Tempus fugit

Tempus fugit is a Latin expression meaning "time flees", more commonly translated as "time flies". It is frequently used as an inscription on clocks. The expression was first recorded in the verse "Georgics" written by Roman poet Virgil: "Sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus", which means, "But it flees in the meantime: irretrievable time flees".

The meaning is sometimes used less colloquially as: "Meanwhile, the irreplaceable time escapes", expressing concern that one's limited time is being consumed by something which may have little intrinsic substance or importance at that moment.

The well-known sinologist and linguist Sir Angus Peacock has pointed out that whilst "tempus fugit" undoubtedly has its origins in the quotation from Virgil, the first time that the two words ever appear in literature in that form is when the White Rabbit (Cuniculus Albus) in Alice in Wonderland uses the phrase.

The expression is succinct and poignant, causing it to appear in numerous ways in modern culture. It appears as titles for television episodes ("The X-Files") and musical compositions (jazz pianist Bud Powell, progressive rock group Yes). It also makes many appearances in literature and movies.

ee also

*List of Latin phrases
*Stat sua cuique dies
*it Breve et inreparabile tempus omnibus est vitae

External links

* [http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/nymphsreply.htm Ralegh's poem at an English Literature Site]


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  • Tempus fugit — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Tempus Fugit (homonymie). Téléfilms 0 9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z par date de sortie nationalité période genre type Tempus Fugit est un …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tempus fugit — en un reloj de sol. Tempus fugit es una expresión proveniente del latín con el significado «El tiempo se escapa» o «El tiempo vuela» invitando a no perderlo. La expresión aparece por primera vez en el libro III de las Geórgicas, poema escrito por …   Wikipedia Español

  • tempus fugit — [tem′pəs fyo͞o′jit] [L] time flies …   English World dictionary

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  • Tempus Fugit — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Tempus Fugit (homonymie). Sommaire 1 Signification 2 Illustrations artistiques 2.1 Synopsis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tempus Fugit — See also Tempus fugit Infobox Television episode | Title = Tempus Fugit Caption = Series = The X Files Season = 4 Episode = 17 Airdate = March 16, 1997 (Fox) Production = 4x17 Guests = Joe Spano as Mike MillarTom O Brien as Sgt. Louis FrischScott …   Wikipedia

  • tempus fugit — {{#}}{{LM T37471}}{{〓}} {{[}}tempus fugit{{]}} {{■}}(lat.){{□}} {{《}}▍ s.m.{{》}} Tópico literario que recuerda la rapidez con la que pasa el tiempo y la brevedad de la vida: • Jorge Manrique desarrolla el tópico del tempus fugit en algunas de sus …   Diccionario de uso del español actual con sinónimos y antónimos

  • tempus fugit — foreign term Etymology: Latin time flies …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tempus fugit — /tem poos fooh git/; Eng. /tem peuhs fyooh jit/, Latin. time flies. * * * …   Universalium

  • tempus fugit —  (Lat.) Time flies …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors


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