What "ment" means in "incrementum"?

On Wiktionary I have found meaning of only first parts of the word.


The suffix -mentum (neuter, genitive -menti) is used to indicate an instrument or result. It appears to be a productive way to derive nouns from verbs. It even has its own Wiktionary page, but I admit it is hard to find if you don't know you should be looking for it. (If anyone here works with Wiktionary, I suggest adding a link to -mentum from incrementum to show both parts in the etymology section.)

There are lots of Latin words ending in -mentum, for example:

  • instrumentum < instruere
  • documentum < docere
  • alimentum < alere
  • argumentum < arguere

There is also the related suffix -men (neuter, genitive -minis) which gives rise to volumen (< volvere) and flumen (< fluere), among others. The two suffixes are not identical, though, but they are sometimes interchangeable (e.g. medicamenmedicamentum).


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