55 Latin Quotes With Meaning That You Should Know

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Latin quotes with meaning and purpose

Are you trying to find some interesting Latin quotes with meaning and purpose?

Luckily you’ve come to the right place, and while some people may think that Latin is a dead language, at Maverick Mindsets it is very much alive and kicking.

We’ve compiled 55 powerful Latin quotes with meaning that you need to know.

Not only that but we’ve also got several other articles dedicated to Latin quotes, just check out the further reading posts below.

10 Latin words of wisdom

  1. Carpe Diem

Perhaps the most recognized Latin phrase in existence today. Originally taken from the Odes of Horace, the literal translation is “seize the day,” meaning don’t waste it!

  1. Vino veritas

“In wine we trust” is the term adored by many in ancient Rome, if only there was such a succinct phrase in the English language.

  1. Et cetera

A commonly abbreviated term, usually found in the form etc. It’s meaning is “and other similar things.”

  1. Caveat emptor

It is a bit of a mystery as to why we need this Latin term in modern day contracts but nevertheless, it translates as: “The buyer is responsible for checking his goods.”

  1. Acta non verba

We love this powerful phrase from the Latin language, which means; “actions not words.”

Latin quotes with meaning
Latin quotes with meaning
  1. Ad meliora

“Toward better things” is the perfect phrase if you are facing hard times ahead.

  1. Cogito, ergo sum

“I think therefore I am” is a phrase originally posted in French and Latin translated into Latin to enable a wider audience. This is the first principle of René Descartes philosophy.

  1. Bona fide

“In good faith” is another term that we use when selling goods and services.

  1. Memento mori

If there is a Latin quote to put things in perspective it’s this: “Remember that you [have to] die.”

  1. Vox populi

“Voice of the people” is the literal translation for this term abbreviated by modern media people to ‘voxpop’.

10 Latin quotes with meaning in the modern world

  1. Semper fidelis

“Always faithful” is the English translation for this expression that is often found on family crests.

  1. Status quo

Not just a group of fading rock and roll legends, this bit of Latin translates as; “the existing state (of affairs).”

  1. Sic semper tyrannis

“Thus be to tyrants” is the literal meaning for the famous words of John Wilkes Booth when he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

  1. Nota bene

“Note well” is another modern term that’s often used at the bottom of letters, you may know it as NB.

  1. Ad hoc

Most people will know the term ad hoc, which we often use for for something spontaneous, the literal meaning is “for this.”

Latin quotes with meaning
Latin quotes with meaning
  1. Ad nauseam

I’m sure there a plenty of instances that you could attribute this Latin phrase to. In English, it means, “to a sickening or excessive degree.”

  1. Compos mentis

A familiar term, mainly used to define someone who is sane or “of sound mind.”

  1. Alea jacta est or alea iacta est

“The die is cast is a famous term attributed to the great Roman Emporer Julius Caesar.

  1. Qui totum vult totum perdit

Some stern words for the overly ambitions, “he who wants everything, loses everything.”

  1. Ars longa, vita brevis

If you’re feeling philosophical then you will love this; “Art is long, life is short.”

10 Latin expressions

  1. Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo

“If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell” is an exact quote from Virgil’s Aeneid.

  1. Carthago delenda est

It’s no secret that Rome had it’s issues with it’s Carthaginian neighbours, which is probably what prompted this phrase which means “Carthage must be destroyed.”

  1. Barba tenus sapientes

A mocking term to describe someone stupid; “As wise as far as the beard.”

  1. Alma mater

Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase currently used to identify a school, college or university that one formerly attended, the translation means; nourishing mother.

  1. Faber est suae quisque fortunae

“Every man is the artisan of his own fortune,” is a great Latin phrase for the ambitious.

Latin quotes with meaning
Latin quotes with meaning
  1. Carpe vinum

Forget seize the day and “seize the wine” instead!

  1. Non ducor, duco

“I am not led, I lead,” strong words for strong leaders.

  1. Et tu, Brute

And you, Brutus? Allegedly the famous last words of Caesar…well, according to Shakespeare anyway.

  1. Aqua vitae

“Water of life,” doesn’t actually refer to water at all, instead it refers to the ancient Romans favourite drink…wine!

  1. Tabula rasa

We should all be allowed the privilege of starting with a “clean slate.”

10 Popular Latin phrases

  1. Et alii

A hyper modern gender neutral expression that translates as; “and others.”

  1. Ex libris

This is where the ancients garnered all of the knowledge, “from the books.”

  1. Deus ex machina

The term was coined from the conventions of ancient Greek theater, where actors who were playing gods were brought onto stage using a machine. The meaning is “God from the machine.”

  1. Alter ego

We all have one of these! The meaning is; “other I.”

  1. Aut viam inveniam aut faciam tibi

“I will either find a way or make one” is another inspirational quote from the Romans.

Latin quotes with meaning
Latin quotes with meaning
  1. Beati pauperes spiritu

“Blessed are the poor in spirit” is part of the Beatitude from Matthew 5:3.

  1. Mea culpa

“Through my fault” is the translation of this Latin quote.

  1. Vincit omnia veritas

Another Latin phrase that is often found on a coat of arms, “truth overcomes all things.”

  1. Ex nihilo nihil fit

“Nothing comes from nothing” is a philosophical expression of a thesis first argued by Parmenides.

  1. Ad astra per aspera

Is this the ancient equivalent of ‘live, laugh, love?’ The translation for this Latin phrase is; “through adversity to the stars.”

10 Latin proverbs

  1. Errare humanum est

It seems that the ancients weren’t too dissimilar to us; “to err is human.”

  1. Ad hominem attack

A legal method for provoking the opposition in the courtroom, the translation means; “argument to the person.”

  1. Aquila non capit muscas

In the same way that Bees do not educate flies that honey takes better than sh*t, “an eagle does not catch flies.”

  1. De jure

Quite simply, “from law.”

  1. Aqua sanitas

Finally the ancients are coming round to the idea that not everything needs to be about wine; “in water there is health.”

Latin quotes with meaning
  1. Vita brevis

“Life is short,” so make the most of it!

  1. Id est

“It is” what it is.

  1. Inter alia

“Among other things.”

  1. Acta deos numquam mortalia fallunt

“Mortal actions never deceive the Gods” is a philosophical Latin phrase that is still relevant today.

  1. Esto quod esse videris

The ladies reading this will probably agree, “men should be what they seem.”

5 Common Latin phrases

  1. Timendi causa est nescire

“Ignorance is the cause of fear,” if mankind understood this ancient wisdom then the world would be a much safer place.

  1. Dulce periculum

“Danger is sweet,” but so is success.

  1. Lupus non timet canem latrantem

“A wolf is not afraid of a barking dog.” What a powerful quote!

Latin quotes with meaning
  1. Sapere aude

Those ancient Romans sure did love their knowledge; “dare to know.”

  1. Semper paratus

The scouts would love this one, “always prepared.”

Latin quotes with meaning - The Bottom Line

We hope that you enjoyed these Latin quotes with meaning and purpose.

If you’re interested in inspirational Latin quotes then check out the further reading articles below.

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