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Sense 3. Given that gruntled is a back-formation, are there any cases where this is used productively in modern English? -- Visviva 02:52, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I've looked through the dis- words in my concordance to Shakespeare. I didn't spot any uses that used the "intensifying" sense you've asked about. --EncycloPetey 03:23, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Etymonline: "from dis- "entirely, very" + obs. gruntle "to grumble," frequentative of grunt (q.v.)." Circeus 03:34, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Saith the OED:
With verbs having already a sense of division, solution, separation, or undoing, the addition of dis- was naturally intensive, ‘away, out and out, utterly, exceedingly’, as in disperīre to perish utterly, dispudēre to be utterly ashamed, distædēre to be utterly wearied or disgusted; hence it became an intensive in some other verbs, as dīlaudāre to praise exceedingly, discup&ebreve;re to desire vehemently, dissuavīrī to kiss ardently. In the same way, English has several verbs in which dis- adds intensity to words having already a sense of undoing, as in disalter, disaltern, disannul.
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And the OED agrees with Etymonline that disgruntle comes from this sense of dis-, plus the frequentative of grunt. Even so, our definition isn't terribly helpful: until I read the OED's explanation, I had no idea what it meant. It needs a rewrite.
RuakhTALK 04:05, 28 January 2008 (UTC)


e.g. disdiapason might suggest another sense (the number two). Equinox 19:14, 9 April 2012 (UTC)