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English, French, and Dutch: from the Latin personal name Clemens meaning ‘merciful’ (genitive Clementis). This achieved popularity firstly through having been borne by an early saint who was a disciple of St. Paul, and later because it was selected as a symbolic name by a number of early popes. There has also been some confusion with the personal name Clemence (Latin Clementia, meaning ‘mercy’, an abstract noun derived from the adjective; in part a masculine name from Latin Clementius, a later derivative of Clemens). As an American family name, Clement has absorbed cognates in other continental European languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988.)