Definitions

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

  • Not: inarticulate. Before l, in- is usually assimilated to il-; before r to ir-; and before b, m, and p to im-. See Usage Note at un-1.
  • In; into; within: inundation. Before l, in- is usually assimilated to il-; before r to ir-; and before b, m, and p to im-.
  • Variant of en-1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • Prefixed to certain words to give the senses of in, into, towards, within.
  • in, into
  • Used with certain words to reverse their meaning

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A prefix from Eng. prep. in, also from Lat. prep. in, meaning in, into, on, among. In words from the Latin, in- regularly becomes il- before l, ir- before r, and im- before a labial. In- is sometimes used with an simple intensive force.
  • An inseparable prefix, or particle, meaning not, non-, un- as, inactive, incapable, inapt. In- regularly becomes il- before l, ir- before r, and im- before a labial.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin; see ne in Indo-European roots.
Middle English, from Old English (from in, in; see in1) and from Old French (from Latin, from in, in, within; see en in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English in-, from Old English in- ("in, into", prefix), from Proto-Germanic *in (“in, into”), from Proto-Indo-European *en (“in, into”). More at in. (Wiktionary)
From Latin in. Sometimes the Latin word has passed through French before reaching English (e.g. incise, incite, incline, indication). (Wiktionary)
From Latin in- ("not"). Sometimes the Latin word has passed through French before reaching English (e.g. incapable, incertainty, inclement, incompatible). Compare un-. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This isn't kind of the happy-go-lucky, you know, naive guy that came in-

    Obama vs. the Jets

  • Ignoring the warning signs, Penn State and its agents gave Jerry Sandusky the golden key to paradise in- free reign to Paterno's sports kingdom where Sandusky could continue to molest young children under the guise of his charitable organization The Second Mile which he started allegedly to help young children.

    Joe Paterno, the Penn State Tragedy and Child Molestation

  • Have to tuck the girls in- I promised them I would be home before they went to sleep!

    Rachel Roy: Doing Good Is Fashionable

  • But also, wasn't there some real Republican opportunism here in-

    9-9-9? Nein.

  • Understanding the psychology behind that reflex should help us tell stories and bridge the differences in ways that bring sustainability's in- and out-groups a lot closer together, and for the good of all.

    Andrea Learned: Easing Sustainability "In-" and "Out-Group" Conflict

  • So, what if those working in and for sustainability purposes tended to this in- versus out-group social categorization problem as part of our study and communications strategy development?

    Andrea Learned: Easing Sustainability "In-" and "Out-Group" Conflict

  • But the wisest thing to do is to be aware of in- and outflow, to clear up bad debt, and to invest your savings so that your money grows over time.

    Lighten Up

  • Everyone who loved his country should cultivate a spirit of conciliation both in- and outside the convention.

    Ratification

  • Ships set out once a month with reinforcements, repairs, representatives from any corp who needed to address problems with their dedicated servers—ships that plotted a top-secret course radioed to the captain on a special frequency only once the boat had X-rayed and analyzed every single thing, animate or in-, to come aboard.

    Wired

  • Making a choice between in- and outpatient programs is not necessarily, however, an either/or situation, as the addict in your life may well need both at different points in time.

    Helping the Addict You Love

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