I am wondering how to translate the noun “logician” into Latin.

Smith & Hall suggests “dialecticus” but I had in mind the modern discipline as a formal science, not the argumentation exercise of Antiquity. So using the root “logic” is probably a better idea.

From there, there are two possibilities,

  • “logicista” (from Entick's Latin-English dictionary),
  • “logicus” (used several times in the Latin version of Wikipedia).

Which one is of better Latinity? Please also feel free to suggest another root if at any point in my research I have missed something.

  • Your title said logista but the text said logicista. I took the liberty to conform the title to the text. Feel free to edit if I got it the wrong way around!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Jul 15, 2022 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


I'd go with logicus.

First, I fully agree with you that starting from logic- is the best option by far. Language is used for the purpose of communication, and using a word that looks similar to those used in other languages certainly helps communicate what the profession is.

Second, there is good precedent in classical Latin to use words like logicus for similar professions. For example, Cicero mentions in De oratore (1.44) at least mathematici, grammatici, and musici.

That the word logicus does not seem to appear in classical literature is not sufficient grounds to dismiss it. It is a very natural latinization of the Greek adjective λογικός and it is indeed used in later eras. Ancient Romans had no term for the profession, but if they needed one, logicus would have been a likely choice.

The suffix -ista appears to be rare to the extent that a corpus search gives zero hits for relevant words containing -cista-. I would dismiss logicista or logista as worse style.

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