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List of Latin phrases (I) facts for kids

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This page lists direct English translations of Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. Some of the phrases are translations of older Greek phrases, because Greek rhetoric and literature reached its peak centuries before that of ancient Rome.

This list covers the letter I. For the main list, see: List of Latin phrases.

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Latin Translation Notes
ibidem (ibid.) in the same place Usually used in bibliographic citations to refer to the last source previously referenced.
idem (id.) the same Used to refer to something that has already been cited. See also ibidem.
id est (i.e., or ie.) that is "That is (to say)" in the sense of "that means" and "which means", or "in other words", or sometimes "in this case", depending on the context; may be followed by a comma, or not, depending on style (American English and British English respectively). It is often misinterpreted as "in example" where instead, "e.g." should be used.
id quod plerumque accidit that which generally happens A phrase used in legal language to indicate the most probable outcome from an act, fact, event or cause.
idem quod (i.q.) the same as Not to be confused with an intelligence quotient (IQ).
Idus Martiae the Ides of March In the Roman calendar, the Ides of March refers to the 15th day of March. In modern times, the term is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC; the term has come to be used as a metaphor for impending doom.
Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (INRI) Literally "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews"
Direct quote from the Vulgate (Bible), John 19:19. The inscription was written in Latin, Greek and Aramaic at the top of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. (John 19:20) Brochenzell Heiligkreuzkapelle Kruzifix detail.jpg
igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum Therefore, whoever desires peace, let him prepare for war Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De Re Militari; similar to si vis pacem, para bellum.
igne natura renovatur integra through fire, nature is reborn whole An alchemical aphorism invented as an alternate meaning for the acronym INRI.
igni ferroque with fire and iron A phrase describing scorched earth tactics. Also rendered as igne atque ferro, ferro ignique, and other variations.
ignis aurum probat fire tests gold A phrase referring to the refining of character through difficult circumstances, it is also the motto of the Prometheus Society
ignis fatuus foolish fire Will-o'-the-wisp.
ignorantia iuris non excusat (or ignorantia legis non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat) ignorance of the law is no excuse A legal principle whereby ignorance of a law does not allow one to escape liability;
ignoratio elenchi ignorance of the issue The logical fallacy of irrelevant conclusion: making an argument that, while possibly valid, doesn't prove or support the proposition it claims to. An ignoratio elenchi that is an intentional attempt to mislead or confuse the opposing party is known as a red herring. Elenchi is from the Greek elenchos.
ignotum per ignotius unknown by means of the more unknown An explanation that is less clear than the thing to be explained. Synonymous with obscurum per obscurius.
ignotus (ign.) unknown
imago Dei image of God From the religious concept that man was created in "God's image".
imitatio dei imitation of a god A principle, held by several religions, that believers should strive to resemble their god(s).
imperium in imperio an order within an order 1. A group of people who owe utmost fealty to their leader(s), subordinating the interests of the larger group to the authority of the internal group's leader(s).
2. A "fifth column" organization operating against the organization within which they seemingly are.
3. "State within a state"
imperium sine fine an empire without an end In Virgil's Aeneid, Jupiter ordered Aeneas to found a city (Rome) from which would come an everlasting, neverending empire, the endless (sine fine) empire.
imprimatur let it be printed An authorization to publish, granted by some censoring authority (originally a Catholic Bishop).
in absentia in the absence Used in a number of situations, such as in a trial carried out in the absence of the accused.
in actu in act "In the very act/In reality".
in articulo mortis at the point of death
in camera in the chamber Figuratively, "in secret". See also camera obscura.
in casu (i.c.) in the event "In this case".
in cauda venenum the poison is in the tail Using the metaphor of a scorpion, this can be said of an account that proceeds gently, but turns vicious towards the end — or more generally waits till the end to reveal an intention or statement that is undesirable in the listener's eyes.
in com. Ebor. In the county of Yorkshire Eboracum was the Roman name for York and this phrase is used in some Georgian and Victorian books on the genealogy of prominent Yorkshire families.
in Deo speramus in God we hope Motto of Brown University.
in dubio pro reo in doubt, on behalf of the [alleged] culprit Expresses the judicial principle that in case of doubt the decision must be in favor of the accused (in that anyone is innocent until there is proof to the contrary).
in duplo in double "In duplicate".
in effigie in the likeness "In (the form of) an image", "in effigy" as opposed to "in the flesh" or "in person".
in esse in existence In actual existence; as opposed to in posse.
in extenso in the extended "In full", "at full length", "completely", "unabridged".
in extremis in the furthest reaches In extremity; in dire straits. Also "at the point of death" (cf. in articulo mortis).
in fide scientiam To our Faith Add Knowledge Motto of Newington College.
in fidem into faith To the verification of faith.
in fieri in becoming Thus, "pending".
in fine (i.f.) in the end At the end. The footnote says "p. 157 in fine": "the end of page 157".
in flagrante delicto in a blazing wrong, while the crime is blazing Equivalent to the English idiom "caught red-handed": caught in the act of committing a crime. Sometimes carried the connotation of being caught in a "compromising position".
in flore in blossom Blooming.
in foro in forum Legal term for "in court".
in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni We enter the circle at night and are consumed by fire A palindrome said to describe the behavior of moths. Also the title of a film by Guy Debord.
in hoc sensu or in sensu hoc (s.h.) in this sense Recent academic abbreviation for the spatious and inconvenient "in this sense".
in hoc signo vinces by this sign you will conquer Words Constantine claimed to have seen in a vision before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. Motto of Sigma Chi fraternity, the Norwegian Army 2nd Battalion and the House of Di Santis.
in hunc effectum for this purpose Describes a meeting called for a particular stated purpose only.
in illo ordine (i.o.) in that order Recent academic substitution for the spacious and inconvenient "..., respectively."
in illo tempore in that time "at that time", found often in Gospel lectures during Masses, used to mark an undetermined time in the past.
in inceptum finis est lit.: in the beginning is the end or: the beginning foreshadows the end
in limine at the outset Preliminary, in law referring to a motion that is made to the judge before or during trial, often about the admissibility of evidence believed prejudicial
in loco in the place, on the spot That is, "at the place".
The nearby labs were closed for the weekend, so the water samples were analyzed in loco.
in loco parentis in the place of a parent A legal term meaning "assuming parental (i.e., custodial) responsibility and authority". Primary and secondary teachers are typically bound by law to act in loco parentis.
in luce Tua videmus lucem in Thy light we see light Motto of Valparaiso University.
in lumine tuo videbimus lumen in your light we will see the light Motto of Columbia University and Ohio Wesleyan University.
in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum into your hands I entrust my spirit According to Luke 23:46, the last words of Jesus on the cross.
in medias res into the middle of things From Horace. Refers to the literary technique of beginning a narrative in the middle of, or at a late point in, the story, after much action has already taken place. Examples include the Iliad, the Odyssey, Os Lusíadas, Othello, and Paradise Lost. Compare ab initio.
in memoriam into the memory Equivalent to "in the memory of". Refers to remembering or honoring a deceased person.
in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas in necessary things unity, in doubtful things liberty, in all things charity "Charity" (caritas) is being used in the classical sense of "compassion" (cf. agape). Motto of the Cartellverband der katholischen deutschen Studentenverbindungen. Often misattributed to Augustine of Hippo.
in nocte consilium advise comes over night I.e., "Tomorrow is a new day." Motto of Birkbeck College, University of London.
in nomine Domini in the name of the Lord Motto of Trinity College, Perth, Australia; the name of a 1050 papal bull.
in nuce in a nut I.e., "in potentiality." Comparable to "potential", "to be developed".
in omnia paratus Ready for anything. Motto of the United States Army's 18th Infantry Regiment
in omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book Quote by Thomas à Kempis
in partibus infidelium in the parts of the infidels That is, "in the land of the infidels", infidels here referring to non-Christians. After Islam conquered a large part of the Roman Empire, the corresponding bishoprics didn't disappear, but remained as titular sees.
in pectore in the heart A Cardinal named in secret by the pope. See also ab imo pectore.
in personam into a person Directed towards a particular person
in posse in potential In the state of being possible; as opposed to in esse.
in propria persona in one's own person "Personally", "in person".
in principio erat Verbum in the beginning was the Word (Logos) Beginning of the Gospel of John
in re in the matter [of] A legal term used to indicate that a judicial proceeding may not have formally designated adverse parties or is otherwise uncontested. The term is commonly used in case citations of probate proceedings, for example, In re Smith's Estate; it is also used in juvenile courts, as, for instance, In re Gault.
in rem to the thing A legal term used to indicate a court's jurisdiction over a "thing" rather than a "legal person". As opposed to "ad personam jurisdiction". Example: in tenant landlord disputes, the summons and complaint may be nailed to the door of a rented property. This is because the litigant seeks jurisdiction over "the premises" rather than "the occupant".
in rerum natura in the nature of things See also Lucretius' De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things).
in retentis among things held back Used to describe documents kept separately from the regular records of a court for special reasons.
in saeculo in the times "In the secular world", that is, outside a monastery, or before death.
in salvo in safety
in silico
(Dog Latin)
in silicon Coined in the early 1990s for scientific papers. Refers to an experiment or process performed virtually, as a computer simulation. The term is Dog Latin modeled after terms such as in vitro and in vivo. The Latin word for silicon is silicium, so the correct Latinization of "in silicon" would be in silicio, but this form has little usage.
in situ in the place In the original place, appropriate position, or natural arrangement.
in somnis veritas In dreams there is truth
in spe in hope "future" (My mother-in-law in spe", i.e., "My future mother-in-law), or "in embryonic form", as in "Locke's theory of government resembles, in spe, Montesquieu's theory of the separation of powers."
in specialibus generalia quaerimus To seek the general in the specifics That is, to understand the most general rules through the most detailed analysis.
in statu nascendi in the state of being born Just as something is about to begin.
in toto in all "Totally", "entirely", "completely".
in triplo in triple "In triplicate".
in utero in the womb
in utrumque paratus Prepared for either (event) Motto of the McKenzie clan.
in vacuo in a void "In a vacuum". In isolation from other things.
in varietate concordia united in diversity The motto of the European Union and the Council of Europe
in vino veritas in wine [there is] truth That is, wine loosens the tongue(Referring to alcohol's disinhibitory effects).
in vitro in glass An experimental or process methodology performed in a "non-natural" setting (e.g. in a laboratory using a glass test tube or Petri dish), and thus outside of a living organism or cell. Alternative experimental or process methodologies include in vitro, in silico, ex vivo and in vivo.
in vivo in life" or "in a living thing An experiment or process performed on a living specimen.
in vivo veritas in a living thing [there is] truth An expression used by biologists to express the fact that laboratory findings from testing an organism in vitro are not always reflected when applied to an organism in vivo. A pun on in vino veritas.
incertae sedis of uncertain position (seat) A term used to classify a taxonomic group when its broader relationships are unknown or undefined.
incredibile dictu incredible to say A variant on mirabile dictu.
Index Librorum Prohibitorum Index of Prohibited (or, Forbidden) Books A list of books considered heretical by the Roman Catholic Church.
indivisibiliter ac inseparabiliter indivisible and inseparable Motto of Austria–Hungary prior to its separation into independent states in 1918.
Infinitus est numerus stultorum. Infinite is the number of fools.
infirma mundi elegit Deus God chooses the weak of the world The motto of Venerable Vital-Justin Grandin, the bishop of the St. Albert Diocese, which is now the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton
infra dignitatem (infra dig) beneath one's dignity
innocens non timidus innocent but not afraid Motto on Rowe family coat of arms.
instante mense (inst.) in the present month Formerly used in formal correspondence to refer to the current month, sometimes abbreviated as instant; e.g.: "Thank you for your letter of the 17th inst." — ult. mense = last month, prox. mense = next month.
intaminatis fulget honoribus Untarnished, she shines with honor From Horace's Odes (III.2.18). Motto of Wofford College.
integer vitae scelerisque purus unimpaired by life and clean of wickedness From Horace. Used as a funeral hymn.
inter alia (i.a.) among other things A term used in formal extract minutes to indicate that the minute quoted has been taken from a fuller record of other matters, or when alluding to the parent group after quoting a particular example.
inter alios among others Often used to compress lists of parties to legal documents.
inter arma enim silent leges in a time of war, the law falls silent Said by Cicero in Pro Milone as a protest against unchecked political mobs that had virtually seized control of Rome in the 60s and 50s BC. Famously quoted in the essay Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau as "The clatter of arms drowns out the voice of the law". This phrase has also been jokingly translated as "In a time of arms, the legs are silent."
inter caetera among others Title of a papal bull
inter spem et metum between hope and fear
inter urinas et faeces nascimur we are born between urine and faeces Attributed to St. Augustine.
inter vivos between the living Said of property transfers between living persons, as opposed to inheritance; often relevant to tax laws.
intra muros within the walls Thus, "not public". Source of the word intramural. See also Intramuros, Manila.
intra vires within the powers That is, "within the authority".
invictus maneo I remain unvanquished Motto of the Armstrong Clan.
Iohannes est nomen eius John is his name / Juan es su Nombre Motto of the Seal of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
ipsa scientia potestas est knowledge itself is power Famous phrase written by Sir Francis Bacon in 1597.
ipse dixit he himself said it Commonly said in Medieval debates referring to Aristotle. Used in general to emphasize that some assertion comes from some authority, i.e., as an argument from authority, and the term ipse-dixitism has come to mean any unsupported rhetorical assertion that lacks a logical argument. Originally coined by Cicero in his De Natura Deorum (I, 10) to describe the behavior of the students of Pythagoras.
ipsissima verba the very words themselves "Strictly word for word" (cf. verbatim). Often used in Biblical Studies to describe the record of Jesus' teaching found in the New Testament (specifically, the four Gospels).
ipsissima voce the very 'voice' itself To approximate the main thrust or message without using the exact words.
ipso facto by the fact itself Or "by that very fact".
ira deorum wrath of the gods Like the vast majority of inhabitants of the ancient world, the ancient Romans practiced pagan rituals, believing it important to achieve a state of pax deorum (peace of the gods) instead of ira deorum (wrath of the gods): earthquakes, floods, famine, etc.
ira furor brevis est Wrath (anger) is but a brief madness
ita vero thus indeed A useful phrase, as the Romans had no word for "yes", preferring to respond to questions with the affirmative or negative of the question (e.g., "Are you hungry?" was answered by "I am hungry" or "I am not hungry", not "Yes" or "No).
ite missa est Go, it is the dismissal Loosely: "You have been dismissed". Concluding words addressed to the people in the Mass of the Roman Rite.
iter legis The path of the law The path a law takes from its conception to its implementation.
iuncta iuvant together they strive also spelled juncta juvant; from the legal principle quae non valeant singula, iuncta iuvant ("What is without value on its own, helps when joined")
iura novit curia the court knows the law A legal principle in civil law countries of the Roman-German tradition that says that lawyers need not to argue the law, as that is the office of the court. Sometimes miswritten as iura novat curia (the court renews the laws).
iure matris in right of his mother Indicates a right exercised by a son on behalf of his mother.
iure uxoris in right of his wife Indicates a right exercised by a husband on behalf of his wife.
iuris ignorantia est cum ius nostrum ignoramus it is ignorance of the law when we do not know our own rights
ius accrescendi right of accrual Commonly referred to as "right of survivorship": a rule in property law that surviving joint tenants have rights in equal shares to a decedent's property.
ius ad bellum law towards war Refers to the laws that regulate the reasons for going to war. Typically, this would address issues of self-defense or preemptive strikes.
ius cogens compelling law Refers to a fundamental principle of international law considered to have acceptance among the international community of states as a whole. Typically, this would address issues not listed or defined by any authoritative body, but arise out of case law and changing social and political attitudes. Generally included are prohibitions on waging aggressive war, crimes against humanity, war crimes, piracy, genocide, slavery, and torture.
ius in bello law in war Refers to the "laws" that regulate the conduct of combatants during a conflict. Typically, this would address issues of who or what is a valid target, how to treat prisoners, and what sorts of weapons can be used. The word jus is also commonly spelled ius.
ius primae noctis law of the first night The droit de seigneur.
iustitia fundamentum regni justice - fundamental of kingdom Motto of the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office of the Czech Republic.
iustitia omnibus justice for all The motto of Washington, D.C.
iuventuti nil arduum to the young nothing is difficult Motto of Canberra Girls' Grammar School.
iuventutis veho fortunas I bear the fortunes of youth Motto of Dollar Academy.



  • Adeleye, Gabriel G. (1999). World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions. Ed. Thomas J. Sienkewicz and James T. McDonough, Jr. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0865164223.
  • Hardon, John, Fr. Modern Catholic Dictionary.
  • Stone, Jon R. (1996). Latin for the Illiterati. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415917751.
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