mei- / Indo-European roots


To change, go, move; with derivatives referring to the exchange of goods and services within a society as regulated by custom or law.

Derivatives include mad, molt, mutate, mistake, communism, amoeba, migrate.

1. meatus; congé, irremeable, permeate from Latin meāre, to go, pass.
2. Suffixed o-grade form *moi-to-.
a. mad from Old English *gemǣdan, to make insane or foolish, from Germanic *ga-maid-jan, denominative from *ga-maid-az, "changed (for the worse)" abnormal (*ga-, intensive prefix; see kom);
b. mew1, molt, mutate; commute, permute, remuda, transmute from Latin mūtāre, to change;
c. mutual from Latin mūtuus, "done in exchange" borrowed, reciprocal, mutual.
3. Suffixed zero-grade form *mi-tā-. azimuth, zenith from Latin sēmita, sidetrack, side path (< "thing going off to the side"; sē-, apart; see s(w)e-)
4. Suffixed zero-grade form *mi-tro-.
a. Mitra from Sanskrit mitraḥ, friend, friendship;
b. Mithras from Avestan and Old Persian mithra-, contract. Both a and b from Indo-Iranian *mitra-, friend(ship), contract, god of the contract.
5. Suffixed extended zero-grade form *mit-to-.
a. mis-1 from Old English mis-, mis-, and Old French mes- (from Frankish *miss-);
b. amiss, mistake from Old Norse mis(s), mis(s)-, miss, mis-;
c. miss1 from Old English missan, to miss, from Germanic *missjan, to go wrong. a-c all from Germanic *missa-, "in a changed manner" abnormally, wrongly.
6. Suffixed o-grade form *moi-n- in compound adjective *ko-moin-i-, "held in common" (*ko-, together; see kom)
a. mean2, demean2 from Old English gemǣne, common, public, general, from Germanic *gamainiz;
b. common, commune1, commune2, communicate, communism; excommunicate, incommunicado from Latin commūnis, common, public, general.
7. Suffixed o-grade form *moi-n-es-.
a. municipal, munificent, remunerate from Latin mūnus, "service performed for the community" duty, work, "public spectacle paid for by a magistrate" gift;
b. immune from Latin immūnis, exempt from public service (in-, negative prefix; see ne).
8. Possibly extended form *(ə)meigw- (but more likely a separate root).
a. amoeba from Greek ameibein, to change;
b. migrate; emigrate from Latin migrāre, to change one's place of living.

[Pokorny 2. mei-, 3. mei- 710, mei-g̒ͧ- 713, 2. mei-t(h)- 715.]



Derivatives include menu, mince, minestrone, minister.

1. meiofauna, meiosis; Miocene from Greek meiōn, less, lesser, from extended variant *meiu-.
2. Zero-grade compounded suffixed form *ne-mi-s (see ne)
3. Suffixed zero-grade form *mi-nu-.
a. menu, mince, minuend, minuet, minute2, minutiae, comminute, diminish from Latin minuere, to reduce, diminish;
b. minor, minus; minuscule from Latin minor (influenced by the comparative suffix -or), less, lesser, smaller;
c. further suffixed (superlative) form *minu-mo-. minim, minimum from Latin minimus, least;
d. minestrone, minister, ministry, mystery2 from Latin minister, an inferior, servant (formed after magister, master; see meg-);
e. Menshevik from Russian men'she, less.

[Pokorny 5. mei- 711.]

Browse all Indo-European or Semitic roots.