A List of 77 Latin Roots Used in English Vocabulary

English vocabulary has been greatly influenced by Latin, and many of the words we use today have Latin roots. Understanding these Latin roots can help improve our vocabulary and comprehension of the English language.

In this article, we have compiled a list of 77 common Latin roots and their English derivatives, providing a useful resource for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of English vocabulary.

The most common Latin roots

Latin Root Original Latin Word Meaning English Words Derived from the Root
nav navis ship naval, navy, navigation
nat natus born natal, native, natality
fili filius son filial, affiliation
frat frater brother fraternal, fraternity
lum lumen light illuminate, luminescent, luminary
arbor arbor tree arborescence, arboretum, arboreal
stella stella star stellar, constellation
magn magnus great magnificent, magnanimous, magnify
mat mater mother maternal, maternity
lun luna moon lunar, lunatic
fort fortis strong, powerful fortify, fortitude, fortress, effort
lac lac milk lactate, lactose
lingu lingua language linguistics, bilingual, multilingual
annu annus year anniversary, annual, annuity, perennial
audi audiō to hear audience, auditory, audible, audition
don donare to give donation, donor, condone
aqua aqua water aquarium, aqueduct, aquatic
vac vacare to be empty vacant, vacuum, evacuate, vacation
doc docere to teach doctrine, doctorate, document
liber liber free liberty, liberalism
pater pater father paternal, paternity, patriarch
fem femina woman female, feminine, feminist
viv vivere to live vivid, survive, vivacious
aev/ev aevum age, era medieval, primeval, longevity
anim anima soul animal, animosity, animation
cept capere to take, to seize accept, conception, perception, reception
cred credere to trust, to believe incredible, credulous, accreditation, credentials, discredit
cur cura care, concern curator, curative, curious
dic dicere to say, to speak dictionary, diction, edict, predict
duc ducere to lead deduce, produce, reduce
empt emere to buy, to purchase redemption, exempt, preempt
fac facere to make, to do benefactor, satisfaction, and artifact
fer ferre to carry, to bear conference, prefer, fertile
fic facere to make, to do magnificent, deficient, sacrifice
fin finis end, limit final, definition, fine
flu fluere to flow influence, fluid, fluency
gress gressus to join, to connect progress, congress, digress, transgress
hal halare to breathe inhale, exhale, exhalant
insul insula island insular, insulation
jac jaceo to lie adjacent, circumjacent
ject jacere to throw eject, project
junct iungō to join junction, conjunction, subjunctive
jur ius law jury, abjure, conjure
lect legere to choose, to gather collection, intellect, election
man manus hand manicure, manuscript, manipulate
memor memor to remember commemorate, memoir
merge mergere to plunge, to dip emerge
Latin Root Original Latin Word Meaning English Words Derived from the Root
miser miser unhappy, wretched commiseration, misery, miserable
mit mittere to send admit, submit, emit, permit
mod modus measure, method immodest, mode, model
pass passus a step, a pace passage, compass
pend pendere to hang down append, depend, pendant, suspense
ple plere to fill deplete, complete, supplementary
plic plicare to fold replicate, application, complicated
port portare to carry portable, porter, transportation, report
posit ponere to put opposite, position, deposit
rect regere to direct correct, director, rectangle
regul regula rule regular, regulation
sacr sacrare to consecrate, to swear to consecrate, sacred, sacrifice
sequ sequere to follow subsequent, sequence, sequel
sole solere accustomed, in the habit of insolence, insolent, obsolete
somn somnus sleep insomnia, somnolent, somnambulist
son sonus noise, sound unison, sonic, consonant
spect spectare to look at spectator, spectacular
sper sperare to hope desperate, prosper
stru struere to build, to construct constructive, instruct, structural
ten tenere to hold tenant, maintenance, tenor, sustenance, tenure
terr terra earth, land extra-terrestrial, terracotta, subterranean
tract tractare to draw, to pull attract, detract, tractable
und unda wave abound, surround, abundance
us usus use abuse, usurpation, peruse
vag vagare to wander extravagant, vagabond, vague
val valere to have strength ambivalence, validate, invalid, value
verb verbum word verb, verbose
vers versus turn adverse, conversation, anniversary
vid videre to see evidence, video
vil vilis cheap, vile revile, vilify
vor vorare to devour carnivore, omnivore, voracious
vot votum to promise, to vow devoted, vote, votary

Understanding Latin roots is essential for improving one's English vocabulary. This list of 77 Latin roots commonly used in English can serve as a helpful reference for learners and educators alike.

By recognizing the roots and their meanings, one can decipher the meanings of unfamiliar words and expand one’s language skills. Learning the etymology of English words can also provide a fascinating insight into the history of the language and its evolution over time.

To learn more about etymology, check out our guides to Latin prefixes & Latin suffixes.

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