Definitions

trespass de bonis asportatis

List of Latin phrases (C-E)

C

Latin Translation Notes
cacoethes scribendi bad habit of writing From Satires of Juvenal. An insatiable urge to write. Hypergraphia
cadavera vero innumera truly countless bodies Used by the Romans to describe the aftermath of the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains.
caetera desunt the rest is wanting
calix meus inebrians my cup makes me drunk
camera obscura dark chamber An optical device used in drawing, and an ancestor of modern photography. The source of the word camera.
canes pugnaces war dogs" or "fighting dogs
canis canem edit dog eats dog Refers to a situation where nobody is safe from anybody, each man for himself.
capax infiniti capable of the infinite a pejorative term referring (at least) to some Christian doctrines of the incarnation of the Son of God when it asserts that humanity is capable of housing full divinity within its finite frame. Related to the Docetic heresy and sometimes a counterpoint to the Reformed 'extracalvinisticum.'
caput inter nubila (condit) head in the clouds So 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)
Caritas Christi The love of Christ It implies a command to love as Christ loved. Motto of St. Franicis Xavier High School located in West Meadowlark Park (Edmonton).
carpe diem seize the day An exhortation to live for today. From Horace, Odes I, 11.8. By far the most common translation is "seize the day," though carpere normally means something more like "pluck," and the allusion here is to picking flowers. The phrase collige virgo rosas has a similar sense.
carpe noctem seize the night An 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.
Carthago delenda est Carthage must be destroyed From Roman senator Cato the Elder, who ended every speech of his between the second and third Punic Wars with ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam, literally "For the rest, I am of the opinion that Carthage is to be destroyed." Other translations include "In conclusion, I declare that Carthage must be destroyed." and "Furthermore, I move for Carthage to be destroyed."
casus belli event of war Refers to an incident that is the justification or case for war.
causa mortis cause of death
cave beware! 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 canem beware of the dog Found written on floor mosaics depicting a dog, at the entrance of Roman houses excavated at Pompeii.
cave laborem beware of work
cave nil vino beware of running out of wine
caveat emptor let the buyer beware The purchaser is responsible for checking whether the goods suit his need.
caveat lector let the reader beware Used when the writer does not vouch for the accuracy of a text. Probably a recent alteration of caveat emptor.
caveat subscriptor let the signer beware The person signing a document is responsible for reading the information about the what the document entails before entering into an agreement.
caveat venditor let the seller beware The person selling goods is responsible for providing information about the goods to the purchaser.
caveat utilitor let the user beware The user is responsible for checking whether the goods suit his need.
Cedant arma togae let arms yield to the gown "Let military power yield to civilian power," Cicero, De Officiis. See Toga, Cedant arma togae
celerius quam asparagi cocuntur more swiftly than asparagus is cooked Or simply "faster than cooking asparagus". A variant of the Roman phrase velocius quam asparagi coquantur, using a different adverb and an alternate mood and spelling of coquere.
cepi corpus I got the body In 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.
certum est quod certum reddi potest It is certain if it is capable of being 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 lex When the reason for the law ceases, the law itself ceases. A rule of law becomes ineffective when the reason for its application has ceased to exist or does not correspond to the reality anymore.
cetera desunt the rest are missing Also spelled "caetera desunt".
ceteris paribus with other things equal Idiomatically translated as "all other things being equal". A phrase which rules out outside changes interfering with a situation.
charta pardonationis se defendendo a paper of pardon to him who defended himself The form of a pardon for killing another man in self-defence. (see manslaughter)
charta pardonationis utlagariae a paper of pardon to the outlaw The 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 Doctrinae For Christ and Learning The motto of Furman University.
Christus Rex Christ the King A Christian title for Jesus.
circa (c.) or (ca.) around In the sense of "approximately" or "about". Usually used of a date.
circulus vitiosus vicious circle In 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 fortius faster, higher, stronger Motto of the modern Olympics.
Clamea admittenda in itinere per atturnatum A writ whereby the king of England could command the justice in eyre to admit one's claim by an attorney, who being employed in the king's service, cannot come in person.
clausum fregit An action of tresspass; thus called, by reason the writ demands the person summoned to answer to wherefore he broke the close (quare clausum fregit), i.e. why he committed such a trespass.
claves Sancti Petri the keys of Saint Peter A symbol of the Papacy.
clavis aurea Golden key The means of discovering hidden or mysterious meanings in texts, particularly applied in theology and alchemy.
clerico admittendo about to be made a clerk In 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 Canonici Book of Canon Law The official code of canon law in the Roman Catholic Church (cf. Corpus Iuris Canonici).
Coelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt Those who hurry cross the sea change the sky [upon them], not their souls or state of mind Hexameter by Horace (Epistulae I, 11 v.27). Seneca shortens it to Animum debes mutare, non caelum (You must change [your] disposition, not [your] sky) in his Letter to Lucilium XXVIII, 1
cogito ergo sum I think, therefore I am. A rationalistic argument used by French philosopher René Descartes to attempt to prove his own existence.
coitus interruptus interrupted congress Aborting sexual intercourse prior to ejaculation—the only permitted form of birth control in some religions.
coitus more ferarum congress in the way of beasts A medical euphemism for the doggy-style sexual position.
collige virgo rosas pick, 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.
communibus annis "in common years" One year with another; on an average. "Common" here does not mean "ordinary," but "common to every situation"
communibus locis "in common places" A 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 opinio generally accepted view
compos mentis in control of the mind Describes 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.
concordia cum veritate in harmony with truth Motto of the University of Waterloo.
concordia salus salvation through harmony Motto of Montreal. It is also the Bank of Montreal coat of arms and motto.
condemnant quod non intellegunt They condemn what they do not understand or They condemn because they do not understand (the quod is ambiguous)
condicio sine qua non condition without which not A required, indispensable condition. Commonly mistakenly rendered with conditio (seasoning" or "preserving) in place of condicio(arrangement" or "condition).
confer (cf.) bring together Thus, "compare". Used as an abbreviation in text to recommend a comparison with another thing (cf. citation signal).
Confoederatio Helvetica (C.H.) Helvetian Confederation The 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.
coniunctis viribus with connected strength Or "with united powers". Sometimes rendered conjunctis viribus.
Consuetudo pro lege servatur Custom is kept before the law An inconsistently applied maxim. See also consuetudo est altera lex (custom is another law) and consuetudo vincit communem legem (custom overrules the common law)
consummatum est It is completed. The last words of Jesus on the cross in the Latin translation of John 19:30.
contemptus saeculi scorn for the times Despising the secular world. The monk or philosopher's rejection of a mundane life and worldly values.
contra spem spero hope against hope
contradictio in terminis contradiction in terms A word that makes itself impossible
contraria contrariis curantur "the opposite is cured with the opposite" First 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. )
contra bonos mores against good morals Offensive to the conscience and to a sense of justice.
contra legem against the law
cor ad cor loquitur heart speaks to heart From 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 John Henry Cardinal Newman. A motto of Newman Clubs.
cor meum tibi offero domine prompte et sincere my heart I offer to you Lord promptly and sincerely motto of Calvin College
cor unum one heart A popular school motto. Often used as names for religious and other organisations such as the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
coram Deo in the Presence of God A 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 populo in the presence of the people Thus, openly.
coram nobis, coram vobis in our presence, in your presence Two kinds of writs of error.
Corpus Christi Body of Christ The 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, and a controversial play.
corpus delicti body of the offence The 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 Canonici Body of Canon Law The official compilation of canon law in the Roman Catholic Church (cf. Codex Iuris Canonici).
Corpus Iuris Civilis Body of Civil Law The body of Roman or civil law.
corpus vile worthless body A person or thing fit only to be the object of an experiment.
corrigenda things to be corrected
corruptio optimi pessima the corruption of the best is the worst
corruptus in extremis corrupt to the extreme Motto of the fictional Springfield Mayor Office in The Simpsons TV-Show
Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous Tacitus
Cras amet qui nunquam amavit; quique amavit, cras amet May he love tomorrow who has never loved before; And may he who has loved, love tomorrow as well It's the 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.
Credo in Unum Deum I Believe in One God The first words of the The Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed.
credo quia absurdum est I believe it because it is absurd A 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 omina May we grow in Him through all things Motto of Cheverus High School.
crescat scientia vita excolatur let knowledge grow, let life be enriched Motto of the University of Chicago.
crescit eundo it grows as it goes State motto of New Mexico, adopted in 1887 as the territory's motto, and kept in 1912 when New Mexico received statehood. Originally from Lucretius' On the Nature of Things 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 fido while I live, I trust in the cross, Whilst I trust in the Cross I have life Motto of the Sisters of Loreto (IBVM) and its associated schools.
cucullus non facit monachum The hood does not make the monk William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Scene I, Act V 48–50
cui bono Good 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 prodest for whom it advances Short 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).
cuius est solum eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos Whose 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 religio whose region, his religion The 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 fault — Marcus Tullius Cicero, Philippica XII, ii, 5.
culpa fault Also "blame" or "guilt". In law, an act of neglect. In general, guilt, sin, or a fault. See also mea culpa.
cum gladiis et fustibus with swords and clubs From the Bible. Occurs in and .
cum gladio et sale with sword and salt Motto of a well-paid soldier. See salary.
cum grano salis with a grain of salt Not to be taken too seriously or as the literal truth.
Yes, the brochure made it sound great, but such claims should be taken cum grano salis.
cum laude with praise The standard formula for academic Latin honors in the United States. Greater honors include magna cum laude and summa cum laude.
cum mortuis in lingua mortua with the dead in a dead language Movement from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky
cura personalis care for the whole person
cura te ipsum take care of your own self An exhortation to physicians, or experts in general, to deal with their own problems before addressing those of others.
cur Deus Homo Why the God/Man The 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?"
curriculum vitae course of life A résumé.
custos morum keeper of morals A censor.
cygnis insignis distinguished by its swans Motto of Western Australia.
cygnus inter anates swan among ducks

D

Latin Translation Notes
damnatio memoriae damnation of memory A Roman custom in which disgraced Romans (particularly former Emperors) were pretended to have never existed.
damnum absque injuria damage without injury A loss that results from no one's wrongdoing. In Roman law, a man is not responsible for unintended, consequential injury to another resulting from a lawful act. This protection does not necessarily apply to unintended damage by negligence or folly.
data venia with due respect" or "given the excuse Used before disagreeing with someone.
dat deus incrementum God grants the increase Motto of Westminster School, a leading British independent school.
de bonis asportatis carrying goods away Trespass de bonis asportatis was the traditional name for larceny, or wrongful taking of chattels.
Decus Et Tutamen An ornament and a safeguard Inscription on one pound coins. Originally on 17th century coins, it refers to the inscribed edge as a protection against the clipping of precious metal. The phrase originally comes from Virgil's Aeneid.
descensus in cuniculi cavum The descent into the cave of the rabbit Down the Rabbit Hole
de dato of the date Used in the context of "As we agreed in the meeting d.d.26th Mai 2006.
de facto in fact Said 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.
Although the emperor held the title and trappings of head of state, the Shogun was the de facto ruler of Japan.
de fideli with faithfulness A clerk makes the declaration De fideli on when appointed, promising to do his or her tasks faithfully as a servant of the court.
de futuro regarding the future Usually used in the context of "at a future time"
de gustibus non est disputandum there is not to be discussion regarding tastes Less literally "In matters of taste there is no dispute" or simply "There's no arguing taste". Likely of Scholastic origin (see Wiktionary). A related expression in English is "there's no accounting for taste".

Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, without attribution, renders the phrase as de gustibus non disputandum; the verb "to be" is often assumed in Latin, and is rarely required.

An alternative form is de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum – “There’s no arguing about tastes and colors.”

de integro again, a second time
de jure by law "Official", in contrast with de facto. Analogous to "in principle", whereas de facto is to "in practice". In other contexts, can mean "according to law", "by right" or "legally". Also commonly written de iure, the classical form.
de lege ferenda from law to be passed
de lege lata from law passed" or "by law in force
de minimis non curat lex The law does not bother with the smallest things. The court does not want to bother with small, trivial things. A case must have importance for the court to hear it. See "de minimis not curat praetor".
de minimis non curat praetor The commander does not bother with 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 (the king) or lex (the law) is used in place of praetor, and de minimis is a legal term referring to things unworthy of the law's attention.
de mortuis aut bene aut nihil about the dead, either well or nothing Less literally, "speak well of the dead or not at all" (cf. de mortuis nil nisi bonum).
de mortuis nil nisi bonum about the dead, nothing unless a good thing From de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est, "nothing must be said about the dead except the good", attributed by Diogenes Laertius to Chilon. In legal contexts, this quotation is used with the opposite meaning, as defaming a deceased person is not a crime. In other contexts, it refers to taboos against criticizing the recently deceased.
de nobis fabula narratur about us is the story told Thus, "their story is our story". Originally referred to the end of Rome's dominance. Now often used when comparing any current situation to a past story or historical event.
de novo from 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 omnibus dubitandum be suspicious of everything, doubt everything Karl Marx's favorite motto. He used this to explain his standpoint: "Critique everything in a capitalist economy".
de omni re scibili et quibusdam aliis about every knowable thing, and even certain other things A 15th-century Italian scholar wrote the De omni re scibili portion, and a wag added et quibusdam aliis.
De Oppresso Liber Free From Having Been Oppressed Commonly mistranslated as "To Liberate the Oppressed". The motto of the United States Army Special Forces.
de profundis from the depths Out of the depths of misery or dejection. From the Latin translation of Psalm 130.
de re about the matter In logic, de dicto statements (about the truth of a proposition) are distinguished from de re statements (about the properties of a thing itself).
Dei Gratia Regina By the Grace of God, Queen Also Dei Gratia Rex (By the Grace of God, King). Abbreviated as D G REG preceding Fidei Defensor (F D) on British pounds, and as D G Regina on Canadian coins.
Dei sub numine viget under God's Spirit she flourishes Motto of Princeton University.
delectatio morosa peevish delight In Catholic theology, a pleasure taken in sinful thought or imagination, such as brooding on sexual images. It is distinct from actual sexual desire, and involves voluntary and complacent erotic fantasizing, without any attempt to suppress such thoughts.
deliriant isti Romani They are mad, those Romans! A translation into Latin from René Goscinny's "ils sont fous, ces romains!", frequently issued by Obelix in the Asterix comics.
Deo ac veritati God and Truth Motto of Colgate University.
Deo domuique for God and for home Motto of Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne.
Deo et Patriae for God and Country Motto of Regis High School.
Deo gratias thanks [be] to God The semi-Hispanicized form Deogracias is a Philippine first name.
Deo Optimo Maximo (DOM) To the Best and Greatest God Derived from the Pagan Iupiter Optimo Maximo (To the best and greatest Jupiter). Printed on bottles of Benedictine liqueur.
Deo vindice with God as protector Motto of the Confederate States of America. An alternate translation is "With an avenging God".
Deo volente with God willing This 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.
deus caritas est God is Love The first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI.
deus ex machina a god from a machine From 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 machine an actor playing a god or goddess, typically either Athena or (as in Euripides) the Dioscuri onto the stage to resolve an insuperable conflict in the plot.
Deus vult God wills it! The principal slogan of the Crusades.
deus otiosus God at leisure
Dicto simpliciter [From] a maxim, simply I.e. "From a rule without exception." Short for A dicto simpliciter, the a often being dropped by confusion with the indefinite article. A dicto simpliciter occurs when an acceptable exception is ignored or eliminated. For instance, the appropriateness of using opiates is dependent on the presence of extreme pain. To justify the recreational use of opiates by referring to a cancer patient or to justify arresting said cancer patient by comparing him to the recreational user would be a dicto simpliciter.
dictum meum pactum my word [is] my bond Motto of the London Stock Exchange
diem perdidi I have lost the day From the Roman Emperor Titus. Passed down in Suetonius's biography of him in Lives of the Twelve Caesars (8)
Diem Ex Dei Day of God
Dies Irae Day of Wrath Refers to the Judgment Day in Christian eschatology. The name of a famous 13th-century Medieval Latin hymn by Tommaso da Celano, used in the Mass for the dead.
Dies non juridicum Day without judiciary Days under common law (traditionally Sunday) in which no legal process can be served and any judgment is void. This concept was first codified by the English Parliament in the reign of Charles II.
differentia specifica specific differences
dirigo I direct In Classical Latin, "I arrange". State motto of Maine. Based on a comparison of the state of Maine to the star Polaris.
dis aliter visum it seemed otherwise to the gods In other words, the gods have different plans than mortals, and so events do not always play out as people wish them to.
dis manibus sacrum (D.M.S.) Sacred to the ghost-gods Refers to the Manes, Roman spirits of the dead. Loosely "To the memory of". A conventional inscription preceding the name of the deceased on pagan grave markings, 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 Discede Learn or Depart Motto of Royal College, Colombo.
disce quasi semper victurus vive quasi cras moriturus Learn as if always going to live; live as if tomorrow going to die. Attributed to St Edmund of Abingdon.
discipuli nostri bardissimi sunt Our students are the stupidest
disjecta membra scattered limbs That is, "scattered remains". Paraphrased from Horace, Satires, I, 4, 62, where it was written "disiecti membra poetae" (limbs of a scattered poet). Also written as disiecta membra.
ditat Deus God enriches State motto of Arizona, adopted in 1911. Probably derived from the Vulgate's translation of Genesis 14:23.
divide et impera divide and rule A Roman maxim adopted by Julius Caesar, Louis XI and Machiavelli. Commonly rendered "divide and conquer".
dixi I have spoken A popular eloquent expression, usually used in the end of a speech. The implied meaning is: "I have said all that I had to say and thus the argument is settled".
["...", ...] dixit ["...", ...] said Used to attribute a statement or opinion to its author, rather than the speaker.
do ut des I give that you may give Often said or written for sacrifices, when one "gives" and expects something back from the gods.
Docendo discitur It is learned by teaching Also translated "One learns by teaching." Attributed to Seneca the Younger.
Docendo disco, scribendo cogito I learn by teaching, think by writing.
dolus specialis special 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 Schabas
Domine dirige nos Lord guide us Motto of the City of London.
Dominus illuminatio mea the Lord is my light Motto of the University of Oxford.
Dominus vobiscum Lord be with you Phrase used during and at the end of Catholic sermons, and a general greeting form among and towards members of Catholic organizations, such as priests and nuns. See also pax vobiscum.
dona nobis pacem give us peace Often set to music, either by itself or as part of the Agnus Dei prayer of the Mass (see above). Also an ending in the video game Haunting Ground.
donatio mortis causa giving in expectation of death A legal concept where a person in imminent mortal danger need not meet the requisite consideration to create or modify a will.
draco dormiens nunquam titillandus a sleeping dragon is never to be tickled Motto of the fictional Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter series; translated more loosely in the books as "never tickle a sleeping dragon".
dramatis personae the parts of the play More literally, "the masks of the drama"; more figuratively, "cast of characters". The characters represented in a dramatic work.
Duae tabulae rasae in quibus nihil scriptum est Two blank slates with nothing written upon them Stan Laurel, inscription for the fanclub logo Sons of the Desert.
Ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt The fates lead the willing and drag the unwilling Attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
Ductus exemplo Leadership by Example This is the motto for the United States Marine Corps' Officer Candidates School located at Marine Corps Base Quantico; Quantico, Virginia.
dulce bellum inexpertis war is sweet to the inexperienced War may seem pleasant to those who have never been involved in it, though the more experienced know better. A phrase from Erasmus in the 16th century.
dulce et decorum est pro patria mori It is sweet and honorable to die for the fatherland. From Horace, Odes III, 2, 13. Used by Wilfred Owen for the title of a poem about World War I, Dulce et Decorum Est.
dulce et utile a sweet and useful thing Horace wrote in his Ars Poetica that poetry must be dulce et utile (pleasant and profitable), both enjoyable and instructive.
dulce periculum danger is sweet Horace, Odes III, 25, 16. Motto of the Scottish clan Clan MacAulay.
dulcissime, totam tibi subdo me darling, I give myself to you totally Movement from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
Dulcius ex asperis sweeter after difficulties Motto of the Scottish clan Clan Fergusson.
dum laborus prosperous While we work, we prospering or more commonly, "As long as we are working, we are prospering" Motto of Vincent Massey Secondary School, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
dum spiro spero while I breathe, I hope State motto of South Carolina. From Cicero.
dum Roma deliberat Saguntum perit while Rome debates, Saguntum is in danger Used 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 vivimus servimus While we live, we serve motto of Presbyterian College.
dura lex sed lex [the] law [is] harsh, but [it is] the law
dura mater tough mother Outer covering of the brain.
dum vita est, spes est while there is life, there is hope
dux bellorum War leader

E

Latin Translation Notes
e pluribus unum 'From many, (comes) One.' Usually translated 'Out of many, (is) One.' Motto of the United States of America. Inscribed on the Capitol and many coins used in the United States of America. Also used as the motto of S.L. Benfica.
Ecce Homo 'Behold the Man' From the Latin Vulgate Gospel according to St. John (XIX.v) (19.5, Douay-Rheims), where Pilate speaks these words as he presents Christ, crowned with thorns, to the crowd. Oscar Wilde opened his defense with this phrase when on trial for sodomy, characteristically using a well-known Biblical reference as a double entendre. It is also the title of Nietzsche's autobiography and of the theme music by Howard Goodall for the BBC comedy Mr. Bean.
editio princeps 'first edition' The first printed edition of a work.
e.g. 'for the sake of example' Abbreviation for exempli gratia, below. Often confused with id est (i.e.). e.g. is used to introduce one or more examples.
Ego non 'not I'
ego te absolvo 'I absolve you' Part of the absolution-formula spoken by a priest as part of the sacrament of Penance (cf. absolvo).
ego te provoco 'I dare you'
emeritus 'veteran' Also 'worn-out'. 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 honoree is no longer active.
ens causa sui 'existing because of oneself' Or '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 quietem 'by the sword she seeks gentle peace under liberty' State motto of Massachusetts, adopted in 1775.
entitas ipsa involvit aptitudinem ad extorquendum certum assensum 'reality involves a power to compel sure assent' A phrase used in modern Western philosophy on the nature of truth.
eo ipso 'by that very act' eo ipso is a technical term used in philosophy. It means 'by that very act' in Latin. Similar to ipso facto. Example: 'The fact that I am does not eo ipso mean that I think.' Etymology; From Latin eo ipso, ablative form of id ipsum, “that (thing) itself”. It is also used, with the same meaning, in law.
equo ne credite 'do not trust the horse' Virgil, Aeneid, II. 48-49
eo nomine 'by that name'
ergo 'therefore' Used to show a logical conclusion (cf. cogito ergo sum).
erga omnes 'in relation to everyone'
errare humanum est 'to err is human' From Seneca the Younger. The full quote is errare humanum est perseverare diabolicum: 'to err is human; to persist is of the Devil'.
erratum 'error' Or 'mistake'. Lists of errors in a previous edition of a work are often marked with the plural, errata ('errors').
esse est percipi 'to be is to be perceived' George Berkeley's motto for his idealist philosophical position that nothing exists independently of its perception by a mind except minds themselves.
esse quam videri 'to be, rather than to seem' Truly being something, rather than merely seeming to be something. State motto of North Carolina and academic motto of several schools, including North Carolina State University, Berklee College of Music, and Columbia College Chicago as well as Connell's Point Public School and Cranbrook High School in Sydney, Australia. 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 ('his resolve is not to seem the best, but in fact to be the best').
esto perpetua 'may it be perpetual' Said of Venice by the Venetian historian Fra Paolo Sarpi shortly before his death. Also the state motto of Idaho, adopted in 1867.
et alibi (et al.) 'and elsewhere' A less common variant on et cetera used at the end of a list of locations to denote unlisted places.
et alii (et al.) 'and others' Used similarly to et cetera ('and the rest'), to stand for a list of names. Alii is actually masculine, so it can be used for men, or groups of men and women; the feminine, et aliae (or et aliæ), is appropriate when the 'others' are all female. Et alia is neuter plural and thus properly used only for inanimate, genderless objects, but some use it as a gender-neutral alternative. APA style uses et al. if the work cited was written by more than two authors; MLA style uses et al. for more than three authors.
et cetera (etc.) or (&c.) 'And the rest' In modern usages, also used to mean 'and so on' or 'and more'.
et facta est lux And light was made From Genesis 1:3 "and there was light". This phrase is used by Morehouse College of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, as the school's motto.
et hoc genus omne 'And all that sort of thing' Abbreviated to e.h.g.o. or ehgo
etiam si omnes... ego non also if all ones... not I
et in Arcadia ego 'and in Arcadia [am] I' In other words, 'I, too, am in Arcadia'. See memento mori.
et nunc reges intelligite erudimini qui judicati terram 'And 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 si omnes... ego non also if all ones... not I
et sequentes (et seq.) 'and the following' Pluralized as et sequentia ('and the following things'), abbreviations: et seqq., et seq.., or sqq.
et suppositio nil ponit in esse 'a supposition puts nothing in being' More typically translated as either (a) "Sayin' it don't make it so", or (b) "Hypothetically..."
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 (which was the language of Rome's elite at the time), καὶ σὺ τέκνον; (Kaì sù téknon?), in English 'You as well, (my) child?', quoting from Menander. Some have speculated based on this that Brutus was Caesar's child, though there is no substantial evidence of this.
et uxor (et ux.) 'and wife' A legal term.
ex abundantia enim cordis os loquitur 'For 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 abundanti cautela 'from abundant caution'
ex aequo 'from the equal' 'On equal footing', i.e., 'in a tie'.
ex animo 'from the heart' Thus, 'sincerely'.
ex ante 'from before' 'Beforehand', 'before the event'. Based on prior assumptions. A forecast.
Ex Astris Scientia 'From the Stars, Knowledge' The motto of the fictional Starfleet Academy on Star Trek. Adapted from ex luna scientia, which in turn was modeled after ex scientia tridens.
ex cathedra 'from the chair' A phrase applied to the declarations or promulgations of the Pope when, preserved from even the possibility of error by the action of the Holy Ghost (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 or with arrogance.
ex Deo 'from God'
ex dolo malo 'from 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 facie 'from the face' Idiomatically 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 fiducia 'from faith [comes] confidence' A motto of St George's College, Harare.
ex gratia 'from kindness' More 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 hypothesi 'from the hypothesis' Thus, 'by hypothesis'.
ex lege 'from the law'
ex libris 'from the books' Precedes a person's name, with the meaning of 'from the library of...'
ex luna scientia 'from the moon, knowledge' The motto of the Apollo 13 moon mission, derived from ex scientia tridens.
ex malo bonum 'from or out of bad comes good'
ex mea sententia 'in my opinion'
ex nihilo nihil fit 'nothing may come from nothing' From 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 oblivione 'from oblivion' The title of a short story by H.P. Lovecraft.
ex officio 'from the office' By virtue of office or position; 'by right of office'. Often used when someone holds one position by virtue of holding another. A common misconception is that ex officio members of a committee or congress may not vote, but this is not guaranteed by that title.
ex opere operantis 'from the work of the one working' A 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 operato 'from the work worked' A 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 lux 'from the East, the light' Originally refers to the sun rising in the east, but alludes to culture coming from the Eastern world.
Motto of Viadrina European University and others.
ex parte 'from a part' A legal term meaning 'by one party' or 'for one party'. Thus, on behalf of one side or party only.
ex pede Herculem 'from Hercules' foot' From the measure of Hercules' foot you shall know his size; from a part, the whole.
ex post 'from after' 'Afterward', 'after the event'. Based on knowledge of the past. Measure of past performance.
ex post facto 'from a thing done afterward' Said of a law with retroactive effect.
ex professo 'with due competence' Said of the person who perfectly knows his art or science.
ex scientia tridens 'from 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 vera 'from knowledge, truth.' The motto of the College of Graduate Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.
ex silentio 'from silence' In 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 tempore 'from time' 'This instant', 'right away' or 'immediately'. Also written extempore.
ex vi termini 'from the force of the term' Thus, 'by definition'.
ex vivo 'out of or from life' Used in reference to the study or assay of living tissue in an artificial environment outside the living organism.
ex voto 'from the vow' Thus, in accordance with a promise. An ex voto is also an offering made in fulfillment of a vow.
excelsior 'higher' 'Ever upward!' The state motto of New York. Also a catch phrase used by Marvel Comics head Stan Lee.
exceptio firmat regulam in casibus non exceptis 'The exception confirms the rule in cases which are not excepted' A juridical motto which means that exception, as for example during a 'state of exception', does not put in danger the legitimacy of the rule in its globality. In other words, the exception is strictly limited to a particular sphere. See also exceptio strictissimi juris est and exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.
exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis 'The exception confirms the rule in cases which are not excepted' A juridical motto often mistranslated as "the exception that proves the rule". See also firmat regulam in casibus non exceptis.
excusatio non petita accusatio manifesta 'an excuse that has not been sought is an obvious accusation' More loosely, 'he who excuses himself, accuses himself'—an unprovoked excuse is a sign of guilt. In French, qui s'excuse, s'accuse.
exeat 'may he leave' A formal leave of absence (cf. exit).
exempli gratia (e.g.) 'for the sake of example' Usually shortened in English to 'for example' (see citation signal). Often confused with id est (i.e.).
Exempli gratia, i.e., 'for example', is commonly abbreviated 'e.g.'; in this usage it is sometimes followed by a comma, depending on style.
exercitus sine duce corpus est sine spiritu 'an army without leader is like a body without spirit' On a plaque at the former military staff building of the Swedish Armed Forces.
exeunt 'they leave' The plural of exit. Also extended to exeunt omnes, 'everyone leaves'.
experimentum crucis 'crucial experiment' Literally 'experiment of the cross'. A decisive test of a scientific theory.
experto crede 'trust the expert' Literally 'believe one who has had experience'. An author's aside to the reader.
expressio unius est exclusio alterius 'the 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').
extant 'still in existence; surviving' adjective: extant law is still existing, in existence, existent, surviving, remaining, undestroyed. Usage, when a law is repealed the extant law governs.
extra domus '(placed) outside of the house' Refers 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 salus 'Outside the Church there is no salvation' This expression comes from the writings of 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 omnes 'Out, 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 paretur 'he who administers justice outside of his territory is disobeyed with impunity' Refers to extraterritorial jurisdiction. Often cited in law of the sea cases on the high seas.
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