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Syllabification: Lat·in
Pronunciation: /ˈlatn

Definition of Latin in English:


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

Example sentences
  • In the areas once part of the Roman empire, Latin was effectively the vernacular and it gradually evolved into the various Romance languages of western Europe.
  • These were written in Anglo-Saxon, the spoken tongue, rather than Latin which was the language of the church.
  • This represents only one of the aspects of the ecclesiastical monopoly over written culture and Latin, the only language that could be used for writing.
2A native or inhabitant of a country whose language developed from Latin, especially a Latin American.
Example sentences
  • When I started break dancing, I never thought I was an interloper because the guys I was dancing with were Latin, black, and white.
2.1Music of a kind originating in Latin America, characterized by dance rhythms and extensive use of indigenous percussive instruments.
Example sentences
  • I would have chosen some dance music, something Latin with a beat.
  • Bangalore Live will offer jazz, world music, Latin, fusion, and rock, to begin with.
  • I love jazz and R & B, Latin, salsa music, all that kind of stuff.


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1Of, relating to, or in the Latin language: Latin poetry
More example sentences
  • Horace, on the other hand, can be said to represent the more innovative vein of Latin poetry, a vein that looked towards the Alexandrian poets as models and predecessors.
  • I spent, for reasons that need not concern us here, much of last night reading some of my favourite Latin poetry.
  • A close friend of Erasmus and gifted student of law and Greek, More translated Lucian and wrote English and Latin poetry.
1.1Of or relating to the countries or peoples using languages, especially Spanish, that developed from Latin.
Example sentences
  • At the last tutorial, Sue informed me that it was time I stop speaking Spanish like a Latin Tarzan and get cracking on my conjugations.
  • At the back, my Latin American neighbours are in conversation in Latin Spanish.
  • She teaches and publishes on Spanish, Latin American. and Chicano/a art.
1.2Of, relating to, or characteristic of Latin American music or dance: snapping his fingers to a Latin beat
More example sentences
  • He passionately enjoys reggae and Latin folk music.
  • Soon, though, the music switched to a Latin beat.
  • So think of this album as a sort of crossover for both me, the reviewer, and you, the reader, to the world of Latin music.
1.3Of or relating to the Western or Roman Catholic Church (as historically using Latin for its rites): the Latin patriarch of Antioch
More example sentences
  • Drawing on both the new code for the Latin rite and that for the Oriental church, he provides a long list of rights that every Christian, whether clerical or lay, possesses.
  • And in 1984, Scotland's catholic bishops banned the Latin rite from being used in regular church services, although it could still be performed in monasteries.
  • Litanies of this type are frequently encountered in the services of the Orthodox Church and in the non-Roman rites of the Latin West.
1.4 historical Of or relating to ancient Latium or its inhabitants.


from Latin Latinus 'of Latium' (see Latium).



Pronunciation: /-ˌizəm/
Example sentences
  • Orwell's use of Latinisms and classical references all but vanished; his previously colourful language dissolved into plain and lucid prose.
  • Totus Tuus must have been amongst the first Latinisms whose translation I researched.
  • Unintelligible Latinisms litter the insides of the booklet, awkwardly coupling with sepulchral imagery.


Example sentences
  • As an excellent Latinist, he would have been familiar with the tale of the Sibyl, and probably kept the painting nearby.
  • The Scotland that its intellectual ambassador George Buchanan, the greatest Latinist of the Renaissance, hymned before the French court, was independent, historically conscious, and proud of it.
  • The royal secretary was a gifted Latinist with an astute legal mind.

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Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ˈɔːθəʊɛpi
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words