Skip to main content
Select Source:

dis-

dis- prefix repr. L. dis-, rel. to Gr. DIA-. It was reduced to dī- before some voiced consonants, as in dīrigere DIRECT, dīvidere DIVIDE, became dir- between vowels in dirimere (see DIRIMENT), was assim. before f, as in differre DIFFER, but retained its full form before p, t, c, and s.

In Eng. dis- appears
i. as repr. dis- in words adopted direct from L.,

ii. as repr. OF. des- (mod. dé(s)-) :- L. dis-,

iii. as repr. late L. dis-, Rom. *des-, substituted for L. dē-,

iv. as a living prefix combined with words of no matter what origin.


As an etymol. el. dis- occurs

1. with the meanings ‘apart’, ‘asunder’, ‘separately’, as in discuss, disperse; hence

2. with privative, negative, or reversive force, as in disaster, dissuade, or with intensive force, as in disturb. As a living prefix from XV with such privative or reversive force it

3. forms comp. vbs., as disestablish, disinter, disown,

4. with sbs. forms vbs. meaning to free or deprive of a quality or character, or reverse a condition, as dischurch, disrobe,

5. with adjs. forms vbs., as disable,

6. with sbs. expresses the reverse or lack of, as disquiet, disservice,

7. with adjs. expresses the negative or opposite, as discourteous, disreputable, and

8. is used with intensive force, as disannul.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dis-." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dis-." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dis-3

"dis-." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dis-3

dis-

dis- • prefix 1. expressing negation: dislike | disquiet. 2. denoting reversal or absence of an action or state: dishonor | disintegrate. ∎  denoting separation: discharge | disengage ∎  denoting expulsion: disbar | disinherit. 3. denoting removal of the thing specified: disbud | dismember. 4. expressing completeness or intensification of an unpleasant or unattractive action: discombobulate | disgruntled.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dis-." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dis-." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dis-2

"dis-." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dis-2

dis-

dis- prefix denoting separation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dis-." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dis-." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dis

"dis-." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dis