a-

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Contents

Translingual[edit]

Etymology[edit]

New Latin, from Ancient Greek [script?] (a-, not, without)

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. Used to form taxonomic names indicating a lack of some feature that might be expected

Derived terms[edit]


English[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Different Germanic senses of a- became confused – vaguely “intensive” – and are no longer productive. The Greek sense of “not” (e.g., amoral) remains productive.

“[I]t naturally happened that all these a- prefixes were at length confusedly lumped together in idea, and the resultant a- looked upon as vaguely intensive, rhetorical, euphonic [nice-sounding], or even archaic, and wholly otiose [pointless].” OED.

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English a- (up, out, away), from Old English ā-, originally *ar-, *or-, from Proto-Germanic *uz- (out-), from Proto-Indo-European *uds- (up, out). Cognate with Old Saxon ā-, German er-.

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. (no longer productive) forming verbs with the sense away, up, on, out
    arise, await
  2. (no longer productive) forming verbs with the sense of intensified action.
    abide, amaze

Etymology 2[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. (no longer productive) in, on, at; used to show a state, condition, or manner. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    apace, afire, aboil
  2. (no longer productive) In, into. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    asunder
  3. In the direction of, or toward. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    astern, abeam
  4. (archaic, dialectal) At such a time. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    Come a-morning we are going hunting.
  5. (archaic, dialectal) In the act or process of. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    Come morning, we are going a-hunting.
    They's asinging a song. He's aheaded to the store.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English variant form of y-, from Old English ġe-, from Proto-Germanic *ga-.

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. Obsolete form of y-.[First attested around 1150 to 1350.][1]

Etymology 4[edit]

From Anglo-Norman a-, from Old French e-, from Latin ex-.

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. (no longer productive) forming words with the sense of wholly, or utterly out[First attested from around 1150 to 1350.][1]
    abash

Etymology 5[edit]

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel).

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. Not, without, opposite of.
    • 1948 (revised 1952), Robert Graves, The White Goddess, Faber & Faber 1999, page 7:
      When invited to believe in the Chimaera, the horse-centaurs, or the winged horse Pegasus, all of them straightforward Pelasgian cult-symbols, a philosopher felt bound to reject them as a-zoölogical improbabilities [...].
    • 2012, Faramerz Dabhoiwala, The Origins of Sex, Penguin 2013, page 191:
      If aroused outside the proper outlet of marriage, [female lust] could range out of control, turning its possessor into an a-feminine monster: that is what happened to fallen women.
Usage notes[edit]
  • Used with stems that begin with consonants except sometimes h. an- is synonymous and is used in front of words that start with vowels and sometimes h.[2]

Etymology 6[edit]

From Middle English, from Middle French a-, from Latin ad (at).

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. (no longer productive) Towards; Used to indicate direction, reduction to, increase to, change into, or motion. [First attested from around 1150 to 1350.][1]
    ascend, aspire, amass, abandon, avenue
Usage notes[edit]
  • Used on stems that started with sc, sp, or st, and also used on stems with a French origin.
  • Used in place of ad-.[3]

Etymology 7[edit]

From Latin ab (of, off, from, away)

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. (no longer productive) Away from. [First attested from around 1150 to 1350.][1]
    avert, aperient, abridge, assoil[2]
Usage notes[edit]
  • Variation of the prefix ab-, only used when the stem starts with the letter p or v. [2]

Etymology 8[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. (no longer productive) Of, from. [First attested prior to 1150.][1]
    anew, afresh[2]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Brown, Lesley (2003)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Urdang, Laurence (1984)
  3. ^ Lindberg, Christine A. (2007)
  • Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 1
  • Christine A. Lindberg (editor), The Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition (Spark Publishing, 2007 [2002], ISBN 978-1-4114-0500-4), page 1
  • Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 1
  • a-” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).

A-Pucikwar[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. prefix attached to words relating to the mouth, such as the names of languages

Danish[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. A-; (atomic, nuclear)

Derived terms[edit]

Synonyms[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel).

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. a-: Not, without, opposite of.

See also[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French, from Latin ad-.

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. A prefix forming words, especially verbs, that denote entering a state, making progress toward a goal, or the like.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel; generalized from the many Latin borrowings using this prefix.

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. a-, non-, -less.

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Italian[edit]

Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin ad-.

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. ad- (indication direction)

Usage notes[edit]

The Italian prefix a- often reduplicates the following consonant (syntactic gemination, raddoppiamento fonosintattico). The actual forms usually will be ab- (in abbracciare), ac- (in accorrere), ad- (in addestrare), al- (in allargare) etc.

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-).

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. a- (indicating lack or loss)
Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Latin[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From ab (away from)

Alternative forms[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. from, away, away from
  2. off
  3. at a distance
  4. completely, thoroughly
  5. absence of
  6. more remote

Usage notes[edit]

  • Used before consonants, but not usually c or t.
  • Before a word beginning with f, becomes au-, as in auferre
  • Before a word beginning with p, becomes as-, as in asportare

Etymology 2[edit]

From ad (towards)

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. (Before a word beginning with sc or sp) Alternative form of ad-.
    ascendere, āscrībere, aspīrāre, aspicere

Navajo[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. someone's, people's

Usage notes[edit]

This prefix is often used as a neutral possessive pronoun to make the citation forms of inalienable nouns: amá (someone's mother), akʼos (someone's neck), ajáád (someone's leg), ajááʼ (someone's ear), akʼéí (someone's kin). The alternative is to use the prefix bi- (his/her/its/their) to make these dictionary forms.

See also[edit]


Old English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From an earlier form ar-, from Proto-Germanic *uz-. Cognate with Old High German ar-, ir- (German er-).

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

ā-

  1. forming words with the sense from, away, off, out, e.g. āniman

Derived terms[edit]


Old French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin ad, which was often reduced to a- in compounds.

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. indicating movement towards something
  2. (by extension) indicating a change of state

Old Irish[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a- (class A infixed pronoun)

  1. him (triggers eclipsis)
  2. it (triggers lenition)

Usage notes[edit]

This form merges with the prefixes ro-, no-, di-, to-, fo-, ar-, and imm- to form ra-, na-, da-, da-, fa-, ara-, imma- respectively. It disappears after the particle (not), its only trace being the mutation it causes (eclipsis in the case of the masculine, lenition in the case of the neuter), thus ní cara (does not love) vs. ní chara (does not love it), ní ben (does not strike) vs. ní mben (does not strike him).

Related terms[edit]

  • d- (class B & C infixed pronoun)
  • id-, did- (class C infixed pronouns)
  • -i (suffixed pronoun)

Derived terms[edit]


Old Saxon[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From an earlier form ar-, from Proto-Germanic *uz-. Cognate with Old English a-, Old High German ar-, ir- (German er-).

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

ā-

  1. forming words with the sense from, away, out, off, e.g. āniman

Derived terms[edit]


Polish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel), from Proto-Indo-European *n̥- (un-, not), zero-grade form of *ne (not), whence also Polish nie.

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. forming words with the sense of negation, eg. aspołeczny (a- + społeczny)

Portuguese[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Portuguese a-.

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. added to adjective X, forms verbs meaning to make/turn X
    a- + vermelho (red) + -aravermelhar (to redden)
    a- + baixo (low) + -arabaixar (to lower)
  2. added to noun X, forms verbs meaning to cause or make X or to cause something to have X
    a- + pavor (dread) + -arapavorar (to frighten)
    a- + fama (fame) + -arafamar (to make famous)

Etymology 2[edit]

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-), from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-.

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. a- (not; without)
Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Serbo-Croatian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel), from Proto-Indo-European *n̥- (un-, not), zero-grade form of *ne (not), whence also Serbo-Croatian ne.

Prefix[edit]

a- (Cyrillic spelling а-)

  1. Prefix prepended to words to denote a negation, deprivation or absence of a property denoted by base word.

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  • a-” in Hrvatski jezični portal

Spanish[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin ad-.

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. A prefix forming words, especially verbs, that denote entering a state, making progress toward a goal, or the like.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel; generalized from the many Latin borrowings using this prefix.

Prefix[edit]

a-

  1. a-, non-, -less

Derived terms[edit]


Zulu[edit]

Prefix[edit]

a- (subject concord, medial form -wa-)

  1. they (class 6)

Prefix[edit]

a- (possessive concord)

  1. of (class 6)

Prefix[edit]

a- (relative concord)

  1. Class 6 relative concord.

See also[edit]