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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Latin \Lat"in\, n.

  1. A native or inhabitant of Latium; a Roman.

  2. The language of the ancient Romans.

  3. An exercise in schools, consisting in turning English into Latin. [Obs.]

  4. (Eccl.) A member of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Dog Latin, barbarous Latin; a jargon in imitation of Latin; as, the log Latin of schoolboys.

    Late Latin, Low Latin, terms used indifferently to designate the latest stages of the Latin language; low Latin (and, perhaps, late Latin also), including the barbarous coinages from the French, German, and other languages into a Latin form made after the Latin had become a dead language for the people.

    Law Latin, that kind of late, or low, Latin, used in statutes and legal instruments; -- often barbarous.


Latin \Lat"in\, a. [F., fr. L. Latinus belonging to Latium, Latin, fr. Latium a country of Italy, in which Rome was situated. Cf. Ladin, Lateen sail, under Lateen.]

  1. Of or pertaining to Latium, or to the Latins, a people of Latium; Roman; as, the Latin language.

  2. Of, pertaining to, or composed in, the language used by the Romans or Latins; as, a Latin grammar; a Latin composition or idiom.

    Latin Church (Eccl. Hist.), the Western or Roman Catholic Church, as distinct from the Greek or Eastern Church.

    Latin cross. See Illust. 1 of Cross.

    Latin races, a designation sometimes loosely given to certain nations, esp. the French, Spanish, and Italians, who speak languages principally derived from Latin.

    Latin Union, an association of states, originally comprising France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy, which, in 1865, entered into a monetary agreement, providing for an identity in the weight and fineness of the gold and silver coins of those countries, and for the amounts of each kind of coinage by each. Greece, Servia, Roumania, and Spain subsequently joined the Union.


Latin \Lat"in\, v. t. To write or speak in Latin; to turn or render into Latin. [Obs.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English latin, from Latin Latinus "belonging to Latium," the region of Italy around Rome, possibly from PIE root *stela- "to spread, extend," with a sense of "flat country" (as opposed to the mountainous district of the Sabines), or from a prehistoric non-IE language. The Latin adjective also was used of the Roman language and people.\n\nCenturion: What's this, then? "People called Romanes they go the house?"\n
Brian: It ... it says, "Romans, go home."\n
Centurion [thrashing him like a schoolboy]: No, it doesn't. 'Go home?' This is motion towards. Isn't it, boy?\n
Brian: Ah ... ah, dative, sir! Ahh! No, not dative! Not the dative, sir! No! Ah! Oh, the ... accusative! Domum, sir! Ah! Oooh! Ah!\n
Centurion [pulling him by the ear]: Except that domum takes the ...?\n
Brian: The locative, sir!\n

[Monty Python, "Life of Brian"]

\nUsed as a designation for "people whose languages descend from Latin" (1856), hence Latin America (1862). The Latin Quarter (French Quartier latin) of Paris, on the south (left) bank of the Seine, was the site of university buildings in the Middle Ages, hence the place where Latin was spoken. The surname Latimer, Lattimore, etc. is from Vulgar Latin latimarus, from Latin latinarius "interpreter," literally "a speaker of Latin." "What Latin was to the learned, that their tongue was to laymen; hence latino was used for any dialect, even Arabic and the language of birds ...." [Donkin, "Etymological Dictionary of the Romance Languages," 1864].

"the language of the (ancient) Romans," Old English latin, from Latin latinium (see Latin (adj.)). The more common form in Old English was læden, from Vulgar Latin *ladinum, probably influenced by Old English leoden "language."


a. (alternative case form of Latin English)


LATIN (always referenced in upper case) was a cooperation scheme among 13 newspapers in Latin America which was organized by Reuters and lasted from 1970 until 1981. It was not a news agency per se, but rather a permanent exchange mechanism. In 1975, The New York Times revealed that LATIN was used by the CIA to in covert operations of counterinformation and influencing public opinion in Latin America.

Today, similar schemes are carried through the Periódicos Asociados Latinoamericanos and Grupo de Diarios América.

Latin (disambiguation)

Latin is an Italic language, originally spoken in ancient Rome and its empire.

Latin can also refer to:

Latin (Holy Fuck album)

Latin is the third album from improvisational electronic band Holy Fuck. It was placed on the Long List for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize. In the United States, the album reached #14 on the Billboard Dance charts and #40 on the Heatseekers chart.

Latin (George Dalaras album)

Latin is a 1987 double album by George Dalaras containing Greek-language adaptations of Latin-American songs, featuring Al Di Meola, Glykeria, and Alkistis Protopsalti. The album was a commercial and critical success for Dalaras in Greece, selling nearly half a million copies. It is one of several Dalaras albums to feature Al Di Meola.

Usage examples of "latin".

Already a bit bewildered by their flurry of Classical references and Latin maxims, he was lost when Acer and George exchanged a few lines in French, watching out of the corner of their eyes to see if he had understood.

The Latins aggravate the ingratitude of Alexius, by supposing that he had been released by his brother Isaac from Turkish captivity.

Robert succeeded in soothing him -- and the poor old lion is very quiet on the whole, roaring softly, to beguile the time, in Latin alcaics against his wife and Louis Napoleon.

Rome was imperiled within Italy, every man of Roman or Latin ancestry was obliged to take the field.

Vernon had to fall back upon Greek and Latin aphoristic shots at the sex to believe it.

Greek with Bishop Jewell, and translated his Apologia from the Latin so correctly that neither he nor Archbishop Parker could suggest a single alteration.

But since that articulation can be accomplished in many different ways, there must be, paradoxically, various general grammars: French, English, Latin, German, etc.

In these memorable crusades, a fleet and army of French and Venetians were diverted from Syria to the Thracian Bosphorus: they assaulted the capital, they subverted the Greek monarchy: and a dynasty of Latin princes was seated near threescore years on the throne of Constantine.

Real Compaflia Irlandesa low ered the corpse into the deep grave, then Hogan, Sharpe and Harper took off their hats as ather Sarsfield said the prayers in Latin and afterwards spoke in English to the twenty guardsmen.

Latin peruse the extracts I give from Bishop Kenrick, Debreyne, Burchard, Dens or Liguori, and the most incredulous will learn for themselves that the world, even in the darkest ages of old paganism, has never seen anything so infamous and degrading as auricular confession.

Because of the then-recent rediscoveries of the Greek and Latin classics and the greater availability of such material, the assumed existence of these similarities was more than ever in the air.

An outlandish delegate sustained against both these views, with such heat as almost carried conviction, the theory of copulation between women and the males of brutes, his authority being his own avouchment in support of fables such as that of the Minotaur which the genius of the elegant Latin poet has handed down to us in the pages of his Metamorphoses.

I therefore wrote a short Latin letter, which I enclosed in another to Winckelmann, whom I begged to present my offering to his eminence.

He greeted me in a friendly manner and begged me to tell him the story of the girl I had gone to see, on the promise of the Latin quatrain referring to her accommodating disposition.

I have torn up my first complaint and have written a second in Latin, which an advocate of Bilin has translated for me and which I have deposited at the office of the judiciary at Dux.