Latin Proverbs, Mottoes, Phrases, and Words: Group A

(classical-language maxims, slogans, adages, proverbs, and words of wisdom that can still capture our modern imagination)

Expressions of general truths: Latin to English maxims, proverbs, and mottoes

Word entries are from Latin unless otherwise indicated.

Ad finem ultimum. (Latin motto)
Translation: "To the final end."

Said to be the motto of the Canadian Space Agency.

ad finem; ad fin. (Latin adverb) (not comparable)
Relating to the final place; at the end.

The term ad finem, or its abbreviation ad fin., is used at or near the completion or conclusion of a piece of writing.

ad gloriam (Latin phrase)
To glory; for glory.

See ad maiorem dei gloriam for more information.

ad gustum (Latin phrase)
To one's taste.

Ad gustum can be found in cookbooks, such as "Add salt ad gustum", and to savour to one's liking!

ad hanc vocem; a.h.c. (Latin phrase)
Translation: "At this word."
ad hoc (Latin phrase)
Translation: "Toward this; for this specific purpose."

The term ad hoc has several applications: for a special intent, for a particular reason or occasion, or for the present matter or situation, all of which applies only to an explicit case that should be resolved.

An ad hoc committee is one whose existence is limited to the time that is necessary to take care of an issue that is currently being considered and when the problem is solved, the committee will go out of existence.

Only for this case or purpose, special.
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ad hominem (Latin adjective) (not comparable)
1. Referring to a person's character, not to his or her logic or record; maliciously critical: In rhetoric, an ad hominem argument attacks the defenders of an opposing position personally rather than sticking to the point of the discussion.

The editorial in the paper was a very ad hominem piece, directing its disapproval towards the new mayor.

2. Appealing to personal prejudices or emotions rather than to reason: When debating, participants should avoid ad hominem arguments that question their opponents' motives.

The announcers were cautioned not to use ad hominem comments in their radio broadcast.

Attacking one's opponent rather than staying on the subject.
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ad horrorem. (Latin saying)
To the point of horror.

Sam was telling such gruesome and dreadful stories ad horrorem that the others sitting around the campfire all got cold feet and demanded that he stop his tales!

ad hunc locum; ad.h.l.; a.h.l. (Latin phrase)
To this place.
ad idem (Latin phrase)
To the same point or effect.

In agreement; at a meeting of the minds: She said the parties were ad idem and in consent with each other.

ad ignorantiam (Latin phrase)
Translation: "To ignorance":

The complete phrase is argumentum ad ignorantiam and when used in law, it is an argument in a trial that may be based on ad ignorantiam, that is on an opponent's ignorance of the facts in a legal case.

Also, a judicial decision may be appealed ad ignorantiam, that is on the basis that the case was decided without knowledge of important information which was known but was not revealed during the trial.

ad infinitum; ad inf.; ad infin. (ad in fuh NIGH tuhm) (Latin adverb) (not comparable)
Limitlessly; indefinitely into the future; endlessly; describing how something goes on forever: Jonathan Swift, an English satirist born in Ireland (1667-1745), wrote: "So, naturalists observe, a flea hath smaller fleas that on him prey, and these have smaller still to bite ‘em, and so proceed ad infinitum."

The term is often used interchangeably with ad nauseam and the original Latin sense is "beyond limits".

Without end or limit.
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ad initium; ad init. (Latin phrase)
At the beginning.

The topics to discuss were placed directly ad initium so that those present at the conference knew what was to be talked about.

ad instar.(Latin phrase)
After the fashion of; like.

For the costume party, Janet dressed up ad instar Audrey Hepburn!

ad interim; ad int., a.i. (Latin adverb) (not comparable)
For the current time, temporarily, in the meantime: In the interim, Mark Jones will be appointed as chair of the board of directors.
Temporary or in the meantime.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
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Pointing to a page about a kleptomaniac Units of mottoes and proverbs listed by groups: A to X.