English Language Guide: Prefix

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English prefixes are affixes (i.e., bound morphemes that provide lexical meaning) that are added before either simple roots or complex bases (or operands) consisting of (a) a root and other affixes, (b) multiple roots, or (c) multiple roots and other affixes. Examples of these follow:English words may consist of multiple prefixes: anti-pseudo-classicism (containing both an anti- prefix and a pseudo- prefix).
PrefixMeaningExample
A-verb > predicative adjective with progressive aspectafloat, atremble
Be-equipped with, covered with, beset with (pejorative or facetious)bedeviled, becalm, bedazzle, bewitch
Co-joint, with, accompanying, togetherco-worker, coordinator, cooperation
Counter-against, in opposition tocounteract, counterpart, counterterrorism
Down-to make something lesser, lower or worsedowngrade
En-/em-to make into, to put into, to get intoenmesh, empower
Ex-formerex-husband, ex-boss, ex-colleague
for-withoutforbid, forget, forgo
fore-beforeforearm, forerunner, foretell
Mid-middlemidlife
Midi-medium-sizedmidi-length
Mini-smallminimarket, mini-room
Mis-wrong, astraymisinformation, misguide
Out-better, faster, longer, beyondoutlive, outreach
Over-too muchoverreact, overact
Re-again, backrerun
Self-selfself-sufficient
Step-family relation by remarriagestepbrother
Twi-twotwibill, twilight
Un-not, opposite ofunnecessary, unequal
Un-reverse action, deprive of, release fromundo, untie
Under-below, beneath, lower in grade/dignity, lesser, insufficientunderachieve, underground, underpass
up-to make something greater, higher, or betterupgrade
with-againstwithhold, withstand
ab-, a, abs-away fromabduct, abnormal
Afro-relating to AfricaAfro-American
ambi-bothambitendency
amphi-two, both, on both sidesamphiaster, amphitheater, amphibian
an-, a-not, withoutanemic, asymmetric
ana-/an-up, againstanacardiaceous, anode
Anglo-relating to EnglandAnglo-Norman
ante-beforeantebellum, antediluvian, antenatal
Anti-oppositeanti-clockwise
Anti-againstanti-war, anti-virus, anti-human
Apo-away fromapomorphine
Arch-supreme, highest, worstarch-rival, archangel
Astro-starastrobiology
Auto-selfautobiography, automatic
Bi-twobicycle
Bio-biologicalbiodegrade
Circum-aroundcircumnavigate
Cis-on this side ofcislunar
Con-, co-, col-, com-, cor-together or withconfederation, commingle, colleague, correlation, cohabit
Contra-oppositecontradict
Cryo-icecryogenics
Crypto-hidden, secretcryptography
De-downdepress
De-reverse action, get rid ofde-emphasise
Demi-halfdemigod
Demo-peopledemography
Di-twodioxide
dia-across, throughdiameter
dis-not, opposite ofdisloyal, disagree
Dis-reverse action, get rid ofdisconnect, disinformation
Dis-, di-, dif-apartdiffer, dissect
Du-, duo-twoduet
Eco-ecologicalecosystem
Electro-electric, electricityelectro-analysis
Epi-upon, at, close upon, in additionepidermis
Euro-EuropeanEurocentric
Ex-, e-, ef-out ofexport
Extra-outsideextracurricular
Fin-kinshipaffinity
Franco-French, FranceFrancophile
Geo-relating to the earth or its surfacegeography
Hetero-differentheterosexual
Hemi-halfhemimorphic
Homo-samehomosexual
Hydro-relating to water, or using waterhydroelectricity
Hyper-above, overhyperthermia
Hypo-under or below something, lowhypothermia
Ideo-image, ideaideograph
Idio-individual, personal, uniqueidiolect
In-in, intoinsert
In-/il-/im-/ir-not, opposite ofinexact, irregular
Indo-relating to the Indian subcontinentIndo-European
Infra-below, beneathinfrared
Inter-among, betweenintercede
Inter-, intel-between, amonginteract, interstate
Intra-inside, withinintravenous
Iso-equalisochromatic
Macr(o)-longmacrobiotic
mal-bad, badlymalnourish
Maxi-very long, very largemaxi-skirt
medi-middlemedieval
Mega-, megalo-great, largemegastar, megalopolis
Meta-after, along with, beyond, among, behindmeta-theory
Micro-smallmicrobacillus
Mon(o)-sole, onlymonogamy
Multi-manymulti-storey
Neo-newneolithic
Non-notnonexistent
Octo-eightoctagon
Omni-allomnipotent, omnipresent
Paleo-oldpaleolithic
Pan-all, worldwidepan-African
Para-beside, beyondparallel
Ped-/pod-footpedestrian, podiatrist
per-through, completely, wrongly, exceedinglypermeate, permute
peri-aroundperimeter, periphrase
Photo-light, photography, photographphotoelectric
poly-manypolygon
Post-afterpostpone, post-election, post-graduation
pre-beforepredict
Preter-beyond, past, more thanpreternatural
Pro-substitute, deputyproconsul
Pro-for, on the side ofpro-life
Pro-beforeprocambium
Pros-towardprosthesis
Proto-first, originalprotoplasm, prototype
pseudo-false, imitationpseudonym
pyro-firepyrokinetic
quasi-partly, almost, appearing to be but not reallyquasi-religious
retro-backwardsretrograde
semi-halfsemicircle
soci-society, social, sociologicalsociopath
sub-, su-, suc-, suf-, sug-, sum-, sup-, sur-, sus-below, undersubmerge, success, support, surreptitious, suspect, sustain
super-above, oversupervisor
supra-above, oversuprarenal
sur-above, oversurname, surreal, surrender
syn-, sy-, syl-, sym-, sys-together, withsynthesis, symbol, syllable, system
tele-at a distancetelevision
trans-acrosstransatlantic, transverse
tri-threetricycle
ultra-beyondultramagnetic, ultraviolet
uni-oneunicycle
vice-deputyvice-president, vice-principal