In English, many numbers have specific words that denote them, distinct from the number itself. For example "dozen" means group of 12; "gross" means 144; and "score" means 20. Similarly, I understand that French has the word "seizaine" meaning a group of 16, distinct from "seize", the word for the number 16 itself. (I don't actually know French, so I may be missing a subtlety here.)

Does Latin have any similar words for particular numbers?

  • I don't know if this applies but the words "primus" and "princeps" overlap somewhat in meaning. They can both mean "first." – Nickimite Aug 3 at 19:17
  • There are unspecific numbers of course, manipulus, group, platoon; manipulatim, in heaps (handfuls). Scala, a series, e.g. of notes, steps. – Hugh Aug 3 at 22:05
  • 5
    As an aside, seeing as you mention seizaine in French, the English dozen comes from the French douzaine :) – Rich Aug 4 at 6:54
  • In the etymology of "dozen" is also Latin: from Latin duodecim (“twelve”) (from duo (“two”) + decem (“ten”)) + -ana (“-ish”). – eckes Aug 4 at 8:21
  • 2
    I don't know if I would describe seizaine as completely separate from seize; -aine can be added to many numerals, so it's rather analogous to English -some (as in "threesome", "foursome", "fivesome", etc.). – ruakh Aug 4 at 21:58

I can think of at least these two:

  • decuria: A group of ten things or people
  • centuria: A group of a hundred people (not things), especially a military unit of 100, later 60 men
| improve this answer | |

Latin borrowed a number of words from Greek, including some with numeric meanings, such as monas and trias.

There is also trīnitās, built out of Latin components.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.