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un-

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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See also UN, un, -un, -un-, ün, and ún

English

Etymology 1

Privative, from Old English un-, from Germanic, related to Latin in-

Prefix

un-

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) not, absent, lacking
    unannounced — “not being announced”
    uneducated — “not educated”
    unattractiveness — “lack of attractiveness; ugliness”
    unrest — “a lack of rest (peace); war”
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) violative, contrary, opposite
    unconstitutional — “in violation of or contrary to the constitution”
Usage notes
  • Some words formed in this way also have counterparts using in- or non-.
Translations

NOTE: Words using the prefix un- do not necessarily use the prefixes given here when translated. See individual words for more accurate translations.

Etymology 2

From Old English -un and -in, originally from Germanic

Prefix

un- (added to verbs and nouns to form verbs)

  1. reverse, opposite
    to undress — “to take one's clothes off”
    to unwind — “to reverse a winding”
    to unlock — “to undo the locking of”
  2. release, free, remove, extract.
    to uncage — “to release from a cage”
    to untangle — “to remove the tangling of”
Usage notes
  • Only certain verbs/nouns can be used to form a new verb having the opposite meaning. In particular, using verbs describing an irreversible action usually produce a nonsense, e.g. unkill, unspend, unlose.
Quotations
  • 1996, Diane Warren (writer), Toni Braxton (singer), “Un-Break My Heart”, Secrets, LaFace
    Un-cry these tears I cried so many nights / Un-break my heart
Translations

NOTE: Words using the prefix un- do not necessarily use the prefixes given here when translated. See individual words for more accurate translations.

Synonyms

References


Old English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Proto-Germanic *un-, from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-, a prefix use of the particle *ne (not). Cognate with Old Saxon un- (Dutch on-), Old High German un- (German un-), Old Norse ó- (Swedish o-, Norwegian u), and Gothic 𐌿𐌽- (un-). The IE root is also the source of Greek α- (a-), αν- (an-), Latin in-, and Old Irish in-.

Prefix

un-

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) negation, privation, or absence of

Etymology 2

Originally identical with and-, from Proto-Germanic *and-. Cognate with Old Frisian und-, Old Saxon ant-, Old High German ant- (German ent-).

Alternative forms

Prefix

un-

  1. Forming verbs from verbs, with an opposite or reversive sense.

Elsewhere on the web

En-En

En-It

En-Fr

En-El

En-Sp

En-Mul

En-De

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