List of Latin abbreviations

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This is a list of common Latin abbreviations . Nearly all the abbreviations below have been adopted by Modern English. However, with some exceptions (for example, versus or modus operandi ), most of the Latin referent words and phrases are perceived as foreign to English. In a few cases, English referents have replaced the original Latin ones (e.g., "rest in peace" for RIP and "post script" for PS).


Latin was once the universal academic language in Europe. From the 18th century authors started using their mother tongues to write books, papers or proceedings. Even when Latin fell out of use, many Latin abbreviations continued to be used due to their precise simplicity and Latin's status as a learnèd language.[ citation needed ]

In July 2016, the government of the United Kingdom announced that its websites would avoid the use of Latin abbreviations. [1]

List of common abbreviations

All abbreviations are given with full stops, although these are omitted or included as a personal preference in most situations.

Latin abbreviations
Abbreviation Latin TranslationUsage and notes
AD anno Domini "in the year of the Lord"Used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The AD or the Christian calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years after the start of this epoch, and BC denoting years before the start of the epoch.
Example: The United States Civil War began in AD 1861
a.i. ad interim "temporarily"Used in business organizational charts
A.M. ante meridiem "before midday" [2] Used on the twelve-hour clock to indicate times during the morning.
Example: We will meet the mayor at 10 a.m. (10:00 in 24-hour clock)
c., ca., ca or cca. circa "around", "about", "approximately" [3] [4] Used in dates to indicate approximately.
Example: The antique clock is from c.1900.
Cap.capitulus"chapter"Used before a chapter number of laws of the United Kingdom [5] and its former colonies.
Example: Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Cap. 553).
cf. confer "bring together" and hence "compare"Confer is the imperative of the Latin verb conferre. [4] Used interchangeably with "cp." in citations indicating the reader should compare a statement with that from the cited source.
Example: These results were similar to those obtained using different techniques (cf. Wilson, 1999 and Ansmann, 1992).

It is also widely used as an abbreviation for "see", although some styles recommend against such use.

cp.compareUsed interchangeably with "cf." in citations indicating the reader should compare a statement with that from the cited source.
Example: These results were similar to those obtained using different techniques (cp. Wilson, 1999 and Ansmann, 1992).
Cp ceteris paribus "all other things being equal"Commonly used in economics, ceteris paribus allows for supply and demand models to reflect specific variables. If one assumes that the only thing changing is, say, the price of wheat, then demand and supply will both be affected appropriately. While this is simplification of actual dynamic market models, it makes learning economic theory easier.
C.V., cv or CV curriculum vitae "course of life"A document containing a summary or listing of relevant job experience and education. The exact usage of the term varies between British English and American English. The singular form is never vita. Curriculum is already singular, vitae is genitive from "vita", i.e. "of life", despite the plural-appearing vitae modifier. The true plural is curricula vitarum.
cwt. centum weight"Hundredweight" [2] cwt. uses a mixture of Latin and English abbreviation.
D.V. Deo volente "God willing"
DG, D.G. or DEI GRA Dei gratia "by the grace of God". [2] A part of the monarch's title, it is found on all British and Canadian coins.
ead. eadem "the same (woman)"see id. below.
et al. et alii
et alia
et alibi
"and others", "and co-workers". [2]
"and other things"
"and other places"
Example: These results agree with the ones published by Pelon et al. (2002).

"Etc." should not be used for people.

etc. et cetera "and the others", "and other things", "and the rest". [2] Other archaic abbreviations include "&c.", "&/c.", "&e.", "&ct.", and "&ca."

Example: I need to go to the store and buy some pie, milk, cheese, etc.

Because cetera implies inanimate objects, et al. is preferred when speaking of people.

e.g. exempli gratia "for example", "for instance". [2] Introduces an example (as opposed to an explanation): The shipping company instituted a surcharge on any items weighing over a ton; e.g., a car or truck.
fac.ex postfacto"after the fact"


Literally translating to "after the fact" and used similarly to "retroactive".

Example: The sentiment that ex post facto laws are against natural right is so strong in the United States, that few, if any, of the State constitutions have failed to proscribe them.

- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Isaac McPherson, August 13, 1813

fl. floruit "flourished"Followed by the dates during which the person, usually famous, was active and productive in his/her profession. Typically used when the person's dates of birth and death are unknown. [2]
f. (singular)
ff. (plural)
folio/foliis"and following"This abbreviation is used in citations to indicate an unspecified number of pages following the specified page. Example: see page 258ff.
ibid. ibidem "in the same place (book, etc.)" [2] The abbreviation is used in citations. Not to be confused with id.
id. idem "the same (man)". [2] It is used to avoid repeating the name of a male author (in citations, footnotes, bibliographies, etc.) When quoting a female author, use the corresponding feminine form, ead. ( eadem ), "the same (woman)" (eadem is pronounced with stress on the first e-).
i.a. inter alia "among other things".Example: Ernest Hemingway—author (i.a. 'The Sun Also Rises') and friend.
i.e. id est "that is", "in other words". [2] Introduces an explanation (as opposed to an example): For reasons not fully understood there is only a minor PSI contribution to the variable fluorescence emission of chloroplasts (Dau, 1994 [6] ), i.e., the PSI fluorescence appears to be independent from the state of its reaction centre (Butler, 1978 [7] ).
J.D. Juris Doctor "doctor of law".
lb. (singular)
lbs. (plural)
libra "scales"Used to indicate the pound. [2]
LL.B. or Ll.B. Legum Baccalaureus "bachelor of laws"The "LL." of the abbreviation for the degree is from the genitive plural legum (singular: lex or legis, for law), thus "LL.B." stands for Legum Baccalaureus in Latin. In the United States it was sometimes erroneously called "Bachelor of Legal Letters" to account for the double "L" (and therefore sometimes abbreviated as "L.L.B.").
M.A. Magister Artium "Master of Arts"A postgraduate academic master degree awarded by universities in many countries. The degree is typically studied for in fine art, humanities, social science or theology and can be either fully taught, research-based, or a combination of the two.
M.O. modus operandi "method of operating"Can refer to one's body of business practices. Also, in criminology, to refer to a criminal's method of operation.
N.B. nota bene (singular)

notate bene


"note well"Some people use "Note" for the same purpose. [2] Usually written with majuscule (French upper case / 'capital') letters.
Example: N.B.: All the measurements have an accuracy of within 5% as they were calibrated according to the procedure described by Jackson (1989).
nem. con. nemine contradicente "with no one speaking against"The meaning is distinct from "unanimously"; "nem. con." simply means that nobody voted against. Thus there may have been abstentions from the vote.[ citation needed ]
op. cit. opere citato "in the work cited"Means in the same article, book or other reference work as was mentioned before. It is most often used in citations in a similar way to "ibid", though "ibid" would usually be followed by a page number.
p.a. per annum"through a year"Is used in the sense of "yearly". [2]
per cent. per centum"for each one hundred"Commonly "percent" in American English. [8]
Ph.D. Philosophiae Doctor"Doctor of Philosophy"
P.M. post meridiem"after midday"Used on the twelve-hour clock to indicate times during the afternoon.
Example: We will meet the mayor at 2P.M. (14:00 in 24-hour clock)
p.m.a. post mortem auctoris "after the author's death"
p.p. and per pro. per procurationem "through the agency of"
PRN pro re nata "before a thing is born""As used in standard medical jargon, PRN is understood to mean 'as needed'. This reading of the abbreviation implies that the delivery of the prescription (by a suitable person, following medications protocol) is done in a reactive, passive way. eg WHEN THAT HAPPENS, DO THIS. A more literal translation of the Latin is 'before a thing is born', which is an instruction to act pro-actively: eg BEFORE THAT HAPPENS, DO THIS . A prn medication delivery therefore properly done when a medic JUDGES that it should be done, in order to prevent a specified problem from occurring. Oversimplifying, a patient's breakfast could be written as a prn prescription: give this breakfast to that patient, to prevent that patient from experiencing hunger.
pro tem. pro tempore "for the time being", "temporarily", "in place of" [2]
P.S. post scriptum "after what has been written"Used to indicate additions to a text after the signature of a letter.
Example (in a letter format):
John Smith.
P.S. Tell mother I say hello! post scriptumUsed to indicate additions after a postscript. Sometimes extended to comical length with P.P.P.S., P.P.P.P.S., and so on.
Q.D. quaque die "every day"Used on prescriptions to indicate the medicine should be taken daily.
Q.E.D. quod erat demonstrandum"that which was to be demonstrated". [2] Cited in many texts at the end of a mathematical proof.
Example: At the end of the long proof, the professor exclaimed "Q.E.D!"
q.v. quod vide"which see"Imperative, [2] used after a term or phrase that should be looked up elsewhere in the current document or book. For more than one term or phrase, the plural is quae vide (qq.v.).
Re in re "in the matter of", "concerning"Often used to prefix the subject of traditional letters and memoranda. However, when used in an e-mail subject, there is evidence that it functions as an abbreviation of "reply" rather than the word meaning "in the matter of". Nominative case singular 'res' is the Latin equivalent of 'thing'; singular 're' is the ablative case required by 'in'. Some people believe that it is short for 'regarding', especially if it is followed by a colon (i.e., "Re:").
REGregina"queen"A part of the monarch's title. It is found on all British coins minted during the reign of a monarch who is a queen. Rex, "king" (not an abbreviation) is used when the reigning monarch is a king.
r.regnavit"he/she reigned"Often abbreviated as "r." followed by the dates during which the king or queen reigned/ruled, as opposed to the monarch's dates of birth and death. Often used parenthetically after the monarch's name.
R.I.P. requiescat in pace
requiescant in pace
"may he/she rest in peace"
"may they rest in peace"
Used as a short prayer for a dead person, frequently found on tombstones. Some people believe that it stands for rest in peace.
Example:R.I.P., good grandmother.
s.a. sensu amplo"in a relaxed, generous (or 'ample') sense"
sc.scilicet"it is permitted to know"Sc. provides a parenthetic clarification, removes an ambiguity, or supplies a word omitted in preceding text,  while viz. is usually used to elaborate or detail text which precedes it.
s.l.sensu lato"in the wide or broad sense"Example: New Age s.l. has a strong American flavor influenced by Californian counterculture.
s.s.sensu stricto"in the strict sense"Example: New Age s.s. refers to a spectrum of alternative communities in Europe and the United States in the 1970s. opus sit"if there is need", "if occasion require", "if necessary" [9] A prescription indication that the drug is to only be administered once.
Sic sic or sic erat scriptum"Thus it was written"Often used when citing text, especially if the cited work has mistakes, to show that the mistake was in the original work and is not a misquote. Sic is often (mis)used as a sign of surprise or incredulity, or maliciously, to draw attention to an author's mistake.
stat. statim "immediately"Often used in medical contexts.
Example: That patient needs attention, stat.!
viz. videlicet "namely", "to wit", "precisely", "that is to say" [2] In contradistinction to "i.e." and "e.g.", "viz." is used to indicate a detailed description of something stated before, and when it precedes a list of group members, it implies (near) completeness.

Example: The noble gases, viz. helium, neon, argon, xenon, krypton and radon, show a non-expected behaviour when exposed to this new element.

vs. or v. versus "against"Sometimes is not abbreviated.

Example: The next football game will be the Knights vs. the Sea Eagles. In English law the v has no full stop (period) and is nevervs and is never pronounced versus but rather as either against (in a criminal case) or and (in a civil case). For example: R(egina) v Gadd (a criminal case) which is pronounced as The Crown against Gadd. Similarly, the film Kramer vs. Kramer is in England (at least to a lawyer): Kramer and Kramer although it would be written Kramer v Kramer. In Scots Law, the v is pronounced against. For example, Donoghue v Stevenson is pronounced Donoghue against Stevenson.

Less common abbreviations and usages

Words and abbreviations that have been in general use, but are currently used less often:



















Used in biology

See also

Related Research Articles

An abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; for example, the word abbreviation can itself be represented by the abbreviation abbr., abbrv., or abbrev.; NBM, for nil by mouth is an abbreviated medical instruction. It may also consist of initials only, a mixture of initials and words, or words or letters representing words in another language. Some types of abbreviations are acronyms, initialisms, or grammatical contractions or crasis.

Q.E.D. or QED is an initialism of the Latin phrase "quod erat demonstrandum", literally meaning "what was to be shown". Traditionally, the abbreviation is placed at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument in print publications to indicate that the proof or the argument is complete, and hence is used with the meaning "thus it has been demonstrated".

The Good Friday prayer for the Jews is an annual prayer in the Christian, particularly Roman Catholic, liturgy. It is one of several petitions, known in the Catholic Church as the Solemn Intercessions and in the Episcopal Church as the Solemn Collects, that are made in the Good Friday service for various classes and stations of peoples: for the Church; for the pope; for bishops, priests and deacons; for the faithful; for catechumens; for other Christians; for the Jews; for others who do not believe in Christ; for those who do not believe in God; for those in public office; and for those in special need. These prayers are very ancient, predating the eighth century at least and may be from as early as the second century.

Quod may refer to:

Et cetera Latin expression

Et cetera, abbreviated to etc., etc, &c., or &c, is a Latin expression that is used in English to mean "and other similar things", or "and so forth". Translated literally from Latin, et means 'and', while cētera means 'the rest'; thus the expression means 'and the rest '.

Sign of the cross ritual blessing

The sign of the cross, or blessing oneself or crossing oneself, is a ritual blessing made by members of some branches of Christianity. This blessing is made by the tracing of an upright cross or + across the body with the right hand, often accompanied by spoken or mental recitation of the trinitarian formula: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Gloria in excelsis Deo Liturgical Christian hymn

"Gloria in excelsis Deo" is a Christian hymn known also as the Greater Doxology and the Angelic Hymn/Hymn of the Angels. The name is often abbreviated to Gloria in Excelsis or simply Gloria.

Sanctus Hymn

The Sanctus is a hymn in Christian liturgy. It may also be called the epinikios hymnos when referring to the Greek rendition.

Scribal abbreviation abbreviations used by ancient and medieval scribes writing in Latin, and later in Greek and Old Norse

Scribal abbreviations or sigla are the abbreviations used by ancient and medieval scribes writing in various languages, including Latin, Greek, Old English and Old Norse. In modern manuscript editing "sigla" are the symbols used to indicate the source manuscript and to identify the copyists of a work. See Critical apparatus.

Christogram Monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ

A Christogram is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a religious symbol within the Christian Church.

<i>Nota bene</i> Italian and Latin phrase

Nota bene is a Latin phrase which first appeared in English writing c. 1711. Often abbreviated as NB, n.b., or with the ligature , the phrase is Latin for "note well" and comes from the Latin roots notāre and bene ("well"). It is in the singular imperative mood, instructing one individual to note well the matter at hand, i.e., to take notice of or pay special attention to it. In Modern English, it is used, particularly in legal papers, to draw the attention of the reader to a certain (side) aspect or detail of the subject being addressed. While NB is also often used in academic writing, note is a common substitute.

"Tantum ergo" is the incipit of the last two verses of Pange lingua, a Medieval Latin hymn written by St Thomas Aquinas c. 1264. The "Genitori genitoque" and "Procedenti ab utroque" portions are adapted from Adam of Saint Victor's sequence for Pentecost. The hymn's Latin incipit literally translates to "Therefore so great".

<i>Urbi et Orbi</i> papal address and Apostolic Blessing

Urbi et Orbi denotes a papal address and apostolic blessing given by the pope on certain solemn occasions.

Pax (liturgy) salutation in Catholic Mass

In Christian liturgy, "the Pax" is an abbreviation of the Latin salutations "pax vobis" or "pax vobiscum", which are used in the Catholic Mass and Lutheran Divine Service.

The Canon of the Mass, also known as the Canon of the Roman Mass and in the Mass of Paul VI as the Roman Canon or Eucharistic Prayer I, is the oldest anaphora used in the Roman Rite of Mass. The name Canon Missæ was used in the Tridentine Missal from the first typical edition of Pope Pius V in 1570 to that of Pope John XXIII in 1962 to describe the part of the Mass of the Roman Rite that began after the Sanctus with the words Te igitur. All editions preceding that of 1962 place the indication "Canon Missae" at the head of each page from that point until the end of the Mass; that of 1962 does so only until the page preceding the Pater Noster and places the heading "Ordo Missae" on the following pages.

Laudetur Jesus Christus or Laudetur Iesus Christus is a traditional Catholic salutation, which members of religious communities commonly use, especially those of specific ethnicities. The answer to this greeting is typically "in saecula saeculorum! Amen." or "(Nunc et) in aeternum! Amen.". The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, however, respond "et Maria Immaculata." The phrase is also a motto of Vatican Radio.

<i>Contra Errores Graecorum</i>

Contra errores Graecorum, ad Urbanum IV Pontificem Maximum is a short treatise written in 1263 by Roman Catholic theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas as a contribution to Pope Urban's efforts at reunion with the Eastern Church. Aquinas wrote the treatise in 1263 while he was papal theologian and conventual lector in the Dominican studium at Orvieto after his first regency as professor of theology at the University of Paris which ended in 1259 and before he took up his duties in 1265 reforming the Dominican studium at Santa Sabina, the forerunner of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, in Rome.



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