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Indo-European Lexicon

PIE Etymon and IE Reflexes

Below we display: a Proto-Indo-European (PIE) etymon adapted from Pokorny, with our own English gloss; our Semantic Field assignment(s) for the etymon, linked to information about the field(s); an optional Comment; and Reflexes (derived words) in various Indo-European languages, organized by family/group in west-to-east order where Germanic is split into West/North/East families and English, our language of primary emphasis, is artificially separated from West Germanic. IE Reflexes appear most often as single words with any optional letter(s) enclosed in parentheses; but alternative full spellings are separated by '/' and "principal parts" appear in a standard order (e.g. masculine, feminine, and neuter forms) separated by commas.

Reflexes are annotated with: Part-of-Speech and/or other Grammatical feature(s); a short Gloss which, especially for modern English reflexes, may be confined to the oldest sense; and some Source citation(s) with 'LRC' always understood as editor. Keys to PoS/Gram feature abbreviations and Source codes appear below the reflexes; at the end are links to the previous/next etyma [in Pokorny's alphabetic order] that have reflexes.

All reflex pages are currently under active construction; as time goes on, corrections may be made and/or more etyma & reflexes may be added.

Note: this page is for systems/browsers with Unicode® support and fonts spanning the Unicode 3 character set relevant to Indo-European languages. Versions of this page rendered in alternate character sets are available via links (see Unicode 2 and ISO-8859-1) in the left margin.

Pokorny Etymon: 5. mei-, mi-neu-   'to lessen, diminish; small, minor'

Semantic Field: Small, Little


Indo-European Reflexes:

Family/Language Reflex(es) PoS/Gram. Gloss Source(s)
Middle English: deminishen vb to diminish W7
  diminuen vb to diminish W7
  mincen vb to mince W7
  ministre n minister W7
  minor adj minor W7
  minus prep minus W7
English: comminute vb.trans to pulverize, reduce to minute particles AHD/W7
  diminish vb to make less, cause to appear less AHD/W7
  meiosis n cell division halving number of chromosomes AHD/W7
  Menshevik prop.n lit. minority party (of Russian revolution) LRC
  menu n list of dishes to be served at meal AHD/W7
  mince vb to cut/chop into small pieces AHD/W7
  minestrone n rich thick vegetable soup AHD/W7
  mini adj small, miniature LRC
  minim n half note AHD/W7
  minimum n least quantity possible/admissible/assignable AHD/W7
  minister n agent, servant AHD/W7
  ministration n act/process of aiding/serving AHD
  ministry n ministration AHD
  minor adj inferior in size/degree/importance AHD/W7
  minuend n number to be subtracted from AHD/W7
  minuet n slow graceful dance AHD/W7
  minus prep less, diminished by AHD/W7
  minuscule n small ancient/medieval writing style AHD/W7
  minute adj infinitesimal, very small AHD/W7
  minutia n small/minor detail AHD/W7
  mystery n craft, trade AHD/W7
Dutch: minder adj.comp less, worse TLL
  minst adj.sup least TLL
Old High German: minniro adj.comp smaller W7
German: minder adj.comp less, smaller TLL
  mindest adj.sup least TLL
  mini adj mini LRC
  minimieren vb to lessen LRC
Old Norse: minni adj.comp less, mini LRC
Danish: mindre adj.comp less, smaller TLL
  mindst adj.sup least TLL
Swedish: mindre adj.comp less, smaller TLL
  minst adj.sup least TLL
Latin: comminuo, comminuere, comminui, comminutus vb to break, lessen W7
  deminuo, deminuere vb to diminish W7
  minimus adj small(est) W7
  minister n.masc servant W7
  ministro, ministrāre vb to serve W7
  minor adj.comp smaller, inferior W7
  minuendus vb.ger diminishing W7
  minuo, minuere vb to lessen W7
  minus adv less LRC
  minusculus adj rather small W7
  minutia n.fem smallness, trifle, detail W7
  minutus adj small W7
Vulgar Latin: minutio, minutiāre vb to make small W7
Late Latin: diminuo, diminuere vb to diminish W7
  minister n.masc servant W7
  ministerium n.neut service, occupation W7
  mysterium n.neut service, occupation W7
Old French: menu adj small W7
  menuet n.masc minuet (dance) W7
  ministre n.masc servant, one with official charge W7
Middle French: diminuer vb to diminish W7
  mincer vb to mince, make small W7
French: menu adj small, detailed W7
  menuet n.masc dance, part of sonata W7/R1
  minuscule adj very small W7
Italian: minèstra n.fem thick soup W7
  minestrare vb to serve, dish up W7
  minestrone n.masc thick soup with rice/vegetables W7/CID
Old Church Slavonic: mysliti, myšlǫ, mysliši vb to think LRC
  mьnii adj.comp less, smaller LRC
Russian: men n Menshevik W7
Greek: meiow vb to diminish W7
  meiōn adj.comp less W7
  meiōsis n.fem diminution W7


Key to Part-of-Speech/Grammatical feature abbreviations:

Abbrev. Meaning
fem=feminine (gender)
masc=masculine (gender)
neut=neuter (gender)

Key to information Source codes (always with 'LRC' as editor):

Code Citation
AHD=Calvert Watkins: The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, 2nd ed. (2000)
CID=Cassell's Italian Dictionary (1958)
LRC=Linguistics Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
R1=Josette Rey-Debove and Alain Rey, eds. Le Nouveau Petit Robert (1993)
TLL=Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language (1944)
W7=Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963)

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