• synonyms

locum tenens

[loh-kuh m tee-nenz, ten-inz]
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noun, plural lo·cum te·nen·tes [loh-kuh m tuh-nen-teez] /ˈloʊ kəm təˈnɛn tiz/. Chiefly British.
  1. a temporary substitute, especially for a doctor or member of the clergy.
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Origin of locum tenens

First recorded in 1635–45, locum tenens is from the Medieval Latin word locum tenēns holding the place
Also called locum.
Related formslo·cum-te·nen·cy [loh-kuh m-tee-nuh n-see, -ten-uh n-] /ˌloʊ kəmˈti nən si, -ˈtɛn ən-/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for locum tenens

surrogate, backup, replacement, stand-in, vicar, alternate, deputy, expediency, proxy, stopgap, sub, supply, makeshift, resort, symbol, fill-in, delegate, temporary, relay, assistant

Examples from the Web for locum tenens

Historical Examples of locum tenens

  • A chief-of-staff is the only man to be the locum-tenens of the commander.

    Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863

    Adam Gurowski

British Dictionary definitions for locum tenens

locum tenens

noun plural locum tenentes (təˈnɛntiːz)
  1. mainly British a person who stands in temporarily for another member of the same profession, esp for a physician, chemist, or clergymanOften shortened to: locum
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Word Origin for locum tenens

C17: Medieval Latin: (someone) holding the place (of another)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for locum tenens


Medieval Latin, "one who holds the place (of another);" from locum (nominative locus; see locus) + tenens, present participle of tenere (see tenant).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper