Latin groupings-the "ines"

I was thinking of the Latin (at least, I think they’re Latin) adjectives for groups of animals. These were the ones I came up with. If anyone can add anymore, I’d be interested to know what they are.

That’s all I can come up with. Any got any others?

“What do you look for in a woman you date?”
“Well, I know everyone always says sense of humor,
but I’d really have to go with breast size.”

equine - horses
leonine - lions
taurine - bulls
asinine - donkeys

Hey – you hit a topic I have researched (for odd personal reasons)

Most families of animals can be converted into the -ine form, though not many are in common use. Some other more or less common ones not previously mentioned:

murine - mice
elephantine - elephants
scuirine - squirrels
passerine - sparrows and other related birds

You can deduce the -ine form from the family name:

Frogs - rana - ranine
Rats - rattus - rattine
Weasels - mustelida - mustelidine
Giraffes - camelopardus - camelopardine
(Okay, I made that last one up but you get the idea.)

Similar words use the -ine ending to indicate “like” or “related to”:

peregrine - pilgrim-like
adamantine - diamond-like
divine - god-like
serpentine - snake-like

Also used for membership or belonging:

Benedictine - monks following the Order of St. Benedict

Some organic compounds use -ine endings.

Many mineral names are formed similarly:

olivine, serpentine, etc.


marine - related to the sea
aquiline - eagle-like (usually refers to noses and implies beak-like!)

There must be one for “whale-like” but I can’t think what it’d be. Leviathine? Cetacine?

How about “ape-like”? Pithecine? I can remember root words, but I can never keep the Latin ones separate from the Greek ones.

Pithecine is correct.

More “like” words:

masculine - manlike
feminine - womanlike

Some new ones:

ovaltine - chocolate-drink-like
teledyne - water-pik-like


Two more – we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel now:

anserine - geese
carangine - a group of spiny fish, including many common food fish

A class of -ine words I omitted was the halogen elements: chlorine, bromine, fluorine, etc.

Other obscure like words:

estuarine, opaline

Then there are mathematical functions like cosine, versine, coversine, haversine.

Capitoline - of or related to Rome’s Capitol hill.

(Stop me before I -ine again!)

corvine - crows

gasoline - fuel

I can’t believe I’m the first to mention these.

fine - related to the letter f
line - related to the letter l
mine - related to the letter m
nine - related to the letter n
pine - related to the letter p
tine - related to the letter t
wine - related to the letter w
'zine - related to the letter z

Clementine (unlike inclement!)
Tyne Daley (married Link)


vaseline - lubricants
trampoline - bounces

palestine - like a palesta…wait, no, that cant be it…sorry…

i know exactly what you say when I turn and walk away, but that’s ok 'cause I don’t let it get to me


So English ain’t consistent.


Or cetacean or cetic, according to my dictionary.

I’d hesitate to blame it on English directly. These are, after all Latin-derived words. There are other notable examples. Members of genus homo are hominids, not hominines. Lepidopterous (butterflies) not lepidopterine. (Although this led me to the nearby confoming entries leporine (hares) and Levantine (of the Levant).)

Maybe someone better acquainted with Latin (TomH?) could explain the distinction between lemurid, lemurine, lemuridous, lemuroid (a.), lemuroid (n.) and Lemuroidae, all of which are listed in my dictionary as relating to a suborder of the primates, related to monkeys (including the Prosimae, which, out of sheer perversity, are referred to as prosimians).

As a final(?) entry let me add:

racine – of, or relating to, a city in Wisconsin.

Hmmm. Okay, the really last one: How about wisconsine – relating to Wisconsin?

I think Pluto has it slightly wrong: -ine endings refer to the genus, not the family.
The distinction matters because the members of genus are very closely related evolutionarily speaking. Family, the next
main classification up, still denotes a group
of closely related genera but is significantly broader with respect to the
species that belong to it.

So strictly speaking, large cats, now mostly
assigned to the genus “Panthera” are now “Pantherines”, and not “Felines”. “Felines”,
belonging to the genus Felis, now comprise
only house cats, and smaller wildcats up to
the mountain lion. But of course they’re still all “Felids” (members of the family Felidae), and they’re still held to be very
closely related.

Ideally the members of a family should all be
more closely interrelated to one another than to any species outside the family.

Pithecine is not strictly correct for apes,
though there is a monkey called Cercopithecus. His adjective would be Cercopithecine.

Modern apes belong to at least four genera,
so their endings would be as follows:

Gorilla (genus: Gorilla, adj: gorilline)
Orang (genus: Pongo, adj: pongine)
Chimp (genus: Pan, adj: panine (?))
Gibbon (genus: Hybolatides(?), adj: hybolatidine(?)

and last but not least, since many taxonomists see no justification for classifying apes together as a group, separately from us…

Human (genus: Homo (no snickering, please),
adj: homine (or human))

Javaman wrote:

Eww…that word stinks. How about “gorillish”? That sounds like an excellent replacement!

Isn’t that “hominid”?