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

  • n. A locality; a place.
  • n. A center or focus of great activity or intense concentration: "the cunning exploitation of loci of power; the insulation from normal American society” ( Clifton Fadiman).
  • n. Mathematics The set or configuration of all points whose coordinates satisfy a single equation or one or more algebraic conditions.
  • n. The position that a given gene occupies on a chromosome.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A place or locality, especially a centre of activity or the scene of a crime.
  • n. The set of all points whose coordinates satisfy a given equation or condition.
  • n. A fixed position on a chromosome that may be occupied by one or more genes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A place; a locality.
  • n. The line traced by a point which varies its position according to some determinate law; the surface described by a point or line that moves according to a given law.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To stupefy with drink.
  • n. A place; spot; locality.
  • n. In anatomy, some place, specifically named by a qualifying term.
  • n. In mathematics, a curve considered as generated by a moving point, or a surface considered as generated by a moving line; the partly indeterminate position of a point subject to an equation or to two equations in analytical geometry; a curve considered as generated by its moving tangent or by a moving curve of which it is the envelop; any system of points, lines, or planes defined by general conditions, and, in general, partly indeterminate.
  • n. In optics, the figure formed by the foci of a set of pencils of converging or diverging rays; an optical image.
  • n. A place or passage in a writing; in the plural, a collection of passages, especially from the Scriptures or other ancient writings, methodically selected and arranged as bearing upon some special topic or topics of study; a catena; a book or work consisting of such a selection.
  • n. The words and figures, in the signature to a quotation or in a reference to a passage, which designate the particular place or division of the work (book, chapter, page, section, verse, line, etc.) where the passage in question occurs. The locus properly follows the title of the work or piece cited, and the title follows the name of the author.
  • n. In geometry, the place of all the points, and of only those points, which satisfy a given condition.
  • n. Something which stupefies, as liquor.

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

  • n. the specific site of a particular gene on its chromosome
  • n. the scene of any event or action (especially the place of a meeting)
  • n. the set of all points or lines that satisfy or are determined by specific conditions


(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin locus. (Wiktionary)



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  • In Latin the plural of this was either loci or loca, depending on the shade of meaning: places/seats in the theatre, posts/stations in war, spots/localities in the country, and places/ranks in society were normally loca; grounds of an argument, places/passages in an author were normally loci.

    June 15, 2009

  • April 8, 2007