In English, we can talk about people or things as being at a certain level or rank. For example, in gaming systems, you might have a character or ability that is level 10, or level 20, etc.

What would be the best way to express this in Latin? My first thoughts are ordo, locus, or gradus. The first two seem more applicable for the person themselves, while gradus seems a better choice for things rather than people.

2 Answers 2


In the Middle Ages, it was fairly common to use gradus to refer to distinct levels of rank within organizations, such as the church. You can consult a medieval lexicon such as DMLBS for more references. I'll just give one:

Aldhelmus Schireburnensis (639 – 709), De virginitate (709):

sicque per septenos Ecclesiae gradus paulatim proficiens ad summum pontificatus apicem feliciter perveniret.

And thus progressing one-by-one through the seven ranks of the church, he successfully arrived at the apex, the papacy.

  • 1
    If you want a non-Eccl. reference, you can add Gradus ad Parnassum.
    – cmw
    Apr 8, 2022 at 17:55
  • 1
    Possibly of note, the modern usage of ‘degree’ as an indication of academic qualification derives from this usage, as does the usage of the term ‘degree’ in Freemasonry. Apr 9, 2022 at 12:11

Another option would be numerus. according to definition B.II of L&S:

number, rank, place, position, estimation, relation, class, category. (cf.: “nomen, locus, in loco, in vicem):

In numero [+genitive] habri: to be (considered) of a certain class. But this word is probably better fit to distinguished between classes, rather than a continuum level of the individual of some skill.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.