1

prefix

verb pre·fix

Definition of prefix

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1\(ˌ)prē-ˈfiks\ :  to fix or appoint beforehand

  3. 2\ˈprē-ˌ, prē-ˈ\ [partly from 2prefix] :  to place in front; especially :  to add as a prefix prefix a syllable to a word

Examples of prefix in a Sentence

  1. Prefix un to do to form the word undo.

  2. The cost of the item was prefixed by a dollar sign.

Origin and Etymology of prefix

Middle English, from Middle French prefixer, from Latin praefixus


First Known Use: 15th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


2

prefix

play
noun pre·fix \ˈprē-ˌfiks\

Definition of prefix

  1. 1 :  an affix attached to the beginning of a word, base, or phrase and serving to produce a derivative word or an inflectional form — compare suffix

  2. 2 :  a title used before a person's name

prefixal

play \ˈprē-ˌfik-səl, prē-ˈ\ adjective

Examples of prefix in a Sentence

  1. Add the prefix re- to form the words retell and recall.

What are prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms?

Prefixes and suffixes are both kinds of affixes. That is, they are word parts that attach to the beginning or end of a word or word base (a word stripped down to its simplest form) to produce a related word or an inflectional form of a word. Examples are in- in informal and both re- and -ing in reporting.

A third kind of affix is called an infix. Infixes are inserted into a word or word base. English uses very few infixes, but a couple examples are the plural-making s in words like cupsful and passersby, and various swear words, like damn in informal constructions like guaran-damn-tee.

A combining form is a form of a word that only appears as part of another word. There are a number of kinds of combining forms, each classified by what kind of word results when the form is used. For example, -wise in clockwise is an adverb combining form; -like in birdlike is an adjective combining form; -graph in photograph is a noun combining form; and -lyze in electrolyze is a verb combining form.

Combining forms are similar to affixes but can have a bit more lexical substance to them. Unlike affixes, combining forms are substantial enough to form a word simply by connecting to an affix, such as when the combining form cephal- joins with the suffix -ic to form cephalic. A combining form can also differ from an affix in its being derived from an independent word. For example, para- is a combining form in the word paratrooper because in that word it represents the word parachute. Para- is a prefix, however, in the words paranormal and paramedic. A combining form can also be distinguished historically from an affix by the fact that it is borrowed from another language in which it is descriptively a word or a combining form, such as the French mal giving English the mal- in malfunction.

Origin and Etymology of prefix

New Latin praefixum, from Latin, neuter of praefixus, past participle of praefigere to fasten before, from prae- + figere to fasten — more at fix


First Known Use: 1646

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


3

prefix

play
adjective pre·fix \same as 2prefix\

Definition of prefix

  1. :  characterized by placement of an operator before its operand or before its two operands if it is a binary operator — compare infix, postfix

1971

First Known Use of prefix

1971


PREFIX Defined for English Language Learners

prefix

verb

Definition of prefix for English Language Learners

  • : to add a letter, number, or symbol at the beginning of a word or number

prefix

play
noun

Definition of prefix for English Language Learners

  • : a letter or group of letters that is added at the beginning of a word to change its meaning

  • : a title (such as “Mr.” or “Dr.”) that is used before a person's name


PREFIX Defined for Kids

prefix

play
noun pre·fix \ˈprē-ˌfiks\

Definition of prefix for Students

  1. :  a letter or group of letters that comes at the beginning of a word and has its own meaning



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