It can be placed before the stem of many a word to produce verbs of a very distinctive kind! For example:

outdate, outgrow, outlay, outlive, outmatch, outnumber, outrun, outsmart, outsource, outstrip, outweight, outwit,...

Is there another preposition/adverb in the English language that when used as a prefix originates such a noticeable amount of new verbs? Is there a generic term that can be used to refer to preposition/adverbs of this persuasion?

Thanks a lot for your patience and continued support!

  • 1
    Sure, the other half of the pair: down ;)
    – Dan Bron
    May 7, 2015 at 7:24
  • 1
    JHS, I second @DanBron, for instance, downvote! (JK)
    – Tushar Raj
    May 7, 2015 at 7:26
  • @DanBron: What do you mean by "the other half of the pair"? May 7, 2015 at 7:33
  • @J.H.S. I guess you've never been down and out? Anyway, more seriously, almost any directional word will function as a very productive prefix to form new verbs.
    – Dan Bron
    May 7, 2015 at 7:37
  • It's unclear what your question really is. Are you simply playing a game to see how many words one can think of in this category?
    – Hot Licks
    May 7, 2015 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


Out is usable as an adverb, adjective or preposition.

Out is more frequently used as an adverb.

"outdate, outgrow, outlay, outlive, outmatch, outnumber, outrun, outsmart, outsource, outstrip, outweight, outwit" are all due to the adverbial action, rather than its prepositional effect.

  • update, upward, uplift, upcast, upon, uppity, upkeep, upgive, updive, uprising, uprise, uppent, upstream, upshift

  • overcome, overly, overbearing, overcast, overshadow, overconfident, overcast, overgrow, overlay, overrun, overfly, overkill, overdo, overeat, oversee, overuse

It's not over till it's over.

  • 1
    Upload, upshift, upsell ... etc. May 7, 2015 at 11:26
  • @Blessed Geek: It has to be noted, though, that none of the following words is considered a verb (as of today): upon, uprising, uppent, overly, overbearing... May 7, 2015 at 21:20
  • You forgot "upchuck".
    – Hot Licks
    May 7, 2015 at 22:20

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