Latin Legal Terms

Classic Language

Latin Legal Terms

The content of this section of the website provides a fast, easy guide to the translation of Latin Legal terms into English. Learn the Latin to English translation of all of the common terms, words and phrases that are used in relation to the law. Click a link on the menu bar for articles providing the English-Latin translations of common Latin legal terms and expressions, such as 'Ex gratia', 'Caveat emptor', 'Habeas corpus' and 'Actus reus' together with examples of their definition and meaning.

Latin Legal Terms - The Language
Although Latin is considered to be a 'dead language' we still use Latin Legal Terms in relation to the law. These terms are so familiar via the TV and movies that they have become part of common English language. Our language is literally littered with various legal terms such as ad infinitum, caveat, compos mentis, de facto, ex gratia and in loco parentis.

These are just a few examples of common legal terms and famous legal Legal Terms, often used by lawyers and solicitors. Our articles will help with the legal terms and the language of the law providing the English translations and meanings of these famous terms.


Latin Legal Terms - Use of Latin in modern Law
The Latin language was taught in schools and spoken by the greatest scholars, especially during the Middle Ages, and became the common language of the law and legal terms. The use of the language and Latin legal terms spread to America when it was colonised by the first European settlers. Latin continues to exist in legal discourse throughout the western world. Law students still encounter Latin phrases in their classes  and judges still use Latin in their decisions. Many legal terms are derived from a Latin root word and 'Black's Law Dictionary' is the most widely used law dictionary in the United States. During our lifetime most people will hire the legal services and expertise of a lawyer but it is wise to be prepared for such meetings by learning the meaning of some of the common Latin legal terms.

Classic Motto and Proverb


Famous Latin Legal Terms
All of the most common Latin Legal Terms have been included in this section. Learn about the origin, definition and meaning of these common Latin legal terms and expressions. The most common terms relating to the law include many familiar expressions, but do we fully understand their meaning and their correct use?

Examples of Latin Legal Terms
Our articles do not just provide the meaning and definition of common Latin legal terms, they also provide unique examples of how the term might be used. Example sentences have been provided that clarify each of the common terms and phrases and place them into an understandable context.


Latin Legal Terms
Latin Legal Terms remain the language of the law and of the lawyers. The use of Latin adds to the mystery of the law. To enter the legal world, non lawyers must learn the language. It is advisable to check out common Latin legal terms before attending a meeting with a lawyer or solicitor. There is nothing worse than listening to someone who uses an expression that you don't understand. A little knowledge of the law  and common terminology will help you to prepare in advance for such occasions.

Latin Legal Terms and the Internet
Our knowledge of Latin Legal Terms will help with what are now everyday occurrences. A contract is a legally binding document and has become a part of modern life, just think about cell phones or mobile phones. With the advent of the internet more people are taking the opportunity to enter into business or just purchase items via the internet especially referred to as e commerce. Cyberlaw or Internet law is a term that encapsulates the legal issues related to use of the Internet. Many people have now heard of the Latin legal term "caveat emptor" which is Latin for "let the buyer beware." The basic premise of "caveat emptor" is that the buyer buys at their own risk and therefore should examine and test a product for any obvious defects and imperfections.


Common Latin Legal Terms
Some examples and meanings of common Latin legal terms are as follows: :

Amicus curiae is the Latin for "a friend of the court."

Ceteris paribus means "other things being equal."

Prima facie means "on its first appearance."

Pro tempore or pro tem is the Latin for
"for the time (being)."

Q.E.D. stands for "Quod erat demonstrandum" and is Latin for "that which was to be demonstrated."


Latin Legal Terms
The definitions and meanings of Latin Legal Terms included in this section may be accessed via the menu bar and include the following:

Legal Terms


Non compis mentis

Ad infinitum


De facto

Mens rea

Pro bono

Habeas corpus

Ad hominem

Post mortem

Per curiamEx gratia
Caveat emptorVice versaBona vacantia
Causa mortisActus reusIpso facto
In loco parentisAlibiBona fide
Ex gratiaIn terroremEx parte
Sua Sponte De die in diem

Latin Legal Terms
The interesting facts, information, definitions and meanings of this ancient, classical language provides a simple guide with helpful examples and the translation of each of the phrases into the English language.
Learn the English translation of expressions together with examples of the basic legal phrases. An easy aid to the translation and modern use of common Latin Legal Terms and expressions in the classic language.


Latin Legal Terms

Learn the meaning of common terms in law
Simple translation of common law terminology
Understand the classic language & terminology
Definitions of basic terms used by lawyers
Learn the meaning of common expressions
Examples and English translation of words
Translation of basic Latin Legal terms
Classic language translation of phrases & sayings

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Latin Legal Terms

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