What Does Ibid. Mean? | Definition & Examples
Ibid. is an abbreviation of the Latin “ibidem,” meaning “in the same place.”
How do I use ibid. in my writing?
First, check whether the use of ibid. is permitted by your chosen citation style. Many styles no longer use ibid., as explained in the sections below. If you do use it, make sure that you:
- Always include the period to show that ibid. is an abbreviation
- Only use ibid. to direct the reader to a previous citation that provides full source information
- Do not use ibid. if you have cited more than one source in the previous footnote or endnote—it won’t be clear what it refers back to
Ibid. in Chicago style
Ibid. is one option for shortening citations in Chicago footnotes or endnotes. The other option, more commonly used, is short notes.
To cite the same source and page number as you just cited, write “Ibid.” on its own.
When you are citing the same source, but different page numbers, write “Ibid.” followed by a comma and the relevant page number(s).
You can use ibid. several times in a row, but bear in mind that it only refers to the previous citation. Don’t use ibid. to refer back to a source when you’ve cited something else in between. Instead reintroduce the source.
Using short notes instead
Although the use of ibid. is still allowed, the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style encourages you to use short notes instead.
Short notes are more versatile than ibid., since they can refer back not only to the previous source but to sources much earlier in the text.
The first time that you cite a source, provide a full citation. For subsequent citations, use a shortened version. To create a short note, include the:
- Author’s last name
- Short form of the title (no more than four words)
- Page number(s)
Shortened titles should match the styling of the full title, using italics or quotation marks as appropriate.
Can I use ibid. in APA or MLA?
No, APA and MLA do not use ibid.
This is because APA in-text citations and MLA in-text citations are both presented in parentheses rather than footnotes. These citations are already very short, so there’s no need to shorten them further.
Frequently asked questions about ibid.
- What does ibid. mean?
- How do I use ibid. in my writing?
- Can I use ibid. in Chicago style?
Write “Ibid.” alone when you are citing the same page number and source as the previous citation.
When you are citing the same source, but a different page number, use ibid. followed by a comma and the relevant page number(s). For example:
- Ibid., 36.
- Ibid., 40–42.