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See also: Centum


Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Learned borrowing from Latin centum (hundred), attested at least since 1890s. Its use in linguistics is due to it being a canonical example of a word retaining an original velar stop, as opposed to Avestan 𐬯𐬀𐬙𐬆𐬨(satəm). Doublet of hundred.



centum (not comparable)

  1. (Indo-European linguistics) referring to an Indo-European language that did not produce sibilants from a series of Proto-Indo-European palatovelar stops
    • 2003, Johanna Nichols, in Archaeology and Language II: Archaeological Data and Linguistic Hypotheses
      Table 10.1 shows the relative chronology of centum and satem entries to the west. Along each trajectory, centum languages precede satem languages, and the frontier languages, thos most clearly showing peripheral type shift, are centum.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Calque of Sanskrit शतक (śataka, a hundred; a satakam). The latter meaning is attested at least since 1991 and is explained by 100-point academic grading in India.



centum (plural centums)

  1. (Sanskrit and other Indian philology) satakam, set of one hundred verses connected by the same metre or topic
    • 1847, William Taylor, in Madras Journal of Literature and Science
      Tonda-mandala-sātacam, a centum of verses on the Conjeveram country, No. 148, C. M. 73. The sātacam is a poem of one hundred stanzas, in its appropriate metre.
    • 2017, Language, Culture and Power: English–Tamil in Modern India, 1900 to Present Day
      Norman Cutler's Songs of Experience: The Poetics of Tamil Devotion (1987) provides a partial translation, choosing to translate just 50 hymns from the first two centums and a few phalasrutis, or the signature stanzas.
  2. (India) perfect score on a board exam
    • 1991, A. Srinivasa Raghavan, The Life and Works of Sri Nigamanta Maha Desikan
      Achyuta Satakam is a centum in Prakrit Language; Devanayaka Panchasat (the fifty on Devanayaka), in sanskrit and several poetical works in Tamil.
    • 1998, K. Srinivasa Rao, Srinivasa Ramanujan: A Mathematical Genius
      Though he secured a centum in mathematics, he failed to secure pass marks in other subjects.
    • 2004, K. R. Narayanaswamy, A Teacher's Grammar of English
      Ramesh scored a centum in mathematics.




centum (invariable)

  1. Only used in lingua centum


Latin numbers (edit)
[a], [b], [c] ←  99 C
    Cardinal: centum
    Ordinal: centēsimus
    Adverbial: centiēs, centiēns
    Multiplier: centūplus, centuplex, centumgeminus
    Distributive: centēnī
    Fractional: centēsimus
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Alternative forms[edit]

  • Symbol: C


From Proto-Italic *kentom, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱm̥tóm. Formal cognates include Sanskrit शत (śata), Old Church Slavonic съто (sŭto) and Old English hund.


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈken.tum/, [ˈkɛn̪t̪ʊ̃ˑ]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈt͡ʃen.tum/, [ˈt͡ʃɛn̪t̪um]
  • (file)


centum (indeclinable)

  1. a hundred; 100
    • c. 37 BCE – 30 BCE, Virgil, Georgicon 4.381:
      Simul ipsa precatur Oceanumque patrem rerum Nymphasque sorores centum quae silvas, centum quae flumina servant.
      Together she entreats father Ocean, and the sister-nymphs who guard a hundred forests and a hundred streams.

Usage notes[edit]

The numeral centum behaves like an indeclinable adjective. See Appendix:Latin cardinal numbers for additional information.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  • centum in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • centum in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • centum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • centum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to reach one's hundredth year, to live to be a hundred: centum annos complere
    • about a hundred of our men fell: nostri circiter centum ceciderunt