• synonyms


[ken-tuh m, -too m]
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  1. 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/, from Proto-Indo-European palatal phonemes. The centum branches are Germanic, Celtic, Italic, Hellenic, Anatolian, and Tocharian.
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Compare satem.

Origin of centum2

1900–05; < Latin, exemplifying in c- the outcome of IE palato-velar stops characteristic of the group
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for most-centum


  1. 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 branchesCompare satem
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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