[ Etymonline : ] arrogance (n.)
c. 1300, from Old French arrogance (12c.),
from Latin arrogantia,
from arrogantem (nominative arrogans) "assuming, overbearing, insolent," present participle of [2.] arrogare "to claim for oneself, assume,"
[1.] from ad- "to" (see ad-) + rogare "ask, propose" (see rogation).

Please see the entitled question:

  1. How did the compounding of 'ad-' + 'rogare' generate the meanings in 2?
    How did 'ad-' augment the semantic field of 'putare', to enable the semantic shift from 1 to 2?
    What semantic notions underlie 1 and 2?

  2. What are the semantic meaning and role of the prefix 'ad-' here?

2 Answers 2


There is an interesting parallel in acquiro, which (according to Smith's Latin Dictionary) comes from ad plus quaero.

ac-quiro, -sivi, -situm, 3 v, a, [quaero] lit, to seek in addition to, hence to add to, to acquire (in addition to), with ad or Gen.,

In each case ad ( ac-, ar- ) has the force of "to oneself."

plus rogo, rogare II Transfiguratively: to ask, beg, request.
plus quaero, quaerere, to search for .2. to get, procure.

It seems that showing an interest in something implies a desire to own. But that takes the discussion into human behaviour, away from linguistics.


I'm not an expert nor a linguist, nevertheless I found a text which may give a hint:


This mentions a distinction between adoptatio and arrogatio, the first means to choose a new father at a court (pater adoptivus) the latter could mean a "claim" on a child after asking the people (ad-rogare).

  • Welcome to the site! Can you tell a little more about the conclusion supported by the text and tell the name and author of the book? Google Books links don't work equally for everyone, and it'd be best to have all the key points recorded in the answer itself. Nevertheless, this is an interesting answer and I gave a +1 already!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Feb 10, 2019 at 19:57

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