In academia the words inter-discipline, multi-discipline, trans-discipline, or cross-discipline are used to describe a type of combination between different disciplines or the uniqueness of a field.
Searching on OED.com for the terms inter, multi, cross and trans shows different uses.
- multi has some nouns and adjectives, with one option of "multi-, comb. form"
- cross has nouns, verbs, adjectives and prepositions, with "cross-, comb. form"
- inter has nouns, adjectives, verbs and prepositions, with "inter-, prefix"
- trans has nouns and adjectives, with "trans-, prefix"
In academia, the difference between multi or inter is not well-defined.
What is the difference between "comb.form" and "prefix"? Why are there no results for using multi or cross as a prefix, but there are for inter and trans? How did the interchangeability of these come about, or is it improper to use them that way?