Latin Phrases and Quotes

Latin is not a dead language. It is still here with us. You can find it on your dollar bill on top of the pyramid where it says "Annuit Coeptis" or on the detective TV shows, where they talk about a suspect's "MO" (Modus Operandi). Here you can find thousands of Latin phrases and their English translation. You may want to learn some of these, because quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur (anything said in Latin sounds smart).

  1. A barba stulti discit tonsor - In the beard of a fool, you learn how to shave
  2. A falsitate rationati ad falsitatem rationis valet consequentia - Of deceptive consequences follows false reasoning
  3. Decipere est iuris gentium - To be mistaken is everybody's right
  4. Dialecticam inventam esse, ven et falsi quasi disceptatricem - Dialectic was invented to decide between the true and the false (Philosophical term - Cicero)
  5. Dico ego, tu dicis, sed denique dixit et ille - I say it, you say it, and finally he says it
  6. Ex ingenio - Through ingenuity
  7. Fallacia non causae ut causae - Fallacy to accept something as fundamental when it is not
  8. Intellectus luminis sicci non est recipit infusionem a voluntate et affectibus - Intellect is not a light that burns without oil, but it is fed by will and passion (Bacon, Novum Organon 1, 49)
  9. Lex parsimoniae Naturae - Law of conservation in nature
  10. Mutatio controversiae - Changing the subject (in a conversation)
  11. Natura nihil facit frustra - Nature does nothing in vane
  12. Nemo tenetur se ipsum accusare - No one is obligated to incriminate or accuse himself (Legal term)
  13. Novus homo - New man
  14. Omnis animi voluptas, omnisque alacritas in eo sita est, quod quis babeat, quibuscum conferens se, possit magnifice sentire de se ipso - All happiness of mind and all contentment liens in the fact that there is someone with whom, in comparing ourselves, we can have a higher feeling (Philosophical term - Hobbes - de cive)
  15. Principium omnium - Principle of all things
  16. Principium pricipiorum - Principle of principles
  17. Principium sine principio - Principles without beginning
  18. Pro ara et focis - For the altar and the homeland
  19. Quam temere in nosmet legem sancismus iniquam - With what recklessness do we sanction an iniquitous law against us (Horace)
  20. Unusquisque mavult credere quam iudicare - Everyone prefers to believe than to discuss (to think - Seneca)
  21. A bene placito - At one's pleasure
  22. A bonis ad meliora - From good to better
  23. A bove ante, ab asino retro, a muliere undique caveto - Beware of the bull from the front, the donkey from behind, and women from all sides
  24. A bove maiori discit arare minor - From the old ox the young ox learns how to plow
  25. A calvo ad calvum - From one bald-person to another (From first to last - Suetonius - attributed to Caligula)
  26. A cane muto et aqua silente cave tibi - Beware of the dog that does not bark, and of silent waters
  27. A capillo usque ad ungues - From the hair to the toe nails (Petronius - Satyricon 102, 3)
  28. A capite ad calcem - From head to toe
  29. A cappella - Chapel style (Choral signing without instruments)
  30. A coelo usque ad centrum - From heaven to the centre of the Earth (Thank you: Charlotte)
  31. A cohores fratres viventem in aeternum - A band of brothers who live forever (Thank you: MJB)
  32. A contrariis - To the contrary (Philosophical term used in logic)
  33. A contrario sensu - Contrary to reason
  34. A cruce salus - Salvation from the cross
  35. A cuspide corona - From the spear a crown (Honor gained by military success)
  36. A Deo rex, a rege lex - From God the King, from the King the law (Motto of the absolute monarchy who thought they derived power by God)
  37. A digito cognoscitur leo - The lion is known by his claw
  38. A divinis - Of the divine
  39. A fortiori - By force (Legal term - With greater reason)
  40. A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi - Between a cliff and wolf
  41. A fructibus cognoscitur arbor - The tree is known by its fruit
  42. A latere - On the side (Legal term - Denotes collateral)
  43. A limine - From the threshold
  44. A manu servi - With a servant hand (Used to describe the work of a ghost writer)
  45. A mari usque ad mare - From Sea to Sea (Canada's motto)
  46. A maximis ad minima - From the maximum to the minimum
  47. A mensa et thoro - From table and bed (Legal term - separation)
  48. A minima - For being too small (Legal term - Indicates that the case should go to a lower court)
  49. A nativitate - From birth
  50. A non domino - From the non owner (Legal term - Argument from the person who does not own the item in question)
  51. A novo - From new (Again)
  52. A pari - For the same (Philosophical term - Argument based on the similarity and equality of the facts)
  53. A pedibus usque ad caput - From foot to head
  54. A posse ad esse - From possibility to reality (Philosophical term )
  55. A posteriori - After the fact (Legal term - actions after the fact - also philosophical term: from what is before - Inductive reasoning)
  56. A priori - Before the fact (Legal term - Actions before the fact - First speech - Philosophical term: from what is before - Deductive reasoning)
  57. A quo - From which (Legal term - the point which is initial limit of time)
  58. A remotis - From remote (From far away)
  59. A saeculo confregisti iugum tuum, rupisti vincula tua et dixisti: "Non serviam" In omni enim colle sublimi et sub omni ligno frondoso tu prosternebaris meretrix - Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, 'I will not serve you!' Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute (Vulgate - Jeremiah 2, 20)
  60. A simili - By similarity
  61. A solis ortus cardine - From eastern lands that first see the sun (Ecclesiastical term - Hymn for Lauds of Christmas morning)
  62. A superbia initium sumpsit omnis perditio - From pride takes initiative all perdition
  63. A tempo - In time (Musical term - directive to return to the original tempo)
  64. A verbis ad verbera - From words to blows (Legal term)
  65. A vinculo matrimonii - From the bounds of matrimony (Legal term)
  66. Ab abrupto - Abruptl
  67. Ab absurdo - From the absurd (Philosophical term - used in logic to argue that the oposing position is absurd)
  68. Ab aeterno - From the eternity
  69. Ab alio expectes alteri quod feceris - Expect to receive such treatment as you have given (Syrus - Sententiae)
  70. Ab alta cuncta - From the altitud
  71. Ab amando ductum est amicitiae nomen - From loving (amando) derives the word friendship (amicitiae)
  72. Ab amico reconciliato cave - Beware of the reconciled friend
  73. Ab ante - From before
  74. Ab antecedente - In adavance (Legal term)
  75. Ab antiquo - From a long time ago
  76. Ab Apostolis approbata - Approved by the apostles (Ecclesiastical term)
  77. Ab esse ad posse valet consequentia - As a consequence of the reality, it is a possibility (Philosophical term - Since it is real, it is possible)
  78. Ab exordio generis humani - Since the beginning of the human race
  79. Ab exordio mundi - Since the beginning of the world
  80. Ab exordio vitae - Since the beginning of life
  81. Ab homine quaesivi quis esset - Asked the man, who he was
  82. Ab imis unguibus usque ad verticem summum - From the bottom of the toenail to the highest part of the body (Cicero - Pro Q Roscio Comoedo, 20)
  83. Ab immemorabilis - From when there was no memory
  84. Ab imo pectore - From my chest (Julius Caesar - Frankly - From my heart)
  85. Ab initio - From the beginning
  86. Ab insomne custodita dracone - Protected by a sleepless dragon
  87. Ab integro - By whole
  88. Ab intestato - Having made no will (Legal term)
  89. Ab intra - From within
  90. Ab Iove principium - Start with the most important (Virgil - Aeneid VII - Iove [Jove] is Jupiter, the father of all Roman Gods)
  91. Ab ipso ferro - From the same iron (Fray Luis de Leon's motto)
  92. Ab irato - By anger (Legal term - Something which is invalidated, because it was done with unreasonable anger)
  93. Ab Ordine Libertas - From order comes freedom (Colombia's motto)
  94. Ab ore ad aurem - From mouth to ear (whispering a secret into someone's ear)
  95. Ab origine - From origin
  96. Ab ovo - Since the egg (Horace - Ars poetica - Refers to the egg of Leek from which hatched Helen of Troy)
  97. Ab ovo usque ad mala - From the egg to the apple (Horace - Satire - From appetizer to dessert - From start to finish - From soup to nuts)
  98. Ab uno disce omnes - From one learn all (Virgil - Aeneid II )
  99. Ab uno discit omnes - From one you know all

Total: 4030
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