Ambiguitas Verborum Latens Verificatione Suppletur; Nam Quod Ex Facto Oritur Ambiguum Verificatione Facti Tollitur Law and Legal Definition

Ambiguitas verborum latens verificatione suppletur; nam quod ex facto oritur ambiguum verificatione facti tollitur is a legal maxim. The maxim states that latent ambiguity may be corrected by evidence; for an ambiguity which arises from an extrinsic fact may be removed by proof of the fact.

The following is an example of a case law referring to the maxim:

"It may be proper to consider the case of ambiguities, both latent and patent. The leading rule on this subject is thus given by Lord Bacon: 'Ambiguitas verborum latens verificatione suppletur; nam quod ex facto oritur ambiguum, verificatione facti tollitur.' Upon which he remarks that: 'There be two sorts of ambiguities of words; the one is ambiguitas patens and the other latens. Patens is that which appears to be ambiguous upon the deed or instrument; latens is that which seemeth certain and without ambiguity, for anything that appeareth upon the deed or instrument; but there is some collateral matter out of the deed that breedeth the ambiguity. Ambiguitas patens is never holpen by averment; for that were to make all deeds hollow and subject to averments, and so, in effect, that to pass without deed which the law appointeth shall not pass but by deed. Therefore, if a man give land to J.D. and J.S. et hoeredibus, and do not limit to whether of their heirs, it shall not be supplied by averment to whether of them the intention was (that) the inheritance should be limited.' 'But if it be ambiguitas latens, then otherwise it is; as if I grant my manor of S. to J.F. and his heirs, here appeareth no ambiguity at all. But if the truth be, that I have the manors both of South S. and North S., this ambiguity is matter in fact; and therefore it shall be holpen by averment, whether of them it was that the party intended should pass.'" [Graham v. National Surety Co., 244 F. 914, 918-919 (8th Cir.-OLD 1917)].