ad-

(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.

The form ad- appears in this form before a vowel and before the consonants d, h, j, m, and v. It is simplified to a- before sc, sp and st.

Before c, f, g, l, n, p, q, r, s, and t; ad- is changed to ac-, af-, ag-, al-, an-, ap-, aq-, ar-, as-, and at-.

In other words, the d of ad usually changes into the same letter as the first letter of the following root or word when it is a consonant: ad-fix becomes affix, and ad-sign becomes assign; therefore, making a double consonant.

Another example includes: attract as with ad-tract (drawn towards); so it has a double t. On the other hand when ad- precedes a vowel, as with adapt, it is simply ad-apt, with one d. For the same reason, there is only one d in adore and adumbrate, because ad- has combined with orare and umbra each of which starts with a vowel.

So, remember: since these Latin words begin with vowels and not consonants, the d of ad does not double as shown in the previous examples.

ad hoc (Latin phrase)
Translation: "Toward this; for this [specific purpose]."

The term ad hoc has several applications: for a special purpose, for a particular reason or occasion, or for the present matter or situation; all of which applies only to a specific 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; then, 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 (adjective) (not comparable)
1. Directed at 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 attack 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
To the point of horror.
ad hunc locum; ad.h.l.; a.h.l.
To this place.
ad idem
To the same [point or effect].

In agreement; at a meeting of the minds: "She said, the parties were ad idem."

ad ignorantiam (Latin phrase)
Translation: "To ignorance": The complete phrase is argumentum ad ignorantiam. 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 unrevealed during the trial.

ad infinitum; ad inf.; ad infin. (ad in fuh NIGH tuhm) (adverb) (not comparable)
Without limit; indefinitely into the future; endlessly; describing something which 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.
At the beginning.
ad instar
After the fashion of; like.
ad interim; ad int., a.i. (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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Ad Kalendas Graecas or Ad Calendas Graecas
[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)
At pleasure; according to one's pleasure; freely, unscripted, improvised; extemporaneously.

This is usually shortened to ad lib. [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
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
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/herself during the court case.

ad literam, ad litteram (adverb) (non comparable)
To the letter; precisely; exactly: "Jason instructed his secretary to retype the letter ad litteram or exactly as it is now."