While searching for an alternative synonym for the adjective starving, I found the word ahungered and I was intrigued by the use of the prefix a in this case.

I looked up the etymology of the prefix a- .

Edit: While I am aware that there are similar questions concerning this prefix, I would need an explanation for this particular word:

When I first came across ahungered, I intuitively thought that here a- implies that the noun it describes was made hungry, as opposed to simply getting hungry. Is this intuition correct? Can the prefix acquire a grammatical meaning, if I can use this expression?

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    Does this answer your question? What is the story behind "a-" prefix / suffix? [in examples like If this van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin' and Here We Come A-caroling {a-wassailing}]. //// 'I think it often denotes some kind of "continuing activity or state" (asleep, abed, astir), so there's an element of tautology when used with -ing forms such as a-wassailing.' – FumbleFingers Oct 21 '11 Dec 26, 2020 at 12:19
  • I looked up the etymology of the prefix a- . If you have done this, you will have seen: It also can represent Middle English of (prep.) "off, from," as in anew, afresh, akin, abreast. Or it can be a reduced form of the Old English past participle prefix ge-, as in aware. Either way, it is not a word that you will use.
    – Greybeard
    Dec 26, 2020 at 13:15
  • @Greybeard: I am actually using it in the translation of an ancient text. Yes, I did see that definition but it is not clear to me how "ahungered" can mean "off, from hunger". I had also found that it can refer to a momentary event, but EdA seems to indicate that it is rather a "continuing activity". My main question is however if a prefix can change the "grammatical connotation" of a verb.
    – fev
    Dec 26, 2020 at 13:18


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