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For half, I could use semi, demi, or hemi. While semi does mean "half", it sometimes has a connotation of "some". Demi is often found with French roots. According to this link, hemi is the least often used of the three but can also mean "half".

On the other hand, I could use something like toti or perhaps other choices to indicate all.

Pardon my mathematical nature, but is there a prefix which would mean "mostly", that is more than one half but less than the full unit.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Depending on context quasi could work. Quasi as a prefix indicates similarity or resemblance. If a sphere is a ball and a hemisphere is half a ball, quasi-sphere would mean something that's ball-like, "roughly" or "more or less" a ball.

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+1 that's what I would have suggested! –  Kristina Lopez Feb 11 '13 at 20:00
    
Ok, I think will take quasi as a good enough even though not optimal solution. I am going to count on putting quasi and semi next to each other and the observer being able to detect that quasi > semi in nature. In this case, semi carries more the "somewhat" or "sort of" meaning as discussed by @Jon Hanna. –  demongolem Feb 11 '13 at 21:43

While semi does mean "half", it sometimes has a connotation of "some".

I'm not convinced by this. It's sometimes used informally to mean "somewhat" or "sort of", but to mean "some" would be rare.

We have quasi- for "almost", but not for "most of". It's appropriate when something bears a resemblance to another thing, rather than when it is an incomplete example of something.

We don't have toti- as a common prefix, but we do have pan- for all of, which is used productively.

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I'd use omni- or multi-. While omni- indeed means all, it often is appropriated for use as mostly, as for example so-called omnidirectional microphones and antennae are not indeed omnidirectional, but instead most-directions–directional. Multi-, on the other hand, is less of a stretch, as it denotes “Resembling, pertaining to many or many things”.

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