locum tenens


lo·​cum te·​nens ˈlō-kəm-ˈtē-ˌnenz How to pronounce locum tenens (audio)
plural locum tenentes ˈlō-kəm-ti-ˈnen-ˌtēz How to pronounce locum tenens (audio)
: one filling an office for a time or temporarily taking the place of another
used especially of a doctor or clergyman

Examples of locum tenens in a Sentence

I'm just a locum tenens, so any major decisions should be deferred until your regular doctor returns from vacation.
Recent Examples on the Web When Whittingham stepped in as Meyer’s replacement in 2005, there were holes in the program after an undefeated season, and there were many lessons for the locum tenens to learn. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Nov. 2021 When service units are forced to hire temporary locum tenens physicians in lieu of decreasing services, the quality of care can change dramatically. WSJ, 17 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'locum tenens.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Medieval Latin, literally, (one) holding a place

First Known Use

1640, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of locum tenens was in 1640

Dictionary Entries Near locum tenens

Cite this Entry

“Locum tenens.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/locum%20tenens. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

locum tenens

lo·​cum te·​nens ˌlō-kəm-ˈtē-ˌnenz, -nənz How to pronounce locum tenens (audio)
plural locum tenentes -ti-ˈnen-ˌtēz How to pronounce locum tenens (audio)
: a medical practitioner who temporarily takes the place of another
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