List of Latin phrases (D)

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"Deo Gratias" redirects here. For the computer game, see List of video games by Cryo Interactive.

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 D. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.


Latin Translation Notes
Da Deus fortunae God give happiness or God give luck Traditional Czech brewer's greeting
Da mihi factum, dabo tibi ius Give me the fact(s), I'll give you the law also: Da mihi facta, dabo tibi ius; legal principle based on Roman law; parties should present the facts of a case while the judge rules on the law. Related to iura novit curia (the court knows the law).
damnant quod non intellegunt They condemn what they do not understand Paraphrase of Quintilianus, from De Institutione Oratoria, Book X, chapter I, 26:
  • Modesto tamen et circumspecto iudicio de tantis viris pronuntiandum est, ne, quod plerisque accidit, damnent quae non intellegunt.
    • Yet students must pronounce with diffidence and circumspection on the merits of such illustrious characters, lest, as is the case with many, they condemn what they do not understand. (Translation by Rev. John Selby Watson)
damnatio ad bestias condemnation to [the] beasts Colloquially "thrown to the lions"
damnatio memoriae damnation of memory Roman custom which pretended that disgraced Romans (particularly former emperors) never existed
damnum absque injuria damage without injury A loss that results from no one's wrongdoing. In Roman law, a man is not responsible for unintended, consequential injury to another resulting from a lawful act. This protection does not necessarily apply to unintended damage by negligence or folly.
dat deus incrementum or
deus dat incrementum
God gives growth Motto of several schools
data venia "with due respect" or "given the excuse" Used before disagreeing with someone
datum perficiemus munus We shall accomplish the mission assigned Motto of Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE), Rio de Janeiro
de bene esse as well done A de bene esse deposition is used to preserve the testimony of a witness who is expected not to be available to appear at trial and be cross-examined.
de bonis asportatis carrying goods away Trespass de bonis asportatis was the traditional name for larceny (wrongful taking of chattels).
decessit sine prole died without issue Used in genealogical records, often in the abbreviated form dsp, to indicate a person who died without having had any children
decessit sine prole legitima died without legitimate issue Used in genealogical records, often in the abbreviated form dspl, to indicate a person who died without having had any children by a spouse
decessit sine prole mascula superstite died without surviving male issue Used in genealogical records, often in the abbreviated form dspm, to indicate a person who died without having had any male children who lived or outlived them
decessit sine prole superstite died without surviving issue Used in genealogical records, often in the abbreviated form dsps, to indicate a person who died without having had any children who lived or outlived them
decessit vita matris died in the lifetime of the mother Used in genealogical records, often in the abbreviated form dvm, to indicate a person who predeceased their mother
decessit vita patris died in the lifetime of the father Used in genealogical records, often in the abbreviated form dvp, to indicate a person who predeceased their father
decus et tutamen An ornament and a safeguard Inscription on British one-pound coins. Originally on 17th-century coins, it refers to the inscribed edge as a protection against the clipping of precious metal. The phrase originally comes from Virgil's Aeneid.
de dato of the date Used in the context of "as we agreed in the meeting d.d. 26th Mai 2006"
de facto by deed Said of something that is the actual state of affairs, in contrast to something's legal or official standing, which is described as de jure. De facto refers to the "way things really are" rather than what is "officially" presented as the fact.
De Praescientia Dei From/through the Foreknowledge of God Motto of the Worshipful Company of Barbers
defendit numerus There is safety in numbers
de fideli with faithfulness A clerk makes the declaration De fideli when appointed, promising to do his or her tasks faithfully as a servant of the court.
de fideli administratione of faithful administration Describing an oath taken to faithfully administer the duties of a job or office, like that taken by a court reporter[1]
defunctus vivente patre ("dvp") died with his father (still) living. See also vivente rege[2] Used by genealogists to denote a son who has pre-deceased his father and not lived long enough to inherit his father's title or estate. See also sine prole.
de futuro regarding the future Usually used in the context of "at a future time"
de gustibus non est disputandum of tastes there is nothing to be disputed Less literally "there's no accounting for taste". The complete phrase is "de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum" meaning "when we talk about tastes and colours there is nothing to be disputed" because they're up to a subjective point of view: everyone has his own and no one deserve any preminence. Likely of Scholastic origin (see Wiktionary).
Dei Gratia Regina By the Grace of God, Queen Also Dei Gratia Rex (By the Grace of God, King). Abbreviated as D G REG preceding Fidei Defensor (F D) on British pounds, and as D G Regina on Canadian coins.
de integro again, a second time
de jure by law "Official", in contrast with de facto. Analogous to "in principle", whereas de facto is to "in practice". In other contexts, can mean "according to law", "by right" or "legally". Also commonly written de iure, the classical form.
de lege ferenda from law to be passed
de lege lata "from law passed" or "by law in force"
de minimis non curat lex The law does not bother with the smallest things. The court does not want to bother with small, trivial things. A case must have importance for the court to hear it. See "de minimis non curat praetor".
de minimis non curat praetor The commander does not bother with the smallest things. Also "The chief magistrate does not concern himself with trifles." Trivial matters are no concern of a high official (cf. aquila non capit muscas, the eagle does not catch flies). Sometimes rex (the king) or lex (the law) is used in place of praetor, and de minimis is a legal term referring to things unworthy of the law's attention.
de mortuis aut bene aut nihil about the dead, either well or nothing Less literally, "speak well of the dead or not at all" (cf. de mortuis nil nisi bonum)
de mortuis nil nisi bonum about the dead, nothing unless a good thing From de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est, "nothing must be said about the dead except the good", attributed by Diogenes Laërtius to Chilon. In legal contexts, this quotation is used with the opposite meaning, as defaming a deceased person is not a crime. In other contexts, it refers to taboos against criticizing the recently deceased.
de nobis fabula narratur about us is the story told Thus, "their story is our story". Originally referred to the end of Rome's dominance. Now often used when comparing any current situation to a past story or historical event.
de novo from the new "Anew" or "afresh". In law, a trial de novo is a retrial. In biology, de novo means newly synthesized, and a de novo mutation is a mutation that neither parent possessed or transmitted. In economics, de novo refers to newly founded companies, and de novo banks are state banks that have been in operation for five years or less.
de omni re scibili et quibusdam aliis about every knowable thing, and even certain other things The 15th-century Italian scholar Giovanni Pico della Mirandola wrote the De omni re scibili portion (about every knowable thing), and a wag added et quibusdam aliis (and even certain other things).
de omnibus dubitandum be suspicious of everything, doubt everything Attributed to René Descartes. Karl Marx's favorite motto and a title of one of Søren Kierkegaard's works De Omnibus Dubitandum Est
de oppresso liber Free From Having Been Oppressed Loosely translated as "To Liberate the Oppressed". The motto of the United States Army Special Forces.[3]
de profundis from the depths Out of the depths of misery or dejection. From the Latin translation of Psalm 130.
de re about the matter In logic, de dicto statements (about the truth of a proposition) are distinguished from de re statements (about the properties of a thing itself).
Dei sub numine viget under God's Spirit she flourishes Motto of Princeton University.
delectatio morosa peevish delight In Catholic theology, a pleasure taken in sinful thought or imagination, such as brooding on sexual images. It is distinct from actual sexual desire, and involves voluntary and complacent erotic fantasizing, without any attempt to suppress such thoughts.
delegata potestas non potest delegari no delegated powers can be further delegated .
delirant isti Romani They are mad, those Romans! A translation into Latin from René Goscinny's French ils sont fous, ces romains! or Italian Sono pazzi questi Romani (compare SPQR), frequently issued by Obelix in the Asterix comics.
Deo ac veritati For God and for truth Motto of Colgate University.
Deo Confidimus In God we trust Motto of Somerset College.
Deo domuique for God and for home Motto of Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne.
Deo et patriae for God and Country Motto of Regis High School (New York City).
Deo gratias thanks [be] to God The semi-Hispanicized form Deogracias is a Philippine first name.
Deo juvante with God's help The motto of Monaco and its monarch which appears on the royal arms.
Deo non Fortuna by God, not by luck Motto of the Epsom College in Surrey
Deo Optimo Maximo (DOM) To the Best and Greatest God Derived from the Pagan Iupiter Optimo Maximo (To the best and greatest Jupiter). Printed on bottles of Bénédictine liqueur.
Deo Patriae Litteris For God, Country, and Learning Motto of Scotch College (Melbourne)
Deo volente God willing This was often used in conjunction with a signature at the end of letters. It was used in order to signify that "God willing" this letter will get to you safely, "God willing" the contents of this letter come true. As an abbreviation (simply "D.V.") it is often found in personal letters (in English) of the early 1900s, employed to generally and piously qualify a given statement about a future planned action, that it will be carried out, so long as God wills (see James 4:13-15, which encourages this way of speaking). The motto of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. See also: Insha'Allah.
descensus in cuniculi cavum The descent into the cave of the rabbit Down the Rabbit Hole (see: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland#Famous lines and expressions).
desiderantes meliorem patriam they desired a better land From Hebrews 11:16; the phrase was adopted as the motto of the Order of Canada.
Deus caritas est God is Love The first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI; for other meanings, see Deus caritas est (disambiguation)
deus ex machina a god from a machine From the Greek ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός (apò mēchanēs theós). A contrived or artificial solution, usually to a literary plot. Refers to the practice in Greek drama of lowering by crane (the mechanê) an actor playing a god or goddess onto the stage to resolve an insuperable conflict in the plot. The device is most commonly associated with Euripides.
Deus Lux Mea Est God is my Light The motto of The Catholic University of America.
Deus meumque jus God and my right The principal motto of Scottish Rite Freemasonry; see also Dieu et mon droit.
Deus nobis haec otia fecit God has given us these days of leisure Motto of the city of Liverpool.
deus otiosus God at leisure
Deus spes nostra God is our hope The motto of Sir Thomas de Boteler, founder of Boteler Grammar School Warrington in 1526
Deus vult God wills it! The principal slogan of the Crusades. Motto of Bergen Catholic High School, NJ
dictatum erat (dict) as previously stated Recent academic substitution for the spacious and inconvenient "As previously stated, ...". Literally, has been stated; also translated as "dicta prius" (literally, said previously).
dicto simpliciter [From] a maxim, simply I.e. "From a rule without exception." Short for a dicto simpliciter, the a often being dropped by confusion with the English indefinite article. A dicto simpliciter occurs when an acceptable exception is ignored or eliminated. For instance, the appropriateness of using opiates is dependent on the presence of extreme pain. To justify the recreational use of opiates by referring to a cancer patient or to justify arresting said cancer patient by comparing him to the recreational user would be a dicto simpliciter.
dictum factum what is said is done Motto of U.S. Navy Fighter Squadron VF-194
dictum meum pactum my word [is] my bond Motto of the London Stock Exchange
diem perdidi I have lost the day From the Roman Emperor Titus. Passed down in Suetonius's biography of him in Lives of the Twelve Caesars
Dies Irae Day of Wrath Refers to the Judgment Day in Christian eschatology. The name of a famous 13th-century Medieval Latin hymn by Tommaso da Celano, used in the Mass for the dead.
dies non juridicum Day without judiciary Days under common law (traditionally Sunday) in which no legal process can be served and any judgment is void. This concept was first codified by the English Parliament in the reign of Charles II.
dirigo I direct In Classical Latin, "I arrange". State motto of Maine. Based on a comparison of the state of Maine to the star Polaris.
dis aliter visum it seemed otherwise to the gods In other words, the gods have ideas different to those of mortals, and so events do not always play out as people wish them to. Virgil, Aeneid, 2:428. cf: "Man proposes and God disposes."
dis manibus sacrum (D.M.S.) Sacred to the ghost-gods Refers to the Manes, Roman spirits of the dead. Loosely "To the memory of". A conventional inscription preceding the name of the deceased on pagan grave markings, often shortened to dis manibus (D.M.), "for the ghost-gods". Preceded in some earlier monuments by hic situs est (H. S. E.), "he lies here".
disce aut discede Learn or Depart Motto of Royal College, Colombo
disce quasi semper victurus vive quasi cras moriturus Learn as if always going to live; live as if tomorrow going to die. Attributed to St Edmund of Abingdon
discendo discimus while teaching we learn
discere faciendo learn by doing Motto of California Polytechnic State University
disiecta membra scattered limbs That is, "scattered remains". Paraphrased from Horace, Satires, I, 4, 62, where it was written "disiecti membra poetae" (limbs of a scattered poet). Also written as disjecta membra.
ditat Deus God enriches State motto of Arizona, adopted in 1911. Probably derived from the Vulgate's translation of Genesis 14:23.
divide et impera divide and rule A Roman maxim adopted by Julius Caesar, Louis XI and Machiavelli. Commonly rendered "divide and conquer".
dixi I have spoken A popular eloquent expression, usually used in the end of a speech. The implied meaning is: "I have said all that I had to say and thus the argument is settled".
["...", ...] dixit ["...", ...] said Used to attribute a statement or opinion to its author, rather than the speaker.
do ut des I give that you may give Often said or written for sacrifices, when one "gives" and expects something back from the gods.
docendo discitur It is learned by teaching Also translated "One learns by teaching." Attributed to Seneca the Younger.
docendo disco, scribendo cogito I learn by teaching, think by writing.
dolus specialis special intent "The ... concept is particular to a few civil law systems and cannot sweepingly be equated with the notions of 'special' or 'specific intent' in common law systems. Of course, the same might equally be said of the concept of 'specific intent', a notion used in the common law almost exclusively within the context of the defense of voluntary intoxication."—Genocide scholar William Schabas[4]
Domine dirige nos Lord guide us Motto of the City of London
Dominica in albis [depositis] Sunday in [Setting Aside the] White Garments Latin name of the Octave of Easter.
Dominus Illuminatio Mea the Lord is my light Motto of the University of Oxford.
Dominus fortitudo nostra The Lord is our Strength Motto of the Southland College, Philippines
Dominus pastor The Lord is our Shepherd Motto of the St. John's College, Harare, Zimbabwe
Dominus vobiscum Lord be with you Phrase used during and at the end of Catholic sermons, and a general greeting form among and towards members of Catholic organizations, such as priests and nuns. See also pax vobiscum.
dona nobis pacem give us peace Often set to music, either by itself or as part of the Agnus Dei prayer of the Mass. Also an ending in the video game Haunting Ground.
donatio mortis causa giving in expectation of death A legal concept where a person in imminent mortal danger need not meet the requisite consideration to create or modify a will.
draco dormiens nunquam titillandus a sleeping dragon is never to be tickled Motto of the fictional Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter series; translated more loosely in the books as "never tickle a sleeping dragon".
dramatis personæ the parts of the play More literally, "the masks of the drama"; more figuratively, "cast of characters". The characters represented in a dramatic work.
duae tabulae rasae in quibus nihil scriptum est Two blank slates with nothing written upon them Stan Laurel, inscription for the fanclub logo of The Sons of the Desert.
ducimus We lead Motto of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Ducit amor patriae Love of country leads me Motto of the 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment
ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt The fates lead the willing and drag the unwilling Attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
ductus exemplo leadership by example Motto for the United States Marine Corps' Officer Candidates School located at Marine Corps Base Quantico; Quantico, Virginia.
dulce bellum inexpertis war is sweet to the inexperienced War may seem pleasant to those who have never been involved in it, though the more experienced know better. A phrase from Erasmus in the 16th century.
Dulce est desipere in loco It is sweet on occasion to play the fool. It is pleasant to relax once in a while. From Horace, Odes IV, 12, 28. Used by George Knapton for Sir Bourchier Wrey, 6th Baronet 1744 portrait.
dulce et decorum est pro patria mori It is sweet and honorable to die for the fatherland. From Horace, Odes III, 2, 13. Used by Wilfred Owen for the title of a poem about World War I, Dulce et Decorum est.
dulce et utile a sweet and useful thing Horace wrote in his Ars Poetica that poetry must be dulce et utile (pleasant and profitable), both enjoyable and instructive.
dulce periculum danger is sweet Horace, Odes III, 25, 16. Motto of the Scottish clan MacAulay.
dulcius ex asperis sweeter after difficulties Motto of the Scottish clan Fergusson.[5]
dum cresco spero I hope when I grow Motto of The Ravensbourne School.
dum Roma deliberat Saguntum perit while Rome debates, Saguntum is in danger Used when someone has been asked for urgent help, but responds with no immediate action. Similar to Hannibal ante portas, but referring to a less personal danger.
dum spiro spero while I breathe, I hope State motto of South Carolina. From Cicero.
dum vita est, spes est while there is life, there is hope
dum vivimus servimus While we live, we serve motto of Presbyterian College.
dum vivimus, vivamus While we live, let us live! An encouragement to embrace life. Motto inscribed on the sword of the main character in the novel Glory Road.
dura lex sed lex [the] law [is] harsh, but [it is the] law
dura mater tough mother outer covering of the brain
durante bene placito During good pleasure At the pleasure [of the monarch or other appointing authority]. Mediaeval legal Latin phrase.
durante munere while in office For example, the Governor General of Canada is durante munere the Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order of Canada.
dux bellorum war leader
Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom Motto of the University of Aberdeen.


  1. ^ "Glossary – Help". Judiciary of Scotland. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Ablative of present participle vivens + pater
  3. ^ "Unit History for Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller – Medal of Honor Recipient". 
  4. ^ Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea: An Investigation into the Treatment of Mens Rea in the Quest to Hold Individuals Accountable for Genocide Mens Rea: The Mental Element quoting and citing William A. Schabas, "The Jelisic Case and the Mens Rea of the Crime of Genocide," Leiden Journal of International Law 14 (2001): 129.
  5. ^ Clan Fergus(s)on Society Retrieved on 14 December 2007