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[ken-tuh m, -too m] /ˈkɛn təm, -tʊm/
belonging to or consisting of those branches of the Indo-European family of languages that show distinctive preservation of the Proto-Indo-European labiovelars and that show a historical development of velar articulations, as the sounds (k) or [kh] /x/ (Show IPA) from Proto-Indo-European palatal phonemes. The centum branches are Germanic, Celtic, Italic, Hellenic, Anatolian, and Tocharian.
Compare satem.
Origin of centum2
1900-05; < Latin, exemplifying in c- the outcome of IE palato-velar stops characteristic of the group Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for most-centum


denoting or belonging to the Indo-European languages in which original velar stops (k) were not palatalized, namely languages of the Hellenic, Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Anatolian, and Tocharian branches Compare satem
Word Origin
Latin: hundred, chosen because the c represents the Indo-European k
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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