20 Phrases Similar to “Carpe Diem”

“Carpe Diem” is a Latin expression loosely used in the English language that means a person should make the most of the present moment and take advantage of opportunities that arise.

Like slang words, “Carpe Diem” is among the few popular Latin phrases (such as et cetera, cum laude, curriculum vitae) that automatically make someone look more brilliant when they infuse it into their conversation.

As popular as “Carpe diem” has become, it is easily considered cliché or overused in specific contexts, making you seek a similar phrase that carries a similar meaning but feels fresher or less commonly employed.

“Embrace the moment” is a meaningful English phrase akin to carpe diem. It encourages people to fully immerse themselves in the present, embracing its beauty, opportunities, and experiences. 

There are other options. The perfect English phrase that can substitute “carpe diem” depends on the usage context. So, before we delve into 20 different words similar to this Latin expression, it’s essential to know their meaning.

Carpe Diem Meaning

Phrases Similar to Carpe Diem

Carpe diem is a Latin phrase that translates to “seize the day” in English. It gained popularity in the English language due to its profound and timeless message. 

I have observed that the phrase resonates with people primarily because it encapsulates the idea of making the most of the present moment and not wasting time.

Its allure lies in the call to action, inspiring individuals to embrace life’s opportunities and appreciate the fleeting nature of time.

You can use the term “carpe diem,” for example, when motivating someone to seize opportunities, take risks, and live life to the fullest.

For example:

  • I’m unsure if I should apply for that job. It seems like a big step
  • You should go for it! Carpe diem! You never know unless you try.

However, there may be situations where you’ll want to prefer an alternative phrase over “carpe diem.”

While the phrase is empowering, it can sometimes be associated with impulsiveness or a disregard for consequences. Sometimes, it can sound cliche. That’s where these great English similar phrases come in.

List Of The Best 20 Phrases Similar To Carpe Diem

Phrases Similar to Carpe Diem

If you’re looking for an alternative English phrase to use instead of “carpe diem” that still conveys a similar message, use any of these expressions:

  1. Seize the moment.
  2. Make the most of every opportunity.
  3. Live life to the fullest.
  4. Embrace the present.
  5. Take the bull by the horns.
  6. Grasp the chance.
  7. Capture the day.
  8. Cherish each day.
  9. Seize the day by the throat.
  10. Savor the moment.
  11. Treat each day like it’s your last.
  12. Embrace the now.
  13. Make every day count.
  14. Carpe momentum (seize the momentum).
  15. The day is yours, seize it.
  16. Seize the hour.
  17. Seize the chance and never look back.
  18. Grasp the day with both hands.
  19. Take hold of the day.
  20. Live in the present moment.
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1. Seize the moment

“Seize the moment” is the direct English interpretation of “Carpe Diem,” so it is a perfect phrase similar to the Latin expression.

It means to take advantage of the current opportunity or situation. It encourages spontaneity and decisive action.

Example:

  • Hey, there’s a flash sale on concert tickets for our favorite band!
  • Let’s seize the moment and buy them before they’re sold out!

2. Make the most of every opportunity

“Make the most of every opportunity” is similar to the Latin phrase “Carpe Diem,” as both expressions mean to maximize the potential of each chance that comes your way.

Example:

  • We have an upcoming networking event. 
  • Let’s make the most of every opportunity and prepare to make a lasting impression.

3. Live life to the fullest

Another alternative phrase you can use instead of “Carpe Diem” is the expression “Live life to the fullest” It means to embrace experiences wholeheartedly and without regrets.

Example:

  • I’ve always wanted to travel the world.
  • Life is short. Let’s seize the day and plan to travel together, experiencing different cultures and creating unforgettable memories.

4. Embrace the present

The ideal time to use “embrace the present” as a substitute for “carpe diem” is when you refer to mindfulness and being present. “Embrace the present” means to engage with the current moment and appreciate its value entirely. It promotes mindfulness and being present.

Example:

  • My kids are growing fast, and I’m always busy with work.
  • Try to embrace the present. Set aside quality time with them, even just for a simple activity like playing a board game.

5. Take the bull by the horns

“Take the bull by the horns” may be a cliche idiom in the English language, but if you’re looking for a similar expression like “carpe diem,” mainly when referring to confronting a challenge or difficult situation boldly and directly, “take the bull by the horns’ is a sound option.

Example:

  • I’m nervous about giving a presentation to the management team tomorrow.
  • Believe in yourself! Take the bull by the horns and show them your expertise and confidence.

6. Grasp the chance

“Grasp the chance” means to seize an opportunity that presents itself eagerly. This is precisely what the “carpe diem” Latin phrase stands for. So you can use them interchangeably, especially when it involves encouraging proactiveness and taking action.

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Example:

  • There’s an internship opportunity at a prestigious company. I’m thinking of applying.
  • Absolutely! Grasp the chance and submit your application. It could be a significant step towards your career goals.

7. Capture the day

Another way to use “carpe diem” is to say “capture the day” It means to embrace and make the most of the current day.

Example:

  • It’s a beautiful sunny day outside.
  • Let’s capture the day! We can go hiking, have a picnic, and enjoy the outdoors.

8. Cherish each day

Alternatively, you can say “cherish each day” instead of repeatedly saying “carpe diem.” Bot expressions still mean one should appreciate and value them daily, recognizing their significance and fleeting nature.

Example:

  • Sometimes I take our family gatherings for granted.
  • Let’s cherish each day we spend together. We can plan regular family nights and create lasting memories.

9. Seize the day by the throat

When you tell someone to “seize the day by the throat,” you advise them to confront the day with vigor and determination, the same message that goes with telling someone “carpe diem.”

Example:

  • I have a groundbreaking idea, but I’m unsure if I should pursue it.
  • Seize the day by the throat! Take the necessary steps to turn your idea into a reality.

10. Savor the moment

Carpe Diem means to enjoy and appreciate the present experience fully. So when you tell someone “savor the moment,” you are saying the same thing, emphasizing mindfulness and enjoyment.

Example:

  • This view is incredible.
  • Let’s savor the moment.

11. Treat each day like it’s your last

One of the critical messages that the Latin phrase “carpe diem” sends is that you should approach life with a sense of urgency and make the most of every day. So, “live each day as if it’s your last” is a similar phrase for such an expression.

Example:

  • I’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar, but I keep putting it off.
  • Remember, life is unpredictable. Live each day as if it’s your last, and start learning the guitar now. 

12. Embrace the now

“Embrace the now” shares a similar message with the Latin line “carpe diem” because both expressions mean fully accepting and appreciating the present moment, letting go of worries about the past or future.

Example:

  • It’s difficult for me to forget my past mistakes
  • You can’t change the past, but you can embrace the now.

13. Make every day count

To carpe diem is to make every day count. These two expressions are similar because they both mean that each day is purposeful and meaningful.

Example:

  • I’m stuck in workflow
  • Remember, make every day count. Set goals and find ways to challenge yourself.

14. Carpe momentum (seize the momentum)

With just a little tweak on the original Latin phrase “carpe diem,”  “seize the momentum” means to grasp  the favorable conditions of a situation

Example:

  • Our project is gaining traction, and we’re receiving positive feedback.
  • Let’s carpet momentum! Keep pushing forward and make even more significant strides.
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15. The day is yours, seize it.

When you tell someone to seize the day and make it theirs, you’re admonishing them to take control of the day and make it personally fulfilling.

Example:

  • I feel like I’m going through tough times
  • Remember, seize the day, and make it yours.

16. Seize the hour

Another way to say “carpe diem” is to use the phrase “seize the hour” Both expressions mean to take immediate action and make the most of the present moment.

Example:

  • I’ve been contemplating starting a side business, but I keep delaying it.
  • Seize the hour! Take that first step today and start working on your business plan.

17. Seize the chance and never look back

Carpe diem preaches the message of embracing an opportunity wholeheartedly and committing to it without hesitation.

Another way to give this advice of boldness and a forward-looking mindset is to say, “Seize the chance and never look back.”

Example:

  • I’ve been offered a job opportunity in another city, but I’m unsure if I should take it.
  • Seize the chance and never look back! Sometimes the most significant leaps lead to the most significant growth.

18. Grasp the day with both hands

“Grasp the day with both hands” means to take control of the day, leaving no room for regrets or missed opportunities.

Example:

  • I have a busy schedule today, but I’m feeling overwhelmed.
  • Take a deep breath and grasp the day with both hands. 

19. Take hold of the day

Carpe Diem is an expression that encourages a proactive and purposeful mindset. But a similar phrase that carries an equal message is “take hold of the day.”

Example:

  • I want to create more meaningful connections with my loved ones.
  • Start by taking hold of the day. Plan activities that foster quality time, like game nights

20. Live in the present moment

Living in the present moment is the same as the Latin expression carpe diem. It means thoroughly engaging and focusing on the current moment, free from distractions or worries about the past or future.

Example:

  • I find myself constantly worrying about what might happen.
  • Let go of the worries and live in the present moment.

You can see that similar phrases, like “carpe diem,” empower someone to embrace opportunities, take control of their lives, and live with mindfulness and purpose. That’s the whole point.

Phrases Similar to Carpe Diem

What Is The Opposite Of Carpe Diem?

The opposite of “carpe diem,” the Latin phrase meaning “seize the day,” is best expressed as “ignorance casino,” which loosely means someone should not rush into decisions or actions but rather exercise patience and reserve. 

So, instead of seizing the day, it implies a more cautious and contemplative approach, emphasizing the importance of reflection and forgiveness, allowing time for circumstances to unfold before making any hasty choices.

Other expressions can be the opposite of carpe diem, but the primary idea is to ensure they advise against immediate action or indulgence.

For example, “Abstine cras,” which loosely means “refrain tomorrow,” serves as a reminder to think before acting and to exercise self-control in the face of temptation.

Concluding thoughts

You may not have noticed, but Latin phrases seem to be a crucial ingredient to sound smarter potentially, even though one engages in the dullest conversation. Words like Carpe Diem make your conversation erudite.

But while “carpe diem” is a widely recognized Latin phrase that encourages seizing the day and making the most of the present moment, there could be situations where you might prefer to use a similar word instead, such as cultural context, linguistic considerations, and the specific message you wish to convey in much more transparent tone.

In those situations, the alternative phrases discussed in the above article come handy.

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