Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Un-

Un-

.
[OE.
un-
,
on-
, the unaccented form of the accented prefix
and-
(cf.
Answer
); akin to D.
ont-
, G.
ent-
, OHG.
int-
, Goth.
and-
. See
Anti-
.]
An inseparable verbal prefix or particle. It is prefixed:
(a)
To verbs to express the contrary, and not the simple negative, of the action of the verb to which it is prefixed; as in unbend, uncoil, undo, unfold.
(b)
To nouns to form verbs expressing privation of the thing, quality, or state expressed by the noun, or separation from it; as in unchild, unsex. Sometimes particles and participial adjectives formed with this prefix coincide in form with compounds of the negative prefix un- (see 2d
Un-
); as in undone (from undo), meaning unfastened, ruined; and undone (from 2d un- and done) meaning not done, not finished. Un- is sometimes used with an intensive force merely; as in unloose.
☞ Compounds of this prefix are given in full in their proper order in the Vocabulary.

Un-

.
[OE. & AS.
un-
; akin to OFries.
un-
, D.
on-
, OS., OHG., & G.
un-
, Icel.
ō-
,
ū-
, Sw.
o-
, Dan.
u-
, W.
an-
, L.
in-
, Gr. [GREEK], [GREEK], Skr.
an-
,
a-
. √193. Cf.
A-
not
In-
not, No,
adv.
]
An inseparable prefix, or particle, signifying not; in-; non-. In- is prefixed mostly to words of Latin origin, or else to words formed by Latin suffixes; un- is of much wider application, and is attached at will to almost any adjective, or participle used adjectively, or adverb, from which it may be desired to form a corresponding negative adjective or adverb, and is also, but less freely, prefixed to nouns. Un- sometimes has merely an intensive force; as in unmerciless, unremorseless.
I
.
Un-
is prefixed to adjectives, or to words used adjectively.
Specifically: –
(a)
To adjectives, to denote the absence of the quality designated by the adjective
; as, –

Definition 2021


un-

un-

See also: Appendix:Variations of "un"

English

Prefix

un-

  1. (added to adjectives or past participles) not
    unannounced — “not being announced”
    uneducated — “not educated”
    unattractive — “not attractive”
    unconstitutional — “not constitutional”
  2. (added to nouns) absent; lacking; not; negative
    ungrace (lack of grace, gracelessness)
    unrest (a lack of rest (peace); war)
    unhope (despair)
    unfriend (enemy)
    unrepair
    unluck (misfortune)
    unnova
    uncertainty (lack or absence of certainty)
Usage notes
  • Some words formed in this way may also have counterparts using in- or non-.
Derived terms
<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:English_words_prefixed_with_un-'>English words prefixed with un-</a>
Translations

NOTE: Words using the prefix un- do not necessarily use the prefixes given here when translated. See individual words for more accurate translations.

Etymology 2

From Middle English on-, from Old English ond-, and- (against, facing, toward; in return, back, without), from Proto-Germanic *anda-, *andi- (against), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂énti (across, forth, forward, ahead), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ént- (end, limit, forehead). More at and-.

Prefix

un-

  1. (added to verbs and nouns to form verbs) reverse, opposite
    to undress — “to take one's clothes off”
    to unwind — “to reverse a winding”
    to unlock — “to undo the locking of”
    • 1996, Diane Warren (writer), Toni Braxton (singer), “Un-Break My Heart”, Secrets, LaFace
      Un-cry these tears I cried so many nights / Un-break my heart
  2. release, free, remove, extract.
    to uncage — “to release from a cage”
    to untangle — “to remove the tangling of”
Usage notes
  • Only certain words can take un- to form a new word with the opposite meaning. In particular, verbs that describe an irreversible action produce words often considered nonsense, e.g. unkill, unspend, unlose, unring. These words may nevertheless be in occasional use for humorous or other effect.
Synonyms
Translations

NOTE: Words using the prefix un- do not necessarily use the prefixes given here when translated. See individual words for more accurate translations.

Etymology 3

From Latin ūnus.

Prefix

un-

  1. Used to form temporary names of elements (such as unbiunium) whose existence has been predicted, and have not yet been given a systematic name.
Synonyms

References


German

Etymology 1

From Proto-Germanic *un-, from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ʊn/, [ʔʊn]
  • In compounds, the prefix usually carries the stress, though there are exceptions to this.

Prefix

un-

  1. un- (denoting absence, a lack of; violative of; contrary to)
  2. bad, grave
    Tiefe (depth) + un-Untiefe (great depth)
    Tier (animal) + un-Untier (beast, monster)
    Wetter (weather) + un-Unwetter (severe weather)

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:German_words_prefixed_with_un-'>German words prefixed with un-</a>

Gothic

Romanization

un-

  1. Romanization of 𐌿𐌽-

Luxembourgish

Prefix

un-

  1. used to form certain verbs that indicate an intensification of action [This definition needs to be checked.]

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Luxembourgish_words_prefixed_with_un-'>Luxembourgish words prefixed with un-</a>

Manx

Etymology

From un (one, single).

Prefix

un-

  1. uni-, mono-, one

Derived terms

<a class='CategoryTreeLabel CategoryTreeLabelNs14 CategoryTreeLabelCategory' href='/wiki/Category:Manx_words_prefixed_with_un-'>Manx words prefixed with un-</a>

Old English

Etymology 1

From Proto-Germanic *un-, from Proto-Indo-European *n̥-, a prefix use of the particle *ne (not). Cognate with Old Saxon un-, Dutch on-, Old High German un- (German un-), Old Norse ó- (Swedish o-, Norwegian u-), and Gothic 𐌿𐌽- (un-). The Indo-European root is also the source of Ancient Greek α- (a-), αν- (an-), Latin in-, and Old Irish in-.

Prefix

un-

  1. (added to nouns and adjectives) negation, privation, or absence of
  2. bad (used to denote a pejorative sense) (compare mis-, mal-)
    un- + dǣd (action, deed, event, exploit)undǣd (un-deed, bad deed)
    un- + lǣċe (physician, doctor)unlǣċe (bad physician)
  3. (added to verbs) down
    un- + settan (to set, establish, place, make)unsettan (to set down, put down)

Etymology 2

Originally identical with and-, from Proto-Germanic *and-. Cognate with Old Frisian und-, Old Saxon ant-, Old High German ant- (German ent-).

Alternative forms

Prefix

un-

  1. Forming verbs from verbs, with an opposite or reversive sense.