UN

1 of 3

abbreviation

United Nations

un-

2 of 3

prefix (1)

ˌən,
 often  ˈən,
 before  stressed syllable ˈ-
1
: not : in-, non-
in adjectives formed from adjectives
unambitiousunskilled
or participles
undressed
, in nouns formed from nouns
unavailability
, and rarely in verbs formed from verbs
unbe
sometimes in words that have a meaning that merely negates that of the base word and are thereby distinguished from words that prefix in- or a variant of it (such as im-) to the same base word and have a meaning positively opposite to that of the base word
unartisticunmoral
2
: opposite of : contrary to
in adjectives formed from adjectives
unconstitutionalungracefulunmannered
or participles
unbelieving
and in nouns formed from nouns
unrest

un-

3 of 3

prefix (2)

1
: do the opposite of : reverse (a specified action) : de- sense 1a, dis- sense 1a
in verbs formed from verbs
unbendundressunfold
2
a
: deprive of : remove (a specified thing) from : remove
in verbs formed from nouns
unfrockunsex
b
: release from : free from
in verbs formed from nouns
unhand
c
: remove from : extract from : bring out of
in verbs formed from nouns
unbosom
d
: cause to cease to be
in verbs formed from nouns
unman
3
: completely
unloose

Word History

Etymology

Prefix (1)

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German un- un-, Latin in-, Greek a-, an-, Old English ne not — more at no

Prefix (2)

Middle English, from Old English un-, on-, alteration of and- against — more at ante-

Dictionary Entries Near UN

Cite this Entry

“UN.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/UN. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

un- 1 of 2

prefix

ˌən,
ˈən
1
: not
unskilled
unkindness
2
: opposite of : contrary to
unconstitutional
ungodly

un-

2 of 2

prefix

1
: do the opposite of : reverse
undress
2
: remove a specified thing from
unburden

Legal Definition

un-

prefix

1
: not
uncounseled
2
: contrary to
unconstitutional

More from Merriam-Webster on UN

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ