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Latinism Abbreviation Translation Comments
a bene placito    from one who has been pleased well  At one's pleasure. This phrase, and its Italian derivative beneplacito, are synonymous with the more common ad libitum (at pleasure). 
a capite ad calcem    from head to heel  From top to bottom; all the way through 
a contrario    from the opposite  Equivalent to "on the contrary" or "au contraire." An argumentum a contrario is an argument or proof by contrast or direct opposite. 
a fortiori    from the stronger  Loosely, "even more so" or "with even stronger reason." Often used to lead from a less certain proposition to a more evident corollary. 
a mari usque ad mare    from sea to sea  National motto of Canada. 
a mensa et thoro     from board and bed  In marital law, a legal term meaning a legal separation has taken place. 
a pedibus usque ad caput    from feet to head  Completely. This is similar to the English expression "from top to toe." 
a posse ad esse    from being able to being  "From possibility to being" or "from being possible to being actual." 
a posteriori    from the latter  Based on observation (i.e., empirical knowledge), the reverse of a priori. Used in mathematics, philosophy and logic to denote something that is known after a proof has been carried out. 
a priori    from the former  Presupposed, the reverse of a posteriori. Used in mathematics, philosophy and logic to denote something that is known or postulated before a proof has been carried out. 
a tempore morae    for the time being  A legal term meaning the interest on a claim running from the date of judgment entered, that is, from the date the obligation becomes due. 
a verbis ad verbera     from words to blows   
ab absurdo    from the absurd  Said of an argument that seeks to prove a statement's validity by pointing out the absurdity of an opponent's position. Not to be confused with a reductio ad absurdum, which is usually a valid logical argument. 
ab abusu ad usum non valet consequentia    a consequence from an abuse to a use is not valid  Inferences regarding something's use from its misuse are invalid. Rights abused are still rights. 
ab aeterno    from the eternal  From time immemorial or"since the beginning of time." In theology, often indicates something, such as the universe, that was created outside of time. 
ab antiquo    from the ancient  From ancient times. 
ab extra    from beyond  A legal term meaning "From without." From external sources, rather than from the self or the mind (ab intra). Sometimes expressed loosely as ab ex
ab hinc    from here   
ab imo pectore    from the deepest chest  Attributed to Julius Caesar. Usually translated as "from the bottom of my heart." 
ab inconvenienti    from an inconvenient thing  An "argumentum ab inconvenienti" is one based on the difficulties involved in pursuing a line of reasoning, and is thus a form of appeal to consequences. 
Latinisms Table

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