Latin Abbreviations

This is a list of common and some uncommon Latin abbreviations. Nearly all the abbreviations below have been adopted by Modern English.
Some of the words and expressions the abbreviations refer to are well known in modern English (e.g., alma mater, versus, nota bene, per annum, et cetera).

Many others, however, are still foreign and unknown to English. In some cases, English expressions have replaced the original Latin ones (e.g., “rest in peace” for R.I.P. (requiescat in pace) and “post script” for P.S. (post scriptum).

Latin was once the universal academic language in Europe. From the 18th century authors started using their mother tongues to write books, papers or proceedings. Even when Latin fell out of use, many Latin abbreviations continued to be used due to their precise simplicity and Latin’s status as a learned language.

 Latin Phrases

Latin Prescription Abbreviations

ante cibum (ac) Before meals bis in die (bid) Twice a day gutta (gt) Drop hora somni (hs) At bedtime oculus dexter (od) Right eye oculus sinister (os) Left eye per os (po) By mouth post cibum (pc) After meals pro re nata (prn) As needed quaque 3 hora (q 3 h) Every 3 hours […]

 Latin Phrases

Common Latin Abbreviations

A.B. (Artium Baccalaureus) Bachelor of Arts A.C. (ante Christum) before Christ A.D. (anno domini) in the year of the Lord ad inf., ad infin. (ad infinitum) to infinity ad int. (ad interim) in the meantime ad fin. (ad finem) near the end [of the page] ad loc. (ad locum) to the place ad val. (ad […]