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Is there a dictionary dedicated to word prefixes? I'd like to know more about de-, but there's no uniform meaning; for example, in demystify it signifies a reverse action, while in delimit it's a positive meaning, like set.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't think there is a dictionary dedicated solely to prefixes. But you can find some common prefixes and their definitions in normal dictionaries. E.g. definitions of the prefix de- may be found in YourDictionary:

  1. away from, off: debar, derail

  2. down: degrade

  3. wholly, entirely: defunct

  4. reverse the action of; undo: defrost, decode

Edit: On the second thought, there are some. You can try searching for "Merriam-Webster's a Dictionary of Prefixes, Suffixes, And Combining Forms". I'm not sure if we're allowed to post links to resources, where you can actually download one though, else I'd give you one.

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I'm sure there isn't a "dictionary" dedicated to suffixes, but there is Michael Quinion's excellent Ologies and Isms, which covers all "affixes" (prefixes, suffixes, and infixes). I think he even includes bloody as an "intensifying infix" in the expression abso-bloody-lutely. – FumbleFingers Oct 10 '11 at 17:36
Wiktionary covers prefixes just fine. So does etymonline. – RegDwigнt Oct 11 '11 at 0:11

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