American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- Not: unhappy.
- Opposite of; contrary to: unrest.
- To reverse or undo the result of a specified action: unbind.
- To deprive of or remove a specified thing: unfrock.
- To release, free, or remove from: unyoke.
- Used as an intensive: unloose.
- absent, lacking, not
- reverse, opposite
- release, free, remove, extract.
- Used to form temporary names of elements (such as ununbium) whose existence has been predicted, and have not yet been given a systematic name.
GNU Webster's 1913
- An inseparable verbal prefix or particle. It is prefixed: (a) To verbs to express the contrary, and not the simple negative, of the action of the verb to which it is prefixed; as in
unbend, uncoil, undo, unfold. (b) To nouns to form verbs expressing privation of the thing, quality, or state expressed by the noun, or separation from it; as in unchild, unsex. Sometimes particles and participial adjectives formed with this prefix coincide in form with compounds of the negative prefix un-(see 2d un-); as in undone (from undo), meaning unfastened, ruined; and undone (from 2d un-and done) meaning not done, not finished. Un-is sometimes used with an intensive force merely; as in unloose.
- An inseparable prefix, or particle, signifying
not; in-; non-. In-is prefixed mostly to words of Latin origin, or else to words formed by Latin suffixes; un-is of much wider application, and is attached at will to almost any adjective, or participle used adjectively, or adverb, from which it may be desired to form a corresponding negative adjective or adverb, and is also, but less freely, prefixed to nouns. Un-sometimes has merely an intensive force; as in unmerciless, unremorseless. Un-is prefixed to adjectives, or to words used adjectively.
- To adjectives, to denote the absence of the quality designated by the adjective.
- To past particles, or to adjectives formed after the analogy of past particles, to indicate the absence of the condition or state expressed by them.
- From Latin ūnus. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English. Middle English, from Old English on-, alteration (influenced by un-, not) of ond-, and-, an-, against, opposing. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“We know about sky-high youth and minority joblessness and record levels of long-term un- and under-employment.”
“With an historically high un- and under-employment rate created by the financial crisis, it is not difficult for many people and families to find themselves in a downward spiral that too often ends in losing their homes.”
“With insufficient growth, un- and under-employment remain distressingly high while the average duration of joblessness hits one unfortunate record after another.”
“But with GDP growth just around trend positive but not all that strong factories with capacity to spare, and 20+ million un- or underemployed, there's space in the glass.”
“Mr. Dylan's public pronouncements, such as the bizarre, tail-swallowing sentences heard in Martin Scorsese's documentary "No Direction Home" (2005), are larded with indirection (either conscious or un-) and duly charm and mystify his fans.”
“I deeply believe that persistent un- and under-employment is eroding America's resilience, and manifesting in the degradation of neighborhoods like the one I grew up in.”
“There is a lot more at stake than the health of markets -- most importantly, the welfare of millions of un- and under-employed people languishing in a global economy that is slowing rapidly and facing the threat of yet another banking crisis whose epicenter this time around is on the other side of the Atlantic.”
“The evening called for "festive" or "hippie" attire, but being that the Sky Room is on the top of the newly constructed Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott, this after-party was about as un-"Hair" like as you can get.”
“Given that it's un- or underemployment that's driven many families to food stamps, maybe we can put some of the freed-up time to good use.”
“First, initial conditions are very worrisome, including a very high and too persistent level of un- and under-employment.”
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