How would you translate “dark project” into Latin, as in a secret project? I know tenebris means dark, but I’m having trouble finding the word for “project.”

1 Answer 1


I would suggest opus arcanum meaning "secret task/secret work."

Some abridged definitions from Lewis & Short:


A. In gen., work, labor (cf.: “labor, ars, opera); B. Esp. 1. Work, art, workmanship 2. Of agricultural labor 4. Of literary labor II. Transf., a work that has been done or made.

Arcanum (neuter to match the gender of opus):

II. Hidden, concealed, secret, private (class., although very rare in Cic.) — “Esp., in the lang. of religion, of things sacred and incommunicable; “and of secret, mysterious usages: sacra,”; B. Spec., a sacred secret, a mystery

  • 2
    That has a nice ring to it! Mar 17, 2017 at 2:03
  • @SimpliciterChristianus Well, obscurus was already taken! I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with for project, though.
    – cmw
    Mar 17, 2017 at 2:11
  • I think your answer is perfect, and opus would certainly be a synonym of our English “project.” :) The only other one I would offer is (based on your adjective arcanus) conatus, as in conatus arcanus. But yours certainly has a better ring to it. I like that adjective, arcanus. Mar 17, 2017 at 2:35
  • 1
    @SimpliciterChristianus I wouldn't delete your answer though! The more the merrier, and you say things that I don't.
    – cmw
    Mar 17, 2017 at 2:47
  • @SimpliciterChristianus While Weimer's answer is good, yours is good, too. What yours has is an explanation of how the most obvious word, proiectus, probably did not have the desired meaning in classical Latin. I think it could be very helpful to (future) readers; it's such a pity that you deleted it!
    – Cerberus
    Mar 17, 2017 at 3:14

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.