• Prefix


    • IPA: /ˈpɹiːfɪks/ noun
    • IPA: /pɹiːˈfɪks/ verb

    Alternative forms


    From Middle French prefixer (verb) and Late Latin praefixum (noun), both from Latin praefixus, past participle of praefīgō ("I (fix, fasten, set up) in front”, “I fix on the (end, extremity)") (from prae- ("before") + fīgō ("I fix”, “I fasten”, “I affix")).

    “prefix, n.”, “†prefix, adj.”, and “prefix, v.” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary

    draft revisions

    class="example">Mar.–Dec. 2008

    Full definition of prefix



    (plural prefixes)
    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.

    Usage notes

    Though much less common, a plural form prefices exists as well, apparently formed by analogy with index–indices, appendix–appendices, and so on.


    Derived terms


    1. (transitive) To determine beforehand; to set in advance. from 15th c.
      • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book XXI:And so he made redy for the feste, and a day prefyxte that they shulde be wedded ....
      • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, I.40:But the danger was, that a man can hardly prefix any certaine limits unto his desire ....
    2. (transitive) To put or fix before, or at the beginning of something; to place at the start. from 16th c.

    Related terms

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