How can we say “take control” in Latin?

"Take control" like a motto that implies taking control of the situation, yourself, your life etc.

Google translate gives UT IMPERIUM

I've also seen a CARPE IMPERIUM

1 Answer 1


There are a number of Latin nouns that mean control, each one meaning a slightly different form of control. 'imperium' usually pertains to control of an empire, kingdom or army, I believe.

I would venture 'moderatio', referring to moderation and self-control, or 'dicio', meaning authority/power over something else.

'carpere' means 'to take', as in, to pluck or to seize.

So perhaps,

carpe dicionem

'carpe' is singular imperative, which works fine for addressing yourself. Were it a slogan that you wished to use with a group of people the plural imperative would be needed:

carpite dicionem

I hope this helps! I am sure more experienced Latinists will be along shortly to offer their suggestions.

  • 1
    Very instructive. Thank you so much!
    – user10034
    Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 15:47
  • 2
    @user10034 Please allow time for more answers. Carpe primarily means to pluck, as a fruit or a flower. It has many extended senses, but the famous line Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero means, in clumsy but clear English, "Enjoy the day (like a berry), trusting (gullibly) to the next day as little as possible." The whole poem advises sweet pleasures over future concerns. Maybe not the tone you want.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 21:12
  • @BenKovitz A good point! Perhaps 'capere' would be a more suitable choice; this has connotations of forceful taking if I am not mistaken. So maybe "cape dicionem"? Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 6:55
  • Yes, to me cape sounds more in the spirit. I also wonder if the Latin mind might have a wholly different metaphor for this than speaking of control as an object that you can take (as excellent a metaphor as that is). Maybe there is even a proverbial expression for it. I'm thinking especially that since the main idea is action, Latin would express the main idea in a verb, making it stand out pretty forcefully, e.g. Dūce, nōn dūcere.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 17:21
  • What do you think of "Imperare Sibi" from "Imperare sibi maximum imperium est" (To rule yourself is the ultimate form of power), the quote by Seneca? Commented Aug 22, 2021 at 15:33

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