According to William Whitaker's Words it does:

adjunctum, adjuncti N N [XXXCO] quality, characteristic, essential feature/attribute; collateral circumstance;

However, I'm wondering if it might be an error because it seems contradictory to speak of something as both collateral and essential.

According to Lewis and Short, the various definitions of adjungo involve the idea of something joined or added to something else, which would be inconsistent with it being essential.

Finally, adjuncti in the following sentence was translated with the English word adjunct, along with a footnote defining it as "Something added to another thing but not an essential part of it":

In Scripturis vel promissionibus, enunciationes continent et exhibent objectum fidei, vocanturque objectum fidei per metonymiam adjuncti.

After consulting various Latin dictionaries, Whitakers was the only one I found that explicitly mentioned this question concerning it being essential.


Well, I don't find Whitaker's definition so surprising. First of all, note that attribuere and adiungere can be synonymous: e.g., 'to add/adjoin to'. As for your question, adiuncta can be interpreted as a characteristic, but not necessarily permanent, set of attributes. Perhaps the existence of examples like the following one motivated the part of Whitaker's entry you find problematic.

ne forte seniles mandentur iuveni partes pueroque viriles: semper in adiunctis aevoque morabitur aptis. (Hor. Ars Poetica. 176-178).


For further information confirming my view above, please take a look at this link.


Although I didn't specify in my question, my interest in this has more to do with post-medievel Latin rather than classical.

Concerning classical Latin, both Charles Short and Henry Nettleship quote Horace, which is the same quote given in Mitomino's answer. The main idea is adjuncta aevo, i.e. qualities which accompany a certain age. Whether that is better defined as an essential quality, as defined by Lewis, or a characteristic quality, as defined by Nettleship, might be a matter of debate.

However, in later Latin, the meaning seems to have tended toward one which usually (if not always) excludes the essential. Alexander Baumgarten, for example, defines modi as predicable accidents or adjuncts:

Affectiones habent rationem in essentia, §. 41. hinc aut suficientiem, aut minus, §. 21,10. Illae sunt ATTRIBUTA hae MODI accidentia praedicabilia, s. logica, cf. §. 191 adiuncta, praedicata secundaria. (Metaphysica, §50)

Antonius Forti wrote that adiuncta are those which are not necessarily joined to something:

Adiuncta sive Attributa, quae vulgo circunstantiae appelantur, sunt ea, quae cum re sunt coniuncta, sed non necessario. (Miles rhetoricus et poeticus)

Johann Heinrich Alsted distinguished adjuncts from essential properties and perfections:

Proprietates Dei essentiales non disserunt ab essentia nec inter se, realiter, sed tantum ratione: & alias dicuntur attributa, adiuncta, modi, & perfectiones essentiae divinae, interdum etiam divina nomina; nonnunquam affectiones & passiones Dei, non ita bene.
(Theologia naturalis)

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