Pro tempore

Latin phrase "for the time being"

Pro tempore (abbreviated pro tem or p.t.) is a Latin phrase which means "for the time being" in English.[1] This phrase is often used to describe a person who temporarily acts in place of an elected or appointed official. Should the official, a mayor for example, be absent or unavailable for any reason, the pro tempore becomes the acting official (acting mayor in this case).[2] The president pro tempore of the United States Senate has been elected by the Senate since it began 1789.[1] In academic use a professor pro tempore is usually a temporary position.[3] In legal use a judge pro tempore is often an attorney who has been temporarily appointed by a judge.[4] It is also found as a phrase in many kinds of documents to simply mean "for the time being."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nancy Erickson; et al., Pro Tem: Presidents Pro Tempore of the United States Senate Since 1789 (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 2008), p. 7
  2. Harlow Keith. "Job Description of a Deputy Mayor Pro Tem". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  3. Stephen R. Covey; Breck England, FranklinCovey Style Guide for Business and Technical Communication (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FranklinCovey, 2012), p. 5
  4. 'Our State Bar Associations: The Washington State Bar Association', American Bar Association Journal, Vol. 48, No. 1 (January, 1962), p. 74