- 1the language of ancient Rome and its empire, widely used historically as a language of scholarship and administration.
Latin is a member of the Italic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. After the decline of the Roman Empire, it continued to be a medium of communication among educated people throughout the Middle Ages in Europe and remained the liturgical language of the Roman Catholic Church until the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962–65); it is still used for scientific names in biology and astronomy. The Romance languages are derived from it
from Latin Latinus 'of Latium' (see Latium)