Is there a Latin idiom for deciding to sit back and wait instead of acting immediately? If I want to let things evolve for a little more before taking any action, I could use the phrase "let's wait and see" in English. Unfortunately I couldn't find an attested or idiomatic way of expressing this in Latin.

1 Answer 1


The verb ex(s)pecto covers this concept.

Plautus, Poenulus 12:

exsurge, praeco, fac populo audientiam;
iam dudum exspecto, si tuom officium scias:
exerce vocem, quam per vivisque et † colis.

'...For a long time now, I've been waiting to see if you know your duty'

Terence, Andria 34:

SIMO. nil istac opus est arte ad hanc rem quam paro,
sed eis quas semper in te intellexi sitas,
fide et taciturnitate. SOSIA. exspecto quid velis.

'I'm waiting to see what you want.'

Cicero, In Verrem 2.2.127:

cum suffragiis tres ex tribus generibus creati sunt, res revocatur ad sortem. perfecerat iste imperio ut pro suffragio Theomnastus, familiaris suus, in tribus illis renuntiaretur: in sorte, cui imperare non potuerat, exspectabant homines quidnam acturus esset.

'...all men were waiting to see what he intended to do.'

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.