Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary says "opere citato"

American Heritage Dictionary, Collins and Oxford (at Lexico.com) say "opere citato"

Merriam Webster Dictionary has an entry for "opus citatum" and says that it's abbreviated "op cit".

Wikipedia says that "Op. cit." is an abbreviation for "opus citatum", with no mention of "opere citato".

  • Yes, it does...
    – user234461
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 13:23

3 Answers 3


It depends on context, I would say. Opere citato would mean "from the cited work" or "in the cited work" in the most relevant contexts. Opus citatum would mean "the cited work", where it could be subject or object or possibly something else. Operis citati would mean "of the cited work".

If it is a Latin text, the phrase would be expected to follow ordinary Latin rules of inflexion. If you see it in e.g. an English text, it would depend on the sentence; can you replace it with "in the cited work" or "from the cited work"? Then it should stand for opere citato. Would you rather replace it with "the cited work" without a preposition, when you're making it fit in the English sentence? Then it should stand for opus citatum. This is also the base form of the word (the nominative). And "of the cited work" corresponds to operis citati.

But it's ultimately not extremely important: as long as it's abbreviated, they all look the same. And it's not often easy to tell which form would fit best.


In a footnote: Aristotle, op. cit. [opus citatum, as the base form probably fits best, but I'd say opere citato could work as well]

This is similar to a passage from chapter VII op. cit. [here operis citati would probably fit best, but a case can be made for opere citato]

The theory is mentioned in op. cit. as well [since we can't have "in in", nor "in of", a plain opus citatum would make the most sense; but I suspect some people might object to this usage altogether, with the English praeposition]

Examples can be found everywhere op. cit. [opere citato would fit best here, but this is perhaps a bit contrived]

  • I hadn't seen "operis citati" before. Is that the Latin dative case?
    – Zebrafish
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 6:59
  • @Zebrafish No, that's the genitive case. The dative would be operi citato.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 7:47
  • Can opere citato (without preposition) really mean "in" or "from the cited work"?
    – fdb
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 17:51
  • @fdb: I think so? You don't think so? I'm having some second thoughts about my answer now, though: perhaps, in English, it isn't necessary to assume any case except the base form, as your answer suggests.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 19:57
  • As an editor, I would certainly get rid of “mentioned in op. cit.” from your third example in a heartbeat. That’s pure abomination, that is. The last one would go straight onto the rubbish heap as well. I can’t think of any context where the abbreviation would be used in English where it doesn’t refer to a location (i.e., ablative). Your first example clearly says “in the cited work” to me, and I’d add a comma in the second example, which would give that the same meaning as well. Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 22:09

Both, or either!

Opus citātum and opere citātō are different inflections of the same phrase, depending how they're used in the sentence.

If something comes from the cited work, for example, that would be ab opere citātō.

If you want a reader to look at the cited work, on the other hand, that would be vidē opus citātum.

In isolation (or in this case as an abbreviation for a longer phrase), either would be correct; the distinction doesn't end up mattering.


We say “idem” (the same author, the same book) in the nom. sing., so we should also say “opus citatum” (the cited work) in the nom. sing. as well, perhaps with an implied verb like "dixit".

  • We also say ibidem (adverbial), though, which matches opere citato (perhaps with an implied scriptum est). Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 22:06

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