Cultural Dictionary

Latin definition

The language of ancient Rome. When Rome became an empire, the language spread throughout southern and western Europe.

Note: The modern Romance languages — French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and a few others — are all derived from Latin.
Note: During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Latin was the universal language of learning. Even in modern English, many scholarly, technical, and legal terms, such as per se and habeas corpus, retain their Latin form.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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