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« Dictionary Index « Definitions under P


Phrases

Latin and French Words and Phrases, with their explanation in English.

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A

Ab initio:

From the beginning.

Ab urbe condita:

From the building of the city; abridged a. u. c.

Ad arbitrium:

At pleasure.

Ad captandum:

To attract.

Ad captandum vulgus:

To ensnare the vulgar.

Ad eundem:

To the same.

Ad infinitum:

To infinity.

Ad interim:

In the meantime.

Ad libitum:

At pleasure.

Ad litem:

For the action (at law).

Ad referendum:

For consideration.

Ad valorem:

According to value.

Affaire de coeur:

A love affair; an amour.

A fin:

To the end.

A fortiori:

With stronger reason.

Aide-de-camp:

Assistant to a general.

A la honne heure:

At an early hour; in the nick of time.

A-la-mode:

In the fashion.

Alias:

Otherwise.

Alibi:

Elsewhere; or, proof of having been elsewhere.

Alma mater (kind mother):

University.

A mensa et thoro:

From bed and board.

Amor patriae:

The love of our country.

Anglicè:

In English.

Anno Domini:

In the year of our Lord; abr. A. D.

Anno mundi:

In the year of the world; abr: :: A. M.

A posteriori:

From a later reason, or from behind.

A priori:

From a prior reason.

A propos:

To the purpose; seasonably; or by-the-by.

Arcana:

Secrets.

Arcana imperii:

State secrets.

Arcanum.:

Secret.

Argumentum ad fidem:

An appeal to our faith.

Argumentum ad hominem:

Personal argument.

Argumentum ad judicium:

An appeal to the common sense of mankind.

Argumentum ad passiones:

An appeal to the passions.

Argumentum ad populum:

An appeal to the people.

Argumentum baeulinum:

Argument of blows.

Audi alteram partem:

Hear both sides.

Au fond:

To the bottom; or, main point.

Auri sacra fames:

The accursed thirst of gold.

Aut Caesar aut nullus:

He will be Caesar or nobody.

Auto-da-fé (Act of faith):

Burning of hereticks.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V

B

Bagatelle:

Trifle.

Beau monde (Gay world):

People of fashion.

Beaux esprits:

Men of wit.

Belles lettres:

Polite literature.

Billet doux.:

Love letter.

Bon gré:

With a good grace.

Bonjour:

Good day.

Bon mot (A good word):

A witty saying.

Bon ton:

Fashion; high fashion.

Bonâ fide:

In good faith.

Boudoir:

A small private apartment.

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C

Cacoethes carpendi:

A rage for collecting.

Cacoethes loquendi:

A rage for speaking.

Cacoethes scribendi:

Passion for writing.

Coeteris paribus:

Other circumstances being equal.

Caput mortuum (The dead head):

The worthless remains.

Carte blanche (A blank paper):

Unconditional terms; q. d. “There is a sheet of paper: write your own terms.”

Cessio bonorum:

Yielding up of goods.

Château:

Country seat.

Chef-d'oeuvre:

Master piece.

Ci-devant:

Formerly.

Comme il faut:

As it should be.

Commune bonum:

A common good.

Communibus annis:

One year with another.

Compos mentis:

Of a sound and composed mind.

Con amore:

Gladly; with love.

Congé d'élire:

Permission to choose, or elect.

Contra:

Against.

Contra bonos mores:

Against good manners or morals.

Coup de grâce:

Finishing stroke (Literally the blow of favour; because the bones having been broken separately on the rack, the last blow, which killed the man, was an act of grace to him).

Coup de main:

Sudden enterprize.

Coup d'oeil:

View or glance.

Credat Judaeus:

A Jew may believe it (but I will not).

Cui bono ? :

To what good will it tend ?

Cui malo ? :

To what evil will it tend ?

Cum multis aliis:

With many others.

Cum privilegio:

With privilege.

Curia advisari vult:

Court wishes to be advised; abr. cur. adv. vult.

Currente calamo:

With a running quill.

Custos Rotulorum:

Keeper of the rolls.

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D

Datum:

Point granted.

Debut:

Beginning.

De die in diem:

From day to day.

Dedimus potesatem:

We have given power.

De facto:

In fact.

Dei gratia:

By the grace, or favour, of God.

De jure:

By right.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum:

Of the dead let nothing be said but what is favourable.

De novo:

Anew.

Dénouement (Unravelling):

Finishing, or winding up.

Deo volente:

God willing.

Dépôt:

Store, or magazine.

Dernier ressort:

Last resort or resource.

Desideratum:

A thing desired.

Desunt caetera:

The other things are wanting.

Dieu et mon droit:

God and my right.

Domine dirige nos:

O Lord direct us.

Double entendre:

Double meaning.

Douceur:

Present, or bribe.

Dramatis personae:

Characters of the drama.

Durante bene placito:

During pleasure.

Durante vita:

During life.

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E

Ecce homo:

Behold the man.

Éclaircissement:

Explanation; clearing up.

Éclat:

Splendour.

Élève:

Pupil.

Embonpoint:

Jolly; in good case.

En flûte:

Carrying guns on the upper deck only.

En masse:

In a mass; in a body.

En passant:

By the way; in passing.

Ennui:

Tiresomeness.

Entrée:

Entrance.

Ergo:

Therefore.

Errata:

Errors.

Esto perpetua:

May it last for ever.

Et caetera:

And the rest.

Ex:

Late; as the ex-minister means the late minister.

Ex cathedra (From the chair):

Instructions given from a chair of authority.

Ex nihilo nihil fit:

“Nothing can come of nothing.” — King Lear.

Ex officio:

Officially, or by virtue of an office.

Ex parte:

On the part of, or one side.

Excerpta:

Extracts.

Exempli gratia:

As for example; abr. ex. gr., e. g.

Experto crede:

Believe one who has experience to justify his opinion.

Extempore:

Out of hand; without premeditation.

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F

Fac simile:

Exact copy or resemblance.

Fata obstant:

The fates oppose it.

Faux pas:

Fault, or misconduct.

Felo de se (The felon of himself):

Self murderer.

Festina lente:

Hasten slowly. “Wisely and slow: they stumble that run fast.” — Friar in Romeo and Juliet.

Fête:

A feast or entertainment.

Fiat:

Let it be done, or made.

Finis:

End.

Finis coronat opus:

The end crowns the work.

Flagrante bello:

Whilst the war is raging.

Furor loquendi:

An eagerness for speaking.

Furor scribendi:

An eagerness for writing.

G

Genus irritabile:

The irritable tribe of poets.

Gratis:

For nothing.

H

Hauteur:

Haughtiness.

Hic et ubique:

Here and there and every where.

Honi soit qui mal y pense:

May evil happen to him who evil thinks of it.

Hora fugit:

The hour, or time, files.

Humanum est errare:

It is the lot of humanity to err.

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I

Ibidem:

In the same place; abr. ibid., ib.

Ich dien:

I serve.

Id est:

That is; abr. i.e.

Idem:

The same.

Imperium in imperio:

A government existing in another government.

Imprimatur:

Let it be printed.

Imprimis:

In the first place.

Impromptu:

In readiness.

In coelo quies:

There is rest in heaven.

In commendam:

For a time; in trust.

In duplo:

Twice as much.

In forma pauperis:

As a pauper, or poor person.

In loco:

In the place.

In petto (in the bosom):

Hid, or in reserve.

In propria persona:

In his own person.

In statu quo:

In the same state or condition in which it was.

In terrorem (In terror):

As a warning.

In terrorem populi:

In terror to the people.

In toto:

Altogether.

In transitu:

On the passage.

In vino Veritas:

There is truth in wine.

Incognito:

Disguised, or unknown.

Inter nos:

Between ourselves.

Innuendo:

By signifying.

Ipse dixit (Himself said it):

Mere assertion.

Ipso facto:

By the mere fact.

Ipso jure:

By the law itself.

Item:

Also, or article.

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J

Je ne sais quoi:

I know not what.

Jeu de mots:

Play upon words

Jeu d'esprit:

Play of wit; a witticism.

Jure divino:

By divine right.

Jure humano:

By human law.

Jus gentium:

The law of nations.

L

Labor omnia vincit:

Labour overcomes every thing.

L'argent:

Money, or silver.

Lex magna est, et praevalebit:

The law is great, and will prevail.

Lex talionis:

The law of retaliation.

Licentia vatum:

A poetical license.

Lingua lapsus:

A slip of the tongue.

Locum tenens:

One who supplies the place of another; a substitute; a deputy.

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M

Magna charta:

The great charter of England.

Magna est Veritas et praevalebit:

The truth is most powerful; and will ultimately prevail.

Mal à propos:

Unseasonable, or unseasonably

Malâ fide:

In bad faith.

Malgré:

With an ill grace.

Manu forti:

With a strong hand.

Mauvaise honte:

Unbecoming bashfulness.

Meditatione fugae:

In contemplation of flight.

Memento mori:

Remember that thou must die.

Memorabilia:

Things to be remembered; matters deserving of record.

Meum et tuum:

Mine and thine.

Minutae:

Trifles.

Mirabile dictu:

Wonderful to tell.

Multum in parvo:

Much in a small space.

Mutatis mutandis:

After making the necessary changes.

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N

Ne plus ultra:

No farther, or greatest extent.

Ne quid nimis:

Too much of one thing is good for nothing.

Necesaitas non habet legem:

Necessity has no law.

Nemine contradicente:

Unanimously, no one disagreeing; abr. nem. con.

Nemine dissentiente:

Unanimously, or without a dissenting voice; abr. nem. dis.

Nemo me impune lacesset:

Nobody shall provoke me with impunity.

Nisi Dominus frustra:

Unless the Lord be with us, all efforts are in vain.

Nolens volens:

Willing or unwilling.

Nom de guerre:

Assumed name.

Non compos, or Non compos mentis:

Out of one's senses.

Non est inventus:

Not found.

Nonchalance:

Indifference.

Nota bene:

Mark well.

Nunc pro tunc:

Now for then.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V

O

O tempora, O mores:

O the times, O the manners.

Omnes:

All.

Onus:

Burden.

Onus probandi:

Burden of proof.

Ore tenus:

From the mouth; by word of mouth.

Outré:

Preposterous.

P

Pari passu:

With an equal pace.

Passim:

Everywhere.

Pax in bello:

Peace in war.

Peccavi:

I have sinned.

Pendente lite:

While the action (at law) is pending, or while it is going on.

Per curiam:

By the court.

Per se:

Alone, or by itself.

Perdue:

Concealed.

Petit maître (Little master):

Fop.

Posse comitatus:

The power of the county.

Pour autre vie:

For the life of another.

Prima facie:

On the first face; at first view; at first sight.

Primum mobile:

The prime mover.

Principiis obsta:

Resist the first innovations.

Pro aris et focis:

For our altars and our hearths.

Pro bono publica:

For the public good.

Pro et con:

For and against.

Pro forma:

For form's sake.

Pro hac vice:

For this time.

Pro loco et tempore:

For the place and time.

Pro rege, lege, et grege:

For the king, the constitution, and the people.

Pro re natâ:

For the occasion.

Pro tanto:

For so much.

Pro tempore:

For the time, or for a time.

Protégé:

A person patronised and protected.

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Q

Quamdiu se bene gesserit:

As long as he shall have behaved well.

Quantum:

The due proportion.

Quantum meruit:

As much as he deserves.

Quare impedit (Why he hinders):

A law term, and means the writ which a person disturbed.

Quasi dicas:

As though thou shouldst say; abr. q. d.

Quid pro quo:

A mutual consideration.

Quid nunc ? :

What now?

Quis separabit:

Who shall separate us?

Quo animo:

The intention with which.

Quoad:

As to; as far as.

Quo jure? :

By what right?

Quondam:

Formerly.

R

Re infectâ:

The business not being done.

Regina:

Queen.

Requiescat in pace:

May he (or she) rest in peace.

Res publica:

The common weal.

Resurgam:

I shall rise again.

Rex:

King.

Rouge:

Red, or red paint.

Rus in urbe:

The country in town.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V

S

Sang froid (Cold blood):

Coolness.

Sans:

Without.

Savant:

A learned man.

Scandalum Magnatum:

Scandal, or scandalous expressions, against the nobility; abr. scand. mag.

Semper eadem:

Always the same.

Senatus consultum:

A decree of the senate.

Seriatim:

In regular order.

Simplex munditiis:

Simply elegant; free from gaudy ornament.

Sine die:

Without mentioning any particular day.

Sine qua non (Without which, not):

Indispensable requisite, or condition.

Soi-disant (Self-styling):

Pretended.

Spectas et tu spectabere:

You see and you will be seen.

Status quo:

The state in which it was.

Sub poena:

Under a penalty.

Sui generis:

Singular; unparalleled; of its own kind.

Summum bonum:

Greatest good.

Supra:

Above.

Suum cuique:

Let each man have his own.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V

T

Tapis:

Carpet.

Tête-à-tête:

Face to face, or private conversation of two persons.

Toties quoties:

As often as.

Trait:

Feature.

Tria juncta in uno:

Three joined in one.

U

Ultimus:

The last.

Un bel esprit:

A wit; a virtuoso.

Una voce:

Unanimously.

Unique:

Singular.

Uti possedetis:

As ye possess, or present.

Utile dulci:

Utility with pleasure.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V

V

Vade mecum (Go with me):

Constant companion.

Vale:

Farewell.

Valet-de-Chambre:

A servant who assists his master in dressing.

Veluti in speculum:

As in a looking glass.

Verbatim:

Word for word.

Versus:

Against.

Veto:

I forbid.

Vi et armis:

By force and arms.

Via:

By the way of.

Vice:

In the room of.

Vice versa:

The terms being exchanged; the reverse.

Vide:

See.

Vide ut supra:

See as above.

Vis poetica:

Poetic genius.

Viva voce:

By the living voice.

Vivant rex et regina:

Long live the king and queen.

Vive la bagatelle:

Success to trifles.

Vive le roi:

Long live the king.

Vox et praeterea nihil:

A voice and nothing more.

Vox populi:

The voice of the people.

Vulgo:

Commonly.

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