Quick Summary

The Latin root word loc means “place.” This Latin root is the word origin of a large number of English vocabulary words, including local and locomotive. The word root loc is easily recalled through the word location, for a “location” is simply a “place” where something or someone is.

Lock "Loc" in Place!

The Latin root word loc means “place.” Let’s permanently locate the word root loc in your memory bank and “lock” away the key!

When it comes to real estate, the mantra “location, location, location” could easily be replaced by “place, place, place.” People who buy new homes must relocate, or move from their current “place” of residence to their new one. A locality is a “place” where the house is situated, such as the neighborhood in which it resides. A locale, on the other hand, usually describes a specific “place” in a story, such as Middle Earth, Hobbiton, or Minas Tirith, to name a few from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Merry and Pippin often speak of local products, or those produced in their well-known “place” of the Shire, such as pipe-weed from the Southfarthing or the Shire salt that Sam so treasures in his little spice box.

There are many types of jobs that deal with words containing the Latin root word loc meaning “place.” For instance, a physician can help someone with a dislocated shoulder, or one that has popped out of its normal “place.” An office worker’s job might include collocating documents, or “placing” them together in an efficient order. You can hire someone to locate or find the “place” of an appropriate apartment for you when you are moving. A train engineer is the person in charge of a locomotive or train which moves goods from one “place” to another.

Speaking of locomotives, to locomote is to move from one “place” to another. Species do this in a variety of ways, from crawling to walking to running to flying. Bats, for example, locomote using echolocation to sense their “place” by means of echoes or sounds bounced off objects as they fly towards them, thus allowing them to successfully navigate about and hunt for prey.

One spelling variant of the root word loc meaning “place” is lieu, the French root word derived from the Latin loc. A lieutenant, for instance, temporarily holds the “place” of a higher officer when that officer is engaged in other duties. In other words, the lieutenant stands in lieu of, or in “place” of that higher ranking officer. The military environment or milieu, those prominent characteristics that stand in the middle of a “place,” includes the things and people that surround a soldier and influence the way in which he behaves.

We have certainly located a large number of English derivatives that use the root word loc meaning “place,” which should help you “lock” or permanently “place” them in your memory!

  1. location: a “place”
  2. relocate: to “place” yourself again
  3. locality: a “place”
  4. locale: a “place,” especially in a story
  5. local: of a certain “place”
  6. locate: to find the “place” of, or to “place”
  7. locomotive: train which moves goods from “place” to “place”
  8. locomote: to move from “place” to “place”
  9. echolocation: the finding of a “place” in space through sounds bouncing off objects
  10. lieutenant: officer who holds the “place” of a superior officer
  11. in lieu of: in “place” of
  12. milieu: the “place” that surrounds one


  • allocate

    When you allocate funds, you assign, set apart, or distribute different amounts of money towards different expenses.

  • locate

    When you locate something, you find it or discover where it is.

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