Carpe diem is a Latin phrase that is popularly translated as seize the day, meaning make the most of each moment of your life, live life to the fullest. This translation was popularized by the movie The Dead Poets Society. Most Latin scholars translate the phrase carpe diem as pluck the day, it is ripe. The term carpe diem was coined by the Latin poet Horace in his Odes published in 23 BC. The entire phrase is “carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero”, which means “pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the future”. Horace championed Epicureanism, a philosophy taught by Epicurious around 307 BC which expounded the idea that pleasure is the most important thing in life and is attained through simple living. Lord Byron used the phrase carpe diem in 1817, today carpe diem is generally used as an exhortation to grab opportunities and live life to the fullest, without any reference to the future.
“Carpe diem is a phrase that we don’t use loosely around here and we really mean it, that we’re going to live for today, we’re going to practice today, enjoy the trip, enjoy staying in a hotel tonight, enjoy everything that goes on tomorrow and just stay in the moment.” (The Duke Chronicle)
“It really is a call to carpe diem — a reminder that we are all called to work hard and achieve our goals and dreams, and I hope the students feel the same sense of pride and tradition.” (The Montclarion)
A popular phrase, “carpe diem,” means to “seize the day,” and I think that’s a perfect representation of what a bucket list should be. (The Kane County Chronicle)