sine qua non

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Wikipedia has an article on:

Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin sine qua non (without which [cause] not).


  • (Classical Latin) IPA(key): /ˈ kwaː noːn/[1]
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsaɪni kwɑ ˈnɒn/, /ˈsaɪni kweɪ ˈnɒn/, /ˈsɪneɪ kwɑ ˈnɒn/, /ˈsɪneɪ kweɪ ˈnɒn/


sine qua non (plural sine qua nons or sine quibus non)

  1. An essential or indispensable element, condition, or ingredient.
    • 1702, G[iles] D[uncombe], Tryals per Pais: or, the Law of England Concerning Juries by Nisi Prius, &c. Newly Revised, and much Enlarged, with an Addition of Precedents, and Forms of Challenges, Demurrers upon Evidence, Bills of Exception, Pleas Puis le Darrein Continuance, &c. The Fourth Edition with Large Additions. To which is now Added, a farther Treatise of Evidence. Together with a New and Exact Table to the whole Matter. Very Useful and Necessary for all Lawyers, Attornies and other Practisers, especially at the Assises, 4th edition, London: Printed by the Assigns of Rich. and Edw. Atknis [sic: Atkins], Esquires, for J. Walthoe in Middle-Temple Cloysters, OCLC 642325194, page 30:
      [A] Venire facias is the foundation and Cauſa ſine qua non, of a Jury (I mean in Civil Causes; for in Criminals, as upon Indictments, the Justices of Gaol-Delivery, give a general Command to Sheriff, to cauſe the Country to come against their coming, and take the Pannels of the Sheriff, without any Proceſs directed to him; yet Proceſs may be made againſt the Jury, though it is not much uſed. [])
    • 2000, A. Przeworski, M. Alvarez, J. Cheibub, F. Limongi, Democracy and Development (Cambridge University Press), page 34:
      [] whereas some degree of political freedom is a sine qua non condition for contestation, democracy cannot be sufficiently defined in terms of "liberties" []




  1. ^ sine qua non” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–.



sine qua non (plural sine qua non, comparable)

  1. (of a prerequisite) indispensable