genius loci

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From Latin genius(lar) + locī(of (a) place), genitive singular form of locus(place”, “location) = “(guardian) spirit of a place”.


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈɡenius ˈlokiː/
  • (US) enPR: gĕʹnĭo͝os' lōʹki, jēʹniəs lōʹkī, jēʹniəs lōʹsī, IPA(key): /ˈɡɛnɪˌʊs ˈloʊki/, /ˈd͡ʒiniəs ˈloʊkaɪ/, /ˈd͡ʒiniəs ˈloʊsaɪ/


genius loci ‎(plural genii loci or genii locorum)

  1. The spirit or one of the spirits presiding over or guarding a particular place, such as a glade or pool.
  2. The geist, distinctive atmosphere, or characteristic spirit of a place, especially when regarded as an artistic muse.


Usage notes[edit]

  • The c in loci is usually hard (pronounced k), retaining pronunciatory similarity with locorum and with the related noun locus.
  • The plural form genii loci is used for multiple spirits of a single place, whereas genii locorum refers to multiple spirits of multiple places; the rare related singular noun genius locorum refers to a single spirit having presidency or guardianship over multiple places.