Inter Alia

The phrase inter alia is a term commonly used in legal writing to mean “among other things.” It may be used, for instance, in referring to a court decision, to indicate that there were other rulings made by the court, but only a specific part is being cited. To explore this concept, consider the following inter alia definition.

Definition of Inter Alia


in-ter ah-li-ah


  1. – among other things


1665    Latin

The Use of Latin in Legal Writing

Ancient Rome is considered to be the father of many languages spoken on Earth today, as is their system of law. The English language is full of words, phrases, and idioms that have their roots in the Latin language, though they have certainly evolved over the centuries. British colonists of the United States brought their system of law, and the Latin terms, with them.

Modern times find law professors and legal professionals alike replacing Latin, which is incomprehensible to most laypeople, with plain English in their writings. This began in creating contracts and agreements, as these are meant to be read and understood by laypeople, who are the parties to the agreements. Gradually, legal professionals have largely left the Latin behind. It is, however, still taught to most law students, as law schools teach 19th and 20th century case law, which is filled with Latin terms.

How is Inter Alia Used

When using Latin phrases in English writing, they are usually inserted where another common English phrase might be used, though they are commonly italicized. The phrase inter alia is used in sentences in place of the phrase “among other things,” to indicate that what is being discussed is just one of a number of items or possibilities.

For example, “The judge said, inter alia, that the original contract did not appear to be valid.” This would indicate that the apparent invalidity of the contract is just one issue brought up by the judge.

What is Inter Alios

While inter alia refers to “other things,” the term is modified when speaking about people or entities to “inter alios.” One might say, “John’s favorite flavors are, inter alia, chunky chocolate banana, and French vanilla.” If, however, the sentence refers to John’s favorite actors, it would more properly be said, “John’s favorite actors are, inter alios, Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise.”

In a legal context, one might say, “Anita Smith has filed lawsuits against, inter alios, Maxwell Electronics.” This indicates that Ms. Smith is not only suing the Maxwell Electronics company, but other people or entities as well.

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