Latin and Greek prefixes in the English language

I built these lists of Latin and Greek prefixes using primarily The Philosophy of Language; Or, Language as an Exact Science by David Henry Cruttenden and "English grammar" by Samuel Kirkham. There is a possibility that something is missing, because neither book had complete lists.


A, ab, abs—signify from or away; as, a-vert, to turn from; ab-ject, to throw away; abs-tract, to draw away.

Ad—to or at; as, ad-here, to stick to; ad-mire, to wonder at.

Am, amb—around, about; as, am-putate, cut around; am-bition, going about.

Ante—means before; as, ante-cedent, going before.

Circum—signifies round, about; as, circum-navigate, to sail round.

Cis—on this side; as, cis-alpine, on this side of the Alps.

Con, com, co, col—together; as, con-join, to join together; com-press, to press together; co-operate, to work together; col-lapse, to fall together.

Contra—against; as, contra-dict, to speak against.

De—from, down; as, de-duct, to take from; de-scend, to go down.

Di, dis—asunder, away; as, di-lacerate, to tear asunder; dis-miss, to send away.

E, ef, ex—out; as, e-ject, to throw out; ef-flux, to flow out; ex-clude, to shut out.

Extra—beyond; as, extra-ordinary, beyond what is ordinary.

In, im, il, ir—(in, Gothic, inna, a cave or cell;) as, in-fuse, to pour in. These prefixes, when incorporated with adjectives or nouns, commonly reverse their meaning; as, in-sufficient, im-polite, il-legitimate, ir-reverence, ir-resolute.

Inter—between; as, inter-pose, to put between.

Intro—within, into; intro-vert, to turn within; intro-duce, to lead into.

Ob, oc, of, op—denote opposition; as, ob-ject, to bring against; op-pugn, to oppose.

Per—through, by; as, per-ambulate, to walk through; per-haps, by haps.

Post—after; as, post-script, written after; post-fix, placed after.

Præ, pre—before; as, pre-fix, to fix before.

Pro—for, forth, forward; as, pro-noun, for a noun; pro-tend, to stretch forth; pro-ject, to shoot forward.

Præter—past, beyond; as, preter-perfect, pastperfect; preter-natural, beyond the course of nature.

Re—again or back; as, re-peruse, to peruse again; re-trade, to trade back.

Retrobackwards; as, retro-spective, looking backwards.

Se—aside, apart; as, se-duce, to draw aside.

Sin, sine—without; as, sin-cere, without wax; sine-cure, without care.

Sub—under; as, sub-scribe, to write under, or sub-sign.

Subter—under; as, subter-fluous, flowing under.

Super—above or over; as, super-scribe, to write above; super-vise, to overlook.

Trans—over, beyond, from one place to another; as, trans-port, to carry over; trans-gress, to pass beyond.



A—signifies privation; as, anonymous, without name.

Ambi, amphi—both or two; as, amphi-bious, partaking of both or two natures,

Ant, anti—against; as, anti-masonry, against masonry.

Cat, cata— from side to side, down; as, catechise, make sounds from side to side; cataract, water falling down.

Dia—through; as, dia-meter, line passing through a circle.

En, em—in, among; as, em-phasis, in a stress of voice; en-demic, among the people.

Epi—upon; as, epi-demic, upon the people.

Hyper—over; as, hyper-critical, over or too critical.

Hypo—under, implying concealment or disguise; as, hypo-crite, one dissembling his real character.

Metadenotes change or transmutation; as, meta-morphose, to change the shape.

Para—contrary or against; as, para-dox, a thing contrary to received opinion.

Peri—round about; as, peri-phrasis, circumlocution.

Syn, syl, sym—together; as, syn-tax, a placing together; syn-od, a meeting or coming together; syl-lable, that portion of a word which is taken together; sym-pathy, fellow-feeling, or feeling together.