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

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Is a prefix any set of letters that could be the beginning of a word?

For example, is it accurate to say that unac is a prefix of unacceptable, or is un the only valid prefix? If it is not a prefix is there a word for what unac would be in the above case?
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Two cultures — “bicultural”, one culture —?

I am looking for a word that means that somebody only has one culture. For example, somebody immigrating from Country 1 to Country 2 would be bicultural. What is someone who has only one culture. I ...
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What are the correct spelling and regional distribution of “X, schmX” to indicate dismissiveness (e.g., “evidence, schmevidence”)?

There is a curious construct in American English in which a word is stated and then repeated with the prefix "schm-" or "shm-" in order to indicate the speaker's dismissive attitude toward a concern ...
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Is there a prefix for “infinite”?

I was looking for a prefix I could prepend to a word to mean an infinite amount of the thing the word describes. I eventually found someone with the same question, and since there were no answers, I ...
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Logical meaning of the word “understand”

To understand something means to be aquainted with it, to know it very well, know how it "ticks". This is one of the basic words that has a direct "meaning" in mind. However, if we "dissect" it, is ...
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Using the prefix “be-”?

I read somewhere that the prefix be- can be used as a causative and this got me thinking. Does this mean that because means to cause to cause or to make cause?
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What comes in between predecessor and successor?

I'd like a good word for "current item in a succession of items". Let's say I am looking ahead, towards my successor. Back behind me, I can also see my predecessor. What am I? I'd hate to use the ...
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I was wondering why there are multiple prefixes for the same meaning [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why “unequal” but “inequality”? Origins of negative prefixes like in-, un-, il-, ir-, dis-, a- There are a lot of prefixes for meaning ...
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Connection between 'proxy', 'pronumeral' and 'pronoun'?

I was thinking about the words pronumeral and pronoun; I realized they both share a prefix, and are both proxies for numerals and nouns. I was wondering if there is any connection between the words ...
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Is the 're' in 'return' and 'repeat' a prefix?

Can anybody tell me whether the 're' in 'return'and 'repeat' is a prefix?
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Prefix di- and bi-

I was wondering if there are differences between the cases of using di- and the cases of using bi-? For example, why carbon dioxide instead of carbon bioxide? Why binoculars instead of dinoculars? ...
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Why does “pre-” change the meaning of “dominantly” to mean “for the most part; mainly”?

Consider the following two sentences: People in North America are predominantly English speakers. People in North America are dominantly English speakers. Merriam-Webster defines ...
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Is there a prefix that indicates that an event recurs four times a year?

"Semi-annually" describes an event that recurs every 6 months. Is there a similar term for an event that recurs every 3 months? (I'm guessing that "semi-semi-annually" isn't the correct answer.) More ...
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Difference between “unlikeable” and “dislikeable”?

Is there a difference between unlikeable and dislikeable? It feels like there is, but I'm uncertain how to explain it.
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What is the opposite of “enroll”?

Deenroll? Unenroll? I understand words like cancel and resign would work, but is there an appropriate antonym with "enroll" in it?
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What's the distinction between “nonessential” and “inessential”?

I'm revising a text that uses the word "nonessential", but my ear is telling me "inessential." Usually when there are two very similar words like this, there is some subtle (or not so subtle) ...
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Why doesn't the prefix “in” in “invaluable” mean “un-” as in other adjectives? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where did prefix exceptions originate? efficient accessible consistent articulate considerate conceivable convenient   inefficient inaccessible inconsistent ...
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“The service is temporarily unavailable” vs. “…not available”

Is there a difference? Both versions are common. If there is a difference, which do I use when, and why?
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Why are there multiple prefixes for the same root word?

The root word I'm thinking of is comfort; two types of prefixes are applied to it, in the words discomfort and uncomfortable. Why is this?
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Why isn’t “disharmony” spelled “*dysharmony”?

Disharmony is a Greek word with a Latin prefix meaning “absence of harmony” or “bad harmony”. So why not spell it dysharmony, as one spells dysfunction or dyspepsia?
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Opposite prefix to 'de'

Given a word, say deregulate, is there a prefix to denote the opposite, rather than simply saying regulate? It seems fairly illogical to have one but I was wondering if something existed.
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“Aforementioned” or “beforementioned” [closed]

I asked a question on the origin of the word aforementioned. To me, it would seem that this word should be beforementioned instead. Why does it begin with afore-? Also, does this mean afore can be ...
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What is the story behind “a-” prefix / suffix?

For example, If this van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin' Here We Come A-caroling (song title) Come on-a My House (song title) I have a few related questions: What is the "a-" or "-a" called? ...
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Meaning of the “rupt” suffix/prefix

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? ...
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“Unconscious” versus “nonconscious” in everyday dialogue

These words have subtle distinctions in related research fields, but even there are often considered interchangeable or just an matter of tradition/trendiness in a particular field. Since I am a bit ...
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If the prefix anglo- means “of the English”, what prefix means “of the Welsh”?

The title says it all! Even if Anglo doesn't quite mean "of the English" you get what I mean.
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How do I use the prefix 'de-' correctly?

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 ...
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Is “uncomplete” a word? [closed]

Or would I just use incomplete? Would there be any instance that one would uncomplete?
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What is the antonym of the prefix retro-?

A coworker and I are discussing the word "retromingent", which means urinating backwards. We are wondering what the opposite would be: the word that means urinating forwards. What is the opposite of ...
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Do “asymmetric” and “dissymmetric” have different meaning?

I get that usually a- (or un-) and di- prefixes mean different things, e.g. uninterested and disinterested. However, both asymmetric and dissymmetric refer to the lack of symmetry (which the NOAD ...
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Should “pseudo” words be hyphenated?

While this question talks about the meaning of the word "pseudo", I'm wondering what the rules are for hyphenating words that start with this prefix. For example, would it be correct to call ...
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Antonym of the verb “complete”

I have an action on a web form. It's a button whose action is to complete a case. I need to name another button, and I want to use a verb that conveys the meaning of "undo the completion" of this ...
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Is there a reason to use “mono” over “uni”?

I'm just interested in knowing if there is any non-arbitrary basis for using prefixes "mono" or "uni" when words are initially being coined. As far as I can tell, they mean the same thing as a prefix. ...
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What does “a-” before a verb mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The times they are a-changin' The times are a-changing? Why a-? While listening to some Bob Dylan I've noticed how he sometimes uses the construction a-verb (e.g. ...
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Rule or white list of words that can be prefixed with “up-” or “down-”

Some words (verbs and nouns) can get up- or down- attached before them to get new meaning. For example, Grade becomes upgrade or downgrade. Vote becomes upvote or downvote. Load becomes upload or ...
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Why does “unisex” mean both sexes?

There are some places where men and women are segregated — for example public toilets and public swimming pool changing areas. By this I mean, for example, that there are "Men's toilets" and "Ladies' ...
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Where can I find a relatively inclusive word-list for analysis of prefixes and suffixes? [closed]

To illustrate a simple example, when I encounter the word "claustrophobia", what I already knew is the left part "claustro-" means "small and enclosed", and I want to discover if "-phobia" has a fixed ...
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“Undertake” and “overtake”

Under- and over- seem to be prefixes with contrary meanings. But with the example of undertake and overtake, I don't see contrary meanings between them. Am I missing something?
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What determines whether a numerical prefix is allowable for a unit? [closed]

The prefix centi- means 10-2. But while centimetre is common, I have never heard of a centiwatt or a centisecond. The prefix Mega- means 106. Hence Megabytes exist. So why do we not have Megametres? ...
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“Uncapable” or “incapable”?

In Microsoft Word, uncapable is marked as wrong. It sounded pretty alright to me, thus, I checked it up on the Web and found that many dictionaries do not have "uncapable" in their entries, but ...
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Rule to determine when to use the prefix “im” vs. “un” to negate a word starting with “p”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Negation prefixes: un-, dis-, a-, in-, … The prefix un is commonly used to negate a word, but is is quite rare with words that start with the letter p; the prefix ...
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Adding “re” prefix

Can all verbs have "re" attached to the front of the word? I play Scrabble with a friend who feels that in the English language you can put "re" in front on any verb, and not just the ones listed in ...
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Use of prefixes mis- and mal-

The prefixes mis- and mal- basically mean the same thing. Mal-, from French, meaning "bad, badly, ill" and mis-, from Old English, meaning "bad, wrong". In some cases, mis- can derive from mes- ...
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'Shelled' vs. 'deshelled'

Are they interchangeable? Do they really mean the same thing in this context? As in the sentences: I really enjoy these already shelled pistachios. I really enjoy these already deshelled ...
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What is the opposite of the “sub” prefix?

The term subcategories refers to lower level categories. Which term should I use to refer to higher level categories? Does supercategories sound right?
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“Grudge” vs. “begrudge”

In Faulkner's The sound and the fury two sentences arrive close to one another which have made me wonder about the usage of grudge and begrudge. I know you grudge what I give him. And shortly ...
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How does the “be-” prefix change the words to which it is applied? How did it come about?

What does the be- prefix change when applied to adjectives and verbs? There are many such words that seemed to be coined of this process, for example: behold, beget, befallen, beridden, ...
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Is there a general rule for the prefixation of “un-” and “de-” to words?

Given the different questions we have seen about the prefixes "de-" and "un-", I have grown curious if there is a overarching rule for terms that need undoing. “Unselect” or “Deselect”? “Unregister” ...
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“Unregister” vs “Deregister”

The concept of "undoing a registration" is widely used in my line of work. While most dictionaries define unregister as the proper verb for it, several widely used and highly considered sources also ...
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Using the “ex” prefix on a multiple word subject

What is the proper way to use the "ex" prefix to more than one word? Examples: He is an ex-school bus driver. My ex baseball coach taught me. I am an ex-Fish and Game Warden. ...