- \ \  Semantically, mutate is probably the most direct English descendant of the Indo- European base *moi-, *mei- ‘change, exchange’, which has also given English mad, mean ‘unworthy, ignoble’, municipal, mutual  (from Latin mūtuus ‘exchanged, reciprocal’), the final syllable of common, and probably migrate . Mutate itself comes from Latin mūtāre ‘change’ (source also of English mews and moult), and was preceded into English by some centuries by the derivatives mutable  and mutation .\ \ Cf.⇒ MEWS, MOULT, MUTUAL
Word origins - 2ed. J. Ayto. 2005.