Ad Hoc

Primary tabs

This phrases mean “for this purpose only.”  Its literal translation from the Latin is “to this.”

Common examples are an ad hoc committee or an ad hoc commission created for a specific or one-time purpose to address issues that fall outside the scope of  other existing committees or commissions. Ad hoc committees are formed on a temporary basis.

In Schmidt v. Contra Costa County, the Ninth Circuit wrote,  “An ad hoc decision is one taken based on the circumstances of a particular case. An ‘ad hoc’ decision is made ‘with a particular end or purpose,’ as distinguished from ‘a coordinated policy.’ ”

[Last updated in May of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]