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From Latin nunc.



  1. now
    Synonym: ora



From num +‎ -ce, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *nu (now), see also Scots noo (now), Saterland Frisian nu (now), West Frisian no (now), Dutch nu, nou (now), German nu, nun (now), Swedish nu (now), Icelandic (now), Latin num (even now, whether), Albanian ni (now), Lithuanian (now), Avestan 𐬥𐬏(, now), Sanskrit नु (nu, now), Greek νυν (nyn, now).


(Classical) IPA(key): /nunk/, [nʊŋk]

  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /nunk/, [nuŋk]
  • (file)


nunc (not comparable)

  1. now, at present, at this time, at this very moment
    Synonym: iam
    • 63 B.C.E., Cicero, Catiline Orations (Latin text and English translations here)
      Quam diu quisquam erit qui te defendere audeat, vives, et vives ita ut nunc vivis, multis meis et firmis praesidiis obsessus ne commovere te contra rem publicam possis. Multorum te etiam oculi et aures non sentientem, sicut adhuc fecerunt, speculabuntur atque custodient.
      As long as one person exists who can dare to defend you, yet shall live; but you shall live as you do now, surrounded by my many and trusty guards, so that you shall not be able to stir one finger against the republic: many eyes and ears shall still observe and watch you, as they have hitherto done, though you shall not perceive them.
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Fasti 5.93-94:
      ‘hic, ubi nunc Rōma est, orbis caput, arbor et herbae
      et paucae pecudēs et casa rāra fuit.’
      ‘‘Here, where now is Rome – the capital of the world! – there were trees and grass, and a few flocks, and here and there a hut.’’
      (The muse Calliope describes the scene as the early Roman ancestor Evander of Pallantium arrives in Italy.)
    • Ave Maria — Hail Mary
      ...nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae., and in the hour of our death.

Usage notes[edit]

"Nunc" always means the literal present or "now"; the other use of "now" is usually translated "iam".

Derived terms[edit]


  • nunc”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • nunc”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • nunc in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • our contemporaries; men of our time: homines qui nunc sunt (opp. qui tunc fuerunt)
    • the question now is..: nunc id quaeritur, agitur
    • the question at issue: res, de qua nunc quaerimus, quaeritur