in the year of the Lord; since Christ was born:
Charlemagne was born in a.d. 742.
Origin: < Latin annō Dominī.
Because anno Domini means “in the year of the Lord,” its abbreviation a.d. was originally placed before rather than after a date: The Roman conquest of Britain began in a.d. 43 (or began a.d. 43). In edited writing, it is still usually placed before the date. But, by analogy with the position of b.c. “before Christ,” which always appears after a date (Caesar was assassinated in 44 b.c.), a.d. is also frequently found after the date in all types of writing, including historical works: The Roman emperor Claudius I lived from 10 b.c. to 54 a.d. Despite its literal meaning, a.d. is also used to designate centuries, being placed after the specified century: the second century a.d.