Other prefixes with specific meanings

Many other prefixes are used in English. Below is a list of prefixes which are useful in helping you to understand unfamiliar words. Some of these words are used with a hyphen. Check in a dictionary if you are not sure.

Prefix

Meaning or Function

Examples

a- ( an)

not, not having

atypical, anhydrous (not containing water)

aero-

air

aerospace

anti-

against

anti-toxin

auto-

self, by itself

autointoxication

bi-

two

bi-metallic

bio-

life

biology (science of life)

centi-

100 or 1/100

centimeter,Centigrade

co-

together,with

co-operation

contra- counter-

against,opposite

contra-rotating; counteract

de-

taken away from

dehydrated

deci-

a tenth

decimeter (tenth of a meter)

deka-

ten

dekameter (ten meters)

di-

two, twice

dioxide

(2) hydrogen

hydrology hydrocarbon

hyper-

over, excessive

hypertension

hypo-

below,less than usual

hypotension

infra-

below, under

infra-red (below the wavelenght of red)

inter-

between

interconnection

intra-

inside

intravenous

iso-

equal

isostatic

kilo-

a thousand

kilogram (me) (1000 gram (me)s)

macro-

large, on a large scale

macromolecule

mega (lo)-

very large, a million

megawatt (a million watts)

meta-

change

metamorphic

micro-

small, on a small scale

microorganism

milli-

a thousandth

milligram (me) (1000th of a gm)

mis-

badly, mistakenly

miscalculated

mono-

one, single

monochrome (of only one colour)

multi-

many

multilateral (with many sides)

neo-

new

neoclassical

non-

not

non-conductor

(2) beyond,outside

outwear (wear or last longer than) outlying (beyond the main body)

(2) on top of, above

overproduction overlie (to lie on top of)

para-

similar to, irregular

paratyphoid (disease similar to typhus but of different origin)

pent (a)-

five

pentagon (5 -sided figure)

phot (o)-

light

photosynthesis

poly-

many

polymorphous

pre-

before, previously

prearranged

proto-

first, original

prototype

quadri-

four

quadrivalent (having a valency of 4)

(2) together, mutually

re-combine (to combine again after being separated) react (to act on each other)

self-

by itself

self-regulating

semi-

half,imperfect

semi-conductor

sub-

under,below,less than

sub-atomic

super- (supra)-

above,beyond,more than

supersonic

syn-(m)-

with, together

synthesis

tetra-

four

tetrad (element having valency of 4)

therm-

heat

thermodynamics

tri-

three

triangle

ultra-

beyond, more than usual

ultraviolet

under-

(1) less than, insufficient

(2) below, lower than

underpressure undersea

uni-

one

unicellular

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