ad hoc

Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning literally ‘to this.’ But the expression commonly used as an idiom, which means “for this purpose” and “as needed.”

ad hoc

Meaning

  • something arranged, started, or done only when necessary but not planned earlier
  • made or done suddenly for a particular purpose as necessary
  • for the special purpose
  • impromptu

Example Sentences

  1. An ad hoc committee was formed to address health insurance problems.
  2. The City Council formed a new ad-hoc citizen’s committee to look at other borough needs.
  3. The teachers were given their positions back on an ad hoc basis till next month.
  4. The task was performed manually and in an ad hoc manner.
  5. The government has released an ad hoc announcement to prevent covid-19 after the outbreak.
  6. The communication is being done through ad hoc channels such as WhatsApp.
  7. The management established an ad hoc committee to examine issues related to workers.

Origin

Ad hoc was first used in Britain as early as 1545 in Latin texts rather than English. The English of that era was strongly influenced by Latin as used by the church and by educators.

English borrowed the Latin phrase ‘ad hocin’ the mid-1500s when the expression was quickly being adopted into legal and judicial writings.

Ad hoc spreads as a term in such contexts in the 1800s. A Louisiana Code of Practice for civil law from 1839, for example, lists the various situations where a person, such as a minor, may be assigned what is called a curator ad hoc, a “caretaker for this purpose.” An 1869 judicial report from the state of New York, as another instance, describes forming ad hoc committees by the courts to investigate specific matters.

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