The Phrontistery




Latin Adverbs and Prepositions

Like most high schools in the late 1980s, mine did not offer courses in Latin. I finally got to take a full year of Latin during my B.A., which was marvelous, but I'm certain that nobody receives the sort of classical education that one might have fifty years ago. Then again, I suspect that I'm part of that tiny minority that actually would have profited from such a course of study.

But enough of this biographical detail. This list contains 60 Latin adverbs (with some prepositions and conjunctions hiding away too) that have found their way into English unchanged in form or meaning. Though some of them are extraordinarily obscure, others are regularly found in academic papers, though often abbreviated (ibidem = ibid.; videlicet = viz.). And, while some of these terms have perfectly good Anglo-Saxon equivalents, others are due for resuscitation. Try them on for size!


Word Definition
alternatim alternately
ana in equal quantities
bis twice; in two places
circa about; around
circiter about; around
coram in the presence of; before
divisim separately
ergo therefore; hence
gradatim step by step
gratis without charge; for free
gregatim in flocks
guttatim drop by drop
ibidem in the same place
idem the same word as mentioned before
imprimis in the first place
infra below; later in a text
interim meanwhile
item likewise; also
iterum again; afresh; anew
jure by law
literatim letter for letter
pace contrary to the opinion of; in respectful disagreement with
partim in part
passim everywhere; dispersedly
per through; according to; by means or agency of
primo in the first place
pro in favour of; for
proximo of next month
punctatim point for point
qua in the capacity of
quasi as if; seemingly; in a manner
quatenus in the capacity of; in so far as
quoad with respect to; as regards
quondam former; sometime; formerly
scilicet to wit; namely
secundum according to
secus otherwise
semper always
seriatim in succession; one after another
sic thus
similiter in a similar manner
sine without
singillatim singly
solus alone
sparsim here and there
statim immediately; at once
stillatim drop by drop
subito at once; immediately
supra above; earlier in a text
syllabatim syllable by syllable
tanti worthwhile
tempore in the time of
ubique everywhere
ultimo of last month
variorum including the notes of earlier scholars or editors
verbatim word for word
versus against; in contrast to
vice in place of; rather than
videlicet to wit; namely
vulgo commonly; popularly


I hope you have found this site to be useful. If you have any corrections, additions, or comments, please contact me. Please note that I am not able to respond to all requests. Please consult a major dictionary before e-mailing your query. All material on this page © 1996-2014 Stephen Chrisomalis. Links to this page may be made without permission.

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