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Encyclopedia > Carpe diem
A sundial with a carpe diem inscription.
A sundial with a carpe diem inscription.

Carpe diem is a phrase from a Latin poem by Horace (See "Source" section below). It is popularly translated from the movie Dead Poets Society as "seize the day". The general definition of carpe is "pick, pluck, pluck off, gather" as in plucking or picking a rose or apple, although Horace uses the word in the sense of "enjoy, make use of, seize."[1] Carpe diem is a Latin phrase, usually translated Seize the day. ... For other uses, see Sundial (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Sundial (disambiguation). ... Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... For other people named Horace, see Horace (disambiguation). ... Dead Poets Society is an Academy Award-winning 1989 film, directed by Peter Weir. ...


Meaning of the phrase

The most common interpretation of the phrase is as an existential cautionary term with emphasis on making the most of current opportunities because life is short and time is fleeting. It is thematically related to several other expressions and phrases.

Related expressions

Evoking some of the same meaning is the expression "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die", which derives from Biblical verses (such as Isaiah, although it does not carry the same connotations in context. 22:13) , and which occurs many times in modern English-language popular culture. This article is about the Book of Isaiah. ...

The phrase collige virgo rosas ("gather, girl, the roses") appears at the end of the poem De rosis nascentibus[2] (also called Idyllium de rosis) attributed to Ausonius or Virgil. It encourages youth to enjoy life before it's too late. Decimus Magnus Ausonius (c. ... For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ...

Related but distinct is the expression memento mori ("remember that you are mortal"); indeed, memento mori is often used with some of the sense of carpe diem. However, two major elements of memento mori are humility and repentance, neither of which figures prominently in the concept of carpe diem. For other uses, see Memento mori (disambiguation). ...

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Siduri attempts to dissuade Gilgamesh in his quest for immortality, urging him to enjoy life as it is: "As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Let your clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the little child that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace; for this too is the lot of man." The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Babylonia and is among the earliest known literary works. ... Siduri is a character in the Epic of Gilgamesh. ... For other uses, see Gilgamesh (disambiguation). ...

In the Ecclesiastes (9,7-9): Ecclesiastes, Qohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ...

7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

Influence in Culture

Main article: Western canon

Horace's influence is widespread in western culture as the Greek and Roman "Classics" were part of the everyday pedagogy of Prep schools, many universities and colleges, until they gradually began to decline in emphasis and university influence during the early twentieth century, when institutions of learning had to cope with the plethora of new subjects generated by advances in industry, the sciences, and research in the humanities. Latin and Greek language instruction, which were for centuries core fundamentals universally taught, which practices fell to the wayside save for the science naming needs of science and medicine, and so to did studies in the Classics, which became the narrow specialty field now usually known as Classical studies. The Western canon is a canon of books and art (and specifically one with very loose boundaries) that has allegedly been highly influential in shaping Western culture. ... For other people named Horace, see Horace (disambiguation). ... Perennialists believe that one should teach the things that they deem to be of everlasting importance to all people everywhere. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Classics (disambiguation). ... A Mongolian Pedagogical University Graduation Award Badge. ... In the United States a preparatory school, or prep school, is usually a private secondary school (or high school) designed to prepare a student for higher education. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s The 20th century lasted from 1901 to 2000 in the Gregorian calendar (often from (1900 to 1999 in common usage). ... A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... For other uses, see Humanities (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...

In literature

  • In Darkly Dreaming Dexter the title character Dexter mistakenly translates carpe diem as meaning complain in daylight.
  • This idea was popular among 16th and 17th-century poets. French poet Pierre de Ronsard for example, who wrote Cueillez dès aujourd'hui les roses de la vie (Sonnets pour Hélène, 1578), or Robert Herrick, whose To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time begins with "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may".[3]
  • This theme is also recalled in the verses of English Victorian poet Tennyson, and in Andrew Marvell's famous To His Coy Mistress.
  • The 'O mistress mine' song sung by the clown in Act II, Scene iii of William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night has been referred to as having the spirit of carpe diem in it because of the line 'Youth's a stuff will not endure', amongst others.
  • In Shakespeare's Hamlet (act V scene ii), Hamlet observes that "There's a divinity that shapes our ends," and says a few words about how fate is inescapable. He concludes that "the readiness is all." In other words, a person should act now, or seize the moment, whether it seems favorable or not. As Horace says, we should not subject ourselves to augury.
  • Carpe diem is also used to denote the theme of Christopher Marlowe's The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.
  • Saul Bellow's novella Seize the Day deals with this idea of living for the moment vs. worrying about the future.
  • The phrase inspired the title of Terry Pratchett's 1998 book Carpe Jugulum.
  • Title of a story by Argentinian writer Abelardo Castillo in the volume "Las maquinarias de la noche" (1992).
  • Robert Frost wrote a poem entitled "Carpe Diem" considering but ultimately rejecting the idea.
  • The title of the Dean Koontz novel Seize the Night is derived from the phrase.
  • In the book "Herman Herraidersonns Big Adventure" the main characters sidekick "Action Jackson" uses Carpe Diem as his catchphrase. The word appears a total of 12 times throughout the 30 page book for children.

Pierre de Ronsard Pierre de Ronsard, commonly referred to as Ronsard (September 11, 1524 – December, 1585), was a French poet and prince of poets (as his own generation in France called him). ... Robert Herrick (baptized August 24, 1591 – October 1674) was a 17th century English poet. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Tennyson may refer to: A person: Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, poet (the best-known Tennyson) Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson, Governor of South Australia, and Governor-General of Australia, elder son of the poet Alfred Tennyson Hallam Tennyson, great grandson of the poet Alfred Tennyson Emily Tennyson, wife of... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... To His Coy Mistress is a poem written by the British author and Puritan statesman Andrew Marvell (1621 – 1678) either during or just before the Interregnum. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare. ... For other uses, see Hamlet (disambiguation). ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: The Passionate Shepherd to His Love The Passionate Shepherd to His Love is a poem written by the English poet Christopher Marlowe in the 1590s. ... Saul Bellow, born Solomon Bellows, (Lachine, Quebec, Canada, June 10, 1915 – April 5, 2005 in Brookline, Massachusetts) was an acclaimed Canadian-born American writer. ... Seize the Day may refer to: Seize the Day (novel) Seize the Day (group) Seize the Day (album), a 2003 album by Damien Dempsey Seize the Day (song) Seize the Day a song from the 1992 Disney live action film musical Newsies Carpe diem is commonly translated as seize the... Terence David John Pratchett, OBE (born 28 April 1948) is a British fantasy and science fiction author, best known for his Discworld series. ... Carpe Jugulum is a comic fantasy novel by Terry Pratchett, the twenty third in the Discworld series. ... Abelardo Castillo is an Argentine writer, born in the city of San Pedro. ... Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. ... Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania) is an American writer. ... The Moonlight Bay Trilogy will be a trilogy of three novels by Dean Koontz. ...

In movies

  • "Carpe diem! Seize the day, boys! Make your lives extraordinary!" was used in the hit movie Dead Poets Society, a film that explores the idea of carpe diem from the viewpoint of a classroom of young men at an all-boys boarding school. Starring Robin Williams - Released in 1989 [USA]
  • The phrase also appears, albeit less prominently, in a number of other movies, such as Clueless, Torque, Waiting..., Newsies, and Out Cold.
  • In the 2003 Oscar winning short film Harvie Krumpet, Harvie, struggling against a series of unfortunate events, feels compelled to change his life after encountering the words beneath a statue of Horace.
  • In the movie Roxanne, Steve Martin elaborates on the phrase.
  • One of the gang members from the movie Death Sentence has a tattoo on his neck that says Carpe Diem.

Dead Poets Society is an Academy Award-winning 1989 film, directed by Peter Weir. ... This article is about the American actor and comedian; for other people named Robin Williams, see Robin Williams (disambiguation). ... Clueless is a 1995 comedy film loosely based on Emma by Jane Austen, but set in a Beverly Hills high school. ... Torque is a 2004 action movie about underground motorcycle gangs and racers. ... Waiting. ... Newsies is a 1992 Disney live action film musical starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, and Bill Pullman. ... Out Cold is a 2001 comedy film about a group of snowboarders in Alaska. ... Harvie Krumpet is an Australian claymation, made in St Kilda, Melbourne by Adam Elliot (Melodrama Pictures). ... Roxanne is a comedy film released in 1987, starring Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah. ... For other uses, see Steve Martin (disambiguation). ... Death Sentence is a 2007 film loosely based on the 1975 novel by Brian Garfield. ...

In music

// Quo vadis is a Latin phrase meaning Where are you going? It is used as a proverbial phrase from the Bible (John 16:5). ... Mostly Autumn in concert Mostly Autumn is a British band, producing music influenced at least by progressive rock and Celtic music genres. ... The Fugs second album (1966) The Fugs was a band formed in New York City in 1965 by Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg, with Ken Weaver on drums. ... Metallica is a Grammy Award-winning American heavy metal/thrash metal band formed in 1981[1] and has become one of the most commercially successful musical acts of recent decades. ... Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Myung, John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, before they dropped out to support the band. ... Ayreon ( ) is a project by Dutch composer and musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen. ... Nebula is a psychedelic stoner rock band, formed by Eddie Glass (guitar) and Ruben Romano after departing from Fu Manchu in 1997. ... Aesop Rock (born Ian Matthias Bavitz on 1976-05-11) is an American hip hop artist. ... Authority Zero is a punk rock band from Mesa, Arizona. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Bigod 20 is a German electro-industrial band which was formed in 1989 by music producers Andreas Tomalla (aka Talla 2XLC and formerly of the band Moskwa TV) and Markus Nikolai (aka Jallokin). ... Nena (born March 24, 1960 in Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia) is a German singer who became famous with the New German Wave song 99 Luftballons (99 Red Balloons in the English version). ... Will Haven is a metal band from Sacramento, California, USA. // In 1995, Will Haven, named after a fictional, self-created character, formed and released a six-track demo. ... YeLLOW Generation is a female Jpop trio. ... Band The Nerve Agents were a unique horror themed Hardcore band from the U.S.A. formed by Timmy Stardust. ... Elena Paparizou (Greek: ; born January 31, 1982) is a Greek singer, born and raised in Sweden. ... MC Solaar is the stage name of francophone hip hop artist Claude MBarali (born March 5, 1969). ... William G. Shields (born 25 December 1979), better known as Jehst or a slew of aliases including The High Plains Drifter and Jay Star, is an English rapper. ... Album cover for Jins debut album, The Rest is History Jin Au-Yeung (Traditional Chinese: 歐陽靖; Simplified Chinese: 欧阳靖; Pinyin: ÅŒuyáng Jìng; Cantonese Yale: Au Yeung Jing), also known as Jin, Jin tha MC and The Emcee, 100 Grand Jin is a Chinese American rapper who speaks Cantonese and... Andy Timmons (born 26 July 1963) is an American guitarist who has played in the bands Danger Danger, Pawn Kings, and Andy Timmons Band (ATB). ... Metallica is a Grammy Award-winning American heavy metal/thrash metal band formed in 1981[1] and has become one of the most commercially successful musical acts of recent decades. ... Lara Fabian (born Lara Crokaert January 9, 1970 in Etterbeek, Belgium) is an international Belgian-Canadian francophone singer, known for her vocal prowess and skilled technique. ... Demons & Wizards is a power metal recording project conceived as a side-project of the metal bands Blind Guardian and Iced Earth. ... For the self-titled album, see Avenged Sevenfold (album). ... Carolyn Arends Carolyn Arends is a Christian rock musician, songwriter, and author from Canada. ... This article is about the band. ... A Change of Seasons is a 1995 EP by progressive metal band Dream Theater. ... Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Myung, John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, before they dropped out to support the band. ...


  • In Nintendo's Animal Crossing, when a Crucian Carp is Fished out of the water It reads "Carpe diem!"
  • The most famous Greek Graffiti magazine is called 'Carpe Diem'
  • On the television show South of Nowhere the character Aiden in response to buying a new motorcycle replies "carpe diem right?" which is followed by a paraphrase of the saying as he leaves school "carpe later".
  • Australian cricketer Michael Clarke has Carpe Diem tattoed on his left forearm.
  • Carpe Diem is the official motto of Montclair State University.

The DRS flag includes a smiley emoticon (symbolizing computers) and a star (symbolizing the Lone Star State of Texas) where the group was founded in 1991 The Dead Runners Society (DRS) is a worldwide online running club. ... Simpsons redirects here. ... Homer the Vigilante is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons fifth season. ... Corky James Jimbo Jones (voiced by Pamela Hayden) is a character from the TV show The Simpsons. ... For other uses, see Charm. ... Darryl tries to keep Inspector Sheridan off the Charmed Ones trail in Carpe Demon // Episode of the popular U.S. television series, Charmed Episode Number: 14 Season: 7 First Aired: February 13, 2005 on The WB Production Code: 4301148 Writer: Curtis Kheel Director: Stuart Gillard Cast: Alyssa Milano as Phoebe... For the South Korean TV series of the same name, see Angel (2007 TV series). ... List of Angel episodes Carpe Noctem is episode 4 of season 3 in the television show Angel. ... For the play by Sheridan, see The Critic (play). ... World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. ... Official SummerSlam logo as of 2007 SummerSlam is an annual professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event held in August by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). ... Paul Michael Levesque[4] (born July 27, 1969)[4] is an American professional wrestler, better known by the ring name Triple H, an abbreviation of his former Hunter Hearst Helmsley moniker. ... For the city in British Columbia, see Dawson Creek, British Columbia. ... Niklas Janssons adaptation of Michelangelos The Creation of Adam depicts the Flying Spaghetti Monster in its typical guise as a clump of tangled spaghetti with two eyestalks, two meatballs, and many noodly appendages. Logo of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on a car bumper. ... Lactose is a disaccharide found in milk. ... Garth Ennis (born January 16, 1970 in Holywood, Northern Ireland) is a Northern Irish comics writer, best known for the DC/Vertigo series Preacher, co-created with artist Steve Dillon. ... The Boys is an American creator-owned comic book series, written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Darick Robertson. ... South of Nowhere is an American television series created by Thomas W. Lynch. ...


Original usage from Odes 1.11, in Latin and English: The Odes (Latin Carmina) are a collection in four books of Latin lyric poems by Horace. ...

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi Leuconoe, don't ask — it's dangerous to know —
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios what end the gods will give me or you. Don't play with Babylonian
temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. fortune-telling either. Better just deal with whatever comes your way.
seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, Whether you'll see several more winters or whether the last one
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare Jupiter gives you is the one even now pelting the rocks on the shore with the waves
Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi of the Tyrrhenian sea — be smart, drink your wine. Scale back your long hopes
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida to a short period. While we speak, time is envious and
aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero. is running away from us. Seize the day, trusting little in the future.

This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... For other uses, see Jupiter (disambiguation). ... Tyrrhenian Sea. ...


  1. ^ see Chambers Murray or Lewis Short, Latin-English Dictionary, carpo carpere, carpsi, carptum.[1], cf. καρπός
  2. ^ De rosis nascentibus, in a collection of the works of Virgil under the note Hoc carmen scripsit poeta ignotus ("This poem was written by an unknown poet").
  3. ^ To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
  4. ^ Flyer image on FSM website

For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
-1... Time dilation is the phenomenon whereby an observer finds that anothers clock which is physically identical to their own is ticking at a slower rate as measured by their own clock. ... Gravitational time dilation is a consequence of Albert Einsteins theories of relativity and related theories which causes time to pass at different rates in regions of a different gravitational potential; the higher the local distortion of spacetime due to gravity, the slower time passes. ... Coordinate time is the interval of time independent of relativistic time dilation. ... In relativity, proper time is time measured by a single clock between events that occur at the same place as the clock. ... Space-time theories of consciousness relate the geometrical features of conscious experience, such as viewing things in space-time at a point, to the geometrical properties of the universe itself. ... // Definition and history Psychologists have investigated mental chronometry for over 100 years. ... Reaction time (RT) is the elapsed time between the presentation of a sensory stimulus and the subsequent behavioral response. ... Although the sense of time is not associated with a specific sensory system, the work of psychologists and neuroscientists indicates that our brains do have a system governing the perception of time. ... The specious present is the time duration wherein ones perceptions are considered to be in the present. ... Future studies reflects on how today’s changes (or the lack thereof) become tomorrow’s reality. ... The Long Now Foundation, established in 1996, is a private organization that seeks to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. ... In sociology and anthropology, time discipline is the general name given to social and economic rules, conventions, customs, and expectations governing the measurement of time, the social currency and awareness of time measurements, and peoples expectations concerning the observance of these customs by others. ... Time use research is a developing interdisciplinary field of study dedicated to knowing how people allocate their time during an average day. ... The time value of money is the premise that an investor prefers to receive a payment of a fixed amount of money today, rather than an equal amount in the future, all else being equal. ... This article is about the idea of space. ... A duration is an amount of time or a particular time interval. ... For other uses, see Time capsule (disambiguation). ... Time travel is a concept that has long fascinated humanity—whether it is Merlin experiencing time backwards, or religious traditions like Mohammeds trip to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven, returning before a glass knocked over had spilt its contents. ... The time signature (also known as meter signature) is a notational convention used in Western musical notation to specify how many beats are in each measure and what note value constitutes one beat. ... In computer science and computer programming, system time represents a computer systems notion of the passing of time. ... Metric time is the measure of time interval using the metric system, which defines the second as the base unit of time, and multiple and submultiple units formed with metric prefixes, such as kiloseconds and milliseconds. ... Tempus fugit on a sundial Tempus fugit is a Latin expression meaning time flees, more commonly translated as time flies. It is frequently used as an inscription on clocks. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Carpe diem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (965 words)
Carpe diem is a phrase from a Latin poem by Horace (Odes 1.11).
"Carpe diem" is used by Charlie in Lost in the episode Homecoming, when told his heroin supply was running out.
The Carpe Diem Trust is a charity aimed at helping ordinary people to 'seize the day' and achieve something extraordinary.
über Carpe Diem (461 words)
The usual designations such as "DDD" or even "4D" (referring to the numerous stages of processing to which the recording is subjected) do not apply to these Carpe Diem recordings.
The luxurious presentation of Carpe Diem CDs in the hand-made cardboard "Digipak" with the booklet in German, English and French rounds off the custom-made appearance of the series and reflects the time and trouble put into the recordings.
Thomas Görne, owner of Carpe Diem, studied communications technology and acoustics at the Technical University of Berlin.
  More results at FactBites »



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