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List of Latin phrases (L)

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List of Latin phrases (L)

This page lists English translations of notable Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. Some of the phrases are themselves translations of Greek phrases, as Greek rhetoric and literature reached its peak centuries before the rise of ancient Rome.

This list covers the letter L. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.


Latin Translation Notes
labor ipse voluptas The pleasure is in the work itself Motto of Leopold von Ranke.
labor omnia vincit Hard work conquers all Popular as a motto; derived from a phrase in [1]
laborare pugnare parati sumus To work, (or) to fight; we are ready Motto of the California Maritime Academy
labore et honore By labour and honour Motto of several schools
laboremus pro patria Let us work for the fatherland Motto of the Carlsberg breweries
laboris gloria Ludi Games are the glory of work, Motto of the Camborne School of Mines, Cornwall, UK
lacrimae rerum The poignancy of things. Virgil, Aeneid 1:462.
lapsus lapse, slip, error; involuntary mistake made while writing or speaking  
lapsus calami inadvertent typographical error, slip of the pen  
lapsus linguae inadvertent speech error, slip of the tongue  
lapsus memoriae slip of memory source of the term memory lapse
latius est impunitum relinqui facinus nocentis (quam innocentem damnari) It is better to let the crime of the guilty go unpunished (than to condemn the innocent) Ulpian, Digest 5:6.
laudator temporis acti praiser of time past One who is discontent with the present and instead prefers things of the past ("the good old days"). In Horace's Ars Poetica, line 173.
laudetur Jesus Christus Praise (Be) Jesus Christ Often used as a salutation, but also used after prayers or the reading of the gospel.
laus Deo praise be to God This is written on the East side at the peak of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Also is the motto of the Viscount of Arbuthnott and Sydney Grammar School.
lectio brevior potior The shorter reading is the better A wrong maxim in text criticism. Codified, but simultaneously refuted, by Johann Jakob Griesbach.
lectori salutem greetings reader Often abbreviated to L.S., used as opening words for a letter.
lege artis according to the law of the art Denotes that a certain intervention is performed in a correct way. Used especially in a medical context. The 'art' referred to in the phrase is medicine.
legem terrae the law of the land
leges humanae nascuntur, vivunt, et moriuntur laws of man are born, live and die
leges sine moribus vanae laws without morals [are] vain From Horace's Odes: the official motto of the University of Pennsylvania.
legio patria nostra The Legion is our fatherland Motto of the French Foreign Legion
legi, intellexi, et condemnavi I read, understood, and condemned.
legitime lawfully In Roman and civil law, a forced share in an estate; the portion of the decedent's estate from which the immediate family cannot be disinherited. From the French héritier legitime (rightful heir).
lex artis law of the skill The rules that regulate a professional duty.
lex dei vitae lampas the law of God is the lamp of life Motto of the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne
lex ferenda the law that should be borne The law as it ought to be.
lex hac edictali the law here proclaims The rule whereby a spouse cannot by deed inter vivos or bequeath by testament to his or her second spouse more than the amount of the smallest portion given or bequeathed to any child.
lex in casu law in the event A law that only concerns one particular case. See law of the case.
lex lata the law that has been borne The law as it is.
lex loci law of the place
lex non scripta law that has not been written Unwritten law, or common law.
lex orandi, lex credendi the law of prayer is the law of faith
lex paciferat the law shall bring peace Motto of the European Gendarmerie Force
lex parsimoniae law of succinctness also known as Occam's Razor.
lex rex the law [is] king A principle of government advocating a rule by law rather than by men. The phrase originated as a double entendre in the title of Samuel Rutherford's controversial book Lex, Rex (1644), which espoused a theory of limited government and constitutionalism.
lex scripta written law Statutory law. Contrasted with lex non scripta.
lex talionis the law of retaliation Retributive justice (i.e., an eye for an eye).
libera te tutemet (ex inferis) Free yourself (from hell) Used in the movie Event Horizon (1997), where it is translated as "save yourself (from hell)". It is initially misheard as liberate me (free me), but is later corrected. Libera te is often mistakenly merged into liberate, which would necessitate a plural pronoun instead of the singular tutemet (which is an emphatic form of tu, you).
Libertas Justitia Veritas Liberty Justice Truth Motto of the Korea University and Freie Universität Berlin.
Libertas Perfundet Omnia Luce Freedom will flood all things with light Motto of the Complutense University of Madrid.
Libertas Quae Sera Tamen freedom which [is] however late Liberty even when it comes late; Motto of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Libera Scientia Free knowledge.
Libertas Securitas Justitia Liberty Security Justice Motto of the Frontex.
libra (lb) balance; scales Its abbreviation lb is used as a unit of weight, the pound.
littera scripta manet The written word endures Attributed to Horace.
loco citato (lc) in the place cited More fully written in loco citato. See also opere citato.
locum tenens place holder A worker who temporarily takes the place of another with similar qualifications, for example as a doctor or a member of the clergy. Sometimes shortened to locum.
locus classicus a classic place The most typical or classic case of something; quotation which most typifies its use.
locus minoris resistentiae place of less resistance A medical term to describe a location on or in a body that offers little resistance to infection, damage, or injury. For example, a weakened place that tends to be reinjured.
locus poenitentiae a place of repentance A legal term, it is the opportunity of withdrawing from a projected contract, before the parties are finally bound; or of abandoning the intention of committing a crime, before it has been completed.
locus standi A right to stand Standing in law (the right to have one's case in court).
longissimus dies cito conditur even the longest day soon ends Pliny the Younger, Epistulae 9/36:4.
lorem ipsum sorrow itself; pain for its own sake A mangled fragment from Cicero's De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (On the Limits of Good and Evil, 45 BC), used as typographer's filler to show fonts (a.k.a. greeking).
luceat lux vestra Let your light shine May be found in Matthew Ch. 5 V. 16. Popular as a school motto.
lucem sequimur We follow the light Motto of the University of Exeter
luceo non uro I shine, not burn Motto of the Highland Scots Clan Mackenzie
lucida sidera The shining stars Horace, Carmina 1/3:2.
luctor et emergo I struggle and emerge Motto of the Dutch province of Zeeland to denote its battle against the sea, and the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame.
lucus a non lucendo [it is] a grove by not being light From late 4th-century grammarian Honoratus Maurus, who sought to mock implausible word origins such as those proposed by Priscian. A pun based on the word lucus (dark grove) having a similar appearance to the verb lucere (to shine), arguing that the former word is derived from the latter word because of a lack of light in wooded groves. Often used as an example of absurd etymology, it derives from parum luceat (it does not shine [being darkened by shade]) by Quintilian in Institutio Oratoria.
ludemus bene in compania We play well in groups Motto of the Barony of Marinus.
lupus est homo homini A man to a man is a wolf Plautus' adaptation of an old Roman proverb: homo homini lupus est ("man is a wolf to [his fellow] man"). In Asinaria, act II, scene IV, verse 89 [495 overall]. Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit ("a man to a man is a wolf, not a man, when the other doesn't know of what character he is.")[2]
lupus in fabula the wolf in the story With the meaning "speak of the wolf, and he will come"; from Terence's play Adelphoe.
lupus non mordet lupum a wolf does not bite a wolf
lupus non timet canem latrantem a wolf is not afraid of a barking dog
lux aeterna eternal light epitaph
lux et lex light and law Motto of the Franklin & Marshall College and The University of North Dakota.
lux et veritas light and truth A translation of the Hebrew Urim and Thummim. Motto of several institutions.
lux ex tenebris light from darkness Motto of the 67th Network Warfare Wing.
lux hominum vita light the life of man Motto of the University of New Mexico
lux in Domino light in the Lord Motto of the Ateneo de Manila University
lux in tenebris lucet The light that shines in the darkness Motto of Columbia University School of General Studies[3]
lux libertas light, liberty Motto of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lux mentis Lux orbis Light of the mind, Light of the world Motto of Sonoma State University
lux sit let there be light A more literal Latinization of the phrase; the most common translation is fiat lux, from Latin Vulgate Bible phrase chosen for the Genesis line "וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים, יְהִי אוֹר; וַיְהִי-אוֹר" (And God said: 'Let there be light.' And there was light). Motto of the University of Washington.
lux tua nos ducat Your Light Guides Us Motto of St. Julian's School, Carcavelos, Portugal[4]
lux, veritas, virtus light, truth, courage Motto of Northeastern University


  1. ^
  2. ^  
  3. ^ School of General Studies at a glance
  4. ^ Home page of St. Julian's School


  • Adeleye, Gabriel G. (1999). Thomas J. Sienkewicz; James T. McDonough, Jr., eds. World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc.  
  • Stone, Jon R. (1996). Latin for the Illiterati. London & New York: Routledge.  
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