Questions tagged [prefixes]

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

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9
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2answers
1k views

Preservation of the en- prefix form of Latin negative prefix in-, in enemy & enmity

The en- in enemy is a prefix meaning "not": the origin is Latin inimicus, from in- + amicus — a "not friend" or an "unfriend" (Online Etymology Dictionary—enemy). The Latin in- changed to en- when ...
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5answers
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Nonstop, non-stop, or non stop? [closed]

Which is the proper spelling of "nonstop?" nonstop or non stop or non-stop
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2answers
579 views

Which animals can and can't be prefixed with “she-”?

I've heard of "she-wolf" (partially from mythology, partially from pop music), and I'm wondering which animals "she-" can and can't be used on. Wiktionary mentions a variety of animals (she-ass, she-...
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1answer
791 views

How did “perfidy” come to mean the absence of faithfulness / trust?

Perfidy is (OED): Deceitfulness, untrustworthiness; breach of faith or of a promise; betrayal of trust; treachery. The roots are per- and fidēs (faith) Per- carries several senses, but generally ...
3
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3answers
228 views

Why is there a negation of “ability” but not a negation of “agility”?

Would like to know what is the reasoning behind the use of some prefixes for example if one were to use "un-"able as opposed to "dis-"able the situational context is understood yet the same does not ...
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4answers
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I need a word for my obscure phobia for hard, smooth structures

If I let myself, I become upset and a bit terrified by smooth hard structures. A good example is the most perfect sphere in the world, seen here. It's a polished sphere of solid silicon-28. The metal ...
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2answers
4k views

How can pre be used

What are rules or style guidelines when adding "pre" to the beginning of words. I know that this called a prefix and that illustrates my point. How/when can pre be attached without a hyphen? Example:...
0
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1answer
53 views

Why are numbers associated with shapes and nomials so complicated?

I was reading up a bit on the wiki page "Numeral Prefix" and realized that the monos, bis, and tris etc. prefixes of nomials, and the hexa, poly, and nanos etc. of shapes are all mixed around amongst ...
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2answers
69 views

semi-business-related?

I'm writing my statement of purpose for grad school application. I would like to express "I came from an academic background that is half business-related", as I majored in E-business. What is the ...
3
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1answer
2k views

difference between the prefix “un” and “not” [closed]

is there any plausible way to seperate the semantics of undefined - not defined or undetermined - not determined ?
5
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2answers
347 views

Why don't we say things are pervious?

Why is the word "pervious" uncommon to the point of being considered a spelling error, but "impervious" is extremely common? For the record, it is a word, apparently. Dictionary.com defines it as: ...
0
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2answers
341 views

Negative prefixes: Why impossible but unpleasant?

I know that the negative prefix im- is used before b, m, p as an assimilation of the prefix in-. Then why can't we say imbelievable, inpleasant or inpredictable but we use unbelievable, unpleasant and ...
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1answer
615 views

Use of the prefix Im- [closed]

I have read the rules for using im- versus un- and agree with the general ideas put forth. A word that I used recently, seems to fall into a category all its own. The word is (im)provable, meaning ...
14
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2answers
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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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4answers
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Is “disconfirm” a word?

I see that disconfirm is not in the dictionary but I was wondering if concatenating the prefix dis- to a proper verb can be used to properly denote a meaning opposite from that verb. E.g. in The Big ...
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2answers
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Why are salons which serve both genders called Unisex Salons? [duplicate]

Apparently the prefix 'uni' means 'one' and 'bi' means two (or double) So why are salons that caters to both sexes called unisex? Flowers which are both male and female are called bisexual flowers... ...
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0answers
706 views

In word construction, is there an affix order?

Does English have classes of prefixes and suffixes like it does adjectives, and if so, how are they usually ordered? For example, adjectives usually go in this order (or something like it): Quantity ...
2
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2answers
7k views

What is the difference between “trans” and “inter” prefixes? [duplicate]

What is the difference between "trans" and "inter" prefixes? For example what how does "trans-disciplinary" differ from "inter-disciplinary"?
1
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1answer
193 views

How did the 'for-' prefix evolve into its negative meanings?

Preface: I hope for an equally, if not more, instructive answer like this for 'be-'. [for-:] prefix usually meaning "away, opposite, completely," from Old English for-, [1] indicating loss ...
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2answers
358 views

An antonym for 'sought-after'

Whenever describing something that is seldom looked for or desired I often verbalise it with "ill sought after" without hesitating. (ignore that ill is its own word, the trouble I'm having writing it ...
3
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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2answers
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Logically, could the word “University” mean the opposite of “Diversity”?

DI- twice; two-; double. DI-VERSE: showing a great deal of variety; very different. DI-VERS-ITY: the state of being diverse; variety. UNI- one; having or consisting of one. While, by ...
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1answer
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“Re” prefix vs remote

My first post here, hello everyone. :) Feel free to suggest changes to this question. I was just wondering why is the word remote unlike the other words starting with “re” like replay, reply, ...
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2answers
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Why are there two Rs in “arrhythmic”?

It seems to me combining "a-"and "rhythmic" would intuitively be spelled "arhythmic". Is there a rule or some other practical reason that it's spelled arrhythmic?
3
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3answers
385 views

“monobjective” vs “monoobjective”: should it be “mon” or “mono-” before a vowel?

I do not know which of the following words is right in English: monobjective vs monoobjective. The context is scientific/formal. Example: "monoobjective optimization". Is there any general rule in ...
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1answer
319 views

Which word is most correct in this case: re-settle or resettle?

In reference to the word settle as it pertains to the specific definition: Determine; decide on: There is some debate internally on whether to use the word resettle which only has one definition: ...
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1answer
684 views

Definitive way to separate prefixes from roots

Prefixes and suffixes change the meaning of roots, therefore to properly analyze a word it is often helpful to know what is the prefix and what is the root. Prefixes are a syllable or syllables in ...
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2answers
9k 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Are there prefixes which have the meaning 'originating from within', or 'originating from outside'?

I'm looking for prefixes which mean that something emanates/flows/comes from inside / outside, as opposed to existing / being located inside' ('endo-'), or 'existing / being located outside' ('exo-'). ...
3
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1answer
161 views

What is the scope of “co-” in English?

Is it right to refer to someone as a “co-chairwoman” if the other person doing the chairing is a man? Someone might say it is not, because the prefix “co-“ implies that two (or more) people share the ...
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1answer
453 views

On a peculiar use of the preposition/adverb “out”

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,...
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2answers
508 views

What prefix corresponds to something on the same level?

I am working on modeling a problem for a computer program and am having a tough time coming up with the proper naming convention I would like to use. Specifically I am working with a finite state ...
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0answers
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Is there a nuance in meaning between 'non-managed' and 'unmanaged'?

Context: I am writing about 'devices not managed by professionals' and debating the subtleties between non-managed devices vs. unmanaged devices
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0answers
177 views

I`m just curious about how to speak “anti-” is correct? [closed]

I`m just curious about how to speak "anti-" is correct? it`s like ant/ai/ or ant/i/??
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1answer
595 views

Proper usage of Prefix “UN” is there a word as “UNSWAPPING”

A closed group in Facebook bash me for asking them if there's such word as "UNSWAPPING" I reached Google and Dictionaries of which I failed to find this word. Yes, there's an adjective "unswapped" but ...
3
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2answers
334 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 ...
14
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1answer
914 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 ...
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2answers
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Add the prefix A to various words [closed]

I've seen several threads about the prefix "a" and its various uses. Can we simply add this prefix to change the meaning of words to mean "not"? ie. asymmetrical, apolitical etc. As long as the word ...
3
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1answer
9k views

What does the prefix iso- mean in “isolate”? [closed]

My question is referring to the prefix iso- and its meaning in the word isolate. My question is, if the prefix means equal, how does that make sense in the word isolate?
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2answers
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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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3answers
3k views

The pronunciation of words which begins 'con' and 'com'

I know there is no strict rule on pronunciation of words in English but here my question is about the words which begin with 'con' and 'com', more than asking general rule. When I look at the words ...
3
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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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1answer
23k views

“Unauthentic” vs. “inauthentic” [closed]

Is there really no difference between inauthentic and unauthentic? If there is, which is more correct?
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5answers
17k views

To outstay vs. overstay one's welcome

I came across the expression "outstayed my welcome" in the following excerpt of a novel I glance around and see that the café has filled up with people ordering lunch and that a couple is queuing ...
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1answer
1k views

What's the difference between unapproachable and inapproachable? [closed]

Could anyone explain why does it have two versions, because as far as I know, there are some rules of formation of antonyms. Isn't there should be only one proper prefix? Or both are possible? Thank ...
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2answers
672 views

Are there any words similar to “abnormal”? [closed]

If we remove ab-, the word abnormal becomes normal, which is the opposite. Are there any other words that are similar and start with the prefix ab-?
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4answers
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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 ...
0
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1answer
158 views

Are products of wordsmithing proper English?

Several languages in which English has its roots have easily definable rules. For example, sticking "a" in front of an adjective can mean the opposite of that adjective (symmetrical - asymmetrical), ...
2
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1answer
2k views

When do I use non-, ir-/i-, dis-, a-, or un-?

Between using the prefixes non-, ir-, i-, and dis-, a-, or un-, meaning "not (root word) to do something", when is the best time to use each?
5
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1answer
1k views

Is there a fraction prefix for “(one-)third”?

I am a mathematician, working with things called 1⁄k-regular polytopes, dubbed thus by Conway. For the case of k = 2, as in ½-regular, it is naturally pronounced and written half-regular. However, I ...

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