a mari usque ad mare

The Canadian motto a mari usque ad mare means “from sea to sea.” Note the different endings of mari and mare (resulting from the different cases required with the Latin prepositions a and usque ad).

This Latin phrase is placed in italics in formal writing:

  • Do you know the history of the Canadian motto a mari usque ad mare?

The motto may be written with or without capitals:

  • A Mari Usque Ad Mare
  • A Mari usque ad Mare
  • a mari usque ad mare

A mari usque ad mare has been the official motto of the Dominion of Canada for nearly a century; it is inscribed on the Canadian coat of arms approved by King George V in 1921. The phrase comes from a verse in Psalm 72, translated as “he shall have dominion from sea to sea.” In addition to providing the Canadian motto, this verse is said to have inspired the choice of Dominion as the title for Canada.

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