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See also: -mentum


 mentum on Wikipedia


Learned borrowing from Latin mentum (the chin). Doublet of menton.



mentum (plural menta)

  1. (anatomy) The chin.
  2. (malacology) A chin-like projection below the mouth of certain mollusks.
  3. (entomology) The central part of the labium in insects.
  4. (botany) A projection in front of the flower in some orchids.

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From Proto-Italic *mentom, from Proto-Indo-European *men-to-, from *men- (to project). Cognate with Proto-Germanic *munþaz.



mentum n (genitive mentī); second declension

  1. (literally) the chin; the chin with the hair that grows on it; the beard
    • 29 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Aeneid 6.809:
      nosco crinis incanaque menta regis Romani primam qui legibus urbem fundabit, Curibus paruis et paupere terra missus in imperium magnum.
  2. (transferred sense, architecture) the projecting part of a cornice casting off the rain, the coping
    • c. 15 BCE, Vitruvius, De architectura 4.3.6:
      Reliqua spatia, quod latiores sint metopae quam triglyphi, pura relinquantur aut numina scalpantur, ad ipsumque mentum coronae incidatur linea quae scotia dicitur.


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative mentum menta
Genitive mentī mentōrum
Dative mentō mentīs
Accusative mentum menta
Ablative mentō mentīs
Vocative mentum menta

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Further reading[edit]

  • mentum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • mentum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • mentum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • mentum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • (ambiguous) to see with the mind's eye: oculis mentis videre aliquid
    • (ambiguous) to be of sane mind: mentis compotem esse
    • (ambiguous) to be of sound mind: sanae mentis esse
    • (ambiguous) to obscure the mental vision: mentis quasi luminibus officere (vid. sect. XIII. 6) or animo caliginem offundere
    • (ambiguous) innate ideas: notiones animo (menti) insitae, innatae
    • (ambiguous) to lose one's composure; to be disconcerted: de statu suo or mentis deici (Att. 16. 15)
    • (ambiguous) to lose one's head, be beside oneself: sui (mentis) compotem non esse
    • (ambiguous) enthusiasm: ardor, inflammatio animi, incitatio mentis, mentis vis incitatior