Latin Words in English

Words in Newspapers That English Has Adopted

Latin words being taught
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Interested in increasing your vocabulary? Here are some English words from Latin directly or from Latin via French or Spanish. These words are thought to have come from newspaper articles from around 1923. One of the words on the list, mattoid, does not appear to be used any longer, so it is not included.

  1. acumen - ability to make good judgments
  2. agenda - list of things to be done
  3. altruism - selfless concern for others
  4. ambiguous - having a double meaning
  5. aplomb (Fr.) - self-confidence
  6. atrocity - cruel act
  7. avarice - greed
  8. bibulous - excessively fond of drinking alcohol
  9. celibate - abstaining from sex or marriage
  10. chivalrous (Fr.) - gallant
  11. condign - worthy, appropriate
  12. conglomerate - parts put together to form a unit while remaining separate identities
  13. crepuscular - pertaining to twilight
  14. cull - select from a variety of sources
  15. debilitate - weaken
  16. dirigible - capable of being guided
  17. facsimile - exact copy
  18. ferrous - made of iron
  19. flux - in the process of flowing
  20. futile - in vain
  21. garrulity - loquaciousness
  22. impecunious - poor
  23. incalculable - too great to be counted
  24. incommunicado (Sp.) - not in communication with others
  25. indefatigability - tireless
  26. insipid - lacking flavor
  27. introspection - looking within at one's mental or emotional state
  28. languid - slow, relaxed
  29. lucubration - meditation
  30. malfeasance (Fr.) - wrongdoing
  31. modicum - small amount
  1. moribund - near death
  2. mundane - wordly as opposed to spiritual
  3. naive - exhibiting lack of experience
  4. obeisance - respect
  5. obvious - clear (from the Latin for "in the way")
  6. parvenu - celebrity from obscure origins
  7. perpetuate - preserve
  8. perturb - make anxious
  9. plausible - probable
  10. precarious - uncertain
  11. puerile - childishly silly
  12. pulchritude - beauty
  13. pusillanimity - showing a lack of courage
  14. rapport - close relationship
  15. rapprochement (Fr.) - establishment of a harmonious relationship
  16. recalcitrant - obstinate
  17. renegade - a rebellious person
  18. reprisal - retaliation
  19. sacrosanct - very important or holy and not to be messed with
  20. simulacrum - image
  21. stipend - fixed allowance
  22. stultify - make appear foolish, cause to loose enthusiasm
  23. succumb - fail to resist
  24. taunt (Fr.) - provoke
  25. tentative - provisional
  26. turpitude - depravity
  27. ubiquity - found everywhere

Source: "Learn a Word Every Day" by Lillian B. Lawler. The Classical Journal, Vol. 18, No. 5. (Feb.​ 1923), pp. 299-301.