The appendix is what is appended to something. What do we call something that is prepended to something else?

  • The opposite to appendix is the main-part. There is no ?prependix. It's more like on-, at- or off- then ante-. – vectory Sep 16 '19 at 22:25

When describing parts of a book, the "preface" or "prologue" are common.

  • This is correct. Except for its anatomical meaning, "appendix" refers specifically to an addition to the end of a written work, usually a book. It is not a general term for something added after something else, although it could be used that way in a metaphorical sense. So the corresponding "in front of" meaning would be what @ptomato says. – Robusto Nov 24 '10 at 13:19
  • "Foreword" (not to be confused with "forward") and "Introduction" are also common. – CCTO Mar 6 '20 at 16:28

Was expanding my comment to @ptomato's answer but didn't get it committed within the 5-minute mark, so am elevating this to a full answer.

In books, "foreword" (not to be confused with "forward") and "introduction" are also common. However:

In "appendix", the "ap-" seems to just convey "on" or "with"; it's the "pend" that conveys "hanging", thus "downward" or "following". So really the opposite of "append" might be something like "appose" or "adhere". "Prepend", notwithstanding its documented use, seems coined from a complete misunderstanding.

  • +1 "Prepend" seems coined from a complete misunderstanding. – GEdgar Mar 6 '20 at 16:48

Accordingly to http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/prepend there is no such thing as "to prepend"

The correct English word is "prefix;" for example, "the header is prefixed to the packet." See prefix.


prefix: The beginning or to add to the beginning

  • True - but this doesn't answer the question that you asked! – Steve Melnikoff Nov 24 '10 at 11:58
  • @Steve it does! the answer is "prefix" – Jader Dias Nov 24 '10 at 12:00
  • 4
    "Prefix" is the opposite of "suffix". The opposite of "appendix" is less obvious, but ptomato's suggestions are closer (in my opinion). – Steve Melnikoff Nov 24 '10 at 12:13
  • 2
    OED says "prepend, v. To add at the beginning, to prefix, prepose" with earliest citation from 1872. – Gareth Rees Nov 24 '10 at 15:16
  • @Gareth and there is 7,680 Google results for prependix – Jader Dias Nov 24 '10 at 15:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.