Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


A-

A-

.
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. ofdūne off the dun or hill). (3) AS. ā- (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 (L. ad to), as in abase, achieve. (6) L. a, ab, abs, from, as in avert. (7) Greek insep. prefix α without, or privative, not, as in abyss, atheist; akin to E. un-.
Besides these, there are other sources from which the prefix
a
takes its origin.

Definition 2022


A-

A-

See also: Appendix:Variations of "a"

English

Alternative forms

Noun

A- (plural A-'s)

  1. Academic grade issued by some institutions, which is inferior to an A and superior to a B+.

Danish

Prefix

A-

  1. A- (atomic, nuclear)

Derived terms

Category Danish words prefixed with A- not found

Synonyms

a-

a-

See also: Appendix:Variations of "a"

Translingual

Etymology

New Latin, from Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-, not, without)

Prefix

a-

  1. Used to form taxonomic names indicating a lack of some feature that might be expected

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Translingual_words_prefixed_with_a-'>Translingual words prefixed with a-</a>

English

Usage notes

Different Germanic senses of a- became confused – vaguely “intensive” – and are no longer productive. The Greek sense of “not” (e.g., amoral, asymmetry) remains productive.

“[I]t naturally happened that all these a- prefixes were at length confusedly lumped together in idea, and the resultant a- looked upon as vaguely intensive, rhetorical, euphonic [nice-sounding], or even archaic, and wholly otiose [pointless].” OED.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ə/

Prefix

a-

  1. (no longer productive) forming verbs with the sense away, up, on, out
    arise, await
  2. (no longer productive) forming verbs with the sense of intensified action.
    abide, amaze

Etymology 2

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ə/

Prefix

a-

  1. (rare or no longer productive) in, on, at; used to show a state, condition, or manner. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    apace, afire, aboil, a-bling
  2. (no longer productive) In, into. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    asunder
  3. In the direction of, or toward. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    astern, abeam
  4. (archaic, dialectal) At such a time. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    Come a-morning we are going hunting.
  5. (archaic, dialectal) In the act or process of. [First attested prior to 1150][1]
    Come morning, we are going a-hunting.
    They's asinging a song. He's aheaded to the store.
    • 1777, Thomas Arne, A-Hunting We Will Go
    • 1780, The Twelve Days of Christmas:
      The twelfth day of Christmas,
      My true love sent to me
      Twelve lords a-leaping,
      Eight maids a-milking,
      Seven swans a-swimming,
      Six geese a-laying,
    • circa 1850, Here We Come A-wassailing/Here We Come A-caroling
      Here we come a-wassailing
      Among the leaves so green;
      Here we come a-wand’ring
      So fair to be seen.
    • 1939, Alfred Edward Housman, Additional Poems, XIII, lines 6-7:
      Oh waste no words a-wooing
      The soft sleep to your bed;
    • circa 1970, bumper sticker:[2]
      If the van’s a-rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’.

Etymology 3

From Middle English variant form of y-, from Old English ġe-, from Proto-Germanic *ga-.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ə/

Alternative forms

Prefix

a-

  1. Obsolete form of y-. [First attested around 1150 to 1350 (Middle English).][1]
    aware, alike

Etymology 4

From Anglo-Norman a-, from Old French e-, from Latin ex-.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ə/

Prefix

a-

  1. (no longer productive) forming words with the sense of wholly, or utterly out[First attested from around 1150 to 1350.][1]
    abash

Etymology 5

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel).

Pronunciation

  • (US) IPA(key): /ə/, /eɪ/

Prefix

a-

  1. Not, without, opposite of.
    amoral, asymmetry, atheism, asexual, acyclic
    • 1948 (revised 1952), Robert Graves, The White Goddess, Faber & Faber 1999, page 7:
      When invited to believe in the Chimaera, the horse-centaurs, or the winged horse Pegasus, all of them straightforward Pelasgian cult-symbols, a philosopher felt bound to reject them as a-zoölogical improbabilities [...].
    • 2012, Faramerz Dabhoiwala, The Origins of Sex, Penguin 2013, page 191:
      If aroused outside the proper outlet of marriage, [female lust] could range out of control, turning its possessor into an a-feminine monster: that is what happened to fallen women.
Usage notes
  • Used with stems that begin with consonants except sometimes h. an- is synonymous and is used in front of words that start with vowels and sometimes h.[3]

Etymology 6

From Middle English, from Middle French a-, from Latin ad (towards).

Prefix

a-

  1. (no longer productive) Towards; Used to indicate direction, reduction to, increase to, change into, or motion. [First attested from around 1150 to 1350.][1]
    ascend, aspire, amass, abandon, avenue
Usage notes
  • Used on stems that started with sc, sp, or st, and also used on stems with a French origin.
  • Used in place of ad-.[4]

Etymology 7

From Latin ab (of, off, from, away)

Prefix

a-

  1. (no longer productive) Away from. [First attested from around 1150 to 1350.][1]
    avert, aperient, abridge, assoil[3]
Usage notes
  • Variation of the prefix ab-, only used when the stem starts with the letter p or v. [3]

Etymology 8

Prefix

a-

  1. (no longer productive) Of, from. [First attested prior to 1150.][1]
    anew, afresh[3]

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:English_words_prefixed_with_a-'>English words prefixed with a-</a>

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Brown, Lesley (2003)
  2. See “Don’t Come A-Knockin’”, TV Tropes for more examples and discussion.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Urdang, Laurence (1984)
  4. Lindberg, Christine A. (2007)
  • Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 1
  • Christine A. Lindberg (editor), The Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition (Spark Publishing, 2007 [2002], ISBN 978-1-4114-0500-4), page 1
  • Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 1
  • a-” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).

A-Pucikwar

Prefix

a-

  1. prefix attached to words relating to the mouth, such as the names of languages

Danish

Prefix

a-

  1. a-, un- (not)
  2. A- (atomic, nuclear)

Synonyms

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Danish_words_prefixed_with_a-'>Danish words prefixed with a-</a>

Dutch

Pronunciation

Etymology

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel).

Prefix

a-

  1. a-: Not, without, opposite of.

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Dutch_words_prefixed_with_a-'>Dutch words prefixed with a-</a>

See also


Finnish

Prefix

a-

  1. (in loanwords) non-, un-

Synonyms


French

Etymology 1

From Old French, from Latin ad-.

Prefix

a-

  1. A prefix forming words, especially verbs, that denote entering a state, making progress toward a goal, or the like.

Etymology 2

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel; generalized from the many Latin borrowings using this prefix.

Prefix

a-

  1. a-, non-, -less.

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:French_words_prefixed_with_a-'>French words prefixed with a-</a>

References


Italian

Etymology 1

From Latin ad-.

Prefix

a-

  1. ad- (indication direction)

Usage notes

The Italian prefix a- often reduplicates the following consonant (syntactic gemination, raddoppiamento fonosintattico). The actual forms usually will be ab- (in abbracciare), ac- (in accorrere), ad- (in addestrare), al- (in allargare) etc.

Etymology 2

Borrowed from Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-).

Prefix

a-

  1. a- (indicating lack or loss)
Synonyms

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Italian_words_prefixed_with_a-'>Italian words prefixed with a-</a>

Latin

Etymology 1

Prefix

ā-

  1. Alternative form of ab-

Usage notes

Used before bilabial voiced consonants: b-, m- and v-.

Etymology 2

From ad (towards)

Prefix

a-

  1. (Before a word beginning with sc, sp or st) Alternative form of ad-
    ascendere, āscrībere, aspīrāre, aspicere, astringere, astruere

Latvian

Etymology

Via other European languages, ultimately from Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [a]

Prefix

a-

  1. Not, not having, without, opposite of.
    aseksuāls < a- + seksuāls

Navajo

Prefix

a-

  1. someone's, people's

Usage notes

This prefix is often used as a neutral possessive pronoun to make the citation forms of inalienable nouns: amá (someone's mother), akʼos (someone's neck), ajáád (someone's leg), ajááʼ (someone's ear), akʼéí (someone's kin). The alternative is to use the prefix ha- (one's) or bi- (his/her/its/their) to make these dictionary forms.

See also


Old English

Etymology

From an earlier form ar-, from Proto-Germanic *uz-. Cognate with Old High German ar-, ir- (German er-).

Prefix

ā-

  1. forming words with the sense from, away, off, out, e.g. āniman

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Old_English_words_prefixed_with_a-'>Old English words prefixed with a-</a>

Old French

Etymology

Latin ad, which was often reduced to a- in compounds.

Prefix

a-

  1. indicating movement towards something
  2. (by extension) indicating a change of state
  3. intensifying prefix
  4. Alternative form of es-

Old Irish

Prefix

a- (class A infixed pronoun)

  1. him (triggers eclipsis)
  2. it (triggers lenition)

Usage notes

This form merges with the prefixes ro-, no-, di-, to-, fo-, ar-, and imm- to form ra-, na-, da-, da-, fa-, ara-, imma- respectively. It disappears after the particle (not), its only trace being the mutation it causes (eclipsis in the case of the masculine, lenition in the case of the neuter), thus ní cara (does not love) vs. ní chara (does not love it), ní ben (does not strike) vs. ní mben (does not strike him).

See also

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Old_Irish_words_prefixed_with_a-'>Old Irish words prefixed with a-</a>

Old Saxon

Etymology

From an earlier form ar-, from Proto-Germanic *uz-. Cognate with Old English a-, Old High German ar-, ir- (German er-).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɑː/

Prefix

ā-

  1. forming words with the sense from, away, out, off, e.g. āniman

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Old_Saxon_words_prefixed_with_a-'>Old Saxon words prefixed with a-</a>

Polish

Etymology

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel), from Proto-Indo-European *n̥- (un-, not), zero-grade form of *ne (not), whence also Polish nie.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɑː/

Prefix

a-

  1. forming words with the sense of negation, e.g. aspołeczny (a- + społeczny)

Portuguese

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˌa/

Etymology 1

From Old Portuguese a-.

Prefix

a-

  1. added to adjective X, forms verbs meaning to make/turn X
    a- + vermelho (red) + -aravermelhar (to redden)
    a- + baixo (low) + -arabaixar (to lower)
  2. added to noun X, forms verbs meaning to cause or make X or to cause something to have X
    a- + pavor (dread) + -arapavorar (to frighten)
    a- + fama (fame) + -arafamar (to make famous)

Etymology 2

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-), from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-.

Prefix

a-

  1. a- (not; without)
Synonyms

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Portuguese_words_prefixed_with_a-'>Portuguese words prefixed with a-</a>

Serbo-Croatian

Etymology

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel), from Proto-Indo-European *n̥- (un-, not), zero-grade form of *ne (not), whence also Serbo-Croatian ne.

Prefix

a- (Cyrillic spelling а-)

  1. Prefix prepended to words to denote a negation, deprivation or absence of a property denoted by base word.

Synonyms

References

  • a-” in Hrvatski jezični portal

Spanish

Etymology 1

From Latin ad-.

Prefix

a-

  1. A prefix forming words, especially verbs, that denote entering a state, making progress toward a goal, or the like.

See also

Etymology 2

From Ancient Greek ἀ- (a-) (ἀν- (an-) immediately preceding a vowel; generalized from the many Latin borrowings using this prefix.

Prefix

a-

  1. a-, non-, -less

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Spanish_words_prefixed_with_a-'>Spanish words prefixed with a-</a>

Zulu

Prefix

a- (subject concord, medial form -wa-)

  1. they (class 6)

Prefix

a- (possessive concord)

  1. of (class 6)

Prefix

a- (relative concord)

  1. Class 6 relative concord.

See also

Prefix

a-

  1. not

Usage notes

Prefixed to the subject concord.