List of Latin phrases (N)

This page lists English translations of notable Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. Some of the phrases are themselves translations of Greek phrases, as Greek rhetoric and literature reached its peak centuries before the rise of ancient Rome.

This list covers the letter N. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.


nanos gigantum humeris insidentesDwarfs standing on the shoulders of giantsFirst recorded by John of Salisbury in the twelfth century and attributed to Bernard of Chartres. Also commonly known by the letters of Isaac Newton: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants".
nascentes morimur finisque ab origine pendet When we are born we die, our end is but the pendant of our beginning
nasciturus pro iam nato habetur, quotiens de commodis eius agiturThe unborn is deemed to have been born to the extent that his own inheritance is concernedRefers to a situation where an unborn child is deemed to be entitled to certain inheritance rights.
natura abhorret a vacuonature abhors vacuum Pseudo-explanation for why a liquid will climb up a tube to fill a vacuum, often given before the discovery of atmospheric pressure.
natura artis magistraNature is the teacher of artThe name of the zoo in the centre of Amsterdam; short: "Artis".
natura nihil frustra facitnature does nothing in vainCf. Leucippus: "Everything that happens does so for a reason and of necessity."
natura non contristaturnature is not saddenedThat is, the natural world is not sentimental or compassionate. Derived by Arthur Schopenhauer from an earlier source.
natura non facit saltum ita nec lexnature does not make a leap, thus neither does the lawShortened form of "sicut natura nil facit per saltum ita nec lex" (just as nature does nothing by a leap, so neither does the law), referring to both nature and the legal system moving gradually.
natura non facit saltusnature makes no leapsA famous aphorism of Carl Linnaeus stating that all organisms bear relationships on all sides, their forms changing gradually from one species to the next. From Philosophia Botanica (1751).
natura valde simplex est et sibi consonaNature is exceedingly simple and harmonious with itselfSir Isaac Newton's famous quote, defining foundation of all modern sciences. Can be found in his Unpublished Scientific Papers of Isaac Newton: A selection from the Portsmouth Collection in the University Library, Cambridge, 1978 edition[1]
naturalia non sunt turpiaWhat is natural is not dirtyBased on Servius' commentary on Virgil's Georgics (3:96): "turpis non est quia per naturam venit."
naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she still will hurry backYou must take the basic nature of something into account.
- Horace, Epistles, Book I, epistle X, line 24.
navigare necesse est vivere non est necesseto sail is necessary; to live is not necessaryAttributed by Plutarch to Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, who, during a severe storm, commanded sailors to bring food from Africa to Rome.
ne plus ultranothing more beyondAlso nec plus ultra or non plus ultra. A descriptive phrase meaning the best or most extreme example of something. The Pillars of Hercules, for example, were literally the nec plus ultra of the ancient Mediterranean world. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V's heraldic emblem reversed this idea, using a depiction of this phrase inscribed on the Pillarsas plus ultra, without the negation. The Boston Musical Instrument Company engraved ne plus ultra on its instruments from 1869 to 1928 to signify that none were better. Non... is the motto of the Spanish exclave Melilla.
ne supra crepidam sutor iudicareta shoemaker should not judge beyond the shoesee Sutor, ne ultra crepidam
ne te quaesiveris extrado not seek outside yourselfline from the Roman satirist Persius inscribed on the boulder to the right of Sir John Suckling in the painting of the aforementioned subject by Sir Anthony Van Dyck (ca. 1638) and invoked by Ralph Waldo Emerson at the opening of his essay Self-Reliance (1841)
Nec aspera terrentThey are not terrified of the rough thingsThey are not afraid of difficulties. Less literally "Difficulties be damned." Motto for 27th Infantry Regiment (United States) and the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. Nec = not; aspera = rough ones/things; terrent = they terrify / do terrify / are terrifying.
Nec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus (inciderit)That a god not intervene, unless a knot show up that be worthy of such an untangler"When the miraculous power of God is necessary, let it be resorted to: when it is not necessary, let the ordinary means be used." From Horace's Ars Poetica as a caution against deus ex machina.
nec dextrorsum, nec sinistrorsumNeither to the right nor to the leftDo not get distracted. Motto for Bishop Cotton Boys' School and the Bishop Cotton Girls' School, both located in Bangalore, India.
nec spe, nec metuwithout hope, without fear
nec tamen consumebaturand yet it was not consumedRefers to the Burning Bush of Exodus 3:2. Motto of many Presbyterian churches throughout the world.
nec temere nec timideneither reckless nor timidMotto of the Dutch 11th Air Manoeuvre Brigade and the city of Gdańsk, Poland.
nec vi, nec clam, nec precarioWithout permission, without secrecy, without interruptionThe law of adverse possession.
neca eos omnes, deus suos agnoscetkill them all, God will know his ownalternate rendition of Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius by Arnaud Amalric.
necesse est aut imiteris aut oderisyou must either imitate or loathe the worldSeneca the Younger, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, 7:7.
necessitas etiam timidos fortes facitneed makes even the timid braveSallust, The Conspiracy of Catiline, 58:19
nemine contradicente (nem. con., N.C.D.)with no one speaking againstLess literally, "without dissent". Used especially in committees, where a matter may be passed nem. con., or unanimously, or with unanimous consent.
nemo contra Deum nisi Deus ipseNo one against God except God himselfFrom Goethe's autobiography From my Life: Poetry and Truth, p. 598.
nemo dat quod non habetno one gives what he does not haveThus, "none can pass better title than they have".
nemo est supra legemnobody is above the law; or nemo est supra leges, nobody is above the laws
Nemo igitur vir magnus sine aliquo adflatu divino umquam fuitNo great man ever existed who did not enjoy some portion of divine inspirationFrom Cicero's De Natura Deorum, Book 2, chapter LXVI, 167[2]
nemo iudex in causa suano man shall be a judge in his own causeLegal principle that no individual can preside over a hearing in which he holds a specific interest or bias.
nemo malus felixpeace visits not the guilty mindAlso translated to "no rest for the wicked." Refers to the inherent psychological issues that plague bad/guilty people.
nemo me impune lacessitNo one provokes me with impunityMotto of the Order of the Thistle, and consequently of Scotland, found stamped on the milled edge of certain British pound sterling coins. It is the motto of the Montressors in the Edgar Allan Poe short story "The Cask of Amontillado". Motto of the San Beda College Beta Sigma Fraternity.
nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapitNo mortal is wise at all timesThe wisest may make mistakes.
nemo nisi per amicitiam cognosciturNo one learns except by friendshipUsed to imply that one must like a subject in order to study it.
nemo propheta in patria (sua)no man is a prophet in his own landConcept present in all four Gospels (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24; John 4:44).
nemo saltat sobriusNobody dances soberThe short and more common form of Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit, "Nobody dances sober, unless he happens to be insane," a quote from Cicero (from the speech Pro Murena).
nemo tenetur se ipsum accusareno one is bound to accuse himself (the right to silence)A maxim banning mandatory self-incrimination. Near-synonymous with accusare nemo se debet nisi coram Deo. Similar phrases include: nemo tenetur armare adversarium contra se (no one is bound to arm an opponent against himself), meaning that a defendant is not obligated to in any way assist the prosecutor to his own detriment; nemo tenetur edere instrumenta contra se (no one is bound to produce documents against himself, meaning that a defendant is not obligated to provide materials to be used against himself (this is true in Roman law and has survived in modern criminal law, but no longer applies in modern civil law); and nemo tenere prodere se ipsum (no one is bound to betray himself), meaning that a defendant is not obligated to testify against himself.
neque semper arcum tendit Apollonor does Apollo always keep his bow drawnHorace, Carmina 2/10:19-20. The same image appears in a fable of Phaedrus.
Ne quid nimisNothing in excess
nervos belli, pecuniam infinitamEndless money forms the sinews of warIn war, it is essential to be able to purchase supplies and to pay troops (as Napoleon put it, "An army marches on its stomach").
nihil ad remnothing to do with the pointThat is, in law, irrelevant and/or inconsequential.
nihil boni sine laborenothing achieved without hard workMotto of Palmerston North Boys' High School
nihil dicithe says nothingIn law, a declination by a defendant to answer charges or put in a plea.
nihil enim lacrima citius arescitnothing dries sooner than a tearPseudo-Cicero, Ad Herrenium, 2/31:50
nihil humanum mihi alienumnothing human is alien to meAdapted from Terence's Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor), homo sum humani a me nihil alienum puto ("I am a human being; nothing human is strange to me"). Sometimes ending in est.
nihil in intellectu nisi prius in sensunothing in the intellect unless first in senseThe guiding principle of empiricism, and accepted in some form by Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. Leibniz, however, added nisi intellectus ipse (except the intellect itself).
nihil nimisnothing tooOr nothing to excess. Latin translation of the inscription of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
nihil novinothing of the newOr just "nothing new". The phrase exists in two versions: as nihil novi sub sole (nothing new under the sun), from the Vulgate, and as nihil novi nisi commune consensu (nothing new unless by the common consensus), a 1505 law of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and one of the cornerstones of its Golden Liberty.
nihil obstatnothing preventsA notation, usually on a title page, indicating that a Roman Catholic censor has reviewed the book and found nothing objectionable to faith or morals in its content. See also imprimatur.
nihil sine Deonothing without GodMotto of the Kingdom of Romania, while ruled by the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty (1878–1947).
nihil ultranothing beyondMotto of St. Xavier's College, Calcutta
nil admiraribe surprised at nothingOr "nihil admirari". Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes (3,30), Horace, Epistulae (1,6,1), and Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, (8,5). Motto of the Fitzgibbon family. See John FitzGibbon, 1st Earl of Clare
nil desperandumnothing must be despaired atThat is, "never despair".
nil igitur fieri de nilo posse fatendumstnothing, therefore, we must confess, can be made from nothingFrom Lucretius' De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things), I.205
Nil igitur mors est ad nosDeath, therefore, is nothing to usFrom Lucretius' De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things), III.831
nil mortalibus ardui estnothing is impossible for humankindFrom Horace's Odes. Motto of Rathkeale College, New Zealand and Brunts School, England.
nil nisi bonum(about the dead say) nothing unless (it is) goodShort for nil nisi bonum de mortuis dicere. That is, "Don't speak ill of anyone who has died". Also "Nil magnum nisi bonum" (nothing is great unless good), motto of St Catherine's School, Toorak, Pennant Hills High School and Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School.
nil nisi malis terrorino terror, except to the badMotto of The King's School, Macclesfield
nil per os, rarely non per os (n.p.o.)nothing through the mouthMedical shorthand indicating that oral foods and fluids should be withheld from the patient.
nil satis nisi optimumnothing [is] enough unless [it is] the bestMotto of Everton F.C., residents of Goodison Park, Liverpool.
nil sine laborenothing without labourMotto of Fitzoy High School, Brisbane Grammar School, Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Greenwich Public School, Victoria School, Victoria Junior College, Baines High School, St Mungo's Academy and Heckmondwike Grammar School
nil sine numinenothing without the divine willOr "nothing without providence". State motto of Colorado, adopted in 1861. Probably derived from Virgil's Aeneid Book II, line 777, "non haec sine numine divum eveniunt" (these things do not come to pass without the will of Heaven). See also numen.
nil volentibus arduumNothing [is] arduous for the willingNothing is impossible for the willing
nisi Dominus frustraif not the Lord, [it is] in vainThat is, "everything is in vain without God". Summarized from Psalm 127 (126 Vulgate), "nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum in vanum laboraverunt qui aedificant eam nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem frustra vigilavit qui custodit" (unless the Lord builds the house, they work on a useless thing who build it; unless the Lord guards the community, he keeps watch in vain who guards it). Motto of Edinburgh, St Thomas School, Kolkata, Welland Gouldsmith School, Kolkata, Union Secondary School Awkunanaw, Enugu, CMS Grammar School , Bariga Lagos and St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Calday Grange Grammar School, Wirral, England and Richmond College, Galle, Sri Lanka
nisi paria non pugnantit takes two to make a fightIrascetur aliquis: tu contra beneficiis prouoca; cadit statim simultas ab altera parte deserta; nisi paria non pugnant. (If any one is angry with you, meet his anger by returning benefits for it: a quarrel which is only taken up on one side falls to the ground: it takes two men to fight.) Seneca the Younger, De Ira (On Anger): Book 2, cap. 34, line 5.
nisi priusunless previouslyIn England, a direction that a case be brought up to Westminster for trial before a single judge and jury. In the United States, a court where civil actions are tried by a single judge sitting with a jury, as distinguished from an appellate court.
nitimur in vetitumWe strive for the forbiddenFrom Ovid's Amores, III.4:17. It means that when we are denied of something, we will eagerly pursue the denied thing. Used by Friedrich Nietzsche in his Ecce Homo to indicate that his philosophy pursues what is forbidden to other philosophers.
nobis bene, nemini male Good for us, Bad for no one Inscription on the old Nobistor gatepost that divided Altona and St. Pauli
nolens volensunwilling, willingThat is, "whether unwillingly or willingly". Sometimes rendered volens nolens, aut nolens aut volens or nolentis volentis. Similar to willy-nilly, though that word is derived from Old English will-he nil-he ([whether] he will or [whether] he will not).
noli me tangeredo not touch meCommonly translated "touch me not". According to the Gospel of John, this was said by Jesus to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection.
noli turbare circulos meosDo not disturb my circles!That is, "Don't upset my calculations!" Said by Archimedes to a Roman soldier who, despite having been given orders not to, killed Archimedes at the conquest of Syracuse, Sicily. The soldier was executed for his act.
"nolite te bastardes carborundorum"
(Dog Latin)
"Don't let the bastards grind you downFrom The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood — the protagonist (Offred) finds the phrase inscribed on the inside of her wardrobe. One of many variants of Illegitimi non carborundum.
nolle prosequito be unwilling to prosecuteA legal motion by a prosecutor or other plaintiff to drop legal charges, usually in exchange for a diversion program or out-of-court settlement.
nolo contendereI do not wish to contendThat is, "no contest". A plea that can be entered on behalf of a defendant in a court that states that the accused doesn't admit guilt, but will accept punishment for a crime. Nolo contendere pleas cannot be used as evidence in another trial.
nomen amicitiae sic, quatenus expedit, haeretthe name of friendship lasts just so long as it is profitablePetronius, Satyricon, 80.
nomen dubiumdoubtful nameA scientific name of unknown or doubtful application.
nomen est omenthe name is a signThus, "true to its name".
nomen nescio (N.N.)I do not know the nameThus, the name or person in question is unknown.
nomen nudumnaked nameA purported scientific name that does not fulfill the proper formal criteria and therefore cannot be used unless it is subsequently proposed correctly.
non auro, sed ferro, recuperanda est patriaNot gold, but iron redeems the native landAccording to some roman this sentence was said by Marcus Furius Camillus to Brennus, the chief of the Gauls, after he demanded more gold from the citizens of the recently sacked Rome in 390 BC.
non bene pro toto libertas venditur auroliberty is not well sold for all the goldMotto of Republic of Ragusa, inscribed over the gates of St. Lawrence Fortress. From Gualterus Anglicus's version of Aesop's fable "The Dog and the Wolf".
non bis in idemnot twice in the same thingA legal principle forbidding double jeopardy.
non canimus surdis, respondent omnia silvaewe sing not to the deaf; the trees echo every wordVirgil, Eclogues 10:8
non causa pro causanot the cause for the causeAlso known as the "questionable cause" or "false cause". Refers to any logical fallacy where a cause is incorrectly identified.
non compos mentisnot in control of the mindSee compos mentis. Also rendered non compos sui (not in control of himself). Samuel Johnson, author of the first English dictionary, theorized that the word nincompoop may derive from this phrase.
non constatit is not certainUsed to explain scientific phenomena and religious advocations, for example in medieval history, for rulers to issue a 'Non Constat' decree, banning the worship of a holy figure. In legal context, occasionally a backing for nulling information that was presented by an attorney. Without any tangible proof, Non constat information is difficult to argue for.
non diligere Deum, qui mandata eius participando cum perfidis non custoditGod does not love those who allow perfidy.Pope John VIII writing to Athanasius II, Bishop of Naples, regarding the overthrow of his elder brother the Duke of Naples.
non ducor, ducoI am not led; I leadMotto of São Paulo city, Brazil. See also pro Brasilia fiant eximia.
non est factumit is not [my] deeda doctrine in contract law that allows a signing party to escape performance of the agreement. A claim of "non est factum" means that the signature on the contract was signed by mistake, without knowledge of its meaning, but was not done so negligently. A successful plea would make the contract void ab initio.
non est princeps super leges, sed leges supra principemthe prince is not above the laws, but the laws above the prince.Pliny the Younger, Panegyricus 65:1.
non extingueturshall not be extinguishedMotto of the Society of Antiquaries of London accompanying their Lamp of knowledge emblem
non facias malum ut inde fiat bonumyou should not make evil in order that good may be made from itMore simply, "don't do wrong to do right". The direct opposite of the phrase "the ends justify the means".
non hos quaesitum munus in ususA gift sought for no such purposeVirgil, Aeneid, 4:647, of the sword with which Dido will commit suicide. "Not for so dire an enterprise design’d." (Dryden trans.; 1697)[3] "A gift asked for no use like this." (Mackail trans.; 1885).[4] "Ne'er given for an end so dire." (Taylor trans.; 1907)[5] "A gift not asked for use like this!" (Williams trans.; 1910).[6] Quoted by Francis Bacon of the civil law, "not made for the countries it governeth".
non impediti ratione cogitationisunencumbered by the thought processmotto of radio show Car Talk
non in legendo sed in intelligendo leges consistuntthe laws depend not on being read, but on being understood
non liquetit is not provenAlso "it is not clear" or "it is not evident". A sometimes controversial decision handed down by a judge when they feel that the law is not complete.
non loqui sed facerenot talk but actionMotto of the University of Western Australia's Engineering faculty student society.
non mihi solumnot for myself aloneMotto of Anderson Junior College, Singapore.
non ministrari sed ministrarenot to be served, but to serveMotto of Wellesley College and Shimer College (from Matthew 20:28 in the Vulgate).
non multa sed multumnot quantity but qualityMotto of the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School.
Non nobis DomineNot to us (oh) LordChristian hymn based on psalm 115.
non nobis nati'Born not for ourselves'Motto of St Albans School (Hertfordshire)
non nobis solumnot for ourselves aloneAppears in Cicero's De Officiis Book 1:22 in the form non nobis solum nati sumus (we are not born for ourselves alone). Motto of Lower Canada College, Montreal and University College, Durham University, and Willamette University.
non numerantur, sed ponderanturthey are not counted, but weighedOld saying. Paul Erdős (1913–1996), in The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman [7]
non obstante veredictonot standing in the way of a verdictA judgment notwithstanding verdict, a legal motion asking the court to reverse the jury's verdict on the grounds that the jury could not have reached such a verdict reasonably.
non oletit doesn't smellSee pecunia non olet.
non omnia possumus omnestnot everyone can do everythingVirgil, Eclogues 8:63 (and others).
non omnis moriarI shall not all dieHorace, Carmina 3/30:6. "Not all of me will die", a phrase expressing the belief that a part of the speaker will survive beyond death.
non plus ultranothing further beyondthe ultimate. See also 'ne plus ultra'
non possumusnot possible
non possunt primi esse omnes omni in temporenot everyone can occupy the first rank forever(It is impossible always to excel) Decimus Laberius.
non progredi est regredito not go forward is to go backward
non prosequiturhe does not proceedA judgment in favor of a defendant when the plaintiff failed to take the necessary steps in an action within the time allowed.
non scholae sed vitae[We learn] not for school but for lifeAn inversion of non vitae sed scholae now used as a school motto
non qui parum habet, set qui plus cupit, pauper estIt is not he who has little, but he who wants more, who is the pauper.Seneca the Younger, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, 2:6.
non quis sed quidnot who but whatUsed in the sense "what matters is not who says it but what he says" – a warning against ad hominem arguments; frequently used as motto, including that of Southwestern University.
non sequiturit does not followIn general, a comment which is absurd due to not making sense in its context (rather than due to being inherently nonsensical or internally inconsistent), often used in humor. As a logical fallacy, a conclusion that does not follow from a premise.
non serviamI will not servePossibly derived from a Vulgate mistranslation of the Book of Jeremiah. Commonly used in literature as Satan's statement of disobedience to God, though in the original context the quote is attributed to Israel, not Satan.
non sibiNot for selfA slogan used by many schools and universities.
non sibi, sed patriaeNot for self, but for countryEngraved on the doors of the United States Naval Academy chapel; motto of the USS Halyburton (FFG-40).
non sibi, sed suisNot for one's self but for one's ownA slogan used by many schools and universities.
non sibi, sed omnibusNot for one's self but for allA slogan used by many schools and universities.
non sic dormit, sed vigilatSleeps not but is awake Martin Luther on mortality of the soul.
non silba, sed anthar; Deo vindiceNot for self, but for others; God will vindicateA slogan used by the Ku Klux Klan
non sum qualis eramI am not such as I wasOr "I am not the kind of person I once was". Expresses a change in the speaker. Horace, Odes 4/1:3.
non teneas aurum totum quod splendet ut aurumDo not hold as gold all that shines as goldAlso, "All that glitters is not gold." Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice.
non timebo malaI will fear no evilIt is possibly a reference to Psalm 23. Printed on the Colt in Supernatural.
non vestra sed vosNot yours but youMotto of St Chad's College, Durham.
non vitae sed scholae[We learn] not for life but for schooltimeFrom a passage of occupatio in Seneca the Younger's moral letters to Lucilius,[8] wherein Lucilius is given the argument that too much literature fails to prepare students for life
non vi, sed verboNot by force, but by the word [of God]From Martin Luther's "Invocavit Sermons" preached in March, 1522, against the Zwickau prophets unrest in Wittenberg;[9] later echoed in the Augsburg Confession as ...sine vi humana, sed Verbo: bishops should act "without human force, but through the Word".[10]
nosce te ipsumknow thyselfFrom Cicero, based on the Greek γνῶθι σεαυτόν (gnothi seauton), inscribed on the pronaos of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, according to the Greek periegetic writer Pausanias (10.24.1). A non-traditional Latin rendering, temet nosce (thine own self know), is translated in The Matrix as "know thyself".
noscitur a sociisa word is known by the company it keepsIn statutory interpretation, when a word is ambiguous, its meaning may be determined by reference to the rest of the statute.
noster nostriLiterally "Our ours"Approximately "Our hearts beat as one."
nota bene (n.b.)mark wellThat is, "please note" or "note it well".
novus ordo seclorumnew order of the agesFrom Virgil. Motto on the Great Seal of the United States. Similar to Novus Ordo Mundi (New World Order).
nulla dies sine lineaNot a day without a line drawnPliny the Elder attributes this maxim to Apelles, an ancient Greek artist.
nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevoNo day shall erase you from the memory of timeFrom Virgil's Aeneid, Book IX, line 447, on the episode of Nisus and Euryalus.
nulla poena sine legeno penalty without a lawRefers to the legal principle that one cannot be punished for doing something that is not prohibited by law, and is related to Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali.
nulla quaestiothere is no question, there is no issue
nulla tenaci invia est viaFor the tenacious, no road is impassableMotto of the Dutch car builder Spyker.
nullam rem natamno thing bornThat is, "nothing". It has been theorized that this expression is the origin of Italian nulla, French rien, and Spanish and Portuguese nada, all with the same meaning.
nulli secundussecond to noneMotto of the Coldstream Guards and Nine Squadron Royal Australian Corps of Transport and the Pretoria Regiment.
nullius in verbaOn the word of no manMotto of the Royal Society.
nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenalino crime, no punishment without a previous penal lawLegal principle meaning that one cannot be penalised for doing something that is not prohibited by law; penal law cannot be enacted retroactively.
nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuitThere has been no great wisdom without an element of madness
nullum funus sine fidulaNo Funeral Without a FiddleMotto of the Guild of Funerary Violinists.
numen lumenGod our lightThe motto of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The motto of Elon University.
numerus claususclosed numberA method to limit the number of students who may study at a university.
nunc aut nunquamnow or neverMotto of the Korps Commandotroepen, Dutch elite special forces.
nunc dimittisnow you sendbeginning of the Song of Simeon, from the Gospel of Luke.
nunc est bibendumnow is the time to drinkCarpe-Diem-type phrase from the Odes of Horace, Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus (Now is the time to drink, now the time to dance footloose upon the earth).
nunc pro tuncnow for thenSomething that has retroactive effect, is effective from an earlier date.
nunc scio quid sit amornow I know what love isFrom Virgil, Eclogues VIII.
nunquam minus solus quam cum solusnever less alone than when alone
nunquam non paratusnever unprepared, ever ready, always readyfrequently used as motto


  1. Hall, A. Rupert. Unpublished Scientific Papers of Isaac Newton: A selection from the Portsmouth Collection in the University Library, Cambridge. ISBN 0521294363.
  2. "LXVI". De Natura Deorum. Cambridge University Press. 1880. External link in |work= (help)
  3. Virgil's Aeneid Translated by John Dryden (1697).
  4. The Aeneid of Virgil Translated into English by John William Mackail (1885), Book Fourth: The Love of Dido, and Her End.
  5. The Aeneid of Vergil Translated into English by E. Fairfax Taylor [1907] (1910), Book Four, LXXXV.
  6. Aeneid Translated by Theodore C. Williams (1910).
  7. Paul Hoffman (1998). The Man Who Loved Only Numbers. p. 6.
  8. Seneca the Younger. Moral Letters to Lucilius, 106. Hosted at Wikisource.
  9. The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther, p. 13. Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), 2003.
  10. "Confessio Augustana", §28. 1530. Hosted at Christian Classics Ethereal Library.


  • Adeleye, Gabriel G. (1999). Thomas J. Sienkewicz; James T. McDonough, Jr., eds. World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0865164223. 
  • Hardon, John, Fr., Modern Catholic Dictionary 
  • Stone, Jon R. (1996). Latin for the Illiterati. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415917751. 
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