from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Abnormal: dysplasia.
  • Impaired: dysgraphia.
  • Difficult: dysphonia.
  • Bad: dyslogistic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • bad

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • An inseparable prefix, fr. the Greek dys- hard, ill, and signifying ill, bad, hard, difficult, and the like; cf. the prefixes, Skr. dus-, Goth. tuz-, OHG. zur-, G. zer-, AS. to-, Icel. tor-, Ir. do-.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An inseparable prefix in words of Greek origin, signifying ‘hard, difficult, bad, ill,’ and implying some difficulty, imperfection, inability, or privation in the act, process, or thing denoted by the word of which it forms a part.


Latin dys-, bad, from Greek dus-; see dus- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From New Latin, from Ancient Greek δυσ- (dys-, "difficult, bad status"), from Proto-Indo-European *dus-. See tore for Proto-Germanic cognates, and Persian دشمن (došman) for PIE cognates. (Wiktionary)


  • Dis- is also now often negative, to my disgust, because of confusion with the Greek dys- (as in “dysfunctional,” a macaronic horror), but earlier meant “in different directions” (the final s happily assimilates to a following consonant).

    No Uncertain Terms


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