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Vocabulary Tip: Prefixes that Mean "Not"

Part of the Vocabulary For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Expanding your vocabulary is made a little easier with tips that help you understand the meaning of new words. A prefix can often offer a clue to a word’s meaning, and in the case of the prefixes in the following list, the prefix makes the word mean the opposite of the root. All of the prefixes in the list mean "not" sometimes; a few of them have additional meanings:

  • A-: Atypical means not the usual.

  • Anti-: Antipathy means not with love.

  • Dis-: Disagree means not in harmony with.

  • Il-: Illegible means not readable.

  • Im-: Immodest means not shy.

  • In-: Individuality means not divided.

  • Ir-: Irremediable means not able to be corrected.

  • Un-: Unhappy means not content.

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