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From Proto-Italic *ad, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂éd (near, at). Cognates include English at.


  • (Classical) IPA(key)/ad/[äd̪]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key)/ad/[äd̪]


ad (+ accusative)

  1. (direction) toward, to
  2. up to (indicating direction upwards)
  3. near, by, close by, at, to (indicating location) q
  4. against, on, upon (indicating position)
  5. at, about, around, on, in (indicating a point in time)
  6. until, to, up to, till (indicating the extent of time)
  7. for, to, toward (indicating purpose or aim)

    Ad maiōrem Deī glōriam.

    For the greater glory of God.
  8. in order to, to, for (indicating means)

    Ad vim atque ad arma confugere.

    To resort to violence and to fighting.
  9. in comparison with, in comparison to, in relation to
  10. according to (indicating conformity)
  11. in consequence of
  12. against, at (indicating movement ‘toward’ but in a hostile manner)
  13. among, amongst (indicating the sharing of a characteristic)

Usage notes

  • The word ad is an antithesis to ab (just as in is to ex; in a progressive order of relation, ad denotes, first, the direction toward an object; then the reaching of or attaining to it; and finally, the being at or near it.)
  • Often used of geographical position of a place in reference to the points of compass, with the verbs iaceō (lie, be situated)vergō (incline, slope)spectō (observe, see) etc.:
    Asia iacet ad meridiem et austrum, Europa ad septentriones et aquilonem.

    Asia lies near the prime meridian and the south, Europe near the northern regions and northern wind. (There are two words for north.)
    Ad Atticam vergente.

    Inclining to Attic.
  • When appended to the beginning of a word, ad often becomes ap- when followed by ‘p’, as in appretiō, from pretium. Adpretiō is also found.
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