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-ment

-ment suffix forming sbs., repr. (O)F. -ment :- L. -mentum, which was added to vb.-stems to form sbs. expressing the result or product of an action or the means or instrument of it, e.g. fragmentum broken piece (f. frag-, frangere), ōrnāmentum that with which a thing is arranged (f. ōrnāre). pavimentum floor of stones beaten down (f. pavīre). In popL. it was extended to the formation of nouns of action (repl. -tiō -TION); this was continued in Rom. and is thus widely exemplified in Eng. adoptions from French, e.g. abridgement, government, management. This set the fashion for the treatment of -ment as if it were native, as in amazement, fulfilment, wonderment. Formations on adjs. are uncommon, as merriment, oddments. The corr. adjs. end in -mental.

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