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I was wondering the other day about the word corrupt, found that the suffix "rupt" appears in many words and as a prefix for another set and decided to ask this question: What does "rupt" mean?

corrupt - "core"(I assume) + rupt = broken core ?

rupture - rupt + verb-type thing = broken

then there's all of these , mainly (if not prefixed with a negative) meaning a (on some higher level) to break an existing state of being

This is all very poorly phrased and I apologise, I'm just not entirely capable of expressing exactly what I mean, which is why I made the examples.

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2 Answers

Rupt is better thought of as a word root than as a prefix or a suffix. It comes from Latin.

Rumpere is a Latin stem meaning "to break". From that comes the Latin ruptura, meaning "fracture".

As you noticed, these words are connected in that they all seem to describe something broken.

Here you'll find a more detailed etymology of many words that contain the root.

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thanks loads :) –  Dani Oct 18 '11 at 6:19
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There is not a rupt postfix, or prefix, in English.

Most of the words you refer derives from a Latin word that derives from the verb rumpere (erumpere, corrumpere, interrumpere, irrumpere). Bankrupt derives from the Italian banca rotta, not from a Latin word; the change in ending has been done for association with the Latin rupt- (broken). (In Italian, rotta means broken.)

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The Italian banca rotta is probably derived from a similar Latin word or phrase as well. –  Joachim Sauer Oct 19 '11 at 7:30
The difference is that the other words derives directly from Latin, while bankrupt derives from Italian. Latin didn't have an equivalent of banca rotta; I don't think Romans talked of bankruptcy. Italian, between the languages derived from the Latin, it's the one that preserves more Latin words than other Latin-derived languages. This means that there are Latin words that are also Italian words, and there are Italian words that are very close to Latin words (compare the Italian rompere with the Latin rumpere). –  kiamlaluno Oct 19 '11 at 7:53
Much as I appreciate the answer, I used pre/post-fix as a way to express what I was thinking, not being familiar with the phrase word root , I wasn't being literal. –  Dani Oct 19 '11 at 10:22
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