A chart listing the most commonly used prefixes, their meanings, and used examples. A prefix is an affix that is placed before the stem of a word.
1. WORD PARTS: MOST COMMONLY USED PREFIXES PREFIX MEANING EXAMPLE a (or ab) without or not amoral, abnormal ab away, from abhor, absent ad to, forward advance, adhere ante before anteroom, antecedent anti against antifreeze, antimatter, antibiotic auto self automatic, automobile bi two bifocal, bicycle circum round, around circle, circumference, circumvent cent 100 century com with companion co (or con) together, with cooperate, connect, conjoin cor with correlative contra against contrary, contradict counter against counteract de down or showing a reversal descend, degrade, deactivate dec ten decade di apart divorce dia through diameter, diaphragm dis not disapprove, disagree e out of edict, eclipse, eject eu happy euphoria ex out of excavate, expel, export equi equal equilateral extra above extraterrestrial hemi ½ hemisphere hyper over hyperactive hypo below hypodermic il not illegal, illegitimate im not impossible, immoderate in in or not incorrect, invisible, inspect intra within intrastate inter between or among interstate, interval, international ir not irresponsible kilo 1,000 kilometer READING – Word Parts rev. Aug. 2005
2. WORD PARTS: MOST COMMONLY USED PREFIXES PREFIX MEANING EXAMPLE magni large magnitude mal bad malfunction, malnutrition micro small microscope, micrometer mid middle midday milli 1,000 millipede mis wrong mispronounce mono one monologue, monopoly, monotone multi many multicolored neo new neophyte non not nonsense, nonprofit ob against obstruct, obstinate pan all panacea, pandemonium para similar paraprofessional per through pervade, permeate peri around perimeter, periscope poly many polygon, polyglot post after postgraduate, postdate pre before preview, premarital pro forward progress pseudo false pseudonym, pseudoscience quad four quadruplet re again or back review, return, redo, reject retro backward retroactive, retrospect semi half semicircle, semiannual sub under submarine, subway super over superhuman, superior syn (or sym) with or together synchronize, symphony tele far telegram, telepathy, telescope trans across transportation, transcontinental tri three triangle, triple un not unsuccessful, unnatural uni one uniformity READING – Word Parts rev. Aug. 2005
3. WORD PARTS: MOST COMMONLY USED ROOTS ROOT MEANING EXAMPLE agri field agriculture agro field agronomy anthropo human anthropology aqua water aqualung, aquarium astro star astronomy audio hear audience, audition auto self automatic, autonomy, autobiography avi bird aviation bene good, well benefit, beneficiary bibl book Bible bio life biography, biology chrom color monochromatic chron time chronological, chronic cide kill insecticide, suicide cor heart core cord heart cordial corp body corporal, incorporate cred belief credible, credit dem people democracy derm skin dermatology dict word or say dictate duc lead educate ego self egocentric, egotist fact make manufacture, factory fid trust infidelity fin end final flu flow fluctuate frater brother fraternal, fraternity fus pour or blend infuse, fuse gen birth genesis geo earth geography, geology graph writing or drawing autograph, graphic, biography greg flock congregation homo same, man homonym, homophone hydr water hydrant ject throw reject READING – Word Parts rev. Aug. 2005
4. WORD PARTS: MOST COMMONLY USED ROOTS ROOT MEANING EXAMPLE log speech dialogue knowledge, record, or log (or logy) catalog, biology, zoology study of luc light translucent, lucid lus light luster, illustrate lum light illuminate man hand manipulate meter measure thermometer mis send dismissal mit send transmit mort death or dying immortal, mortuary, mortician mut change mutation nov new renovate omni all omnibus, omnipotent onym word or name synonym, pseudonym pac peace pacific path feeling or suffering sympathy, empathy pater father paternal, paternity ped foot pedestrian, centipede, pedal philo love bibliophile, philosophy phob fear phobia, claustrophobia phone sound telephone, phonics photo light photograph port carry transport pos place position, impose pot strength impotent, potential psych (or mind psychology, psychic, psychoanalysis pyro fire pyromaniac scrib write scribe, inscribe script write scripture, subscription soph wise philosopher, sophomore solo alone solo, solitude spec look or see spectator, inspect temp time temporary theo god or gods atheist, theology tort twist, turn distortion tract draw, pull extract ven (or vent) come venture, convention ver true verify vert turn convertible, invert vic conquer victory vid see evident vis see vision viv life survive voc call, voice vocal vok call, voice evoke zoo animal zoology, zoological READING – Word Parts rev. Aug. 2005
5. WORD PARTS: MOST COMMONLY USED SUFFIXES SUFFIX MEANING EXAMPLE -able capable of being readable, manageable, perishable -age act, condition wastage, postage -al like, suitable for comical, theatrical -an person who musician, American -ance state of being circumstance, resemblance -ant (noun) person occupant, accountant -ant (adj.) state of being defiant, vacant -ar relating to muscular, lunar -ary place where library, dictionary -ate to make create, formulate, generate, -ation quality or condition imagination, realization -ee person who is nominee, employee -en made of golden, wooden -ence state, quality permanence, excellence, reference -ent person who student, superintendent -fic causing, producing scientific, prolific full of, characterized by, -ful (adj.) having the qualities of, liable prideful, peaceful, masterful, helpful to -ful (noun) quantity that fills or would fill roomful, cupful, handful -fy to make simplify, glorify, rectify, justify -hood state, condition childhood, neighborhood -ible capable of being legible, divisible, collectible -ic of, characteristic of angelic, symphonic -ice condition, quality justice, malice -id state, condition fluid, squalid -ile relating to servile, infantile -ion state of being condition, confusion, action, tension -ism act, state, or doctrine criticism, alcoholism, Buddhism -ist person who chemist, moralist, dentist -ity quality, state, degree activity, humanity, theatricality -ive relating to or tends toward massive, inventive, active, destructive -ize to make, become Americanize, modernize, symbolize -less without helpless, motionless -ment state of being improvement, fulfillment -or (orer) person who conductor, inventor, teacher -ory place for directory, dormitory -ous full of famous, pious -some tending to lonesome, troublesome -tude condition gratitude, attitude -ty state, condition liberty, sanity -ward direction, course backward, eastward READING – Word Parts rev. Aug. 2005