A simple guide to prefixes

Document Sample
A simple guide to prefixes Powered By Docstoc



A prefix is placed at the beginning of a word to modify or change its meaning. This is a list of the most common prefixes in English, together with their basic meaning and some examples. You can find more detail or precision for each prefix in any good dictionary. The origins of words are extremely complicated. You should use this list as a guide only, to help you understand possible meanings. But be very careful, because often what appears to be a prefix is not a prefix at all. Note also that this list does not include elements like "auto-" or " bio-", because these are "combining forms", not prefixes.


also an-

not, without to, towards in the process of, in a particular state

atheist, anaemic aside, aback a-hunting, aglow anew abashed abdicate, abstract advance, adulterate, adjunct, ascend, affiliate, affirm, aggravate, alleviate, annotate, apprehend, arrive, assemble, attend antecedent, ante-room anti-aircraft, antibiotic, anticlimax, Antarctic bespatter, beset bewitch, bemuse bejewelled befog becalm combat, codriver, collude, confide, corrode contraceptive counter-attack, counteract descend, despair, depend, deduct denude, denigrate de-ice, decamp


of completely


also absalso a-, ac-, af, ag- al-, an-, ap-, at- as-, at-

away, from movement to, change into, addition or increase before, preceding

anteantibealso ant-

opposing, against, the opposite all over, all around completely having, covered with affect with (added to nouns) cause to be (added to adjectives)


also co-, col-, con-, cor-

with, jointly, completely against, opposite opposition, opposite direction down, away completely removal, reversal



also dialso dialso em-

through, across negation, removal, expulsion put into or on bring into the condition of intensification

diagonal disadvantage, dismount, disbud, disbar engulf, enmesh enlighten, embitter entangle, enrage exit, exclude, expand exalt, extol excruciate, exasperate ex-wife extracurricular hemisphere hypersonic, hyperactive hypodermic, hypothermia infertile, inappropriate, impossible influence, influx, imbibe infrared, infrastructure interact, interchange intramural, intravenous non-smoker, non-alcoholic obstruct, occult, offend, oppose outperform outbuilding, outboard


also e-, ef-

out upward completely previous

extrahemihyperhypoinalso il-, imalso il-, im-, irinfrainterintranonoboutalso oc-, of-, op-

outside, beyond half beyond, more than, more than normal under not, without in, into, towards, inside below between, among inside, within absence, negation blocking, against, concealing surpassing, exceeding external, away from


excessively, completely upper, outer, over, above

overconfident, overburdened, overjoyed overcoat, overcast perimeter postpone pre-adolescent, prelude, precondition pro-African proconsul propulsion prologue repaint, reappraise, reawake semicircle, semi-conscious submarine, subsoil sub-lieutenant sub-tropical synchronize, symmetry transnational, transatlantic translate ultraviolet, ultrasonic ultramicroscopic unacceptable, unreal, unhappy, unmanned unplug, unmask


round, about after in time or order before in time, place, order or importance favouring, in support of acting for motion forwards or away before in time, place or order

resemisubalso suc-, suf-, sug-, sup-, sur-, sus-

again half, partly at a lower position lower in rank nearly, approximately


also sym-

in union, acting together across, beyond into a different state


beyond extreme


not reversal or cancellation

of action or state underbeneath, below lower in rank not enough
A prefix goes at the beginning of a word. A suffix goes at the end of a word.

underarm, undercarriage undersecretary underdeveloped

A prefix is a letter or a group of letters attached to the beginning of a word that partly indicates its meaning. For example, the word prefix itself begins with a prefix--pre-, which generally means "before." Understanding the meanings of the common prefixes can help us deduce the meanings of new words that we encounter. But be careful: some prefixes (such as in-) have more than one meaning (in this example, "not" and "into"). The table below defines and illustrates 35 common prefixes. Common Prefixes Prefix a-, ananteantiautocircumcocom-, concontradedisenexextraheterohomohyperMeaning without before against self around with with against off, away from not put into out of, former beyond, more than different same over, more Example amoral antecedent anticlimax autopilot circumvent copilot companion, contact contradict devalue disappear enclose extract, ex-president extracurricular heterosexual homonym hyperactive

il-, im-, in-, irininterintramacromicromonononomnipostpre-, prosubsyntranstriununi-

illegal, immoral, inconsiderate, irresponsible into insert between intersect between intravenous large macroeconomics small microscope one monocle not, without nonentity all, every omniscient after postmortem before, forward precede, project under submarine same time synchronize across transmit three tricycle not unfinished one unicorn not, without

Description: This is just some guides and list on prefixes I gathered around the net.