An A-Z List of Common Latin Words Used in the English Language


Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt, and Benjamin Franklin … when you read these three great names together, does it ring a bell? Ok, what’s common between them?

All Three Were Adept at Latin!

Latin words and phrases are most commonly used in medicine, science, and legal documents, which also brings to light the fact that these words are normally used while writing rather than speaking. However, we’d like to contradict a bit by telling you that we actually use a lot of Latin words while speaking too, such as alias, via, agenda, alibi, etc. For that matter, even abbreviations like i.e. (that is) and (etcetera) etc., come from Latin. Surprised, eh? Oh, there’s more! Alter ego, vice versa … okay, let’s do this. We’ll list them all out for you.

Find here a list of common Latin words used in English, some of which you will be very familiar with, while some may be there at the back of your mind, but you haven’t come across for long. So refresh your memory, or so to say vocabulary, as you go through the Latin words below.

List of Latin Words Used In English

A – C

abdomen:- belly

acumen:- ability to make good judgments

abacus:- ancient calculator


affidavit:- a sworn declaration of an oath

agenda:- list of things to be done

alma mater:- nourishing mother

alpha:- First of something

alter ego:- other self

altruism:- selfless concern for others

ambiguous:- a double meaning

amor:- love

apex:- top

appendix:- supplement

atrocity:- cruel act

avarice:- greed

bibulous:- love of drinking alcohol


bona fide:- good faith

campus:- plain land of something

celibate:- abstaining from sex or marriage

cerebrum:- brain

condign:- worthy, appropriate

conglomerate:- different parts mixed as a unit while still distinct

crepuscular:- pertaining to twilight

cull:- select from a variety of sources

D – H

debilitate:- weaken


de facto:- of fact

dirigible:- capable of being guided

etc.:- and the rest

ergo:- therefore

facsimile:- exact copy

ferrous:- made of iron

flux:- in the process of flowing

futile:- in vain

garrulity:- loquaciousness

I – L

impecunious:- poor

impromptu:- spontaneous

in absentia:- in one’s absence

incalculable:- too great to be counted

indefatigability:- tireless

insipid:- lacking flavor

intra:- within

introspection:- looking within oneself

languid:- slow, relaxed

lucubration:- meditation


M – O

major:- great

media:- middle

medicinae doctor (M.D.):- doctor of medicine

memo:- note to remember

modicum:- small amount

moribund:- near death

mundane:- wordly as opposed to spiritual

naive:- exhibiting lack of experience

obeisance:- respect

obvious:- clear

oculus dexter (O.D.):- In Ophthalmology, right eye

oculus sinister (O.S.):- In Ophthalmology, left eye

P – R

parvenu:- celebrity from obscure origins

per annum:- annually

per capita:- individually

percent:- rate for hundred

per contra:- on the other hand

per se:- by itself

perpetuate:- preserve

perturb:- make anxious

Perturb( make anxious )

plausible:- probable

post meridiem (pm):- afternoon

post mortem:- autopsy

post script (PS):- after writing (in the end)

precarious:- uncertain

pro rata:- in equal parts

puerile:- childishly silly

pulchritude:- beauty

pusillanimity:- showing a lack of courage

quantum:- amount

rapport:- close relationship

Rapport(close relationship)

recalcitrant:- obstinate

renegade:- a rebellious person

reprisal:- retaliation

S – Z

sacrosanct:- very important

status quo:- situation in which

stereo:- solid

stipend:- fixed allowance

stultify:- appear foolish

sub nomine:- under the name of

succumb:- fail to resist

Succumb (fail to resist)

supra:- above

Supra (above)

tentative:- provisional

turpitude:- depravity

ubiquity:- found everywhere

ultra:- beyond

versus:- against

via:- a way

vice versa:- reversed

viz:- Abbreviation for ‘namely’

So, these were some Latin-derived words which we commonly use. Not only words, but many of the prefixes and suffixes have also come from this ancient language. It all together forms the base of our grammar. Keep reading and increasing your vocabulary!

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