anymore. By Gratian.
cetera desuntthe rest are missingAlso spelled "caetera desunt".
ceteris paribusall other things being equalThat is, disregarding or eliminating extraneous factors in a situation.
charta pardonationis se defendendoa paper of pardon to defend oneselfThe form of a pardon for killing another man in self-defence (see manslaughter).
charta pardonationis utlagariaea paper of pardon to the outlawThe form of a pardon of a man who is outlawed. Also called perdonatio utlagariae.
Christianos ad leones[Throw the] Christians to the lions!
Christo et DoctrinaeFor Christ and LearningThe motto of Furman University.
Christus nos liberavitChrist has freed ustitle of volume I, book 5, chapter XI of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.
Christus RexChrist the KingA Christian title for Jesus.
circa (c.) or (ca.)aroundIn the sense of "approximately" or "about". Usually used of a date.
circulus in probandocircle made in testing [a premise]Circular reasoning. Similar term to circulus vitiosus.
circulus vitiosusvicious circleIn logic, begging the question, a fallacy involving the presupposition of a proposition in one of the premises (see petitio principii). In science, a positive feedback loop. In economics, a counterpart to the virtuous circle.
citius altius fortiusfaster, higher, strongerMotto of the modern Olympics.
clamea admittenda in itinere per atturnatum A writ whereby the king of England could command the justice to admit one's claim by an attorney, who being employed in the king's service, cannot come in person.
clarere audere gaudere[be] bright, daring, joyfulMotto of the Geal family.
clausum fregit A legal action for trespass to land; so called, because the writ demands the person summoned to answer wherefore he broke the close (quare clausum fregit), i.e., why he entered the plaintiff's land.
claves Sancti Petrithe keys of Saint PeterA symbol of the Papacy.
clavis aureagolden keyThe means of discovering hidden or mysterious meanings in texts, particularly applied in theology and alchemy.
clerico admittendofor being made a clerkIn law, a writ directed to the bishop, for the admitting a clerk to a benefice upon a ne admittas, tried, and found for the party who procures the writ.
clerico capto per statutum mercatorum In law, a writ for the delivery of a clerk out of prison, who is imprisoned upon the breach of statute merchant.
clerico convicto commisso gaolae in defectu ordinarii deliberando In law, a writ for the delivery of a clerk to his ordinary, that was formerly convicted of felony; by reason that his ordinary did not challenge him according to the privilege of clerks.
clerico intra sacros ordines constituto non eligendo in officium In law, a writ directed to the bailiffs, etc., that have thrust a bailiwick or beadleship upon one in holy orders; charging them to release him.
Codex Iuris CanoniciBook of Canon LawThe official code of canon law in the Roman Catholic Church (cf. Corpus Iuris Canonici).
Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur"No one suffers punishment for mere intent."A Latin legal phrase. See, State v Taylor, 47 Or 455, 84 P 82.
cogito ergo sumI think, therefore I am.A rationalistic argument used by French philosopher René Descartes to attempt to prove his own existence.
coitus interruptusinterrupted congressAborting sexual intercourse prior to ejaculation—the only permitted form of birth control in some religions.
coitus more ferarumcongress in the way of beastsA medical euphemism for the doggy-style sexual position.
collige virgo rosaspick, girl, the roses
Exhortation to enjoy fully the youth, similar to Carpe diem, from "De rosis nascentibus" (also titled "Idyllium de rosis"), attributed to Ausonius or Virgil.[12] "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may", 1909, by John William Waterhouse
combinatio novanew combinationIt is frequently abbreviated comb. nov.. It is used in the life sciences literature when a new name is introduced, e.g. Klebsiella granulomatis comb. nov..
communibus annisin common yearsOne year with another; on an average. "Common" here does not mean "ordinary", but "common to every situation"
communibus locisin common placesA term frequently used among philosophical and other writers, implying some medium, or mean relation between several places; one place with another; on a medium. "Common" here does not mean "ordinary", but "common to every situation"
communis opiniocommon opinionprevailing doctrine, generally accepted view (in an academic field), scientific consensus; originally communis opinio doctorum, "common opinion of the doctors"
compos mentisin control of the mindDescribes someone of sound mind. Sometimes used ironically. Also a legal principle, non compos mentis (not in control of one's faculties), used to describe an insane person.
concilio et laboreby wisdom and effortMotto of the city of Manchester.
concordia cum veritatein harmony with truthMotto of the University of Waterloo
concordia saluswell-being through harmonyMotto of Montreal. It is also the Bank of Montreal coat of arms and motto.
concordia parvae res crescuntsmall things grow in harmonyMotto of Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood
condemnant quod non intelleguntThey condemn what they do not understand or
They condemn because they do not understand
The quod here is ambiguous: it may be the relative pronoun or a conjunction.
condicio sine qua noncondition without which notA required, indispensable condition. Commonly mistakenly rendered with conditio ("seasoning" or "preserving") in place of condicio ("arrangement" or "condition").
conditur in petrait is founded on the rockMotto of Peterhouse Boys' School and Peterhouse Girls' School
confer (cf.)[13][14]compareThe abbreviation cf. is used in text to suggest a comparison with something else (cf. citation signal).
Confoederatio Helvetica (C.H.)Helvetian ConfederationThe official name of Switzerland, hence the use of "CH" for its ISO country code, ".ch" for its Internet domain, and "CHF" for the ISO three-letter abbreviation of its currency, the Swiss franc.
Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris C.Ss.RCongregation of the Most Holy RedeemerRedemptorists
coniunctis viribuswith connected strengthOr "with united powers". Sometimes rendered conjunctis viribus. Motto of Queen Mary, University of London.
consensuwith consent
consuetudo pro lege servaturCustom is held as law.Where there are no specific laws, the matter should be decided by custom;[15] established customs have the force of laws.[16] Also consuetudo est altera lex (custom is another law) and consuetudo vincit communem legem (custom overrules the common law); see also: Consuetudinary.
consummatum estIt is completed.The last words of Jesus on the cross in the Latin translation of John 19:30.
contemptus mundi/saeculiscorn for the world/timesDespising the secular world. The monk or philosopher's rejection of a mundane life and worldly values.
contra bonos moresagainst good moralsOffensive to the conscience and to a sense of justice.
contra legemagainst the lawEspecially in civil law jurisdictions, said of an understanding of a statute that directly contradicts its wording and thus is neither valid by interpretation nor by analogy.
contra proferentemagainst the proferrorIn contract law, the doctrine of contractual interpretation which provides that an ambiguous term will be construed against the party that imposed its inclusion in the contract – or, more accurately, against the interests of the party who imposed it.
contra spem speroI hope against hopeTitle of a poem by Lesya Ukrainka; also used in the Pentateuch with reference to Abraham the Patriarch.
contra vim mortis non crescit herba (or salvia) in hortisNo herb (or sage) grows in the gardens against the power of deaththere is no medicine against death; from various medieval medicinal texts
contradictio in terminiscontradiction in termsA thing or idea that would embody a contradiction, for example, payment for a gift, or a circle with corners. The fallacy of proposing such a thing.
contra principia negantem non est disputandum there can be no debate with those who deny the foundations Debate is fruitless when you don't agree on common rules, facts, presuppositions.
contraria contrariis curanturthe opposite is cured with the oppositeFirst formulated by Hippocrates to suggest that the diseases are cured with contrary remedies. Antonym of similia similibus curantur (the diseases are recovered with similar remedies.)
cor ad cor loquiturheart speaks to heartFrom Augustine's Confessions, referring to a prescribed method of prayer: having a "heart to heart" with God. Commonly used in reference to a later quote by Cardinal John Henry Newman. A motto of Newman Clubs.
cor aut morsHeart or Death(Your choice is between) The Heart (Moral Values, Duty, Loyalty) or Death (to no longer matter, to no longer be respected as person of integrity.)
cor meum tibi offero domine prompte et sinceremy heart I offer to you Lord promptly and sincerelyJohn Calvin's personal motto, also adopted by Calvin College
cor unumone heartA popular school motto. Often used as names for religious and other organisations such as the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
coram Deoin the Presence of GodA phrase from Christian theology which summarizes the idea of Christians living in the Presence of, under the authority of, and to the honor and glory of God.
coram nobis, coram vobisin our presence, in your presenceTwo kinds of writs of error.
coram populoin the presence of the peopleThus, openly.
coram publicoin view of the public
Corpus ChristiBody of ChristThe name of a feast in the Roman Catholic Church commemorating the Eucharist. It is also the name of a city in Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas, the name of Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge universities, and a controversial play.
corpus delictibody of the offenceThe fact that a crime has been committed, a necessary factor in convicting someone of having committed that crime; if there was no crime, there can not have been a criminal.
Corpus Iuris CanoniciBody of Canon LawThe official compilation of canon law in the Roman Catholic Church (cf. Codex Iuris Canonici).
Corpus Iuris CivilisBody of Civil LawThe body of Roman or civil law.
corpus vileworthless bodyA person or thing fit only to be the object of an experiment, as in the phrase 'Fiat experimentum in corpore vili.'
corrigendathings to be corrected
corruptio optimi pessimathe corruption of the best is the worst
corruptissima re publica plurimae legesWhen the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerousTacitus
corvus oculum corvi non eruita raven does not pick out an eye of another raven
corruptus in extremiscorrupt to the extremeMotto of the fictional Mayor's office in The Simpsons
cras amet qui nunquam amavit; quique amavit, cras ametMay he who has never loved before, love tomorrow; And may he who has loved, love tomorrow as wellThe refrain from the 'Pervigilium Veneris', a poem which describes a three-day holiday in the cult of Venus, located somewhere in Sicily, involving the whole town in religious festivities joined with a deep sense of nature and Venus as the "procreatrix", the life-giving force behind the natural world.
Cras es NosterThe Future is OursMotto of San Jacinto College.
creatio ex nihilocreation out of nothingA concept about creation, often used in a theological or philosophical context. Also known as the 'First Cause' argument in Philosophy of Religion. Contrasted with creatio ex materia.
Credo in Unum DeumI Believe in One GodThe first words of the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed.
credo quia absurdum estI believe it because it is absurdA very common misquote of Tertullian's et mortuus est Dei Filius prorsus credibile quia ineptum est (and the Son of God is dead: in short, it is credible because it is unfitting), meaning that it is so absurd to say that God's son has died that it would have to be a matter of belief, rather than reason. The misquoted phrase, however, is commonly used to mock the dogmatic beliefs of the religious (see fideism). This phrase is commonly shortened to credo quia absurdum, and is also sometimes rendered credo quia impossibile est (I believe it because it is impossible) or, as Darwin used it in his autobiography, credo quia incredibile.
crescamus in Illo per omniaMay we grow in Him through all thingsMotto of Cheverus High School.
crescat scientia vita excolaturlet knowledge grow, let life be enrichedMotto of the University of Chicago.
crescente luceLight ever increasingMotto of James Cook University.
crescit cum commercio civitasCivilization prospers with commerceMotto of Claremont McKenna College.
crescit eundoit grows as it goesState motto of New Mexico, adopted in 1887 as the territory's motto, and kept in 1912 when New Mexico received statehood. Originally from Lucretius' De rerum natura book VI, where it refers in context to the motion of a thunderbolt across the sky, which acquires power and momentum as it goes.
cruci dum spiro fidowhile I live, I trust in the cross, Whilst I trust in the Cross I have lifeMotto of the Sisters of Loreto (IBVM) and its associated schools.
cucullus non facit monachumThe hood does not make the monkWilliam Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Scene I, Act V 48–50
cui bonoGood for whom?"Who benefits?" An adage in criminal investigation which suggests that considering who would benefit from an unwelcome event is likely to reveal who is responsible for that event (cf. cui prodest). Also the motto of the Crime Syndicate of America, a fictional supervillain group. The opposite is cui malo (Bad for whom?).
cui prodestfor whom it advancesShort for cui prodest scelus is fecit (for whom the crime advances, he has done it) in Seneca's Medea. Thus, the murderer is often the one who gains by the murder (cf. cui bono).
cuique suumto each his own
cuius est solum eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferosWhose the land is, all the way to the sky and to the underworld is his.First coined by Accursius of Bologna in the 13th century. A Roman legal principle of property law that is no longer observed in most situations today. Less literally, "For whosoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to the sky and down to the depths."
cuius regio, eius religiowhose region, his religionThe privilege of a ruler to choose the religion of his subjects. A regional prince's ability to choose his people's religion was established at the Peace of Augsburg in 1555.
cuiusvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore perseverare.Anyone can err, but only the fool persists in his faultCicero, Philippica XII, 5.
culpafaultAlso "blame" or "guilt". In law, an act of neglect. In general, guilt, sin, or a fault. See also mea culpa.
cum gladiis et fustibuswith swords and clubsFrom the Bible. Occurs in Matthew 26:47 and Luke 22:52.
cum gladio et salewith sword and saltMotto of a well-paid soldier. See salary.
cum grano saliswith a grain of saltNot to be taken too seriously or as the literal truth.
cum hoc ergo propter hocwith this, therefore on account of thisFallacy of assuming that correlation implies causation.
cum laudewith praiseThe standard formula for academic Latin honors in the United States. Greater honors include magna cum laude and summa cum laude.
cum mortuis in lingua mortuawith the dead in a dead languageMovement from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky
cum privilegio ad imprimendum solumwith the exclusive right to printCopyright notice used in 16th-century England, used for comic effect in The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
cuncti adsint meritaeque expectent praemia palmaelet all come who by merit deserve the most rewardMotto of University College London.
cupio dissolvidesire to be dissolvedFrom the Bible, locution indicating a will to death ("I want to die").
cur Deus HomoWhy the God-ManThe question attributed to Anselm in his work of by this name, wherein he reflects on why the Christ of Christianity must be both fully Divine and fully Human. Often translated "why did God become Man?"
cura personaliscare for the whole person Motto of Georgetown University School of Medicine and University of Scranton.
cura te ipsumtake care of your own selfAn exhortation to physicians, or experts in general, to deal with their own problems before addressing those of others.
curriculum vitaecourse of lifeAn overview of a person's life and qualifications, similar to a résumé.
custodi civitatem, Domineguard the city, O LordMotto of the City of Westminster.
custos morumkeeper of moralsA censor.
cygnis insignisdistinguished by its swansMotto of Western Australia.
cygnus inter anatesswan among ducks


da Deus fortunaeGod give fortune/happinessA traditional greeting of Czech brewers.
da mihi factum, dabo tibi iusgive me the fact, I will give you the lawAlso da mihi facta, dabo tibi ius (plural "facta" (facts) for the singular "factum"). A legal principle of Roman law that parties to a suit should present the facts and the judge will rule on the law that governs them. Related to iura novit curia (the court knows the law).
damnant quod non intelleguntThey condemn what they do not understandParaphrase of Quintilianus, De Institutione Oratoria, Book 10, Chapter 1, 26:
  • Modesto tamen et circumspecto iudicio de tantis viris pronuntiandum est, ne, quod plerisque accidit, damnent quae non intellegunt.
    • Yet students must pronounce with diffidence and circumspection on the merits of such illustrious characters, lest, as is the case with many, they condemn what they do not understand. (translated by Rev. John Selby Watson)
damnatio ad bestiascondemnation to [the] beastsColloquially, "thrown to the lions".
damnatio memoriaedamnation of memoryThe ancient Roman custom by which it was pretended that disgraced Romans, especially former emperors), never existed, by eliminating all records and likenesses of them.
damnum absque injuriadamage without injuryMeaning a loss that results from no one's wrongdoing. In Roman law, a person is not responsible for unintended, consequential injury to another that results from a lawful act. This protection does not necessarily apply to unintended damage caused by one's negligence or folly.
dat deus incrementum or
deus dat incrementum
God gives growthMotto of several schools.
data veniawith due respect / given the excuseUsed before disagreeing with someone.
datum perficiemus munusWe shall accomplish the mission assignedMotto of Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
de bene esseas well doneIn law, a de bene esse deposition is used to preserve the testimony of a witness who is expected not to be available to appear at trial and be cross-examined.
de bonis asportatiscarrying goods awayIn law, trespass de bonis asportatis was the traditional name for larceny, i.e., the unlawful theft of chattels (moveable goods).
decessit sine proledied without issueUsed in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.s.p., to indicate a person who died without having had any children.
decessit sine prole legitimadied without legitimate issueUsed in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.s.p.l., to indicate a person who died without having had any children with a spouse.
decessit sine prole mascula superstitedied without surviving male issueUsed in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.s.p.m., to indicate a person who died without having had any male children who survived, i.e., outlived, him.
decessit sine prole superstitedied without surviving issueUsed in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.s.p.s., to indicate a person who died without having had any children who survived, i.e., outlived him.
decessit vita matrisdied in the lifetime of the motherUsed in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.v.m., to indicate a person who predeceased his mother.
decessit vita patrisdied in the lifetime of the fatherUsed in genealogical records, often abbreviated as d.v.p., to indicate a person who predeceased his father.
decus et tutamenan ornament and a safeguardA phrase from the Aeneid of Virgil. Inscription on British one-pound coins. Originally inscribed on coins of the 17th century, it refers to the inscribed edge of the coin as a protection against the clipping of its precious metal.
de datoof the dateUsed, e.g., in "as we agreed in the meeting d.d. 26th Mai 2006".
de factoby deedSaid of something that is the actual state of affairs, in contrast to something's legal or official standing, which is described as de jure. De facto refers to "the way things really are" rather than what is officially presented as the fact of the matter in question.
de praescientia Deifrom/through the foreknowledge of GodMotto of the Worshipful Company of Barbers.
defendit numerusthere is safety in numbers
de fideliwith faithfulnessA clerk of a court makes this declaration when he is appointed, by which he promises to perform his duties faithfully as a servant of the court.
de fideli administrationeof faithful administrationDescribes an oath taken to faithfully administer the duties of a job or office, like that taken by a court reporter.[17]
defunctus vivente patredied with [his] father [still] living. See also vivente rege[18]Used by genealogists, often abbreviated as "d.v.p.", to indicate a son who predeceased his father and did not live long enough to inherit his father's title or estate. See also "sine prole".
de futuroregarding the futureUsually used in the context of "at a future time".
de gustibus non est disputandumof tastes there is nothing to be disputedLess literally, "there is no accounting for taste", because they are judged subjectively and not objectively: everyone has his own and none deserve preminence. The complete phrase is "de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum" ("when we talk about tastes and colours there is nothing to be disputed"). Probably of Scholastic origin; see Wiktionary.
Dei Gratia ReginaBy the Grace of God, QueenAlso Dei Gratia Rex ("By the Grace of God, King"). Abbreviated as D G REG preceding Fidei Defensor (F D) on British pound coins, and as D G Regina on Canadian coins.
de integroagain, a second time
de jureby law"Official", in contrast with de facto; analogous to "in principle", whereas de facto is to "in practice". In other contexts, it can mean "according to law", "by right", and "legally".
de lege ferendaof/from law to be passed
de lege lataof/from law passed / of/from law in force
de minimis non curat lexThe law does not care about the smallest things.A court does not care about small, trivial things. A case must have some importance in order for a court to hear it. See "de minimis non curat praetor".
de minimis non curat praetorthe commander does not care about the smallest things.Also, "the chief magistrate does not concern himself with trifles." Trivial matters are no concern of a high official; cf. aquila non capit muscas (the eagle does not catch flies). Sometimes rex (king) or lex (law) is used in place of praetor. De minimis is a legal phrase referring to things unworthy of the law's attention.
de mortuis aut bene aut nihilabout the dead, either well or nothingLess literally, "speak well of the dead or not at all"; cf. de mortuis nil nisi bonum.
de mortuis nil nisi bonumabout the dead, nothing unless a good thingFrom de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est ("nothing must be said about the dead except the good"), attributed by Diogenes Laërtius to Chilon. In legal contexts, this quotation is used with the opposite meaning: defamation of a deceased person is not a crime. In other contexts, it refers to taboos against criticizing the recently deceased.
de nobis fabula narraturabout us is the story toldThus: "their story is our story". Originally it referred to the end of Rome's dominance. Now often used when comparing any current situation to a past story or event.
de novofrom the new"Anew" or "afresh". In law, a trial de novo is a retrial. In biology, de novo means newly synthesized, and a de novo mutation is a mutation that neither parent possessed or transmitted. In economics, de novo refers to newly founded companies, and de novo banks are state banks that have been in operation for five years or less.
de omni re scibili et quibusdam aliisabout every knowable thing, and even certain other thingsThe Italian scholar Giovanni Pico della Mirandola of the 15th century wrote the De omni re scibili ("concerning every knowable thing") part, and a wag added et quibusdam aliis ("and even certain other things").
de omnibus dubitandumbe suspicious of everything / doubt everything Attributed to the French philosopher René Descartes. It was also Karl Marx's favorite motto and a title of one of Søren Kierkegaard's works, namely, De Omnibus Dubitandum Est.
de oppresso liberfree from having been oppressedLoosely, "to liberate the oppressed". Motto of the United States Army Special Forces.[19]
de profundisfrom the depthsMeaning from out of the depths of misery or dejection. From the Latin translation of the Vulgate Bible of Psalm 130, of which it is a traditional title in Roman Catholic liturgy.
de reabout/regarding the matterIn logic, de dicto statements regarding the truth of a proposition are distinguished from de re statements regarding the properties of a thing itself.
Dei sub numine vigetunder God's Spirit she flourishesMotto of Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, United States.
delectatio morosapeevish delightIn Catholic theology, pleasure taken in a sinful thought or imagination, such as brooding on sexual images. As voluntary and complacent erotic fantasizing, without attempt to suppress such thoughts, it is distinct from actual sexual desire.
delegata potestas non potest delegaridelegated powers can not be [further] delegatedA legal principle whereby one to whom certain powers were delegated may not ipso facto re-delegate them to another. A distinction may be had between delegated powers and the additional power to re-delegate them.
delirant isti Romanithey are mad, those Romans[!]A Latin translation of René Goscinny's phrase in French ils sont fous, ces romains! or Italian Sono pazzi questi Romani. Cf. SPQR, which Obelix frequently used in the Asterix comics.
Deo ac veritatifor God and for truthMotto of Colgate University.
Deo confidimusin God we trustMotto of Somerset College.
Deo domuiqueFor God and for homeMotto of Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne.
Deo et patriaeFor God and countryMotto of Regis High School in New York City, New York, United States.
Deo gratiasThanks [be] to GodA frequent phrase in the Roman Catholic liturgy, especially after the recitation of the first and second readings at Holy Mass in the Ordinary Form and after the recitation of the first reading and the final gospel (of St. John) in the Extraordinary Form.
Deo juvantewith God's helpMotto of Monaco and its monarch, which is inscribed on the royal arms.
Deo non fortunaby God, not fortune/luckMotto of the Epsom College in Surrey, England.
Deo optimo maximo (DOM)To the best and greatest GodDerived from the pagan Iupiter optimo maximo ("to the best and greatest Jupiter"). Printed on bottles of Bénédictine liqueur.
Deo patriae litterisFor God, country, [and] learningMotto of Scotch College (Melbourne).
Deo volenteGod willingThis was often used in conjunction with a signature at the end of letters. It was used in order to signify that "God willing" this letter will get to you safely, "God willing" the contents of this letter come true. As an abbreviation (simply "D.V.") it is often found in personal letters (in English) of the early 1900s, employed to generally and piously qualify a given statement about a future planned action, that it will be carried out, so long as God wills (see James 4:13-15, which encourages this way of speaking). The motto of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
descensus in cuniculi cavumThe descent into the cave of the rabbitDown the rabbit hole. See Alice's Adventures in Wonderland#Famous lines and expressions.
desiderantes meliorem patriamthey desired a better landFrom Hebrews 11: 16. Adopted as the motto of the Order of Canada.
Deus Caritas EstGod Is LoveTitle and first words of the first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI. For other meanings see Deus caritas est (disambiguation).
deus ex machinaa god from a machineFrom the Greek ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός (apò mēchanēs theós). A contrived or artificial solution, usually to a literary plot. Refers to the practice in Greek drama of lowering by crane (the mechanê) an actor playing a god or goddess onto the stage to resolve an insuperable conflict in the plot. The device is most commonly associated with Euripides.
Deus lux mea estGod is my lightThe motto of The Catholic University of America.
Deus meumque jusGod and my rightThe principal motto of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. See also Dieu et mon droit.
Deus nobis haec otia fecitGod has given us these days of leisureMotto of the city of Liverpool, England.
Deus otiosusGod at leisure
Deus spes nostraGod is our hopeThe motto of Sir Thomas de Boteler, founder of Boteler Grammar School in Warrington in 1526.
Deus vultGod wills itThe principal slogan of the Crusades. Motto of Bergen Catholic High School in New Jersey, United States.
dictatum erat (dict)as previously statedA recent academic substitution for the spacious and inconvenient phrase "as previously stated". Literally, has been stated. Compare also "dicta prius"; literally, said previously.
dicto simpliciter[from] a maxim, simplyI.e. "from a rule without exception." Short for a dicto simpliciter, the a is often dropped because it is confused with the English indefinite article. A dicto simpliciter occurs when an acceptable exception is ignored or eliminated. For example, the appropriateness of using opiates is contingent on suffering extreme pain. To justify the recreational use of opiates by referring to a cancer patient or to justify arresting said patient by comparing him to the recreational user would be a dicto simpliciter.
dictum factumwhat is said is doneMotto of United States Navy Fighter Squadron VF-194.
dictum meum pactummy word [is] my bondMotto of the London Stock Exchange.
diem perdidiI have lost the dayFrom the Roman Emperor Titus. Recorded in the biography of him by Suetonius in Lives of the Twelve Caesars.
Dies iraeDay of wrathReference to the Judgment Day in Christian eschatology. The title of a famous Medieval Latin hymn by Tommaso da Celano in the 13th century and used in the requiem Mass.
dies non juridicumDay without judiciaryDays under common law (traditionally Sunday), during which no legal process can be served and any legal judgment is invalid. The English Parliament first codified this precept in the reign of King Charles II.
dirigoI directIn Classical Latin, "I arrange". Motto of the State of Maine, United States; based on a comparison of the State to the star Polaris.
dis aliter visumit seemed otherwise to the godsIn other words, the gods have ideas different to those of mortals, and so events do not always occur in the way persons wish them to. Confer Virgil, Aeneid, 2: 428. Also confer "Man proposes and God disposes."
dis manibus sacrum (D.M.S.)Sacred to the ghost-godsRefers to the Manes, i.e. Roman spirits of the dead. Loosely, "to the memory of". A conventional pagan inscription preceding the name of the deceased on his tombstone; often shortened to dis manibus (D.M.), "for the ghost-gods". Preceded in some earlier monuments by hic situs est (H. S. E.), "he lies here".
disce aut discedelearn or departMotto of Royal College, Colombo.
disce quasi semper victurus vive quasi cras moriturusLearn as if always going to live; live as if tomorrow going to die.Attributed to St. Edmund of Abingdon.
discendo discimuswhile teaching we learn
discere faciendolearn by doingMotto of California Polytechnic State University, California, United States.
disiecta membrascattered limbsI.e., "scattered remains". Paraphrased from Horace, Satires, 1, 4, 62, where it is written "disiecti membra poetae" (limbs of a scattered poet).
ditat DeusGod enrichesMotto of the State of Arizona, United States, adopted in 1911. Probably derived from the translation of the Vulgate Bible of Genesis 14: 23.
divide et imperadivide and rule / "divide and conquer"A Roman maxim adopted by Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, King Louis XI of France and the Italian political author Niccolò Machiavelli.
dixiI have spokenA popular, eloquent expression, usually used in the end of a speech. The implied meaning is that the speaker has said all that he had to say and thus his argument is completed.
["...", ...] dixit["...", ...] saidUsed to attribute a statement or opinion to its author, rather than the speaker.
do ut desI give that you may giveOften said or written of sacrifices, in which one "gives" and expects a return from the gods.
docendo disciturIt is learned by teaching / one learns by teachingAttributed to Seneca the Younger.
docendo disco, scribendo cogitoI learn by teaching, I think by writing
dolus specialisspecial intent"The ... concept is particular to a few civil law systems and cannot sweepingly be equated with the notions of 'special' or 'specific intent' in common law systems. Of course, the same might equally be said of the concept of 'specific intent', a notion used in the common law almost exclusively within the context of the defense of voluntary intoxication." (Genocide scholar William A. Schabas)[20]
Domine dirige nosLord guide usMotto of the City of London, England.
Domine salvam fac reginamGod save the queen
Domine salvum fac regemGod save the king
Dominica in albis [depositis]Sunday in [Setting Aside the] White GarmentsLatin name of the Octave of Easter in the Roman Catholic liturgy.
Dominus illuminatio meathe Lord is my lightMotto of the University of Oxford, England.
Dominus fortitudo nostraThe Lord is our strengthMotto of the Southland College, Philippines.
Dominus pastorthe Lord [is our] shepherdMotto of St. John's College and Prep School, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Dominus vobiscumThe Lord be with you.A phrase used in the Roman Catholic liturgy, and sometimes in its sermons and homilies, and a general form of greeting among and towards members of Catholic organizations. See also Pax vobiscum.
dona nobis pacemgive us peaceOften set to music, either by itself or as the final phrase of the Agnus Dei prayer of the Holy Mass. Also an ending in the video game Haunting Ground.
donatio mortis causaa donation in expectation of deathA legal concept in which a person in imminent mortal danger need not satisfy the otherwise requisite consideration to effect a testamentary donation, i.e., a donation by instituting or modifying a will.
draco dormiens nunquam titillandusa sleeping dragon is never to be tickledMotto of the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry of the Harry Potter series; translated more loosely in the books as "never tickle a sleeping dragon".
dramatis personaethe parts/characters of the playMore literally, "the masks of the drama"; the cast of characters of a dramatic work.
duae tabulae rasae in quibus nihil scriptum esttwo blank slates with nothing written upon themStan Laurel, inscription for the fan club logo of The Sons of the Desert.
ducimuswe leadMotto of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps.
ducit amor patriaelove of country leads meMotto of the 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment, Australia.
ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahuntthe fates lead the willing and drag the unwillingAttributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Sen. Ep. 117.11).
ductus exemploleadership by exampleMotto of the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidates School, at the base in Quantico, Virginia, United States.
dulce bellum inexpertiswar is sweet to the inexperiencedMeaning: "war may seem pleasant to those who have never been involved in it, though the experienced know better". Erasmus of Rotterdam.
dulce est desipere in locoIt is sweet on occasion to play the fool. / It is pleasant to relax once in a while.Horace, Odes 4, 12, 28. Also used by George Knapton for the portrait of Sir Bourchier Wrey, 6th Baronet in 1744.
dulce et decorum est pro patria moriIt is sweet and honorable to die for the fatherland.Horace, Odes 3, 2, 13. Also used by Wilfred Owen for the title of a poem regarding World War I, Dulce et Decorum Est.
dulce et utilea sweet and useful thing / pleasant and profitableHorace, Ars Poetica: poetry must be dulce et utile, i.e., both enjoyable and instructive.
dulce periculumdanger is sweetHorace, Odes, 3 25, 16. Motto of the Scottish clan MacAulay.
dulcius ex asperissweeter after difficultiesMotto of the Scottish clan Fergusson.[21]
dum cresco speroI hope when I growMotto of The Ravensbourne School.
dum Roma deliberat Saguntum peritwhile Rome debates, Saguntum is in dangerUsed when someone has been asked for urgent help, but responds with no immediate action. Similar to Hannibal ante portas, but referring to a less personal danger.
dum spiro sperowhile I breathe, I hopeCicero. Motto of the State of South Carolina. Motto of the Clan MacLennan.
dum vita est, spes estwhile there is life, there is hope
dum vivimus servimuswhile we live, we serveMotto of Presbyterian College.
dum vivimus, vivamuswhile we live, let us liveAn encouragement to embrace life. Motto inscribed on the sword of the main character of the novel Glory Road.
dura lex sed lex[the] law [is] harsh, but [it is the] lawUlpian, Digesta Iustiniani, Roman jurist of the 3rd century AD.
dura matertough motherThe outer covering of the brain.
durante bene placitoduring good pleasureMeaning: "serving at the pleasure of the authority or officer who appointed". A Mediaeval legal Latin phrase.
durante munerewhile in officeFor example, the Governor General of Canada is durante munere the Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada.
dux bellorumwar leader
initium sapientiae timor DominiThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.A quotation of the Psalter. Motto of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.


e causa ignotaof unknown causeOften used in medicine when the underlying disease causing a symptom is not known. Cf. idiopathic.
e pluribus unumout of many, oneLiterally, out of more (than one), one. Used on many U.S. coins and inscribed on the Capitol. Also used as the motto of S.L. Benfica. Less commonly written as ex pluribus unum.
ecce ancilla dominibehold the handmaiden of the Lordname of oil painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, motto of Bishopslea Preparatory School.
Ecce homoBehold the manFrom the Latin Vulgate Gospel of John 19:5 (Douay-Rheims), where Pontius Pilate speaks these words as he presents Christ, crowned with thorns, to the crowd. It is also the title of Nietzsche's autobiography and of the theme music by Howard Goodall for the ITV comedy Mr. Bean, in which the full sung lyric is Ecce homo qui est faba ("Behold the man who is a bean").
ecce panis angelorumbehold the bread of angelsA quote from the Lauda Sion, occasionally inscribed near the altar in Catholic churches; it makes reference to the Host; the Eucharist; the bread of Heaven; the Body of Christ. See also: Panis Angelicus.
editio princepsfirst editionThe first printed edition of a work.
ejusdem generisof the same kinds, class, or natureFrom the canons of statutory interpretation. When a list of two or more specific descriptors is followed by more general descriptors, the otherwise wide meaning of the general descriptors must be restricted to the same class, if any, of the specific words that precede them.
ego te absolvoI absolve youPart of the absolution-formula spoken by a priest as part of the sacrament of Penance (cf. absolvo).
ego te provocoI challenge you Used as a challenge, "I dare you". Can also be written as te provoco
eheu fugaces labuntur anniAlas, the fleeting years slip by From Horace's Odes II, 14.
eluceat omnibus luxlet the light shine out from allThe motto of Sidwell Friends School
emeritusveteran Retired from office. Often used to denote a position held at the point of retirement, as an honor, such as professor emeritus or provost emeritus. This does not necessarily mean that the honorand is no longer active.
ens causa suiexisting because of oneselfOr "being one's own cause". Traditionally, a being that owes its existence to no other being, hence God or a Supreme Being (cf. Primum Mobile).
ense petit placidam sub libertate quietemby the sword she seeks a serene repose under libertyState motto of Massachusetts, adopted in 1775.
entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatementities must not be multiplied beyond necessityOccam's Razor or Law of Parsimony; that is, that arguments which do not introduce extraneous variables are to be preferred in logical argumentation.
entitas ipsa involvit aptitudinem ad extorquendum certum assensumreality involves a power to compel sure assentA phrase used in modern Western philosophy on the nature of truth.
eo ipsoby that very (act)Technical term used in philosophy and the law. Similar to ipso facto. Example: "The fact that I am does not eo ipso mean that I think." From Latin eo ipso, ablative form of id ipsum, "that (thing) itself".
eo nomineby that name
equo ne creditedo not trust the horseVirgil, Aeneid, II. 48–49; a reference to the Trojan Horse
erga omnesin relation to everyone
ergothereforeDenotes a logical conclusion (cf. cogito ergo sum).
errare humanum estto err is humanSometimes attributed to Seneca the Younger, but not attested: Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum, et tertia non datur (To err is human; to persist [in committing such errors] is of the devil, and the third possibility is not given.) Several authors contemplated the idea before Seneca: Livy Venia dignus error is humanus (Storie, VIII, 35) and Cicero: is Cuiusvis errare: insipientis nullius nisi, in errore perseverare (Anyone can err, but only the fool persists in his fault) (Philippicae XII, ii, 5). Cicero - well-versed in ancient Greek - may well have been alluding to Euripides' play Hippolytus some four centuries earlier.[22] 300 years later Augustine of Hippo recycled the idea in his Sermones (164, 14): Humanum fuit errare, diabolicum est per animositatem in errore manere.[23] The phrase gained currency in English language after Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism (1711): "To err is human, to forgive divine." (line 325).
erratumerrorOr "mistake". Lists of errors in a previous edition of a work are often marked with the plural, errata ("errors").
errantis voluntas nulla estthe will of a mistaken party is voidRoman legal principle formulated by Pomponius in the Digest of the Corpus Juris Civilis, stating that legal actions undertaken by man under the influence of error are ineffective.
eruditio et religioscholarship and dutyMotto of Duke University
esse est percipito be is to be perceivedGeorge Berkeley's motto for his idealist philosophical position that nothing exists independently of its perception by a mind except minds themselves.
esse quam viderito be, rather than to seemTruly being something, rather than merely seeming to be something. Motto of many institutions. From chapter 26 of Cicero's De amicitia ('On Friendship'). Earlier than Cicero, the phrase had been used by Sallust in his Bellum Catilinae (54.6), where he wrote that Cato esse quam videri bonus malebat (he preferred to be good, rather than to seem so). Earlier still, Aeschylus used a similar phrase in Seven Against Thebes, line 592, ou gar dokein aristos, all' enai thelei (he wishes not to seem the best, but to be the best); also motto of North Carolina and Ashville College, Cranbrook_School,_Sydney and Royal Holloway College
est modus in rebusthere is measure in thingsthere is a middle ground in things, there is a middle way; from Horace's Satires 1.1.106; see also: Golden mean (philosophy). According to Potempski & Galmarini (Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 9471–9489, 2009) the sentence should be translated as: "There is an optimal condition in all things" which in the original text is followed by the sentence: "There are therefore precise boundaries beyond which one cannot find the right thing" (sunt certi denique fines quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum).
esto perpetuamay it be perpetualSaid of Venice by the Venetian historian Fra Paolo Sarpi shortly before his death. Also the state motto of Idaho, adopted in 1867, and of S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka. It is also used as the open motto of Sigma Phi Society, a collegiate Greek Letter Fraternity.
esto quod esbe what you areMotto of Wells Cathedral School.
et adhuc sub iudice lis estit is still before the courtHorace, Ars Poetica (The Art of Poetry) 1.78.
et alibi (et al.)and elsewhereA less common variant on et cetera used at the end of a list of locations to denote unlisted places.
et alii (et al.)and othersUsed similarly to et cetera ("and the rest"), to stand for a list of names. Alii is masculine, so it can be used for men, or groups of men and women; the feminine, et aliae, is appropriate when the "others" are all female; but as with many loanwords, interlingual use (such as in reference lists) is often invariable. Et alia is neuter plural and thus in Latin text is properly used only for inanimate, genderless objects, but some use it as a gender-neutral alternative.[24] APA style uses et al. (normal font)[25] if the work cited was written by more than six authors; MLA style uses et al. for more than three authors; AMA style lists all authors if ≤6, and 3 + et al if >6. AMA style forgoes the period (because it forgoes the period on abbreviations generally) and it forgoes the italic (as it does with other loanwords naturalized into scientific English); many journals that follow AMA style do likewise.
et cetera (etc. (US English); etc (UK English)) or (&c. (US); &c (UK))And the restIn modern usage, used to mean "and so on" or "and more".
et facta est luxAnd light came to be or was madeFrom Genesis 1:3 "and there was light". Motto of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
et hoc genus omneAnd all that sort of thingAbbreviated to e.h.g.o. or ehgo
et in Arcadia egoand in Arcadia [am] IIn other words, "I, too, am in Arcadia". See memento mori.
et lux in tenebris lucetAnd light shines in the darknessSee also Lux in Tenebris; motto for the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
et nunc reges intelligite erudimini qui judicatis terramAnd now, O ye kings, understand: receive instruction, you that judge the earth.From the Book of Psalms, II.x. (Vulgate), 2.10 (Douay-Rheims).
et sequentes (et seq.)and the following (masc./fem. plural)Also et sequentia ('and the following things': neut.), abbreviations: et seqq., et seq., or sqq. Commonly used in legal citations to refer to statutes spread over several sequential sections of a code of statutes (e.g. National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 159 et seq.; New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:25-17 et seq.).
et cum spiritu tuo And with your spirit A phrase from the Sursum corda of Christian liturgy.
et suppositio nil ponit in esseand a supposition puts nothing in beingMore typically translated as "Sayin' it don't make it so".
et tu, Brute?And you, Brutus?Also "Even you, Brutus?" or "You too, Brutus?" Used to indicate a betrayal by someone close. From Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, based on the traditional dying words of Julius Caesar. However, these were almost certainly not Caesar's true last words; Plutarch quotes Caesar as saying, in Greek, the language of Rome's elite at the time, καὶ σὺ τέκνον; (Kaì sù téknon?), in English "You too, (my) child?", quoting from Menander.
et uxor (et ux.)and wifeA legal term.
et virand husbandA legal term.
Etiam si omnes, ego nonEven if all others... I will neverPeter to Jesus Christ (from Vulgate Matthew 26:33; New King James Version: Matthew 26:33).
etsi deus non daretureven if God were not a givenSentence synthesizing a famous concept of Grotius (1625).
ex abundanti cautelaout of an abundance of cautionIn law, describes someone taking precautions against a very remote contingency. "One might wear a belt in addition to braces ex abundanti cautela".[26] In banking, a loan in which the collateral is more than the loan itself. Also the basis for the term "an abundance of caution" employed by United States President Barack Obama to explain why his oath of office had to be re-administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts and again in reference to terrorist threats.
ex abundantia enim cordis os loquiturFor out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.From the Gospel according to St. Matthew, XII.xxxiv (Vulgate), 12.34 (Douay-Rheims) and the Gospel according to St. Luke, VI.xlv (Vulgate), 6.45 (Douay-Rheims). Sometimes rendered without enim ('for').
ex aequofrom the equal"On equal footing", i.e., "in a tie". Used for those two (seldom more) participants of a competition, that showed exactly the same performance.
ex Africa semper aliquid novi"(There's) always something new (coming) out of Africa"Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia 8.42 (unde etiam vulgare Graeciae dictum semper aliquid novi Africam adferre[27]), a translation of the Greek «Ἀεὶ Λιβύη φέρει τι καινόν».
Ex amicitia pax Peace though friendshipOften seen on internal diplomatic event invitations. Motto sometimes found on flags and mission plaques Diplomatic corps
ex animofrom the soulThus, "sincerely".
ex antefrom before"Beforehand", "before the event". Based on prior assumptions. A forecast.
ex astris scientiaFrom the Stars, KnowledgeThe motto of the fictional Starfleet Academy on Star Trek. Adapted from ex luna scientia, which in turn was modeled after ex scientia tridens.
ex cathedrafrom the chairA phrase applied to the declarations or promulgations of the Pope when, in communion with the college of cardinals, preserved from the possibility of error by the action of the Holy Spirit (see Papal infallibility), he solemnly declares or promulgates ("from the chair" that was the ancient symbol of the teacher and of the governor, in this case of the church) a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals as being contained in divine revelation, or at least being intimately connected to divine revelation. Used, by extension, of anyone who is perceived as speaking as though with supreme authority.
ex cultu roburfrom culture [comes] strengthThe motto of Cranleigh School, Surrey.
ex Deofrom God
ex dolo malofrom fraud"From harmful deceit"; dolus malus is the Latin legal term for "fraud". The full legal phrase is ex dolo malo non oritur actio ("an action does not arise from fraud"). When an action has its origin in fraud or deceit, it cannot be supported; thus, a court of law will not assist a man who bases his course of action on an immoral or illegal act.
ex faciefrom the faceIdiomatically rendered "on the face of it". A legal term typically used to note that a document's explicit terms are defective without further investigation.
ex fide fiduciafrom faith [comes] confidenceA motto of St George's College, Harare and Hartmann House Preparatory School.
ex fide fortisfrom faith [comes] strengthA motto of Loyola School (New York City).
ex glande quercusfrom the acorn the oakThe motto of the Municipal Borough of Southgate, London.
ex gratiafrom kindnessMore literally "from grace". Refers to someone voluntarily performing an act purely out of kindness, as opposed to for personal gain or from being forced to do it. In law, an ex gratia payment is one made without recognizing any liability or legal obligation.
ex hypothesifrom the hypothesisThus, "by hypothesis".
ex infra (e.i.) cf. ex supra"from below"Recent academic notation for "from below in this writing"
ex juvantibusfrom that which helpsThe medical pitfall in which response to a therapeutic regimen substitutes proper diagnosis.
ex legefrom the law
ex librisfrom the booksPrecedes a person's name, with the meaning of "from the library of..."; also a bookplate.
ex luna scientiafrom the moon, knowledgeThe motto of the Apollo 13 moon mission, derived from ex scientia tridens, the motto of Jim Lovell's Alma Mater, the United States Naval Academy.
ex malo bonumgood out of evilFrom St. Augustine's "Sermon LXI" where he contradicts Seneca's dictum in Epistulae 87:22: bonum ex malo non fit (good does not come from evil). Also the alias of the Anberlin song, "Miserabile Visu" from their album New Surrender.
ex mea sententiain my opinion
ex mero motuout of mere impulse, or of one's own accord.
ex nihilo nihil fitnothing comes from nothingFrom Lucretius, and said earlier by Empedocles. Its original meaning is "work is required to succeed", but its modern meaning is a more general "everything has its origins in something" (cf. causality). It is commonly applied to the conservation laws in philosophy and modern science. Ex nihilo often used in conjunction with the term creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing". It is often used in philosophy or theology in connection with the proposition that God created the universe from nothing. It is also mentioned in the final ad-lib of the Monty Python song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
ex novofrom newSaid of something that has been built from scratch.
Ex Oblivionefrom oblivionThe title of a short story by H. P. Lovecraft.
ex officiofrom the officeBy virtue of office or position; "by right of office". Often used when someone holds one position by virtue of holding another: for example, the President of France is an ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. A common misconception is that all ex officio members of a committee or congress may not vote – this may be the case, but it is not guaranteed by that title. In legal terms, ex officio refers to an administrative or judicial office taking action of its own accord, for example to invalidate a patent or prosecute copyright infringers.
ex opere operantisfrom the work of the one workingA theological phrase contrasted with ex opere operato, referring to the notion that the validity or promised benefit of a sacrament depends on the person administering it.
ex opere operatofrom the work workedA theological phrase meaning that the act of receiving a sacrament actually confers the promised benefit, such as a baptism actually and literally cleansing one's sins. The Catholic Church affirms that the source of grace is God, not just the actions or disposition of the minister or the recipient of the sacrament.
ex oriente luxlight from the eastOriginally refers to the sun rising in the east, but alludes to culture coming from the Eastern world. Motto of several institutions.
ex partefrom a partA legal term that means "by one party" or "for one party". Thus, on behalf of one side or party only.
ex pede Herculemfrom his foot, so HerculesFrom the measure of Hercules' foot you shall know his size; from a part, the whole.
ex postfrom after"Afterward", "after the event". Based on knowledge of the past. Measure of past performance.
ex post factofrom a thing done afterwardSaid of a law with retroactive effect.
ex professofrom one declaring [an art or science]Or 'with due competence'. Said of the person who perfectly knows his art or science. Also used to mean "expressly".[28]
ex rel. or ex relatio [arising] out of the relation/narration [of the relator] The term is a legal phrase; the legal citation guide called the Bluebook describes ex rel. as a "procedural phrase" and requires using it to abbreviate "on the relation of," "for the use of," "on behalf of," and similar expressions. An example of use is in court case titles such as Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar
ex scientia tridensfrom knowledge, sea power.The United States Naval Academy motto. Refers to knowledge bringing men power over the sea comparable to that of the trident-bearing Greek god Poseidon.
ex scientia verafrom knowledge, truthThe motto of the College of Graduate Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.
ex silentiofrom silenceIn general, the claim that the absence of something demonstrates the proof of a proposition. An argumentum ex silentio ("argument from silence") is an argument based on the assumption that someone's silence on a matter suggests ("proves" when a logical fallacy) that person's ignorance of the matter or their inability to counterargue validly.
ex situout of positionopposite of "in situ"
ex supra (e.s.) cf. ex infra"from above"Recent academic notation for "from above in this writing".
ex temporefrom [this moment of] time"This instant", "right away" or "immediately". Also written extempore.
Ex turpi causa non oritur actioFrom a dishonorable cause an action does not ariseA legal doctrine which states that a claimant will be unable to pursue a cause of action, if it arises in connection with his own illegal act. Particularly relevant in the law of contract, tort and trusts.
ex umbra in solemfrom the shadow into the lightMotto of Federico Santa María Technical University.
ex undisfrom the waves [of the sea]motto in the coat of arms of Eemsmond
Ex Unitate Viresunion is strength, or unity is strengthmotto of South Africa.
ex vi terminifrom the force of the termThus, "by definition".
ex vita discedo, tanquam ex hospitio, non tanquam ex domoI depart from life as from an inn, not as from homeCicero, Cato Maior de Senectute (On Old Age) 23
ex vivoout of or from lifeUsed in reference to the study or assay of living tissue in an artificial environment outside the living organism.
ex votofrom the vowThus, in accordance with a promise. An ex voto is also an offering made in fulfillment of a vow.
ex vulgus scientiafrom crowd, knowledgeused to describe social computing, The Wisdom of Crowds
excelsiorhigher"Ever upward!" The state motto of New York. Also a catchphrase used by Marvel Comics head Stan Lee.
exceptio firmat (or probat) regulam in casibus non exceptisThe exception confirms the rule in cases which are not exceptedA juridical principle which means that the statement of a rule's exception (e.g., "no parking on Sundays") implicitly confirms the rule (i.e., that parking is allowed Monday through Saturday). Often mistranslated as "the exception that proves the rule".
excusatio non petita accusatio manifestaan excuse that has not been sought [is] an obvious accusationMore loosely, "he who excuses himself, accuses himself"—an unprovoked excuse is a sign of guilt. In French, qui s'excuse, s'accuse.
exeats/he may go outA formal leave of absence.
exegi monumentum aere perenniusI have reared a monument more enduring than bronzeHorace, Carmina III:XXX:I
exempli gratia (e.g. (US English); eg (UK English))for the sake of example, for exampleUsually read out in English as "for example" (see citation signal and compare how the ampersand is read out as "and"). Often confused with id est (i.e.).[29] Exempli gratiā, "for example", is usually abbreviated "e.g." (less commonly, ex. gr.); in this usage it is sometimes followed by a comma, depending on style.[30]
exercitus sine duce corpus est sine spirituan army without a leader is a body without a spiritOn a plaque at the former military staff building of the Swedish Armed Forces.
exeuntthey leaveThird-person plural present active indicative of the Latin verb exire; also seen in exeunt omnes, "all leave"; singular: exit.
experientia docetexperience teachesThis term has been used in dermatopathology to express that there is no substitute for experience in dealing with all the numerous variations that may occur with skin conditions.[31] The term has also been used in gastroenterology.[32] It is also the motto of San Francisco State University.
experimentum crucisexperiment of the crossOr "crucial experiment". A decisive test of a scientific theory.
experto credetrust the expertLiterally "believe one who has had experience". An author's aside to the reader.
expressio unius est exclusio alteriusthe expression of the one is the exclusion of the other"Mentioning one thing may exclude another thing". A principle of legal statutory interpretation: the explicit presence of a thing implies intention to exclude others; e.g., a reference in the Poor Relief Act 1601 to "lands, houses, tithes and coal mines" was held to exclude mines other than coal mines. Sometimes expressed as expressum facit cessare tacitum (broadly, "the expression of one thing excludes the implication of something else").
extra domum[placed] outside of the houseRefers to a possible result of Catholic ecclesiastical legal proceedings when the culprit is removed from being part of a group like a monastery.
extra Ecclesiam nulla salusoutside the Church [there is] no salvationThis expression comes from the Epistle to Jubaianus, paragraph 21, written by Saint Cyprian of Carthage, a bishop of the third century. It is often used to summarise the doctrine that the Catholic Church is absolutely necessary for salvation.
extra omnesoutside, all [of you]It is issued by the Master of the Papal Liturgical Celebrations before a session of the Papal conclave which will elect a new Pope. When spoken, all those who are not Cardinals, or those otherwise mandated to be present at the Conclave, must leave the Sistine Chapel.
extra territorium jus dicenti impune non pareturhe who administers justice outside of his territory is disobeyed with impunityRefers to extraterritorial jurisdiction. Often cited in law of the sea cases on the high seas.


Latin Translation Notes
faber est suae quisque fortunaeevery man is the artisan of his own fortuneAppius Claudius Caecus; motto of Fort Street High School in Petersham, Sydney, Australia
fac et sperado and hopemotto of Clan Matheson
fac fortia et pateredo brave deeds and enduremotto of Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, Australia
fac similemake a similar thingorigin of the word facsimile, and, through it, of fax
faciam eos in gentem unumI will make them into one nationappeared on British coinage following the Union of the Crowns
faciam quodlibet quod necesse estI'll do whatever it takes
faciam ut mei meminerisI'll make you remember mefrom Plautus, Persa IV.3–24; used by Russian hooligans as tattoo inscription
facile princepseasily the firstsaid of the acknowledged leader in some field, especially in the arts and humanities
facilius est multa facere quam diuIt is easier to do many things, than one thing consecutivelyQuintilian, Institutio Oratoria 1/12:7
facio liberos ex liberis libris libraque"I make free adults out of children by means of books and a balance."motto of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico
facta, non verbadeeds, not wordsFrequently used as motto
factum fieri infectum non potestIt is impossible for a deed to be undoneTerence, Phormio 5/8:45
falsus in uno, falsus in omnibusfalse in one, false in allA Roman legal principle indicating that a witness who willfully falsifies one matter is not credible on any matter. The underlying motive for attorneys to impeach opposing witnesses in court: the principle discredits the rest of their testimony if it is without corroboration.
familia supra omniafamily over everythingfrequently used as a family motto
fas est et ab hoste doceriIt is lawful to be taught even by an enemyOvid, Metamorphoses 4:428
feci quod potui, faciant meliora potentesI have done what I could; let those who can do better. Slight variant ("quod potui feci") found in James Boswell's An Account of Corsica, there described as "a simple beautiful inscription on the front of Palazzo Tolomei at Siena".[33] Later, found in Henry Baerlein's introduction to his translation of The Diwan of Abul ʿAla by Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (973–1057);[34] also in Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters, act 1. Also in Alfonso Moreno Espinosa, Compendio de Historia Universal, 5. ed. (Cádiz 1888).
NN fecitNN made (this)a formula used traditionally in the author's signature by painters, sculptors, artisans, scribes etc.; compare pinxit
fecisti patriam diversis de gentibus unam"From differing peoples you have made one native land"Verse 63 from the poem De reditu suo by Rutilius Claudius Namatianus praising emperor Augustus.[35]
felicior Augusto, melior Traiano"be more fortunate than Augustus and better than Trajan"ritual acclamation delivered to late Roman emperors
Felicitas, Integritas Et SapientiaHappiness, Integrity and KnowledgeThe motto of Oakland Colegio Campestre school through which Colombia participates of NASA Educational Programs
felix culpafortunate faultfrom the "Exsultet" of the Catholic liturgy for the Easter Vigil
felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causashappy is he who can ascertain the causes of thingsVirgil. "Rerum cognoscere causas" is the motto of the London School of Economics, University of Sheffield, and University of Guelph.
felo de sefelon from himselfarchaic legal term for one who commits suicide, referring to early English common law punishments, such as land seizure, inflicted on those who killed themselves
fere libenter homines id quod volunt creduntmen generally believe what they want toPeople's beliefs are shaped largely by their desires. Julius Caesar, The Gallic War 3.18
festina lentehurry slowlyAn oxymoronic motto of Augustus. It encourages proceeding quickly, but calmly and cautiously. Equivalent to "more haste, less speed". Motto of the Madeira School, McLean, Virginia and Berkhamsted School, Berkhamsted, England, United Kingdom
festinare nocet, nocet et cunctatio saepe; tempore quaeque suo qui facit, ille is bad to hurry, and delay is often as bad; the wise person is the one who does everything in its proper time.Ovid[36]
fiat iustitia et pereat munduslet justice be done, though the world shall perishmotto of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
fiat justitia ruat caelumlet justice be done should the sky fallattributed to Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus
fiat luxlet there be lightfrom the Genesis, "dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux" ("and God said, 'Let light be made', and light was made."); frequently used as the motto of schools.
fiat panislet there be breadMotto of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
fiat voluntas DeiMay God's will be donemotto of Robert May's School; see the next phrase below
fiat voluntas tuaThy will be donemotto of Archbishop Richard Smith of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton; quotation of the third petition of the Pater Noster (Our Father) prayer dictated by Jesus Christ
ficta voluptatis causa sint proxima verisfictions meant to please should approximate the truthHorace, Ars Poetica (338); advice presumably discounted by the magical realists
Fidei Defensor (Fid Def) or (fd)Defender of the FaithA title given to King Henry VIII of England by Pope Leo X on 17 October 1521, before Henry became a heresiarch. British monarchs continue to use the title, which is still inscribed on all British coins, and usually abbreviated.
fidem scithe knows the faithsometimes mistranslated to "keep the faith" when used in contemporary English writings of all kinds to convey a light-hearted wish for the reader's well-being
fides qua crediturthe faith by which it is believedRoman Catholic theological term for the personal faith that apprehends what is believed, contrasted with fides quae creditur, which is what is believed; see next phrase below
fides quae crediturthe faith which is believedRoman Catholic theological term for the content and truths of the Faith or "the deposit of the Faith", contrasted with fides qua creditur, which is the personal faith by which the Faith is believed; see previous phrase
fides quaerens intellectumfaith seeking understandingmotto of St. Anselm; Proslogion
fidus Achatesfaithful Achatesrefers to a faithful friend; from the name of Aeneas's faithful companion in Virgil's Aeneid
filiae nostrae sicut anguli incisi similitudine templimay our daughters be as polished as the corners of the templemotto of Francis Holland School
finis coronat opusthe end crowns the workA major part of a work is properly finishing it. Motto of St. Mary's Catholic High School in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; on the Coat of Arms of Seychelles; and of the Amin Investment Bank
finis vitae sed non amoristhe end of life, but not of loveunknown
flagellum deithe scourge of Godtitle for Attila the Hun, the ruthless invader of the Western Roman Empire
flatus vocis[a or the] breath of voicea mere name, word, or sound without a corresponding objective reality; expression used by the nominalists of universals and traditionally attributed to the medieval philosopher Roscelin of Compiègne
flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta moveboif I can not reach Heaven I will raise HellVirgil, Aeneid, Book VII.312
floreat Etonamay Eton flourishMotto of Eton College, England, United Kingdom
floreat nostra scholamay our school flourisha common scholastic motto
floruit (fl.)one flourishedindicates the period when a historic person was most active or was accomplishing that for which he is famous; may be used as a substitute when the dates of his birth and/or death are unknown.
fluctuat nec mergiturshe wavers and is not immersedMotto of the City of Paris, France
fons et origothe spring and sourcealso: "the fountainhead and beginning"
fons sapientiae, verbum Deithe fount of knowledge is the word of Godmotto of Bishop Blanchet High School
fons vitae caritaslove is the fountain of lifemotto of Chisipite Senior School and Chisipite Junior School
formosam resonare doces Amaryllida silvasteach the woods to re-echo "fair Amaryllis"Virgil, Eclogues, 1:5
forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabitperhaps even these things will be good to remember one dayVirgil, Aeneid, Book 1, Line 203
fortes fortuna adiuvatFortune favours the boldThe motto of the United States Marine Corps 3rd Marine Regiment
fortes fortuna juvatFortune favours the boldThe motto of the Jutland Dragoon Regiment of Denmark
fortes in fidestrong in faitha common motto
fortis cadere, cedere non potestthe brave may fall, but can not yieldmotto on the Coat of Arms of the Fahnestock Family and of the Palmetto Guard of Charleston, South Carolina
fortis est veritastruth is strongmotto on the Coat of Arms of Oxford, England, United Kingdom
fortis et liberstrong and freemotto of Alberta, Canada
fortis in arduisstrong in difficultiesmotto of the Municipal Borough of Middleton, from the Earl of Middleton
fortiter et fideliterbravely and faithfullya common motto
fortiter in re, suaviter in modoresolute in execution, gentle in mannera common motto
fortunae meae, multorum faberartisan of my fate and that of several othersmotto of Gatineau
fraus omnia vitiata |legal principle: the occurrence or taint of fraud in a (legal) transaction entirely invalidates it
fui quod es, eris quod sumI once was what you are, you will be what I amAn epitaph that reminds the reader of the inevitability of death, as if to state: "Once I was alive like you are, and you will be dead as I am now." It was carved on the gravestones of some Roman military officers.
fumus boni iurispresumption of sufficient legal basisa legal principle
fundamenta inconcussaunshakable foundation


gaudia certaministhe joys of battle according to Cassiodorus, an expression used by Attila in addressing his troops prior to the 451 Battle of Châlons
gaudeamus hodielet us rejoice today
gaudeamus igiturtherefore let us rejoiceFirst words of an academic anthem used, among other places, in The Student Prince.
gaudete in dominorejoice in the LordMotto of Bishop Allen Academy
gaudium in veritatejoy in truthMotto of Campion School
generalia specialibus non derogantgeneral provisions enacted in later legislation do not detract from specific provisions enacted in earlier legislationA principle of statutory interpretation: If a matter falls under a specific provision in a statute enacted before a general provision enacted in a later statute, it is to be presumed that the legislature did not intend that the earlier specific provision be repealed, and the matter is governed by the earlier specific provision, not the more recent general one.
genius locispirit of placeThe unique, distinctive aspects or atmosphere of a place, such as those celebrated in art, stories, folk tales, and festivals. Originally, the genius loci was literally the protective spirit of a place, a creature usually depicted as a snake.
generatim discite cultusLearn each field of study according to its kind. (Virgil, Georgics II.)Motto of the University of Bath.
gens una sumus we are one people Motto of FIDE. Can be traced back to Claudian's poem De consulatu Stilichonis.
gesta non verbadeeds, not wordsMotto of James Ruse Agricultural High School.
Gloria in excelsis DeoGlory to God in the HighestOften translated "Glory to God on High". The title and beginning of an ancient Roman Catholic doxology, the Greater Doxology. See also ad maiorem Dei gloriam.
Gloria invidiam vicistiBy your fame you have conquered envySallust, Bellum Jugurthum ("Jugurthine War") 10:2.
gloria filiorum patres The glory of sons is their fathers (Proverbs17:6) Motto of Eltham College
Gloria PatriGlory to the FatherThe beginning of the Lesser Doxology.
gloriosus et liberglorious and freeMotto of Manitoba
gradatim ferociterby degrees, ferociouslyMotto of private spaceflight company Blue Origin, which officially treats "Step by step, ferociously" as the English translation
gradibus ascendimusascending by degreesMotto of Grey College, Durham
Graecia capta ferum victorem cepitConquered Greece in turn defeated its savage conquerorHorace Epistles 2.1
Graecum est; non legiturIt is Greek (and therefore) it cannot be read.Most commonly from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar where Casca couldn't explain to Cassius what Cicero was saying because he was speaking Greek. The more common colloquialism would be: It's all Greek to me.
Grandescunt Aucta LaboreBy hard work, all things increase and growMotto of McGill University
gratia et scientiagrace and learningMotto of Arundel School
gratiae veritas naturaeTruth through mercy and natureMotto of Uppsala University
graviora manentheavier things remainVirgil Aeneid 6:84; more severe things await, the worst is yet to come
Gravis Dulcis Immutabilisserious sweet immutableTitle of a poem by James Elroy Flecker [37]
gutta cavat lapidem [non vi sed saepe cadendo]a water drop hollows a stone [not by force, but by falling often]main phrase is from Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto IV, 10, 5.;[38] expanded in the Middle Ages


habeas corpusYou should have the bodyA legal term from the 14th century or earlier. Refers to a number of legal writs to bring a person before a court or judge, most commonly habeas corpus ad subjiciendum (you may have the body to bring up). Commonly used as the general term for a prisoner's legal right to challenge the legality of their detention. (Corpus here is used in a similar sense to corpus delicti, referring to the substance of the reason for detention rather than a physical human body.)
habemus papamwe have a popeUsed after a Catholic Church papal election to announce publicly a successful ballot to elect a new pope.
Habent sua fata libelliBooks have their destiny [according to the capabilities of the reader]Terentianus Maurus, De Litteris, De Syllabis, De Metris, 1:1286.
hac legewith this law
haec olim meminisse iuvabitone day, this will be pleasing to rememberCommonly rendered in English as "One day, we'll look back on this and smile". From Virgil's Aeneid 1.203. Also, motto of the Jefferson Society.
haec ornamenta mea [sunt]"These are my ornaments" or
"These are my jewels"
Attributed to Cornelia Africana by Valerius Maximus in Factorum ac dictorum memorabilium libri IX, IV, 4, incipit.[39][40]
Hannibal ad portasHannibal at the gatesFound in Cicero's first Philippic and in Livy's Ab urbe condita
Hannibal was a fierce enemy of Rome who almost brought them to defeat.
Sometimes rendered "Hannibal ante portas", with verisimilar meaning: "Hannibal before the gates"
haud ignota loquorI speak not of unknown thingsThus, "I say no things that are unknown". From Virgil's Aeneid, 2.91.
Hei mihi! quod nullis amor est medicabilis herbis. Oh me! love can not be cured by herbs From Ovid's Metamorphoses ("Transformations"), I, 523.
hic abundant leoneshere lions aboundWritten on uncharted territories of old maps; see also: here be dragons.
hic et nunchere and now

The imperative motto for the satisfaction of desire. "I need it, Here and Now"

hic jacet (HJ)here liesAlso rendered hic iacet. Written on gravestones or tombs, preceding the name of the deceased. Equivalent to hic sepultus (here is buried), and sometimes combined into hic jacet sepultus (HJS), "here lies buried".
hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitaeThis is the place where death delights in helping lifeA motto of many morgues or wards of anatomical pathology.
hic manebimus optimehere we'll stay excellentlyAccording to Titus Livius the phrase was pronounced by Marcus Furius Camillus, addressing the senators who intended to abandon the city, invaded by Gauls, circa 390 BC. It is used today to express the intent to keep one's position even if the circumstances appear adverse.
hic sunt draconeshere there are dragonsWritten on a globe engraved on two conjoined halves of ostrich eggs, dated to 1504.
hic sunt leoneshere there are lionsWritten on uncharted territories of old maps.
hinc et indefrom both sides
hinc illae lacrimaehence those tearsFrom Terence, Andria, line 125. Originally literal, referring to the tears shed by Pamphilus at the funeral of Chrysis, it came to be used proverbially in the works of later authors, such as Horace (Epistula XIX, 41).
hinc itur ad astrafrom here the way leads to the starsWritten on the wall of the old astronomical observatory of Vilnius University, Lithuania, and the university's motto.
hinc robur et securitasherefore strength and safetyMotto of the Central Bank of Sweden.
historia vitae magistrahistory, the teacher of lifeFrom Cicero's De Oratore, II, 9. Also "history is the mistress of life".
hoc agedo thisMotto of Bradford Grammar School
hoc est bellumThis is war
hoc est Christum cognoscere, beneficia eius cognoscereTo know Christ is to know his benefitsFamous dictum by the Reformer Melanchthon in his Loci Communes of 1521
hoc est enim corpus meumFor this is my BodyThe words of Jesus reiterated in Latin during the Roman Catholic Eucharist. Sometimes simply written as "Hoc est corpus meum" or "This is my body".
hoc genus omneAll that crowd/peopleFrom Horace's Satires, 1/2:2. Refers to the crowd at Tigellio's funeral (c. 40–39 BC). Not to be confused with et hoc genus omne (English: and all that sort of thing).
hodie mihi, cras tibiToday it's me, tomorrow it will be you Inscription that can be seen on tombstones dating from the Middle Ages, meant to outline the ephemerality of life.
hominem pagina nostra sapitIt is of man that my page smellsFrom Martial's Epigrams, Book 10, No. 4, Line 10; stating his purpose in writing.
hominem non morbum curaTreat the Man, not the DiseaseMotto of the Far Eastern University – Institute of Nursing
homo bullaman is a bubble Varro (116 BC – 27 BC), in the opening line of the first book of Rerum Rusticarum Libri Tres, wrote "quod, ut dicitur, si est homo bulla, eo magis senex" (for if, as they say, man is a bubble, all the more so is an old man)[41] later reintroduced by Erasmus in his