top of page



How to pronounce prefix (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Download your free e-book. Promotion ends tomorrow.

Dictionary definition of prefix

A string of letters or sounds added to the beginning of a word to change its meaning or form a new word.
"The prefix 'un-' is commonly used to indicate the opposite meaning of a word."

Detailed meaning of prefix

In the English language, prefixes are used to create new words or to change the grammatical function of a word. There are different types of prefixes including derivational prefixes, which change the meaning of a word and create a new word, such as un- (unhappy) or re- (reheat), and inflectional prefixes, which change the grammatical function of a word without changing the word's meaning, such as a- (afraid) or be- (before). For example, the word "happy" with the derivational prefix un- becomes "unhappy" and the word "like" with the inflectional prefix -ing becomes "liking". Understanding prefixes can be important in understanding the meaning of words and in building vocabulary. It also helps in identifying the word's part of speech, and its use in a sentence.

Example sentences containing prefix

1. "Un" is a common prefix used to indicate negation, as in "unhappy."
2. Understanding prefixes can help decipher unfamiliar words.
3. The prefix "re" often denotes repetition, like "rewrite" or "redo."
4. Adding the prefix "pre" can change the timing of an action, as in "preheat."
5. A hyphen is used with some prefixes, like "pre-approval."
6. The prefix "sub" means below or beneath, as in "submarine."
7. "Mis" is a prefix that implies wrong or badly, seen in "misjudge."
8. She taught her students how to identify prefixes in words.
9. The prefix "anti" signifies opposition, as in "antibacterial."
10. Prefixes can significantly alter a word's meaning.
11. "Dis" is a common prefix that denotes reversal or removal.
12. Understanding prefixes can boost vocabulary comprehension.
13. "Inter" is a prefix used to denote between or among, like "international."
14. "Non" is a prefix indicating not or lacking, as in "nonsense."
15. Prefixes play a crucial role in word formation.

History and etymology of prefix

The noun 'prefix' has its etymological origins in Latin. It is formed from the Latin words 'prae,' meaning 'before,' and 'fixus,' meaning 'fixed' or 'attached.' This combination aptly encapsulates the concept of a string of letters or sounds added to the beginning of a word. A prefix is indeed something 'fixed before' the root word, and it serves to modify or change the meaning or form of the word. The etymology of 'prefix' underscores its essential role in language, emphasizing how these initial elements are attached to words to create new meanings or nuances, contributing to the richness and flexibility of language itself.

Quiz: Find the meaning of prefix

Try Again!


Further usage examples of prefix

1. "Co" is a prefix that suggests partnership or cooperation.
2. Learning prefixes is a valuable language skill.
3. "Ex" is a prefix that denotes former or outside, as in "ex-president."
4. Understanding prefixes is essential for word analysis.
5. "Post" is a prefix indicating after or behind, as in "postpone."
6. Adding the prefix "pre-" to a word can indicate that something happens before.
7. A prefix is a type of affix that is added to the beginning of a word.
8. The prefix "re-" means to do something again.
9. "Anti-" is a prefix commonly used to indicate opposition or resistance.
10. The prefix "micro-" means small, while "macro-" means large.
11. Understanding prefixes can help improve your vocabulary and comprehension.
12. The prefix "sub-" means under or below.
13. "Post-" is a prefix indicating that something happens after an event.
14. The prefix "multi-" means many or multiple.
15. "Trans-" is a prefix that means across or beyond.
16. Knowing the meaning of common prefixes can help you decipher unfamiliar words.



addition, suffix, root, base


Prefix pre-, Additional and Supplementary, Communication and Expression, Middle School 3, Language and Expression 2

bottom of page