List of Common Latin Terms

Common Latin Terms Used in Everyday Language, Law, Science, and Academia

Latin, the classical language of the ancient Romans, has had a profound influence on various aspects of our modern world, including language, law, science, and academia. Although Latin itself is no longer spoken as a native language, its impact is still strongly felt through the vast number of Latin expressions and phrases that continue to be used today.

In this list, we have curated a collection of frequently encountered Latin terms that you may come across in literature, legal documents, scientific papers, and everyday conversations. Whether you're a student, a language enthusiast, or simply curious about the origins of certain expressions, this compilation aims to shed light on the meanings and significance of these Latin phrases.

Table of Contents

  • A Video Summary
  • List of 150 Common Latin Terms
  • Interactive Test (Printable)
list of 150 common Latin terms

A Video Summary

Here is a short video that shows how Latin terms are still used in everyday language, law, science, and academia.

List of 150 Common Latin Terms

Latin TermTranslation
a fortioriwith stronger reason
a posteriorifrom the latter
(inductive reasoning)
a priorifrom the earlier
(deductive reasoning)
ab initiofrom the beginning
ab ovofrom the egg
(or from the beginning)
ad hocfor this purpose
ad hominemagainst the person
ad infinitumto infinity
ad interimin the meantime
ad nauseamto the point of sickness
ADin the year of the Lord
(abbreviation for anno domini)
(proof of presence elsewhere)
alma maternourishing mother
(referring to one's educational institution)
alter egoother self
a.m.before noon
(abbreviation for ante meridiem)
amicus curiaefriend of the court
annuit coeptishe [God] has favored our undertakings
ante bellumbefore the war
ars longaart is long
audi alteram partemhear the other side
bona fidein good faith
(abbreviation for cum)
carpe diemseize the day
caveat emptorlet the buyer beware
ceteris paribusall other things being equal
(abbreviation for confer)
corpus delictibody of the crime
corpus jurisbody of the law
cum laudewith praise
(academic distinction)
de factoin fact
de jureby law
de novofrom the beginning
deus ex machinagod from the machine
(an unexpected solution)
d.g. or dgby the grace of God
(abbreviation for dei gratia)
divagoddess, female opera singer
dramatis personaecharacters of a play
dtssymptoms of alcohol withdrawal
(abbreviation for delirium tremens)
dum spiro, sperowhile I breathe, I hope
e pluribus unumout of many, one
e.g.for example
(abbreviation for exempli gratia)
errare humanum estto err is human
et al.and others
(abbreviation for et alia)
et tu, BruteAnd you, Brutus
etc.and so on
(abbreviation for et cetera)
ex cathedrawith authority
ex librisfrom the books
ex nihiloout of nothing
ex officioby virtue of one's office
ex parteon behalf of one party
(in legal matters)
ex post factoafter the fact
ex temporeon the spur of the moment
fiat luxlet there be light
fides et ratiofaith and reason
fortuna favet fortibusfortune favours the bold
habeas corpusyou shall have the body
habemus papamwe have a Pope the same place
(abbreviation for ibidem)
i.e.that is
(abbreviation for id est)
in absentiain absence
in camerain private
in extensoat full length
in extremisat the point of death
in flagrante delictoin the blazing crime crime
in limineat the threshold
in loco parentisin the place of a parent
in media resin the midst of things
in memoriaminto memory
in nominein the name of
in rein the matter of
in situin its original position or place
in statu quoin the state in which
in totoin total
in vino veritasin wine, there is truth
in vitroin glass
in vivoin a living organism
inter aliaamong other things
inter nosbetween us
inter vivosbetween the living
ipso factoby the fact itself
lapsus linguaeslip of the tongue
lex talionislaw of retaliation
loc citin the place cited
locus standithe place of standing
magnum opusgreat work
mea culpamy fault
mens sana in corpore sanoa sound mind in a sound body
m.o.manner of
(abbreviation for modus operandi)
modus vivendimode of living or way of life
mortui viventes docentthe dead teach the living
mutatis mutandiswith the necessary changes having been made
nolens volenswilling or unwilling
nolo contendereI do not wish to contend
non compos mentisnot of sound mind
non sequiturit does not follow
novus ordo seclorumnew order of the ages
O tempora! O mores!Oh the times! Oh the customs!
p.a. or paper annum
panem et circensesbread and circuses
pari passuwith equal pace
pax romanaRoman peace
per capitaper person
per diemper day
per seby itself or intrinsically
persona non grataan unwelcome person
(abbreviation for post meridiem)
post hocafter this occurrence
post mortemafter death death
prima facieat first sight
primum non nocerefirst, do no harm
primus inter paresfirst among equals of a group
pro bonofor the public good or without charge
pro formaas a matter of form
pro ratain proportion
p.s. or pspost script
(abbreviation for postscriptum)
q.e.d. or qedwhich was to be demonstrated
(abbreviation for quod erat demonstrandum)
quaestio disputataa disputed question
quaestio factia question of fact
quaestio jurisa question of law
quasias if or as though
quid pro quosomething for something
quidnunc?what now?
quo vadis?where are you going?
reductio ad absurdumreduction to absurdity
res gestaethings done in peace
(abbreviation for requiescat in pace)
sine diewithout a day
sine qua nonwithout which not
status quothe existing state of affairs
sub judiceunder judgment
sub poenaunder penalty
sub rosaunder the rose
sui generisof its own kind
tabula rasablank slate
tempus fugittime flies
terra firmasolid ground
terra incognitaunknown territory
urbi et orbito the city and to the world
veni, vidi, viciI came, I saw, I conquered
verbatimword for word
via mediamiddle way
vice versathe other way around
vita brevislife is short
vox deivoice of God
vox populivoice of the people
vs. or vsagainst
(abbreviation for versus)

Interactive Test (Printable)

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