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Amo, Amas, Amat: Latin Words Used in English

Updated on November 3, 2016

Pronunciation Key

Pronounced as
a in far
aw in straw
a in bake
a in mat
e or eh
e in bet
ee in tree
a in above
i or ih
i in dig
i in time
o in snow
oo in moon
u in put
u in english pronunciation
i in sir

Here are some latin words you might have heard and some that you might not be familiar with.

First, the ones I promised:

amo (ah-MOH) I love.

amas (ah-MAHS) you love.

amat (ah-MAHT) he, she, or it loves.

Common Latin Words

Now a few you probably know.

Circa- (KIR-kah, English: SUR-kə) about. Abbreviated as c or ca., it’s used to indicate an approximate date, such as “Homer was born ca. the eighth century BC.”

Consensus- (kawn-SEN-sus) agreement.

Ergo- (EHR-goh) therefore.

Versus- (WEHR-sus, English: Vur-səs) against. Often used to indicate a literal or figurative fight.

Alumnus- (ah-LUM-nus) foster child. Usually refers to a graduate of a learning institution. He or she is figuratively a foster child of the school.

Emeritus- (ah-MEHR-ri-tus, English: ə-MEHR-ə-təs) having served a term. Usually heard as an honorary title given to a retired professor.

Lesser Known Latin Words

Dirigo- (DEE-ri-goh, English: də-REE-goh) I direct. Also “I guide”, or “I lead the way”. Motto of Maine.

dixi- (DEE-ksee) that settles it. Literally, “I have spoken.”

Erratum- (ehr-AH-tum) error. Usually used to indicate an error in a written work.

Exeat- (EKS-ay-aht) permission to be absent. Used in official authorizations such as granting leave to someone in a religious or academic setting.

Exeut- (EKS-ay-unt) they leave the stage. Used as a stage direction that means two or more actors leave the stage.

Fecit- (FAY-kit) made by. Usually seen before an artist’s name.

Floruit- (FLOH-roo-it) he or she flourished. Used to indicate the period of someone’s prime especially when their dates of birth and death are unknown, abbreviated fl. in text.

Idem- (EE-dem, English: EYED-em) the same. Appears in footnotes to indicate the reference means the previously noted author. Can be abbreviated id. in the text.

incipit- (IN-ki-pit) here begins. Most common in medieval writings.

infra- (IN-frah) below. Used in text to direct attention to something that follows.

interregnum- (in-ter-REG-num, English: in-tər-REG-nəm) a time between rulers. Refers to a period when there’s no official ruling authority.

Show off your wisdom with these latin words.
Show off your wisdom with these latin words.

licet (LI-ket, English: LEYE-set) it’s allowed. Used in formal settings to grant permission.

mandamus (mahn-DAH-mus, English: man-DAY-məs) we command. Used in the court system when a higher court insists a lower court perform a duty.

memoriter (me-MAW-ri-ter) by memory. That song that you hate and can’t stop singing is known memoriter, by heart.

obiit (AWB-ih-iht) he or she died. Seen on tombstones and church documents, followed by the date in question.

odium (AW-dee-um, English: OHD-ee-əm) hatred.

passim (PAHS-sihm) here and there. Seen in scholarly works to indicate that something appears in other places, such as, “Chapter 8 passim”. This means the current topic recurs throughout chapter 8.

pax (pahks) peace.

qua (kwah, English: kway) in the capacity of. “They put their duties qua parents ahead of their careers.”

quantum (KWAHN-tum) as much.

quondam (KWAWN-dahm) former. “My quondam best friend stole my car.”

re (ray) regarding or concerning. “Did you get my email re the financial statements?”

redivivus (reh-dih-WEE-wus, English: red-ə-VEE-vəs) brought back to life. “Tommy is his grandfather redivivus.”

regina (reh-GEE-nah) queen.

resurgam (reh-SUR-gahm) I shall rise again.

satis (SAH-tihs) enough.

seriatim (seh-ree-AH-tihm) in series.

sic (seek) thus, intentionally written. It is usually seen in quotations when a word is misspelled or misused to indicate the mistake was noted but intentionally left in for accuracy.

supra (SU-prah) above.

tacet (TAH-keht) be silent. A musical notation.

vale (WAH-lay) farewell.

veritas (WAY-rih-tahs) truth.

vixit (WEE-ksiht) he or she lived. Usually seen on tombstones, followed by the number of years lived.


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