Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [prefixes]

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

0
votes
0answers
27 views

{Prefix Be-} When can this prefix be appropriately used explained simply? [closed]

Okay, first, I'm terrible with English terminology like subordinate clauses, privatives, etc. Also it seems everywhere I go with the question of be- I either don't understand what it's saying because, ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Transcription and pronunciation of the 'un-' prefix in General American English

What's the correct transcription and pronunciation of the 'un-' prefix in General American English? Cambridge Online dictionary provides the following transcription: /ʌn/ It's the same in words with ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the history of adding the a- prefix to form words?

I have always found the a- prefix to words (as in anew, ajar, aside, awake, afoot, a-hunting, etc.) fascinating. The NOAD says on this topic: a- 2. prefix •to; toward : aside | ashore. • ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Water is to hydro as wind is to?

What is the generic name or collective adjective for things associated with wind and wind-generated electricity ? solar, hydro, anemoi?
0
votes
2answers
435 views

What did Colbert mean by “bedude form"?

In his most recent monologue on The Late Show, the comedian host Stephen Colbert, gently mocked a New York Times reporter's style of writing (watch the excerpt on YouTube) “500 words” she whispered,...
28
votes
6answers
54k views

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?
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Co-pay vs copartnership: Prefix hyphenation in AmE

In AmE, we tend to close up prefixes like co-, re-, pre-, post-, etc. unless the first letter of the main word is the same vowel as the last letter of the prefix. But I see some exceptions like ...
8
votes
3answers
9k views

in-able ? un-able?

Suffix -able adds meaning "being able" to a word. I know that. Prefix in- and un- mean "not" or some negative meaning. I know that. However, when it comes to mixing of these, I am confused. ...
1
vote
2answers
33 views

Service will be 'unavailable Saturday' vs '…unavailable on Saturday'

I want to perfect this system message the most I can and am over-thinking the use of the proper words. Is it better to say "Email will be unavailable Saturday 12/29 from 5 PM to 9 PM" or "Email will ...
8
votes
7answers
6k views

What is a prefix that means near?

For instance, if I were to describe someone as being *near-*carnivorous, I'm have the goal of depicting them as being a heavy meat eater that includes very few forms of non-meat based food in their ...
1
vote
3answers
114 views

Does the prefix “pre” connote negative meanings? Examples: “Presage” vs “sage”, “pretext” and “preclude”

I came across the word "presage" through the Vocabulary Builder as below presage (v.) presij to indicate something (usually bad) is about to happen. The sudden loss of jobs presaged an ...
2
votes
3answers
687 views

Is “extra-departmental” a real word?

I could only find a definition on Wiktionary, making it questionable. My team is looking to title something that refers to departments outside our own, but still internal to the company. As in, "...
14
votes
5answers
390 views

Adam lay ybounden. Any ys around these days?

Thanks for pointing out the similar question. Great, but note that I'm trying to find ... • is there any SPECIFIC examples/evidence around of yword yusage TODAY? • other than jokey usage, is there ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How can you determine whether a word with the pseudo- prefix should be hyphenated?

I am in a bit of a quandary over conflicting results in dictionary entries about the inclusion of a hyphen in some of the words containing the pseudo- prefix. An example of one of these words is ...
31
votes
4answers
24k views

What is the opposite of “meta”?

A while back I was talking about it with friends. Another question indicates a few meanings of the "meta-" prefix. Considering that "meta" means, in simple words, "about itself" (like how metadata is ...
9
votes
7answers
4k views

Prefix or adjective meaning “one and a half”

Is there a prefix or adjective that means "one and a half", as "tri-" or "triple" is for "three"? The exact usage I have is to describe "18" in terms of a dozen. Where I live they've started making ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there any relationship between the “theo” in “theoretical” and that in “theology”?

The title is rather self-explanatory, but the notion that "theory" has some etymological connection, remote or intentional, to concepts of God i.e. "theology", is intriguing to me. If they're ...
2
votes
3answers
9k views

Is “encapture” a word?

I always thought that "encapture" is a word meaning "to capture". However, spellchecking softwares flag this term and a quick Google search shows that this term is not listed in any dictionary except ...
1
vote
0answers
70 views

Is there a prefix to denote neutrality?

English has prefixes to denote opposition as well as absence. For example: 'gnostic' vs 'agnostic' (having knowledge vs absence of knowledge) 'social' vs 'asocial' vs 'anti social' (being social, ...
73
votes
4answers
10k views

Why is it “behead” and not “dehead”?

The be- prefix in behead doesn't seem to match similar words like become, besmirch, or befuddle. Of course, the same prefix could serve different roles depending on the word. What role is be- serving ...
1
vote
2answers
50 views

Is it okay to use “pre-” in a clause referring to “prelaunch”?

My question has to do with the word "prelaunch." According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the preferred spelling is without a hyphen. In the following clause, is it correct to use the hyphen after ...
1
vote
2answers
385 views

The use of “en-” vs “em-” as a verb prefix

The prefix en- (from French) has a variant spelling em-. (This is also associated, although I believe imperfectly, with the use of the sound /m/ in the pronunciation of the prefix.) Although the ...
0
votes
2answers
144 views

Is there a word for making a neologism by adding an “em” prefix to nouns or adjective?

I am a trusted critic of a friend's writing. I have noticed an (admittedly obnoxious) habit they have of "creating" new words by adding the "em" prefix to nouns or adjectives, like empurpled. For ...
159
votes
11answers
157k views

“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 ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

Pre- : prevalent , predominant

I am a computer scientist who's trying to analyze and endcode the meaning of morphemes or more higher level of abstraction to be represented and stored in a numerical data. While processing the ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

What is the grammatical name of prefixing a word by “A”?

I've noticed that in English, "some words" (I don't know if it could be used on all words) could be prefixed by the letter "a" to change the meaning, here are a few examples: Side and Aside ...
19
votes
1answer
19k views

Why “unequal” but “inequality”?

The opposite of "equal" is "unequal", yet there is no word "unequality". Why do we use "inequality" instead?
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Is “reoccurring” a word and is there any semantic difference with “recurring”?

The internet seems divided on this one. Although, e.g., the Merriam-Webster dictionary does not list the word "reoccurring", dictionary.com does list it as a variant of "occur", and the Oxford ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Between two instances of a repeating event - “inter” or “intra”?

There is an annual event which some friends and I attend, let's call it "foodcon" for ease. I am thinking about hosting a small and informal "social catch up" for a circle of close friends from that ...
2
votes
0answers
660 views

Why do so many prefixes mean “Not”

While trying to think of a brief list of English prefixes that mean "not" or "opposite to" in some way, I was wondering why so many exist. As English has roots in so many languages, I was hoping ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Nonionic or non-ionic? [closed]

which is more correct or more frequently used? Nonionic or non-ionic (polymers)? It´s for an academic presentation.
1
vote
3answers
100 views

Is “catarolysis” a word? Whether it is or not, how might it be broken down into Greek or Latin derivatives?

Some definitions I have seen are: "catarolysis - n. - cursing to let off steam" and "catarolysis: letting off steam by cursing" and "catarolysis /kat uh RALL ih sis/ n The practice of cursing to ...
14
votes
1answer
874 views

How is “erogenous” incorrectly formed?

When I check the etymology of erogenous in OED, it is mentioned that it is incorrectly formed (along with erogenic). Etymology of erogenous from OED: formed as erogenic adj. + -ous suffix. Both ...
3
votes
2answers
668 views

How did we get both sub- and infra- prefixes?

It seems that both sub- and infra- are prefixes that mean "below", leading to their use in different words to provide a similar meaning. We even have some words that are the same apart from these ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

When to use un-, im-, or in-? [duplicate]

adverbs like inefficient, inexpensive, unnbelievable..., imbossible Is there any roule? When to use? What to do
0
votes
2answers
457 views

Do prefixes & suffixes have antonyms?

Question Do prefixes & suffixes have antonyms? As in, is it possible for a prefix or suffix to not have an antonym? Example Google defines "-gon" as: -gon combining form in nouns ...
57
votes
6answers
15k views

What we've gelost — why doesn't English use the prefix “ge-”?

The Germanic languages that I'm familiar with all use a prefix similar to ge- on past participles: German: Ich habe mir den Fuß gebrochen. Dutch: Ik heb mijn voet gebroken. But English doesn'...
-1
votes
1answer
114 views

Which is less ordinary? Super- or Extra- ordinary? [closed]

I would like to describe something that is even rarer than extraordinary. Does superordinary fit the bill?
11
votes
4answers
108k views

Word for a person who knows two or three languages

A polyglot is a person who is fluent in many languages, but what do we call a person who is fluent in only two or three languages? Is bi-glot a proper term for this? I don't think the words ...
2
votes
3answers
79 views

Can the prefix a- be appended to the word schismatic to form the word aschismatic, meaning the opposite of schismatic?

Can the prefix a- be appended to the word schismatic to form the word aschismatic, meaning the opposite of schismatic? Both the prefix a- and the word schism(atic) seem to be of Ancient Greek origin, ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Is it near real time, near real-time, near-real time, or near-real-time?

Your energy usage will be available in near real time near-real time near real-time near-real-time on your mobile. Which is/are correct? [Google Ngram]
17
votes
8answers
21k views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

How did 'entreat', but not 'treat', shift to mean 'to enter into negotiations'?

entreat (v.) c. 1400, "to enter into negotiations," especially "discuss or arrange peace terms;" also "to treat (someone) in a certain way," from Anglo-French entretier, Old French entraiter "...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Non-existing or nonexisting [closed]

What is correct in English, non-existing or nonexisting? Searching sources on Google doesn't help much as both variants are widely present there. Onelook Dictionary Search doesn't show much about ...
2
votes
2answers
319 views

A prefix that means “post-post-”?

Lets say I'm describing a musical genre, like post-punk. I want to create a song that's so advanced past post-punk, that I want to call it post-post-punk. However, the double-post looks abhorrent and ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

Difference between the -genous and -ginous word suffixes

I was wondering whether anyone knows the exact difference between the English suffixes -agenous and -aginous. I believe the difference is that the first suffix has to do with describing the rough ...
14
votes
1answer
17k views

When is the prefix non- used vs un-?

Specifically, my students were asking why the terms "nonliving" and "undead" are the way they are. (And why "unliving" and "nondead" seem wrong.)
6
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
8answers
6k views

Is “incomplex” a legitimate word?

I want to create a poster titled "An Incomplex Introduction to Complexity-based Cryptography." As you see, it contrasts the words incomplex and complexity. (Words like simple or easy do not provide ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Update vs Outdate

I'm not sure if this question belongs on English SE, but the following question is about word origins. Let's take two words: update and outdate. Update means to make (something) more modern or up ...