from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- Do or make the opposite of; reverse: decriminalize.
- Remove or remove from: delouse; deoxygenate.
- Out of: deplane; defenestration.
- Reduce; degrade: declass.
- Derived from: deverbative.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- Meaning reversal, undoing or removing.
- Meaning from, off.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- A prefix from Latin de down, from, away; as in debark, decline, decease, deduct, decamp. In words from the French it is equivalent to Latin dis- apart, away; or sometimes to de. Cf. dis-. It is negative and opposite in derange, deform, destroy, etc. It is intensive in deprave, despoil, declare, desolate, etc.
Middle English de-, from Old French de- (from Latin dē-, from, off, apart, away, down, out, completely, from dē; or from Old French des-, out, off, apart, away, completely (from Latin dis-, dis-, and Latin dē-).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin preposition dē ("of, from"), which is often attached directly to the beginnings of other Latin words. (Wiktionary)