un-

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English un-, from Old English un-, from Proto-Germanic *un-, from Proto-West Germanic *un-, from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-. Cognate with Scots un-, on- (un-), North Frisian ün-, Saterland Frisian uun-, West Frisian ûn-, on-, Dutch on-, Low German un-, on-, German un-, Danish u-, Swedish o-, Norwegian u-, Icelandic ó-. More distant cognate with Latin in-, Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (whence English a-, modern Greek α- (a-)) and Sanskrit अ- (a-).

Doublet of in- and 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; negative
    ungrace (lack of grace, gracelessness)
    unrest (a lack of rest (peace); war)
    unhope (despair)
    unfriend (enemy)
    unrepair
    unluck (misfortune)
    unnova
    uncertainty (lack or absence of certainty)
  3. (added to nouns) contrary to or contrasted against traditional norms; unconventional; alternative
    unconference
    unmethod
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 *h₂énti (across, forth, forward, ahead), from *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 unbiunium) whose existence has been predicted, and have not yet been given a trivial name.
  2. Used to form large numbers as the first in the sequence.
    undecillion
    unvigintillion
    untrigintillion
Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


German[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle High German un-, from Old High German un-, from Proto-West Germanic *un-, from Proto-Germanic *un-, from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ʊn/, [ʔʊn]
    • IPA(key): /ʊŋ/ (before /k/, /ɡ/; nonstandard, but common)
    • IPA(key): /ʊm/ (before /p/, /b/; nonstandard, slightly less common; causes merger with um-)
  • In derivatives, the prefix usually carries the stress, though there are exceptions to this.

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. un- (denoting absence, a lack of; violative of; contrary to)
  2. grave; bad; horrifying
    Ding (thing) + ‎un- → ‎Unding (something unacceptable)
    Fall (case, situation) + ‎un- → ‎Unfall (accident)
    Mensch (human being) + ‎un- → ‎Unmensch (brute, barbarian)
    Tier (animal) + ‎un- → ‎Untier (beast, monster)
    Wetter (weather) + ‎un- → ‎Unwetter (storm, severe weather)

Derived terms[edit]


Gothic[edit]

Romanization[edit]

un-

  1. Romanization of 𐌿𐌽-

Luxembourgish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Compare German an-, Dutch aan-, English on-.

Pronunciation[edit]

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. prefixed form of un (at, on)
    1. at, to, toward
    2. on, up
    3. used to make certain intransitive verbs transitive
      léien (to tell a lie) + ‎un- → ‎uléien (to lie to someone)

Usage notes[edit]

  • The prefix is contracted to u- before non-alveolar consonants.

Derived terms[edit]


Manx[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From un (one, single).

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. uni-, mono-, one

Derived terms[edit]


Old English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-West Germanic *un-, from Proto-Germanic *un-, from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-, a prefix use of the particle *ne (not). Cognate with Old Frisian un-, Old Saxon un-, Old Dutch un-, Old High German un-, Old Norse ó-, Gothic 𐌿𐌽- (un-). The Indo-European root is also the source of Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-), Latin in-, and Old Irish in-.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈun/ (in both nouns and verbal derivatives)

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. negation or absence of: un-, non- (added to nouns and adjectives)
    un- + ‎dēadlīċ (mortal) → ‎undēadlīċ (immortal)
    un- + ‎dēop (deep) → ‎undēop (shallow)
    un- + ‎dīere (expensive) → ‎undīere (cheap)
    un- + ‎druncen (drunk) → ‎undruncen (sober)
    un- + ‎ġewǣpnod (armed) → ‎unġewǣpnod (unarmed)
    un- + ‎sċyldiġ (guilty) → ‎unsċyldiġ (innocent)
    un- + ‎rīpe (mature) → ‎unrīpe (immature)
  2. bad (added to nouns to denote a pejorative sense; compare mis-, mal-)
    un- + ‎dǣd (action) → ‎undǣd (crime)
    un- + ‎ġelimp (event) → ‎unġelimp (accident)
    un- + ‎hlīsa (fame) → ‎unhlīsa (infamy)
    un- + ‎lǣċe (doctor) → ‎unlǣċe (bad doctor)
    un- + ‎lyft (air) → ‎unlyft (“malaria,” lit. “bad air”)
    un- + ‎mann (person) → ‎unmann (brute)
    un- + ‎rǣd (advice) → ‎unrǣd (bad advice)
    un- + ‎stenċ (smell) → ‎unstenċ (stench)
    un- + ‎swefn (dream) → ‎unswefn (bad dream)
    un- + ‎tīma (time) → ‎untīma (wrong time)
    un- + ‎weder (weather) → ‎unweder (bad weather)
    un- + ‎þēaw (habit) → ‎unþēaw (bad habit)
Descendants[edit]
  • Middle English: un-

Etymology 2[edit]

Originally an alternative form of on-, from Proto-Germanic *and-. Cognate with Old Frisian und-, Old Saxon ant-, Old High German ant- (German ent-).

Pronunciation[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Prefix[edit]

un-

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

Derived terms[edit]


Old High German[edit]

From Proto-West Germanic *un-, from Proto-Germanic *un-, from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-, a prefix use of the particle *ne (not). The Indo-European root is also the source of Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-), Latin in-, and Old Irish in-.

Prefix[edit]

un-

  1. un-; prefix of negation, absence or contrariness

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Middle High German: un-
    • Alemannic German: o-, u-
    • German: un-
    • Luxembourgish: un-