拉丁语源的常用后缀, 形成名词, 最初来自法语, 代表拉丁语 -mentum, 它被加到动词词干上, 使之成为表示动词动作的结果或产品或动作的手段或工具的名词. 在古拉丁语和古法语中, 它开始在动作名词中作为状语使用. 法语在动词根和后缀之间插入一个 -e- (如 commenc-e-ment from commenc-er; 与动词 ir, -i- 被插入代替(如 sent-i-ment from sentir).

与16世纪以来的英语动词词根一起使用(如 amazement, betterment, merriment, 最后一个也说明了在这个后缀前把 -y 变成 -i- 的习惯).

The stems to which -ment is normally appended are those of verbs; freaks like oddment & funniment should not be made a precedent of; they are themselves due to misconception of merriment, which is not from the adjective, but from an obsolete verb merry to rejoice. [Fowler]