from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person, especially a physician or cleric, who substitutes temporarily for another.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A professional person (such as a doctor or clergyman) who temporarily fulfills the duties of another.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A substitute or deputy; one filling an office for a time.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who holds the place of another; a deputy or temporary substitute.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone (physician or clergyman) who substitutes temporarily for another member of the same profession


Medieval Latin locum tenēns : Latin locum, accusative of locus, place + Latin tenēns, present participle of tenēre, to hold.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Existing in English since the seventeenth century: from Medieval Latin locum tenens, “one holding a place”. (Wiktionary)


  • Indeed he built almost an entire new quarter in that town; it was therefore, to say the least, hard and mortifying when, after twenty-five years of administration the "Concilium locum tenens regium" asked him if there was any priest in his diocese in possession of two benefices or offices, as in that case it was the emperor's pleasure (Joseph II) that one of them should be given up.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mass Music-Newman


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