Prefixes

Prefixes: Definition with Examples

Prefixes are the letter/s which sit before a stem to make new words. These letters are also called affixes.

Affixes generally have no meaning by their own but can form meaningful words by sitting before/after the stems. In the case of prefixed words, affixes sit before the stems of the words.  

“A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word.”– Wilson (2011)

A prefix is “a letter or group of letters that is added at the beginning of a word to change its meaning.”– Merriam Webster.

Example:

  • Prefix = ‘fix’ is a stem and ‘pre’ is a prefix which changes the meaning of the stem and creates a new word.
  • Antibiotic
  • Awake
  • Symphony
  • Hemisphere

List of Common Prefixes:

PrefixMeaningExamples
aon
in
from
up
not
without
aboard (onboard)
asleep (in sleep)
arise (rise from)
awake (wake up)
atheist (not a theist)
apathy (without pathy)
ab
 
bad
not
abuse (bad use)
abnormal (not normal)
adtoadjoin (to join)
antebeforeantedate (before date)
antiagainst
opposite of
antiseptic (against septic)
anticlimax (opposite of climax)
autoselfautobiography (self-biography)
bitwobilateral (two sides)
cowithco-exist (exist with)
dedown
reversal
detrain (down train)
demerit
ditwodioxide (two oxides)
diathroughdiameter
disnot
opposite
disallowed (not allowed)
dishonor (opposite of honor)
enon
in
enact (on action)
encage (in the cage)
exout of
former
extract (out of anything)
ex-student
ilopposite ofillegal (opposite of legal)
imthe opposite ofimpossible (opposite of possible)
inthe opposite ofinability (opposite of ability)
irthe opposite ofirrational (opposite of rational)
interwithininterschool (within the school)
forebeforeforetell (telling before)
hemihalfhemisphere (half sphere)
homolike/samehomogeneous (same species)
hyperbeyond/overhypersensitive (oversensitive)
hypounderhypothesis (under thesis)
malbad
ill
malpractice (bad practice)
malnutrition (ill nutrition)
misbadmisconduct (bad conduct)
monosinglemonologue (single logue)
nonnot/oppositenonsense (opposite of sense)
postafterpostmodern (after modern)
prebeforepretext (before text)
periroundperimeter (round meter)
reagainregain (again gain)
semihalfsemifinal (half final)
subbackup/alternatesubway (alternate way)
superover/beyondsupernatural (beyond natural)
tothistoday (this day)
transacrosstransform (across form)
ultrabeyondultramodern (beyond modern)
unnot/oppositeunable (not able)
vicealternative ofvice-captain (alternative of captain)
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