My teachers are 'Magisters.'

My king is his 'Majesty.'

My dragon is 'Majestic.'

Is there some etymological link between the Latin word for 'teacher' and the words we use for exaltation?

2 Answers 2


As an alternative perspective (which I hope will be corrected/supplemented by those who have more linguistic knowledge), I don't think you need to go quite so far back to see the relation of these words. Though the actual developmental relationship traces back to PIE, as Ethan shows, there's a simple connection that exists in Latin and which any reflective Roman would have grasped, namely:

  • Maiestas comes from maior/maius, which is the comparative adjective form of magnus.
  • Magister comes from magis, which is the comparative adverb form of magnus.

Of course, magis and maior are not regularly formed, and hence we need to look further back to trace their common ancestry. But they both have a clear relationship to one of the most common adjectives in Latin: magnus.

  • Yeah, this is the correct answer. Looking up both words in a real dictionary would have shown this to be the case, and even Etymonline makes the connection clear: majesty and master.
    – cmw
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 2:43

If you limit your etymological range to Latin alone, no.

These three English words which you've listed coincidentally happen to have similar pronunciation in their first few syllables. Both magister and majesty find their roots in different Latin words:

majesty < mājestās
majestic < majesty- + -ic
magister < magister

The Latin words themselves, however, from which these English words originate, do share the same roots; both ultimately arrive from the same Proto-Indo-European adjective, *méǵh₂s:

mājestās < major + -tās < *magjōs < *méǵh₂yōs‎ < *méǵh₂s + *-yōs
magister < magis + -tero < magnus < *magnos < *méǵh₂s

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