Definition of dys-

1 : abnormal dysplasia
2 : difficult dysphagia — compare eu-
3 : impaired dysfunction
4 : bad dyslogistic — compare eu-

History and Etymology for dys-

borrowed from Greek, prefixing denoting ill or evil quality, impaired function or difficulty in performance of the following element, going back to Indo-European *dus-, whence also Germanic *tuz- (in Old English torcyrre "hard to convert," torbegīete "difficult to obtain," Old High German zurwāri "suspicious," Old Norse torfengr "hard to get," Gothic tuzwerjan "to doubt"), Old Irish do-, du- (as in dochla "inglorious"), Armenian t- (in t-gēt "unknowing, ignorant"), Sanskrit duṣ-, dur-, Avestan duš-. The meaning of the Greek prefix is aptly characterized in Liddell and Scott's dictionary as "destroying the good sense of a word, or increasing its bad sense." In West Germanic the outcomes of *tuz- have blended in a complicated way with other prefixes—see note at dis-.

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Cite this Entry

“Dys-.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dys-. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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