Chapter 5: Turning Latin Nouns into Adjectives

§40. The Latin suffix -LENTUS (> E -lent)

The last suffix of this chapter, -lentus, is very close in meaning to -osus, since it also conveys the meaning “full of.” When this element was added to the base of a Latin noun, it had to be joined by a CONNECTING or LINKING VOWEL, a device about which we’ll hear more later. For the suffix -lentus, the linking vowel was usually U or O.

E virulent (< L virulentus < virus) = “full of poison”
E somnolent (< L somnolentus < somnus) = “full of sleep”
E corpulent (< L corpulentus < corpus) = “full of body”

Can you guess the etymological meanings of violent, turbulent, opulent, fraudulent, and flatulent? What about nebulous and facetious (§39)?


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Greek and Latin Roots: Part I - Latin by Peter Smith (Estate) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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