A non-exhaustive list of them:

  • Modulo and modulus in elementary number theory
  • Modulus of a complex number, a vector etc.
  • Module in abstract algebra
  • Modular form
  • Moduli space
  • Young's modulus (though that's off topic)

I have searched for the etymology for them, and they all came from latin "modus" (and its declensions and derivatives). But most dictionaries don't bother to explain why those names were chosen.

The question is: Is there a reason why the latin root is repeatedly chosen to name the large variety of concepts?

  • $\begingroup$ We can't compare two complex numbers but we are able to compare the modulus of them. $\endgroup$
    – Learning
    Jul 9, 2021 at 4:36
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "modulo" in number theory was introduced by Gauß, and I'm pretty sure the abstract algebra module is derived from that. Otherwise, "modus" meaning "measure", and measuring being one of the core ideas in mathematics, it is not surprising the word has been used a lot. I mean the analogous Greek word is metros, cf. geo-metry, trigono-metry, metric, metrizable space, metre. $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2021 at 5:22


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