Latin Medical Terms and Phrases


This list contains many Latin phrases and terms typically in use in the medical profession. It is by no means complete and probably not too relevant today by the virtue of the fact that doctors simply no longer use Latin, even while writing prescriptions! Still, some of these Latin phrases and words may be of use when learning Latin, reading old medical books and so on.



Abscessus - Abscess.
Absente febre (Abs. feb.) - Fever being absent.
Accessio - Seizure.
Accurate - Accurately.
Acerbus - Sharp, harsh (to the taste).
Ad conciliandum gustum - To suit the taste.
Ad duas vices - At twice taking.
Ad partes dolentes (Ad. Part. Dolent.) - To the painful (aching) parts.
Ad saturandum (Ad sat.) - To saturation.
Ad secundum vicem - For the second time.
Ad tertiam vicem - For the third time.
Adde, Addantur - Add, Let them be added.
Adhibendus (Adhib.) - To be administered.
Adstante febri (Ads. feb.) - While fever is present.
Adversum (Adv.) - Against.
Aeger - The sick one, the patient.
Aggrediente febre (Aggr. feb.) - While the fever is coming on.
Agita - Shake, stir.
Agita ante sumendum - Shake before taking.
Agitato vase - The vile being shaken.
Agitetur - Let it be shaken or stirred.
Alternis horis - Every other hour.
Alvus - The belly, the bowels.
Ante cibum (AC) - Before meals.
Ante prandium (AP) - Before a meal.
Apoplexia - Apoplexy, Stroke.
Appone, Applica - Apply, Lay or put on.
Aqua pura (Aq. pur.) - Pure water. (filtered, not distilled)
Baccalaureus Medicinae (BM) - Bachelor of Medicine.
Balneum maris (BM) - Salt-water bath.
Balneum tepidum (BT) - A tepid bath.
Bis in die (bid.) - Twice a day.
Bolus - A large pill.
Brachium - Arm.
Bulliat, Bulliant - Let it (or them) boil.
Butyrum - Butter.
Calor - Heat, warmth.
Capiatur (Capr.) - Let it be taken.
Capillus - A hair.
Caput - The head.
Caute - Cautiously.
Cena - Supper.
Cibus - Food, victuals.
Cito - Quickly.
Clarus - Bright, clear.
Cochleare, Cochleatim - A spoonful. By spoonfuls.
Coctio - Boiling.
Colaturas - About to strain. (Sufficient to strain)
Colatus - Strained.
Colentur - Let them be strained.
Colica - Colic.
Collum - The neck.
Collutorium (Collut.) - A mouth-wash.
Collyrium (Collyr.) - An eye-lotion.
Commisce - Mix together.
Constipatio - Constipation.
Contere - Rub together.
Contusus - Buised.
Convulsio - Convulsions.
Coque secundum artem (Coq. SA) - Boil according to art.
Cor - The heart.
Coup - Stroke.
Coxa - The hip.
Cras mane (CM) - Tomorrow morning.
Cras mane sumendus (CMS) - To be taken tomorrow morning.
Cras nocte (CN) - Tomorrow night.
Crastinus (Crast.) - For tomorrow.
Cruor - Blood, gore.
Cum - With.
Cura te ipsum - Physician, heal thyself!
Cursu hodie - During the day.
Cyathus aquae (C. aq.) - A glass of water.
Da, signa (DS) - Give and sign.
Deaurentur pilulae (Deaur. pil.) - Let the pills be gilt.
Debilitas - Debility, Illness, Weakness.
Debita spissitudine (D, spiss.) - With a proper consistence.
Decanta - Pour off.
Decessus - Died, Death.
Decoctum - A decoction.
Decubitus - Lying down.
Decubitus (Decub.) - Lying down.
Deglutiatur (Deglut.) - Let it be swallowed.
Dejectiones alvi - Stools.
Delirium tremens - Alcoholic distress; delusions and trembling.
Dementia a potu - Insanity from drinking.
Dentes - The teeth.
Dentur ad scatulam (Dent. ad scat.) - Let them be put in a box.
Dentur tales doses (DTD) - Let such doses be given.
Detur (Det.) - Let it be given.
Detur in duplo (D. in dup.) - Let twice as much be given.
Detur, signetur - Let it be given and signed.
Dextro lateri (Dext. lat.) - To the right side.
Dicbus alternis (Dicb, altern.) - Every other day.
Die sequente (D. seq.) - On the following day.
Digere, Digeretur - Digest, Let it be digested.
Diluculo (Diluc.) - At break of day.
Dilue, Dilutus - Dilute (thou), Diluted.
Dimidius - One half.
Directione propria (DP) - With a proper direction.
Divide in partes aequales (D. in px) - Divide into equal parts.
Dolor - Pain.
Donec - Until.
Dosi pedetentim crescente (DPC) - The dose gradually increasing.
Dosis - Dose.
Dysenteria - Dysentery.
E gelatina vituli (E gel vit.) - In calf's foot jelly.
E paulo aquae (E paul. aq.) - In a little water.
E quolibet vehiculo idoneo (E quol. vehic, idon.) - In any suitable vehicle.
Eadem (Ead.) - The same.
Ecclampsia - Convulsions.
Ejusdem (Ejusd.) - Of the same.
Electuarium (Elect.) - An electuary.
Emesis - Vomiting.
Emeticum (Emet.) - An emetic.
Empicus - Lung disease.
Emplastrum (Emp.) - A plaster.
Emplastrum lyttx (Emp. lytt.) - A blister.
Epilepsia - Epilepsy.
Et - And.
Etiam - Also, besides.
Evacuatio (Evac.) - A motion.
Evanuerit - Shall have disappeared.
Ex aqua (Ex aq.) - In water.
Ex parte - Partly.
Exhaustio - Exhaustion.
Exhibeatur (Exhib.) - Let it be exhibited.
Extemplo (Estempl.) - To at once, immediately.
Extende super alutam mollem (Ext. sup. alut. moll.) - Spread it on soft leather.
Extende, Extendatur - Spread, Let it be spread.
Extractum (Ext.) - An extract.
Fac - Make (thou).
Fascia lintea - A linen bandage.
Feber (Febris) - Fever.
Febri durante (Feb. dur.) - During the fever.
Febris Adenomeningea - Adenomeningeal Fever.
Febris Africana - African Fever.
Febris Angina - Angina.
Febris Castrensis - Camp Fever.
Febris Enterica - Enteric Fever.
Febris Flava - Yellow Fever.
Febris Intermittens - Intermittent Fever.
Febris Militarius - War Fever.
Febris Nervosa - Nervous Fever.
Febris Petechialis - Spotted Fever.
Febris Puerperalis - Puerperal Fever.
Febris Remittens - Remittent Fever.
Febris Rubra - Scarlet Fever.
Febris Scorbutica - Scorbutic Fever.
Febris Verminosa - Verminous Fever.
Femoribus internis (Fem. intern.) - To the inner part of the thighs.
Fiant pilulae (Ft. pil.) - Let the pills, be made.
Fiat - Let it be made.
Fiat haustus (Ft. haust.) - Let a draught be made.
Fiat lege artis (FLA) - Let it be made according to rule.
Fiat mistura (FM., ft. mist.) - Let a mixture be made.
Fiat pilula (Ft. pil.) - Let a pill be made.
Fiat secundum artem (FSA) - Let it be made according to art.
Filtrum (Filtr.) - A filter.
Flavus - Yellow.
Flores - Flowers.
Folia - Leaves.
Frigor - Cold.
Frustillatim - In small pieces.
Frustillatim (Frust.) - Little by little.
Frustum (Frust.) - A little bit.
Fuerit - Shall have been.
Fuscus - Brown, dark.
Gargarisma - A gargle.
Gelatina quavis (Gel. quav.) - In any kind of jelly.
Gradatim - By degrees, gradually.
Gratus - Peasant.
Gutta, Guttae - A drop, Drops.
Guttatim - By drops.
Gutturi applicandus (Guttur. appl.) - To be applied to the throat.
Harum pilulae tres sumantur (Har. pil. iij. s.) - Let three of these pills be taken
Haustus ter de die sumendus (Ht. TDDS) - The draught to be taken three times a day.
Hebdomada (Hebdom.) - For a week.
Hirudo - A leech.
Hora - An hour.
Hora somni (HS) - At bedtime. (At the hour of sleep)
Horae unius spatio (Hor. un. spat.) - At the expiration of one hour.
Horis intermediis (Hor, interm.) - In the intermediate hours.
Hujus formae (HF) - Of this shape. (emplast)
Idem - The same.
Identidem - Repeatedly, Often.
Idoneus - Sitable, proper, convenient.
Illico - Then, immediately.
Immitatur - Let it be placed in.
Impetu effervescentiae (Impet. efferv.) - During effervescence.
Imprimis - First, chiefly.
In decocto hordei (In decoct. hord.) - In barley water.
In dies (In d.) - From day to day.
In folio argenti volvendas (In fol. arg. vol.) - Rolled in silver leaf.
In fusum (Inf.) - An infusion.
In loco frigido - In a cold place.
In partes aequales (In p. aeq.) - Into equal parts.
In pulmento (In pulm.) - In gruel.
Incide, Incisus - Cut (thou), Being cut.
Inde - Therefrom.
Infectio - Infection.
Inflammatio - Inflammation.
Infricandus - To be rubbed in.
Infricetur (Infric.) - Let it be rubbed in.
Infunde (Infund.) - Pour in.
Ingere, Ingerendus - Put in, Putting into.
Injectio (Inj.) - An injection.
Injectio hypodermica (Inj. hyp.) - An hypodermic injection.
Injiciatur enema (Inj. enem.) - Let an enema be administered.
Inspissare (Insp.) - To thicken.
Instar - As big as, the size of.
Inter - Between.
Intus - Inwardly.
Ita - In such manner.
Jentaculum - Breakfast.
Jusculum - Soup.
Lana - Flannel, wool.
Languor - Waintness.
Latere admoveatur - Let it be applied to the side.
Lateri dolenti (Lat. dol.) - To the affected side.
Latus - The side.
Lectus - A bed.
Leniter - Easily, gently.
Linimentum parti affectre infricandum (Lin. p. a. infr.) - The liniment to be rubbed on the affected part.
Luce prima (Luc. p.) - Early in the morning, dawn
Luteus - Yellow.
Mane et vespere (M. et. v.) - Morning and evening.
Mane primo (MP) - Early in the morning.
Manipulus - A handful.
Marasmus - Weakness.
Massa pilularum (MP) - A pill mass.
Medicinae Doctor (MD) - Doctor of Medicine.
Mica panis (Mic. pan.) - A crumb of bread.
Misce, fiat mistura (M. ft. mist.) - Mix, and let a mixture be made.
Mittantur in phialam (Mittr. in phial.) - Let them be put into a phial.
Mittatur, mittantur (Mittr.) - Let it (let them) be sent.
Mitte quantitatem duplicem (M. q. dx.) - Send double quantity.
Modo dictu - As directed.
Modo praescripto - In the manner prescribed.
Mollis, molle - Soft.
Mora - Delay.
Morbus - Disease.
Morbus Hungaricus - Epidemic Typhus.
More dicto utendus (MDU) - To be used as directed.
More dictor (M. Dict.) - As directed.
More solito - In the usual manner.
More solito (MS) - In the usual manner.
Mors - Death.
Musculus latissimus dorsi - The widest muscle of the back.
Natus Mortuus - Stillborn.
Necnon - Not yet.
Nihil per os (NPO) - Nothing by mouth.
Nocte maneque - At night and in the morning.
Noctis - Of the night.
Non repetat - Let it not be repeated.
Noxa - An injury.
Nucha - The nape of the neck.
Nunc - Now.
Obitus - Death, Died.
Omni biduo (Omn. bid.) - Every two days.
Omni bihorio - Every two hours.
Omni hora - Every hour.
Omni mane - Every morning.
Omni nocte - Every night.
Ope penicilli - With a Camel-hair pencil.
Optimus - Best.
Opus - Need, occasion.
Os - The mouth.
Pabulum - Food.
Partes aequales (P. AE.) - Equal parts.
Parti affectae (Part. affect.) - To the affected part.
Parti affectae applicandus (PAA) - To be applied to the affected part.
Partitis vicibus (Part. vic.) - In divided doses.
Paucus - Little, few.
Pectus - The breast.
Pediluvium - A foot-bath.
Per deliquium (PD) - By deliquescence.
Per os (PO) - Through the mouth; By mouth.
Per rectum (PR) - Through the rectum.
Peracta operatione emetic (or, emetica) (Peract. op. emet.) - When the operation of the emetic is finished.
Percola - Strain through, percolate (thou)
Permittentibus viribus - The strength permitting.
Perpurus - Very clean.
Pes - The foot.
Plasma, Plasmetur - Mould, Let it be moulded.
Poculum - A cup, A little cup.
Postridie - On the next day.
Pestis - Plague.
Phiala prius agitata (PPA) - The bottle having been previously shaken.
Placebo - I will please. (Medical expression for remedies with no medical effect, which improve one's medical condition only because one believes they do)
Pondere - By weight.
Post cibum (PC) - After meals.
Post jentaculum (Post jentac.) - After breakfast.
Post prandium (Post prand.) - After dinner.
Post quamque evacuationem (Post qq. evac.) - After each motion.
Post singulas sedes liquidas (Post sing, sed. liq.) - After each liquid motion.
Primum est non nocere - First of all, do no harm. (Hippocrates; The maxim has become an ethical guiding principle in medical profession)
Pro dosi (PD) - For a dose.
Pro potu sumendus (Pro pot. s.) - To be taken as a drink.
Pro ratione aetatis (Pro. rat. wt.) - According to age.
Pro re nata (PRN) - As needed: As the occasion arises.
Proxima luce (Prox. luc.) - On the next day.
Proximo - Nearest.
Pulvinar humuli (Pulv, hum.) - A hop pillow.
Pulvis - Powder.
Quantitas duplex (Q. dx.) - A double quantity.
Quantum libet (QL) - As much as pleases. (As much as you wish)
Quantum sufficit (QS) - As much as suffices.
Quantum vis (QV) - As much as you wish.
Quibus - From which, by which.
Quam - As much as.
Quaque die (QD) - Every day.
Quaque hora (QH) - Every hour.
Quaque mane (QM) - Every morning.
Quaque nocte (QN) - Every night.
Quater die (QD) - Four times a day.
Quater in die (QID) - Take four times a day.
Quoque alternis die (QAD) - Every other day.
Quorum - Of which.
Recipe - Take (thou).
Recens - Fresh.
Renova - Renew (thou).
Redactus in pulverem (R. in pulv.) - Reduced to powder.
Redigatur in pulverem (Redig. in pulv.) - Let it be reduced to powder.
Remedium - Cure, remedy, nostrum, medicine.
Repetat (Rep., Repet.) - Let him repeat.
Rigor mortis - The stiffening of a dead body.
Res - A substance, a thing.
Rudicula (Rudic.) - A spatula.
Rumen - The throat.
Saepe - Frequently.
Sal - Salt.
Saltem - At least.
Saltim - By leaps.
Scilicet - Namely.
Semel - Once.
Semidrachma (Semidr.) - Half a drachm.
Sequenti luce (Seq. luc.) - The following day.
Sermihora (Semih.) - Half an hour.
Sesquihora (Sesquih.) - An hour and a half.
Sesuncia (Sesunc.) - Apt ounce and a half.
Si vires permittant (Si vir. perm.) - If the strength permit.
Siccus - Dry.
Simul - Together.
Sile hujus - Keep silence concerning this.
Sine - Without.
Signa, signetur, signentur (Sig.) - Let it be signed, sign.
Signetur (Sig.) or (S/) - Let it be labeled.
Singulis aurosis (Sing. auror.) - Every morning.
Singulis horae quadrantibus (Sing. hor. quad.) - Every quarter of an hour.
Solve, dissolve (Solv.) - Soluble tablets.
Spasmus - Cramps.
Spiritus vini rectificatus (SVR) - Rectified spirit.
Spiritus vini tenuior (SVT) - Proof spirit.
Statim (stat) - Immediately.
Statu effervescentiae (Stat. eff.) - Whilst effervescing.
Stratum super stratum (SSS) - Layer upon layer.
Sub finem coctionis (Sub fin. coct.) - When sufficiently boiled down.
Subinde - Frequently.
Spissus - Dense, hard.
Stillatim - By drops.
Somnus - Sleep.
Sumat talem (Sum. tal.) - Let the patient take one (or more) such.
Sumendus - To be taken.
Talis - Of such, like this.
Tantum - So much, so many.
Tegmen - A cover.
Tum - Then.
Tussis - A cough.
Tempori dextro (Temp. dext.) - To the right temple.
Ter in die (TID) - Thrice a day.
Tere simul (Ter. sim.) - Rub together.
Tinctura (Tr.) - A tincture.
Tussi urgente (Tuss. urg.) - If the cough is troublesome
Tussis - Cough.
Typhus - Typhoid fever.
Tuto - Safely.
Ubi pus, ibi evacua - Where there is pus, (there) evacuate it.
Ulna - The arm, elbow.
Una - together.
Unctus - Anointed, besmeared.
Ustus - Burnt.
Ut dictum - As directed.
Ut - So that, in order that.
Variola - Smallpox.
Vas - A vessel, utensil, bottle.
Vas vitreum - A glass vessel.
Vel - Or.
Venaesectio brachii - Bleeding in the arm.
Vesper - The evening.
Vires - strength.
Vinum - Wine.
Vicis, Vices - Change, changes.
Vermis - Worms.
Vomitione urgente - Vomiting being severe.