Purposefulness or goal-orientedness.

I've seen such translations as "propositum" or "voluntas", but they seem to refer to "purpose", not to the quality of sticking to a purpose. Maybe somebody knows? Thank you!

  • Are there Latin translations of "purpose" or "purposeful" that you find appropriate for your needs? That'd be a very helpful starting point.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Aug 28, 2023 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


The quality of sticking to a purpose is probably well expressed by constantia animi or simply constantia, which Lewis & Short define as: “Firmness of character, steadfastness, immovability, constancy, self-possession.” For example, they cite the following from Cicero (De Officiis 1, 112):

Catoni cum incredibilem tribuisset natura gravitatem, eamque ipse perpetuā constantiā roborasset semperque in proposito susceptoque consilio permansisset, moriendum potius quam tyranni vultus aspiciendus fuit.
Since nature had bestowed on Cato an incredible gravity, and he himself had strengthened it with perpetual steadfastness, and had always stuck to a purpose once entered upon, he had to die rather than look the tyrant in the face.

Talk is of M. Porcius Cato, but not the Cato (the Elder), but his great-grandson Cato the Younger, who committed suicide after his position in the Civil War against Caesar became hopeless. Cicero's point is that if other commanders who opposed Caesar had killed themselves, it would perhaps have been criticized, but Cato was obliged to do so by his nature.

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