Tagged Questions

A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word

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2
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2answers
503 views

prefix for “possible”, “supposed”, “potential” etc.?

I am looking for a prefix to express the meaning of something possibly belonging to a class / category, or being a candidate for the concept in question. For instance, a "[...]-solution" would be ...
4
votes
3answers
936 views

What is the difference between the prefix iso and homo

I haven't found a ancient Greek site on stack exchange, so i hope it is ok to ask it here: What is the difference between 'iso-' and 'homo-'? Do they both mean 'same'? For example: isotope, isomer, ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Change of form of some (Latin) prefixes like ex-, ad- into ef-, a-: are there rules or conditions?

There are many cases of prefixes changing their forms. For example ex- can change to ef- in front of f, e.g. effusion. ad- becomes a- in front of b, e.g. abate. Are there some more general rules ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

Using “not” versus the negation prefixes for negation

Let's take this sentence as an example He is able to move. Now, what is the best negation of that action between those two? He is not able to move. He is unable to move. And what ...
2
votes
2answers
462 views

How to understand “-metr-”, as a root?

-Metr-, as a root, from http://www.prefixsuffix.com/rootchart.php: metr: admeasure, apportion. E.g., metrics, asymmetric, parametric, telemetry "Admeasure, apportion" means distribution. So I ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

“Not able to” vs. “unable to”

Which phrase is more suitable to convey one's inability to do something — "not able to" or "unable to"? For example, not able to join the meeting unable to join the meeting
7
votes
1answer
244 views

The significance of “y”

Regarding the pronoun "your", ignoring the singular possessive form. Is there some significance to the "prefix" y or is this a coincidence? Our: Collective possession, including me. Y our: ...
7
votes
1answer
583 views

How does one capitalize words like “un-American”?

Google's dictionary lists it as "un-American" or "unAmerican" (which looks clumsy to me). Since American is a "demonym," I would usually capitalize it, so I feel compelled to capitalize "un-American" ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Opposite of 'for-' prefix

I understand that often the opposite of the 'for-' prefix is 'back-', ie. "forwards" and "backwards," "foreground" and "background." But what is the opposite of 'foreshadowing,' 'forgiven' or ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

What prefix means “during”?

The prefixes "pre-" and "post-" refer to events before and after. For instance, "pre-season" and "post-season" or "pre-study" and "post-study". Is there a prefix fitting this pattern which means ...
0
votes
1answer
220 views

The prefix *sub*

The prefix sub appears in many words, such as subway and substantial. For subway, I take it as the way that is completely different from the way that I get used to. Moreover it is not the main way. ...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

Prefix or adjective meaning “one and a half”

Is there a prefix or adjective that means "one and a half", as "tri-" or "triple" is for "three"? The exact usage I have is to describe "18" in terms of a dozen. Where I live they've started making ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Are prefixes, as bound morphemes, always separable from their root words?

The root words in the examples below look fine even without a prefix: un + bearable ir + regular dis + able mis + fortune ... but not in these: pro + gress pro + mote Possibly, I ...
3
votes
3answers
175 views

Verb for removing from end or beginning [duplicate]

We use "append" and "prepend" for adding to the end and to the beginning respectivly. Is there a word for removing in same place
-2
votes
1answer
1k views

Phe- prefix - etymology [closed]

What is the meaning, origin and usage of the "phe-" prefix? According to one source, it means "to speak".
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Prefix im- is for opposite or asserting

Is the prefix im- used in a negative sense, as in, the opposite of the word following it, e.g. Impenitent = "not penitent" Or it is used in the positive sense that supports the word following ...
1
vote
1answer
712 views

Sub-classification or subclassification? [closed]

We’re debating this at work. Merriam-Webster says it’s “subclassification”. Dictionary.Reference.com allows “sub-classification” and “subclassification” Is there a ‘more correct’ word to use? ...
1
vote
1answer
754 views

“para-” in words like “paraglider” and “parabrake”

As is well known, para-, meaning "alongside or beyond", is derived from Greek loanwords such as paraphrase and parasite, while, meaning "against", is derived from the Latin "be prepared" as in ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

How did “replace” come to mean “put something in the place of”?

Replace has several meanings, but a common one is "to put something in the place of," as in, "After drinking your cola, I replaced it with a beer." The way in which replace, which seems to most ...
4
votes
1answer
159 views

Any connection between akimbo, askance and atremble?

I came across akimbo and askance today and wondered if they were related, with the opening 'a' signifying something. Apparently not: Akimbo — to stand "with hands on hips and elbows projecting ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“dis” and “un” prefixes for the word interest

For the word interest we can say: I am disinterested* in that topic. And it is correct. To be correct again we must use the prefix "un" if we choose to structure the sentence this way: That ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Sub edge, sub-edge or subedge?

In fields like geometry and numerical methods for solving differential equations we often use words like sub-face and sub-edge, referring to parts of a geometrical object. For instance, a cube has 6 ...
8
votes
1answer
483 views

Un-(adjective) but In-(noun) — does it ever go the other way?

Many pairs of words use un- as a prefix for the preferred adjective but in- as a prefix for the preferred noun (e.g. unstable/instability, unequal/inequality, unable/inability, unjust/injustice, ...
1
vote
3answers
195 views

Why does no dictionary carry the word 'non-affair', though all carry 'nonevent'?

I came across the word “non-affair” in Jeffery Archer’s novel Kane and Abel, which I just finished reading yesterday. The word appears in the following sentence (p. 544): “She couldn’t recall ...
6
votes
3answers
439 views

In English, is there an established prefix for “mostly”?

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between a “prefix” and a “combining form”?

According to ODO, mini- is classified as a combining form. How exactly is this different from a prefix (or an affix, in general)? Can combining forms also be prefixes?
1
vote
6answers
243 views

Synonyms for “extra-”

I'm looking for prefixes similar to extra- in the sense of 'outside of'. I'm attaching it to "mathematical" and in its context "extra-mathematical" or "extramathematical" can be misread as "very ...
0
votes
4answers
1k views

“pre-” and “post-”, but what about “suf-”?

Is there a prefix related to “suf-” the way “pre-” is related to “post-”? In my opinion, “pre-” seems to mean leading, “post-” means bringing up the rear (like a post script). “suf-” would seem to ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “dispreferred” a mainstream word in English?

I just recently came across the word dispreferred in a linguistic document. I have never heard the word used before, rather I generally hear something like "preferred something else" in everyday ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Pre-design, design and post-design [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: If ‘pre’ is previous, ‘post’ is after, what is current? Pre-design, design and post-design. What is the right word that describes during the design (design that is ...
5
votes
3answers
403 views

What is the correct Latinate prefix for honey-eaters?

In English, a vegetarian who eats eggs and dairy products can be referred to as an ovo-lacto vegetarian. By the same token, could a person who eats honey but is otherwise vegan be meaningfully called ...
5
votes
1answer
408 views

Is “catenate” used in IT parlance?

When I was doing my IT degree in the 80s we learned that, in programming terms, concatenation was the act of joining two strings together. Recently I was reading a technical manual and came across ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

When adding prefixes to noun phrases, should you hyphenate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it necessary to use a hyphen in writing a compound word? Using “non-” to prefix a two-word phrase When adding a prefix to a noun, I've been taught to usually ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the difference between “dewatering” and “unwatering”

This report on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy refers to the process of removing water as unwatering. However, I always thought that this process was called dewatering. What, if any, is the ...
3
votes
4answers
188 views

Why is it that denuding something means you strip it rather than dress it?

When we denude something we strip it, like the branches of a tree. That seems a bit inverted to me, shouldn't it be to nude-something?
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How productive is the prefix “un-”?

Is it possible to use un- with new words such as sit, sleep, sad? I'm currently seeing many words (in programming) which use "un-" in the meaning of undoing something. For example, is it possible to ...
2
votes
2answers
768 views

Hyphens after the prefixes “non-” and “anti-” in mathematics

Is there a convention when to attach the prefixes non- and anti- to mathematical terms using a hyphen and when without? One uses non-zero but also noncommutative. Likewise for anti-. I no longer ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

What is a prefix that means near?

For instance, if I were to describe someone as being *near-*carnivorous, I'm have the goal of depicting them as being a heavy meat eater that includes very few forms of non-meat based food in their ...
5
votes
5answers
19k views

Which is higher — “hyper-”, “ultra-” or “super-”? [closed]

According to OED, hyper-: over, beyond, over much, above measure ultra-: beyond super-: over, above, higher than They all have the meaning "higher than", but what is the order of ...
4
votes
4answers
204 views

To either revive or kill something

I'm wondering if there's a word out there for me. I think that a clever use of a prefix would do as well. So, to revive means to make alive, and to kill means to make dead. Is there a word that means ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Hyphens in verb construction containing prefix such as “re”

In semi-formal business writing in the United States, I often observe that writers tend to add a hyphen between a prefix and the root infinitive of verbs. In many of the cases, the resulting verb ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Non-lexical words

I like suffixes and prefixes. I am wondering if I can use new nonlexical words such as: Javasmith (-smith) Javamaniac (-maniac) (just like shoemania!!) Javaster (-ster) The main ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Words having two prefixes incorporated

There are prefixes of time and order (pre-, post-), of location (sub-, super-), for expressing the reversing of an action (de-, dis-), and go on. English words may take prefixes from one or two of ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Word for a person who knows two or three languages

A polyglot is a person who is fluent in many languages, but what do we call a person who is fluent in only two or three languages? Is bi-glot a proper term for this? I don't think the words ...
-3
votes
2answers
235 views

“bigamy” and “digamy”

bi‑  from Latin with the meaning of two. di‑  is the Greek counterpart of bi‑, with the same meaning of two. Are bigamy and digamy words with the same meaning. If not, why?
1
vote
2answers
247 views

How can you omit repetition of words with prefixes, e.g. “inputs and outputs”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of hyphens when writing repeated compound words that has common parts I am looking for a general way of shortening the repetition of words with prefixes like ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Using “non-” to prefix a two-word phrase

Does "non-" prefixed to a two word phrase permit another hyphen before the second word? If I want to refer to an entity which is defined as the negation of another entity by attaching "non-" it seems ...
15
votes
4answers
15k views

“Instable” or “unstable”?

From my experience, it seems that although unstable is more commonly used, instable is often preferred in engineering and scientific contexts, e.g. "aircraft instability", "instable algorithm". Are ...
5
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the difference between “Hept-” and “Sept-” prefixes?

As I understand it, both the prefixes "Hept-" and "Sept-" are used to indicate seven of something. We have examples of English words that use both: e.g. Heptathalon, Heptagon, Heptane vs ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

“Reset” or “re-set”?

As far as I know there are two different meanings of the word "reset": to restore an object/value to a previous/initial state - that's the most widely use of the word;  to set the value/state a ...