un-

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English un-, from Old English un- (un-), from Proto-Germanic *un- (un-), from Proto-Indo-European *n̥- (un-, not). Cognate with Scots un-, on- (un-), North Frisian ün- (un-), Saterland Frisian uun- (un-), West Frisian ûn-, on-, Dutch on- (un-), Low German un-, on- (un-), German un- (un-), Danish u- (un-), Swedish o- (un-), Norwegian u- (un-), Icelandic ó- (un-). Related also to Latin in-, Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (modern Greek α- (a-)) and Sanskrit अ- (a-).

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. (added to adjectives or past participles) not
    unannounced — “not being announced”
    uneducated — “not educated”
    unattractive — “not attractive”
    unconstitutional — “not constitutional”
  2. (added to nouns) absent, lacking, not
    ungrace (lack of grace, gracelessness)
    unrest (a lack of rest (peace); war)
    unhope (despair)
    unfriend (enemy)
    unrepair
    unluck (misfortune)
    unnova
Usage notes[edit]
  • Some words formed in this way may also have counterparts using in- or non-.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

NOTE: Words using the prefix un- do not necessarily use the prefixes given here when translated. See individual words for more accurate translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English on-, from Old English ond-, and- (against, facing, toward; in return, back, without), from Proto-Germanic *anda-, *andi- (against), from Proto-Indo-European *anta, *anti, *h₂ént-i (across, forth, forward, ahead), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ént- (end, limit, forehead). More at and-.

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. (added to verbs and nouns to form verbs) reverse, opposite
    to undress — “to take one's clothes off”
    to unwind — “to reverse a winding”
    to unlock — “to undo the locking of”
    • 1996, Diane Warren (writer), Toni Braxton (singer), “Un-Break My Heart”, Secrets, LaFace
      Un-cry these tears I cried so many nights / Un-break my heart
  2. release, free, remove, extract.
    to uncage — “to release from a cage”
    to untangle — “to remove the tangling of”
Usage notes[edit]
  • Only certain words can take un- to form a new word with the opposite meaning. In particular, verbs that describe an irreversible action produce words often considered nonsense, e.g. unkill, unspend, unlose, unring. These words may nevertheless be in occasional use for humorous or other effect.
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

NOTE: Words using the prefix un- do not necessarily use the prefixes given here when translated. See individual words for more accurate translations.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Latin ūnus.

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. Used to form temporary names of elements (such as ununbium) whose existence has been predicted, and have not yet been given a systematic name.
Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]


German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. un- (denoting absence, a lack of; violative of; contrary to)
  2. bad, grave
    Untiefe (great depth)
    Untier (beast, monster, lit.: 'un-animal')

Gothic[edit]

Romanization[edit]

un-

  1. Romanization of 𐌿𐌽-

Luxembourgish[edit]

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. used to form certain verbs that indicate an intensification of action [This definition needs to be checked.]

Derived terms[edit]


Manx[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From un (one, single).

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. uni-, mono-, one

Derived terms[edit]


Old English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Proto-Germanic *un-, from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-, a prefix use of the particle *ne (not). Cognate with Old Saxon un-, Dutch on-, Old High German un- (German un-), Old Norse ó- (Swedish o-, Norwegian u), and Gothic 𐌿𐌽- (un-). The Indo-European root is also the source of Greek α- (a-), αν- (an-), Latin in-, and Old Irish in-.

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. (added to nouns and adjectives) negation, privation, or absence of
  2. bad, used to denote a pejorative sense (compare mis-, mal-)
    undǣd "un-deed, a bad deed"
    unlǣċe (bad physician)
  3. (added to verbs) down
    unsettan (to set down, put down)

Etymology 2[edit]

Originally identical with and-, from Proto-Germanic *and-. Cognate with Old Frisian und-, Old Saxon ant-, Old High German ant- (German ent-).

Alternative forms[edit]

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. Forming verbs from verbs, with an opposite or reversive sense.