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Borrowed from Latin locus.



locus (plural loci or locuses)

  1. A place or locality, especially a centre of activity or the scene of a crime.
    The cafeteria was the locus of activity.
  2. (mathematics) The set of all points whose coordinates satisfy a given equation or condition.
    A circle is the locus of points from which the distance to the center is a given value, the radius.
  3. (genetics) A fixed position on a chromosome that may be occupied by one or more genes.
  4. (chiefly in the plural) A passage in writing, especially in a collection of ancient sacred writings arranged according to a theme.

Usage notesEdit

  • Sometimes confused with locust.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit





From Old Latin stlocus, from Proto-Italic *stlokos, from Proto-Indo-European *stel- (to put, place, locate).



locus m (genitive locī); second declension

  1. place, spot (a specific location)
    aliquem in alicuius locum substituereto put someone in place of another
  2. a passage of literature
  3. in the plural with neuter gender: a region or general geographic area


Second-declension noun (otherwise or neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative locus locī
Genitive locī locōrum
Dative locō locīs
Accusative locum locōs
Ablative locō locīs
Vocative loce locī

The inflection is irregular. For senses one and two, the declension follows the regular masculine pattern. For sense three, the plural forms become neuter in gender and form.

Derived termsEdit


  • Eastern Romance:
    • Aromanian: loc
    • Romanian: loc
  • Dalmatian:
  • Italo-Romance:
  • Sardinian:
  • Padanian:
  • Northern Gallo-Romance:
  • Southern Gallo-Romance:
  • Ibero-Romance:
  • Borrowings:


  • locus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • locus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • locus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • locus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) pleasant districts; charming surroundings: loca amoena, amoenitas locorum
    • the fixed stars: sidera certis locis infixa
    • the situation of a place: situs loci
    • the natural position of a place: natura loci
    • the advantageous situation of a place: opportunitas loci (B. G. 3. 14)
    • to be separated by an immense interval of space and time: intervallo locorum et temporum disiunctum esse
    • in many respects; in many points: multis rebus or locis
    • on every occasion; at every opportunity: quotienscunque occasio oblata est; omnibus locis
    • the whole domain of philosophy: omnes philosophiae loci
    • the points on which proofs are based; the grounds of proof: loci (τόποι) argumentorum (De Or. 2. 162)
    • the lyric portions of a tragedy: loci melici
    • (ambiguous) to reconnoitre the ground: loca, regiones, loci naturam explorare
    • a town with a strong natural position: oppidum natura loci munitum (B. G. 1. 38)
    • this is not the place to..: non est huius loci c. Inf.
    • this is not the place to..: non est hic locus, ut...
    • this passage is obscure: hic (ille) locus obscurus est
    • (ambiguous) heights, high ground: loca edita, superiora
    • (ambiguous) rough and hilly ground: loca aspera et montuosa (Planc. 9. 22)
    • (ambiguous) level country; plains: loca plana or simply plana
    • (ambiguous) uncultivated districts: loca inculta
    • (ambiguous) deserts: loca deserta (opp. frequentia)
    • (ambiguous) pleasant districts; charming surroundings: loca amoena, amoenitas locorum
    • (ambiguous) the lightning has struck somewhere: fulmen locum tetigit
    • (ambiguous) to be favourably situated: opportuno loco situm or positum esse
    • (ambiguous) distant places: loca longinqua
    • (ambiguous) to leave a place: discedere a, de, ex loco aliquo
    • (ambiguous) to leave a place: egredi loco; excedere ex loco
    • (ambiguous) to quit a place for ever: decedere loco, de, ex loco
    • (ambiguous) to collect together at one spot: in unum locum convenire, confluere
    • (ambiguous) not to stir from one's place: loco or vestigio se non movere
    • (ambiguous) to go to a place: se conferre in aliquem locum
    • (ambiguous) to go to a plac: petere locum
    • (ambiguous) to treat as one's own child: aliquem in liberorum loco habere
    • (ambiguous) my position is considerably improved; my prospects are brighter: res meae meliore loco, in meliore causa sunt
    • (ambiguous) the matter has gone so far that...; the state of affairs is such that..: res eo or in eum locum deducta est, ut...
    • (ambiguous) how are you getting on: quo loco res tuae sunt?
    • (ambiguous) to give ground for suspicion: locum dare suspicioni
    • (ambiguous) to collect, accumulate instances: multa exempla in unum (locum) colligere
    • (ambiguous) to be considered the foremost orator: primum or principem inter oratores locum obtinere
    • (ambiguous) at this point the question arises: hoc loco exsistit quaestio, quaeritur
    • (ambiguous) to be used as a proverb: proverbii locum obtinere (Tusc. 4. 16. 36)
    • (ambiguous) to quote a passage of Plato: locum Platonis afferre, proferre (not citare)
    • (ambiguous) our (not noster) author tells us at this point: scriptor hoc loco dicit
    • (ambiguous) Cicero says this somewhere: Cicero loco quodam haec dicit
    • (ambiguous) to dwell in a certain place: domicilium (sedem ac domicilium) habere in aliquo loco
    • (ambiguous) to hold the first position in the state: principem in re publica locum obtinere
    • (ambiguous) of high rank: summo loco natus
    • (ambiguous) of illustrious family: nobili, honesto, illustri loco or genere natus
    • (ambiguous) of humble, obscure origin: humili, obscuro loco natus
    • (ambiguous) from the lowest classes: infimo loco natus
    • (ambiguous) a knight by birth: equestri loco natus or ortus
    • (ambiguous) to occupy the first, second position in the state: principem (primum), secundum locum dignitatis obtinere
    • (ambiguous) to found a colony somewhere: coloniam deducere in aliquem locum (vid. sect. XII. 1, note Notice too...)
    • (ambiguous) to elect a man to fill the place of another who has died whilst in office: sufficere aliquem in alicuius locum or alicui
    • (ambiguous) to succeed a person in an office: alicui or in alicuius locum succedere
    • (ambiguous) to concentrate all the troops at one point: cogere omnes copias in unum locum
    • (ambiguous) to reconnoitre the ground: loca, regiones, loci naturam explorare
    • (ambiguous) to occupy a position (with troops): capere, occupare locum
    • (ambiguous) to occupy the high ground: occupare loca superiora
    • (ambiguous) to occupy a place beforehand: praeoccupare locum (Liv. 35. 27)
    • (ambiguous) in a favourable position: idoneo, aequo, suo (opp. iniquo) loco
    • (ambiguous) to choose suitable ground for an engagement: locum ad pugnam idoneum deligere
    • (ambiguous) to drive the enemy from his position: loco movere, depellere, deicere hostem (B. G. 7. 51)
    • (ambiguous) to abandon one's position: loco excedere
  • Dizionario Latino, Olivetti



Learned borrowing from Latin locus. Doublet of luego.


locus m (plural loci)

  1. (genetics) locus

Further readingEdit