Questions tagged [prefixes]

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

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7
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5answers
15k views

“Undistinguishable” vs. “indistinguishable”

Is there a difference between these two words? To me, it seems that undistinguishable is more where you can't tell what it is, and indistinguishable seems to be where they're the same. It seems a lot ...
3
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1answer
889 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

What are antonym-like prefixes to the Greek “crypto”?

What is a prefix that is similar to "public", or "accessible", or "ubiquitous" such that it is harmonious with the spirit of currency needing to be of public domain, widely adopted, accessible, etc. ...
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1answer
138 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 ...
44
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11answers
13k views

Why is the 'anti' in 'anti-semitism'?

If 'ageism' is the prejudice or discrimination against aged persons, 'sexism' discrimination against a person's sex and 'racism' discrimination against someone's race, then why is not Semitism the ...
3
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1answer
818 views

Pre-requisite vs prerequisite

Looking up this on English exchange I couldn't seem to find a single source of truth: Instance 1 - "Prerequisite" in search: "Prerequisite for" vs. "prerequisite to" Instance 2 - ...
3
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2answers
325 views

Nonabelian or non-abelian?

I asked this question on Mathematics Stack Exchange (here) but I haven't had any luck so far. Allow me to copy the question: If I wanted to be scrupulous about correct spelling, is there any reason ...
2
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2answers
8k views

Difference between “infinite” and “indefinite”

I have found that infinite means "very great in amount of degree" while indefinite refers to "a period of time that has no defined end." Is there a subtle, nuanced difference between these terms, or ...
0
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0answers
24 views

What could be a prefix conveying sensu lato or “wider sense” of a concept?

I'm trying to come up with a term that is similar to an existing one, but in a wider sense. I would like to use a prefix, based on classical latin/greek, to prepend to said term to convey this meaning ...
0
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0answers
33 views

What are the roots of the different meanings of the prefix mis-?

The prefix "mis-" seems to have both multiple meanings and origins in English. The Online Etymology Dictionary talks about its Germanic and Latin origins, but Webster's mentions a Greek version of "...
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2answers
3k views

Is “Reverend” a title, honorific, style or merely an adjective

Is it proper to introduce a clergyman as Reverend Johnson or is it more proper to refer to him as the Reverend Mr. Johnson ... or the Reverend Dr. Johnson, as the case may be? "This is Reverend John ...
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4answers
381 views

To either revive or kill something

I'm wondering if there's a word out there for me. I think that a clever use of a prefix would do as well. So, to revive means to make alive, and to kill means to make dead. Is there a word that means ...
2
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1answer
210 views

Is “aggr-” a prefix and what does it mean? [closed]

I'm not sure if "aggr-" is a prefix but I can see some words starting with it. like: Aggregate Aggressive Aggravate Aggrieve Aggrandize I'm here to ask if it has some meanings or they are all ...
0
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0answers
37 views

Distinction between prefixes 'super-' and 'extra-' in similar contexts

From my understanding, both the prefixes super- and extra- can mean above or beyond, though a possible distinction could be as follows (from the answer to this question): ...using super-something ...
1
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1answer
115 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 ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Is the “en-” verb prefix redundant? [closed]

The verb prefix en- seems redundant to me. For example a book titled 'Something' a book entitled 'Something' Are these identical in meaning, or is there some nuance?
1
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1answer
66 views

inter- prefix means between but interact has a whole different meaning than -inter or act, why is that?

I just started to dig into suffixes and prefixes. But I couldn't understand how do they exactly change the meaning of the word that they are appended. For example re- means again, retake means take ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What does “autolyco-sentimental” mean?

Wagner is said to have described Mayerbeer's operas as follows: (translated into English and originally written in German, probably.) "Meyerbeer ... wanted a monstrous, piebald, historico-romantic, ...
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3answers
11k 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. ...
0
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1answer
46 views

How to use two prefixes “comma” “and” stem in two situations [duplicate]

My native language is Dutch. We have a subtle, but useful way of combining the ingredients: Prefix (+ comma) + and + Prefix + stem. However, I do not know whether the same rules apply in the English ...
14
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2answers
22k 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.)
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2answers
89 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 ...
0
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2answers
85 views

Service will be 'unavailable Saturday' vs '…unavailable on Saturday' [duplicate]

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 ...
0
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2answers
657 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 ...
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2answers
3k views

Is “to” a prefix in English?

I was thinking about the words "today" and "tonight" and trying to think of what "to" means in these words. A cursory Google search turns up no results for "to-" in any prefix lists.
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3answers
31k views

Use of hypens with “auto”: autopopulate, auto-populate, or auto populate?

I've done a fair amount of research (like here), but I can't find any examples of hyphen rules with "auto". Microsoft Word doesn't take "autopopulate", but will accept either auto-populate or auto ...
3
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1answer
683 views

Is “pre-prepared” redundant?

I've noticed recently the "word" pre-prepared popping up in my daily life, and if my completely selection-biased anecdotes are any evidence, it seems to be catching on. Is there any reason why the '...
3
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1answer
49 views

Which one is the original prefix: con-, com-, or cor-?

Which one is the original prefix: con-, com-, or cor-? And which ones are variants?
17
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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. • ...
2
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1answer
70 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
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2answers
482 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,...
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6answers
68k 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
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1answer
48 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 ...
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7answers
7k 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 ...
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3answers
285 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
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3answers
944 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
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5answers
432 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 ...
33
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4answers
27k 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 ...
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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
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1answer
4k 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
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3answers
12k 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 ...
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0answers
188 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, ...
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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
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2answers
242 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
200 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 ...
170
votes
11answers
171k 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 ...
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2answers
201 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
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2answers
157 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 ...
20
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?