This week I was wondering whether the words < meditation > , < medical >, and < remedy > would have the same base and belong in the same matrix.

Meaning: Considering these words for meaning, < meditate > seems like the odd man out. But when I look at Etymonline, I wasn’t so sure. Meditate to me seems like a mental process, considering something, somewhat a spiritual experience. My connotation seems backed up by the following. But the link to < medical > at the bottom makes me wonder if there is a connection as does the PIE root’s meaning.

meditation (n.)

c. 1200, "contemplation; devout preoccupation; devotions, prayer," from Old French meditacion "thought, reflection, study," and directly from Latin meditationem (nominative meditatio) "a thinking over, meditation," noun of action from past participle stem of meditari "to meditate, think over, reflect, consider," frequentative form from PIE root *med- "to measure, limit, consider, advise, take appropriate measures" (cognates: Greek medesthai "think about," medon "ruler;" Latin modus "measure, manner," modestus "moderate," modernus "modern," mederi "to heal," medicus "physician;" Sanskrit midiur "I judge, estimate;" Welsh meddwl "mind, thinking;" Gothic miton, Old English metan "to measure;" also see medical).

< Medical > is related to <medicine> and pertains to healing, treating, or understanding the body and health. < Meditation > is also regarded with health benefits. The same PIE root is there.

medical (adj.)

1640s, from French médical, from Late Latin medicalis "of a physician," from Latin medicus "physician, surgeon, medical man" (n.); "healing, madicinal" (adj.), from mederi "to heal, give medical attention to, cure," originally "know the best course for," from an early specialization of the PIE root *med- "to measure, limit, consider, advise, take appropriate measures" (cognates: Greek medomai "be mindful of," medein "to rule;" Avestan vi-mad- "physician;" Latin meditari "think or reflect on, consider;" Irish miduir "judge;" Old English metan "to measure out"); also see meditation. The earlier adjective in English in this sense was medicinal. Related: Medically.

<Remedy> also has a connotation of healing the body, health-related so that one easily has a meaning connection to < medical >.

remedy (n.)

c. 1200, "cure for a disease or disorder; means of counteracting an evil," from Anglo-French remedie, Old French remede "remedy, cure" (12c., Modern French remède) and directly from Latin remedium "a cure, remedy, medicine, antidote, that which restores health," from re-, intensive prefix (or perhaps literally, "again;" see re-), + mederi "to heal" (see medical (adj.)). Figurative use from c. 1300.


I can propose the following word sums < re + med(e) + y > < med(e) + ic + al >

< med(e) + ite + ate + ion > or < medit(e) + ate + ion > .


Morphologically < meditation, medical, and remedy > could have the same English base element. < medic, medicine, medication > are other plausible relatives.

Etymologically, < remedy > and < medical > have a common Latin root of mederi. But < meditation >, derives from meditatio (nom.) and meditationis (gen.) and further back from meditari. The three have a common PIE root *med meaning, “measure, limit, consider, advise, take appropriate measures” that is marked with an asterisk to mean it is unattested. I can “hear” the echoes of this PIE root’s meaning in the three words. < Meditation > can be seen as “considering” and < medical > and < remedy > have connections with “measuring, taking appropriate measures.”

Deponent Verb with Frequentative Suffix? After consulting with a fellow tutor who has a firmer grasp on Latin than I do and having just reviewed notes from Latin 1, I recognized the < -ari > deponent verb infinitive suffix on meditari from the < meditation > entry and was wondering about the “frequentative form,” as described in the entry, having a deponent suffix added to it. It makes sense that you could be continually thinking about something. I haven’t noticed the combination before. Hopefully I’m seeing what I think in that < -it> and not falling for WYSIYGery (what you see is what you get).


Does an unattested common root (PIE root *med) allow them to be in the same matrix? Does a root being unattested cancel it from consideration as the etymon?

In the < meditation > entry, with the genitive form, meditationis, removing the genitive < -is > suffix, would leave meditation. Is that considered a loan word (or a “taken” word) since it’s taken directly?

Is the < -it > in meditari a frequentative suffix or part of the stem? Are frequentative deponent verbs common?

Thanks in advance for corrections and suggestions.