(Latin: prefix; to, toward, a direction toward, addition to, near, at; and changes to: ac-, af-, ag-, al-, an-, ap-, aq-, ar-, as-, at- when ad- is combined with certain words that begin with the letters c, f, g, l, n, p, q, r, s, and t)

The Latin element ad carries the idea of "in the direction of" and combines with many Latin words and roots to make common English words.

ad hominem (adjective) (not comparable) (Latin)
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)
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)
To this place.
ad idem (Latin)
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)
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) (adverb) (not comparable) (Latin)
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)
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)
After the fashion of; like.

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

ad interim; ad int., a.i. (adverb) (not comparable) (Latin)
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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Ad Kalendas Graecas; Ad Calendas Graecas (Latin)
It shall be done on the Greek Calends, i.e. never!

In the Roman calendar, the Calends meant the first day of the month. Since the Greeks did not have this term, the expression was used by the Romans to designate an event that would never occur.

Discussed in Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars: Augustus, chapter 87, section 1; in which Ad Calendas Graecas was explained to mean that the next day after never. Since the Greeks used no Kalends in their reckoning of time, the phrase was used about anything that could never take place.

Another Latin proverb with the same meaning: Paulo post futurum or "A little after the future."

An old English proverb that is similar says, "When two Sundays meet (come together)."

There is a French equivalent: L'arrest fera donné es prochaines Calendes Grecques. C'est à dire: iamais. (from Rabelais, Gargantua) "The judgment shall be given out at the next Greek Calends, that is, never."

ad libitum; ad lib (adverb) (Latin)
At pleasure; according to one's pleasure; freely, unscripted, improvised; extemporaneously.

This is usually shortened to ad lib. and can be written with or without a period. Ad lib is used both as a verb and as a noun.

When used in the entertainment world, to ad lib means to improvise, to add an impromptu word or statement to a script. As a noun, an ad lib is an "off-the-cuff", or unprepared, remark.

It is said that there are some politicians who have "carefully planned ad libs".

ad limina apostolorum. (Latin)
To the thresholds of the Apostles; to the highest authority.

This applies to matters appropriate for papal consideration and disposition before the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul. It is often abbreviated ad limina and is used in non-church situations to mean that a dispute must be settled by a higher authority.

ad litem (Latin)
For the suit or action.

Used in law as a decision that is taken as valid only for the action being adjudicated and is a reference, for instance, of a guardian appointed to represent someone incapable of acting for himself or herself during a court case.

ad literam, ad litteram (adverb) (not comparable) (Latin)
To the letter; precisely; exactly: Jason instructed his secretary to retype the letter ad litteram or word for word as it was given to her.
ad locum; ad loc. (adverb) (Latin)
At the place or to the place.

At the passage previously indicated or mentioned: Jack referred ad locum in the text that the students were reading to quote an important paragraph.