Pharmaceutical Latin. Abbreviations.

 Compiled by Ivor Hughes


Although Latin is no longer official, its usage was universal within the medical and pharmaceutical establishments. A general overview of the more common terms will assist when working with older texts.


A.C. : ante cibum, before food.
A.H. : alternis horis, every other hour.
A.J. : ante jentaculum, before breakfast.
A.M. : ante meridiem, before noon.
A.P. : ante prandium, before dinner.
Aa. : ana, of each.
Abd. : abdomen, the belly.
Abs. febr. : absente febri, fever being absent.
Ad alv. excitand. : ad alvum excitandam, to stimulate the bowels.
Ad defec, anim. : ad defectionem animi, to fainting.
Ad deliq. anim. : ad deliquium animi, to fainting.
Ad 2 vic. : ad duas vices, for two times (twice)
Ad 3 vic. : ad tres vices, for three times (thrice).
Ad gr. acid. : ad gratam aciditatem, to an agreeable acidity.
Ad lib. : ad libitum, at pleasure.
Ad neutral. : ad neutralisandum, to neutralisation.
Ad nuc. mosch. m. : ad nucis moschata' magnitudinem, a piece the size of a nutmeg.
Ad recid. praec. : ad recidivum praecavendum, to prevent a relapse.
Ad sat. : ad saturandum, to saturation.
addendus, a, um, to be added.
addendo, by adding (gerund with Accusative).
admove, apply thou;
admoveatur, let it be applied.
admoveantur, let them be applied.
Ads. febr. : adstante febri, while fever is present.
Adv. : adversus or adversum; against.
�g. : aeger, aegra, the patient.
Aggr. febr. : aggrediente febri, while fever is coming on.
Alt. : altera (pars), the remainder; alternus, a, um, alternate.
Altern. d. : alterno die, 1 every other day.
Altern. hor. : alterna hora, or alternis horis, l every other hour.
Altern. qq. hor. : alterna quaqua hora            .
Alv. adstrict. : alvo adstricta, the bowels being confined.
Alv. laxat. : alvo laxata, the bowels being relaxed.
Amp. : amplus, a, um, full, large, also ampulla, ampoule, flask or bottle
Aper. : aperiens, an aperient.
Applic. : applicandus, a, um, to be applied.
Applectr. : applicetur, applicentur, let it, let them, be applied.
Aq. : aqua, water.
Aq. ad- : Aquam ad - (governed by Recipe).
Aq. bull. : aqua bulliens (entis), boiling water.
Aq. calid. : aqua calida, hot water.
Aq. comm. : aqua communis, common or plainwater.
Aq. dest. : aqua destillata, distilled water.
Aq. ferv. : aqua fervens (entis), warm or hot water.
Aq. flue. : aqua fluvialis, river water.
Aq. font. : aqua fontana; or aqua fontis, spring water.
Aq. gel. : aqua gelida, cold water.
Aq, mar. : aqua marina, sea-water.
Ay. pluv. : aqua pluvialis, rain water.
Aq. pur. : aqua pura, pure water [filtered, not distilled].
Aquae ad : quantum sufficiat : water, a sufficiency.
Arg. : Argentum, silver.
Aur. : Aurum, ,gold;
Auris, the ear.
Ad. aur. : ad aurem. to the ear. P. aur. : pone aurem, behind the ear.

Back to the top

B. : bis, twice.
B.M. : balneum Mariae, water-bath; b. maris, sea-water bath.
B.P. or B.Ph., British Pharmacopoeia.
B.P.C. : British Pharmaceutical Codex.
B.T. : balneum tepidum, a tepid bath.
B.V. : balneum vaporis, a vapour bath.
Bats. : balsamum, balsam.
BB. or BBDS. : Barbadensis, Barbados.
Bib. : bibe, drink.
Bid. : biduum, two days.
Brach. : brachium, the arm.
Brev. : brevis, short.
Bull. : bulliens, boiling.
But. : butyrum, butter.

Back to the top

C. : congius, a gallon. 
C. : centum, 100.        
C. : cum, with.
C. aq. : cyathus aqua:, a glass of water.
C.c. : cubic centimetre, millilitre.
Cgr. Cgrm. : Centigramma, a centigramme.
C. 1. q. s. : cuilibet quantum sufficat, as You please, a sufficient quantity.
C.M. : cras mane, to-morrow morning;
C.M.S. : cras mane sumendus, a, um, to be taken to-morrow morning.
C.N. : cras nocte, to-morrow night.
C.V. : cras vespere, to-morrow evening.
C. vin. : cyathus vinosus or vinarius, a wine-glass.
Calid. : calidus, a, um, warm.
Cap. : capiat, let him take, or capsula, a capsule,
Capr. : capiatur, let it be taken.
Capiantur, let them be taken.
Cib. : cibus, food.
Circ. : circa, around; or circiter, about.
Cml. : centimil.
Co. or comp. : compositus, a, um, compound.
Coch. : cochleare, spoonful [from cochlea, a snail's shell].
Coch. amp. : cochleare amplum, a tablespoonful.
Coch. mag. : cochleare magnum, a tablespoon
Coch. med. : cochleare medium, a dessertspoonful.
Coch. mod. : cochleare modicum, a dessertsponful
Coch. min. : cochleare minimum, a teaspoonful.
Coch. parv. : cochleare parvum, a teaspoonful
Cochleat. : cochleatim, by spoonfuls.
Col; cola, strain thou;
Colatus, a, um, strained.
Colaturas, a, um, about to strain; i.e., sufficient to strain.
Col. colatura,  the strained portion.
Coletur, let it be strained;
Colentur, let them he strained.
Col. colocynthis, colocynth.
Collut. : collutorium, a mouth-wash.
Collyr. : collyrium, an eye-lotion.
Cone. : concisus, sliced, or concentratus, concentrated.
Conf. : confectio, a confection.
Cong. : congius, a gallon.
Conserv. : conserva, a conserve.
Conserva, keep thou.
Cont. : contusus, a, um, bruised.        
Contrit. : contritus, pounded.
Cont. rem. vel, med. : continuentur remedia, vel medicamenta, !et the remedies be continued.
Coq. : coque, boil thou,
Coq. ad. med. consumpt.: coque ad medietatis consumptionem, boil down to half.
Coq. in S.A. : coque in sufficiente aquae, boil in a sufficient quantity of water.
Coq. s. a. : coque secundum artem, boil according to art.
Cort. : cortex, icis, bark.
CM. : cras mane, to morrow morning.
C.N. : cras nocte, to-morrow night.
Crast. : crastinus, for to-morrow.
Cryst. : crystallus, a crystal.
Cuj. : cujus, of which.
Cujusl. : cujuslibet, of any Cyath. : cyathus, glass.
Cyath. vinos. : cyathus vinosus, wine-glass.

Back to the top

D.: dosis, dose; die, dies, a day.
D .d. : de die, daily.
D. in dup. : detur in duplo, let twice as much be given.
D. in p. x. : divide in partes aequales, divide into equal parts.
D.P. : directione propria, with a proper direction.
D.P.C. : dosi pedetentim crescente, the dose gradually increasing.
D. S. :  da, signa, give and sign.
Detur, signetur, let it be given and signed.
D. secund., tert., etc. : diebus secundis, tertiis, etc., every second, third day, etc.
D. seq.: die sequente, on the following day.
D, spiss. : debita spissitudine, with a proper consistence.
D. t. d. : dentur tales doses, let such doses be given.
D, d. in d. : dc die in diem, L  daily, or from day to day. De d. : de die,
Deaur. pil : deaurentur pilulae, let the pills be gilt.
Dec. : decoctum, a decoction.
Decub. : decubitus, lying down.
Deglut. : deglutiatur, let it be swallowed.
Dej, alv. : dejectiones alvi, motions.
Dent. ad scat. : dentur ad scatulam, let them be put in a box.
Dest. : destillatus, a, um, distilled.
Det. : detur, let it be given.
Dext. lat. : dextro lateri, to the right side.
Dicb, altern. : dicbus alternis, every other day.
Dil. : dilutus, a, um, diluted.
Diluc. : diluculo, at break of day.
Dim. : dimidium, the half; dimidius, a, um, half.
Div. : divide, divide.
Dml. : decimil.
Donec alv. bene respond. : donec alvus bene responderit, until the bowels have been well opened.
Donec alv. bis dej. : donec alvus bis dejecerit, until the bowels have acted twice.
Doncc alv. solut, fuer. : donec alvus soluta fuerit, until the bowels have acted.
Donec dol. exulav. : donec dolor exulaverit, until the pain is relieved.
Dos. : dosis, a dose,
Dr. : drachma, a drachm.
Dulc. : dulcis, c, sweet.
Dup. : duplex, double.
Dur. : durus, a, um, hard.

Back to the top

E.g. : exempli gratia, for instance.
E gel vit. : e gelatina vituli, in calf's foot jelly.
E paul. aq. : e paulo aquae, in a little water.
E quol. vehic, idon. : e quolibet vehiculo idoneo, in any suitable vehicle.
Ead. : eadem, the same.
Ed. :  edulcoratus, a, um, purified.
Ejusd. : ejusdem, of the same.
Elect. : electuarium, an electuary.
Elect. :  electus, a, um, picked, select, choice.
Emet. : emeticum, an emetic.
Emp. : emplastrum, a plaster.
Emp. lytt. : emplastrum lyttx, a blister.
Enem. : enema, n., an enema.
Esur. : esuriens, fasting, i.e., before food.
Evac. : evacuatio, a motion.
Ex aq. : ex aqua, in water.
Ex paul. : ex paulo [correctly, E paulo], in a little.
Exhib. : exhibeatur, let it be exhibited.
Exprim. : exprime, express.
Ext. : extractum, an extract.
Ext. sup. alut. moll. : extende super alutam mollem, spread it on soft leather.
Extemp. : ex tempore, extemporary, on the spur of the moment.
Estempl. : extemplo, immediately.
Extend. : extende, spread.

Back to the top

F., Ft. ; fiat, fiant, let it (them) be made.
F. L. A. : fiat lege artis, let it be made according to rule.
F. M or ft. mist. : fiat mistura, let a mixture be made.
F. S. A. : fiat secundum artem, let it be made according to art.
Feb. dur. : febri durunte, during the fever.
Fem. intern. : femoribus internis, to the inner part of the thighs.
Filtr. filtra, filter; filtrum, a filter.
Fl. : fluidus, liquid.
Flav. : flavus, a, um, yellow.
Fol. : Folium, a leaf.
Fort. : fortis, e, strong.
Frigid. : frigidus, a, um, cold.
Frust. : frustum, a little bit; frustillatim, little by little.
Ft. haust. : fiat haustus, let a drought be made.
Ft. pil. : fiat pilula, or fiant pilulae, let a pil, or pills, be made.


Gall. : Gallicus, French. Garg. : gargarisma, a gargle.
Gel. quav. : gelatina quavis, in any kind of jelly.
Gr. : granum, a grain.
Grad. : gradatim, by degrees. 
Grm. Gm.: gratnma, a grant.   Fr. gramme.
Grms. : grammata, grams.
Gtt. : guttae, drops; guttat. : guttatim, by drops.
Guttur. appl. : gutturi applicandus, a, um, to be applied to the throat.

Back to the top

H. : hora, at the hour of.
H. d. : h. s. : hora decubitus; hora somni, at bedtime.
H. f. : hujus formae, of this shape (emplast.).
Hab. : habeat, let him have (or take).
Habr. : habeantur, let them be taken.
Har. pil. iij. s. : harum pilulae tres sumantur, let three of these pills be taken
Hebdom. : hebdomada, for a week.
Hor, interm. : horis intermediis, in the intermediate hours.
Hor. un. spat. : horae unius spatio, at the expiration of one hour.
Hora decubitus, at bedtime.
Hst. : haustus, a draught.
Ht. t. d. d. s. : haustus ter de die sumendus, the draught to be taken three times a day.

Back to the top

Id. : idem, the same,
Impet. efferv. : impetu effervescentiae, during effervescence.
Imprans. : impransus, a, um, fasting.
In d. : in dies, from day to day.
In decoct. hord. : in decocto hordei, in barley water.
In fol. arg. vol. : in folio argenti volvendas, rolled in silver leaf.
In p. aeq. : in partes aequales, into equal parts.
In pulm. : in pulmento, in gruel.
Incis. : incisus, a, um, cut, sliced.
Inf. : in fusum, an infusion.
Infric.: infricetur, let it be rubbed in. 'linfricandus, a, um, to be rubbed in.
Infund. : infunde, pour in.
Infus. : infusa, infuse.
Inj. : injectio, an injection.
Inj. enem. : injiciatur enema, let an enema be administered.
Inj. hyp. : injectio hypodermica, an hypodermic injection.
Insip. : insipidus, a, um, tasteless.
Insp. : inspissare, to thicken.
Int. : inter, between.
Intim. : intime, intimately.
Involv. : involvere, to roll in.

Back to the top

Jentac. : jentaculum, breakfast.
Jul. : julepus, ,julepum, or julapium, a julep.
Jusc. : jusculum, broth.
Jusc. aven. : jusculum avenaceum, gruel.


L. : lac, tis, milk.
Lat. dol. : lateri dolcnti, to the affected side.
Lb. lib. : libra, a pound.
Lig. : lignum, wood.
Lin. p. a. infr. : linimentum parti affectre infricandum, the liniment to be rubbed on the affected part.
Liq. : liquor, a solution.
Lot. : lotio, a lotion.
Luc. p. : luce prima, early in the morning, dawn

Back to the top

M : mane, in the morning.
M. : minimum, a minim.
M. misce. mix (bene), well; thoroughly. 
M. d. : more dicto, as directed.
M. D. S. : misce, da, signa, mix, give, and sign,
M. D. U.  : more dicto utendus, to be used as directed.
M. et. v. : mane et vespere, morning and evening.
M. ft. mist. : misce, fiat mistura, mix, and let a mixture be made.
M. p. : mane primo, early in the morning; or, mica panis, a crumb of bread; or, massa pilularum, a pill mass.
M. q. dx. : mitte quantitatem duplicem, send double quantity.
M. S. : more solito, in the usual manner.
Man. : manipulus, a handful.
Mass. : massa, a pill mass,
Mgm. Mgrm. : milligramma, a milligramme.
Mic. pan. : mica panis, a crumb of bread.
Mil. millilitre (cubic centimetre).
Min. : minimum, a minim.
Mist. : mistura, a mixture.
Mitt, : mitte, send.
Mittr. : mittatur, mittantur, let it (let them) be sent.
Mittr. in phial. : mittantur in phialam. let them be put into a phial.
Mod, or j dict. : modo dicto,   as prescribed.
Moll. : mollis, soft.
Mr. : mistura, a mixture.

Back to the top

N. : nocte, at night.
N. M. : nocte maneque, night and morning; or, nux moschata, the nutmeg.
Neb. : nebula, a spray.
Nig. : niger, ra, rum, black.
Nim. : nimis, too much.
No. : numero, in number.
Nocte. : nocte, at night.
Nov. : novus, a, um, new.

Back to the top

O. : octarius, a pint.
O. alt. hor. : omnibus alternis horis, every other hour.
O. M. omni mane, every morning; or, oleum morrhuae, cod-liver oil.
O. N. : omni nocte, every niqht.
Ol. : oleum, oil.
Omn. bid. : omni bidou, every two days.
Op. : ope, by means of, alcoholis, spirit; luti, luting.
Ope penicilli : with a Camel-hair pencil.
Opt. : optimus, best.
Ov. : ovum, an egg.
Ov. vitell. sol. : ovi vitello solutum, dissolved, i.e., suspended, in yolk of egg.
Oz. uncia, an ounce (avoirdupois).

Back to the top

P. : pondere, by weight.
P. a. a. : parti affectae applicandus, a, um, to be applied to the affected part.
P. AE. : partes aequales, equal parts.
P. B. or Ph. B. : Pharmacopoeia Britannica.
P. C: per centum, per cent.
P. d. :  per deliquium, by deliquescence, or pro dosi, for a dose.
P. M. : post meridiem, afternoon;
Primo mane, early in the morning.
Pp. : partes, parts.
P. p, a. : phiala prius agitata, the bottle having been previously shaken.
P. R. N. : pro re nata, occasionally.
Part. affect. : parti affectae,  to the affected part.
Part. vic. : partitis vicibus, in divided doses.
Parv. : parvus, a, um, small.
Past. : pasta, a paste: pastillus, a pastille.
Ped. : pedetentim, gradually.
Per bid., trid. : per biduum, triduum, for a period of two or three days.
Peract. op. emet. : peracta operatione emetic (or, emetica), when the operation of the emetic is finished.
Pess. : pessus, a pessarv.
Ph., Pharmacopoeia.
Ph. B. Pharmacopoea Britannica
Ph. D. : Dublinensis (Dublin).
Ph. E. : Edinburgensis, Edinensis (Edinburgh).
Ph. G. or Germ. : Pharmacopoea Germanica (German).
Ph. Gall. : Pharmacopoea Gallica. (French)
Ph. Helv. : Pharmacopaea Helvetica (Swiss).
Ph. L. : Londinensis (London).          
Ph. U.S. : (United States). Phial : phiala, a phial.
Pig. : pigmentum, a paint. Poc. : poculum, a cup.
Pond. : ponderosus, a, um, heavy.
Post jentac. : post jentaculum, after breakfast.
Post prand. : post prandium, after dinner.
Post qq. evac. : post quamque evacuationem, after each motion.
Post sing, sed. liq. : post singulas sedes liquidas, after each liquid motion.
Ppt. : praeparatus, a, um, prepared.
Pro pot. s. : pro potu sumendus, a, um, to be taken as a drink.
Pro. rat. wt. : pro ratione aetatis, according to age.
Prox. luc. : proxima luce, on the next day.
Pulv. : pulvis, a powder.
Pulv, hum. : pulvinar humuli, a hop pillow.
PV. : parvus, a, um, small.

Back to the top

Q. d. : quater die, four times a day.
Q. dx. : quantitas duplex a double quantity.
Q. 1. : quantum libet,  as much as you please.
Q. p. : quantum placet,
Qq. : quaque, every.
Q. q. h. : 4ta qq. hor. : quarta quaque horn, every fourth hour.
Q. S. : quantum sufficiat; quantitas sufficiens; quantum satis, sufficient.
Q, v. : quantum volueris, as much as you please.
Q. v. : quod vide, which see.
Quant, fab. : quantitas fabae, a piece the size of a bean.
Quant. nuc. : quantitas nucis, a piece the size of a nut.
Quant, nuc. avell. : quantitas nucis avellanae, a piece the size of a filbert.
Quant. nuc. jugl. : quantitas nucis juglandis, a piece the size of a walnut
Quart. : quartus, a, um, the fourth.
Quat. : quater, four times.
Quot. mane. : quolibet mane, any morning.

Back to the top

Rx. : recipe, take.
R. in pulv. : redactus in pulverem, reduced to powder.
Rad. : radix, a root.
Ras. : rasurae shavings.
Rect.  rectificatus, a, um, rectified.
Redig. in pulv. : redigatur in pulverem, let it be reduced to powder.
Rep. Repet. : repetat, let him repeat.

Back to the top

S. : sumat, let the patient take, or, sine, without.
S. : sumendus, a, um, to be taken.
S.A. : secundum artem, according to art, i.e., with pharmaceutical skill.
S.d. : sic dictus. a, um, so called.
S.G. : or  Sp. Gr., specific gravity.
S.O.S. : si opus sit, if there is need; if occasion require; if necessary.
S.s. : semisse, from semis, semissis, the half.
S.S.S. : stratum super stratum, layer upon layer.
S.V.R. : spiritus vini rectificatus, rectified spirit.
S.V.T. : spiritus vini tenuior, proof spirit.
Sanguisug. vj. : sanguisugae sex, six leeches.
Scat. : scatula, a box.
Semidr. : semidrachma, half a drachm.
Semih. : sermihora, half an hour.
Seq. luc. v sequenti luce, the following day.
Serv. : serva, keep.
Sesquih. : sesquihora, an hour and a half.
Sesunc. : sesuncia, apt ounce and a half.
Si vir. perm. : si vires permittant, if the strength permit.
Sig. : signa, signetur, signentur, sign, let it be signed.
Sing. : singulorum, of each.
Sing. auror : singulis aurosis, every morning.
Sing. hor. quad. : singulis horae quadrantibus, every quarter of an hour.
Solv. : solve, dissolve; also solvellae, soluble tablets.
St. : stet, stent, let it stand.
Stat.: statim, immediately.
Stat. eff. : statu effervescentiae, whilst effervescing.
Sub fin. coct. : sub finem coctionis, when sufficiently boiled down.
Suff. : sufficiens, sufficient.
Sum. : sumat, let the Patient take.
Sum. tal. : sumat talem, tales, let the patient take one (or more) such.
Sumend. : sumendus, a, um, to be taken.
Sumr. : sumatur, sumantur, let it be taken.
Supp. : suppositorium, a suppository.
Syr. : syrupus, syrup.

Back to the top

T. ter, thrice.
T. d. d. : ter de die, thrice a day.
T. d. s. : ter die sumendus, a, um, to be taken three times a day.
T. i. d. : ter m die, three times a day.
Tab. : tabletta, or tabella, a tablet.
Temp. dext. : tempori dextro, to the right temple.
Ter. sim. : tere simul, rub together.
Tr. : tinctura, a tincture.
Trit. : tritura, triturate.
Troch. : trochisci, lozenges.
Tuss. : tussis, a cough.
Tuss. urg : tussi urgente, if the cough is troublesome


U.S.P. : Pharmacopoeia of the United States.
Ult. praecrip : ultimo praescriptus, a, um, etc., the last ordered.
Ung. : unguentum, an ointment.
Ut dict. : ut dictum, as directed.

Back to the top

V. : vespere, in the evening.
V.O.S. : vitello ovi solutus, a, um, dissolved, i.e., suspended, in yolk of egg.
Vit. : vitellus, the yolk.
Vs. : venaesectio, bleeding.