A, as a prefix to English words, is derived from various sources. (1) It frequently signifies on or in (from an, a forms of AS. on), denoting a state, as in afoot, on foot, abed, amiss, asleep, aground, aloft, away (AS. onweg), and analogically, ablaze, atremble, etc. (2) AS. of off, from, as in adown (AS. ofd/ne off the dun or hill). (3) AS. a- (Goth. us-, ur-, Ger. er-), usually giving an intensive force, and sometimes the sense of away, on, back, as in arise, abide, ago. (4) Old English y- or i- (corrupted from the AS. inseparable particle ge-, cognate with OHG. ga-, gi-, Goth. ga-), which, as a prefix, made no essential addition to the meaning, as in aware. (5) French a (L. ad to), as in abase, achieve. (6) L. a, ab, abs, from, as in avert. (7) Greek insep. prefix / without, or privative, not, as in abyss, atheist; akin to E. un-.

Related Terms:

abase, abed, abid, abide, ablaze, able, aby, abyss, achieve, addition, adown, afoot, aground, aloft, amiss, analogic, analogical, analogically, arab, arable, arise, asleep, atheist, avert, aware, away, bide, blaze, byss, chieve, cognate, corrupt, corrupted, denoting, dun, fren, french, frequently, ge-, got, goth, greek, green, inseparable, intensive, laze, leep, loft, logically, noting, parable, particle, particular, prefix, privative, refix, remble, reme, separable, separate, sleep, source, tensive, theist, tremble, un-, ware

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John Q. Lawyer

Attorney at Law

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