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MOR is a Primitive Quendian root signifying "black, dark".[1][2][3]


Other versions

In the Etymologies appears the root MOR-, yielding Primitive Quendian mori ("black"). From this root derives such words as:[4]

  • Quenya: morna ("gloomy, sombre"); mordo ("shadow, obscurity, stain, smear, dimness")[5]


The element mor appears in a large number of compounds. Christopher Tolkien notes in the Etymologies that the entry MOR- is "extremely confused through changes and afterthought additions" and that it is not clear if "all the forms given were intended to stand".[4] It can therefore be hard to know if the element mor in a compound is supposed to consist of a certain derivative of MOR.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 297, (dated August 1967) (root appearing as "√MOR")
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), pp. 73, 81 , 165 (root appearing as "√MOR-")
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names" (element appearing as "mor", signifying "dark")
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", pp. 373-4
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies — Part One" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 45, November 2003, p. 35