AskDefine | Define prefix

Dictionary Definition

prefix n : an affix that added in front of the word v : attach a prefix to; "prefixed words" [ant: suffix]

User Contributed Dictionary



praefixus, perfect passive participle of praefigere "put in front" < prae "before" + figere "put, fix"


  • /ˈpɹiːfɪks/


  1. That which is prefixed; especially one or more letters or syllables added to the beginning of a word to modify its meaning; as, pre- in prefix, con- in conjure.

Derived terms


Letters at the beginning of a word


  1. put or fix before, or at the beginning of, another thing; as, to prefix a syllable to a word, or a condition to an agreement.
  2. set or appoint beforehand; settle or establish antecedently. [Obs.]
    Prefixed bounds. --Locke.
    And now he hath to her prefixt a day. --Spenser.

Related terms






  1. prefix



Related terms

Extensive Definition

A prefix is the integral portion of an object (a word or term [typically in text or speech]) with a distinct and reused meaning that modifies the meaning of the whole object.
In the true context of language, the word prefix itself is made up of the base fix (meaning "attach" in this case), and the prefix pre-, meaning "before." To prefix is to attach before, for example, Unfair has a prefix: "Un." Specific types of prefixes include:
prefix in Scottish Gaelic: Ro-leasachan
prefix in Icelandic: Forskeyti

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

IC analysis, accidence, add, adjoin, affix, affixation, agglutinate, allomorph, allonge, annex, anteriority, append, appendix, attach, avant-propos, bold front, bound morpheme, brave face, brave front, breakthrough, burden, coda, codicil, commentary, complicate, conjoin, conjugation, cutting, declension, decorate, derivation, difference of form, display, enclitic, encumber, envoi, epilogue, exordium, facade, face, facet, facia, fore, forefront, foreground, forehand, foreland, forepart, forequarter, foreside, foreword, formative, free form, front, front elevation, front man, front matter, front page, front view, frontage, frontal, frontier, frontispiece, glue on, head, heading, hitch on, immediate constituent analysis, infix, infixation, inflection, innovation, interlineation, interpolation, introduce, introduction, join with, lap, leap, marginalia, morph, morpheme, morphemic analysis, morphemics, morphology, morphophonemics, note, obverse, ornament, overture, paradigm, paste on, plus, postfix, postscript, postulate, preamble, preface, prefixation, prefixture, preliminary, prelude, premise, presupposition, priority, proclitic, proem, prolegomena, prolegomenon, prolepsis, prologize, prologue, proscenium, protasis, put with, radical, rider, root, saddle with, scholia, slap on, stem, subjoin, suffix, suffixation, superadd, superpose, tack on, tag, tag on, tail, theme, unite with, verse, voluntary, window dressing, word-formation
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