Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • A, as a prefix to English words, is derived from various sources. (1) It frequently signifies on or in (from an, a forms of AS. on), denoting a state, as in afoot, on foot, abed, amiss, asleep, aground, aloft, away (AS. onweg), and analogically, ablaze, atremble, etc. (2) AS. of off, from, as in adown (AS. ofdūne off the dun or hill). (3) AS. ā- (Goth. us-, ur-, Ger. er-), usually giving an intensive force, and sometimes the sense of away, on, back, as in arise, abide, ago. (4) Old English y- or i- (corrupted from the AS. inseparable particle ge-, cognate with OHG. ga-, gi-, Goth. ga-), which, as a prefix, made no essential addition to the meaning, as in aware. (5) French à (L. ad to), as in abase, achieve. (6) L. a, ab, abs, from, as in avert. (7) Greek insep. prefix α without, or privative, not, as in abyss, atheist; akin to E. un-.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • prefix Not, without, opposite of.
  • prefix no longer productive forming verbs with the sense away, up, on, out
  • prefix no longer productive forming verbs with the sense of intensified action.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin ab ("from, away")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman a-, from Old French e-, from Latin ex-.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Middle French a-, from Latin ad ("to").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English variant form of y-, from Old English ġe-, from Proto-Germanic *ga-.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English a- ("up, out, away"), from Old English ā-, originally *ar-, *or-, from Proto-Germanic *uz- (“out-”), from Proto-Indo-European *uds- (“up, out”). Cognate with Old Saxon ā-, German er-.

Examples

    Sorry, no example sentences found.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • to i.e. in the direction of

    October 15, 2010