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  • infix
  • audio pronunciation
  • \IN-fiks\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: a derivational or inflectional affix appearing in the body of a word
  • EXAMPLES

The Philippine language of Tagalog adds infixes such as "-um-" and "-su-" to verbs to convey different tenses and voices.

"As Mark Peters writes, [The Simpsons character Ned] Flanders is 'hyper-holy,' and his infixes sanctify a typically profane process. He is also gratingly cheerful … and diddly perfectly conveys his sunny attitude: murder and dilemma sound a lot less forbidding when infixed as murdiddlyurder and dididdlyemma…." — From Michael Adams' 2009 book Slang: The People's Poetry

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Like prefixes and suffixes, infixes are part of the general class of affixes ("sounds or letters attached to or inserted within a word to produce a derivative word or an inflectional form"). Infixes are relatively rare in English, but you can find them in the plural forms of some words. For example, "cupful," "spoonful," and "passerby" can be pluralized as "cupsful," "spoonsful," and "passersby," using "s" as an infix. Another example is the insertion of an (often offensive) intensifier into a word, as in "fan-freakin'-tastic." Such whole-word insertions are sometimes called "infixes," though this phenomenon is more traditionally known as "tmesis."

Test Your Memory: What former word of the day begins with "t" and means "to become filled to overflowing" or "to be present in large quantity"? The answer is …

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