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See more synonyms for scilicet on Thesaurus.com
  1. to wit; namely.
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Origin of scilicet

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin scīlicet, short for scīre licet it is permitted to know
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for scilicet

Historical Examples

  • Quaere Mr. Partridge of his Directio mortis, scilicet about 35 aetatis.

    Brief Lives (Vol. 1 of 2)

    John Aubrey

  • So then he percieved he was attacqued by death, scilicet, the dead palsey.

  • Videbam coram me vitem & in ea tres fundos oculos (principal buds) scilicet unde funduntur palmites.

  • Nimo scilicet eiusdem rithimi repercussio, nisi forte novum aliquid atque intentatum artis hoc sibi praeroget.


    Ezra Pound

  • July 31, 1677, I sold my bokes to Mr. Littlebury, scilicet when my impostume in my heade did breake.

British Dictionary definitions for scilicet


  1. namely; that is: used esp in explaining an obscure text or an ambiguity, or supplying a missing word
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Word Origin

Latin: shortened from scīre licet it is permitted to know
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 scilicet

late 14c., Latin, "you may know, you may be sure, it is certain," used in sense "that is to say, namely," contraction of scire licit "it is permitted to know," from scire "to know" (see science); for second element see licit. Used as was Old English hit is to witanne, literally "it is to wit" (see wit (v.)). Often abbreviated sc. or scil.

Its function is to introduce : (a) a more intelligible or definite substitute, sometimes the English, for an expression already used ... (b) a word &c. that was omitted in the original as unnecessary, but is thought to require specifying for the present audience .... [Fowler]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper