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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.


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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.


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dis- prefix denoting separation.