- municipal (adj.)
- 1540s, from Middle French municipal, from Latin municipalis "pertaining to a citizen of a free town, of a free town," also "of a petty town, provincial," from municipium "community, municipality, free town, city whose citizens have the privileges of Roman citizens but are governed by their own laws," from municeps "native, citizen, inhabitant of a free town."
The second element is -cipere, comb. form of capere "assume, take," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). The first element is from munus (plural munia) "service performed for the community, duty, work," also "public spectacle paid for by the magistrate, (gladiatorial) entertainment, gift," from Old Latin moenus "service, duty, burden."
In de Vaan, this is reconstructed from Proto-Italic *moini-, *moinos- "duty, obligation, task," from PIE *hmoino- "exchange" (source also of Sanskrit meni- "revenge," Avestan maeini- "punishment, castigation," Old Persian yau-maini- "power of revenge," Middle Welsh tramwy, tremynu "to cross, pass," Old Irish moin "value, treasure," Welsh mwyn "value," Lithuanian mainas "exchange," Old Church Slavonic mena "exchange, substitution," Gothic gamains, Old High German gimeins "common"). "All words are based on two stems, *munos- and *muni- 'function, obligation.' A municeps is one who 'takes an obligation,' communis 'who partakes in the duties'" [de Vaan]