Do you know any Latin expressions about death?
Latin is a complex but meaningful language. I've covered several Latin quotes here on Mantelligence, so I know a decent amount of Latin - enough to construct this list.
Without further ado, let's jump right into this list of Latin quotes about death!
Ultimate List of Phrases About Death (with English translation and meaning)
Here I've assembled a pretty sizable list of Latin quotes - most of them are about death or mortality. Fortunately for you, I've also included an English language translation, and I'll also cover the meanings behind these Latin proverbs for you! If you want to study Latin or are merely interested in uncovering the meanings behind these famous quotes, we've got something for you!
5 Best Latin Words and Phrases About Death
Latin sayings for the dead are chock full of meaning and symbolism. I've compiled together a short list of some of the best expressions that everyone should know. Hopefully, you'll learn a useful Latin phrase or two through this list.
1. Memento mori. (Remember that you will die.)
Memento mori means "Remember that you will die." It's a famous Latin quote that talks about mortality and the inevitability of death. It's most commonly used as a warning: a reminder that no matter what we do, we are all equal in that we will die.
2. Animam agere. (To have one's last breath.)
This is the Latin equivalent of "to breathe your last" or to perish. By saying this, you recognize that you will one day breathe your last breath - that you will one day die. It's a poignant phrase that instills a rightful fear of the end in us.
3. Omnes una manet nox. (One night is awaiting us all.)
No matter what we do in life, the same thing awaits us. The night the quote talks about is, naturally, death, the great equalizer. No matter who we are or what we do, the same thing will await us at the end of our lives. The quote is usually used when talking about futility.
4. Mors mihi lucrum. (Death to me is the reward.)
Death is generally something people don't consider good for them. It usually means the end of everything. But to some, they may consider it a release from earthly burdens - that's why the phrase mors mihi lucrum was created. To some, death can be a final release from pain and suffering.
5. Respice finem. (Consider the end.)
In many religions, there is a belief in judgment and the afterlife. They say that the afterlife changes for the person who is entering it - the person is judged for everything they were at the time of their death, and they enter a stage of the afterlife depending on how good or evil they were. This quote talks about a person's actions until now, and until the moment of their death - what were they in the face of the end?
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4 Mottos About Death In Latin Language That Are Cool To Know
Want to know a cool Latin phrase?
We've got plenty to state your curiosity.
These cool Latin sayings for the dead are perfect to quote during an intellectual conversation: After all, what can be cooler than knowing Latin?
6. Mors Vincit Omnia. (Death conquers all.)
You see this quite often on tombstones. It means "Death conquers all." Naturally, it talks about how nothing can stand in the face of death; it is inevitable and unavoidable. Use it when someone's trying to do something that's beyond them; death will put a stop to any foolish plans.
7. Abyssus abyssum invocat. (Hell calls Hell.)
This quote is found in the Bible: it means "the deep calls deep." It refers to the vicious cycle of evil - evil creates more evil, creating even more evil. Use this when someone is trying to do something bad with the intention of preventing more bad things from happening: it won't do anything but create even more tragedy.
8. Omnia mors aequat. (Death makes all things equal.)
Like many examples above, it's another quote about how death is the great equalizer. No matter who you are in life, you are judged equally by the scythe of death. No one is seen as more or less important by the hand of death.
9. Mors tua, vita mea. (Your death, my life.)
To live life, you must take life. This saying is known as the law of the jungle: nothing that lives can live without something dying for their sake. This is most easily expressed when talking about food: the food had to die so that you could gain nourishment from it.
4 Latin Expressions About War and Death That Are Easy To Memorize
War and death are closely related to each other.
Since the dawn of history, war has taken many, many lives.
So, I've prepared some easily remembered expressions about the cycle of death and war. If you don't know how to pronounce these, it's okay: as long as you know what you're talking about, it'll come through. Here are some Latin expressions about war for you to try out!
10. Malo mori quam foedari. (Death rather than dishonor.)
There isn't a great number of people who would choose death over anything else. However, dishonor could be considered worse than death for the loyal and patriotic soldiers of times gone past. This expression is fitting for those faithful martyrs who died upholding their cause.
11. Mortem occumbere pro partia. (Death for your country.)
Mortem is Latin for death, and you'll see a lot of its variants here in this list. This quote again talks about people who fought for their country: they died in service to their country and its people. In a war where death is unavoidable, they died to protect and serve their country.
12. Morituri te salutant. (Those who are about to die salute you.)
If you are about to do something great, those in the afterlife will salute you. This also applies to when you are about to die doing something great - the martyrs who came before you congratulate you for your service. In places with a belief system of the afterlife, this phrase means that people are watching you, even from beyond the grave.
13. Bella detesta matribus. (Wars, the horrors of mothers.)
Wars are often fought by men. But the men were born from mothers and must kill other people born from other mothers. In war, where lives are being taken left and right, there are often many mothers who grieve the loss of their sons and children. So, this phrase describes that grim reality.
5 Famous and Common Latin Death Words You May Have Encountered In Your Life
You might have encountered these famous Latin sayings at least once in your life.
Do you know the meaning behind them? Here, I've listed some of the most common and most famous (or infamous) of them all. Try and see if you've encountered them before!
14. Consummatum est. (It is completed.)
Jesus Christ spoke this famous quote in the Bible just before his death on the cross. Knowing that his death would be needed for his later resurrection, he spoke these meaningful words. This quote would later live in many editions of the New Testament in the Bible. When you die, will you have completed everything you wanted?
15. Non mortem timemus, sed cogitationem mortis. (We do not fear death, but the thought of death.)
Sometimes, the mere thought of death is scarier than the actual thing. There is nothing left to feel when you die - no pain, no suffering, no regrets. However, when a person thinks about death, they think about those very same things, things that would normally no longer apply to them. So, this phrase was born out of that irony.
16. Carpe diem. (Seize the day.)
Or, in other words, live life to the fullest. Your life will end someday, so live for the present and live your life to the best you can. It's a hopeful message that communicates both life's transience and its preciousness. Seize the day, brave warriors.
17. Post mortem. (After death.)
Used commonly in forensics, post-mortem means "after death." However, rather than being about the spiritual afterlife, it more commonly talks about the state of being a corpse that comes after death. It's a more grounded, realistic take on what comes after death.
18. Requiescat in pace. (Let him rest in peace.)
Death is the cessation of all there is, including one's duties, responsibilities, and regrets. To symbolize that, we say to others who have passed, "rest in peace." In regions where there is a belief in the afterlife, many people believe that life after death is peaceful, free of the darkness of real life. This phrase is an affirmation of that belief.
5 Badass Latin Death Quotes To Impress Your Friends
Latin death quotes don't always have to be grim or dark - some of them can be badass.
There's nothing quite like sending your opponent off to the next life while reciting a cool Latin one-liner. So, here are some badass Latin sayings for you.
19. But Neca but necare. (Either kill ,or be killed.)
It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and nothing expresses that sentiment better than the classic "Kill or be killed." Try saying this badass quote to them next time you defeat your opponent in a game!
20. Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo. (If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell.)
Now this one is unbelievably cool to say. If you can't move Heaven, then raise Hell. It's a badass promise to make your opponents - even if you can't move Heaven, you'll just make some hell instead. Perfect to say to your opponents before a fight.
21. Vivamus, moriendum est. (Let us live, since we must die.)
If you know you're going to die eventually, then you've got to have some fighting words to say before you do. And these are some big fighting words. Boost your team's morale whenever you say this to them: even if you're going to all perish one day, today, you'll live the best you can!
22. Aeternum vale. (Farewell, forever.)
Sending off fallen foes isn't just a way to give respect for the dead - sometimes, you've got to send them a few fighting words, too. Next time you dispatch a foe in a game, try saying this to them: they'll respawn feeling quite defeated.
23. Mortui vivos docent. (The dead teach the living.)
You can learn a lot from the mistakes of the dead. It teaches you about what not to do to survive. So, when someone is off to do something foolish, try telling them this: that they should learn from who came before them. It'll teach them not to follow in the footsteps of the deceased.
4 Latin Terms and Expressions about Life and Death
On the opposite spectrum of death, there are plenty of Latin statements about life as well.
These phrases teach us about the preciousness, the beauty, and the majesty of life, while also being symbolic about life's end - death. Try learning these beautiful Latin expressions about life, and gain a newfound appreciation for it.
24. Inis vitae sed non amoris. (The end of life, but not of love.)
They say that love lasts forever. Some even say that it endures after death. So, when you say this poignant phrase, remember that even if someone dies, their love for others won't disappear with them. They'll take it to the afterlife and beyond.
25. Abiit nemine salutato. (He went away without bidding anyone farewell.)
Everyone dies. Some, earlier than others. This phrase is about a person who has an early date with the Reaper, saying that this isn't a goodbye - he will meet everyone else later on. Death, to some, is only a temporary separation.
26. Nascent morimur. (From the moment we are born, we begin to die.)
When we are born, we are also slated to die at some point. With every year you live on this earth, you get closer and closer to dying. This phrase talks about mortality and the universal truth that people will all die someday. That's why we have to treasure the short time we have on this earth.
27. Hodie mihi, cras tibi. (Today, it's me, tomorrow it will be you.)
We all die someday. This phrase is a bit less of a statement and more of an affirmation: Today, it might be me who dies, and tomorrow, it will be you. This phrase teaches us that life is fleeting: that's why we have to treasure it as if it were really tomorrow that is the date of our death.
Downloadable and Printable List of Latin Sayings About Death
Here is a downloadable and printable jpg/pdf list of latin mottos about death (right-click the image and select Save Image As..):
Why You Should Learn Latin Expressions and Sayings
Now that I've covered plenty of quotes and sayings in Latin about life and death, you might be wondering why you should bother with learning them. You might also be wondering why you should learn Latin sayings about life and death specifically. Well, there are plenty of reasons.
1. Knowing Latin can improve your foreign language vocabulary.
If you're looking to learn a new language, it's a good idea to learn some Latin. Latin is the basis for many words in not just the English language but in others as well - by learning Latin, you are learning about plenty of other languages at the same time. It can give you a headstart in learning words and phrases from other languages and even help you learn English better.
2. Legal documents contain Latin terms.
It's not just in the legal world that Latin terms are aplenty: many scientific words are also written in Latin for good measure. So, by learning a few Latin expressions ahead of time, you are preparing yourself to encounter more of these in the future. Next time you get into legal trouble or need to finish that science lesson, you'll thank yourself that you learned enough Latin to figure out the meanings of things by context.
3. It will give you knowledge about Roman history and literature.
If you love Roman history and literature specifically, then Latin is an important part of the process of learning all about it. From being able to read specialized terms to reading books on the subject, Latin is an essential step you need to take to begin understanding everything about it.
How To Speak and Sound Latin Like Julius Caesar
Latin grammar is all about learning a root word and making a derivative of said word to fit in sentences. So, to learn how to speak Latin properly, you should know the basic pronunciations of common root words and then derive other words from them as needed. In this list, in particular, the word "mortem" has been derived from many many other words: by knowing the pronunciation, you know how to speak all the other versions of the same Latin term.
Frequently Asked Questions
I've covered plenty of phrases in this list by now, and it's probably enough to keep you going for quite a while. Still, Latin is an incredibly complex language. You must have some more questions about Latin itself, and thankfully, I've got some answers for you.
How did Latin become a dead language?
To be completely accurate, Latin isn't dead: it has simply transformed over the years, making its way into many modern languages. However, when we speak about Classical Latin, it fell out of use due to the passage of time. Now, many languages contain Latin words that have been repurposed, and the grammar rules for these languages differ from Classical Latin. So, while Classical Latin is indeed dead, the use of Latin itself has simply made its way into other languages.
Is it impressive to know quotes, sayings, or expressions in another language?
If you consider yourself an intellectual, you have nothing to lose in learning other languages. Learning some common phrases in different languages can really enhance any topic of conversation, and it can impress everyone that you're so knowledgeable about a wide variety of things. It can also help you talk to others who share the same passion for learning!
Why is Latin a famous language around the world?
Even after falling out of use in these modern times, Latin was still the common language of science and academia for many countries well into the 18th century. Education during those times wasn't easily accessible, as many people had to learn Latin to access higher realms of learning. So, it's famous precisely because it was completely necessary in those times!
What makes Latin sayings interesting to learn?
Latin words all have their meanings, of course, but the phrases are very symbolic and have deep, hidden meanings. Even a statement that seems matter-of-fact can have a huge number of deep meanings to it. That's why it's so interesting to learn - even a small number of words can mean so much more when you think about it.
More Awesome Quotes to Inspire You
Hopefully, you now know about a plethora of Latin expressions about death by now. If you're interested in other famous quotes or sayings, we have plenty of choices for you to choose from!
- Are you interested in the words of history's famous Vikings? Here are some Viking quotes and phrases for your enjoyment!
- Looking to be inspired? We have some common inspirational sayings that can get you started!
- Finally, would you like to learn some quotes about strength and being strong?
Latin expressions about death can not only teach you about death but the fragility and preciousness of life as well. Even short phrases like the ones in the list contain deep hidden meanings. Through these Latin sayings, I hope you've learned plenty about the delicate balance of life and death and what that means for you.